What Are Fire Signs? Everything You Need to Know About Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius

Photo: Getty Images/martin-dmn
Regardless of your baseline zodiac knowledge, you likely know the basic traits of your sun sign (aka the sign you read your horoscope for). You may even be clued into your moon sign, which reflects your emotional and internal-leaning energy—maybe even your rising sign, or how others see you. But there’s another important grouping, that you should consider, too: your zodiac element (or triplicity). The elements—Earth, water, fire, and air—often explain what pushes you in a certain direction, and fire signs can burn particularly bright.

Have you noticed that some signs, while unique in their respective ways, share similarities? They may be sociable or intellectually inclined, while others may mirror empathy and intuitive abilities. It’s probably because they belong to one of the same categorical groupings: dualities, triplicities, or quadriplicities. Specifically, if they share the same energy and motivations, they’re more likely to share the same triplicity, known more popularly as an astrological element.

Experts In This Article

In the case of the hot topic of today, fire signs (no pun intended), they “Represent our life force, our vitality, passions, impulse, and sense of adventure,” says astrologer and psychic, Evan Nathaniel Grim. For an elaborate catalog of the fire signs, including their strengths, weaknesses, and astrological compatibility, keep reading.

What is a fire sign in astrology?

What are the fire signs, you ask, and what, specifically, do the ruling elements do? Think of the elements as another cliquey way the zodiac wheel sections us off and also brings us together. While the modalities (or quadruplicities)—cardinal, mutable, and fixed—speak to our behavior and how we react to the world, ruling elements more so act as commentary on our temperament.

As the name suggests, fire signs specifically are a force to be reckoned with—they’re action-forward and are known to chase thrills, which fuels their adrenaline and lust for life. It’s difficult to scare away or intimidate a fire sign and wear their courage on their sleeves.

With little fear in their hearts, fire signs love to push themselves, whether it’s trying new things, exploring foreign places or ideas, or conquering any challenge in their way—and best believe they’ll rise to the occasion. “All three signs within the fire element are able to take risks of a unique kind—Aries dare to do something first, Leos dare to express themselves creatively, and Sagittariuses dare to explore beyond their comfort zones and open their minds to new perspectives.” More on the fire signs' specific traits later.

While you can write off elements as a major tell to someone’s energetic temperament, that’s not all you should consider. "Our star signs, also known as sun signs, are only one part of a much bigger picture," says astrologer Carolyne Faulkner, author of The Signs. "Some people are very much aligned to their sun sign, in terms of temperament. If they are not, this indicates that an aspect is changing the output of energy."

That's a gentle reminder that regardless of what your sun sign is, there might be other planets or qualities that push your personality in other directions. You may be a Taurus sun, for example, but if your rising and moon signs are both in Virgo, you may lean into an obsession with the details that Virgos are so famously known for having.

"Regardless, if we are to maximize our time on earth and realize soul contentment, we need to balance the elements in our full birth charts," Faulkner says. Ultimately, getting in touch with your sign's element may help you even out the less-than-savory qualities in your personality makeup. And for the fire signs, they can benefit from cooling off their tempers and weaning off of their tendency to watch the world burn.

What are the fire signs?

Without further ado, the fire signs are Aries, with a cardinal modality, Leo, with a fixed modality, and Sagittarius, with a mutable modality. So while each of these elemental triplicities may react differently to conflict and circumstance, each is tied with a thread of similar personality.

Aries explained

As the first zodiac sign of the zodiac, Aries is often likened to an eager child, fascinated by the novelty of life and reaching for new experiences. As Grim explains: “Aries represents the sheer willpower of the individual. Aries charges ahead dynamically and enjoys taking the lead.” The assertive sign tends to be powerful leaders, motivated by their natural curiosity and passionate minds.

They’re also generally competitive souls, with hardly a thought of how they’ll achieve something great, because of their tenacious dedication to the end goal of success, which can easily turn vitriolic if they can’t contain their assertiveness and impulses. “They often demonstrate courage and possess leadership capabilities, but in other cases, they can also be rash and impulsive and strong-arm a situation,” adds Grim.

Leo explained

Known for their grandiose (and let’s face it, dramatic) gestures and courage, Leos are typically self-assured individuals. “Leo takes pride in the creative expression of their natural abilities,” explains Grim. “Leos nurture their inner child and ideally hold onto their innate passions and sources of joy throughout life.”

Their confidence can come off as being self-centered, but they’re not stingy with it—they’ll happily share their love for themselves with others thanks to their massive hearts. “Leos can therefore possess a certain charisma and charm that draws audiences or attention to them,” says Grim, adding that the feisty lion tends to seek external validation that may override their creative motivations.

Sagittarius explained

Sagittarius people are one of the most adventurous of the bunch. They love to create experiences through travel and learning about different cultures. But their adventures are deeper than literal travel, though. They seek knowledge and different perspectives to shape their own. “To accomplish this, Sagittariuses adopt a very tolerant, generous, open-minded view,” says Grim. “With that attitude, they soak up worldly experiences that give them the tools to eventually convey a message to others.”

Because they’re led by a passion for knowledge, their philosophy can turn dogmatic if they aren’t objective when assessing different outlooks. “Sagittariuses just need to watch out for any self-righteous tendencies along the way as they develop their convictions,” adds Grim.

Who do fire signs get along with?

Because elements can determine your motivation and how you express your energy, it helps to compare zodiac elements to discern astrological compatibility. As you can probably guess, fire signs mesh well with other fire signs, since they share key commonalities. “Fire signs with other fire signs are capable of matching one another’s zest for life,” says Grim. “However, in some cases, fire and fire can stoke conflict or over-emphasize independence.”

Fire signs aren’t limited to their own element, though. There are qualities of other elements outside of fire signs that can complement their hunger for knowledge and curiosity, like air signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius). “Fire signs belong to the masculine Yang archetype along with Air signs,” says Grim. (Note that masculine and feminine energy in this sense doesn’t pertain to binary gender—its modern classification, known as dualities, is more accurately described as active and receptive energy, respectively, and discerns another way that the signs express energy).

Here, masculine signs are those that express outward energy and optimism, says Grim, and both fire and air signs belong to the masculine duality. “Fire signs, though, are more subjective in their thought process whereas Air signs can prefer logical, objective approaches. Ultimately, fire signs can add some flare to an air sign, while air signs can mitigate a fire sign’s passionate nature with a sense of reasoning.” Together, fire and air signs uphold an extroverted, active approach to life, which compatibility-wise, can make for a long-lasting and exciting connection.

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