Cancer and the Cardinal Modality: Compassionate go-getter

Cancer is a nurturing force in the Zodiac, and the sign is known for injecting deep emotions into a situation or relationship and forming strong bonds with others. But why does Cancer work so hard to seek out people to take care of?

Cancer is a cardinal sign of the Zodiac. The essence of cardinal mode is to be the starting force for new things. This eager and active cardinal modality, along with Cancer’s water and Moon influences, urges Cancer to inject emotions into situations where there were none before. They add feeling.

a woman holding a man's hand at a table, symbolizing is cancer cardinal

Cardinal mode is a driving power in the Zodiac. Read on to learn how this ambitious energy comes through in Cancer, and what that may mean for you!

The cardinal modality

Each season is a new beginning and the chance for fresh opportunities, which is the spirit of cardinal mode. The essence of this modality is to get the ball rolling with things, create something that wasn’t there before, and start moving in new directions.

Modalities, also called qualities in astrology, are collectively referred to as quadruplicities. The quadruplicities describe different ways of taking action, leading, or adapting. The three modalities are cardinal mode, fixed mode, and mutable mode, and the signs are divided evenly among them. The signs of each mode form a cross on the birth chart.

a natal chart showing that Aries, Cancer, Capricorn, and Libra are all cardinal mode and form a cross on the chart

You can see in the chart above how Cancer, along with the other cardinal signs, Libra, Capricorn, and Aries, form a cross. This pattern would look similar for the fixed and mutable modes, as well.

The three modes signify the movement of a season through its cycle of birth, enduring through that long middle period, and the season dying and transforming into the next. Cardinal mode for Cancer represents the beginning of summer.

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How cardinal mode comes out in Cancer

The summer sun brings warmth and intensity, much like Cancer. Cardinal mode encourages Cancer to wear its heart on its sleeve, to take a risk with its vulnerability by letting its emotions come out in situations where feelings hadn’t played a role before.

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As we learned above, three other signs share the cardinal modality: Libra, Capricorn, and Aries. However, because they are also under the influence of a ruling planet and one of the elements, they don’t all express cardinal mode in the same fashion. Cancer is also affected by the water element and its ruler, the Moon.

For Cancer, the cardinal modality is combined with the empathetic and compassionate water element. Cardinal mode and water combine to make Cancer a sign that is proactive when it comes to finding new people to take care of and offer love to. The water element adds deep and protective nature to Cancer, encouraging this sign to not be content to sit and wait for feelings to come to them. They will go out and find areas of life or people that need their strong emotions and initiate a connection.

The Moon is the ruling planet of Cancer. This is a planet that asks us to explore our emotional needs and desires. It encourages us to dig into the shadowy unconscious and to reveal the hidden motivations that, at times, drives our behavior without us even realizing it. To the combination of the eager cardinal mode and emotional water element, the Moon adds a longing to connect and belong.

two women talking outdoors, one is older than the other

The Moon inspires Cancer to demonstrate their cardinal energy with an added boost of sensitivity. Cancer is tenacious when it comes to nurturing new relationships, and about taking care of and protecting those already in their lives. With a nearly neverending amount of compassion, Cancer will put its heart out there and offer its emotional support to others.

The water element combined with the influence of the Moon and the cardinal modality makes Cancer a powerful, feeling force that can bring warmth to the people in their lives. But, they may also lose control of their strong emotions resulting in intense mood swings. If their vulnerability, or that of a loved one, is threatened, Cancer is very capable of defending and protecting, but this can also be taken too far. They could lose their temper and take on a “salt the earth” mentality with the person who has wronged them. Also, cancer has to feel and they have to find others to take care of, but on overdrive, this could come across as smothering.

But, there isn’t any sign in the Zodiac that can’t find that their strengths, when pushed too far, can result in challenges. Everything, even great things, need to be kept in balance. If Cancer is successful at this, their go-getter cardinal modality can bring more love and compassion to the lives of many.

What do you want to learn about next?

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