The Cardinal signs are Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. Cardinal signs share similar qualities but they are differentiated by their element. Aries is Fire, Cancer is Water, Libra is Air, and Capricorn is Earth, but all are united in being a self-oriented sign. They are sometimes called the angular signs as they rule the angular houses.
The term cardinal is intended in it’s adjective form and means, “of prime importance” and in astrology has an added definition as a demonym of this group of signs. To the cardinal signs, they are of prime importance and they want to be number one and may be quite ambitious and motivated to achieve success.
They prefer to be the boss than the employee and do not like to be told what to do (self-directed). The best way to motivate a cardinal sign is get them to understand that whatever it is you want will also benefit them. Unless they can relate a situation to their self they have a hard time understanding the other point of view. Most seem to be unaware of their potential for selfishness and express surprise when it is suggested because they often do a lot for others; perhaps just not you or at that moment.
Cardinal signs are self-interested, self-directed, and generally goal-oriented indicating a natural sense of energetic motivation for self-care and self-preservation and a me-first attitude. Does this mean cardinal signs are selfish? Sure, many are but they usually make a lot of room to care for others as well including their families and friends. Cardinal signs may extend their circle of self-care outward to include loved ones and may have good leadership abilities. They tend to want to run the show.
Their self-orientation is not always selfish. Many cardinal signs are selfless and very kind and giving as they may best understand that looking out for others does not diminish or take away from their self. Cardinal signs are often found at the forefront (where else would they be but at the front?) of great societal change, especially as it relates to personal freedom. They are attracted to politics, power and leadership roles. Some have a very powerful personality and they may behave as someone you can look up to for leadership with high values and morals. Their leadership abilities are well-used in a wide variety of social, community or charity services that benefit all.
Because they are strategic in their undertakings, likely due to their ability to set achievable goals, and because they are self-oriented many cardinal signs are successful. They are responsible, confident, and entrepreneurial being born self-starters. They don’t take failure easily due to their need to be considered cream of the crop so this makes them persistent and creative as they will not accept the humiliation of defeat.
Fixed signs are stubborn but cardinal signs are headstrong. They need to have their own way and sometimes they will not accept responsibility for their own actions or lack of action. They tend to blame their mistakes on other people or situations rather than be self-accountable. They don’t like to admit to making mistakes as they fear it will reduce their status or show they need help and therefore are not number one (in their minds). This is especially true when someone tries to point out their errors or that they’re taking a wrong pathway. It’s not their fault at all because nothing can overshadow their infallibility. They are victims of circumstance or others; they will not admit they made a mistake. Apologies are not easy to draw out of a cardinal sign and may happen only because they realize it’s the only way to get what they want. That’s not a sincere apology cardinal signs!
Where cardinal signs go wrong is some think they should make choices for you and that your opinions or needs don’t matter. Their me-first attitude comes across as me-only in some cases and they may be domineering. In some relationships cardinal signs treat others like “the little people”, possessions or appliances, forgetting that every person has a right to be treated as a person not a thing or a convenience. Their need to be in control may cause them to dominate others or use people as tools and appliances to obtain something they want. Narcissism and related antisocial disorders are probably more prevalent with cardinal signs.
Some cardinal signs can be dictators. Whether, at work, home or elsewhere only they know better than everybody else, they may behave very arrogantly or have an overpowering and aggressive attitude, or even be a tyrant. Egocentricity may be the least of the liabilities with these people. If they feel they have been attacked, criticized, victimized, cheated or in any way taken advantage of their complaining may be unending. If insecure, they can be possessive and jealous. As they are status conscious they are very competitive and may demonize any perceived enemies especially when losing or having lost to them.
But cardinal signs are more often reliable friends, family and co-workers who will help you out as needed. Many like to be helpful and caring maybe knowing this builds good relationships and ultimately what they are looking to forge. This group of signs well understands reciprocal benefits that relationships can give so some cardinal signs are not and do not behave in a manner that is selfish. Give and take is a concept these signs understand and it helps them be more cooperative.
Cardinal signs may be as motherly as Cancer, fatherly as Capricorn, and spousal or society-minded in their concern for others as Aries and Libra. Although they are a sign of the self they can function well in any role that brings family or people together because of their leadership skills. Make any cardinal sign feel loved and needed and they will usually love you right back. Just take care that the give and take remains mutual and balanced as cardinal signs like to be coddled. When all goes well for cardinal signs you can have some wonderful human beings who give much back to the world and who are devoted to those they feel responsible for. When all is not so well you may have an immature tyrant to deal with.
Cardinal signs rule the angular houses and these houses relate to our most important relationships with others in the world: our selves (Aries 1st house), our families (Cancer 4th), our spouse (Libra 7th) and the public (Capricorn 10th). Many cardinal signs will develop a career and lifestyle that relates to one or more of these houses and most will enjoy any activity that takes place around any of the four angular houses.
Cardinal signs are self-oriented so they fully understand that helping others may also help themselves, but they are me-first. Self-care is important and wise because if we don’t care for ourselves we’ll be in a vulnerable position and unable to help others. On an airplane going down adults are told to put on emergency air masks first then help children and the vulnerable. There is a basic wisdom in this of course. It’s when cardinal signs are too self-oriented that they become unwise.
