In astrology, each of the 12 zodiac signs falls into to one of three astrological qualities, also known as modalities: cardinal, fixed, or mutable. These modalities reveal each sign of the zodiac’s unique personalities, and go deeper than just your Sun sign.
In every modality, there are four zodiac signs, each sign representing one of the four elements in astrology: air, earth, water, and fire.
The mutable signs are Gemini (air), Virgo (earth), Pisces (water), and Sagittarius (fire). But each mutable sign also belongs to a season: spring, summer, fall and winter. Pisces is spring, Gemini is summer, Virgo is fall, and Sagittarius is winter.
Mutable signs fall at the end of each season, unlike cardinal signs that start the season, and fixed signs that are in the middle of the season.
What does being a mutable sign mean?
Cardinal signs Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn are the initiators of the Zodiac and begin new things. Fixed signs Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius are traditionalists and are known as the stabilizer signs of the Zodiac.
But unlike cardinal and fixed signs, mutable signs are incredibly adaptable and are known as the fine-tuners of the Zodiac.
Mutable signs are the emotional support system that others depend on to have an easy-going attitude. Instead of creating change like cardinal signs or resisting change like fixed signs, mutable signs accept that change without putting up a fight; if the change is beneficial, they adapt to it.
Instead of experiencing stress, mutable signs go with the flow. In fact, adaptation is one of their biggest skills. Mutable signs are able to mutate (get it?) to accommodate their surroundings.
These flexible signs are known to be good in times of crisis, philosophical, open-minded, but also indecisive. But their characteristics manifest differently based on the influence of their associated astrological elements.
For example, air sign Gemini is social and communicative; earth sign Virgo is a planner who helps others create their own sense of organization; Sagittarius is a leader and motivator; and Pisces is an emotional healer who uses their empathic qualities to calm a situation.
Common Characteristics Shared By Mutable Signs
Being adaptable doesn’t necessarily mean that mutable signs shy away from conflict. Though they much prefer peace and harmony, they will still stand up and fight for their beliefs.
However, mutable signs will not be on the front lines of the battle like the cardinal signs, nor will they be coordinating the attacks like fixed signs. Mutable signs are selfless enough to adapt to the situation so everyone is at ease.
Mutable signs go with the flow, and without their easy-going attitude, the proverbial modality ship would sink.
If mutable, cardinal and fixed signs were all on a ship, cardinal signs would be the captain advising where to go, fixed signs would be the first mate telling everyone why a certain course is the best option, and mutable signs would be the navigator telling everyone how they are going to get there.
The itinerary makers, the reservation-securers, and the editors of your paper — if someone needs to make sure something is correct and perfect, mutable signs are the people to go to.
Of course, making decisions is not their best quality due to the focus on following through. But though they tend to take their time when making decisions in this sense, it’s only because they are very careful about expressing what they think.
Mutable signs are emotionally strong. Their ability to adapt to anything life throws at them means they carry the burden of keeping peace.
Their ability to endure and survive means they never question or complain about not getting their way; in fact, they won’t even cause conflict just because of a personal change in life.
Above all, mutable signs have harmony as their number one goal. Though others may see it as weakness, mutable signs know how strong they are and intend to still keep their heart open.
Differences Between The Mutable Signs
Each of the four mutable signs is associated with a different element and season. And although they have many things in common, there are specific areas where they differ.
Element: Air sign
Mutable air sign Gemini is a conversationalist who has quite a way with words. But just because they are talkative, that doesn’t mean their words don’t have substance. In fact, Gemini is incredibly analytical and thinks critically.
Said to have a dual nature, Gemini is known to complete projects in a very timely manner, often doing the work of two people at once.
But what stands out most is Gemini’s social nature and ability to form a connection with almost everyone they meet. They are perceptive to those around them, and their intelligence and inquisitive nature is part of what makes them so alluring.
Element: Earth sign
Because Virgo is an earth sign, they are best suited for adding structure to the lives of others.
Their flexibility is obvious in the way they are planners down to the very last detail, and are intent on making life, as they see it, easier. Virgo uses this disposition to meet their own needs and goals.
Because they are so detail-oriented and practical, they complete tasks at hand and can focus on the bigger picture. And while they aren’t as easy-going as the other mutable signs, they aren’t rigid, either.
Element: Fire sign
Sagittarius is part of the winter season mutable signs, and is known for motivating those around them. They are adventurous and enjoy taking the time to figure out how they can better situations, while allowing individuals their own free will.
Speaking of adaptable, Sagittarius has no problem going with the flow, but others may have a hard time keeping up. They prefer spontaneity to planning, playing into their adventurous nature as a fire sign.
Like Gemini, Sagittarius is inquisitive and philosophical, though they prefer discussing deeper issues rather than gossiping. Still, much like the other mutable signs, they are curious and communicative.
Element: Water sign
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Mutable water sign Pisces is emotional by nature, meaning their adaptability manifests in their ability to change the emotions of those around them. If they end up in a tense situation, they are able to transform the overall energy in the room.
In terms of the workplace or their career, if they don’t feel some kind of attachment to the work they are doing, they won’t follow through.
Because they are water signs, Pisces is also intuitive and empathic, to an extent. They tend to take on the mood of others, which can cause them trouble if they don’t have the closure they need.
How Being A Mutable Sign Affects You
The mutable signs are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces, which means these zodiac signs approach their lives with peace, an even temper, and vocal communication. But if you’re a mutable sign, that doesn’t mean you don’t have your fair share of problems.
Your adaptable nature means you may become overwhelmed with the amount of work or projects you choose to tackle at once. And your indecisive nature can cause you to second-guess yourself and your choices. Above all, you may feel like your ability to accept change may deprive you of a true identity.
But when you aren’t fully absorbed in completing projects, you are the entertainment that every group of friends or acquaintances needs around, as you add an energetic vibe.
Modalities are based off of your Sun sign, but that’s not the only aspect of your personality.
In fact, getting a full natal chart or birth chart will tell you much more about your unique traits. Your natal chart determines the placement of planets at the time of your birth, so consider getting an astrological reading.
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Samantha Maffucci is an editor for YourTango who has written hundreds of articles about relationships, trending news and entertainment, numerology and astrology. Follow her on Twitter for more.