Pragmatic and Shrewd
Typical Cancers are trustworthy and responsible by nature. They have plenty of common sense and a practical outlook on life, as well as a talent for making money and investing it wisely.
Cancers tend to have a lot of good business ideas, so they often start their own companies or seek other self-employment options. Businesses involving liquids, food, hospitality, children, animals, or boats are particularly favored for this sign.
Cancers are good problem-solvers. Unfortunately, this causes some of them to become bossy or even controlling because they can see what should be done in a given situation and feel that they are pushing others into doing things for their own good. This tendency needs to be overcome, or family and friends will grow resentful.
Passionate and Protective
Cancers are quick to blow up and equally quick to forgive. Although they are usually gentle, they can turn ferocious when threatened and show a surprising amount of physical and emotional strength. They are aggressively protective of friends and family, and will not tolerate anyone saying bad things about those they love.
Cancers are also fiercely protective of the weak and vulnerable, and many take in and nurture strays. They are particularly good with vulnerable people and animals because they are able to intuit the needs of others and provide the support they require.
Most Cancers need a mate, a nest, and children to make their lives complete (unless they have rising signs such as Sagittarius or Aquarius that incline them toward roaming). With their placid, giving natures, they can establish harmonious partnerships with compatible individuals, though freedom-loving types may find Cancers too needy. Unless they have their ascendants in more fickle signs, Cancers tend to be loyal, not only to lovers, family, and friends, but also to their countries of origin, which manifests as patriotism.
Most Cancers are homebodies, but they are also sociable with those close to them (though some are painfully shy outside of their social circles). They prefer to live with close friends, family members, or partners rather than on their own.
Cancers have a tendency to spoil their mates, children, and animals. They are often the ones to take care of various extended family members as well. Cancers need to be needed, so they are compelled to nurture or rescue others.
Some Cancers devote their entire lives to their mates and their children at the expense of developing their own talents. This can lead to a martyr complex if they’re not careful. Unless other factors in their natal zodiacs incline them to be more selfish, Cancers tend to put others first and don’t take care of their own needs, which can cause resentment and bitterness.
Cancers may seem tough, but this is usually a mask designed to hide their vulnerability from others. They often overreact to criticism because words can wound them more deeply than blows. When hurt, a Cancer will usually retreat for awhile.
Cancers are prone to worry and moodiness, and their tension may be experienced as a stomach upset, heart palpitations, or tightness in the chest. Some grow depressed as a result of the self-pity that comes from dwelling on real or imagined slights. Oddly enough, they have a tendency to complain vociferously about minor problems but meet major traumas with quiet stoicism. Cancers can withstand physical hardship, but they have trouble with emotional hardship.
Intuitive and Sympathetic
Cancers are highly intuitive. Many have a strong, almost psychic link with at least one family member, if not all of them. In general, they tend to be good at assessing the moods and feelings of others and offering comfort if needed.
Typical Cancers are naturally sympathetic and quick to comfort those who are sick and suffering. As a result, they are at risk of being exploited by unscrupulous people who fake problems for personal gain.
Active Versus Passive and Self-Indulgent
There are two types of Cancers—the active and the passive. The first type is usually active on behalf of other people or animals. Active Cancers will labor tirelessly on behalf of a friend, partner, family, or a good cause, but without such a focus, this sign has a tendency to be lazy. Passive Cancers can sit around for hours socializing, drinking, watching TV, or listening to music.
The Cancer tendency toward activity extremes can also be seen in the cleanliness their houses (or lack thereof). Cancer homes are typically either be extremely tidy or complete disaster areas, but rarely somewhere in between.
Cancers are also prone to overindulgence, which can lead to alcoholism in some cases. They love to feed their friends and family, and will often consume too much themselves as well. In addition, they can become addicted very quickly to cigarettes or drugs if they try them.
Cancers spend a lot of time thinking about the past. They tend to have particularly powerful relationships with their mothers (either extremely good or extremely bad) and with other women in their lives.
Many Cancers have an interest in the ancient past as well as their own pasts, which makes them good historians, and they have a tendency to indulge in nostalgia. Typical Cancer hobbies include collecting antiques, furniture restoration, restoring old cars or boats, archeology, and other activities related to the past.
Creative, Domestic, and Nature-Loving
Cancer is a creative sign and many Cancers have artistic talents. Music and photography are common strengths, but they also tend to be excellent cooks and have green thumbs, which makes them pleasant household companions.
Many Cancers love outdoor pursuits such as hiking, climbing, swimming, camping, or sailing. If their ascendants fall in more cautious signs (such as Taurus, Virgo, or Capricorn), Cancers are more likely to prefer gentler pursuits such as nature walks, picnics, or regular sports, whereas those with ascendants that favor risk-taking (such as Aries, Leo, Scorpio, or Sagittarius) are more likely to be interested in extreme outdoor sports.
