cancer zodiac sign

Cancer: Horoscope, Dates, Traits, Man, Woman, Zodiac Sign

Cancer Traits

Element: Water 

Date: June 21-July 22 fourth sign of the zodiac 

Planetary Ruler: Moon

Quality: Cardinal 

Color: White

Most compatible with: Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo, Scorpio 

Least compatible with: Aries, Libra

Cardinal zodiac signs: Libra, Aries, Capricorn

Daily Horoscope

Saturday May 8, 2021: A molehill is probably best left as it is. Turning it into a mountain is a massive waste of time and effort. What would you do if you succeeded, anyway? You'd have a bigger problem on your hands; that much is true. That's why a minor matter needs to be seen in the right perspective. Making a bigger issue of it unnecessarily could be a bit too easy now.

astrology stars and signs

The Cancer Symbol

The symbol for the Cancer zodiac is a crab. With the “69” numerical drawing to represent Cancer, it could either be depicted as crab claws or a woman’s breast, because Cancer is the sign of womanhood. Cancers are the caretakers of the zodiac, with their nurturing, sympathetic, compassionate nature. 

Cancer Symbol

In Greek mythology, the goddess Hera was the one who formed the crab constellation of Cancer. As the story goes, Hera tried to kill the Greek hero Hercules, and forced him to perform 12 difficult tasks, including the killing of a nine-headed water-serpent. She sent a crab to help the serpent, but Hercules killed the crab with his strength. As thanks for the crab’s service, she put the constellation in the sky.

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The Cancer constellation contains two Messier objects (star clusters), the Beehive Cluster, and M67. The Beehive Cluster is one of the open star clusters that are almost 600 light-years away from Earth. M67 is one of the oldest clusters, dating to almost 5 billion years old. The Cancer constellation is medium-sized and the faintest constellation in the sky–you’ll be lucky if you see it (it’s in between the Leo and Gemini constellations).

Like crabs, Cancers are protected by their rough outer shells. They don’t let anyone inside until they know the other person can be trusted. This can cause them to come across as cold, distant, and unfeeling at first. However, they are only trying to protect themselves. They know they are emotional and want to create a barrier between them and anyone who could cause them harm. It takes them a long time to open up to others, but once they feel comfortable, they are warm and inviting.

As the sign of womanhood, Cancers are naturally nurturing with strong maternal instincts. They are caregivers who consistently offer their loved ones emotional support. They will do a favor for someone in need at any time and they always keep their promises. Overall, they pay more attention to the happiness of other people than their own happiness. However, since they care so deeply about the people in their life, they are overprotective when it comes to their friends and family. Sometimes, this can come across as overbearing.

Cancer: The Cardinal Sign

  • In a Tarot card reading → the Chariot card represents Cancer
    • This card means “moving forward” and “pushing things into drive.” 
    • This makes sense because the Cancer zodiac is a Cardinal sign. A cardinal sign will often be associated with leading, pushing things forward, and being instigators.
  • Every zodiac sign has an element and a quality and although some are similar, it’s still different in their own way. 
    • For example, Aries is a fire sign and a cardinal sign, but they are more forceful and fiery with the way they do things. Another example is a Libra: an air sign and cardinal sign who like leadership in balance and harmony.
    • Cancer is a water sign and cardinal sign that leads with the heart and emotions. 

Cancers lead with their emotions. They are highly sensitive to their environments and the people surrounding them in a space. They can easily pick up on the energy in the room and the shift change in someone’s tone of voice. They are highly intuitive – and highly emotional. They get upset easily and they aren’t afraid to cry. They wear their emotions on their sleeves.

Overall, Cancers listen to their hearts over their heads. They do not always behave rationally. Sometimes, they will allow their emotions to win out and will do whatever feels right instead of going with the decision that makes the most logical sense. Because they base their decisions on feelings, they can act impulsively and irrationally. They can make decisions that feel right to them in the moment and then end up regretting them later.

