The Cardinal signs are reckoned to be ‘initiators’ of the zodiac, a description which owes everything to the fact that the Sun enters a Catrdinal sign on the first day of each season: spring (Aries), summer (Cancer), autumn (Libra) and winter (Capricorn).
From the psychological standpoint, these signs are viewed as enterprising self-starters, with each one colouring a planetary impulse in a way that corresponds to the sign’s particular Element. Aries, for unstance, generates new momentum by force of will (Fire), while Cancer sets out to meet the world on an emotional level (Water) by building a secure environment – a role that it can skilfully play anywhere, not just in the home.
Libra’s impetus is directed towards creating harmonious relationships (Air) with a view to furthering its own ends, while capricorn is motivated by the desire to build solid foundations for material gain or worldly achievement (Earth).
The cardnial signs can also be described as pioneering.
They are at their best searching out new, exciting areas of life that they ca ‘conquer’. People with an excess of planets in Cardinal signs may be highly self-motivated with huge reserves of ‘get up and go’ but they also tend not to suffer fools gladly, and have little or no sympathy for those who do not function at the same pace as they do.
As a result, they can only become impatient, intolerant, and, occasionally, even ruthless.
The opposite is true of people with few or no planets in Cardinal signs. Lacking in any initiative of their own, they often have to rely on others to get projects off the ground.
Reference: The Instant Astrologer: Felix Lyle & Bryan Aspland