Cardinal Control vs Scorpio Control

My friend, Ben got my newsletter today. He sent me this:

“Hey Elsa! What’s the difference between Cardinal sign control and Scorpio sign control?”
I responded:ย 
Cardinal signs want to lead and be in charge. The boss. The general. The mom. The dad.

Scorpio is concerned with the unseen world.
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Cardinal Control vs Scorpio Control — 63 Comments

  1. So the signs and/or planets placed in cardinal house positions (1, 4, 7,10) will exert their energy in a cardinal fashion, correct?

    Example, a first house Virgo Sun, will come across as cardinal…? Even though Virgo is mutable, being placed in the 1st will overlay some of the cardinal energy?

  2. Scorpio/8th House control is stealthy and sophisticated. Cardinal control reflects the idea that the Cardinal person is the one who knows how things are done and tends to be more bossy/upfront about it but also more rigid and patronizing. Scorpio reflects more of an occult controlling strategy.

  3. I’d say that the cardinal signs are bossy, controlling, leading, they bring people together, they are overt in their need to be in control. Either of themselves or of the family, or the business, or subtly, of the partnership.

    Scorpio control can be at a distance, but it’s pervasive. I think they want to know and control how you think and what you feel.

  4. I’ll take the Scorpio control energy over the obnoxiously self-absorbed opinionated and ultimately dull energy of the Cardinal signs, any day.

  5. I agree Scorpio can control how you think/what you feel, and those changes are not so reversible. Cardinal signs are more concerned with action, what you do. My Cancer sun, Aries moon mom can force me to do things her way a million times, but she has to micromanage each instance, and I can always go back to doing things my way when she’s not present, the change is not permanent.

  6. I don’t think Scorpio is controlling. They sure as hell don’t control me. If you’re being controlled by Scorpio, it’s probably because you are weak and using their energy to stay that way.

    • Straight forward almost to the point of being bland. They is what they is. I can respect that. I don’t have any scorpios close as far as constant interaction but we do keep in touch and we are right there with each other when we do. My bestest bosses were scorpios. The round table meetings rocked. Oh but I had one lady lemon: unsavory direction. So when it’s good, it really good, but when it’s misdirected, it can really suck?

      • Actually that was a reply to Elsa’s comment, (hit the wrong button.) I have both Aries and Scorpio, and find cardinals more controlling because they are insecure, because their energy ebbs and flows. Scorpio is never insecure. The energy is relentless, constant. I thank heaven I have the Scorpio rising to protect me and give me time to consider, not react and give in to child-like behaviour, well not too much!

    • Good point. I’ve never been controlled by a Scorpio either. But they do have a way of setting a tone for everything that goes on around them. That’s the magnetism at work, I think.

      I looked at charts of two great lady friends of mine, and two guys I’ve been romantically/sexually involved with… all Scorpio suns, and they all have strong Cardinal placements as well, coincidentally. For the most part they are all just very perceptive people who are not oblivious to their surroundings. I’ve had experiences with each of them that have changed me irreversibly like a chemical reaction, simply by them bringing things to light that cannot be unseen (in metaphorical sense).

      I know plenty of other Scorpio suns, and besides them keeping a tight inner circle, it’s hard to think of any of them as controlling people… There are some with truckloads of power/resources. And I can see how people might (willingly) fall under a “spell” of certain Scorpios while remaining on the outside of said circle.

  7. I am not sure that cardinal controlling can go the distance. Scorpio has to, so there are more considerations. Maybe that’s fixed in general. I am thinking about my work team. The Aries and Libra, pushing 40, are definitely pushing for position. But there is an older Aries and she’s going back to school in her late 50s and more focussed on that, than position and telling people what to do. So it might be an age thing too. We are adding 13 more people to the team. Oh yay, more astrology lessons. They have been shadowing us. I had really engaged people shadowing me. Overall it was good, but I am wondering about one of shadows that sat with the Aries, ‘do I have to do this, do I have to do that?’ And she was looking around the whole time like she wasn’t there. What up with her? She will be across the aisle from me. Can’t wait to know her. The Aries was irate about her lacksadaisical shadow. Fun write, Elsa. People, we are so funny.