Cancer Under the Ruling of the Moon 

  • In astrology, the moon:
    • Represents emotions, feelings, instincts, and how or if you express yourself.
    • The moon is known to have a direct influence on who you are and how you feel. 
  • Cancers don’t have a ruling planet but rather, are ruled by the moon 
    • This sign is sympathetic, emotional, caregiving, and intuitive. 
  • During Cancer season (June 21-July 22 in the 90 degree-120 degree celestial longitude), people tend to feel a lot more emotions and unknowingly put themselves in moods. There’s lots of crying and hyperawareness, so don’t forget to check up on your Cancer friends (especially those with a Cancer sun sign or Cancer moon sign in their astrology chart) during this time. 

Cancers are sometimes considered crabby because of their frequent mood swings. They can switch from being happy to upset in an instant because they are sensitive and insecure. The smallest, most harmless comment can cause them to spiral when they take it the wrong way. They are always on the defensive. They are always assuming the worst about the way others view them.  

Cancers aren’t a fan of direct conflict and confrontation, but they are masters of passive-aggressive behavior. When they are upset with you, they are going to make little comments here and there to express their discomfort. They are going to make it clear they are unhappy with the way you’ve been acting by slamming doors and being rough with dishes. They aren’t going to come right out and say what’s been bothering them, but you can definitely tell when they’re in a sour mood.

Cancer and the Water Element 

  • To have a water element means you’re more submerged in feelings than anyone else in the zodiac.
  • A Cancer native will go through waves of emotion → can be super caring and sympathetic at one point and manipulative and moody the next. 
  • Just like the empath’s personality, water signs are very much in tune with their emotions and feelings of others and can absorb them like a sponge. That’s Cancer energy for ya!

Cancers have wild, vivid imaginations. Because of their innate creativity, they have a knack for the arts. They tend to find peace through poetry, music, art, or any other form of creation. These activities provide them with the perfect outlet to release their emotions, so they do not explode with anger or collapse into tears. It also gives them a way to start making sense of the human experience, which is something on their mind often.

Cancers, like all water elements, are shaped by their relationships with others. It is necessary for them to surround themselves with the right people because they are going to be strongly influenced by the ones they spend the most time alongside. Although they are social creatures, they tend to retreat into their shells when they are overwhelmed. Plus, they usually fall on the introverted side, so they can feel uncomfortable in large groups.

Strengths of a Cancer Sign

  • Emotional. 
  • Loyal. 
  • Sympathetic. 
  • Protective / nurturing. 
  • Intuitive / imaginative.

Weaknesses of a Cancer Sign

  • Moody / mood swings.
  • Pessimistic.
  • Insecure. 
  • Manipulative. 
  • Tend to overreact.

Personality Traits of a Cancer

A Cancer personality is very specific and oftentimes you’ll notice these traits right away. If you have a Cancer friend, you might recognize some of these qualities in their personality

  • Sympathetic and intuitive of feelings/emotions of others and theirs. 
  • Loyal. 
  • Protective and nurturing. 
  • Has mood swings. 
  • Tends to overreact. 
  • Sometimes pessimistic.
  • Sometimes manipulative.

Cancers have a tendency to overreact whenever something small goes wrong – but they also overreact when they are met with positive news. When they are in a good mood, they feel like they’re on top of the world. When they are in a bad mood, they feel like the world is ending. Since their emotions are so extreme — and so noticeable — it can make them come across as moody. Some people might also consider them downers because they complain often. Although they are good with people, they also assume the worst of people. They are naturally pessimistic. They can’t help themselves from whining, even when it isn’t much wrong in their world.

Despite their negativity, Cancers make wonderful friends, because they are sympathetic when it comes to other people’s feelings. They are not going to judge anyone who opens up to them. They will listen to a friend talk for hours without saying a word themselves. Since they are nurturers at heart, they will let loved ones cry on their shoulder. They will give advice, give hugs, and give encouragement to help others through their darkest moments.

If Your Moon Sign is in Cancer…

As mentioned before, the Cancer zodiac is ruled by the moon, so what does that say if, in your astrology chart, your moon sign is in Cancer

  • Sensitive. 
    • You have intense emotions that you feel too much and way too often.
    • Might cry a lot (even if they’re happy tears). 
  • Maternal instincts to take care of others. Very nurturing nature. 
  • Homebody. 
  • Loyal.
  • Imaginative.
  • Likes to keep people close. 
  • Forgive but never forget.

