Zodiac Wheel

What are the Elements, Polarities, & Modes in Astrology?

The elements, polarities, and modes in astrology are sources of important information about your personality and what motivates you.

The Elements

There are four elements. There are three zodiac signs in each element. The element the zodiac sign is placed in gives an overview of your basic nature.

  • Fire = Bold, energetic, enthusiastic, and optimistic. Competitive and may be quick to anger. Likes a challenge and to be on the go. They enjoy adventure and you can count on trying something new with them.
  • Air = Curious, intellectual, and rational. They prefer to be in their head rather than their heart. May come off cold and aloof. Likes to communicate and share ideas with others. Huminatarian.
  • Earth = Practical, reserved, resourceful, and materialistic. These are the people who will take their time before making a decision. They are down-to earth but can sometimes be stubborn. They are reliable and dependable.
  • Water = Intuitive, sensitive, creative, and imaginative. Empathetic and can easily sense others moods and feelings. Moody at times and can be prone to depression. Many have psychic abilities and they enjoy helping others.


Each zodiac sign is considered positive (+) or negative (-). All of the fire and air signs are positive. Positive signs are extroverted, energetic, and focused on the external. They may also be referred to as yin and masculine principles.

The earth and water signs are negative. Negative signs are receptive, more focused on going inward, and introverted. They may also be referred to as yang and feminine principles.


There are three modes in astrology. They are Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable. There are four signs in each mode. Sometimes they are called the quadruplicities. They are broken down based on the seasons.


What do Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn have in common?

They all start off the seasons of the year!

The spring equinox begins with Aries around March 20. The summer solstice enters Cancer around June 21. Libra kicks off the fall equinox around September 20 and the winter solstice begins about December 21 in Capricorn.

These four signs coincide with the start of each season and represent new beginnings. These signs are leaders who like to take the initiative and are great at beginning new projects, though they may not be the best at finishing them.


Fixed signs are representative of the middle of each season. Taurus (spring), Leo (summer), Scorpio (fall) and Aquarius (winter) are the fixed signs.

This is the time when the seasons are in full swing and are at their height. The weather is pretty much the same and stable at this time.

Fixed energy represents stability and persistence. On a negative note those who are in fixed signs have a hard time with change and getting out their comfort zone. However, these are the ones who can finish the projects the cardinal signs abandoned when something new came along.


Gemini (spring), Virgo (summer), Sagittarius (fall), and Pisces (winter) make up the mutable signs.

Mutable signs coincide with the changing of the seasons. This is the time when the weather either begins to become cooler or warmer, leaves are falling or blooming, and the days are either getting longer or shorter.

These signs are adaptable and embrace change. They go with the flow and have an easier time thinking outside the box and being creative. However, at times they have no focus and move with no direction.

Working Together

Understanding the elements, polarities, and modes will give you a deeper understanding of your personality. Add that on top of the houses, planets, and aspects and your natal chart will become a guide to who you truly are. When you put this information together with your sun sign and moon sign you will gain a better grasp of what makes you uniquely YOU.

I AM Leah LaNae. I AM an avid reader and writer who has been studying the occult and metaphysics for the past 9 years. Although I have learned much through my studies, I realize I have so much more to learn and want to be able to share my findings with others of like-mind. When not doing research and writing, I love to write stories, spend time with my family and friends, dance, skate, travel, and party!

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