  8. Cardinal energy wants to control your actions.
    The downside is, that can be annoying.
    The upside is, you are free to think what you want.

    Scorpio energy wants to control your mind.
    The downside is, that can be scary.
    The upside is, you are free to do what you want if you exercise that freedom.

  9. With Cardinal energy, you know where you stand.

    With Scorpio energy, you don’t really know where you stand (even if you think you do – actually, ESPECIALLY if you think you do).
    That can be unsettling.

  10. Yes, the difference is that Scorpio is fixed, so they become focused on some goal and it becomes like a life or death battle to reach it. It’s different from cardinal because Scorpio feels his soul is on the line- it’s compulsive- where as Cardinal wants to reach a goal because it’s in its nature to be the boss or have authority. Cardinal uses more upfront means of force/punishment, and not to mention hard labor/toil, whereas Scorpio uses magnetism, charisma, and stealth,

  11. I think Cardinal energy works on a conscious level and scorpio energy works on an unconscious level. I think both have control over their environment but scorpio doesn’t exert any conscious will, where a cardinal would. Cardinal energy is directed outward into the material world and scorpios control comes from looking within. There’s also a difference between being controlling and being in control.

    I have both. I think I do have a lot of power to influence my environment. But that’s scary for me honestly.

    • Thanks for pointing that out – Controlling vs being in Control! I know a woman (Air sign)so controlling that I hesitate to attend a social event or outing with her any longer, because it seems nothing can happen naturally or evolve throughout the day, no spontaneity, for she has everything lined up down to the second, and if you don’t follow her timeline, then it’s like you have no moral character, and you’re ruining her day. Controlling people of that sort seem to me to always be in a dither when even the least thing comes up, and so try to control others because they themselves feel out of control. As to BEING in control, the first thought that came to my mind was Capt Sullenberger . . . as well as the many ordinary everyday people who have the capability to step up and take charge.

      • oops, meant to describe sign as Mutable (I need to hang up the phone and type)as to the woman who over-engineers even a stroll through the park – the topic is cardinal vs scorpio anyway

  12. Simple, cardinal energy is recognizable on some level, whereas Scorpio doesn’t want you (or maybe even themselves) to know they’re controlling.

  13. I see it as water signs being sensitive by their nature and element;therefore, they tend to feel quite vulnerable. I regard Scorpios as being the most sensitive of the water signs because they are so attuned to what is conscious AND what is unconscious (underlying, hidden, invisible, covert, etc); consequently, their sense of vulnerability is often heightened. The more insecure they feel; the more controlling they tend to be, understandably so. But the more secure the are, then I’ve experienced them to be influential (rather than controlling), supportive, and amazingly empowering!

  14. I don’t see cardinal signs as controlling. The desire to lead is definitely there but leading is not the same as controlling. And in fact, a good leader will steer and direct, but knows that the outcome is never able to be controlled; life is not that simple.

    The desire to control endemic to fixed signs (e.g., Scorpio) comes from an innate resistance to change or to assuage the deep anxiety that can accompany the unknown. Not knowing what is coming down the pike is scary so one engages in controlling behaviors to make things less scary.

  15. This post and comment thread stimulated a REALLY ROUSING morning conversation between me (Scorp) and husband (Cancer). He likened one of his strategies to being a ‘fisherperson’ who decides how he ‘plays’ fishinging: fish/no fish; give a lot of line/reel in tight. The topic went into fields and waters of depth and broad connections when I asked, “What happens when I (your Scorp wife) wants to ‘go deep’?”
    We’ve been together for twenty years, came together later in our 40’s the experiences of Cardinal(Cancer) and Fixed (Scorp) works all the muscle groups if you can sustain the journey. Thanks Ben! This was good bait:)

  16. This makes me think Capricorn VS Scorpio. Capricorns prefer to be in control of everything and everyone and they don’t care who knows it. They simply think they know what is best for everyone else. These folks don’t waste time because they hate that, they will just bark orders and demand you to follow them.