Cancers rely on gut feelings to lead them through life. Luckily, they are skilled when it comes to reading people. This is helpful since they have such a strong fear of being deceived by family members and friends that they thought they could trust. Although they form strong attachments to the people who matter to them, they do not hesitate to cut people out of their lives. It tends to be easier to walk away than to forgive.

Cancers have a hard time moving on from bad things that have happened in the past. They will hold a grudge for a long period of time. Even if they forgive you on the surface, they will never forget what you have put them through and will use your mistakes as ammo in arguments down the line. Although Cancers are sweet, you do not want to be on their bad side. They can be surprisingly manipulative. They know when to use tears to get their way and can always come up with the perfect comment to dig beneath someone’s skin.

If Your Rising Sign is in Cancer…

First impressions are everything. In astrology, your ascendant (or rising) sign is how people see you when they first meet you and how your personality appears. To know your rising sign, take your sun sign, the approximate time you were born, and what time the sun rose that day.

If your rising sign is in Cancer

  • Protective / puts others first. 
  • Will do what you need to do to feel secure in life. 
  • A lot more relaxed around others…or so it appears. Your passion might just be locked up inside. 
  • Empathetic. 
  • Dreamy. 
  • Strives for peace and balance in life. 

Cancers aren’t only overprotective when it comes to their family and friends. They are also protective when it comes to their home. This sign desires peace, stability, and comfort above all else. They want to have a place where they can go at the end of each night and feel safe. A place that belongs entirely to them. They will do whatever is possible in order to give themselves this type of consistency, whether that means working hard at a job that doesn’t bring them any joy or staying in the wrong relationship for a little too long.

Cancers aren’t the most practical zodiac sign. They are dreamers. They are visionaries. They are open-minded, adaptable, and free-spirited. Although they are hard workers, they pay more attention to the imaginary future in their minds than their current reality. They also have a tendency to romanticize relationships, which can either bring them extreme happiness or backfire on them completely. Unfortunately, despite their ability to read people, this means they are highly susceptible to toxic relationships.

If Your Venus Sign is in Cancer…

In astrology, Venus is the planet of love and passion. The Venus sign is how you express yourself in love, in relationships,  friendships, and leisurely things. In your zodiac chart, if your Venus is in Cancer:

  • You are cautious in love but once you open up, you’re invested. Feel a lot of emotions, so if you love someone, you really do. 
  • Strive for comfort and security and balance in life — this is your nurturing, motherly nature of wanting to take care of things.  
  • Might have emotional outbursts from time to time.

Cancers might seem standoffish at first because they are cautious of new people. Plus, they aren’t the biggest fans of small talk and can get overwhelmed during social gatherings. They prefer smaller, tightknit groups and trust their intuition. They can instantly tell whether they’ve walked into a bad situation. They can instantly tell whether they want to get to know you better or stay far, far away. However, if you’re lucky enough to earn their trust, they will seem like a completely different person who is engaging, open-minded, and supportive.

Although they are known as moody, most of the time Cancers tend to turn their emotions inward because they don’t want to bother anyone. They want others to have a good time and don’t want to be the reason why their loved ones are worried. When they fly into a rage, it can seem like they’ve erupted out of nowhere because they’ve kept quiet for such a long time. They’ve bottled up their emotions until they had no choice but to explode.

Cancer Man

  • Wants to feel needed.
  • Moody. 
  • Creative. 
  • Generous. 
  • Sensitive. 
  • Compassionate.
  • He wants to share his life with someone special. 
  • When a Cancer man falls in love, he lets himself open up so much that his insecurities can pour out.

Although Cancer men build walls to keep out strangers, they will let their partner see the worst sides of them. They won’t bother to hide their insecurities. They will be completely honest about their fears for the future and their past mistakes. Since they plan on remaining with their partner for life, they don’t hold anything back from them. They reveal the truth, however ugly or uncomfortable it may be to share. 

Cancer men are truthful, generous, and sentimental. They would rather be given a gift that holds emotional significance than given an expensive material item. Cancer men don’t need anything fancy in order to feel loved. At the end of the day, they only want to feel needed. They want to feel like they are providing their partner with everything they need, whether that is financially, physically, or emotionally.

