Cardinal sign (astrology)

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This article is about the zodiac signs. For the five cardinal signs of inflammation, see Inflammation#Clinical_signs.

In astrology, a cardinal sign (also called by older astrologers a moveable sign) is a sign of the zodiac that initiates a change of temperate zone season when the Sun makes its annual passage into them.

The word "cardinal" originates from the Latin word for "hinge," since they each mark the turning point of a temperate season. They were called moveable by traditional astrologers because, as Bonatti says, the "air" changes when the Sun enters each of these signs, bringing a change of season.[1] Sometimes the word cardinal is confused with the word angular. Angular signs are those signs which are located on the astrological angles of any given natal chart. Angular houses may be cardinal, fixed or mutable, depending on the birth time of the chart, but only Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn are cardinal signs.

The Cardinal zodiac signs[edit]

The four cardinal signs are:

  • Cancer (Cancer.svg), which begins the summer in the northern hemisphere, and the winter in the southern hemisphere.
  • Libra (Libra.svg), which begins the autumn in the northern hemisphere, and the spring in the southern hemisphere.
  • Capricorn (Capricorn.svg), which begins the winter in the northern hemisphere, and the summer in the southern hemisphere.


  1. ^ Guido Bonatti, Liber Astronomiae, Part II. [tr. Robert Zoller]. Project Hindsight Latin Track, The Golden Hind Press (Berkeley Springs, WV, 1994.) Pp. 2-3.