It’s often said that the opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference. By the same reasoning, the opposite of proactive protectiveness is passive neglectfulness. If you have a carefree, hands-off attitude toward those you care about, it makes them vulnerable to all sorts of dangers, whether it’s addiction, disease, abuse, or heartache.
Protectiveness can be both a paternal and maternal instinct. Nature has imbued parents with the ability to empathize with their children so that the outside world, which is often brutally indifferent, never jeopardizes their safety, growth, and happiness.
Here are the five zodiac signs that protect those they care about with the militant diligence of a trained bodyguard.
When Gemini loves someone—particularly someone small, young, vulnerable, or hopelessly innocent—they will step in front of a freight train to protect them. They will fight an army of thousands with their bare hands. But especially when it involves parenting, the Twins face the greatest challenge of their life. Having lived on this planet long enough to realize how cruel, unfair, vicious, and unforgiving life can be, they don’t want to send their little one out into the world unprotected, so they need to warn them. But in the process of warning them, they risk crushing their innocence and breaking their heart by telling them the sick truth that people can lie, cheat, backstab, and hurt you. They walk a perilous tightrope, a middle line that’s so thin as to almost be invisible, between molding their beloved baby into a young adult who’s either dangerously naïve or dangerously jaded.
Ruled by the moon, Cancer is the most emotional of all the signs, and no one feels the full protective force of their love more than family members do. Just like the Crab’s soft, squishy innards are protected by a hard shell and claws designed to crush you, Cancers will go to great lengths to protect both the personal safety and the social reputation of those they love. Woe unto anyone who wants to pick a fight with, or say a bad word about, anyone that Cancer considers family. They won’t stop until the antagonist has either meekly surrendered or been run out of town.
As with Cancer the Crab, it is no coincidence that two of the zodiac’s most protective signs are symbolized by creatures with a hard exterior. The Scorpion’s stiff exoskeleton, painful pincers, and fatal stinger will be wielded to rain a righteous ass-whipping on anyone who is foolish enough to touch a hair upon the head of those they deem worthy of protection. This fierce protectiveness applies to family members, lovers, friends, and even a random stranger they encounter on the street who appears to be in peril. One way or another, if you mess with the Scorpion, you’re gonna get stung.
The Bull will stampede right over anyone who tries to harm the ones they love. This especially applies to their romantic partners. It can get so extreme that they will want to seek out the exes who abused their lovers and confront them face-to-face about their cowardice. If the evil ex has left their current paramour with any lingering emotional pain, Taurus will seek to avenge it with the wrath of a thousand angry angels. This bullish protectiveness also applies to the present—when Taurus finds a romantic partner they consider a keeper, they will protect them to such a degree that it can possibly spill over into obsessiveness and jealousy.
Symbolized by the Scales of Justice, Libra is driven by a deep-rooted contempt for unfairness and bullies. Whether it’s the strong taking advantage of the weak, the rich exploiting the poor, the sadistic torturing the kindhearted, or the emotionally numb causing pain to those who feel too much, Libra swoops in like a comic-book superhero to right every wrong and save the day. They will chase villains to the ends of the planet, fight with every last fiber of their being, and roll every impossibly heavy boulder up every last hill to make sure that justice is served and balance is achieved throughout the land.