Ruler: the Moon
4th Sign of Zodiac
Stone: Pearl, Opal
Color: White, Yellow
Anatomy: Breasts, stomach
Keywords: gentle, conservative, feeling, nurturing, defensive, contemplative.
Comparison with the Cancer symbol, the Crab:
A crab is able to walk or run sideways. Similarly, Cancer natives can sometimes “move about” in life, in a figurative sense, in an indirect manner. The crab’s body is covered by a carapace (shell). Cancer natives are self-protective and sensitive, and often retreat into themselves when hurt. Crabs are able to resist changes in the environment, thereby protecting themselves from hostile elements in various habitats. Similarly, Cancer natives are thought to avoid too much change, and to be on the defensive. Crabs have “complex behavior patterns” (1). The inner world of Cancer natives is thought to be rather quirky and complex. Some crabs “conceal themselves by decorating their bodies with plants and animals” (2). Cancer natives tend to try to blend in with their environments, preferring not to make a big splash in life.
Cancer’s glyph, or symbol, may represent the breasts as a symbol of the nurturing qualities of the sign.
Select individual icons in the image grid for more information about Cancer and associations for the sign Cancer.
The flowers associated with Cancer are the water lily and the magnolia (depicted).
The Cancer glyph may represent the breasts as a symbol of the nurturing qualities of the sign.
Cancer: Ruling Planet
The ruling planet of the sign of Cancer is the Moon, depicted here.
The Moon represents our deepest personal needs, our basic habits and reactions, our emotions, and our unconscious. Where the Sun acts, the Moon reacts. The Moon is both our inner child and our inner mother. It is responsive, receptive, and reflective. The Moon represents our spontaneous and instinctual reactions. The Moon is a mediator between the inner world and the outer world.
Cancer's element is WATER. There are three water signs: Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces.
Water signs are fluid, emotional, and intuitive.
The crab is Cancer's symbol.
A crab is able to walk or run sideways. Similarly, Cancer natives can sometimes "move about" in life, in a figurative sense, in an indirect manner. The crab's body is covered by a carapace (shell). Cancer natives are self-protective and sensitive and often retreat into themselves when hurt. Crabs are able to resist changes in the environment, thereby protecting themselves from hostile elements in various habitats. Similarly, Cancer natives are thought to avoid too much change and to be on the defensive. Crabs have "complex behavior patterns." The inner world of Cancer natives is thought to be rather complex. Some crabs "conceal themselves by decorating their bodies with plants and animals." Cancer natives tend to try to blend in with their environments, preferring not to make a big splash in life.
Cancer's mode is Cardinal. There are four Cardinal signs: Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn.
Cardinal signs want action! They correspond to the beginning of each of the four seasons.
Cancer: Ruling Planet Glyph
The planetary ruler of Cancer is the Moon, and the symbol or glyph of the Moon is depicted here.
The Moon's glyph resembles the Moon itself when it is a crescent shape. The crescent shows reception, and the Moon is a lens that focuses the light of the Sun.
This is a depiction of the constellation of Cancer.
The metal associated with Cancer is elegant silver.
Cancer is related to the Pearl. Pearls symbolize integrity, loyalty, wisdom, and calm -- traits also associated with the sign.
Cancer is related to the colors Violet, Silver, and White (although not technically a color).
Cancer: House Association
Cancer is the fourth sign and the house related to Cancer is the fourth house. The fourth house is shaded in the chart wheel depicted here.
The fourth house is associated with our psychological foundations and roots, family, home life, instinctive behavior, the mother or the more "maternal" parent/caregiver, ancestry, our connection with our past, our sense of security, domestic life, real estate, and more.
The cusp of the fourth house is a special angle called the IC (Immum Coeli) and is also called the nadir.
The fourth house is an angular house. Its natural sign ruler is Cancer and its natural planetary ruler is the Moon.
Sun in Cancer
(The Sun is in Cancer from June 21 to July 22, depending on the year).
Sun in Cancer natives have a strong survival instinct. They are protective of those they care about, and of themselves too. They are often quite reticent about sharing their inner selves to the rest of the world, and are often caught up in reminisce.
Cancers have a reputation for moodiness, although this trait is most evident when the Moon is in Cancer. Cancer needs roots. They resist change to an extent, and concern themselves about being secure and safe in most everything they do.
