Modalities and Triplicities

Did you know that both Zodiac Signs and Houses fall into one of three categories? The Zodiac Signs are associated with modalities, the Houses are associated with triplicities. Modality refers to a “mode” or state that a Zodiac Sign is in. The modality has unique characteristics that give the Zodiac Sign depth. Triplicities are the equivalent of modalities, but for Houses! Modalities and triplicities are similar, especially since they overlap in both meaning and association. Let’s explore.


The three modalities are cardinal, fixed, and mutable. Cardinal signs are initiators, leaders, and beginners. Fixed signs are steady, unmovable forces of nature. Mutable signs are fluid, flexible, and adaptable. Each modality is associated with four Zodiac Signs. The cardinal signs are Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn. Next, the fixed signs are Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius. Lastly, the mutable signs are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces. Each modality shares common characteristics but expresses said characteristics differently. The modalities are also comparable to a true beginning (cardinal), middle (fixed), and end (mutable).

Cardinal signs are the pioneers of the Zodiac. Each cardinal sign’s season begins on either a solstice or equinox, which kicks off one of four quarters in the astrological calendar. Aries Season begins on the Spring Equinox, Cancer Season starts on the Summer Solstice, then Libra Season kicks off on the Fall Equinox, and Capricorn Season begins on the Winter Solstice. Each cardinal sign is a known leader but differs in leadership style and expression. Aries is the cardinal fire sign, inferring that Aries is a self-oriented, intuitive pioneer. Cancer is the cardinal water sign, which implies being an emotional trendsetter. Libra is the cardinal air sign, which is a collaborative, yet aloof leader. Lastly, Capricorn is the cardinal earth sign, which is a durable, steady initiator. The cardinal signs each represent a spark of an idea, project, venture, or goal. 

Fixed signs are the stabilizers of the Zodiac. Each fixed sign’s season is found in the middle of every season. So, Taurus is spring, Leo is summer, Scorpio is fall, and Aquarius is winter. The fixed signs are the steadfast, dependable signs who can hold down the fort. These signs usually take the initiative of working on the cardinal sign’s spark. So, the cardinal signs will be the ones to initiate, but the fixed signs are the ones who plan and work with the initiation. While each fixed sign is stable, the idea and implementation of stability differ. Taurus is the fixed earth sign, which implies a slow and steady mentality. Leo is the fixed fire sign, which has a passionate mentality. Scorpio is the fixed water sign, which implies an emotional drive. Finally, Aquarius is the fixed air sign, which is an eccentric yet reliable persona. Each fixed sign represents a unique tried and true method of working on a goal or venture.

Mutable signs are the adapters of the Zodiac. Each mutable sign is associated with the ending of a season. Gemini ends springs, Virgo ends summer, Sagittarius ends fall, and Pisces ends winter. With each ending comes to a fluid, flexible tone into moving into the next season or chapter. Where cardinal signs are the initiators, the fixed signs are the workers, and the mutable signs are the finishers. Mutable signs represent change. Because of this, mutable signs tend to be hailed as “older and wiser”. Each mutable sign is a chameleon in a sense but differs in the style of flexibility. Gemini is the mutable air sign, which is a personable, multi-faceted character. Virgo is the mutable earth sign, the personified equivalent of clay. Sagittarius is the mutable fire sign, that has a turn-and-burn mentality. Then Pisces is the mutable water sign, the ebb, and flow of emotionality. All mutable signs represent true wisdom when it comes to editing and ending.


The triplicities of the Houses are angular, succedent, and cadent. Each triplicity mirrors a modality. Angular is the House equivalent of cardinal, succedent is equivalent to fixed, and cadent is equivalent to mutable.

Angular Houses are associated with cardinal signs. The 1st House is ruled by Aries, the 4th by Cancer, the 7th by Libra, and the 10th by Capricorn. Angular Houses are one of action. These Houses have a “here and now” presence. Angular Houses are considered extremely personal, as each of the four Houses contains a layer to one’s personality. The 1st is the Ascendant or Rising Sign, which is the most personable placement. The 4th represents the home and family. The 7th rule over unions, contracts, commitments, and relationships. The 10th is fixated on maturing into the ideal person, long-term goals, career, and social status. 

Succedent Houses are associated with fixed signs. The 2nd House is ruled by Taurus, the 5th by Leo, the 8th by Scorpio, and the 11th by Aquarius. Succedent Houses “succeed” the angular Houses. These Houses rule over development, ensuring various forms of security. The 2nd House secures concrete security, ideally wealth and possessions. The 5th House secures passion, ideally, one’s drive is in creativity and romance. The 8th House secures secrecy and other’s resources, ideally through marriage, contracts, and commitments. The 11th House secures groups and dreams, ideally friendships and one’s wishes. 

Cadent Houses are associated with mutable signs. The 3rd House is ruled by Gemini, the 6th by Virgo, the 9th by Sagittarius, and the 12th by Pisces. Cadent Houses represent a “decline” of sorts, especially since these Houses end and lead into an angular House. Cadent Houses can also represent breaking down resources, or actions. The 3rd House shows the breakdown of communication and thinking, particularly regarding siblings, neighbors, and early childhood. The 3rd House deals with local or short-term travel as well. The 6th House shows the decline of routine and health, particularly how one performs in a work environment, the daily habits, and overall health. The 9th House shows the breakdown of personal beliefs and philosophy, usually through long-term or foreign travel and higher education. The 12th House shows the breakdown of the subconscious, particularly with karma, hidden weaknesses/talents, and unresolved issues. 

Cheat Sheets

ModalityZodiac SignsKeywords
CardinalAries, Cancer, Libra, CapricornPioneers, beginners, spark, initiators, leaders, trailblazers
FixedTaurus, Leo, Scorpio, AquariusStabilizers, steady, dependable, trustworthy, “middle man”
MutableGemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, PiscesAdapters, editors, endings, change, fluid, flexible
Modality Cheat Sheet
Angular1st, 4th, 7th, 10thPersonal placements, relationships, & experiences
Succedent2nd, 5th, 8th, 11thSecuring & developing resources
Cadent3rd, 6th, 9th, 12thBreaking down resources & actions
Triplicity Cheat Sheet

Featured picture credits.

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