Cancer Woman 

  • Vulnerable and open. 
  • Wants others to make the first move. 
  • Romantic and ready to love — this is a woman who gives her all! 
  • She wants someone to match her level of loyalty. 
  • Because Cancers have a nurturing nature, she might step into her motherly instincts.

Once a Cancer woman grows attached to you, she will consider you a lifelong companion. She will remain loyal for as long as you continue treating her with love and respect. Cancer women are not really interested in playing the field. She would rather be committed to one partner who treats her well than bounce from person to person. Casual relationships don’t hold much appeal to her.

However, because of her desire to create a stable home, these women can sometimes become codependent and clingy. She can also grow resentful if she believes she is putting more effort into the relationship than her partner. She needs constant reassurance, attention, validation, so she knows you are still madly in love with her. If she is not given proper appreciation, there is a chance she could stray.

Cancer Child

If you have a child who was born under the Cancer zodiac, keep in mind the main personality trait you’ll have to acknowledge, appreciate, and understand: emotional. Cancerian children will be needier than the other zodiac babies; they’ll appreciate physical touch more than the others will so keep them close to you! They’ll also be big cry babies, so just be patient and understanding and offer an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on when they need it. As the Cancer zodiac child gets older, they might still be incredibly emotional all the time but will also put you through their rollercoaster of emotions.

What To Know About Your Cancer Cusp

  • If you were born on a “cusp”, that means your birthday falls on a date in between 2 signs, when the sun leaves one zodiac sign and enters another. Depending on the date you were born, you could feel more like one sign most of the time and have some traits from the other. For example, you could be more of a Gemini or have some Cancer traits, or you could be a Cancer mostly but have qualities of a Leo.
  • If you were born between the time of June 17-23, or more specifically, June 20th and 21st, you have a Gemini-Cancer cusp: 
    • Forgives and forgets easily. 
    • Don’t like to be pushed by showing their emotions sometimes. They have emotions but don’t typically like to show them. 
    • Flirty but very much devoted to the one(s) they love — when they’re in, they’re IN!
  • If you were born between July 19-25, or,  more specifically, July 22nd  or 23rd, you have a Cancer-Leo cusp:
    • An emotional person with some fiery personality traits. 
    • Loves to love and be loved. 
    • Cause drama. 
    • Sensitive to criticism. 
      • Cancer zodiac sign = sensitive; Leo zodiac sign = don’t like to be criticized.

When someone’s birthday falls on the Gemini-Cancer cusp, they have a shorter attention span than most Cancers. When someone wrongs them, they will forgive and forget easily. They understand that everyone makes mistakes and that they have made their own equally large errors, so they don’t see the point in holding grudges. Even if they are upset with someone at the moment, chances are they aren’t going to express that emotion. They don’t like anyone seeing them vulnerable. They would rather keep their cards close to their chest.

When someone’s birthday falls on the Cancer-Leo cusp, they are more prone to drama than a typical Cancer. When they are upset, they don’t shy away from confrontation. They are known to instigate arguments. However, they don’t like it when someone else has something negative to say about them. They cannot handle criticism well. They lash out whenever someone tries to correct them because they take it as an insult to their character. They feel like they are being unfairly attacked and play the victim.

Cancer Compatibility

No matter what your astrological sign is, sometimes it can be hard to get along with a water sign just because there are so many emotions all the time and it might be overwhelming. If you’re a water or earth sign, you are more compatible with a Cancer person than fire or air signs.

With that being said, these are the signs that are the most compatible with a Cancer:

  • Those with a cusp are more attracted to those who are also born on a cusp, like a Capricorn/Aquarius cusp (January 17-22 or January 19th and 20th) or a Libra/Scorpio cusp (October 19-25 or October 22nd and 23rd).
  • Cancer and Taurus.
  • Cancer and Cancer.
  • Cancer and Virgo.
  • Cancer and Scorpio.
  • Cancer and Pisces.

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About the author
January Nelson is a writer, editor, and dreamer. She writes about astrology, games, love, relationships, and entertainment. January graduated with an English and Literature degree from Columbia University. Read more articles from January on Thought Catalog.

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