Cancers can be quite intrigued by objects with history attached to them — antiques, photos, souvenirs, and the like.
Cancer is a very sensitive sign, and they don’t always appreciate it when you are blunt with them. Their reactions to hurt will depend on how thick a shell they have developed. Most Cancers react by withdrawing or retreating. Some have developed an ability to manipulate others to get what they want. They avoid direct confrontations almost as a rule.
Cancers are, in fact, quite yielding and soft when you have them in the right mood. They are one of the more hospitable signs of the zodiac. Sure, they can be touchy and indirect, but they are also very dependable, caring souls.
Some Famous people with Sun in Cancer: Pamela Anderson, Kevin Bacon, Beck (Sun, Mercury, and Mars in Cancer), Mel Brooks, George Bush Jr., Willem Dafoe (Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Cancer), Vin Diesel (Sun and Mercury in Cancer), Harrison Ford (Sun, Moon, and Mercury in Cancer), Woody Guthrie (Sun and Moon in Cancer), Jessica Hahn, Tom Hanks, Anjelica Huston (Sun and Mars in Cancer), Ann Landers, Juliette Lewis (Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Cancer), Richard Lewis, Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Sun, Moon, Mercury, and Mars in Cancer), Lindsay Lohan, Courtney Love (Sun and Moon in Cancer), Tobey Maguire, Princess Diana, Carlos Santana, Fred Savage (Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Cancer), Jimmy Smits, Sylvester Stallone, Patrick Stewart, Donald Sutherland (Sun, Mercury, and Mars in Cancer), Montel Williams, Robin Williams (Sun and Moon in Cancer)
Moon in Cancer
This is the most subjective position of the Moon. The Moon is “at home” in the sign of Cancer, as the Moon is the natural ruler of the sign.
Moon in Cancer natives have a large potential to be able to get in touch with the feelings and moods of others. Often, they are quite wrapped up in themselves. Their memories of the past are outstanding, especially for all things emotional. Moon in Cancer people are rarely detached–they cling to things, their home, and people they care for. They seek out security and familiarity in all they do. They look for peace and quiet. Their attachment to all that is safe means they are a little leery of change.
These peace-loving souls dislike superficiality in all of its forms. They are devoted and accommodating. The insecure ones accumulate things in an attempt to feel secure.
Because of their strong attachment to, and memory of, the past, others may complain that Moon in Cancer natives tend to whip a dead horse. They may dwell on hurts long after everyone else has moved on. When they feel they have been taken for granted (which may be often!), they don’t always confront others directly. This is when they can use roundabout ways to get your attention. In fact, these natives, when they are insecure, can become quite manipulative. They can also be victims of habit.
These people can have a hard time compartmentalizing their lives, simply because their watery Moon tends to know no boundaries. Sometimes, as a result, they may act irrationally.
One of the most delightful characteristics of Moon in Cancer people is their loony sense of humor. These people can be extraordinarily funny. Their moodiness can baffle others, but their unique outlook on life is something most people can appreciate.
When treated with tenderness and understanding, Moon in Cancer natives return the favor with warmth and protection. Give them security, and you’ll take the crabbiness out of the Crab, at least for awhile.
These people are wonderfully dependable overall, despite their occasional mood swings. Make a friend of Moon in Cancer, and you will be taken care of for life.
Some Famous people with Moon in Cancer: Drew Barrymore, Boris Becker, Mary J. Blige, Clint Eastwood, Farrah Fawcett, Harrison Ford, Woody Guthrie, Julio Iglesias, Kurt Kobain, Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Sun, Moon, Mercury, and Mars in Cancer), Courtney Love (Sun and Moon in Cancer), Mike Myers, Olivia Newton-John, Jimmy Page, Sean Penn, Keanu Reeves (Moon, Venus, and Mars in Cancer), Kurt Russell, Adam Sandler, Suzanne Somers, Robin Williams (Sun and Moon in Cancer)
Mercury in Cancer
These people communicate with feeling, conveying a sensitive, withdrawn, and thoughtful nature to the people they interact with. If this is the only personal planet in Cancer in their chart, they may come across as more personal and sensitive than they actually are.
