The Mutable Signs, in astrology, weaken the mighty resistances that Fixed Signs often put up to avoid being altered. Solid structure starts to lose its form as the mutable signs begin their process. Life is in a continuous state of change, even when there are periods where there’s a lull in the action. Every season must come to an end.
The mutable signs have the task of breaking down forces that have already peaked in expression, and that now need to be released and reformulated. The concentrated energies of the fixed mode have often become too crystallized (like hardening of the arteries) to enhance the vital flow of the life force that was first animated by the cardinal signs. Mutability thus plays a necessary role in redistributing this energy, and preparing it for a future cycle of cardinal activity, just in time for the arrival of a brand-new season of promise.
As Fixed Mode energy begins to wind down, small changes occur that signal a readiness for adaptation. Mutable signs become the agents of consciousness that allow for this needed adjustment. They are highly alert regarding where and when such alterations are required. Mutability’s greatest strength is its flexible openness to change. These pliable signs urge us to stay open and adaptable to the various ways life introduces us to new paths of self-knowledge. They also try to educate us about lifes multi-faceted nature. The mutable signs activate our mental curiosity, whereby we sometimes are left with more questions about life than ready answers.
Nothing is quite firm and absolute in the world of mutability, because everything appears to be in a transitory state, going from one necessary phase to another. It’s hard to feel settled about anything. It’s not even easy to have a clear direction in life, since nothing can be taken for granted. Life is full of twists and turns, making long-range planning tricky for strongly mutable types. Mutable signs need much variety to appeal to their decidedly mental nature, although mental doesn’t necessarily mean cerebral in a logic-minded sense.
Sagittarius and Pisces are two signs that live easily in their heads, yet they need grand ideas and visionary ideals that inspire their collective hopes and dreams. In many ways, their interests lie in envisioning unrealized potential and conceptualizing life’s purpose in the broadest of terms. The other two mutable signs, Gemini and Virgo, are more turned on by facts and figures, and by all concrete matters that can be measured, tested, and confirmed as real. They are less impressed by ungrounded, abstract thought (although Gemini is momentarily impressed by anything that sounds brilliant, however impractical). Still, all mutable signs are keenly observational. They want to better understand how life works and how its many pieces fit together.
This group’s horoscopes are loaded with nervous energy that needs proper channeling. They can be easily distracted by everything around them, although earthy Virgo is self-discip1ined enough to stay focused on details and not mentally wander (even though disorder in its surroundings quickly captures its attention). Its good for mutable signs not to be given too many options, since this leads to indecision or awasteful scattering of mental energy. They can spread themselves too thin by trying to tackle too many things at once. At the same time, mutable signs cannot tolerate monotony (although the earth in Virgo can handle dull routines more easily than the rest). Variety is the spice of life for this mode. With the pliability of the mutable mode comes a bonus – youthfulness.
It seems such resiliency can keep us young at heart by putting a little spring in our step, a little bounce in our beat. Mutable signs certainly do not plod on, as if weighed down by gravity, but are light on their feet. They seem to skip along lifes path and tip-toe around heavy predicaments (although watery Pisces has to watch out for its attraction to life complicating, melodramatic scenarios). All four signs help us appear chronologically younger than we are (they even have an aversion to aging). The mutable mode shows us that we can greatly benefit from keeping our mind flexible and eager to sample more and more from life, even if only in small but digestible bits.
Gemini is a Mutable-Air sign. Air and mutability have much incommon, making this sign the winner of the group when it comes to expressing the most obvious mutable traits. Air already likes to move about in many directions, unhampered by time or structure. It doesn’t like feeling stale, which can happen when it stays still for too long. Mutability gives air plenty of opportunities for ventilation. Gemini thus has mental equipment made for exploring a wide range of interests. It sees little reason to restrain its appetite for knowledge. Information, no matter what kind, is stimulating for Gemini, who can quickly scan the environment and pick up newsy facts here and there.
There’s little that doesn’t interest Gemini, at least for the moment. The only problem is that the Twins can suffer from info overload, a case where its head is crammed with an assortment of data that may be too trivial in content to be truly mind-expanding. Still, Gemini will give anything that moves its short-lived attention and does it ever enjoy seeing life in motion. There is a breezy side to Gemini that keeps it from getting hung up about anything that’s too heavy in life, although it seeks to attain a general knowledge about such matters. Mutable air wants to cover a lot of intellectual territory. ln order to quickly get the gist of something, it’ll skim the surface before moving on to something new. All in all, Gemini is blessed with a versatile intellectual capacity for studying a variety of interesting subjects.