    Scorpio is secretive and they are very subtly controlling. Here is the person that sneaks around to find out what is going on and what others are up to. They will do their best to not come across as manipulative or controlling, but it is ingrained in their souls. They pull strings behind closed doors and in the dark. They can be so smooth about it that you don’t even realize you are being controlled or manipulated.

    Two of my favorite signs and I am a Plutonian and am guilty of the above. Sometimes I love a good argument and will subtly get my Capricorn husband going on purpose. My Capricorn husband has Mars in his first house so he can really get going. He is just as passionate about everything as I am, too. ๐Ÿ˜€

  17. Scorpio don’t care if you’re the boss or the president of the United States, they will manipulate you into doing what they want without you knowing it ?

  18. Great debate, love it! I can relate to Tonya. I have a 8th house sun in capricorn so I use all the out-in-the-open cardinal tricks as well as the subtle ‘underwater’ scorpio tricks (simply because scorpio energy gives you sight – why wouldn’t you use it as part of your arsenal?) Cardinal energy isn’t complex (just irritating but persuasive / scorpio energy is far more interesting, real-life chess! Saying that Scorpio energy can go fanatical and out of control, bitter survival. I’ve been involved in this more than once, not nice….reminds me of the runaway train, at some point you have to jump off!

    • I am a Virgo 8th house Sun and you nailed it. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I am obsessed with anything dealing with Pluto and Scorpio. Hahaha! Capricorn is right behind that too. Jumping off a runaway train is more like tearing yourself off of a human glue board. hehe!

  19. Yes, scorp 1st house and pluto in the 12th; am all about the unseen. I embody the successful homicide detective who hunts down the most elusive serial killers and sociopaths.

    • I am like that. I love watching ID channel and I think I have seen every episode of Forensic Files at least five times.

      And my Venus is in Scorpio, so, I do find myself attracted to that type of personality. It is a strong personality and so are Capricorns. Well, Aries are strong types but I can’t get along well for long with Aries. My Sister in law is an Aries with Sag/Cap Rising and Leo Moon and we have had our share of fights but then again, my inlaws are fighting types. They enjoy a good argument. My Libran Father in law, which I would never think of as Libran except he plays music, can be the devil incarnate. But he has a lot of Cardinal placements that are in opposition to each other. No one dares cross that man! I think he has Scorpio Rising because he has a glare on him that would send timid souls running for their lives.
      I married a Capricorn, my mother is a Capricorn, her mother was a Scorpio with Cap Rising and nope, you did not cross her, either. My Father in law has Capricorn Mars, My Uncle has Cap Rising and is a Libra Sun and good gracious he had a hot temper. His Mercury is in Scorpio and when he was younger, he would blow up a lot and scorch everyone around him with cutting remarks and sarcasm. My step dad had a Scorpio Moon and he was not to be crossed either. My Brother has Sag/Cap Rising, too. And Saturn is the first planet in my chart. So, everywhere I turn, I see Capricorn/Scorpio influences and none of them are pushovers. The controlling factors are very strong and so is the secretive manipulation. So as I look at this, no wonder I am so interested in these two signs.

  20. I am heavy Cardinal 10th house stellium in Libra including my Sun, Mars in Capricorn. I lead, Scorpio Rising husband controls. I see these as two different things. His methods,are subversive whereas mine are direct. I lead the way, make the plan and insure we have proper provisions but he controls where we go.

  21. Cardinals want to lead yes and even when you tell them to stop playing mum or dad they take offence. One thing about cardinals I’ve noticed is that even telling them you know what you’re doing is giving an offence, like there is no thinking for yourself even though they are apparently telling you to think for yourself. Talk about back handed.

