If You Understand the
Basics of Sign Compatibility,
You Will Understand One of the Fundamentals of Astrology

When talking about sign compatibility, we first have to explain something about the astrological or zodiac signs.

The twelve zodiac signs (Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces) are divided into, what astrologers call, quadruplicities (modes or modalities) and triplicities (the elements).

This division is one of the most important ones in astrology.

If you understand the deeper basic meanings of this division, you have knowledge of the fundamentals of astrology and you will better understand sign compatibility.

A very good and comprehensible overview and still one of the best about the general meaning of the elements can be found in Stephen Arroyo's book Astrology, Psychology, and the Four Elements: An Energy Approach to Astrology & Its Use in the Counseling Arts.

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The quadruplicities (qualities) represent basic modes of energy and modes of operating: cardinal, fixed or mutable.

  • Cardinal signs are Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn.

    They are outgoing, initiatory, linear and active.

    They represent the force of beginning and responding immediately.

  • Fixed signs are Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius.

    They are stable, resolute, physical, determined and resistant or slow to change.

    They represent the force of holding steady and denial (not responding quickly).

  • Mutable signs are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces.

    They are adaptable, non-linear and versatile, living more in the head.

    They represent the force of fluidity.

The triplicities represent the elements that we find in nature: fire, earth, air and water.

  • Fire signs are Aries, Leo and Sagittarius.

    They are primarily energetic, enthusiastic, spontaneous and impulsive (quick and directly) (fiery).

  • Earth signs are Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn.

    They are primarily materialistic, cautious, deliberate and practical (earthly).

  • Air signs are Gemini, Libra and Aquarius.

    They are primarily communicative, oriented on the mental plane, curious and social (people-oriented) (airy).

  • Water signs are Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.

    They are primarily responsive, emotional, unconsciously responding, compassionate and sensitive (watery).

By the way there is an old astrological aphorism (rule or axiom if you will) to find out in a second one's Sun sign, Ascendant and/or predominant element.

The saying goes as follows:

  • Fire signs make themselves visible and noticeable (they are showy, physically and/or otherwise -- for example noisy as well)

  • Air signs can be heard from far (meaning they have a loud voice, even if you don't see them, you will hear their voice)

  • Water signs you will never hear (meaning they are the most silent of all)

  • Earth signs are the most restrained and often have a tanned and/or yellowish-brown skin (Caucasian race)

Now, if you wonder who is that person who continuously posts his/her activities, emotions, events,... on social media (like Facebook) every single 'minute' a day, you may find out this showy behavior belongs to the Fire signs (Sun sign, Ascendant and/or predominant element)!

So, this is a very cool and reliable rule to never forget!

Zodiac signs of the same 'trinity' (element) are said to harmonize.

Example: planets in Aries and planets in Leo (both fire signs) harmonize because they are placed in a sign of the same triplicity.

But it is common sense that fire signs not only are compatible with each other but also with air signs.

Fire and air stimulate each other.

You can grasp the signification of the elements and the combinations if you materialize them.

  • Earth signs are not only compatible with each other but also with water signs (think of watering your plants).

  • Air signs are not only compatible with each other but also with fire signs.

  • Water signs are not only compatible with each other but also with earth signs.

From the above you can see that -- in theory -- sign compatibility is related to the four elements.

A marvelous overview on astrological signs, sign compatibility and the elements is written by Amy Keehn in her Love and War Between the Signs: Astrological Secrets to Emotional Compatibility (with a foreword by John Gray, Ph. D.).

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According to Amy Keehn, there are profoundly different types of individuals: the Feelers (with the sun in a water or fire sign) and the Thinkers (with the Sun sign in earth or air).

She hereby makes a difference between men and women too.

The author also mentions whom you best relate to, and why.

Very useful!

Does sign compatibility mean that you should look for somebody whose sign is of the same or a compatible triplicity (element) as yours?

In theory, yes, in practice it's not that simple! Next to read more about sign compatibility ...


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Sign Compatibility Sub-Pages
Basics of Sign Compatibility

Sun Sign Compatibility Moon Sign Compatibility
Moon Signs Delineated Ashtakoot Compatibility Compatibility at the Working Floor


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