When you think about your zodiac sign, your mind probably goes straight to your Sun sign. That’s the one you look at when you read your horoscope to figure out just how much the current astrological events will impact your life (that last Mercury retrograde? Oof). But, like so many other things in life, astrology isn’t one-dimensional—it has dozens of different types of signs that help define who you are, including a category you may not have heard of: cardinal signs.
Maybe a friend said you were a cardinal sign at some point, and you were a little confused. Or maybe you stumbled upon it in your astro research and wanted to know WTH it means. Like, does it have anything to do with the colour red or your feathered friends? (Probs not, but hey, ya never know…)
Not to worry, here’s everything you need to know about being a cardinal sign, according to Donna Page, a certified astrologer in Atlanta.
What is a cardinal sign, exactly?
If you’re a zodiac buff, you already know there are different types of signs in astrology: You have your Sun sign, your Moon sign, and your rising sign, among others. But while these are planetary signs—determined by where a certain planet was in the sky when you were born—a cardinal sign is a quality sign.
Quality signs help determine how you approach things in life, and there are three major ones (each encompassing four Sun signs): cardinal signs, fixed signs, and mutable signs.
To make it even more interesting, quality signs line up with the four seasons. In a nutshell, that means cardinal signs start each weather season, mutable signs end every season, and fixed signs are in the middle of each season.
How can you tell if you’re a cardinal sign?
This is super easy—your cardinal sign is determined by your Sun sign. So, if you’re an Aries, Cancer, Libra, or Capricorn, you’re a cardinal sign, Page says.
Back to that whole seasons thing—each of these four Sun signs is tied to the beginning of a new season. Aries starts Spring, Cancer kicks off summer, Libra begins fall, and Capricorn rings in winter, says Page. So, yeah, you’re kind of a big deal in the sky and on the ground.
What are the common traits of a cardinal sign?
If you’re a cardinal sign, you’re, first and foremost, a born leader.
“They initiate things,” Page says. “Their energy is about jumping in and pushing things forward.” Cardinal signs are movers and shakers, she says, so you’re not the type who sits around their ass, waiting for things to happen.
You also love uniqueness and are a total trendsetter (like, you wore army pants and flip flops way before Regina George did).
You’re also super amazing at coming up with plans and a total pro at getting others to rally around you. Need to get people on the dance floor? Everyone looks to you to get the party started.
How does being a cardinal sign affect your life?
It’s a little different for each Sun sign, but as a whole, being a cardinal sign can have a big impact on how you approach life.
In relationships, you want to make things happen. You’ll work hard to make sure your love life is thriving. And once it is, you’re always on the lookout for the next step, whether that’s moving in together, getting engaged, or popping out babies.
On the career front, you’re the one everyone wants on their team. You have the motivation to push things forward and, honestly, you make everyone else look good in the process. (Go, you.)
Overall, in life, you’re all about building on any existing momentum to take things to the next level. For example, as soon as you finish running a 5-K, you’re ready for a 10-K. And, if that gets your adrenaline pumping, you’ll totally do a half marathon and full marathon at some point. That’s just how you roll, Cardinal.
What else should you know about being a cardinal sign?
Being a cardinal sign is pretty d*mn awesome (hello, you lead everyone), but you’ll need to keep in mind that, sometimes, it’s okay to just kick back and ~be~.
Sure, pushing things forward is your thing, but it’s also nice to just chill out, drink a beer, and watch the clouds roll by. After that, you can totally get back to ruling the world, as you do best.
This article originally appeared on Women’s Health US.
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