What are the Personality Characteristics Associated with the Astrological Sign Cancer?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Sara Z. Potter
  • Last Modified Date: 26 August 2019
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In astrology, Cancer refers to those born 23 June through 23 July, and is the fourth sign of the Zodiac. A Cardinal Water sign, it is dynamically emotional. People born under this sign are in tune with the feelings of others as they tend to feel things so deeply themselves. Cancers know how to influence others emotionally, but sometimes have trouble balancing their own emotions.

Ruled by the Moon, Cancers can be moody and sensitive yet also very capable at getting what they want. The Moon influences the subconscious mind and intuitive individuals sense and feel their way through life. If the Moon's emotional force is controlled, stability results, but if it's not controlled, the result can be instability for the Cancer personality.

The Crab is the symbol for the sign of Cancer and sometimes the Cancerian displays a brooding sort of neediness, while other times the person seeks the emotional safety of their own shell. Like the Crab, these people tend to react to their environment and can become aggressive on the rare occasion when they feel they need to be. The classic Cancer is seldom spontaneous, but very caring and sympathetic towards others.


Cancerians often make excellent child caregivers, nurses, counselors, and social workers. They are often emotionally intelligent and sensitive to the feelings and moods of others. Medicine, marketing, and homemaking are all fields well-suited to the intuitive, thoughtful individuals. Classic Cancers crave a family and the Moon sign is associated with the mother as well as with family life in general.

Silver is the color and metal associated with Cancer. Some astrologers see black, white, and gray as other colors for this sign. Cancer rules the stomach and Cancerians can be prone to stomach pain when they are upset emotionally. Its keywords are family, sensitivity, accomplishment, and emotion.

Sensitivity and understanding flows between Water signs, so Pisces and Scorpio are the most compatible signs with Cancer. Another Cancer, Virgo, Taurus, Leo, Capricorn, and Gemini may also be compatible. Aquarius may be too unemotional and Sagittarius too superficial. People with this sign may consider Aries too aggressive or insensitive, and a Libra as too indecisive. Famous Cancerians include Helen Keller, Tom Cruise, Pamela Anderson, Lindsay Lohan, and Richard Simmons.


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Post 4

The constellation of Cancer was said to have been placed in the sky by Hera, the wife and sister of Zeus, in her attempts to slay Heracles (Hercules). This could also suggest an attempt to drag Heracles down to death by the great death-mother, an image which recurs in many mythologies.

Post 3

Cancer could also be interpreted as rebirth. The introverted, negative, and feminine, aspect of it suggests that it is symbolic of night time and waiting for a new dawn. Much of astrological symbolism has parallels in various mythologies, including images of the mother image and rebirth.

Post 2

I wonder if this association with the moon led to the legends of werewolves. A person with strong emotional fluctuations can be both as sensitive and loving as a human and as fierce as a wolf. I know many people like this, and their deep emotions are contagious.

Post 1

I think there is some truth to the personality traits of Cancers. I have had many friends who fell under this zodiac sign that were very caring individuals.

I also being a Pisces could see a strong compatibility with other water signs such as Scorpio and Pisces. The water signs also tend to be creative and sensitive people.

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