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.
Cancer Ruling Planet: Moon
Symbol: The Crab
Gemstones: Moonstone, lapis lazuli, pearl, alexandrite (June), ruby (July)
Parts of the Body: Breasts/chest and breastbone, upper digestive tract, stomach, pancreas, womb in females
Places: The United States, Canada, Holland, Scotland, New Zealand, Amsterdam, Milan, New York, Manchester, Venice, Algiers
Animals: Owl, cat, crab, catfish, unicorn, all animals with shells
Trees: Willow, holly, oak
Plants and Herbs: Cardamom, white rose, flax, lettuce, chickweed, larkspur, acanthus
Foods: Pumpkin, lettuce, turnip, cabbage, mushroom, olive
Cancer Colours: Pale blue, ocean colours, silver
Patterns or Designs: Curving, rolling designs such as waves or clouds, soft blending ocean colors
Other Cancer Associations: Mothers and children, cookwear, plants, boats, pools, souvenirs, photographs/photo albums, movies, home appliances, gardens and gardening tools, glasswear, patriotism, agriculture and produce, history, nostalgia, food, fertility, pregnancy, the ocean
50 Cent, Abigail Van Buren, Adam Savage, Alan Turing, Alex Trebek, Amedeo Modigliani, Andrew Wyeth, Angela Merkel, Anjelica Huston, Ann Landers, Ariana Grande, Ariana Huffington, Barbara Stanwyck, Benazir Bhutto, Bill Blass, Bill Cosby, Bill Watterson, Billy Mays, Billy Wilder, Bob Dole, Camilla Parker Bowles, Carl Lewis, Carlos Santana, Carly Simon, Clifford Odetts, Cory Doctorow, Courtney Love, Dalai Lama, Dan Ackroyd, Dan Brown, Danny Glover, Darren Shan, David Brinkley, Dean Koontz, Donald Sutherland, Duke of Windsor, E.B. White, Erich Maria Remarque, Ernest Hemingway, Estee Lauder, Forest Whitaker, Francoise Sagan, Franz Boas, Franz Kafka, Fred Savage, Frida Kahlo, Gary Busey, Genevieve Bujold, George Bush Jr., George Orwell, George Sand, George Steinbrenner, George Washington Carver, Georgio Armani, Gertrude Lawrence, Ginger Rogers, Gregor Mendel, Gustav Klimt, Harrison Ford, Helen Keller, Henry David Thoreau, Henry VIII, Herman Hesse, Hugo Boss, Hunter S. Thompson, Ingmar Bergman, Irving Stone, J.J. Abrams, Jack White, Jacques Derrida, Jaden Smith, James Brolin, James Cagney, James Whistler, Janet Leigh, Jean Cocteau, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Jean-Paul Sartre, Jessica Hahn, Jimmy Smits, Johannes Gutenberg, John D. Rockefeller, John Dillinger, John Glenn, Jordyn Wieber, Josh Hartnett, Joss Whedon, Julian Assange, Juliette Lewis, Julius Caesar, Karen Black, Kathy Bates, Kenneth Star, Kevin Bacon, Khloe Kardashian, Kris Kristofferson, Kristi Yamaguchi, Larry David, Lena Horne, Lil Kim, Linda Ronstadt, Lindsay Lohan, Liv Tyler, Lizzie Borden, Louis Armstrong, Lucy Arnaz, Marc Chagall, Marcel Proust, Mary McCarthy, Mel Brooks, Merv Griffin, Meryl Streep, Michael Phelps, Michelle Kwan, Michelle Rodriguez, Mike Tyson, Montel Williams, Nancy Reagan, Natalie Wood, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Neil Simon, Nelson Mandela, Nelson Rockefeller, Nikola Tesla, Olivia deHavilland, Orville Redenbacher, Oscar de la Renta, Pablo Neruda, Pamela Anderson, Patrick Stewart, Paul Anka, Peter Singer, Phoebe Cates, Phyllis Diller, Pierre Cardin, Princess Diana, Ralph Bellamy, Randy Couture, Rembrandt van Rijn, Richard Branson, Richard Lewis, Richard Simmons, Ricky Gervais, Ringo Starr, Robert Heinlein, Robin Williams, Rose Kennedy, Ross Perot, Rube Goldberg, S.E. Hinton, Samuel Colt, Selena Gomez, Sir Edmund Hillary, Steve Lawrence, Susan Hayward, Sylvester Stallone, Tobey Maguire, Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks, Vera Wang, Vin Diesel, Wanderlei Silva, Will Ferrell, Willem Dafoe, William Makepeace Thackeray, Wolfgang Puck, Woody Guthrie, Yul Brynner
- 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.