No matter how free-spirited the rest of their natal charts may be, Mercury in Cancer people can be very subjective and personal, or they opt not to talk at all. They are slow to respond at times, giving others the impression that they are deep thinkers. They probably are just that. Cancer is a meditative and reflective sign. Still, Mercury in Cancer people are much faster at forming opinions and making decisions than they appear. Because they listen so well to others, this speed is not obvious.
You can bet that Mercury in Cancer natives will remember almost anything — from their own past, to your conversation two months ago. You might notice their memory is a little skewed in the direction of emotion. The truth is, these people remember the mood surrounding all the moments they have stored in their memory. This is because they “feel you out” when you are talking to them. The words are not as important to them as the emotions behind them.
Cancer communicators come across as gentle, intuitive, and sentimental. Sometimes, they can appear quite defensive, as they can take things quite personally. They make you feel very warm and protected. Sometimes it is in their voice (solid yet soothing); and often it is in the message they are giving. Sometimes Cancer communicators can come across as if they are hiding something, which can get them into more trouble than they perhaps deserve.
Mercury in Cancer retains a lot of information, and learns best when they feel emotionally balanced. They prefer to focus their concentration on subjects, and approach problems in a step-by-step manner, “feeling out” an answer. This position gives the gift of rhythm and beat.
No matter what their Sun sign (and it can only be Gemini, Cancer, or Leo), Cancer communicators seem to have feelers. They pick up people’s emotions in conversations. They are the best listeners of all the signs. In fact, it is extraordinarily easy for them to get “lost” in the other person’s expression and opinion. For a while, they can almost lose their own opinions and completely step into the other’s shoes.
You can count on Mercury in Cancer to come up with information, culled from their outstanding memory, that others have long forgotten.
Cancer communicators’ style is to avoid arguments. But, make no mistake about it, they can provoke arguments easily. They do this in a subtle manner, then get hurt when others argue with them.
Mercury in Cancer is generally attracted to poetry, archaic language, expressions of yesteryear, and the like. Because they are so aware of others’ emotions, they can be somewhat diplomatic in their dealings with people.
These people appear to take their time when they make a decision, and even when they form an opinion. They need to step away from others and be alone with themselves to explore all that they have absorbed. They ask for time to stew over new information. They are impressionable, and the smart ones know it. Withdrawing into themselves helps them to discriminate.
These people can get frustrated with facts-only thinking processes. They also dislike distractions when they are talking or thinking. They need to focus on the matter at hand in order to come up with the best solutions to problems.
Mercury in Cancer can be very effective speakers and writers, especially if they have Leo or Gemini Suns. Their ability to “feel out” their audience is extraordinary. Also, they are able to present things concisely, yet powerfully.
If your Mercury is in Aries or Libra, you may find some of your conversations with Mercury in Cancer natives are frustrating. (The feeling is mutual, by the way). Aries communicators get impatient with Cancer’s slowness and indirect communication, while Libra communicators wonder why Cancer always seems to personalize what they say to the point of appearing like they have funnel vision. This latter is not always the case Cancer communicators simply prefer to speak about the matter at hand, you and them, and not the rest of the world as Libra tends to do. Likewise, Mercury in Cancer can find Aries communicators rather brusque, and Libra communicators maddeningly detached or other-oriented.
Favorite expression: “I feel…”
Some Famous people with Mercury in Cancer: Willem Dafoe (Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Cancer), Vin Diesel (Sun and Mercury in Cancer), David Duchovny, Melissa Etheridge, John Goodman, Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman, Anna Kournikova, Ann Landers, Juliette Lewis (Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Cancer), Richard Lewis, Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Sun, Moon, Mercury, and Mars in Cancer), Princess Diana, Carlos Santana, Fred Savage, George Bernard Shaw, Martin Sheen, Donald Sutherland (Sun, Mercury, and Mars in Cancer), Alex Trebek
Venus in Cancer
Love for Venus in Cancer is best when it is committed and rather predictable. These people are sensitive in love, even if their Sun sign is the more playful and outgoing signs of Gemini or Leo. You may even say their egos are a little underdeveloped when it comes to love, but they have a lot to give in return: namely, security, comfort, and care.
