If you have been into astrology for some time, you might have heard the term signature sign thrown around. This is a lesser known concept, however, it reveals a lot of information about you.
What Is a Signature Sign in Astrology?
And why is it useful?
To put it short, the astrological signature sign is the zodiac sign that’s the most specific to you.
The characteristics of this sign repeat themselves often in your birth chart. To find it, you add up the modality and element of your planets. It’s the most frequent modality and element in your natal chart.
Let’s say you are a Taurus Sun, a fixed earth sign. But you also have a lot of planets in mutable signs, and you have a ton of planets in water. This makes you feel like a Pisces, which is the mutable water sign in astrology. You might not have any important placements in Pisces in your natal chart, but still, you can identify with its qualities to a great extent.
If you want to find your own signature sign, there is an example that will show you how to do it.
You weigh the elements and modalities of the sign where a planet is located in your chart. You begin with your Sun, continue with your Moon, and so on. The ascendant and the Midheaven also have to be considered here.
This sign is not necessarily the same as your Sun sign or rising sign. Sometimes, people don’t even have planets in their signature sign! However, chances are you can highly identify with the qualities of this zodiac sign.
If this is totally new to you, it might sound confusing. But in a second, you’ll see what the signature sign is all about in astrology. To help you understand this concept better, there is an example calculation below.
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The Four Elements and Three Modalities
If you know some astrology, you know that every zodiac sign has its element and modality. They are key to calculating your astrological signature sign.
There are four elements: fire, earth, air, and water. And there are three modalities: cardinal, fixed, and mutable. Each zodiac sign is a unique combination of an element and a modality.
Zodiac signs grouped by element:
- Fire signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
- Earth: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
- Air: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
- Water: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
Fire signs are enthusiastic, optimistic, and extroverted. They have a lot of energy. Fire signs are very inspirational and they have good leadership skills.
Earth signs, on the other hand, are focused on the reality of the physical world. They want to provide and get the work done. Earth signs are known as hard-working, persistent, organized, and realistic.
Air signs represent the intellect. They have a mental approach to life, and they are fascinated by a good conversation, a mind-blowing book. They are usually very smart. Air signs tend to rationalize feelings.
Water signs are associated with emotions and intuition. There is a touch of mystery to the element water. If this element is dominant in your chart, you are intuitive, kind, sympathetic, and process information on a more subconscious level.
Here’s a list of which zodiac sign is of which modality:
- Cardinal signs: Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn
- Fixed signs: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius
- Mutable signs: Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces
Cardinal signs are active and like to take action. They love change and like to initiate them, too. They want to be in charge of their own lives, and they have the courage and self-motivation to do so.
Fixed signs are here to finish what cardinal signs started. They are persistent and hard-working, keeping their word. Fixed signs dislike changes, except maybe if it was their own choice to do something in a different way. It’s hard to change the mind of a person who has fixed signs emphasized in their natal chart.
Mutable signs embrace change. They need versatility, however, they often lack follow through. The role of mutable signs is to explore and find alternative ways to do something. They easily become bored.
Every zodiac sign has its unique corresponding element and modality. There are three signs of each element and four signs of each quality or modality. However, there are not two signs of the same element and quality.
- Aries: cardinal fire
- Taurus: fixed earth
- Gemini: mutable air
- Cancer: cardinal water
- Leo: fixed fire
- Virgo: mutable earth
- Libra: cardinal air
- Scorpio: fixed water
- Sagittarius: mutable fire
- Capricorn: cardinal earth
- Aquarius: fixed air
- Pisces: mutable water
Here’s a handy overview of the element and modality of each zodiac sign:
If you want to learn more about this topic, click here for an article about element and modality in astrology.
And now, let’s move on to determining your signature sign!
How to Calculate Your Astrological Signature Sign?
To calculate your signature sign in astrology, you have to add up the element and modality of the signs where your planets are in your natal chart.
First, look to your Sun, one of the most important features of the chart. Find the element and modality of your Sun sign. Let’s say you have your Sun in Virgo. In this case, earth and mutable both score one point.
Next, find your Moon. Again, find the element and modality of it. If you have your Moon in Cancer, the element water and the cardinal modality both score one point.
