Dates: June 21 - July 22
Ruling Planet: Moon
Symbol: The Crab
House Association: 2nd
Symbol: cancer symbol
Dates: June 22 - July 22
Type: The sign of the Protector
Symbol: The Crab
Planetry ruler: Moon
Colour: Silver, pale blue, pastel tints, white
Gemstones: Moonstone, pearl
Keywords: Defensively, tenaciously, sensitively
Rules: the Fourth House (home and domestic life, the supportive parent, hidden motivations, old age). Positive traits: Kind, sensitive, sympathetic, imaginative, maternal or paternal, solicitous, protective, cautious, patriotic, tenacious, shrewd, thrifty, resourceful, good homemaker
Negative traits: Over-emotional, hypersensitive, moody, devious, changeable, self-pitying, unforgiving, unstable, gullible, untidy
Compatibility: Scorpio, Pisces Sexual partner: If you are female: GEMINI Passions of the mind
If you are male: SCORPIO Inspired fulfilment
Parts of the body ruled: Alimentary canal, lower ribs, breast bone, womb, digestive tract, upper digestive organs
Glands, nerves & Arteries: Breasts, pancreas
Acupuncture meridian: Stomach meridian
Possible ailments: Gastric disorders, heartburn, indigestion, obesity, ulcers
Beneficial foods: Watercress, milk
Diet: A short period of strict dieting, followed by a calorie-counted diet
Flowers, herbs & spices: Lily, White rose, larkspur, water violet, cabbage, cardamine, chick weed, flax, lettuce, maple, mushroom, olive, pumpkin, saxifrage, turnip
Trees/shrubs: Almond, birch, hawthorn, mimosa Healing with herbs: Saxifrage, hyssop, balm
Comfortable surroundings: Cancerians usually prefer pale colours which they find calming, steering away from bolder shades
Stress areas: Family problems, success/publicity, moving home, public speaking, loss of job, divorce, holidays Attitude to shopping: Cautious, thrifty
Objects: Boats, cooking utensils, gardening tools, home appliances, photographs, potted plants, souvenirs, swimming pools
Party costumes: Sailor, pearly king or queen, Dick Whittington
Sports/Hobbies: Cooking, DIY, Memory quizzes, sailing, sewing, water-skiing
Professions/Trades: Antique dealer, businessman/woman, caterer, fisherman, food scientist, historian, hotelier, housewife, kindergarten teacher, museum curator, nurse, publican, sailor
Countries: Holland, New Zealand, Scotland
Cities: Amsterdam, Manchester, Milan, New York, Venice
The Archetypal Cancerian: Snow White, the innocent whose trust was betrayed but who found comfort and shelter in the bosom of her tiny family!
Key Quote: "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones" - Proverb
The constellation of Cancer immortalizes the crab sent by the goddess Hera to combat her old enemy, Hercules. As the hero embarked on the second of his Twelve Labours - the destruction of the nine-headed serpent, Hydra - the crab nipped at his ankles but was crushed underfoot. Hera raised it to the heavens as a reward.
The Cancer personality is extremely protective of a vulnerable underside. There is a hard shell which is outwardly tough and impenetrable; but, inwardly, Cancer is highly sensitive and caring, even if this tendency is well hidden from the rest of the world. Like the tides, Cancer's moods are said to respond to the cycles of the moon. Physically, this is seen in the highly expressive Cancerian features and in their fluid, sensitive eyes. These reflect complex emotions which seem to ebb and flow to the rhythms of the moon. Cancer is the most sensitive and emotional of the cardinal signs. The sign belongs to the element of water and is ruled by the moon, which produces a powerful imagination combined with the energy and resourcefulness to initiate creative projects reflecting popular taste. A devoted lover, the cancerian heart is filled with emotions but they will only expose them very gradually.
Faithful and loyal, Cancerians think carefully before committing themselves to anyone, lest their emotional security is threatened and their trust broken. At their wedding, as the potent mix of heightened emotion and alcohol saturates the Cancerian soul, the likelihood of tears grows ever stronger. Born under a moon-rules sign which craves emotional security above all else, nothing is as certain to arouse Cancer's jealous streak as the feeling that the support and love of those around them is beginning to slip away. Jealous Cancerians can be unpredictable because they dislike head-on confrontations, so their first instinct is to retreat into their shells, making it difficult for others to get the problem out into the open.
Cancerians may be defensive and shy, but that does not stop them from flirting. Their strong instincts help them to home in on those who will respond, since they cannot handle rejection and rarely risk it. Cancerians are romantic yet practical, so the perfect affair is one which starts in a flurry of romance, but is realistic enough to have lasting possibilities. They are susceptible to candlelight dinners for two, violins playing, red roses and moonlight walks by the sea. The cancerian approach to sex is remarkably like the behaviour of the crab which represents their sign. They never approach their target directly, preferring a sideways shuffle. A cool shell of seeming indifference masks a passionate interior; when the crab's claws take hold, they rarely let go. Cancer is a sign that is well-known for wanting to take care of other people, and this is particularly noticeable in marriage.
