In astrology, the signs are categorized by polarity, triplicity and quadruplicity.


Examples of words used for the Polarity of a sign or a planet are Masculine/Feminine and Yang/Yin.

Polarity is also used to describe two signs that are across from each other. These opposite signs can give us insights as we try to find balance in our lives.

A masculine or yang sign or planet is active and oriented outward.

A feminine or yin sign or planet is receptive and oriented inward.


If you think of the path of the sun through the signs, and the solstices and equinoxes that anchor them, Quadruplicity is descriptive of where you are in that “season”. Quadruplicity is also referred to as the mode of operation.

Cardinal is the first sign after the solstice or equinox. Cardinal signs initiate activity. They set the goal and the agenda.

Fixed signs are in the middle between the two anchors. Fixed signs have inertia. They want to keep doing what they’re doing.

Mutable signs are at the end, closer to the next solstice or equinox. Mutable signs are flexible and adaptable. They are still in their season but feel they could move to the next one.


Triplicity refers to the Elements. Astrology uses four Elements. These four Elements also overlap with Polarities. The Fire signs and Air signs are all Masculine/Yang. The Earth signs and Water signs are all Feminine/Yin.

Fire signs initiate action. They represent inspiration and creative expression.

Earth signs are stable and grounded. They are solid and often related to our bodies and our senses.

Air signs are mentally stimulating and social. They represent the mind and the intellect and our communication with others.

Water signs are deep and sometimes unconscious. The represent our emotional responses and can be sensitive to the feelings of others.

Aries is Yang, Cardinal Fire

Aries is a sign of new beginnings and new projects. Aries is energizing. Aries is “I”. Aries is the individual and the hero’s journey.

Taurus is Yin, Fixed Earth

Taurus is a stable, steady sign that is grounded in the body and the sensual world. As Fixed Earth, Taurus is the sign most resistant to change.

Gemini is Yang, Mutable Air

Gemini is a sign of curiosity and ideas. Gemini is an active, outgoing sign that communicates ideas in an understandable way.

Cancer is Yin, Cardinal Water

Cancer is emotionally connected to the family and the tribe. Cancer protects its boundaries and is protective of the people and things that it cares about.

Leo is Yang, Fixed Fire

Leo is an expressive energy and often very creative. Leo sees individuals and appreciates the ways that they are special. Leo is the heart.

Virgo is Yin, Mutable Earth

Virgo is a practical sign that knows the importance of day to day maintenance. Virgo can break systems down into their component parts and has a strong analytical ability.

Libra is Yang, Cardinal Air

Libra is a sign of diplomacy and nuanced communication. Libra appreciates balance and harmony. Libra will take action to try to align what it sees as out of balance with its ideals.

Scorpio is Yin, Fixed Water

Scorpio is associated with deep intense emotion and passion. Scorpio investigates to get to the truth of the matter. Scorpio is intimacy.

Sagittarius is Yang, Mutable Fire

Sagittarius is interested in broad expansive themes, such as philosophy and religion. Sagittarius is big ideas and seeing the world. Sagittarius is adventurous.

Capricorn is Yin, Cardinal Earth

Capricorn is a practical sign oriented toward material achievement. Capricorn provides structure and security. Capricorn takes determined action to achieve its goals.

Aquarius is Yang, Fixed Air

Aquarius brings the communication to a group or societal level. Aquarius is a detached observer energy. Aquarius is associated with science and technology.

Pisces is Yin, Mutable Water

Pisces is associated with emotion at a more collective level. Pisces is a sensitive, intuitive sign that sometimes absorbs the emotions of others.

Contributed by Christine Chase –