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Everything You Should Know About Astrology's 4 Cardinal Signs

Sarah Regan
Author: Expert reviewer:
June 18, 2021
Sarah Regan
mbg Spirituality & Relationships Editor
By Sarah Regan
mbg Spirituality & Relationships Editor
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, and a registered yoga instructor. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.
The AstroTwins
Expert review by
The AstroTwins
Ophira and Tali Edut, known as the AstroTwins, are professional astrologers based out of New York and Seattle. Their work has been featured in The New York Times, Elle Magazine, Vogue and Good Morning America and they are the authors AstroStyle, Love Zodiac, Shoestrology, and Momstrology.

You know your sun sign, but do you know whether that sign is fixed, mutable, or cardinal? Each zodiac sign falls under one of those three categories, with Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn being the four cardinal signs. Here's what it means to be cardinal and why it matters, according to the AstroTwins.

What is a cardinal sign?

The cardinal signs kick off every season, with Aries starting spring, Cancer starting summer, Libra starting fall, and Capricorn, winter. As the AstroTwins tell mbg, this "starter" energy is precisely what makes these signs such great leaders.

"They're the 'idea people' of the zodiac," they note, adding, "These signs prize originality and like to be first in everything they do." And they often are—as they're usually the ones to start (and spot) trends before they're cool.

If you're looking for someone to come up with or initiate a plan or idea, call on the cardinal signs in your life. They're also the ones you can count on to get a party started and the crowd hyped, the twins say.

A deeper dive into each cardinal sign.

While the cardinal signs share many qualities, there is some nuance to how those cardinal qualities manifest. Within each category of cardinal, fixed, or mutable, there is a sign for each element (fire, earth, air, and water). And if you're into astrology, you likely know the elements play a big role in how different signs think and behave.

Here's a deeper dive into the four cardinal signs.


Aries season is not only the beginning of spring; it's the beginning of the entire astrological calendar year, making these folks true trailblazers. Aries also embodies cardinal fire, and as such, they're the ones who break ground on new ideas, the twins say.

They're also the ones to "get everyone into action like a team captain or five-star general," they add. With their planetary ruler, Mars as the planet of desire, action, war, and heat, it's no wonder Aries are always on the move.


When it comes to "holding down the fort," you can think of Cancer. This sign embodies "mama bear" energy, according to the twins, and they often "lead the way with creating the emotional environment in a home or organization," they add.

Cancer is cardinal water, which makes Cancers themselves more emotional and highly intuitive. Their ruling planet is also the moon, offering them a particularly sensitive side and a desire for comfort.


Want to know what's on trend? Look to a Libra, as these fabulous signs are the true trendsetters of the zodiac. They're the "aesthete, fashionista, and tastemaker who sets standards in beauty and social environments," the twins explain.

Ruled by Venus, the planet of love, relationships, and pleasure, these folks love love and want everything to be beautiful (like everything, all the time). They are cardinal air, so they're also often sociable, flirtatious, and a bit indecisive.


And last but not least, we have Capricorn. If you've ever met a Cap, it may come as no surprise that the twins describe them as the "business mavens and CEOs who push the team toward success—and keep the bar raised high."

Capricorn is cardinal earth, giving them a somewhat solemn demeanor and tendency to take themselves seriously. They are ruled by Saturn, which is all about responsibility and hard work—again, no surprise there. They may be a bit intense to work with, but you know they'll always do a good job.

Do cardinal signs get along?

While mutable signs are known to get along quite well, the same can't always be said for cardinal signs, according to the twins. Of course, conflict isn't totally guaranteed, but because all four of these signs like to take charge, they can definitely butt heads.

"There can be a power struggle among these signs since they are all take-charge and tend to think things should be their way," the twins explain, adding cardinal signs (or people with cardinal-sign-dominant charts) "tend to be renegades in some ways since they are action-oriented and hate being slowed down by red tape or process."

In the eyes of cardinal signs, the twins note, "they’d rather beg for forgiveness than ask for permission."

How cardinal signs can find balance.

So, how can these innovative and ambitious signs find balance? According to the twins, "getting aligned on the vision is step one," and from there, they need to divide up "territories" to reign over.

"For example," the twins say, "as housemates, one can be in charge of the garden and the other the kitchen." Or in business, one can focus on creativity and the other the marketing division. "They will need to meet and check in regularly to make sure they're aligned."

The twins add that for cardinal signs, it never hurts to have a third-party organizer like a coach, consultant, or therapist to make sure these meetings happen!

The bottom line.

Whether your sun sign is cardinal or you have a lot of cardinal placements in your birth chart, you're likely somewhat of a trendsetter—and definitely a self-starter. Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn have no problem jumping into a new project, and you can be sure they'll come with good ideas. They're good folks to have in your corner and on your team, and while they may want things their way, their way is probably pretty clever.

Sarah Regan author page.
Sarah Regan
mbg Spirituality & Relationships Editor

Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, a registered yoga instructor, and an avid astrologer and tarot reader. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from State University of New York at Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.