Infuriatingly indecisive or amazingly adaptable? If you are a mutable sign, or if you know and love someone who is, you’ll know that these quicksilver zodiac signs have many facets to their personalities. But what exactly is a mutable sign in astrology, and why do these signs of the zodiac have such special traits?
What are the Mutable Signs in Astrology?
The four mutable signs in astrology are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces. Gemini is a mutable air sign, Virgo is a mutable earth sign, Sagittarius is a mutable fire sign and Pisces is a mutable water sign.
Notice how each of the mutable signs belongs to a different astrological element. That’s key in understanding how they function, but we’ll come back to that a bit later.
What Does Mutable Mean in Astrology?
The word mutable comes from the Latin mutare, meaning to change – and that’s it in a nutshell really, when it comes to the astrological mutable signs.
The mutable signs are flexible, changeable and adaptable. They respond fluidly to the circumstances around them, able to change either themselves or the situation to suit. This can make the mutable signs sometimes frustratingly hard to pin down, but it’s also their strongest talent and greatest strength – these zodiac signs are a godsend in a crisis, because they don’t panic, they don’t stall and they don’t freeze – they work out what needs to happen and they change in order to find a way through.
Generally speaking, the mutable zodiac signs are also rather restless and constantly on the go. Never satisfied with the status quo, they seek to improve things in some way. They have a good grasp of detail, which is essential if you’re going to make decisions on the fly. The mutable signs instinctively pick up on things other signs may miss, which helps them to stay one step ahead. Because they pick up on emotions as well as physical details, these signs are also empathetic, sympathetic and usually kind to others.
Extremely resourceful and able to think fast and out of the box, mutable signs can make best use of whatever situation they find themselves in and are almost never stuck for a solution.
What is the Significance of the Mutable Signs in Spiritual Astrology?
Spiritual astrology regards the signs of the zodiac, in order, as representing the path of a soul on this earthly plane – a kind of hero’s journey, if you like, from birth to death and the return to the divine.
The mutable signs, along with the cardinal signs and the fixed signs, play a key symbolic role in this path.
The four mutable signs occur in months which we associate with the ending of the four seasons. Gemini occurs at the end of spring in the northern hemisphere, Virgo comes at the end of summer, Sagittarius marks the end of fall and Pisces heralds the end of winter. Mirroring this, the four mutable signs each mark the ending of a phase in the spiritual journey.
In spiritual astrology, the mutable signs are known as the destroyers; sounds scary, but these signs only destroy in order to allow for re-creation. Rather than destroy, think of the phrase ‘transform’ or ‘end’. As the planets pass through each mutable sign, so we transform ourselves according to the lessons we’ve learned that season, bringing about an ending to some parts of our lives which were not serving us well, in order to allow for a fresh start as the cycle begins again with a cardinal sign.
How is Each of the Mutable Signs Different?
Although Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces are all mutable signs, they each belong to a different element, and this means that they all function slightly differently from one another.
Gemini is a mutable air sign and expresses changeability through ideas and communication. Talkative, sociable and interested in everything, Gemini is a highly flexible sign – some would say too flexible, perhaps, as this sign has a reputation for being fickle and a little bit shallow. Geminis are excellent at communication, but their downfall is often their superficiality.
Virgo, on the other hand, is a mutable earth sign, expressing change and transformation in a more practical manner. Unlike Gemini, which is likely to scatter its energies too widely, Virgo zeroes in on the detail, always the detail. Diligent and fastidious, Virgo’s greatest strength is analysis, but perfectionism can be taken to extremes, causing paralysis.
Sagittarius, a mutable fire sign, is a different kettle of fish altogether. It expresses its changeable, transformational nature through high energy adventure. Sagittarius needs challenge, both physical and intellectual, but holds all of us to high ethical standards. Sagittarius’ greatest strength is tolerance, but this most restless sign of the zodiac may struggle to put down roots.
Pisces is a mutable water sign, expressing changeability through emotions. Highly sensitive and often overwhelmed by emotions, Pisces adapts to other people so efficiently that they are at risk of losing their own sense of self-identity. Hugely compassionate and intuitive, this gentle sign needs to guard against gullibility and being too easily led.
Are Mutable Signs Compatible with Cardinal Signs?
There’s much more to astrological compatibility than just Sun signs or which quality those Sun signs possess.
On a very basic level, however, yes, there can be compatibility here. Cardinal signs like to be in charge, but mutable signs are good at adapting and supporting others, so that works. Long-term, however, the cardinal signs may tire of the mutable signs’ indecision or need to talk things over before acting. Likewise, the mutable signs may disapprove of the cardinal signs’ bull-headed behavior.
Are Mutable Signs Compatible with Fixed Signs?
Again, there’s much more to love and compatibility astrology than just this, but on a basic level, this match has promise.
Fixed signs can be very rigid in their opinions, but mutable signs don’t mind this and are flexible enough to adapt to their opinionated partner. Meanwhile, mutable signs can help to bring some flexibility into the fixed signs’ life, showing them the value of spontaneity and risk. Trouble may arise if the fixed sign tries to control the mutable sign, as mutable signs are highly independent – but overall, this combination can work well.
Can You Have Too Much Mutable Quality in Your Astrology Chart?
Just like the astrological elements, it’s ideal if the astrological qualities are also balanced in your natal chart. A rough and ready way to do this is to note down the signs for your Sun, Moon and Ascendant, and also the sign your ruling planet is in.
If any of those are in a mutable sign, you probably have enough of the mutable quality. If they’re not, you may lack some mutable energy although an astrologer would need to see your full birth chart to be sure.
If you’re lacking in mutable energy, you may struggle to make changes in your life, finding yourself frequently stuck in a rut. To counter this, you’ll need to force yourself to create change, one tiny step at a time, until coping with and adapting to change becomes a positive habit for you.
On the other hand, if you have too much mutable energy, you may find yourself unable to settle on one particular project or task, always wanting to move on and leaving things unfinished. This is a matter of practicing staying power and forcing yourself to complete a task before moving on to the next. It gets easier with practice, honestly!