Meaning of Cardinal Quality in Zodiac Signs

In astrology, there are four cardinal signs of the zodiac: Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn. Here are their qualities and meaning.

Did you know that the Babylonians are credited as being the first to study astrology? They mapped out the foundations of astrology, which the Greeks then expanded on to highlight the 12 common zodiac signs.

While you may think it’s easy enough to memorize 12 signs, budding astrologers actually have far more to learn. For example, you may have come across the term “cardinal” in readings.

But what exactly does this word mean? Are there certain quality signs that are cardinal signs?

We’re here to fill you in! Keep reading below to learn about cardinal signs and their meaning!  

How Cardinal Quality Signs Differ from Others

To better understand cardinal quality signs, you need to have a base understanding of the other types of signs.

Along with cardinal signs, there are also fixed and mutable signs. The fixed zodiac signs are Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius. The mutable signs are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces.

Fixed signs tend to be the most stable of the bunch and are more resistant to outside attempts to change their lives.

Mutable signs will act based on their environment and circumstances, whether that means searching for security and stability or adapting to new changes.

By contrast, cardinal signs are instigators. They are leaders and are always eager to start new projects.

What Makes a Cardinal Sign Unique

The cardinal zodiac signs won’t hesitate to seek out new opportunities. They build support systems to help them achieve their goals and create a brighter future.

Cardinal signs are known for their drive and determination. If they set their sights on a goal, they won’t stop until they reach it.

This can prove to be detrimental at times though, especially if they’re at odds with a fixed or muted sign. The latter signs can find a cardinal sign’s tenacity frustrating and overwhelming at times.

Cardinal signs tend to be very blunt and straight-forward. Since they’re often on a mission, they don’t have time to beat around the bush. If they’re faced with an emotional crisis, they prefer to tackle it head-on.

Cardinal signs hate to feel lost. That’s why being goal-driven is so important to them. They tend to be hands-on problem solvers, so it’s important that they have something to work towards and give them purpose.


Aries season begins on March 21st, which means it kicks off on the first day of spring! Aries is the cardinal sign out of the three fire signs.

Upon first look, it may appear to best represent the cardinal signs. This is because Aries are considered natural leaders. They see conflict or a lack of leadership, and they rise to meet the occasion.

Aries want to make personal changes and see self-growth, so many of their pushes forward will be to better themselves, not necessarily the world around them. 

Aries act on their cardinal qualities by pioneering change and exploring unique visions. As a fire sign, there’s a lot of passion behind their drive, so expect them to throw themselves into new projects with all they’ve got.


Cancer is the water cardinal sign, and Cancer season begins on the first day of summer.

Cancers are known well for their emotional tendencies. This shouldn’t be painted as a bad thing though! In fact, Cancers often act on their emotions by taking on the role of protector in friendships and relationships.

They search out meaning in situations and relationships, so they will take initiative to create these emotional connections with the world around them. Their emotional intuitiveness can help them build relationships that will help them further their goals.


Libra is the air cardinal sign. Libra season starts on the date of the Autumn Equinox, September 21st.

Libras will often initiative in order to network and build up their team. In a more personal way, they’ll act similarly in order to find their other half or a soulmate. For Libras, action must be taken in order to create fulfilling relationships with others.

As an air sign, Libras are also interested in candid communication. They will take on the role of leader or mediator in order to promote healthy conversation between parties. This makes Libras great diplomats and strategists.

Libras are known for their balancing and negotiating skills. Once a Libra makes a decision, you can expect them to carry it out no matter what.


Capricorn is the earth cardinal sign, and its season begins on the first day of winter, December 21st. 

Capricorns strive to make visible changes in the world. They want to make their mark on the world, so you will often see Capricorns taking the lead in order to advance career-wise or to improve their reputation.

While a Capricorn can come off as cold due to their tendency to discard things or people once they lose their purpose, it’s important to note they aren’t doing it out of malice. Capricorns have a clear vision of what they want, and their desire to push forward and see their goals through can mean they may come off as insensitive. 

They care about practical achievement, and it’s important to them that they can measure their success through tangible means.

The Value of Cardinal Signs

Cardinal quality signs are incredibly important—they enact change and help the world progress in new and challenging ways. Now that you know how cardinal qualities affect a sign, you’ll be better suited to evaluate your own astrological chart and the charts of those around you!

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