Venus in Cancer men and women show their love by caring for you. They pay more attention to your feelings than your words, and observe you rather carefully. They want a safe, solid relationship. They can be a little moody in love, and some go so far as giving silent treatments and engaging in pouting routines to get attention from their mate. They are turned off by anything impersonal, and too much rationalizing leaves them cold. They are not afraid of the emotional element of love (even if they have a Gemini Sun and appear flighty in other areas of life), but confrontations can be a little scary. Still, these lovers are always worried they’ll be left high and dry. If you’ve hurt them, they’ll have a hard time forgetting. Every so often, they’ll retreat into themselves (not unlike a Crab), and it can be difficult to pull them out. This is when they use their extraordinary “nursing” abilities on themselves, instead of you…and you simply don’t want that!
Pleasing Venus in Cancer involves lots of snuggling and sentimentality. Recognize their attachments to their family and home. Help them to feel confident with you—when they are fearful of being rejected, they can resort to some frustrating tactics to find out just how loved they are. Think about how a crab (the symbol of Cancer) moves towards its goal, and you will get a fair idea of Venus in Cancer’s approach. Do your best to make them feel secure and cared for, and you will be rewarded with a patient, dependable, and loving mate.
Some Famous people with Venus in Cancer: Ben Affleck, Courteney Cox, Billy Ray Cyrus, Willem Dafoe (Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Cancer), Cameron Diaz, Danny Glover, Elizabeth Hurley, Anna Kournikova, Lenny Kravitz, Juliette Lewis (Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Cancer), Robert Plant, Keanu Reeves, Martin Sheen, Christian Slater, Meryl Streep, Kristi Yamaguchi
Mars in Cancer
This position inclines toward passive-aggressiveness. These people seem to resist change and to shy away from direct confrontations. They need to feel secure before they act. As a result, they can appear rather slow at times. Their motto is “The best offence is defense”. They may appear weak to some, but they can be very strong. Their strength lies in their tenaciousness.
Their sex drive can be very tied up with emotional need. At their best, they turn others on with a protective, almost therapeutic way about them. The protective nature of Cancer is best expressed when Mars in Cancer natives are turning the energy outward — when they are being the protectors of others. Turning it inwards is when there are problems. They must avoid over-sensitivity and self-protection when it comes to sex. Some Mars in Cancer people are especially turned on by the thought of creating a baby.
These people are threatened by indifference. They can be argumentative and manipulative. Their energy levels are variable, and they can appear to move rather slowly. They have defensive reactions and bursts of emotional displays when they feel cornered.
With reassurance and confidence, these natives are protective, helpful, and dependable in the long haul. They prefer to handle situations peacefully and humanely.(See also the
Some Famous people with Mars in Cancer: Joe Cocker, Richard Gere, Anjelica Huston, Stephen King, Cheryl Ladd, Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Sun, Moon, Mercury, and Mars in Cancer), Keanu Reeves, Donald Sutherland (Sun, Mercury, and Mars in Cancer), Jean-Claude Van Damme
These people come across as gentle creatures. There’s something familiar about them — they’re the guy or gal next door. When they enter a room, they don’t walk in with a splash. Instead, they move to the sides and weave their way inwards. These people have a familiar feel to them. Because they are rather sensitive to their environment, they can get flustered easily, especially in public.
Their first instinct, when threatened or on unfamiliar ground, is to protect themselves. When new situations present themselves, they can immediately withdraw or act shy. Generally, these people come across as caring people. They seem quite sweet — even innocent. Usually, these people appear unassuming enough to be quite approachable. Some Cancer Ascendants, however, have retreated into themselves so much as to be quite the opposite.
Since Capricorn is on the Descendant, Cancer Ascendant people are looking for structure and security in their partner and their relationship. These people function best when their partner displays strength, financial and emotional stability, and know-how. In fact, many Cancer Ascendants prefer it when their relationship has well-defined rules. Security is the basic need, and they are generally more than willing to give up some personal freedom in order to get it. In some cases, Cancer Ascendant people can surprise their partners. Why? Because they come across as rather unassuming, family-oriented people. When it comes to marriage, they have a rather matter-of-fact, practical approach. More on
Some famous people with Cancer rising include Steven Spielberg, Stephen King, Julia Roberts, Kurt Russell, John Travolta, Lisa Bonet, Tyra Banks, and Ben Affleck. Angelina Jolie has Cancer rising with Venus tightly conjunct the Ascendant.
Read about the other signs of the zodiac:
(1), (2) “Crab (animal),” Microsoft® Encarta® Reference Library 2005
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