Barry Street (Astrologer) gives expert video advice on: What are the qualities?; What is a fixed sign?; What is a cardinal sign?
What are the qualities?
The zodiac's divided up into twelve, and twelve's a magical number, and twelve obviously divides by three to make four, and four to make three. When we divide it up by three we get the qualities. We get a way of looking at how groups of four signs all share something in common. It's just a way of grouping the zodiac. So you group it like one, two, three - one, two, three - one, two, three - one, two, three. It's a division. You can look at a clock face, the opposites and squares. That's what they are. It's just the zodiac divided up into three.
What is a fixed sign?
A fixed sign wants to keep things as they are. The fixed sign is where life is OK, you don't need it to change, you want it to stay that way. For example, the first fixed sign is Taurus. Taurus has found the pleasure of life. It doesn't want life to move on, it's enjoying what's there now. Why change it? When you've got the comfortable sofa, when you've got the good lifestyle, you don't want progress, you want to leave it there. That's what Taurus contribution is to fixed signs: let's leave things be. The next fixed sign is Leo. Leo's where you shine, Leo is where you're having fun. Leo comes out in the summer. Nobody wants their holidays to end, nobody wants the fun of life to end, and Leo doesn't want the world to change. Leo wants it to stay as it is. If you're a child, Leo is your playtime. You don't want the bell to ring, you don't want to have to go back to school. You want to play. Leo is associated with holidays. Nobody wants their holiday to end. That's why Leo is a fixed sign. The next fixed sign is Scorpio. Scorpio likes control. You can't control things that aren't fixed. You need to know where things are and then you can control them. Scorpio also has an intensity to it. You can't have an intensity to something that's moving around and changing. You need it to stay exactly where it is. That's what gives Scorpio its fixed sign quality. If you've got a lot of Scorpio in your chart, if you've got a lot of fixed signs in your chart, people might see you as stubborn, for example. Scorpio has that stubbornness. That's why in relationships, Scorpio doesn't want change. It wants it the same. It wants to concentrate and focus on what is, so that it can get to the intensity of it. The last fixed sign is Aquarius. Why is Aquarius fixed when its so pioneering? It's because Aquarius is ahead of its time. Aquarius knows what the other eleven signs don't know. Why would you change your mind if you know that you're ahead of the time? Aquarius is a fixed sign because it thinks it's the most aggressive. The world will change to see life from an Aquarian point of view. That's why we're living in the age of Aquarius. This is why computers, for example, are going on. You can look at the modern age and think: we're the people who invented computers. That's what gives them their arrogance. Aquarians knew the world was going that way. Aquarius is ahead of its time and that's why it's fixed. It doesn't want to compromise on what it sees as ancient history.
What is a cardinal sign?
Cardinal signs are the instigators. They want to start something. If we didn't have cardinality in our chart, we wouldn't make any progress in human nature. When you look at the cardinal signs, they're all about doing, they're all about getting things done. In a way, you can say cardinal is where I know best. The first cardinal sign is Aries, and that's the easiest one to spot in a way, because wherever you see an Aries, they're always keen to get something done, they always try to push you into something. That's what a cardinal sign does: it pushes you. It says, "I know, let me run it." Cardinals are like the CEOs; they want it done their way. Cardinal signs are like dictators; they know best, they want it done. The second cardinal sign is the one that confuses most people: it's Cancer, gentle, soft, sweet Cancer. How can that be cardinal? It's cardinal because Cancer wants to love and nourish you. When you go to a Cancer's home, it will feed you, it will make sure you're all right, it will keep the family together, it will give you a soft path. If you reject the Cancer's food, it will insist it. Do you want a cup of tea? No. Do you want a cup of tea? No. Do you want a- Oh, for Christ's sake, I'd love a cup of tea. Cardinal does mothering in an insisting way. It's compulsive nurturing; it's cardinal, it will nurture you. The third cardinal sign is Libra, lovely little Libra, all of our friends. Libra is cardinal because it insists that things are equal, so that's why it's anti-confrontational. Cardinal signs have to have things their way, so if you like, you can say it's a United Nations peacekeeping force. You will like me, we will like each other, we will be friends, we will not have conflict. All these are cardinal traits. Libra doesn't leave it open to negotiation; everybody has to like everybody. That's what makes Libra a cardinal sign. One of the reasons for this is that the sun is traditionally weak in Libra, so Libra tries to make everybody equal, in a way, you could argue, because it feels its own expression is weaker than everybody else's. That's why it forces everybody to have an equal path. Otherwise, it knows that some will shine, some won't, and maybe it won't. Libra is cardinal. The fourth of the cardinal signs is Capricorn, and again, here you can really see the cardinality. Capricorn traditionally wants success, it wants to run the organisation, it wants to get to the top - not in the impulsive way that Aries does, but in long haul. Capricorn traditionally climbs its way slowly to the top of the mountain, but that's the cardinal trait; it wants to run the show. Cardinals are the domineering type. A Capricorn will always try to be the boss, not the flamboyant one, but the boss.