Repeat this process for all the planets in your natal chart: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.
After you finished this, move on to the ascendant and the Midheaven. These two angles are very important in astrology, and they have a great influence over your personality. Find their element and modality, and add them to your list.
Find the element where you have most of your planets. Let’s say you have a ton of planets in water. Next, find the modality. In this case, let’s take the fixed quality for example.
So, this person has most of their planets in water and fixed signs. We will combine them into a zodiac sign. Here comes the step where we actually calculate the signature sign in astrology! There is a zodiac sign that is water by element and fixed by modality: Scorpio.
In this case, the person’s signature sign is Scorpio.
It can happen that they don’t even have any planet in Scorpio, but it’s still an important influence in their lives. Some people identify with their signature sign more than with their Sun sign.
If you are short on time, there is a free software that can do this calculation for you quickly. You can find it here.
Ambiguous Signature Sign
It can happen that you have an equal number of planets in two elements or qualities. For example, you both water and earth scored 5-5 in your chart.
In this case, you don’t have one signature sign. It’s called ambiguous signature sign when there is no one clear astrological signature.
To break this tie, calculate only your ascendant when it comes to adding the house cusps.
Example Signature Sign Calculation
Let’s find the astrological signature sign of Pablo Picasso. He was born on
25 October 1881 at 23:15, in Málaga, Spain . Here’s his natal chart from the astro databank:
As you can see, he was a Scorpio Sun, Sagittarius Moon, and Leo rising. He’s Taurus stellium in the tenth house of career is a strong indicator of his artistic path. Let’s calculate his signature sign!
First of all, here’s a list of his planets in signs:
- Sun in Scorpio (fixed water)
- Moon in Sagittarius (mutable fire)
- Mercury in Scorpio (fixed water)
- Venus in Libra (cardinal air)
- Mars in Cancer (cardinal water)
- Jupiter in Taurus (fixed earth)
- Saturn in Taurus (fixed earth)
- Uranus in Virgo (mutable earth)
- Neptune in Taurus (fixed earth)
- Pluto in Taurus (fixed earth)
- Leo rising (fixed fire)
- Aries Midheaven ( cardinal fire )
Let’s find the most frequent element in his birth chart. There are 5 planets in earth signs (the Taurus stellium plus his Uranus in Virgo), 3 planets in water signs (Sun, Mercury, and his Mars), one planet (the Sagittarius Moon) and his ascendant and Midheaven in fire signs, and one planet, his Venus in an air sign, Libra.
As you can see, the most frequent element in Picasso’s natal chart is earth.
You need the most frequent modality, too.
There are six planets in fixed signs, plus his Leo ascendant. Fixed signs scored 7. He has two planets, his Venus in Libra and Mars in Capricorn in cardinal signs, and his Aries Midheaven. And finally, there are two planets in mutable signs, Mercury and Uranus.
The modality that comes up the most is fixed.
All we have to do now is to combine the element earth and fixed modality into a zodiac sign. There is only one sign that corresponds to this, and it’s Taurus. This means that Taurus is Picasso’s signature sign in astrology.
Signature Signs Through the Zodiac
If you have found your signature sign, read what it reveals about your personality.
Aries signature sign:
If Aries is your signature sign, you are ambitious and have a strong will. Sometimes hot-headed and impulsive, it happens that you act before you think. You are a born leader and like to initiate things. Taking action is your second nature.
Aries is a straightforward sign, what sometimes blends into bluntness. Being independent is very important to you. You are competitive and brave, someone who loves new challenges. You love to win. Aries is always after new opportunities to conquer.
Taurus signature sign:
If Taurus is your astrological signature sign, you can probably identify with its traits to a great extent. You like to think before you act. Often, you need a lot of time to make a decision, but once it’s done, nothing can make you change your mind. You are incredibly stubborn and persistent.
Taurus is the sign of hedonism. If this is your signature sign in astrology, you know how to enjoy life. You appreciate good food, beautiful clothes, and everything luxurious. Taurus craves stability, both financially and emotionally. You are dependable and passionate.
Gemini signature sign:
If Gemini is your signature sign, you are curious, witty, and talkative. You are a great observant, someone who notices every detail, and then make a pun about it. Gemini is incredibly smart. They love to read and write, and they are usually talented when it comes to expressing themselves.
