by Stefan Stenudd


Cancer in the Complete Horoscope

The Crab Zodiac Sign in Classical Astrology

Cancer Zodiac sign in Astrology
The Cancer Zodiac sign glyph. Ink calligraphy by Stefan Stenudd. Click the image to see it enlarged.

Cancer, the Crab, is the fourth sign of the zodiac. The sun enters it on or around June 21, at the summer solstice.


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       Cancer belongs to the element water, its quality is cardinal and its charge is negative. Its Ruler is the moon, and Venus exalts in it. Its motto is: "I feel." In the horoscope chart, the zodiac sign Cancer brings a caring, affectionate and protecting character to planets and astrological houses therein.

       Please observe that the text on this webpage is about the role of the Cancer zodiac sign in the complete horoscope chart, and not just its meaning as a star sign, also called sun sign (when the sun was in Cancer at the time of your birth).

Your Cancer Zodiac Sign

The sun, the basis of Zodiac sign astrology. Woodcut. Those who have Cancer as their zodiac sign (star sign) are born when the sun was in Cancer, normally June 21 — July 22 (it differs slightly from year to year, because of the leap years). Therefore, it is also — more adequately — called the sun sign.

       Observe that it's just one of the many components of the complete horoscope chart. Nowadays, star sign astrology is much more widespread and common than readings based on the classical birth chart, but the latter is what astrology is really all about.

       The sun in your horoscope is your natural self — what you are when you relax, when other planets in your horoscope are not active. It is your basic drive.

       If your sun sign is Cancer, you are an emotional being, engaging yourself in caring about others. It is the motherly sign. That is far from a submissive character. Notice that the sign's quality is cardinal, leading. The Cancer character is caring in a protective way, a tendency to control, although with good intentions.

The Father of Cancer

The sun in the horoscope also represents your father (the mother is represented by the moon).

       If you have the sun in Cancer, your relation to your father is one of deep affection, where both of you feel very committed to each other. You are also both quite protective, sometimes in ways that lead to frustration, because you both feel that you know what's best for the other.

Cancer, by Hevelius.

       For more about your sun sign in Zodiac sign astrology, see the link further down this page.

The Planets in Cancer

The planets and astrological points are the active forces in the horoscope chart, the energies by which we are able to act. As such, each has its own characteristics, but they are influenced by the zodiac sign they occupy. When a planet or other point of the horoscope is in Cancer, it is also affected by the zodiac sign, getting something of its character. Here are those planets and astrological points, what they stand for in the complete horoscope chart, and how they are affected by the zodiac sign Cancer:

The planet symbols (glyphs).

Planet symbols (glyphs). From left to right: sun, moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Ascendant, Medium Coeli, moon node.

  • Sun   basic drive — Cancer brings caring and commitment.

  • Moon   longing — Cancer brings a need for deep relations, and makes you quite emotional, sensitive to mood swings.

  • Mercury   curiosity — Cancer brings ability to voice emotions, and a sensitivity to how words affect others.

  • Venus   affection — Cancer brings a capacity to play on the emotions of others, to charm, please and delight.

  • Mars   aggression — Cancer brings a will to protect and dominate, a temper and a tendency to upset others.

  • Jupiter   luck — Cancer brings a sense of joy, and happiness seems near at hand.

  • Saturn   duty — Cancer brings a love for the ways of the past and for the bloodline, also some angst.

  • Uranus   contemplation — Cancer brings a capacity to see through others, to understand motivation and things implied.

  • Neptune   fantasy — Cancer brings vivid and engaging dreams, and an imagination favoring the emotional.

  • Pluto   catharsis — Cancer brings upsetting surprises and events that stir up emotions.

  • Ascendant, AC   attitude — Cancer brings a pleasant way of behaving, with no fear of intimacy.

  • Medium Coeli, MC   self-image — Cancer brings unselfishness, a wish to be good unto others.

The Houses in Cancer

The astrological Houses are life environments, different sections of what constitutes our everyday reality. The Zodiac signs bring their characteristics to the Houses, influencing the environments described by them. Here are the twelve Houses, what they stand for, and how the Zodiac sign Cancer affects them:

  1. Identity — Cancer makes you seem caring and committed.

  2. Resources — Cancer makes you pleased with what you have.

  3. Communication — Cancer makes you care about friends, but less about learning.

  4. Home — Cancer makes you deeply committed to your family.

  5. Pastime — Cancer makes you want to do good deeds, especially to your loved ones.

  6. Work — Cancer makes you best suited to work with people, caring for them.

  7. Partners — Cancer makes your relations deep and committed, with great affection.

  8. Unknown — Cancer makes you trust that all is for the best, whatever lies ahead.

  9. Travel — Cancer makes you want to feel like home, wherever you are.

  10. Career — Cancer makes you quite at home in a social setting, respected for your commitment.

  11. Ideals — Cancer makes you believe in doing good and caring for each other, and that's about all.

  12. Shortcomings — Cancer makes your emotional life less than you want, and you might not care as much for others as you want to.

Cancer in General

Of course, all of the above is very general, mainly to give you an idea of how the Cancer zodiac sign works in the horoscope and influences its different components. You need to study your complete horoscope chart carefully, to make a deeper and more nuanced interpretation.

Cancer — Crab. Illustration from a 1482 edition of Poeticon Astronomicon, attributed to Hyginus.

Cancer — Crab. Illustration from a 1482 edition of Poeticon Astronomicon, attributed to Hyginus.

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Stefan Stenudd

Stefan Stenudd, Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction.

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