1. Zodiac Signs

Cancer Zodiac Sign: Dates, Personality and Compatibility

Cancer Zodiac Sign

The fourth sign of the zodiac, Cancer, takes its name from the ancient Greek word for “crab.” Like marine crustaceans, Cancer people have a tender interior and protective armor to help them make a home wherever they go. At ease in the depths of the human psyche, these individuals know that safety comes from both material and emotional security.

Cancer’s ruling planet, the mysterious moon, influences this cardinal water sign just as it influences the ocean’s tides. Appropriately, Cancer’s symbol includes two crab claws (♋) arranged to create an image of a sheltered space. Corresponding with the fourth house and the willful Chariot tarot card, this zodiac sign provides devoted care from June 21st through July 22nd.

Unlike other zodiac constellations, Cancer lacks a clear mythical association. Some speculate that the Greeks named the Cancer constellation after a crab who tested Heracles (and whose remains were buried in the sky by Hera). However, it’s likely that the name actually came from older cultures. And even ancient people who saw a beetle or tortoise instead of a crab identified a broad-backed animal that supported the Sun.

Cancer is the first sign to introduce the water element to the zodiac, but it has a cardinal modality that we first see in Aries. Like all cardinal signs, Cancer initiates its season. The sign’s character follows suit, as Cancer people courageously act from the heart when others might hesitate.

Cancer Dates: June 21 – July 22

After exploring our minds with the Gemini twins, we search our emotional depths in Cancer season. Starting around the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, the crab scurries beside the Sun until mid-July. Cancer’s focus on the home and chosen family then prepares us to shine with pride when Leo season begins on July 23rd.

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Aries Zodiac Sign


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Gemini Zodiac Sign


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Cancer Zodiac Sign


What makes the Cancer zodiac sign unique? Learn about Cancer personality traits, relationship preferences, ideal careers, and more.

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Capricorn Zodiac Sign


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Aquarius Zodiac Sign


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Pisces Zodiac Sign


What makes a Pisces unique? Learn about the Pisces zodiac sign, including personality traits, relationship preferences, ideal careers, and more.

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Personality Traits of a Cancer

Cancer is the young adult of the zodiac’s astrological signs. Like twentysomethings, Cancer Suns want to build loyal communities that support intimacy, growth, and a rewarding home life. They have endless tenderness for the people they trust, though they may retreat if someone damages that confidence.

The moon’s influence blesses Cancer people with emotional attunement, and “softness” describes their physical features as well as their personalities. Empathetic and emotive, they use their gifts to care for loved ones or create imaginative art. As thinkers, they’re intuitive—even psychic. A Cancer who doesn’t yet know how to handle emotions, however, can be moody, resentful, or withdrawn.

If your Sun sign is Cancer, you might wonder why your Cancer horoscope differs from other other Cancers. One explanation is your “decan,” the segment of your sign that emphasizes certain qualities over others. For example, June Cancers express the classic sensitivity and selflessness, while early July Cancers are more assertive and possessive. Cancers born between July 13th and 22nd are creative powerhouses.

Cancer Strengths

For Cancers, the ability to trust themselves and others is part of their life’s purpose. To serve this mission, Cancerians rely on the following gifts:

  • Compassion

  • Creativity

  • Devotion

  • Diplomacy

  • Empathy

  • Imagination

  • Intuition

  • Love

  • Nurture

  • Supportiveness

Cancer Weaknesses

Until this sign learns how to understand, use, or regulate emotions and mood swings, building trust might actually be quite difficult. Some challenging tendencies that provide lessons for those under the Cancer sign include the following:

  • Dependence

  • Fragility

  • Moodiness

  • Negativity

  • Paranoia

  • Passive-aggression

  • Resentfulness

  • Self-pity

  • Stress

  • Touchiness

Cancer in Love and Relationships

It’s easy to fall for Cancer people. As lovers, they’re giving in every sense of the word. Readily swayed by the feelings of the moment, these magnetic people give in to passion and romance. But because they also tend to feel spurned by small misalignments, many affairs end quickly (or continue with resentment).

Though slower to trust, the self-protective Cancer still craves a traditional partnership and will do anything to preserve their deep relationships. While some signs identify as lovers or fighters, Cancers are both: a Cancer will anticipate their partner’s needs and show up fearlessly whenever necessary. They also make loving parents who teach their children important relational skills. However, they should watch for anxious attachments to their partners.

Cancer Women in Relationships

Cancer women possess a mix of vulnerability and grit that makes them especially collaborative partners. Their kindness helps resolve tensions, but the most lasting lovers must show mutual care and hold space for their full self-expression. Because a Cancer woman’s relationship anxieties might manifest as feelings of jealousy or betrayal, providing emotional security is essential.

