Loyal and Protective
Cancers need to be needed in a relationship. The typical Cancer is kind and generous, and in return, asks only for love, fidelity, and sympathy. Cancers forge intuitive and even psychic bonds with family members, significant others, and friends, and they do not easily forgive a betrayal or unkind word. They are fiercely protective of those they care about and prone to jealousy.
Unless their ascendants are in more emotionally detached signs (such as Gemini, Libra, or Aquarius), Cancers tend to be loyal and somewhat possessive. They usually prefer monogamous romantic relationships and very close, emotionally involved connections with friends. As a result, they tend to have a smaller number of very good friends rather than a large group of casual acquiantances.
Sensitive and Compassionate
Cancers usually have difficulties with people who lack empathy because they require sensitivity, compassion, and emotional input from those around them.
A hurtful action can cause a Cancer to retreat for days, so it’s important for Cancers to establish friendships and romantic relationships with kind, gentle, and diplomatic people. When feeling hurt, Cancers may become grouchy or silent to hide their vulnerability.
Reliable, Comforting, and Self-Sacrificing
Cancers tend to be reliable, and they are extremely generous with their time, energy, and resources when it comes to helping a friend or lover in need. They offer both emotional sympathy and practical help for problems, as well as a generous helping of comfort food when needed. Most Cancers are patient with friends or lovers who are ill or unhappy, and they are inclined put their own needs aside in order to meet the needs of others.
Cancers give 100% of themselves to their mates and families. They can be very solicitous and self-denying, in many cases doing most of the housework and childcare. They may also find themselves in one-sided friendships in which they do most of the giving. If they’re not careful, unreciprocated generosity can become endless self-sacrifice, eventually resulting in a resentful martyr complex and, in some cases, passive-aggressive behaviour.
Security-Loving and Traditional
Cancers need security and consistency to feel safe in a relationship. They need to know that the other person will always be there for them, whether that person is a lover or a platonic friend.
Unless their ascendants fall in more radical signs (such as Sagittarius or Aquarius), Cancers prefer to stay in one place and make a traditional home, and most want children. Cancers are nesters; they need a stable, comfortable base in which to start their families.
The typical Cancer is easily pleased, with a particular love of hearty food and attractive natural surroundings. Cancers tend to enjoy cozy domestic pursuits, particularly watching movies and listening to music, and most are nature lovers, so they enjoy socializing outdoors as well.
The Atypical Cancer
The sun sign isn’t the only element that influences personality. Aspects and planetary placements, particularly the moon sign and rising sign, are also important. For example, a Cancer with Aquarius rising will be less traditional, domestic, and possessive, and with Sagittarius rising, the secure home base is less important, and there is a strong urge to travel to foreign lands. Leo or Aries rising increase the likelihood that a Cancer will be interested in sports or some sort of patriotic service (such as the military), while Gemini rising makes a Cancer more outgoing and intellectually minded, with an intense thirst for knowledge.
There are many websites that offer free chart calculation to determine other planetary placements and aspects. Learning these other planetary placements is recommended, as it provides a more comprehensive personality profile.
For more on Cancer, see the Cancer Personality Profile. To see personality and marriage profiles for all the sun signs, visit the main Astrology page. To get an astrology chart, see the Astrology Charts page.
- Bugler, Ashford, Chubb, & Zapp. (1992). The Complete Handbook of Astrology.
- Fenton, S. (1989). Rising Signs.
- Woolfolk, J.M. (1992). The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need.