©10-4-2010 by Donna Cunningham, MSW
Thousands of readers have used my tests to measure the strength of the planets in their birth charts. Recently it occurred to me that it would be possible to create similar scales to see which of the three modes of being—Cardinal, Fixed, or Mutable—dominate an astrology chart. This series is easier for beginning students than the planetary tests were because you don’t have to work with aspects.
This test for the Cardinal signs—Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn—is perhaps the most important assessment for the next several years. The effects of transits by the slower moving planets—Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto—are stretching the usually stalwart Cardinal signs to their limits. To the extent that you ARE Cardinal, you are also vulnerable now and can be called on to make major adjustments in your lifestyle.
The Cardinal signs represent our ability to set specific goals for ourselves—hopefully, realizable ones—and to go after them with all the strength at our command until we either fulfill them or reevaluate and direct our efforts toward another specific aim. Each of the four signs focuses on a different set of ends and goes after them in somewhat different ways, depending on their element.
They’re a mixed blessing—when you have little or no cardinal energy in the horoscope, you have a harder time initiating goal-directed activities and believing you”ll succeed at them. Too much cardinal energy can make you so goal-oriented as to lack balance in your life and ignore important needs that don’t directly contribute to your aims. Below is a scale you can use to determine how strong the Cardinal signs are in a given chart.
Non-Traditional Ways of Being Cardinal
I’ve added some non-traditional features to the tests for each of the three modes. These features represent ways that, in my estimation, other chart placements that add strength to the qualities of that mode.
As an example of the extra factors, in this test for Cardinal qualities, points are added for the strength of the Mars and Jupiter as measured in the planetary tests. Mars is our ability to initiate and go after things we desire; and Jupiter is the energy of outward expansion.
Mars does rule a Cardinal sign (Aires)—perhaps the most cardinal of all in its strong, vital energy. Cardinal individuals with a weak Mars might be lacking in the kind of drive and momentum that could carry their goals along. Jupiter rules Sagittarius, a mutable sign, and yet its fiery nature and eternal optimism do much to sustain the drive Cardinals bring to their goals
Add 10 % of your score on the tests for those two planets (linked below). Then, round them off. For example, 10% of a score of 35 would give you 3.5, rounded off to 4 points, but a score of 34 would be 3.4, rounded off to 3.
Aries is the Cardinal fire sign, but I’ve also added a few points for planets in the other fire signs—Leo and Sagittarius—because their high energy adds a tirelessness that can give a flagging Cardinal sign a boost.
I’ve also added a few points for planets in the 4 angular houses (1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th) because those houses describe areas of life that the external world—rightly or wrongly—recognizes as measurable, tangible accomplishments. Strongly Cardinal individuals are all about their accomplishments. It’s harder to measure things that the mutable signs value, like spiritual growth, intellectual prowess, or willingness to serve others.
And, finally, I’ve added points for the Moon’s North Node being in a Cardinal sign or an angular house, but none for it being in the South Node. That’s because the North Node is an indication of ONE of our life purposes—the house matters in particular point us toward areas of life where we have substantial work to do. These are areas where we can earn either tangible rewards and/or karmic brownie points for applying ourselves earnestly.
The South Node, on the other hand, is an area we have over-developed in past incarnations and thus can be tempted to take the easy way out, avoiding the work of the opposite house.
You will doubtlessly note that the tests for the Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable scores are quite different from one another in what those non-traditional features are. Thus, the results will not be precisely parallel from one test to another.
I’m comfortable with that and hope you are too. (As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”) These test instruments are in no way a scientific measurement.
Here’s the test. As in the planetary scales, include points for each chart feature that applies, then total up all the points for your final score.
____ The Sun, Moon, Ascendant, or Midheaven in cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn), 5 points each
____ Other planets or Chiron in cardinal signs, 3 points each.
Nontraditional Factors–Bonus points:
_____ Planets in the angular houses (1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th), 1 point each
_____ Planets in Leo and Sagittarius, 1 point each
_____ The Moon’s NORTH Node in cardinal signs or angular houses, 2 points each.
_____ 10% of your Mars score, rounded off. (How Strong is your Mars? Here’s the Score!
_____ 10% of your Jupiter score, rounded off (See How Strong is your Jupiter? Here’s the Score! )
Since this is a brand new measurement, I don’t know yet exactly how many points would make your score strong or weak. I’d guess that below 15 would be considered weak, 15-25 would be moderate, and anything above 25 would be considered strong.
In this case, I’d say a moderate score is the probably best result—too few points would mean that it’s hard for you to initiate and go after activities that are focused on your major goals. Too many points could mean you’re too driven—a Type A personality—and need to learn how to live a balanced life with time to rest and play.
How did you do? Since this is a completely new test, you’re a beta tester and your input is valuable. Let us know your score in the comment section down below this article so we can see what the range of scores is on this test.
Are you impacted by the transiting planets in the early degrees of the Cardinal Signs? Here are several collections of articles that can help you get a perspective on what’s going on: Cardinal T-Square Articles.
Earlier Posts about the Elements and Modes:
- Mars Mission 3: Understanding Mars in the Fixed Signs
- Cardinal T-Square Articles
- Venus in the Elements: Fire, Earth, Air, & Water
- Missing Elements and How They Affect Your Relationships
- Four Kinds of Smart—Air, Earth, Fire, and Water
- Cosmic Piñata #4: Astrological Oddities—or Not?
In case you missed them, here are the popular astrology tests:
- How Fixed are You? Here’s the Score!
- How Mutable are You? Here’s the Score!
- How Strong is your Sun? Here’s the Score!
- How Strong is your Moon? Here’s the Score?
- How Strong is your Mercury? Here’s the Score!
- How Strong is your Mars? Here’s the Score!
- How Strong is your Jupiter? Here’s the Score!
- How Strong is your Saturn? Here’s the Score!
- How Strong is your Uranus? Here’s the Score!
- How Strong is your Neptune? Here’s the Score!
- How Strong is your Pluto? Here’s the Score!
- From Joyce Mason: Chiron Quiz: How Strong is Your Chiron? and The Chiron Resonance Quiz: What’s Your Chi-Res Score?
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