    Cancer is probably the only cardinal sun I can get along with. Aries, Caps, Libra’s ugh… Some of them with the fakery I have witnessed is too much. I’ve noticed the whole ‘I’m so nice but yet I get screwed’ nonsense. Some of which they brought on themselves. Tell them that though, and its another offence. Cardinal control sometimes just doesn’t get shit done, all of this control, control business and they’re losing out and realising it until it’s too late. And they say fixed signs are stubborn.

    Scorpio control is under the radar. If a Scorpio is insecure, like someone has mentioned, they’ll try to control everything. Bad, bad. Scorpio will leave you to get on with it, no micro managing. Scorpio is not interested in controlling people or situations, maybe I say that as a stellium Scorpio.

    • “One thing about cardinals Iโ€™ve noticed is that even telling them you know what youโ€™re doing is giving an offence, like there is no thinking for yourself even though they are apparently telling you to think for yourself.”

      Omg, so true. ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Empress, you mentioned scorps do not micro-manage. Yup. They are too into big-picture mystery-solving to give a shat about the micro. The fixed and the mutables share this trait, generally. (Although some fixed can get caught up or ‘owned’ in a micro idea, and some mutables don’t care for either macro or micro (meaning some mutables just want to constantly blend in harmonic balance ((which in our imperfect world does not exist)) all the damn time, lol).

    I think the cardinals exhibit strengths in the micro arena. Which is a good thing.

  23. LOL. Jesus. Why do so many people kiss Scorpio/Pluto ass? Cardinals aren’t interesting because they’re not complex? Scorpios will ~subtly control your mind~ and are master detectives? Okay.com

    The Scorpios I know (and heavily Plutonic folks in general) try to control things because they are SCARED. They control out of fear of what might happen, who might attack them, who might learn their secrets, what would happen if no one loved them, etc. etc. in addition to a host of other irrational fears. A lot of them are controlled by their own fear. That’s not to say they can’t be courageous, awesome, and interesting people but the amount of ass-kissing I see for Scorpios and Plutonic folks is ridiculous. The way people think of Scorpio as a sign is a perfect example of the idea that people only have as much power over you as you allow them to have.

    And speaking of controlling behind the scenes—nowadays, doesn’t it actually take courage to be aboveboard? I think it’s actually more difficult to be simple, honest, and straightforward. Anyone can say one thing at time t1 and then do something contradictory at time t2. Anyone can play passive aggressive games with others. Anyone can be inconsistent and chalk it up to ~mystery or ~emotional complexity. How many people have the mental discipline to toe a single line without excuses or the guts to be totally honest with someone in spite of their own fear?

    — Aries Sun/Libra Moon/Libra Rising

  24. I remember one really bad holiday with a micro managing Scorpio. The difference in energy? Scorpions can lever the sheer weight of their personality and will to get what they want. If you displease them or try to evade their scary will, you will know about it.

    Cardinals end up in retreat if they can’t make an impact, but I have known Cancerians, Capricorns and Arians secretly harbour resentments for a lifetime against those that have recinded their connection or loyalty. One Capricorn friend refused to divorce his wife after she began a new relationship with their work colleague. For decades he worked beside them, never forgiving or letting go. If the energy can’t find expression it goes underground.

    • “Scorpions can lever the sheer weight of their personality and will to get what they want. If you displease them or try to evade their scary will, you will know about it.”

      Why not just evade/displease/rebel against them anyway and see what happens? Unless someone has a gun to your head or the head of a family member, their “power” over you is an illusion (and even in those situations, their power is still an illusion, but that’s a different story…).

      Funny that I came across this thread right after re-watching a particular scene from Game of Thrones:

      “Power resides where men believe it resides, itโ€™s a trick, a shadow on the wall.”

  25. Stargirl, by the way, in my last response to you I didn’t mean “you” as in you personally. I was speaking more generally ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. No problem! I actually have on quite a few occasions stood up to, terminated or evaded, depending on the situation and person. However when it’s your husbands family sometimes you have only so much wriggle room!

