An Astrologer Explains the Fire Signs: Aries, Leo and Sagittarius

By: Dominique Michelle Astorino  | 
Aries, Leo and Sagittarius fire signs
Aries, Leo and Sagittarius are considered fire signs in astrology. FCks/Shutterstock

"What's your sign?" Surely someone has asked you this at some point in your life. And with the increased presence of astrology in pop culture, more folks are looking to the stars to learn the secrets behind their sun sign and beyond.

That's where your fire sign comes in, which refers to the cosmos.


"When I teach my courses, I begin by teaching the elements," says master astrologer Shannon Aganza, creator of MoonGathering astrology school. "This, of course, includes fire — where we all feel that passionate glow."

What to Know About the Elements

Before we get into the zodiac's fire signs, we need to review the elemental concept. There are four elements in astrology: earth, water, fire and air.

"We're more likely to notice a dominant element in a person before their sign type," says Aganza. "Elements provide an understanding of a person's nature and offer our first — and simplest — descriptions of zodiacal types."


Each element contains three signs, with a different "modality" for each of those signs: one cardinal, one fixed and one mutable sign.

Earth signs include Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn. The water signs are Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. Air signs comprise Gemini, Libra and Aquarius.


Which Zodiac Signs Are Fire Signs?

Of the 12 zodiac signs, there are three fire signs: Aries, Leo and Sagittarius. Fire, like the rest of the houses, has three modalities. Aries is cardinal, Leo is fixed and Sagittarius is mutable.

Each fire sign has its own glyph in astrological texts, but fire itself is represented by an upright triangle icon.


Like the air signs, fire signs tend to be active. Both the air element and the fire element are what Aganza calls "active," or "up and out energy." In the concept of yin and yang, water and earth signs are yin, while air and fire signs are yang.

You could be a fire sign based on your sun sign (which is determined by your birthday) or you could be a fire sign based on the time you were born, which determines your ascendant, or "rising sign."

Even if your sun sign doesn't fall into a fire sign, you'll still find fire in your birth chart. You have one zodiac sign for your solar placement, but an astrological birth chart contains everyplanet and 12 houses. Each house is assigned to a different sign. This means you'll find all three fire signs somewhere in your chart. We've all got a little fire in us!


Fire Sign Traits

Fire energy tends to be on the independent side. These folks prefer to go their own way in the world.

Confidence and passion also tend to be prominent energies in these folks. Aries, Leo and Sagittarius all typically lead a passionate life and like fire itself, they're literally warm.


"A balanced fire sign is radiant," says Aganza. "They're 'centered in self' in the best way ... daring, courageous, self-confident, optimistic and enthusiastic." It's hard not to be drawn into the light of the fire signs.

But, as you know, fire must be managed carefully, or it can cause great destruction. If your fire sign is out-of-balance, it can burn so much you become hot-headed. "An unhappy or 'less evolved' fire sign energy could be easily triggered, reactive, even aggressive and violent," says Aganza. "They can be passionate, but to the point of being fanatical and overzealous."


Cardinal Sign Aries (March 21-April 19)

Aries are known to be competitive, strong and assertive. Dzhulbee/Shutterstock

The first sign of the zodiac is also the first sign of the fire trifecta: cardinal sign Aries. As the "fire starter" of the heavens, the ram of the cosmos is action oriented. Ruled by Mars, this is a self-assured energy, which finds power and fuel through independence and physical activity.

Speaking of physical activity, Aries energy is largely focused on the body — think sports, exercise, fitness, competition. "Many Olympic athletes have strong Aries placements," says Aganza.


Fiercely competitive, fast and assertive, an Aries mantra could be "do now, think later," says Aganza. "Aries wants to get from point A to point B as fast as possible."

Fixed Sign Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)

Leos are born leaders and are considered the most passionate of the three fire signs. Duda Vasilii/Shutterstock

Fixed fire sign Leo is the fifth sign of the cosmos (and one of four fixed signs in the zodiac). Ruled by the sun, Leo's purpose is to bring light to the world.

As a fixed sign, Leo tends to be a born leader. This constellation is represented by the proud lion, full of life and warm feelings. We know now that fire, as a ruling element, brings a lot of passion and to tell the truth, Leo is perhaps the most passionate of the three fire signs.


Creative, solar and living it up in the limelight, the lion doesn't mind a little attention (or a lot). "Regal radiance, extraversion and magnanimity are some beautiful lionesque themes," says Aganza. All planets orient themselves to the sun, so Leo energy gathers people (read: an audience) around itself, and is truly is the 'center of attention.' If you have planets in Leo, those parts of you WILL be seen."

Mutable Sign Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

Sagittarius are known to be adaptable, wise and adventurous. chechivalorsa/Shutterstock

The ninth sign of the zodiac (and the last of the fire signs) is the life of the party: Sagittarius. Being ruled by the planet Jupiter, the archer of the cosmos is fun loving and freedom seeking, enjoying the natural world and traveling abroad. Getting out of the house, adventuring and exploring other cultures is important to the zodiacal archer.

Because Sagittarius is a mutable fire sign (one of four mutable signs), this energy is changeable and adaptable, making for an adventurous explorer. And of all the fire signs, Sagittarius energy is the wisest.


"Sag is the sage," says Aganza. "The theme is largely about taking abstract 'big' thoughts, and bringing it into usable wisdom for the human experience. This is their quest, their mission; Sag is on 'the hero's journey.'"

Other Sagittarius traits include generosity with wisdom, telling the truth (even when it isn't the nicest) and enthusiasm.