Cancer Men in Relationships

If you’re in a relationship with a Cancer man, your friends might find him aloof. But you, as an intimate partner, get to experience his unwavering loyalty and support. He likely wants to co-create a nurturing and traditional life with you. Cancer men do have a reputation as conflict-avoidant, but they communicate honestly and gently with trusted partners. 

Compatibility: Best and Worst Matches

Cancer is generally an easy friend or lover to fellow water signs Scorpio and Pisces. Partnerships with complementary earth signs Virgo and Taurus are also full of nourishing potential. Capricorn perhaps presents the most opportunity, with similarities and differences that support intimacy. By contrast, the signs Libra, Aries, Sagittarius, and Aquarius are less likely to earn Cancer’s devotion.

Most Compatible with Cancer

The water signs Scorpio and Pisces share Cancer’s sensitivity and, therefore, welcome the crab’s shifting emotions. With Scorpio, Cancer can build a transformative, passionate union; the partnership will be equally safe and mysterious. Meanwhile, a Cancer-Pisces relationship is mutually inspiring and supports spiritual awakening.

Just as garden soil yields abundance with water, earth signs Virgo and Taurus provide for the Cancer people who nourish them. Virgo, for instance, shares discipline and love of home with Cancer. Thus, this resilient relationship becomes sweeter over time. Cancer also feels care from Taurus’ sensuality. In this creative and aligned partnership, decision-making is easy.

Finally, Capricorn respects and balances the Cancer temperament. This pairing represents the union of the astrological mother (Cancer) and father (Capricorn). As a result, these two share an appreciation for tradition, safety, and family. Cancer can also impart the value of emotional expression while Capricorn shares new ways of protecting the sanctuary that this mature couple builds together.

Least Compatible with Cancer

Aries and Libra, cardinal signs like Cancer, are committed to different approaches to life. Although Cancer is likelier than other zodiac signs to make conflict-ridden relationships work, Aries might still be too hard to cooperate with. And Cancer finds Libra too cold and detached (while Libra’s balance is upset by the crab’s emotional directness).

Though other cardinal signs generate tension with Cancer, the mutable fire sign Sagittarius simply has little in common with the crab. Cancer often can’t trust the archer’s freedom-seeking tendencies, and Sagittarius, in turn, feels stifled by the water sign. Meanwhile, idea-driven Aquarius doesn’t frequently vibe with feelings-forward Cancer.

Cancer in Friendship

A Cancer person is the number-one fan of everyone in their friend group. The likeliest person to pick up the phone and quickest to respond in the group chat, your Cancer friend is always there. Nostalgic and sentimental, they’ll remember important dates, buy the best birthday presents, and save a record of every memory you make with them.

Granted, few are invited to a Cancer’s inner circle—but once you’re there, you’re usually a forever friend. Because Cancers share everything with their closest friends, they might cut out those who seriously betray them. (But even then, they romanticize the way things were.) Supportive of friends at their best and worst, they should watch that they don’t enable unhealthy behaviors.

Careers Fit (and Unfit) for a Cancer

With relationship skills that match their intellectual creativity, Cancer people are ideal collaborators. Their workspaces welcome others, but they also advocate for attractive and functional communal spaces. They find moments of connection in conference-room meetings, break-room chats, and brief hallway exchanges alike.

Because they take pride in their work and want everyone to be successful, they’re very popular employees. No matter a Cancer’s role, they consider others’ experiences and make adjustments that help people feel motivated and safe at work. Although these qualities make Cancers excellent managers, they lead even if they don’t hold official managerial titles.

When a Cancer doesn’t respect how someone handles a situation, that coworker might lose their allegiance. Less mature Cancers can also be shy or reactive. Although generally disciplined with their money and energy, they could overgive to those in need. Still, they tend to work passionately, contribute to healthy work cultures, and preserve harmony while solving problems.

Best Careers for a Cancer

Well-rounded Cancer will do best in careers that require relational skills, intelligence, and creativity. As such, they’re adept at a wide range of roles, including the following:

  • Educator

  • Manager (in almost any industry)

  • Nurse, therapist, nutritionist, or similar health care professional

  • Anthropologist

  • Home-based business owner or creative freelancer

  • Social entrepreneur

Worst Careers for a Cancer

By contrast, Cancer people won’t love jobs that reward objectivity and merely superficial networking. The following roles are a few examples of ill-suited careers:

  • Insurance adjuster, appraiser, or investigator

  • Sales representative

  • Marketing coordinator

  • Equities trader

  • Judge

Famous Cancer Personalities

From social activists and artists to billionaires and royalty, multi-faceted Cancer represents a large swathe of the population. You might recognize the sign’s social perceptiveness in the following famous Cancers:

  • Anthony Bourdain

  • Diana, Princess of Wales

  • Elon Musk

  • Frida Kahlo

  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  • Malala Yousafzai

  • Meryl Streep

  • Nelson Mandela

  • Octavia Butler

  • Robin Williams