It’s a saying we’ve all heard, “opposites attract.” As a popular trope in television and movies, it mostly serves to highlight the superficial comedic difference between two larger than life characters; however, we all know that in our interpersonal lives, having somebody with different traits, morals and ways of thinking can often help us grow beyond the limitations of our own minds.
Whether it is a significant other, a close friend, a co-worker or a family member, having somebody in our lives whose skills and capabilities complement (or even challenge!) ours through diversity is a valuable tool for self-reflection and growth.
What are Sister Signs?
Though the name implies a certain degree of closeness, sister signs are quite the opposite- pun intended. It would be easy to assume a ‘sister sign’ is one of the signs bookending your own, or perhaps even within your element. However, if you look at the zodiac signs as a wheel, your sister sign is the astrological segment directly across from yours. There are six pairings in the entire zodiac, and they occur at random in terms of planetary influence.
There is some synchronicity amongst sister signs though, such as their modalities; all Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable signs are clustered together, most likely due to their temporal occurrence in the zodiac – modality changes every three months, unlike the 30-day astrological change. Likewise, due to the 120-day elemental rotation, you’ll find Air and Fire paired as sister signs, with Water and Earth sharing the other half of the chart.
Wait – Modality? Elemental? What?
We can explain!
There is a common thread among the metaphysical branches – the four elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.
For many ancient philosophers and scientists, it was believed that these four elements were the foundation of life itself. As such, they are reflected in astrology with each element giving different aspects to the sign in its quadrant during the four seasons.
Fire indicates energy and action, Earth represents stability and practicality, Air symbolizes mobility and intellect, and Water corresponds to emotion and vitality. These are the common threads that bind together the astrological signs in their element.
Now, if all that influenced a zodiac sign were their element, then why does a Pisces wear their heart on their sleeve and a Scorpio is so secretive? Or a Gemini totally scatterbrained but an Aquarius possesses laser focus? This is where modality enters the picture.
As the four elements break up the zodiac, and the four seasons create our calendar year, each 3-month long season has a beginning, a middle, and an end. These are our modalities and represent initiative, sustenance, and change. Often referred to as Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable, these aspects of a sign dictate the rigidity or fluidity of their personality, ways they can be influenced, and how they acclimate to change.
The combination of elemental and modal influence are what shape each sign of the zodiac and form the foundation of their astrological profile. When both are taken into consideration, this combination creates the ideological stronghold of each sign – the base traits of their personality. This is why these two facets of astrology are so important to the logic of sister signs.
What are the Sister Signs & How Do They Benefit Each Other?
Both Fixed signs, they can often be perceived as egotistical and superior; they truly believe they know best. However, these signs have a lot to learn from each other. Fire sign Leo can stoke the passion Aquarius needs to bring their ideas to fruition. Likewise, intellectual Air qualities can bring clarity and focus to the brute force determination of a Leo. Aquarius can sometimes be seen as aloof or distant, which social to the max Leo helps them overcome. And if at the same time, Aquarius teaches Leo to conserve their emotional generosity to protect their surprisingly fragile ego, even better!
This Water and Earth pairing share a Mutable energy – they are malleable in their personalities, and appreciate the value of change. While Virgos are rational and efficient and use this energy to influence life around them, Pisces are deeply emotional and more likely to be influenced by what is happening to them. They are both sensitive and wise, but Virgo can better analyze their emotions to gain perspective; this ability is something Pisces would benefit from. The rigidity and control that drives Virgo is something Pisces can help with though, as they are laidback and easygoing.
With Cardinal signs, you often see a drive that other modalities lack; these people know how to get things done. In Aries, this trait is very apparent – ‘forceful’ is one way to describe it. Libra has a more balanced approach to accomplishing things, which Aries could take notes on. Not everything in life is a battle! However, Libra can spend too much time trying to be diplomatic, and Aries would be a good influence on being decisive. If this Fire sign can use their energy to boost Libra’s sometimes lazy tendencies, then perhaps, in turn, Aries would benefit from this Air sign’s ability to let go and self-reflect.
Introverted and emotional, these Fixed signs have strong boundaries – good luck getting Scorpio to open up, or making Taurus change their mind. This pair spends a lot of their energy internally, though Scorpio could take a lesson in the quiet power their Earth sign partner exudes; Taurus is respectable and focused, which can be useful. This Water sign’s influence helps Taurus push their boundaries, and perhaps be more inquisitive, since Scorpio loves to question things and doesn’t accept the status quo.
This Mutable pairing doesn’t just embrace change, they crave it! Sagittarius can be impulsive, and while Gemini has a million ideas, they’ve all been carefully analyzed- something this Fire sign lacks. With that said, they can certainly help their Air sign partner live more in the moment, as Gemini can sometimes get lost in their mind. Sag would find great benefit in Gemini’s thirst for knowledge (not just experience!), and Gemini needs the balance of Sag’s ability to action their ideas.
A Cardinal pairing with traditional values, such as family and success, these sister signs are all about hard work. While Cancer has a lot of raw emotion to handle, their Earth counterpart is skilled at focusing and putting aside their feelings. However, Capricorn can sometimes repress their true selves, and this Water sign is all about being open and authentic. Neither is very outgoing, though Cap can teach Cancer subtle leadership; likewise, Cancer could help Cap with being more inviting.
Are Sister Signs Really Opposites?
Yes and no – though they are reversed in placement on the zodiac wheel, and they often have very different personality traits, there are commonalities among sister signs too. As stated before, all sister signs fall within their three modalities. They also do not fall within the diametric opposites we mentally pair the elements in; Fire would be assumed the opposite of Water, yet with sister signs, it falls in line with Air.
What creates the ‘opposites attract’ mentality of sister signs is that both signs have much to gain from their exposure to each other in the pairing; there are strengths to be shared, and opportunities to explore. A healthy relationship between sister signs can elevate each individual in the pair, and lead to excellent teamwork. When in synchronicity, a sister sign pairing will have a well-rounded and powerful sense of self, whether this pairing is platonic, romantic or professional.
If you discover a sister sign in your life, work on observing the other person and trying to implement the things you admire most about them in your own life. Likewise, let your astrological partner share your experience and skills for a stronger bond both of you can enjoy!
Related Article: Understanding Yin & Yang: A Philosophy of Balance