  27. Now that I really think about it, I don’t find Scorpio controlling. Maybe manipulative, but I don’t ever feel controlled by Scorpio energy. Capricorn on the other hand…

  28. Being the boss isn’t totally the same thing as being in control. I always liked being the behind the scenes person pulling the levers. Let Leo shine on the stage. I want to be the one pulling the props in the background.

  29. I am Capricorn Rising with Sag Sun & Moon in Scorpio…so I work with the energies being discussed constantly. Cap likes to initiate and is grounded while Scorpio moon is deeper and more intense than ever expected… It is a matter of acknowledging and using all of those vibes in the most useful way…not easy. Lol
    I have started to appreciate Saturn’s lessons and Scorpio moon allows me to get to the depths which other signs would not dare to…
    Thanks for letting me get on my soap box.

  30. I’m so glad you wrote this Elsa because this has been SUCH a struggle in my life.

    No offense to any Scorpio on this thread but after Neptune transiting my 8th on top of my south node and Saturn in Scorpio transiting through my 4th for three freaking years of emotional hell and quite a few scorpios (or scorpionic types) who have managed to absolutely crush me in their grips at my most vulnerable throughout my life, I’m so over the underhanded energy. (Get it? Bad joke ?)

    But at any rate, Saturn in Scorpio has illuminated this issue for me (or has released my need for bloodletting, whatev!) I’ve been in the state of either come confront me in the broad daylight or I *will* drag you out of the shadows. There just isn’t any way around it. I have a pure Cardinal sun at 0 degrees (sun is my chart ruler), Cardinal midheaven in Aries with a packed 10th house and the ruler in the 10th. I have no more time or patience for head games, Machiavellianisms, paranoia, 8th house power struggles, backstabbing or fighting unseen ghosts.

    No, no, noooo thank you. Cardinal all the way! I can deal better with a Capricorn trying to headbutt me than a Scorpio waiting to pinch me under the table. Because at least I can be prepared for it! ?

  31. Great comments! Nothing interesting to add here.
    As a Libra person with a Scorpio moon, I can understand both sorts of control, but I would rather deal with open, overt and (honest) control rather than the hidden, below the surface control that some people exercise.
    And I agree: the cardinals are just annoying (they can be confronted and dealt with) while the scorpio type of control can be very scary (because ‘it doesn’t exist’ โ€“โ€œAren’t you being a little paranoid, dear?โ€œ).

    • Yes, Aries will get right in your face and punch it if you push them too far. I know that my sister in law beat the crap out of a woman for speaking badly about their dead mother and went to jail proudly.

  32. I mean, to be clear, I don’t hate Scorpios. But I’m so tired of all the illusory BS surrounding them, especially in online astrology communities. It takes no courage, no integrity, no strength to be underhanded and play around with people, ESPECIALLY said underhandedness is done out of fear–which is an immature Scorpio’s M.O. And the weak-minded people around them only act as enablers by feeding these illusions, fighting their unseen BS, and overpraising them for their ~complexity. Unless one’s goal is the covert takedown of a terrorist, drug lord, or corrupt political leader, or if someone is generally in a situation where the stakes are high and they don’t have much leverage, there’s no real good reason to be an underhanded bastard. People need to stop praising that crap and acting like it takes guts. It does not.

  33. When I say that Scorpio deals in the realms and the shadows of control… To me it means themselves. That’s where Scorpio’s live. If a Scorpio asks something of you and it’s not done you best just have a good excuse or you better be honest from the start about what you can and cannot do. To some people it looks like control of others but it isn’t. Scorpio is looking to get things done so you’re either adding or subtracting and to be honest they have no time for passengers.

    As a Scorpio stellium I am the master and controller of my own life and not yours. In my black and white Scorpio world you’re either there or not, doing or not. Unlike a cardinal sign I will not brow beat you or control for controls sake. I will not micro-manage cause let’s be honest Scorpio has thought 10,000 scenarios already being that they are strategists after all. They may come with the big picture and it doesn’t look like they’ve thought through the micro details but they have, they just haven’t told you. I won’t really tell everyone else what to do like I can’t do myself. Nah that’s too much.

