What Does It Mean To Be A Cardinal Sign?

"Only fools rush in," as the popular adage goes. But if it weren't for "fools," imagine how boring and uninspired life could be. Besides, taking risks also calls for an innate understanding that no gamble is a guaranteed win. As with most things in life, you can only be so prepared for sudden curveballs, so why not make moves whenever you can?

This is the principle under which cardinal signs operate. As one of the three modalities in astrology (the other two are the fixed and the mutable signs), cardinal signs are the kickstarters and the go-getters among the zodiac signs. "These signs start every season — Aries kicks off spring, Cancer starts summer, Libra begins fall, and Capricorn is the first winter sign," AstroStyle explained. This placement makes them natural leaders who can generate ideas and direct others to action — in short, they're the type to rush in where the more cautious signs fear to tread, but they're definitely no fools.

Cardinal signs are leaders not just in career matters but also in their personal relationships. They prefer to initiate things, whether by trying out spread dating to find a potential partner or taking charge of the pace of a budding connection. Astrologer Theresa Reed told Bustle that these people are all about growth and moving toward the next goal. While the manner and method may differ per sign, you can be sure that they don't sit still in one spot for too long.

Cardinal signs like to be the leader of the pack

According to Cafe Astrology, cardinal signs tend to control everything and everyone around them, so it's difficult for them to be mere followers. Their ruling element holds the clue for the areas in life where they need to be in charge.

Fiery Aries wants to be the one to forge the path for others to follow, befitting their position as the first sign of the zodiac. Per Mind Body Green, they tap into the energy of their ruler, Mars, to go after what they desire and fight whoever gets in their way. The watery Cancer, meanwhile, wants to feel in control over the family and the home. They use the intuitive wisdom given by their ruler, the Moon, to create an environment where they and their loved ones feel emotionally secure, even if it means mothering everyone. 

In comparison, airy Libra is a natural trendsetter and social butterfly. Thanks to their ruling planet Venus' natural charm, they assert control over their social and romantic relationships in a more pleasant and gracious (but no less powerful) way. Finally, the earthy and hardworking Capricorn is concerned with material security and legacy. Ruled by Saturn, the AstroTwins described them to Mind Body Green as "business mavens and CEOs who push the team toward success — and keep the bar raised high." They're reliable, albeit intense, and have high expectations for themselves.

Cardinal signs must learn to compromise to avoid power struggles

Everyone deserves to have a cardinal sign in their corner to lead and protect them. However, these folks may run into conflict when working with a fellow cardinal sign or someone whose astrological chart is cardinal-dominant. "[They] tend to be renegades in some ways since they are action-oriented and hate being slowed down by red tape or process," the AstroTwins told Mind Body Green, adding, "They'd rather beg for forgiveness than ask for permission." This "act now, consult others later" can lead to power struggles, with loved ones, friends, and colleagues feeling bulldozed over by the cardinal sign's approach. Mutable signs may be more open to being directed by cardinal signs but fixed signs would push back if they're already set on another course (per Astro Adviser).

Listening to others goes a long way in avoiding relationship conflict. Cardinal signs must realize that as great as they are in generating new ideas and jumping into new endeavors, they also need the stability and tenacity of fixed signs to see their goals through. Plus, they can rely on the mutable signs' ability to integrate different perspectives to streamline their action plans and solve potential problems. After all, what is a leader who has no team to support them? Cardinal signs would do well to learn how to work with others so they can live up to their role as astrology's creative movers and shakers.