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Mutable Signs: The Philosophers of Your Group Chat

If you’re an astro fan, you might know that each of the 12 zodiac signs has an element—fire, water, earth, or air. Well, that's not the only way to divide the zodiac signs into groups! In fact, all 12 signs are also divided up into groups of what’s called qualities or modalities, which is another way to describe each zodiac sign’s personality and vibe. The modalities also describe where each zodiac sign falls in the season—at the start, middle, or end.

The three modalities are: cardinal, mutable, and fixed. The four mutable signs are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces; the fixed signs are Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius; and the cardinal signs are Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn. Notice something? Each sign in the same modality has a different element, and vice versa. That means there's only one cardinal air sign (Libra), only one mutable water sign (Pisces), only one fixed earth sign (Taurus)...you get the picture.

So, let's get into mutable signs! The mutable signs—again, that's Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces—are the thinkers and philosophers of the zodiac. They mark the end of the season or the completion of a cycle (depending on how you look at it): Gemini season begins when spring is ending, Virgo season begins when summer is ending, Sagittarius begins when fall is ending, and Pisces begins when winter is ending.

Appropriate for signs that fall at the end of a season, mutable signs know change is coming. They work hard to prepare us all for the transformation—they have the flexibility and open-mindedness to understand situations from all different angles. These deep thinkers withhold judgment until all the information is presented, and even then, they won’t be mean about it. Think of them as open-minded philosophers. They aren’t decisive as the other signs, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have opinions. It just takes them a while to decide what they think, because they're so careful about it! And once they do finally make a decision, they’re open to changing their minds. Annoying if you're trying to choose where to have dinner, yes, but amazing if you're looking for someone to bounce creative ideas off of.

The mutable signs finish the tasks at hand without a sweat. Their chill vibes make them fun to be around, even if they can get a little wrapped up in their professional endeavors. On a bad day, mutable signs can be a little wishy-washy, but only because they’re still processing information.

The four mutable signs are ruled by one of two planets: Mercury (Gemini and Virgo) and Jupiter (Sagittarius and Pisces). Mercury covers information, news, and travel, while Jupiter also affects travel (particularly the global kind) as well as higher education and philosophy. Yes, there’s some overlap here—but Mercury is micro and Jupiter is macro. And they both need each other to survive. What good is reading (Mercury) Jane Austen if you can’t ponder (Jupiter) the meaning of her words? These planets work hand in hand to expand the mind and intellect. Mutable energy is important to our lives because it doesn’t constrain us to one view.

Here’s a lil bit more about the mutable signs:


Known to talk a mile a minute, dualistic Gemini’s chatty nature is all thanks to their inquisitive minds. Even though they love to gossip, Geminis still have plenty of time to complete projects by doing the work of two people—for the price of one. These smartypants air signs are quick-witted and creative. Haters say these playful Gems are "fake" or "two-faced," but really they're just adaptable social butterflies!


Analytical and practical, Virgos have a ton of patience and drive—which they use to understand what’s needed to achieve their many goals. They finish their tasks with extra care and rarely leave loose ends, paying attention to the small details and leaving absolutely no room for mistakes. They have a reputation for being type-A perfectionists, but their earth sign nature means they also have a ~sensual~ side.


Curious and soulful by nature, Sagittarius is progressive, provocative, and adventurous. They love to figure out ways to improve situations and relationships. Still, they’ve got a “you do you” vibe. This fire sign is spontaneous and adventurous, preferring to live in the moment rather than making plans in advance. They easily let go of relationships and projects that aren’t working for them, moving on to the next ASAP.


Inspirational Pisces dreams big and holds on to their visions to the very end. They need to feel deeply connected to the work they do (or else they flake on it). These bighearted signs hope they can change the world with their intuition and compassion. As water signs, these fishies are intuitive, emotional, and imaginative. Some say their crybabies, but they just have a lot of feelings, okay???

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