The twelve signs of the zodiac can be separated into four different element categories. These elements are water, earth, fire, and air.
Each element has its own general personality traits, and the signs within them manifest those traits depending on whether they’re cardinal, fixed, or mutable signs.
The zodiac signs can be separated into four elements: water, earth, fire, and air. Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces are water signs. Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn are earth signs. Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius are fire signs. Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius are air signs.
Before we get into details about the elements and zodiac signs, I want to point you to the Related Articles section at the bottom of this post. I’ve assembled a collection of articles that you might find interesting after reading this post. Enjoy!
Table of Contents
What do Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable Mean For The Zodiac and The Elements?
Cardinal signs are the natural leaders of the zodiac. They tend to be more outgoing and are engaged with the world around them. These signs are always looking for something new to try.
The cardinal signs of the zodiac are Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn. You can remember this by knowing that these signs are at the beginning of every season. Aries kicks off spring, Cancer starts summer, Libra is at the beginning of fall, and Capricorn is at the start of winter.
Fixed signs are the stable, rooted signs of the zodiac. These signs are focused. Once they get into their flow, nothing can stop them. They are committed to seeing their plans and projects through to the end. The fixed signs are Leo, Taurus, Scorpio, and Aquarius.
You can remember this because they come after the cardinal signs. Leo comes after Cancer, Taurus after Aries, Scorpio after Libra, and Aquarius after Capricorn.
Mutable signs are open to change. They help others through the shifts in their lives. Often, these signs are flexible, adaptable, and diplomatic. A strength of mutable signs is the ability to see situations from many different perspectives.
The mutable signs are Sagittarius, Pisces, Gemini, and Virgo. You can remember these because they come after the fixed signs. Sagittarius comes after Scorpio, Pisces after Aquarius, Gemini after Taurus, and Virgo after Leo.
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What are the personality traits associated with each element?
As mentioned at the beginning, each element has its own basic personality traits. We’ll talk about those first, then dive deeper into the individual signs of that element.
Personality traits of water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces)
Water signs are generally kind, compassionate, and intuitive. They tend to follow their gut instinct when making decisions. They also tend to be more reserved and introverted than some of the other signs. Because of their intuitive nature, they are very observant.
These signs know when something is wrong or if someone is lying to them.
On the flip side, water signs can get lost within themselves. They have an ocean full of feelings running through their head and want to analyze every single one of them. Overthinking can become a problem for these signs.
This seemingly negative energy can be used in a positive way though. Water signs can harness this thoughtfulness into their creative endeavors, as well as in understanding themselves and others.
Cancer is a cardinal sign. The intuitive and emotional nature of Cancer combined with this cardinal energy leads to a leader who trusts their heart. Cancer’s mastery of emotions can also lead to them being manipulative, whether they intend to be or not.
As long as Cancers keep this in mind, they can be an effective and popular leader.
Also read about “What tarot card represents Cancer?“
Scorpio is a fixed sign. This fixed energy combined with the water energy helps this sign dig deep into their emotional side. Scorpios find their passion and focus through their emotions. They’re able to look past their emotions to achieve their goals.
This might end up causing Scorpios to bottle everything up for the sake of their work. If they use their skill with understanding their emotions and their fixed energy to stabilize themselves, they can prevent this from happening.
Also read more about “What Tarot cards represent Scorpio?“
Pisces is a mutable sign. Putting the mutable energy with the water energy causes Pisces to be quiet and introverted. They are in tune with the emotional state of others and ready to adapt to that. This sign is also quite good at giving advice and offering sympathy whenever it’s needed.
Their ability to go with the flow may cause an emotional crisis in Pisces. If they are able to find some stability or come to accept their always changing nature, they can overcome this.
Read more about “What tarot card represents Pisces?“
Personality traits of earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn)
Earth signs are generally very levelheaded and realistic. They tend to be more introverted, just like their water sign friends. Unlike water signs, they tend to think and rely on logic more than their gut feelings. Earth signs are also honest and truthful people.
Earth signs can also be stubborn and stuck in their ways. They don’t like change and would rather things stay the same for them. This can be channeled in a positive way. Their stubborn nature makes them extremely driven and committed people in all areas of their life.