Cancerians are extremely protective of their spouses and will do anything they can to keep them safe within a loving and much-valued home environment. Mutual togetherness is the Cancerian ideal and this sign finds it difficult to imagine, let alone experience, separation from aloved one even for a short time. Permanent separation is a Cancerian nightmare come true, and they will resist right up to the bitter end of a relationship. Cancerians tend to get into situations of rivalry through their over-sensitivity to personal hurts and injustice, and their tendency to harbour grudges. This can cause unnecessary bad feeling and suffering. Cancerians would find it helpful to be more easy-going. Nothing makes Leo happier then to move into a fantasy world of regal splendour in which omnipotence reigns with majestic benevolence and absolute power. The kingdom may be the home, the office, the country - it matters not as long as Leo rules there.
Cancerians have a vivid imagination and as a result they can picture all kinds of potential problems! A tricky situation can easily become a major worry, with possible difficulties assuming enormous proportions in their minds. Working out contingency plans for any likely snags can help. Cancerians are intensely private people who jealously guard the secrets of their success. They generally like to live behind a protective wall, which separates them from the outside world and keeps them, and the things they value, safe. Successful Cancerians may even own a guard dog. Cancerians are usually at their most passionate when protecting a child or close loved one. They are sometimes described as 'clannish' in that they have a strong sense of their own roots, and are very loyal - especially to their own family or to people they have grown to love.
Normally shy Cancerians often take the long way round in the promotion stakes by side-stepping their way to the top. Once they get there, however, they relish looking after those in their care and tend to accept the responsibilities of power with exceptionally good grace. Cancerians treat adventure with caution. They may approach it sideways, then retreat several times before taking the plunge - or even back off altogether. But watch out when there is a full moon; this can change their mood overnight and make adventure a real possibility. Whether they have a family or not, all Cancerians have a natural concern for children, and for any environmental matters affecting their welfare. The need for clean, safe parks, stricter dog controls, and additive-free food and water are issues close to the Cancerian heart.
Providing they feel everyone is 'on their side', Cancerian bosses are so mindful and responsive to the needs of their staff that they generally command great respect and loyalty. They are also highly protective, and will go to great lengths to look after their employees' welfare. Romance in the office is always a possibility if the Cancer boss is a man, but prospective mates should think twice before jumping into bed as soon as the crab makes loving overtures - during office hours, they will be expected to prove their love by working twice as hard as anyone else! They tend to reflect and respond rather than initiate - indeed, they may depend on other people for their very sense of identity. Just as the moon, their ruler, relies on the sun to be seen, so cancerians can wither away without support from others.
Most Cancerians are blessed with an excellent memory and have the ability to recall everything from the past - trivial and superficial as well as profound. As a result many Cancerians have a 'cluttered' mind which, together with their intuition, makes rational thought difficult. Cancerians make dedicated parents and would rather do with less themselves than see their youngsters go short. Many crabs of both sexes stop work entirely during their children's early years, since they feel much happier taking up parenting full time. They find great fulfilment in ministering to the needs of the household - especially in the kitchen - as this is a positive demonstration of their love. But it is unwise to take advantage of them; the greatest hurt for a cancerian is to be unappreciated.
Cancerians are easily swayed by those they are close to, especially if they happen to be strong-minded people. When the time comes to make a personal decision, they need space to think on their own, without any sense of pressure from anyone else. They can cope in a crises. Indeed, it is probably fair to say that they work better, and achieve more, when they are under some sort of pressure or threat than at any other time. Yet even though crabs, like Taureans, make strong and loyal defenders, they are not so good at taking the initiative. When any sort of crises looms, their priority is to make sure that those close to them are safe and well protected; after that, well.... Their habit of worrying about things and retreating into a world of pent-up emotions can easily result in health problems - particularly stomach ulcers, since cancer rules this part of the body.
Cancerians would do well to share their troubles with a kindly friend. As they belong to one of the more dependent signs, young crabs will not want to stray too far from home. Even older ones often keep close ties with their families, sometimes to the point of retaining an extended family network in the home. Cancerian children must be encouraged to express their feelings as much a possible, especially when something is worrying them. What they need more than anything else is a warm and loving home life in which they feel completely secure. For them, the big challenge of adolescence is to let go of childhood needs and behaviour patterns. While most are only too well aware that some day they must learn to stand on their own two feet, their instinct is to cling to what is tried and tested - and that means the security of home. Their great boon in old age is their wonderful memory, which can recall at will a lifetime of treasured experiences.
