Capricorn and the Cardinal Modality: Ambitiously driven to succeed

Capricorn is a sign that is incredible at setting new goals and going after them with everything they’ve got. But what makes Capricorn such a self-starter?

Capricorn is a cardinal sign of the Zodiac. The essence of cardinal mode is to initiate new beginnings. The ambitious and decisive cardinal modality, along with Capricorn’s earth element and Saturn influences, motivates Capricorn to take on new challenges with determination and hard work.

woman looking serious writing at her desk with a camera sitting near her computer, illustrating is capricorn cardinal

In astrology, cardinal mode is an active and constructive force that puts new things into motion. Read more to find out how this self-starting mode comes through in Capricorn, and what it may mean for you!

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The cardinal modality

Every season ushers in something new and fresh. This is the core of cardinal mode. The essence of this proactive modality is all about getting things going, taking action, not just sitting around and waiting for life to bring them what they want. Cardinal mode pushes for what is new and fresh.

The cardinal modality is part of the quadruplicity system in astrology. There are three modes in this system, cardinal mode, fixed mode, and mutable mode. Each one describes a unique approach to life or a way to deal with change in life. The twelve signs of the Zodiac are divided evenly between the three modes, and the position of the signs of each mode makes a cross shape on the natal chart.

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

On the chart above, you can see how the cardinal signs, Capricorn, Cancer, Libra, and Aries, form a cross shape. The signs of the fixed and mutable modes would create the same shape if labeled instead.

The quadruplicity system signifies the progression of a season through its cycle of creation, continuation, and then the transition where the beginning of the next season is nearing. For Capricorn, cardinal mode represents the start of winter.

How cardinal mode comes out in Capricorn

Winter is serious business for life on this planet. For nature, and for humankind for the vast majority of our history, winter was not something that can be taken lightly. It must be prepared for and action must be taken. There is no time to sit and think about feelings and no time for fun because survival is at stake. There is either tenaciously pushing yourself or all is lost. This looks a lot like cardinal mode at play in Capricorn.

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The cardinal modality inspires Capricorn to decide what needs to be done and to do it. Capricorn isn’t going to wait around and see what others may do, they are going to seek out ways to take action.

In the birth chart illustration above you can see that there are three other signs of the Zodiac that share cardinal mode: Cancer, Libra, and Aries. However, these signs are all very different from one another. They are each influenced by a ruling planet and a different element that results in each expressing its cardinal modality a little differently. In addition to the cardinal modality, Capricorn is also shaped by its ruler, Saturn, and by the earth element.

Capricorn’s cardinal energy is combined with the practical and stable earth element. This cardinal and earth blend makes Capricorn a sign that excels at quickly coming up with a plan and then sticking with it until it has seen it through. The earth element contributes the ability to focus and sense of commitment to Capricorn along with a practical and resourceful nature that gives it the ability to take an idea and turn it into something real.

Saturn is the ruling planet of Capricorn. Saturn asks us to set boundaries for ourselves and to conduct ourselves with self-control. It inspires Capricorn to have an incredible work ethic and gives it the ability to set its desires or even its own needs aside in the name of reaching a goal or fulfilling its duty. Under the influence of Saturn, Capricorn has a one-track mind that is focused squarely on the work it needs to do. Saturn challenges Capricorn to always take responsibility and step up with consistency.

friends sitting around a dinner table and clinking their glasses

Saturn encourages Capricorn to express its cardinal energy with maturity and a sense of honor. Capricorn has a sense of self-respect that it earns through hard work, and it doesn’t need the approval of others. This is a sign that is self-assured enough that it pushes itself toward what it wants to achieve for its own self-worth. No awards or ceremonies are necessary.

Stability and dependability make Capricorn a great, supportive person to have in your life who will always show up when they say they will. When they commit, they commit, and they will support their loved ones through the long haul. Their cardinal modality may make them love taking action and pushing in new directions, but their earth element and Saturn influences offer a great deal of patience as well.

The earth element, along with Saturn and cardinal mode, makes Capricorn restless to take on new challenges and well equipped to see them through. But these same qualities, when taken too far, can drive Capricorn to work themselves into the ground. Without balance, Capricorn has the potential to ignore their own emotional and physical needs, pushing themselves past a point that is healthy for themselves or their relationships. They can also be so laser-focused on their goal that they put their emotions on the backburner, coming off as cold and unfeeling. Capricorn needs to build in time to disconnect from their work and spend time alone to charge their batteries and refresh.

Every sign in the Zodiac has the potential to struggle if their strengths, characteristics, and qualities are taken too far, and Capricorn is no exception. But, if Capricorn can strike a balance between their incredible drive and protecting the emotional needs of themselves and those around them, their ambitious cardinal modality can lead them to great achievement and also inspire others to follow suit.

What do you want to learn about next?

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