Cancer Personality Traits: Everything You Need To Know About the Zodiac Sign
Cancerians, symbolized by the crab, are gentler and more caring than you might think.
The fourth sign in the zodiac, Cancer (June 21 – July 22) is highly sensitive and intuitive, with an innate ability to see through other people. While Cancerians — represented by the crab — are known to be self-protective and often thought of as cold, when connecting with someone on the same wavelength, they are able to shed their shell to reveal their caring, gentle and nurturing side. A cardinal water sign, Cancer is an emotion-driven creative being who can turn ocean waves into sound waves — some of the music industry’s favorite artists, such as Ariana Grande, Solange and Selena Gomez, are also Cancers.
As we move into Cancer season, Sanctuary astrologist Julia Arielle Modorsky shares everything you need to know about the zodiac sign, including its biggest strengths and challenges, as well as their compatibility with other signs.
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Cancer is the fourth astrological sign in the zodiac.
With Aries, we had the beginning of life, activity and passion. Taurus came with the enjoyment of life, the voice (singing) and earth’s natural resources. Gemini went into the beginning of conscious thought, questions and curiosity. And now, Cancer is here as the fourth sign to establish the home, the family (this can be friendship), and to recognize the heart and emotional nature of life, the beauty of creation.
Cancer is ruled by the Moon and it is a water sign.
Cancer being ruled by the Moon (the two correlate with one another) is actually why Cancerians are one of the most diverse signs in the zodiac. Since the Moon changes signs every 2.5 days for a total of 28 days, each time we enter Cancer season, we find Cancerians born under and ruled by any of the 12 zodiac signs. In contrast, Gemini’s ruler, Mercury, is always near the Sun. During Gemini Season, the ruler could have only been in Taurus, Gemini or Cancer, and no other sign. Meaning a “Sagittarius Mercury-ruled Geminian” (for one) can never actually exist. But there is such a thing as a daring Sagittarius Moon-ruled Cancerian, an intellectual Gemini Moon-ruled Cancerian, an exuberant Leo Moon-ruled Cancerian and so on with every single Moon sign.
Being the first of the water signs, Cancerians are the first to be aware of the emotional tides and the great knowledge our bodies can share with us (or intuition, in other words). As the Moon has such control over the waves, Cancerians are also very much in tune with the waters of life — feelings, emotions, emoting, caring, understanding, empathizing. There’s an inner need to express the energy in motion. Just as the Moon can manipulate the ocean waves, however, a not-yet-matured Cancerian can also manipulate the emotional waves of the heart.
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Cancerians are easily compatible with other water signs and earth signs like Pisces, Scorpio, Taurus, Virgo, and even their polar opposite, Capricorn.
With the combination of the two Suns, a Piscean-Cancerian combo can encompass a very grounded, natural and rhythmic relationship where each partner feels highly valued.
Falling in love with a Scorpio can exhibit a very conscious and aware partnership. You’re eager to help one another out, focusing on health, healing and going about the day-to-day together through a successful routine. Be sure to curb any potential criticisms with empathy and understanding.
A relationship with a Taurus can feel communicative and full of curiosity, chatter and openness — a great foundation for any relationship, with both eager to share what’s on their mind.
Virgos and Cancers can form an expressive, playful, fun-filled, romantic and creative partnership — able to shine a bright light on one another’s best traits.
Capricorns can provide a great balance with Cancerians in both grounded-ness and feeling enlivened in a relationship with one another.
This is not to say Cancerians won’t get along with an air or fire sign. Remember: these Lunar folks are the most diverse when it comes to rulership. You can find a Cancer Sun ruled by an Aries or an Aquarius Moon for example, bringing out an independent or an innovative vibe towards its feeling nature — making these particular Cancerians a perfect match for fire or air signs.
Aries, Libra and (again) Capricorn Suns can really challenge a Cancerian towards growth with their self-expression and how they shine (and vice versa), while Gemini, Leo, Aquarius and Sagittarius Suns can help bring in new perspectives.
However, always keep in mind that the whole birth chart is necessary when it comes to compatibility. So enjoy your relationship, enjoy the person you’re vibing with, and dive deeply into a birth chart only to better understand both your partner and yourself. Even with careful understanding and putting your all into a relationship, if it starts to turn sour or just doesn’t seem like it’ll be able to work out, be very honest with yourself early on, keep the lines of communication open, and bravely continue on forward knowing all will be well and that you will thrive.
