Mutable Signs of the Zodiac

The Mutable Signs of the zodiac are Pisces, Gemini, Virgo and Sagittarius.

These are 4 of the 12 signs of the zodiac, the 12 sun signs being divided into 3 groups, called modalities of cardinal, fixed and mutable. These modalities are sometimes called 'quadruplicities' because each group contains 4 sun signs. (The other way the 12 sun signs are divided into groups is the 4 groups of elements, three sun signs corresponding to each of the four elements of earth, air, fire and water.)

The mutable signs occur later in each of the traditional four seasons of the year, at about the time when the first indications of change appear. Pisces corresponds to the harshness of winter easing into spring, Gemini to spring maturing towards summer and Virgo to summer days shortening as autumn starts to take over. Sagittarius begins at the time when the last autumn harvests are being gathered and shortening days reduce temperatures and correspond to decreasing activity in the natural world.

Characteristics of the Mutable Signs

What do the astrological mutable signs have in common ?


Those born under mutable signs are often said to be:

  • Adaptable, reacting gently
  • Flexible, able to change
  • Resourceful

People born under the mutable signs are often considered to be flexible, adaptable, willing to accomodate change and to make the best of new circumstances. They tend to react to news of new systems or requirements with an attitude of how to go forwards rather than 'why' must there be change at all, with a possible implication of how it might be deflected, avoided or at least postponed.

The resourceful nature of mutable signs can also manifest as these people being effective 'completers' who take care of details when concluding a situation. That could mean ensuring that all relevant eventualities are provided for when finalising a deal or contract. Alternatively in a social context it could be checking that communications have been received or arrangements made to keep in touch after an introduction or event.

Challenges / Potential 'negative side' of Mutable Signs

Among the main attributes of mutable signs is their willingness to accept and adapt to new circumstances. However, in some circumstances critics might point to this as reluctance to defend the status quo, especially if the new or proposed development is bad news. Did the regional manger fight to keep jobs? Did the parent passively accept a negative assessment of the child? While co-operation and being seen to be 'reasonable' are generally considered virtues, there are also situations in which resisting (rather than accepting) predicted developments is more appropriate or honourable. In such contexts resourcefulness can be an especially valuable quality, particularly if the challenging situation might occur anyway and unavoidably apply for some time even if it can be resisted or over-turned in the longer term.

Differences between the 4 Mutable Signs

Table to compare the 4 mutable signs at a glance:


  • Affectionate nature
  • Compassionate, even empathetic
  • Imaginative
  • Romance, 'Dreamy'


  • Talkative
  • Empathetic
  • Excellent imitators, for social lubrication; not to mock or deceive
  • Highly original creative ideas


  • Neat, meticulus, perfectionist
  • Industrious
  • Self-deprecating, sometimes shy


  • Independent, incl. okay being alone
  • Honest, incl. clear & straighforward
  • Can be both tactless and reckless

The differences between the mutable signs can be considered in terms of the four elements of astrology: earth, air, fire and water.

Pisces is a water sign of the zodiac.
Water signs are associated with ...

  • Artistic
  • Dreamy
  • Emotional

Gemini is an air sign of the zodiac.
Air signs are associated with ...

  • Attention to detail
  • Ideas, creativity
  • Good communicators

Virgo is an earth sign of the zodiac.
Earth signs are associated with ...

  • Cautious, risk-averse
  • Practical, sensible
  • Reliability

Sagittarius is a fire sign of the zodiac.
Fire signs are associated with ...

  • Passion
  • Spontaneity
  • High energy

More about Water signs

More about Air signs

More about Earth signs

More about Fire signs

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