The Zodiac Signs in Three “Modes”

The zodiac signs operate in three different “modes.”

1) Cardinal

2) Fixed

3) Dual

This little poem will help you memorize the essence of each mode:

Ambitious is the cardinal.

Unshakable, the fixed.

Balanced is the dual.

You will pretty easily get the hang of this If you think of these three modes as three different ways of accomplishing three different types of goals.

The Cardinal ambition:

Become bigger and better through evolution and growth.

The unshakable vow of the Fixed:

Become impenetrable and immovable by developing depth and strength.

The balanced goal of the Dual:

Be open to options and possibilities, through diversity.

In modern English the term “cardinal” is a little obscure. You’ve heard of the four “cardinal” directions, right? Think of it that way. This mode wants to travel to “the four corners of the world.” It is helpful to envision the three modes in terms of directions.

Ambitious, Cardinal moves directly,

Outward and upward.

The Fixed unshakably roots to its own foundation,

Inward and down.

Dual oscillates in all directions,

Level, equal, and balancing.


When you feel “cardinal” you want to grow and evolve to ambitious new heights. Feeling “fixed” you want to become deeper and stronger so that no one can turn your world upside down or shake you up. When you feel “dual” you seek a balanced and level understanding, so that you are open to all options and possibilities.

No one is entirely cardinal, fixed or dual. Can’t you recall some times in life when you were moved by Cardinality to seek some ambitious new accomplishment? And at other times, or even at the same time but in relation to other things, haven’t you been rooted by Fixedness to hold on to and protect what you have, and not let it be taken away or taken for granted by anyone? At still other times, or in still other ways, have you not tried your best to be open minded and fair, see the possibilities of all points of view, and leave as many options open for yourself as you could?

The signs are cardinal, fixed, or dual. But you are not just a sign. You are a unique combination of the 12 signs pertaining in unique proportions to distinct areas of your life. And that is why you experience all three modes at different times and in relation to different subjects. The trick to living well is to use the right mode at the right time! Astrology reveals how the modes operate in you, and how you should consciously adjust yourself to get the best from them.

Use the cardinal mode when you need to move, change, grow, be decisive and achieve the impossible. But this mode gets in the way when you need to deal with “distractions and diversions” – it will make you loathe these things because it is overflowing with passion. It is also not the best mode to use when having a conversation, or when trying to learn.

Use the fixed mode when you need to not be moved – when emotions are carrying you away, or when people are pushing you around, manipulating and taking advantage of you. This is the mode to be concentrated and tenacious about repairing things, standing behind your beliefs and opinions, and persevering against the forces outside you. Avoid this mode when you need to embrace new ideas, new people, and new opportunities. It is the antithesis of adaptability, and it is burdened by ignorance.

The dual mode is blessed with goodness, it is fantastic for everything – being balanced and open is never a bad approach. But when it comes time to make a commitment or decision, this mode falls flat on its face and becomes useless. The best general advice is that you should always begin with the dual mode – exploring all options with a balanced and open mind. But this mode will try to make you indefinitely put off commitments and decisions. When it finally comes time to make a decision among the possibilities, switch to the Cardinal mode. Follow up your decisions with commitment by following up cardinality with the Fixed mode.

– Vic DiCara
© 2010 Vic DiCara, All Rights Reserved

2 thoughts on “The Zodiac Signs in Three “Modes”

  1. Too good ….this one and other articles….you put it in really simple perspective…even advance stuff is digested🙂

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