What You Need To Know About Cardinal Signs

When you consider your main zodiac sign — aka your sun sign — you probably think about the month you were born or the element associated with your sign. But did you know that your sign is also affected by seasonality?

The place your sign falls in its season of the year is known as its "modality." And because there are three months to each season, there are three possible modalities into which your sign might fall: cardinal, mutable, and fixed. Signs in the same modality tend to interact with energy in the same way, whether in terms of action, self-expression, or emotional reactivity (via PopSugar).

Fixed signs, which include Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius, are prone to be the most stubborn or consistent in their ways. Mutable signs, on the other hand, are generally the most changeable and adaptive, which we see in Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces. But what if you aren't any of those signs? That means your zodiac sits among the group known as cardinal signs.

What are cardinal signs?

Cardinal signs represent the first astrological period in a new season, including Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn. Aries, which falls between March 21 and April 19, is not only the first sign in spring but the first sign of the entire zodiac cycle. Then, Cancer launches summer from June 21 to July 22, Libra kicks off fall from September 23 to October 22, and Capricorn begins the final season — winter — from December 22 to January 19 (via Horoscope.com).

"The word 'cardinal' comes from the Latin word cardinalis, which means 'serving as a hinge,'" astrologer Clarisse Monahan tells Bustle. "Hinge means to bring something forward, and cardinal signs always initiate, or bring forward, the seasons. Their energy is very potent as it ignites and launches things forward."

The concept of modality is not limited to your sun sign, and the proactive energy of cardinal signs can manifest in various aspects of your life. For instance, if your Venus is in a cardinal sign, you may have a strong romantic drive and a tendency to go after the person you want. Or, if you have a cardinal sign for your Mars, you're probably more than willing to fight and put in the work to get ahead. But if your sun sign is indeed in Aries, Cancer, Libra, or Capricorn, you're likely to see a broad impact on your outward personality.

How does being a cardinal sign impact your personality?

Every sign in the zodiac has its own profile and idiosyncrasies, but common threads run through the four signs contained in any modality. When it comes to cardinal signs, people born in these periods tend to be high-energy and impactful. Because cardinal signs are positioned at the beginning of the season, this modality imbues a powerful, trailblazing manner. Ambitious and creative, these signs can be seen as independent leaders at best or pushy and impatient at worst (via Astrology Zone).

These personality traits can be a huge boon to creative endeavors, as cardinal signs aren't afraid to experiment or push the boundaries of something new. They're quick to initiate and not as susceptible to distractions as mutable signs.

You'll also find that people with cardinal signs in their charts have trouble sitting still because they are quintessential doers. With cardinal signs, a Netflix binge is less likely to mean lounging on the sofa and more likely to mean some show running in the background while they fold laundry, deep clean the kitchen, or upcycle an old bookshelf. Because they're always chasing growth, relaxation and productivity go hand-in-hand.

For better or for worse, cardinal signs can also have a competitive streak. In their minds, anything worth doing is worth doing first and best (via Astrostyle). So if you're a cardinal sign that always finds yourself striving to set a new trend at the office or dominate your nieces and nephews at Monopoly, know that you're in good company.