Although the hurts and slights of the past may not have been forgotten, by this stage in their lives, past wrongs and unpleasant experiences will have been accepted and put into their proper perspective. Inevitably, there may be an odd touch of 'crabbiness' when young people overlook their frailty, or the fact that they have learned many of life's lessons the hard way. But by spinning yarns of yesteryear with compassion and emotion, this sign can inspire younger generations into combining the legacy of the past with the best of the future. In spite of their occasional brooding moods, Cancerian siblings usually remain geographically close in adult life. And on an emotional level, they never can quite extricate themselves sufficiently from early ties to strike out on their own. Much of this sign's identity is derived from involvement in the family, and without your support they may become very disenchanted. If all this makes you feel weighed down with responsibility, remember the good times - the family parties, hatches, matches and despatches when cancer was kind, loving and full of fun. Although the cancerian father will share the nurturing of his children, his ambition and shrewd business sense may well occupy him fully. Since Cancer is the sign of maternal love, however, the cancerian mother may choose to stay at home and look after the children.
Cancerians like attention from their friends. Small gestures like sending them a postcard when you're away, phoning them to see how they are, or sending flowers when they're ill, mean a great deal. Equally, they will feel hurt if you forget their birthday, though they probably won't say so. Their idea of the perfect car is one with enough room for their family, their pets, a mobile barbeque and a full set of picnic furniture. Within weeks of taking delivery it will have that unmistakable 'lived-in' look - scratches on the paintwork, apple cores in the ashtrays and sweets stuck to the seats. It will also have acquired a bizarre nickname such as 'Bessie' or 'roger'. On a more serious note, they like to feel safe in their cars, so a high driving position and plenty of metal around them is bound to appeal. Underneath their guarded, somewhat inpenetrable exterior, they are often desperately unsure of themselves. More than anything, it is these feelings of insecurity which lead them to seek out the love of partners, family and friends - then enclose it tightly, for fear that it may vanish.
Watch a crab go about its business and you may learn something of the way Cancer's mind works. Scutling hither and thither, it could be a long time before its purpose becomes clear. Cancerians, too, are just as enigmatic, and it is often impossible to follow their line of thinking. It's not that they are naturally dishonest - just that, when they are in one of their brooding moods, they can give a convincing impression of being devious. Because their desire to win operates largely on an emotional level, it is highly illogical and tends to ignore the facts. This partly explains why they tend to find themselves in win-or-lose situations rather more than they'd like, and also why losing can be such a devastating experience for this sign. Whatever they may say, Cancerians hell-bent on victory are incapable of taking a rational, 'may the best person win' view of the outcome. Any losses will be deeply felt, with no attempt made to understand why, and it may be some time before crabs venture forth from their shells to have another go.
Their feelings of fitness and individual energy levels are affected by the state of their emotions and their mood as well as by physical factors - and this is particularly true of female Cancerians. They may also respond more than most to the phases of the moon, their ruling planet. They like to feel secure in their surroundings, but uncertainty may give rise to depression. They tend to churn things over, and are therefore vulnerable to gastric disorders. For them, the challenge is to try and let go of anxieties by learning to talk through their problems. They really appreciate good food and they are particularly fond of rich, creamy dishes. Low-calorie white cheeses such as fromage frais, and thick, creamy Greek-style yogurts can be helpful substitutes for cream and mayonnaise, to keep their morale high while dieting. They enjoy using their creativity to accessorize their basic outfits in interesting and original ways so that they do not fade into the background. Although they are often drawn to outfits in neutral shades, they can add a touch of colour with bright scarves and jewelry, which are usually tastefully chosen.
They are natural home makers and love to spend time making their living quarters more comfortable. They are also good cooks, and enjoy creating tasty meals even more than eating them - they entertain at home by choice and cook for pleasure. You can always spot Cancerians coming into a pub. These are the people who poke their heads round the door first, looking this way and that to see who's there before venturing in. If they know someone, fine - they step in boldly with a cheery smile and bounce across to the bar as if they own the place. If not, they will beat a hasty retreat to wait for whoever they have arranged to meet. Home-loving Cancerians can be excellent at throwing family parties, with perhaps just a few close friends included as well, but if they had to plan anything larger or more flamboyant, they might worry themselves into such a state that it could actually make them ill. They are by no means anti-social people, but more than most signs they need time to themselves to recharge their batteries. Shared interests and common bonds linking them with others often play an important part in their social life and out-of-work activities.
Despite their reputation for shyness and undeniable love of home comforts, most cancerians enjoy going out to eat. With their keen interest in creative cooking, they jump at the chance to sample the offerings of like-minded souls. Their caring instinct is expressed naturally in their enjoyment of cooking for others. They are excellent hosts once they have overcome the sensitivity which often prevents them issuing invitations. Their food and surroundings are invariably impeccable. In their leisure time, their taste is for things which restore their depleted emotional energy. Home cooking, a good book and romantic music all fall into this category; extravagant or socially demanding pastimes most definitely do not.
