Published by:

The Cardinal Signs in Astrology

cardinal signs

Cardinal Sign Meaning

The Cardinal modality is one of the quadruplicities into which the zodiac signs are grouped. The four Cardinal signs are Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn. Each Cardinal sign (also called reacting signs) ushers in the beginning of a new season. Aries commences Spring (March 21-22), Cancer kicks off Summer (June 21), Libra marks the start of Fall (September 22-23) and Capricorn brings in Winter (December 21). Fittingly, the Cardinal signs thus represent the spirit of initiation and new beginnings. Each Cardinal sign is an initiator in their own right and share an industrious nature that compels them to make things happen.

The word “cardinal” comes from the Latin word for “important”. The cardinal signs mark 4 significant turning points in the celestial cycle being the vernal equinox (Aries), Summer solstice (Cancer), Autumnal Equinox (Libra), and Winter Solstice (Capricorn). Traditional astrologers called the Cardinal signs “moveable” because with each turning of the seasons there is a “change in the air”. The terms “cardinal” and “angular” sometimes get mixed up. Angular houses are always the 1st, 4th, 7th and 10th houses which correspond to the 4 Cardinal zodiac signs they represent. Angular signs are those that happen to occupy those angular houses in any given natal chart.

The 4 Cardinal Signs of the Zodiac Are:

  • Aries: the Sun’s passage through which commences Spring in the northern hemisphere, and Autumn in the southern hemisphere.
  • Cancer: Commences Summer in the northern hemisphere, and Winter in the southern hemisphere.
  • Libra: Commences Autumn in the northern hemisphere, and Spring in the southern hemisphere.
  • Capricorn: Commences Winter in the northern hemisphere, and Summer in the southern hemisphere.

As Cardinal Signs, Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn are the bellwethers and “idea people” of the zodiac. These signs display originality and self motivation and a desire to be first at whatever they do. They naturally show leadership with their initiative and by the example they set. They are enterprising and showcase a willingness to experiment and try new things and push boundaries. They tend to be trendsetters rather than followers and are often very independent and ambitious. Cardinal signs like to innovate and introduce and explore new possibilities relating to their sphere of interest.

See also  Sagittarius Sun Libra Moon Personality

The Cardinal houses have special names. The 1st house is also known as the Ascendant (Asc), the 4th house is called the imum coeli (I.C.), the 7th house is the descendant (Dsc) and the 10th house is the medium coeli (M.C.) or Midheaven. If an astrological chart shows an excess of planets in the cardinal houses, the energy of that chart is weighted toward cardinality. Individuals with such a chart, regardless of sun sign, are people who like to get things going. They are active, hasty and driven. Many projects get started but many may go unfinished as well.

Cardinal signs are not the types of people who slack off or waste their time with idle or frivolous pastimes. They are often purpose driven and goal driven and usually have ambitious and constructive objectives to preoccupy themselves with. They have abundant energy that is directed and sublimated towards endeavors that will satisfy their plucky ambitions whatever they may be. Cardinal signs can seem forceful, and domineering in their effort to make things happen. Their energetic spirit and vision allow them to persevere and overcome challenges that temporarily thwart them.

Clever and creative, Cardinal signs constitute many of the most successful entrepreneurs, artists and inventors in the world. These signs are independent, self motivated and have a natural instinct that compels them to accomplish, attain security and take control over their destiny. They require little encouragement but whatever support they do receive will likely go a long way. They possess inner strength and resilience and also powerful drives that make them a source of strength and inspiration to other people.

When there are a panoply of planets in the Cardinal signs of a chart, the keyword is “Activity” and also “creativity. Action is quick, objective, direct and to the point. At times it is too impulsive and impatient. The The planetary rulers of the Cardinal signs amplify activity and speed wherever they are placed and their presence may indicate executive ability in that area. Cardinal signs are the “go-getters” of the zodiac. They like to solve problems and move on to something else. They have the type of temperament that makes them very responsive and quick to act in an emergency. They prefer to make their own decisions and will often do so without consulting others or seeking permission first.

See also  6 Reasons Why Taurus and Capricorn Fall In Love

Cardinal Signs Distinguished By Element

Each Cardinal sign expresses their energy in a different way. Here is a look at how the cardinal qualities of Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn are distinguished by element.


The cardinal energy of Aries is primarily directed towards self promotion and actions centered around personal glory and pioneership. They march to their own drum and they don’t mind if other people want to follow their lead. Aries prides itself on being original and unique. They like being the alpha of the pack and the bravest and boldest actor who spearheads exciting ventures. Ego is often the primary driver behind their endeavors even the philanthropic ones, but this is not to say their motives are any less sincere. Whatever they do, they want to either be the best at it or do it differently than anyone has ever done it.


The cardinal energy of Cancer is directed towards the creation of security for themselves and their families. Many Cancers are successful in business and entrepreneurship. Cancers are more subtle than Aries but just as tenacious. They exercise more shrewdness and don’t necessarily try to call attention to themselves when making power moves. Cancers tend to have their priorities straight and do not get carried away with irresponsible behaviors that would sabotage or threaten their goals.


The Cardinal energy of Libra is expressed in the realm of relationships and social interaction. Libras tend to be very friendly and quick to break the ice. They take interest in orchestrating get togethers, romantic dates and fun hangouts. When there is conflict, Libras are likely to be the first to try and reconcile the differences and bring everyone together. They promote harmony and convivial relations but they also have a strong sense of justice and fairness. Libras feel obligated to weigh in and leverage their powers of diplomacy and judgement to facilitate solutions and restore balance.



The Cardinal energy of Capricorn is channeled towards career and the attainment of power and prestige in the world. Capricorns are hard working and calculating. Many of them are workaholics with grand ambitions. They like to stay busy and get burned out from overworking themselves. Capricorns tend to be very competent and mature and display strong executive ability. They often rise to the top of their professions through years of strategic and well planned career moves. Capricorns take pride in their work and everything they do is often done with reputation and material gain in mind.

Related Posts:

Jetta Moon
Follow Me

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 617 other subscribers

Leave a Reply