The cardinal signs are Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn, and in the tropical zodiac, they correspond to the beginning of the seasons of spring, summer, fall, and winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Cardinal signs initiate, and focus on new beginnings. Cardinal signs are also fundamentally concerned with the question of identity.
Cardinal signs are trail blazers and pioneers. They have a tremendous amount of initiative, and are extremely self-motivated. Cardinal signs are often associated with leadership, although they come by this accidentally, for the most part; they don't have a fundamental desire to lead, per se, but they do not want to be led themselves. If people follow them, or learn from their example, that's fine, but it's not their primary motivation for acting.
Cardinal signs seek to express and define individual identity; their tremendous energy and drive is necessary to break free of the collective and establish a sense of individuality. Each cardinal sign is concerned with a different aspect of identity, depending on the element involved. Aries, the cardinal fire sign, is concerned with simply creating and expressing an individual identity; Cancer, the cardinal water sign, is concerned with establishing and expressing an emotional identity; Libra, the cardinal air sign, is concerned with one's social and intellectual identity; and Capricorn, the cardinal earth sign, is concerned with creating a physical and tangible manifestation of identity.
While cardinal signs tend to be very dynamic, charismatic, direct, and impulsive, they also have some lessons to learn as well. First and foremost, cardinal signs are only concerned with starting new things: they care little for seeing a new venture through to completion, and tend to lose interest quickly. As soon as something becomes routine, cardinal signs become bored and start looking for something new to start. Cardinal signs must learn the art of impulse control; they tend to act as soon as they get a new idea, and rarely if ever take the time to think things through, or create an organized plan of action.
When pressured, the first reaction
of a cardinal sign is to defend itself by counterattacking. Cardinal
signs are the embodiment of the phrase, "Shoot first, ask questions