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The word cardinal describes one of the three qualities or types of energy operating within the zodiac.

Cardinal energy is active and creative, and is embodied in the signs of Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn.

The other two qualities are fixed and mutable.

The term cardinal less frequently is used synonymously with the chart angles and their houses: the first, fourth, seventh, and tenth; perhaps because the term cardines (Latin cardo), or "hinges" was used in Antiquity for the four chart angles.


  • Deborah Houlding, 2006, The Houses: Temples of the Sky, The Wessex Astrologer Ltd.