Taurus is a fixed sign. Along with the earth energy, the fixed energy cause Taurus to be a very stable sign. People born under the sign of Taurus are deliberate with their actions and very committed. This sign is equipped to build a solid and secure life full of their favorite comforts.
The combination of the earth and fixed energy can make these signs extremely stubborn though. Understanding their tendencies to be stubborn will help them accomplish their goals and work with others effectively.
Read more about…
Virgo is a mutable sign. The ever-changing energy of the mutable signs may seem like it would clash with the stable nature of earth signs. This is actually a positive combination. Virgo can use the stable energy of the earth to help stabilize others going through changes.
People born under this sign should remember to take care of themselves, rather than focusing all their energy on others. Not taking time for self-care can drain Virgos of their energy and cause them to be less effective helpers.
Also read about “What tarot cards represent Virgo?“
Capricorn is a cardinal sign. Cardinal energy mixed with the earth energy makes for a leader who has a strong presence and natural authority. Their grounded nature makes them perfect leaders for long term projects.
They may become stubborn and reluctant to listen to new ideas because of their earthy nature. Capricorns can combat this by remembering to be considerate of the suggestions of those around them.
Read more about “What tarot cards represent Capricorn?“
Personality traits of fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius)
Fire signs are generally energetic and ready to party. They tend to be extroverted and love making new friends and meeting new people. Fire signs are very driven to succeed and enjoy coming out on top. Fire signs are the free spirits of the zodiac.
Fire signs can be pretty intense though, which may lead to them being controlling. While this seems negative, it can make fire signs great leaders. They can use their direct nature to their advantage and be very decisive in their decisions.
Aries is a cardinal sign. The fire energy thrives along with the cardinal energy, making Aries born people inspired and committed to their dreams.
This is a very powerful energy and may get a little out of control at times. However, with just a little discipline, Aries can harness their power and achieve anything they put their mind to.
Leo is a fixed sign. The fixed energy helps stabilize the blazing energy of the fire signs. This means that Leo can harness their creativity and direct it into whatever project they decide to take up. The fire energy also helps them to express themselves through their projects.
Because they are so good at focusing, Leos might not see a better way to do things or might not know when to stop. It’s important to know when to stop, and once Leos get that under control, they’ll be able to go far.
Read more about “What Tarot card represents Leo?“
Sagittarius is a mutable sign. Putting the mutable energy with the fire energy causes this sign to be always on the move. Sagittarius is a sign that loves to seek knowledge through their experiences.
They’re always ready for a new adventure and love meeting people and seeing new things. Being in one place for too long may cause Sagittarians to feel stuck.
Utilizing the power of the internet and exploring their interests in this way can help people born under this sign feel less trapped.
Read about “What tarot card represents Sagittarius?“
Personality traits of air signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius)
Air signs are generally talkative and optimistic. They are also very imaginative and creative. These signs tend to be more extroverted and are always ready to have a good time. They’re naturally good communicators and can easily make friends.
All the time air signs spend in their head imagining can make people see them as having their head in the clouds. This makes air signs come off as detached or aloof. Despite this, the creativity of these signs shines through and is undeniable.
Gemini is a mutable sign. Mixing the mutable energy with the air energy causes Geminis to flow with all ideas presented to them. They are able to use the mutable energy to their advantage, making them extremely creative.
Gemini might have trouble sticking with their ideas, since the air energy can also bring about change. They can counteract this by putting their creative energy into one project or focus, rather than spreading it between multiple ideas.
Read more about…
Libra is a cardinal sign. Combined with the air energy, the cardinal energy becomes extremely creative. A large amount and variety of ideas can come through easily to Libras.
This is a force to be reckoned with, and their ideas can become weapons. When Libras focus on being fair and just leaders, they won’t have to worry much about hurting those around them with their ideas.
Read about “What Tarot cards represent Libra?“
Aquarius is a fixed sign. When you mix the air energy with the fixed energy, you get someone who always pushes and works towards the future. Whether that is the future of the world or their own future depends on the individual.
Some people may see Aquarians as different, but as long as these signs remember that outside opinions shouldn’t affect who they are, they won’t have any problem achieving their dreams.
Read more about “What Tarot card represents Aquarius?“
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