The word ‘cardinal’ comes from the latin ‘cardo’, meaning hinge. When we use the word ‘cardinal’ in any context, we always refer to something fundamental, essential, without which things would not be possible. The root meaning of this word is actually pretty misleading when it comes to understanding the nature of zodiac signs we call “cardinal”.
These signs, and their respective energies are not more important or more fundamental, as far as the functioning of the universe is concerned, than mutable or fixed signs. What makes these signs unique and particular is their action oriented and initiative energy.
the signs of the zodiac represent the 4 classical elements: fire, earth, air and water. Among each element there is one cardinal sign, one fixed and one mutable. The cardinal signs, while remaining true to their nature express their elemental energies in a dynamic manner. Cardinal signs bring initiation, linear energy and aggression. When planets are in cardinal signs, they behave and influence us in a way that encourages and pushes us towards taking action.
When everything goes well, cardinal energies will propel us to great heights of success, but they can cause foolishness and misfortune. As planets cannot make us do anything, (we have our own mind and determination for that), their influence is felt in tendencies. Planetary energies give support for different types of actions according to their nature and modality.
To put it in simple words, depending on their position in the birth chart planets in cardinal signs magnify our own efforts or short comings in the area they rule. People with cardinal signs in ascendant are usually outspoken and self-assured, but they can become overbearing and downright aggressive at times. Planets in the signs of Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn give us explosive strength to start and initiate something, but not the stamina necessary for bringing the project to fruition.
If we are fortunate enough to have a well balanced birth chart, we receive supportive planetary energies for stamina from planets in fixed signs, and flexibility from planets in mutable signs. Even though cardinal energies alone are not enough for success, it is still significant where these houses fall in a person’s horoscope to understand better the individual’s personality. Moon, ruler of the mind, in a cardinal sign shows innovative thinking and also an inquiring mind. Mars, the Warrior Planet in cardinal signs often shows athletic ability and competitiveness in sports. Venus, when infused with cardinal energies makes a person approachable and easy-going in friendships and relationships, while Mercury brings business and communication to the fore.
When it comes to the transit of the planets through the Zodiac, Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn signals supportive and auspicious times for new beginnings. Starting a new business, opening a store, launching a new project, introducing a new product are the activities that can really benefit from the initiative energies. When planets are transiting these signs, it seems as if we had an extra engine for the take off of our projects. There is also a general sense of enthusiasm and excitement, so not only our plans get a wonderful start, but we also feel this energy in our body and soul.