Polarity: Nocturnal
Element: Water
Modality: Cardinal
Traditional ruler: The Moon
Keywords: Caring and emotive
Symbol: ♋ (The crab)

As the sign of cardinal water, Cancer is the nurturer of the zodiac. Part kitchen witch and part fierce mama bear, Cancer is heartfelt, intuitive, and famously moody. (It’s ruled by the ever-shifting Moon, after all.) But there’s more to this sign than ladling out pouts and TLC. In fact, Cancer’s mascot crustacean offers a clue to its complexity. The crab’s hard shell serves an important purpose: protecting the soft belly beneath. Vulnerability is necessary to cultivate the close connections that Cancer craves, but opening up can lead to the threat of overexposure. After baring all, the crab naturally begins to search for the appropriate amount of padding, structure, and rooting to safeguard its rich emotional gifts. That can assume the form of a physical fortress, such as a home, or an energetic or psychological boundary, like limiting stressful social plans.

If you have key planets or angles in Cancer, striking a balance between staying receptive and staying on guard is at least part of the work you’re here to do. It will take practice to resist scuttling away from conflict too soon or tossing passive-aggressive barbs into the heat of an argument. The crab has to make peace with its duality. This requires owning its tenacity and plugging into the wisdom of its sensitivity.

At their core, Cancer placements feel called to weave compassion into all of their relationships. They are also uniquely connected to the gift of memory, and may be driven to preserve their own, or others’, histories and stories. Simply put, they are here to be the emotional glue that holds people, communities, and the world together.

Note: Each sign has its own signature style, and every planet or point has to function through the filter of the sign it’s in. The manner in which this happens depends on all the planets, points, and signs involved. To find out which placements you have in Cancer, download the CHANI app or use our chart tool.

What does it mean to have one of your “big three” in Cancer?

Sun in Cancer

The Sun passes through Cancer from around June 22nd to July 22nd every year, though the exact dates will vary. In this cardinal water sign, Sol functions as a tender memory keeper, holding on to each thread of the human story. If Cancer is your Sun sign, beaming love and appreciation onto those you care about reinvigorates you and taps you into your tremendous emotional power. Like a parent or other caregiver, you are always sensing what people need to hear, know, or receive as support. Taking time to regularly flush built-up resentments from your system will keep your inner waters running clear and renew those around you too.

Moon in Cancer

With your Moon in Cancer, your need to nourish others is immense. Luna is at home in the sign of the crab, which means its natural gifts of caregiving, empathy, and intuition are bolstered here. If you have this placement, cultivating bonds with those who feel like family is critical for creating a sense of security. You also pick up on others’ unprocessed emotions, which may make you prone to getting swept up in everyone’s needs but your own. Bouts of moodiness are your cue to take a breather and establish protective boundaries so that you can reset. Since the Moon is in a place of power here, abundance may flow easily in the area of life that corresponds with Luna’s house placement, and topics related to the Moon — such as bonding with, caring for, or moving about the world — may hold extra importance for you.

Ascendant (aka rising sign) in Cancer

If your ascendant is in Cancer, the Moon is your ruling planet, which means you’ll want to be known for your ability to care for your cohorts, friends, and family members, initiating them into the realms of the heart. This rising sign is driven to remember the “tender trivia” about those they love. A Cancer ascendant rejoices in recalling how their dear ones take their tea, feel about their parents, or like to recharge their batteries. While others may interpret your style as simply compassionate, there is a strong streak of tenaciousness at play here as well. This is a placement that knows how to grip memories, histories, and/or resentments tightly in its claws. Taking time to nurture yourself too will keep you sparkly, vibrant, and able to show up for those around you, resentment-free.

What it means to have other planets and points in Cancer

Mercury in Cancer

Mercury in Cancer is sensitive, colored by emotion, and finely attuned to others. If you have the messenger in this sign, your speaking and thinking style will be informed by the heart. You will be drawn to articulate your feelings and bond with others through soul-stirring conversations. Be careful not to throw your objectivity overboard, though. Exercising a touch of rationality now and then makes your thoughts clearer and more well-rounded, and it deescalates touchiness to boot.

Venus in Cancer

Venus in Cancer possesses supercharged sensitivity — both to its own and others’ needs. If you have this placement, you will be an intuitively caring partner, alert and responsive to what your loves (be they romantic or platonic) require to feel supported. That said, your need for trust and emotional security runs equally high. This placement is hyper-attuned to perceived threats to its relationships. Loyalty, commitment, and plenty of heart-to-hearts are the ticket to creating conditions that feel secure and let love flow unimpeded.

