Learning Western Astrology is not simply being able to understand what sign you, or anyone else, was born under. The devil is in the details. These include knowing about ascending planets, decans, aspects and Triplicity. Elements, colors, plants and various other attributes are all part of the learning process. Taken as a whole, astrology emerges as a complex entity. Among the many different components you need to examine and understand are something called the quadruplicities or qualities.
The term qualities refer to a specific characteristic of each sign. Each sign has a specific quality attached to it. In fact, the quality refers specifically to the element describing the sign. In other words, each of the 12 signs of the zodiac has both a quality and an element. These are the primary categories. Yet, while the elements or triplicity is said to indicate the basic temperament of a sign, the quality denotes the means of its expression.
Qualities are usually treated in less depth than are the elements with which they are associated. Nevertheless, you should understand what they are and to what they refer. As is the case with the elements, each quality is attributed to more than one specific sign. Below is a list and explanation of the three qualities:
A more modern approach to the qualities describes them accordingly:
- Cardinal represents centrifugal force
- Fixed represents centripetal force
- Mutable represents wave motion
Every zodiac sign is classified by both an element and a quality. These two characteristics are used to define the basic temperament and the expression of it. If you wish to become adept at astrology, it is essential you know about the different qualities and their application.