Cardinal, Fixed, Mutable

Upon a quick search, I am seeing other astrologers call this various different things, like mode, modality or quadruplicity. This makes me feel better about not knowing what to call this. Unlike the elements, there may be no universally agreed upon term for what to call Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable. I called them types in my rough draft. Let's go with that for now.

The astrological signs are divided up into four elements and three types. The elements are (in order of appearance) Fire, Earth, Air and Water. The types are Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable.

Notice that 3*4=12. There are 12 signs. The four elements repeat in order three times. The three types repeat in order four times. The end result is that each sign has a unique pair of these two different traits.

  • Aries: Cardinal Fire
  • Taurus: Fixed Earth
  • Gemini: Mutable Air
  • Cancer: Cardinal Water
  • Leo: Fixed Fire
  • Virgo: Mutable Earth
  • Libra: Cardinal Air
  • Scorpio: Fixed Water
  • Sagittarius: Mutable Fire
  • Capricorn: Cardinal Earth
  • Aquarius: Fixed Air
  • Pisces: Mutable Water
Cardinal signs are leaders or places in your chart where things get initiated. Fixed signs value stability and security. (I actually have a lot of trouble remembering the term Fixed. The word that always comes to mind for me is stable.) Mutable signs deal with change and endings.

My natal chart is very heavy on Mutable influences. Gemini contains Mercury, Jupiter, the Sun and some other odd point (Chiron? The north node?). Virgo contains Uranus, Pluto, Mars and the Moon. I have Saturn in Pisces. These are all Mutable signs.

That leaves two measly planets unaccounted for. My Venus is in Cancer, a Cardinal sign. My Neptune is in Scorpio, a Fixed sign.

Now, I actually began writing about this because I was walking home -- "home" aka to where I camp, because I am still homeless -- and thinking about the long pattern of friends coming and going. My thought at that point was about how heavy on Mutables my chart is and this describes the high level of change in my life, including how friends seem to come and go and not much stick around.

But with writing this, I am struck by the idea that Neptune is my only real source of stability. Wow, what a head fuck.

I mean that literally. Neptune rules dreams and psychic phenomenon -- and delusion, too! It is not a very grounded planet, though it is a very spiritual planet.

Neptune trines my Saturn. It is the only trine in my natal chart. Saturn is in Pisces, ruled by Neptune. Saturn is stable. Trines are stable. Scorpio is a stable Fixed sign.

This Neptune-Saturn involvement describes almost all the stability in my life. The rest is kind of an ever changing landscape.

I have long had an interest in my dreams. When I can't remember my dreams, it really starts messing with me. At that point, I start harassing my sons for feedback about how our lives are going because I feel I am in the dark about my own life.

I also appear to be fairly psychic. This got stronger after my big health crisis where I was bedridden for 3.5 months or whatever.

I mostly deal with that as a mental health issue. I find it doesn't work to completely ignore the crazy stuff in my head that I have reason to believe is some kind of psychic impression. But it is also incredibly problematic to try to be all Uri Geller about it and start trying to convince other people that I KNOW THE FUTURE or some nonsense.

I have come to believe there is no clear dividing line between "psychic" phenomenon and "normal thought." Bright people often seem to know the unknowable. In many cases, they can tell you exactly how they know that and will attribute it to science or logic, not anything "psychic."

For me, it is also often not clear what I know that I "shouldn't" know due to simply being well read and observant and what I know due to picking up on things psychically.

The world used to believe in psychics and the like. Now, that is some kind of crazy talk. So I tend to not talk about this aspect of my life because people who imagine they are scientific and logical are very often just prejudiced, asshole anti-believers quick to call you crazy.

You see the same thing when it comes to stuff like Big Foot. There are people who are absolutely convinced that Big Foot DOES NOT EXIST and their position is that if you believe Big Foot does exist (or even could exist), you are a nutter. Um, no. You are the nutter. There have been multiple species dismissed as legend or myth that were later proven to really exist.

Years ago on some email list I participated in, the topic came up that smart kids often do things that seem rather "woo." They meant that in sort of a "WTF?" kind of way. Like "How does that kid DO that???!!" And we had a good discussion about the fact that some of the big names in the gifted community were saying that highly gifted individuals were actually psychic. We also had a good discussion about the fact that it can look psychic to an outsider, but really have a totally logical, not psychic explanation.

Then some folks wanted to start a list to further explore the topic. I was cool with that. I didn't want to found it, but I was happy to participate. I may have been a mod on that list, I don't really recall. It was a long time ago and my health issues have taken a real toll on my memory, which is rather like Swiss cheese these days.

But, unfortunately, the more scientific, skeptical types who had participated in this meaty discussion did NOT join the list. The people who joined were all the folks who already believed in psychic phenomenon. Predictably, it rapidly went weird places and failed to be the kind of discussion of the topic that I had been hoping for.

I eventually left the group and have largely given up on having meaningful, useful, respectful discussions about such things anywhere on the fucking internet which largely divides up between asshats who THINK they are scientific and are absolutely sure psychic phenomenon is bullshit and asshats who THINK their weird beliefs in things like psychic phenomenon are not crazy and not irrational when their framing very often is completely irrational. There seems to be absolutely nowhere online where you can have a solid discussion of the idea that most of this stuff probably does have other explanations, but that still leaves a small subset of things where Occam's Razor suggests, no, something else is going on here and that something else is probably best described as psychic.

My sons are very scientific, skeptical types who are very grounded. They have concluded I am not simply nuts. I really am picking up on something, somehow. They remain my best source of feedback for sorting out this shit in my head and turning it into something useful for informing my decisions in life instead of just being yet another way that the universe fucks with my goddamn head, thanks, you asshat of a universe.

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