    To some people it will seem like a Scorpio is manipulating you into feeling guilty or controlled or some kind of way but that isn’t the case. A healthy Scorpio will not want you to depend on them, a Scorpio will lay out what they see as your options and you make a choice… Whatever you chose, you know Scorpio will still be there for you unless you’ve wounded them in which case you might as well kiss your arse goodbye. And sometimes the options that Scorpio gives you are boundaries for themselves, they’re defining where you end and they begin.

    Scorpio lives in the shadows and dark realms but they’re straight forward. A Scorpio will let you know what they expect of you and in that black and white world you’re either up to it or not. And Scorpio has enough control and power over themselves to just amputate you because lets be real here… There are 7 billion people in the world. Let’s keep the shit moving. Scorpio’s do endings and beginnings quite well, hence no need to control others or be in your face.

    Cardinal energy and control is external, they’re too interested in the ‘other’ and to be honest micro-managing is not a good look. It just tells people you don’t trust them. It’s that old adage of ‘if there is a better way to do something after you’ve asked, then do it your damn self and quit telling me how to do it’.

  34. WeCareALot, I think I’m in love. Thx for your comments. Btw, I’m Libra stellium, Scorpio asc, Pluto and Mars at top of chart, mostly cardinal and fixed. People tend to give me more power and control than I want. Mostly, I just want control of my own life.

    Libranoir, are you my astro twin?

  35. What a great week to consider all this. What filtered through is the internal/external comment. Cardinal energy in overdrive is all ego. It is what it is. This week, shocking as it was to see, I realized that when it is engaged and barrelling along, there is nothing else. It’s just ego driven, no peripheral at all. It seems to lack substance when it is out of balance. Ergo, the battle of the egoes falls flat. I don’t experience fixed energy as ego driven. It comes from something else. Anyhoo, it is indeed what it is. And when it is engaged full throttle, oh well. There was some damage done. I am not sure how to proceed with a couple of people. Stay the hell out of their way. And when they fall, I don’t know if I will be there this time.

  36. Man oh man, I took the long way around on this one. But I finally get ‘character’ that was written about some time ago. I was not sure at the time. I mean I’ve heard the word and all that, but I just did not really get it. With the expansion of the work team, I was not getting why some of the people are being targetted. No reason I could see, I do believe they are threat to some egoes. I mean what does ego on steroids do when it runs up against substance. It must scare the hell out of them. And of course, the egoes have jockeyed themselves into position. Ye gads. Oh well, I put in a good word for the targetted. Back to pleasure. I needed to work through this, been here before last time around. Thanks Elsa.

  37. I wouldn’t call scorpio energy as “control” but more as “influence”, they might want to influence the outcome, so they want to know i.e. be in control of, all the variables seen and unseen

    Cardinal energy is less about subtle influence and more about overt control, they need to be able to be the one in charge of pulling the lever, steering the car, choosing the destination, changing the seen variables

    Scorpio will be aware of shifts in energy or threats or possibilities (going on the active offensive) and such way before it comes to any kind of light to the cardinal signs.

    • Another thing I think about the cardinal sign energies and fixed sign is the ability to start something or respond to something quickly or on the fly.
      Cardinal signs are able to do because their way of operation to some degree is to act on something and watch what that brings about, but a fixed sign will not attempt it unless they have been pondering it for a while.
      Also, I truly think, the universe puts cardinal signs in those kinds of positions. That’s the test, can you take up the mantle and act as a leader at any given instance, so it’s a lot of shifting gears throughout the course of their life, which is why they’re always trying to perfect being in charge.
      I think if a fixed sign hasn’t been in the depths of a situation, observing and noting how to organise it better, they usually do not want to jump up and take charge. That’s quite a burden to have and when they have it they respond to it slowly, sort of in their own time.

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