Because the moon, which rules this sign, has no light of its own but shines by the reflected light of the Sun, you have a need to find an inner center. Your power can be very great, or very insecure, and you shine best when you are centered on others outside your own personality. This is the most feminine of all signs, and you have a very strong attachment to home and mother. There is a grave need to protect self and family from threat, and you use your hard crab shell to sustain a remarkable self-defense.
You have a capacity for tremendous kindness and caring, thus you are very emotional and intuitive. You can also be very shrewd, imaginative, and good at problem-solving since you work instinctively to make decisions. You have a tendency to look to the past, however, and your worst faults are worrying, clinging to others, an inability to let go when something is over, and moodiness (which you get from the moon). You make very nurturing, loving partners, however, and take great pride in giving very inventive presents to those close to you. You are firmly committed to children and a family life, but you do enjoy variety and change within a need for continuity. You are naturally attracted to the caring professions such as teaching, nursing, social work, counseling, psychic healers and psychologists. Teaching kids, running a daycare center, or even taking care of other people's homes are good for the Cancerian personality. You are natural cooks, and enjoy any work involving the past, such as museum curators or antique collectors. You also enjoy working out of your home, and do well in any field involving medicine due to your intensity of feeling. For you, fulfillment is more important than ambition, although you like to make money and can even hoard it at times.
You are like a receptive sponge, taking in all around you, sensitive to your environment, building a hard shell in which to hide at times. You are naturally nurturing--the mother of the zodiac--moving with the ocean tides, surging and ebbing like the moon. Your symbols are the womb, the house, the home, the interior of all things. As a Protector, Cancer carries its house upon its back, thus your home can be two places--on land in the real world, or in the water in the emotional world. Your greatest challenge is to find an inner center or shell and function from there. This will stabilize you from the rocking of the tidal flow of life. Add some reason and discrimination, and you are sure to find happiness wherever you go.
You possess a subconscious mind that keeps many things hidden. Nothing is very clear or direct for you. You tend to respond to most things through your feelings, which can appear to others as vague. Many times, feeling and thinking are not separated. As a result, you can be very psychic.
Cancer rules the public, or mass consciousness, thus you are never ruled by reason, but by emotion. You tend to have a civilizing, taming influence on people. Your deep need for roots, or a peaceful state of mind, can turn into neediness if you don't find a good place to rest your powerful emotions. If you do, you can shine and even provide a safe harbor or refuge for others seeking a retreat for solitude. You are usually gentle and kind, unless you are hurt. In that case, a vindictive and sharp claw can attack, and can even smother. You move sideways, like a crab, when in love, avoiding confrontations, sometimes hiding behind protective urges.
On the downside, you can be lazy, and dislike exercise. Later in life, some Cancers have suffered from poor circulation, perhaps because they absorb so much feeling and pain in their life. They have incredible memories, and use their "antennae" to probe what is in front of them, asking: "Is it safe?" Cancer rules the stomach or "gut feeling," so they typically make decisions using their intuition. Their tough shell, if not matched with an equally secure interior, can prove crusty, hard and judgmental.
Cancers are great business and resource people. They also make good historians, protecting the "womb of time." They have a definite preference for old things: old houses, sweaters, jewelry, etc. They enjoy rituals or traditions that link the past to the present. Like crabs, they tend to prefer small, dark spaces--perhaps this gives them the psychological safety of a womb. They are the Great Mother--nurturing, protecting--yet this could also turn into the Devourer if not balanced properly. You can't feed them enough. Generally, though, Cancers try to mother everyone, and make great adoptive parents. They are fiercely protective, flowing with the ebb and tide of the moon. Experience flows through them, and their moodiness results in changeable interests and social circles. Once a Cancer trusts you, however, he or she lets you into a most private world.
Cancers have a natural connection with children and animals. A Cancer woman is enigmatic and elusive, with changeable moods that are difficult to pin down. She is frequently insecure and scared of commitment, but is gentle and sympathetic to your needs. She has a deep need for roots or a home, anything near water (remember Cancer is a water sign). She nurtures everything--animals, children, orphans; feeling always comes first for her.
A Cancer man has similar needs--up to a point. He retreats just like a crab when infringed upon, burying himself in the sand by going to a special place--the couch, the TV, his bedroom. He also gets along well with kids, and has a need to nurture. Don't try to corner him or prod him; he doesn't react well to pressure. He could delight you with his revelations in the spiritual world; if the intuition is powerfully developed, a Cancer man could be a psychic healer or clairvoyant. Be careful what you think.
In romance, Cancers are generally evasive--flirtatious, coy, the ever-moving crab seeking food and running from predators. He or she enjoys entertaining at home, surrounded by all that is familiar. They are usually not lavish spenders, except with the home or family, and tend to buy inexpensive items. They also tend to be big savers. Cancers and Scorpios have been reputed to be a good match. This could be because both have pincers--they both have secrets to entrust with each other.
Cancers are generally drawn to an organized religion, and once they find one they tend to stick with it if it feels right, exploring its depths, using intuition to understand it. Cancers are hungry for spiritual satisfaction, but also give freely from their knowledge to others. They enjoy a creative response to life, and have a deep desire to build and grow something of lasting value, something real. In conjunction with the Moon, Cancer rules all growing and changing in life, through natural cycles, shifting tides, which find an outlet in rituals and brooding--anything that connects the present to the past, and marks a new beginning.