Compared to other groups cardinal signs may be independent and self-sufficient but they seem to prefer being in partnership and may be better at one-to-one relationships than other signs. Cardinal signs can be very sociable and in fact may be a bit social climbing as they are almost always status conscious. They need to feel they are at the same level as everyone else at least and they aim to become number one.
Some cardinal signs may be insecure or feel too vulnerable. Afflictions to cardinal signs and houses may indicate people that suffered personal attacks in childhood or other relationships where they were victimized by the selfishness or aggression of others. Cardinal signs may become aggressive when perceiving or receiving some slight or disrespect by others whether insecure or not.
Cardinal signs may appear to view other people as mirrors and build a self-identity around how others view them. That may be a huge mistake because what others think of us is not necessarily who we are at all. An emotional need to be admired, come first, and always have things their way may be rooted in a poor self-image and insecurity or a need to be important, loved, flattered, etc. It’s interesting to note that the current cult of celebrity that has become so popular has created a lot of egotistic people, some of whom have made millions becoming celebrities, influencers, etc. and who build their following by being “liked”, admired, “followed” and so on. Pluto’s foray through Capricorn may be the culprit here as the planet represents the masses in astrology.
Attention from others feeds the ego but also bolsters a self-view of infallibility. This is the type of cardinal sign that will put on airs, try to convince others they’re better than you, and behave arrogantly or with vanity. With some cardinal signs, their ego and self-importance is rooted in their insecurity. Really, they worry about themselves far too much. It’s all about me, me, me.
Some cardinal signs become overly concerned about themselves and are self-centred. To all cardinal signs, they have to come first yet may be unaware of this trait, seeing themselves as very caring, and they may be very caring of others but the cardinal sign will always come first. They love to talk about themselves and their interests and accomplishments but they are also good listeners. They need to be told to listen some times, and most will respond positively when told nicely, “look, I really need your help or for you to listen to me right now”. It just takes that bit of extra effort to break through that cardinal shell.
For cardinal signs, they are competitive and it’s always about maintaining the status quo or winning. They have great dignity and can hold their heads high while weathering through tough times. They usually prefer to be self-sufficient and they may weather long difficult periods but they will probably complain about it. They may even try to blame you or some other mystery figure for their tough luck. Their problems are not because of anything they did or did not do as they are blameless in disputes and will rarely admit to any wrongdoing. They must keep up appearances.
Generally, the cardinal signs are self-confident, sincere, they mean well but they want to go places. They will set their own goals in life and work hard towards achieving them. All cardinal signs have an innate capability to look at a point ahead where they want to be (the goal), then they will work out a plan or schedule on how to reach the goal and then get to it. Once the goal is achieved, or acceptance of a failure has occurred (very hard for any cardinal sign to do) a new goal is created. All cardinal signs should be taught to set goals to work towards as it is their most constructive pathway to success. Maybe true for all of us and something we could learn from cardinal signs.
Cardinal signs, through their angular house rulerships, are the houses of the most important human relationships. Through personal growth and self-help (1st house), with the aid of our families (4th), our spouses and partners (7th), and the aid of publicly-funded institutions of government and social services (10th) we learn how to relate to people and grow as human beings. Each of these signs has a natural affinity for each of these houses due to their cardinal/angular connection. It is in these areas that most cardinal signs will find their greatest challenges in life but also their greatest successes.
Although fixed signs are more relative to building structures, cardinal signs are relative to building structured relationships. Boundaries are important in any relationship but very important to cardinal signs. A direct attack to a cardinal sign, or sometimes just criticism can really make them blow up. “How dare you attack or judge me!?” the cardinal sign may say as you are not generally allowed to cross these boundaries.
Some cardinal signs are self-critical because they are insecure. Often, too much emphasis, thought and worry is placed on their own concerns. They are far too aware of appearances; how they appear to others, their status in society, at work or in the family, and how they may be seen or perceived by others in general. Cardinal signs may present fake personalities to hide their real selves or to fit in. Likely the real self isn’t that bad they are just insecure but they are also private.
Cardinal signs may speak openly about their personal lives but don’t you dare pry. They can be very private people and have boundaries around themselves which shouldn’t be crossed. If a cardinal sign draws any line in the sand you would be well-advised to not cross it or you’ll find out how cross they can get.
Cardinal signs are self-motivated and perhaps the group of signs that is most often self-employed. They are also the group of signs with businesses that are more often eponymously named (named for their self) or something with which they self-identify. These signs know how to take care of business and are not shy about conducting business. They know they need to put themselves out there to get business and put food on the table. That’s a great goal to work towards and cardinal signs know it.
Cardinal signs boldly go where no other sign does and that is usually just to be themselves, warts and all. Some are very secure within themselves and don’t understand why everyone isn’t. Their ego and all of what you see is what you get and they make no apologies for being who they are.
A cardinal sign may be a bit full of theirself and at times blatantly selfish or domineering, but in other cases the cardinal sign is evolved and has figured out that it is when you put your self aside and truly care for and see others as your equals that the best manifestations of your own higher self will occur. These cardinal signs are a joy to spend time with as they are lively, magnanimous, and leave you feeling valued and cared for.