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Cancerians are some of the most gentle, friendly, caring, understanding, familial and even fierce beings of the zodiac. They’re able to skillfully express themselves from the very core of their being.
They are also protective, nurturing and active. A mama or papa bear may be more of a fitting animal-pairing than the well-known crab. Most people will often find themselves feeling comfortable being around a Cancerian. However, because these perceptive beings are able to really see through (or feel through) to the heart, it can be important that they remember to set boundaries and be discerning, so they’re able to see a person for who they presently are, and not just for their potential or higher self.
Cancerians are highly intuitive and can mostly easily follow where their heart and gut are guiding them with their internal built-in GPS system. They are also one of the four cardinal signs, alongside Aries, Capricorn and Libra — these individuals have no problem with initiating and taking action when needed, especially with those whom, or in a setting where they feel supported and foundationally secure.
While their following sign, Leo, is known for its creativity and charismatic expression, Cancerians are known for their ability to birth creation. They are the makers and creationists of the zodiac, able to turn feelings and needs into action, calling a brilliant new idea or passion project their baby (or child). Whether creating music, assisting families as a doula, concocting healing apothecaries from their carefully crafted garden, establishing a thriving company or business, or professionally whipping up a delicious meal, Cancerians can successfully create anything their hearts call them towards.
It can be important for Cancerians to be careful with getting lost in the sea of their emotions, or projecting this out without total awareness. This also goes for getting lost in others’ emotions due to their inherently empathic and sympathetic natures. Remaining disciplined and standing firm in their boundaries can be of great benefit here. There is a possibility that moodiness can be a challenge to overcome for Cancerians, as this sign is ruled by the Moon and can be swayed by the ever-changing tides of its cycle — from the freshness of the New Moon to the intensity of the Full Moon. Having conscious awareness of how these waters can influence their mood can help any Cancerian master the art of emotional discipline, maturity and grounded-ness. Due to their feeling nature, it’s also key that they always continue to honor their emotions, while staying in control of how they respond, so as to not regret a potential emotional reaction. Cancerians will thrive if they don’t take any criticisms or opposing ideas personally or to heart, instead seeing them as constructive feedback or as pure discourse.
Another challenge Cancerians may face is to not overextend themselves with those who don’t also see or treat them like family (as they would). It’s best for Cancerians to not second-guess themselves too often and learn to develop a deep trust in their inner knowing.
And lastly, if they’re feeling drained, it’s important these sea creatures don’t shame themselves out of a midday snooze, and remember to nurture themselves as they would nurture others.
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Love and Sex
When it comes to romance, Cancerians don’t often have trouble finding love or opening up in vulnerable ways, and can be found showering their partners with sweetness. They will most often follow their hearts and, once in a relationship, can be very committed and even desire to build a family in some form (this can also mean animal friends!).
If a Cancerian is distracted and not too present with their partner, it’s possible there’s something weighing on their heart, so be sure to let them know that it is safe and okay to divulge how they’re feeling if something isn’t being said. It can be about their work, family, the world, or anything else that they haven’t already been discussing with their partner.
On a date, a Cancerian may invite their love interest over to their place and even prepare a home-cooked meal. If this does happen, rest assured that their date will not be disappointed and these hosts may even find themselves becoming the designated chef in the relationship (before it gets too out of hand, make sure to communicate that it’s something they actually enjoy and want to do, and not just something that happened).
Spend time showering these Moon beings with love and let them know that their feelings are valid, even if there’s a misunderstanding that needs to be worked through. When deeply in love and fresh out of an argument, a Cancerian will work without much rest to come upon a greater understanding of their partner’s needs while still valuing their own. It’s important their efforts are appreciated and that compromise and peace are successfully attained, so the relationship can
continue to healthily progress.
Cancerians are always circle-inclusive when the vibes feel right. Being good friends with a Moon child can mean being friends for life, as they’ll become a part of a Cancerian’s ever-growing community. This is the zodiac sign that will be there for their close friends whenever needed — if going through a troubling period, they won’t shy away from a friend’s emotions, but instead be greatly supportive. Like the nurturing parent, these gentle and protective-shelled friends will make sure their companions are well-nourished when they’re together. A meal, a glass of water, a listening ear or a reminder of how wonderful their friends are. A BFF for all!