Virgo is a Mutable-Earth sign. While an apt fixed-earth image is a compost heap (which takes a while to cook and decompose into black gold – a rich, fertile soil with a concentration of nutrients), mutable earth sounds more like sand, which is known for its ability to shift and easily reshape itself. Sand is a more fluid form of earth, one that is not all that solid to walk on. Virgo thus symbolizes an expression of earth that is able to yield readily to pressure and alter itself, rather than firmly resist.
Virgo can bend and adapt in practical ways, while always looking for simple solutions that work well. What’s not so simple is Virgo’s near obsession with exactly how everything in life works, down to the finer, technical details. Mutability always stimulates curiosity, while earth gives careful attention to life’s nuts and bolts. Therefore, Virgo excels in organizing its specialized knowledge of the more mundane facets of living.
Virgo likes to give attention to the small stuff in life, and wisely knows that even big, complex machinery can come to a screeching halt should nobody on the job notice one loose screw. Virgo, therefore, feels its mission is to attend to the minor, often over-looked issues of any project. It’s an even keener observer than Gemini, due to earth’s ability to concentrate patiently on one thing at a time. (Virgo’s better at shutting out any unwanted distractions, unless it’s a dripping faucet or a creaky floor.) Here we have a bright but down-to-earth intellect that seeks to get to the heart of any matter, without becoming sidetracked by non-essential issues (which is something harder for the remaining mutable signs to do).
Sagittarius is a Mutable-Fire sign. If you overlook the apparent random destructiveness involved, a lightning-instigated, raging forest fire is a good metaphor for mutable fire. lt’s a blaze, triggered by a bolt from the blue, that quickly spreads far and wide. A form of fire that goes beyond its original boundaries to cover more and more territory, when left unchecked. (Actually, ecologists now know that Nature uses spontaneous forest and brush fires to help invigorate the ecosystems involved.)
Sagittarius wants its own fires of inspiration to distribute themselves widely and to keep on spreading. Here, the enthusiastic side of fire is most easily dispersed. Sagittarian warmth and hopeful optimism can uplift many people at once, which explains this signs urge to go out and greet the big world with its good news about life’s greater meaning. Sometimes mutability means that Sagittarius gets a little too widespread regarding its sincere beliefs. It suffers from too many sweeping generalizations about the big, important issues of life. It naturally observes and theorizes on a large scale basis, and generously endows the human experience with almost unlimited potential, particularly in the area of mind expansion. The fires of its vigorous intellect burn brightly for this sign, but any contradictory details that crop up and challenge one’s faith is for another sign (Pisces) to fret over, not Sagittarius. The Archer is convinced, with all the fiery self-assurance it can muster, that it’s on the right track with its overall concepts, and that’s all it needs to know.
Pisces is a Mutable-Water sign. Although Pisces is more emotional than mental in temperament, it’s also capable of grand, abstract overviews of life. It is the sign most receptive to cosmological theories that attempt to unify all that exists under one universal law (even moreso than Sagittarius). Pisces’ scope of cosmic awareness can be vast and profound, partly due to how well both our left-brain and right- brain hemispheres can creatively unite. This sign may not sharply analyze details, yet Pisces has a knack for synthesizing many diverse factors andarriving at a better understanding of the whole picture of life, not just its bits and pieces. As a mutable form of water, Pisces also emotionally moistens everything it touches, like a gentle mist not like the heavy, drenching common to the rushing waters of cardinal Cancer, or the blast from a high-pressured hose that typically characterizes fixed Scorpio’s intensity (especially when outraged). Pisces is more a light drizzle than a torrent of rain.
Mutable water suggests a feeling nature that is able to connect with life on a broad basis emotional sensitivity is less contained (this is a boundless, pervasive expression of water). Pisces feels what all of life feels, a result of its mystical talent for linking with others in less visible ways. All the water signs are active on these invisible levels of energy exchange, but Pisces seems the most unfettered in its ability to flow in and out of the inner worlds of others. Mutability implies versatility,and when combined with empathetic water, it means Pisces has a universal understanding of humanity and can sensitively interact with people from all walks of life.
There must be a special reason why the zodiac concludes with a mutable sign in this mode-element combination, which certainly sounds more malleable and flowing in its life approach than does the hard-headed, cardinal-air mix that began it all in Aries. Astrology is fundamentally a study of symbolic correspondences, i.e., Gemini rules motorbikes, Virgo rules the small intestine, Sagittarius rules the Las Vegas casino mentality, and so on. Human psychology is too rich and varied to be encompassed by any discipline, and not every existing or speculative association can be included here or anywhere. Back to the top of Mutable Signs.