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Your Quality Score Card

The research project in which I am currently engaged has reminded me of the power of the Qualities or Modes in astrology. The Qualities are a way dividing up the twelve signs of the horoscope. There are three Qualities Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable — and each of them is attributed to four signs. The Cardinal signs are Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. The Fixed signs are Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. The Mutable signs are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces.


We tend to think of the Qualities in the same context as the Element (Fire, Earth, Air and Water) which are the other way we divide up the twelve signs. However, the Elements have more to do with personality traits. To put it in very simple term, Fire sign people are fiery, Earth sign people are earth, Air sign people tend to have their heads in the clouds and Water sign people are awash in their emotions. The Qualities, on the other hand, have to do with the way in which we conduct our lives. In order to pick out a person with an strong emphasis of one of the Qualities in their horoscope you typically have to look at their actions over a span of years.


Of course, this raises the question of how you determine whether or not you have an emphasis of one Quality over the others. Most people have a mixture of all three Qualities in their charts. They might have their Ascendant and Midheaven in one Quality, their Sun and Moon in another and Mercury, Venus and Mars in yet another. In order to determine which Quality is most emphasized I have assigned a system of points to the various indicators in the horoscope. This system assigns the Sun, Moon and Ascendant with three points each, Mercury, Venus and Mars with two points each and Jupiter, Saturn and the Midheaven with one point each. Uranus. Neptune and Pluto are not included in this point system.


In this system there are a total of 18 points possible. If you have the “big three” (the Sun, Moon and Ascendant) is the same Quality then that’s nine points (half the points available) in that Quality. In most horoscopes that would make that Quality dominant. You could also have just two of the “big three” in a Quality along with a two pointer and a one pointer. Any time you have nine or more points is one of the Qualities and less than nine in the other two, that Quality is emphasized. How strongly that Quality is emphasized depends on how far ahead of the other two it scores. Generally speaking, a strong emphasis would be created when one Quality has five or more points more than either of the other two.


Strong Emphasis


So what does it mean when you have a strong emphasis of one Quality of the other two. As I said, the difference such a emphasize would create is easier to see in the way you have conducted your life than in your personality traits.


Let’s start with a strong Cardinal sign emphasis. The lives of Cardinal sign people are most often characterized by restlessness. It’s not that they lack focus. An overview of their lives will generally reveal that they have accomplished a whole lot of stuff. But no matter how much they accomplish these people never seem to find a spot where that can stop and take a breath. They’re always moving on to a new challenge. Because they’re always on the move and always trying things they haven’t tried before, Cardinal sign people will often accumulate a list of failures and false starts that rivals their list of accomplishments. In some cases, this can undercut the Cardinal sign person confidence. However, the lucky one don’t pay much attention to their missteps. They just pick themselves up and move on to the next challenge.


People with a strong emphasis of Fixed signs tend to let life come to them. This is not a matter of being lazy. It’s more a matter of sticking to the plan. That plan most often consists of two equally important parts: finding something you’re good at and doing it over and over. If someone presents you with a better plan you take what you need from their plan and make it part of your own. And if someone tries to interfere with your plan or obstruct it, you deal with it. How the Fixed sign person does this will depend on the circumstances and their individual horoscope. Some will simply wait until the obstruction is lifted. (Fixed sign people tend to be very patient.) Others will roll over who or whatever gets in their way like Sherman tank. The unobstructed Fixed sign person can seem just as busy and just as obsessed with the next challenge as the Cardinal sign person. The difference is that what the Fixed sign person is doing is always part of a long-range plan. In some cases the ultimate goal of that plan will be so distant and so grand that is can never be reached but, for the Fixed sign person, that’s what makes it worthwhile.


The focus of people with a strong Mutable sign emphasis tends to be on the immediate. Short range challenges and long range goals are less important to these people than the mess or the delight that is right in front of them at that moment. Mutable sign people are less predictable in the way they conduct their lives because much of what they do dependent the personality described by their horoscope. Some Mutable sign people get so involved with fixing the messes that the see that they miss out on many of the delights, while others can become so distracted by the delights that the let the messes pile up. Most Mutable sign people fall somewhere between these two extremes and many of them (being Mutable) are constantly shifting from one extreme to the other. The bottom line, however, is that Mutable sign people don’t go looking for challenges or to organize their lives in accordance with a long range goal. They flow through their lives like a stream flowing down a mountain. They are not concerned about where they are in this journey and only mildly aware of what they have or haven’t accomplished. They just want to keep on flowing.


Missed or Weak Qualities


So, that’s what happens when a Quality is strongly emphasized in your chart, but what do you do if you have nothing in one of the Qualities or you have one that is significantly weak (with a point count of three or less). This happens mostly when one of the other Qualities is strongly emphasized and what the weak Quality means greatly depends on which of the other Qualities is emphasized and the degree to which it dominates the horoscope. But here are a few general pointers.


Weakness in the Cardinal sector means that you have to challenge yourself to be challenged. You are not going to respond to the challenges life throws your way in the obsessive, visceral way that a Cardinal sign person would so you have to make a game of answering these challenges. You also have to find a way to enjoy that game. Maybe you won’t focus on your accomplishments and failures the way that some Cardinal sign people do but that can be your strength. That can allow you to feel like a winner even when you lose.


Weakness in the Fixed sector can leave you feeling as if your life has no purpose or overriding mission. This can lead you to seek out those Fixed sign types who do have a set purpose and a mission. There is nothing wrong with this. In fact, it can be beneficial to both you and the Fixed sign purpose you happen to adopt. However, you have to be careful. While choosing the right person and the right goal can become your ticket to happiness and success, choosing the wrong person or the wrong cause can put you in a questionable and, in some cases, dangerous


The key for people with weakness in the Mutable signs is to pay attention. Pay attention to your environment. Pay attention to people around you. Pay attention to the small stuff, to the minutia and, most of all, to all those things your gut tells you are beneath your dignity to notice. This is not something that comes to you naturally so you have to constantly remind yourself. It might seem pointless. It might seem tedious. However, once you’ve achieved that experience of living totally in your awareness of the moment all those “important” things that most often occupy your mind will seem like a crashing bore.

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