However, Gemini lacks focus and they are sometimes superficial. You get bored quickly. Because of this, you need a lot of mental stimulation. Geminis are life-long learners, they are simply in love with knowledge.
Cancer signature sign:
If Cancer is your signature sign in astrology, you are a gentle soul. However, you become easily overwhelmed with all the noise out there. You need a lot of time on your own, in the safety of your home, surrounded by your fmily members.
You are soft and caring. Cancers can sense the emotions of others. They are extremely protective of their loved ones. Cancers have an incredible intuition, sometimes even they don’t understand themselves. Sometimes you overreact. Cancers are extremely sensitive.
Leo signature sign:
If your signature sign is Leo, you have a big heart. This zodiac sign is famous for its generosity. You like to give. Leos need luxury around them. They enjoy being around others, making people laugh and cheering them up. You are optimistic and have a lot of energy. You are able to infect others with your enthusiasm.
If you live the negative manifestation of Leo, you can become arrogant and boastful. Leos tend to have a big ego, however, it’s important to realize that this hurts people around you. You can be domineering and bossy. If you show others your soft side, they will give you all the love you crave.
Virgo signature sign:
If Virgo is your signature sign, you are modest, effective, and helpful. You work hard. Being productive is very important to you. Virgos have a high attention to detail, and they solve problems by analyzing them. Rational thinking is one of your greatest strengths.
Virgos are reliable and they have a strong sense of duty. This sign has a very powerful brain. They prefer thinking over feeling, what can be sometimes challenging for them.
Libra signature sign:
If your signature sign is Libra, you are always elegant, no matter what you do. Libras are graceful and charming. They have great social skills, and they get along with everyone. However, sometimes they don’t stand u for themselves even when they should, because they want to avoid conflict at any price.
If you are a Libra, you have very good taste. You often have artistic talent. This sign strives to create harmony, both visually and in interpersonal relationships.
Scorpio signature sign:
Scorpios are intense and mysterious. If your signature sign is Scorpio, you possess these qualities, too. Scorpios have a deep mind, and they make perfect detectives. Nothing stays hidden from them.
If Scorpio is your signature sign, you are passionate and have intense emotions. Your intuition is superb, but you are very sensitive at the same time. Scorpio can become obsessed with the object of their love.
Sagittarius signature sign:
In astrology, Sagittarius is a representative of expansion. This sign is always after new experiences that will help it understand the world better. Optimistic and with a great sense of humor, people love being around them. They have high energy levels and they are always on the go.
If your signature sign is Sagittarius, you have an unshakable faith in the universe. This zodiac sign is the sign of philosophy, and you believe that in the end, everything will make sense. Perhaps this is why you are so optimistic.
Capricorn signature sign:
If Capricorn is your signature sign, there are some earthy vibes to you, no matter your actual sign. You are reliable, efficient, and incredibly ambitious. You are empowered by your accomplishments. Order and discipline are very important to you.
Capricorns are known as hard workers who put a lot of effort into achieving their goals. You usually become successful in life. Sometimes you are accused of being cold. While you are reserved, you need love and commitment. In a relationship, you need a lot of time, but once in, your partner can always count on you.
Aquarius signature sign:
Unique and eccentric, you always notice it when you meet an Aquarius. If Aquarius is your signature sign, you prefer to live life on your own terms. Freedom is your most important value in life. You enjoy being around like-minded people, even though your relationships are usually not of emotional nature.
Aquarius is the sign if brilliance in astrology. You have great ideas, and you are fascinated by everything new and modern. Aquarius is the sign of humanitarian ideals. If you have this sign strong in your chart, you have a strong sense of justice.
Pisces signature sign:
If Pisces is your signature sign, you have a very strong intuition. You are very sensitive, too, and you easily become overwhelmed. Pisces needs to spend a lot of time alone. You are compassionate and have a strong sympathy for those suffering. If you can, you work to help them soothe their pain.
You are very musical and often have artistic talents. You have a vivid imagination, too, and you are highly creative. However, make sure you don’t escape reality. Pisces is prone to escapism and illusions.
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