If the vibes are ever off, Cancerians will be highly aware of this and may build a protective wall, or decide not to even tear it down in the first place. They’ll often only open up with those they intuitively know they’ll become good friends with, feeling a known comfort in one another’s presence.
These good-natured water beings will also lift their friends up if they’re ever down. With a love for good moods and emotional connections, Cancerians can thrive with a night on the town, out partying on a day off, at a beach barbecue or a friendly gathering elsewhere. They’re most often up for a good time with their friends, so bring out the laughs and the good vibes.
At work, we have an individual that everyone gathers towards, feels reassured by, comforted, cozy and at home with. The empathic and receptive individual with whom you’d like to share your day with, how you’re feeling, or even just be in their presence surrounded by their warmth.
Now, with all the different Cancerians out there, we have many different types of careers. We can have a pioneering leader, a musician, a grounded analyst, an emoting actor, a brilliant inventor and so on. What we know about Cancerians on the job is that their heart is in control. This can involve leading with the heart, managing their employees intuitively or even speaking from the depths within, whether this is through social media, in class as a teacher, or on stage with a mic in hand. There’s really little these Cancerians can’t do, especially when they’re feeling nourished or fulfilled in their goals.
If they feel their emotions are being ignored, neglected or they’re unhappy with the workplace dynamic, these heart-centered beings can exhibit a lower job performance (if allowing lower-vibrational Cancerian traits to come through, this can show up as passive-aggressiveness or somewhat of a petty behavior).
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Cancer Predictions 2021
Happy Summer Solstice, Cancerians! We have a New Moon in your sign on July 9. Enjoy the fresh revival. Plant seeds, set your intentions, don’t expect immediate results, and watch them blossom with time. As the sign that births creation, Cancerians know well the time and nurturing it takes for fruits to form, vegetables to ripen, food to simmer and a project to come together. Find your voice this year, understand the power behind your grounded emotional state, and know with this you will be able to move any mountains.
Throughout this year — something many of you may have already been experiencing — transiting Chiron may “square” your Sun if it’s between around 5°-15° Cancer (this goes for all Cancerian placements, including Sun, Moon, Rising, Venus, etc.) as Chiron will soon be retrograding from 12° Cancer all the way back to 8° Cancer this year. A “square” can push us to refine an area of our lives, but it’s not always the easiest of energies to experience, and can feel somewhat tense or under pressure (crystals and diamonds are being formed here). With Chiron involved, it can be a bit of a draining period as the past or old wounds can be brought up to undergo immense healing. This will ultimately bring upon newfound wisdom, realizations, consciousness and strength towards (if Cancerian Sun) your self-expression, life force and what fuels you. The healing of the inner child and the ego self. Be very kind, gentle and patient with yourself if you’re experiencing this healing-intensive transit, and know that your energy will reignite, revive and return as you continue to integrate these new awarenesses.
If you have your Sun at a late-Cancerian-degree (22°-28°), you may be feeling the effects of Pluto opposing your solar-self these next couple of years — bringing upon a necessity to find balance within, as well as a beneficial time to be practicing deep breathwork (or another helpful technique like EFT) as to not erupt during such a powerfully transformative period. Allow yourself to process through all of your emotions, with how you’re feeling, and make sure to connect with your friends and family (or those who feel like family) to ensure you’re being well taken care of.
Now, we have transiting Uranus in Taurus and Neptune in Pisces — both planets working in harmony with your Cancerian energies throughout these next several years. Uranus will be aiding in a smoothness of revolutionary and liberating transitions, breaking free of anything that no longer serves you, with brilliant “a-ha” moments and insights along the way. This is coupled with Neptune’s soulful, dreamy and meditative vibes, helping to remind you to trust in yourself and the motions of the universe, with a sweet surrender to the flow of life and the many exciting and seemingly coincidental synchronicities and universal messages that will find you throughout this year’s journey. Ride along these oceanic waves and enjoy.
Having always been one to enjoy problem-solving, finding patterns and exploring the deeper meanings in life, Julia Arielle Modorsky discovered the intricate depths of astrology years ago and quickly made it her full-time career. Since joining Sanctuary in 2019, she’s given thousands of readings to clients all over the world to help bring clarity, guidance and empowerment to their lives through the interworkings of the cosmos. You can find Julia giving readings on the Sanctuary app most nights, as well as on her Instagram.