Because their families are so important, some of them may endure trips or holidays they do not enjoy, for the sake of others. But they need to make sure that they do not spoil the break for everyone else, since they are not usually very good at hiding their resentments. A tendency they may need to guard against is hoarding things they will never use. They become emotionally attached to possessions, never throwing anything away without feeling they are discarding some part of themselves. Many may still have their first teddy bear. Sensitive Cancerians cannot ignore the destiny mapped out for them by the Nodes. Yet even though they may sense the real purpose of their time on earth at an early age, they are unlikely to accept it until circumstances force them to sit up and take notice. They are also the bargain-hunters of the zodiac. They have a knack for recognizing the undiscovered Cezanne or Van Gogh at the car boot sale, or the diamond ring that has been rejected as costume jewelry. Due to their interest in the past, they often love antiques. They love collecting things - people, objects and money - and are not very free with their cash, since they tend to feel rather vulnerable without it. 'I protect' is what they widely proclaim; and their bank accounts stay healthy 'just in case' of a rainy day. Keen hoarders, most of them will hang onto even the most trifling momentoes because of their sentimental associations. Though they may not look at them for years, they are unlikely to forget where they came from or how much they cost.
Their ideal home is close to water - preferably with a stream trickling through the back garden. The house itsel will be secluded - possibly at the end of a cul-de-sac within the security of a private estate, with an intercom by the front gate allowing the owner to monitor all callers. Inside, the atmosphere will be homely, with every room packed full of collectables. The children's bedrooms will be left just as they were the day their occupants left. After all, there is always a chance they may return. Their ability to sense the mood and feelings of other people can be a two-edged sword. They need to guard against becoming too involved in others' problems or grievances, and will quickly become upset if there is an 'atmosphere' at work. They have a gift for understanding the pains of others and a desire to help where they can. So careers which require a confidential and solicitous concern are guaranteed to give them the deep feeling of security and warmth for which they have an innate requirement. Psychic Cancerians may see auras or have information about the past, present and future in the form of pictures, almost as if they have a cinema screen inside their heads. Alternatively, they may 'hear' what someone is going to say before they start to say it. They are most at home with secrets. Like a crab, they approach life obliquely.
They are naturally secretive and things are rarely straightforward with them. They are very difficult people to get to know as their deepest secret is their real self. Their fear of being unloved often causes them to cling on to things - or people - that should have been disposed of a long time ago. They need to realize that others' failing are not necessarily a reflection of their own inadequacies. Whether they love them or are locked in a lifelong battle with them, Cancerians are usually very sensitive on the subject of their mothers. Sometimes, this sensitivity extends to other close relations too. So, jokes about the family will be received in icy silence. They like both cats and dogs, although the balance probably just tips in favour of dogs because they are more responsive and less independent. They may have a soft spot for a working breed such as a sheepdog. Rabbits, hamsters, gerbils or a tortoise may also appeal as family pets. They may not enjoy routine food-shopping, but they do like looking in specialist shops for interesting and unusual ingredients. And they often enjoy buying recipe books and attractive and useful pieces of equipment for their kitchens in traditional designs.
ARIES: A tricky combination, but great for those who thrive on a challenge. Arians may need Cancer's protection, but they don't always want it!
TAURUS: In different ways, each of you will provide the support and security the other is looking for. An ideal combination.
GEMINI: Twins seem so uncommitted and fickle, you feel it your duty to help them understand their own emotions. Sadly, they may not agree
CANCER: You may feel inspired by other crabs, but you also fear being swamped by a tidal wave of emotion. OK in small doses.
LEO: You widh you had the Lion's confidence. A happy result of this relationship could be that you resolve to take self-assertiveness lessons!
VIRGO: Here you find a soul mate who seems to have the right answer for all of your dilemmas - emotional and otherwise.
LIBRA: Librans strike you as calm, cool, and irritatingly 'just so', perhaps to the point where you feel like purposely ruffling their feathers.
SCORPIO: An undeniably strong empathy. You alone know how to cope with Scorpio's emotional power games - you play them yourself.
SAGITTARIUS: Intrigued by the Archer's optimism and seeming wealth of knowledge, you nevertheless fear you may be out of your depth.
CAPRICORN: You find Goats' stability reassuring, while finding it hard to believe that they have no feelings at all.
AQUARIUS: There is something appealingly sexy about this aloof sign, but you find it very hard to talk to them about your feelings.
PISCES: The chances of harmony here are excellent. A relationship built to last, even if you don't see each other too often!