Mars in Cancer

Mars is considered to be in its fall in Cancer, which means you may struggle to be assertive. While Mars races toward conflict, Cancer seeks to preserve connection. In other words: One runs hot and the other, cozy. If you have this placement, your anger may have a tendency to burrow underground and then burst out in the form of tantrums or passive-aggressive acts, or you might struggle with summoning sufficient motivation to tackle tasks. In either case, cultivating a clearer relationship with your aggression, self-advocacy, and goals will help you move forward more seamlessly. The plus side? You’re likely blessed with extra self-care superpowers to aid the cool-down needed after wielding your firepower.

Jupiter in Cancer

Jupiter is exalted in Cancer, meaning that its fertility is at an all-time high in these luminous waters. If you have this placement, you will have an excess of optimism and compassion to pour forth. This combination knows how to protect its abundant life force so that significant projects, relationships, and life-affirming acts can sustainably occur. With this auspicious duo, you have the ability to easily manifest blessings in your life. If you put out your cups, they’ll runneth over.

Saturn in Cancer

Saturn is in detriment in Cancer, which means it’s residing in a sign contrary to its natural tendencies. While Saturn craves boundaries, Cancer doesn’t know if it should be permeable or impenetrable. If you have this placement, you may switch between being consumed by your emotions and being overly defensive or closed off. Don’t let tender feelings distract you from putting in the work required to achieve your dreams. In summoning your stamina, you also cultivate a timeless gift: self-respect.

Chiron in Cancer

With Chiron in Cancer, your emotions are your teachers. Though you may feel overly sensitive or uncared for early in life, your wounds will increase your empathy for others over time. These intuitive gifts make you a wise guide, capable of helping others navigate thorny issues around security, belonging, and connection.

Uranus in Cancer

Uranus loves to shake things up — and in Cancer, it’s most interested in focusing its innovation on topics surrounding family, ancestry, caretaking, lineage, history, and tradition. Talk about a compassionate changemaker. With the planetary rebel in this sign, you might be drawn to challenge conventional gender roles, expectations about domestic labor, or taboos around emotional expression. It’s your revolution, and you can cry if you want to!

Neptune in Cancer

Neptune hasn’t been in Cancer since 1915, and it won’t return to this sign until the 2060s. But for those who have it, this placement confers heightened intuition or even psychic abilities, along with increased empathy, compassion, and imagination.

Pluto in Cancer

Pluto was in Cancer from 1913 to 1938, a period when security fears and concerns about procuring nourishment were prominent in much of the world. Individuals with this placement are deeply feeling, protective, and emotionally intense. They have likely undergone a transformative journey at some point in their life around what it means to be safe or have a home.

North Node in Cancer

With the North Node in Cancer, emotions are amplified, caring for self and others is paramount, and vulnerability is a superpower.

South Node in Cancer

With the South Node in Cancer, emotional drama and inner-child immaturity are released. You’re more concerned with cultivating the self-control, self-respect, and stamina necessary to achieve your loftiest goals.

MC in Cancer

When your MC (or midheaven) is in Cancer, your career, vocation, or public roles are the means through which you care for others and the world. You’re a nurturing leader, and you thrive in settings where human connection is front and center. Projects that are vehicles for your compassion help you shine the brightest.

IC in Cancer

Your home or family life is more important for you than for others with the IC (or imum coeli) in Cancer. You might feel an extra-strong connection to your kin, ancestry, lineage, or favorite stuffed animal. Your caregivers may have modeled nurturance and care, or left you searching for security. Throughout your life, it will be supportive for you to have a cozy nest to recuperate in and cultivate relationships with people who feel like family.

DC in Cancer

If your DC (or descendant) is in Cancer, you gravitate to people who beckon your own gentleness. You have a knack for attracting folks who know how to dissolve your protective calluses and melt the walls around your heart. You’re drawn to nurturers who are intuitive enough to decode your body language and compassionate enough to meet you emotionally. (Softies only.)

Affirmation for Cancer

Care is my greatest currency.


Want to learn more about the signs in the zodiac? Click the links below.

Aries | Taurus | Gemini | Cancer | Leo | Virgo | Libra 

Scorpio | Sagittarius | Capricorn | Aquarius | Pisces

Then download the CHANI app on iOS or Android for additional readings.

-Travo News

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