Cancer: All About This Zodiac Sign’s Personality Traits, Compatibility and More

Cancer is the natural nurturer of the horoscope wheel. Cancer energy helps us connect with our feelings, plant deep roots and feather our family nests.

In this Article


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The Cancer Personality

Cancer Traits At a Glance:

Symbol:The Crab
Ruling Planet:Moon—celestial body of moods and emotions
Body Part:Chest, stomach
Element: Water
Quality: Cardinal
Good Days: Helpful, patient, compassionate, nurturing, romantic, creative
Bad Days: Gossipy, clique-y, isolated, uncommunicative, hypersensitive, overly competitive
Favorite Things: Gourmet meals, intramural sports, hosting parties, working with kids, museums and art galleries
What they Hate: Tacky clothes, frozen dinners, public speaking, being rushed, paying full price
Secret wish: To take care of friends and family
How to Spot Them: Walking with their chests puffed out, round “moon-like” facial features
Where You’ll Find Them: Shopping for antiques and rare finds, creating a masterpiece with a guitar or art supplies, listening to live bands, in the kitchen
Keywords: Nurturing, Sensitivity, Emotions, Moodiness, Home, Family, Children, Femininity

Watch: The AstroTwins Describe the Cancer Personality and Traits

What are the months and dates for Cancer?

What Is Cancer’s Symbol? The Crab

cancer symbolPin

The Cancer horoscope symbol is the Crab. The Cancer symbol is usually depicted as a very simple graphic meant to represent a crab’s claws or a woman’s breasts. Cancer is the sign of the mother, known to be sensitive, nurturing and also moody. Thus, the Cancer symbol of the Crab expresses the maternal qualities of this zodiac sign. 

What Is Cancer’s Element and Modality? The Cardinal Water Sign

Cancer Element: Water

Cancer is one of the three zodiac signs grouped under the water element. The other two water signs are Scorpio and Pisces.

Cancer Modality: Cancer is a Cardinal Sign

The zodiac signs are grouped into three “qualities” or “triplicities”: cardinal, mutable and fixed signs. Cancer is one of the four cardinal signs. These signs start every season—Aries kicks off spring, Cancer starts summer, Libra begins fall and Capricorn is the first winter sign. Thus, they are the leaders and “idea people” of the zodiac. These signs prize originality and like to be first in everything they do. They’re the trendsetters and trendspotters, the ones who get the party started and the crowd hyped. Count on them to initiate a winning idea or plan.

What is Cancer’s Ruling Planet? The Moon

Cancer is ruled by the moon (not really a planet but it is considered so in astrology). The moon is the closest celestial body to our Earth—and the one that affects our moods the most. The moon rules the “inner” self, arousing our deepest soul desires and emotional cravings. In ancient Greek mythology, Serene served as the goddess of the moon, driving her horse-led chariot through the night sky. Although there are multiple lunar deities, all of them are depicted as feminine or female in nature.

Cancer love and compatibility

In love and relationships, Cancer is the sign of family and home. Cancer wants someone they can nurture, bond with and above all, trust with their tender hearts. This sign rules the heart (and its ruling planet is the moon), and doesn’t take matters of the heart lightly.

Simply put: Love is a serious business for Cancer. But as much as this sign yearns for family, it’s not always a straight line to the altar. Cancer dating is often a series of crushes of those who didn’t meet their EQ needs or, frankly, measure up to their mom or dad. You’ll need to want to be mothered or fathered to get Cancer’s attention! A Cancer wedding can be a small, intimate affair with closest family and friends.

Cancer’s nurturing nature extends to the bedroom. This sign is sensitive to your sexual needs and longs to please you. Cancers cheat if your hurt them or violate their trust. This sign hates breaking up and therefore may extend a relationship past its expire date.

Cancer compatibility

While we believe that any two zodiac signs can be compatible in love and friendship, there are certain sign combinations that just flow together better than others.

Most compatible signs for Cancer:
For Cancer, the most compatible signs for romantic relationships, work and friendship tend to be the three water signs (Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces) and the three earth signs (Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn), who tend to be traditional and safe in similar ways.

Least compatible signs for Cancer:
Cancer may find their most incompatible signs for love, work and friendship to be the fire signs (Aries, Leo and Sagittarius) and the air signs (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius)

Read all our Cancer Love Horoscopes here — learn everything about Cancer romantic relationships from dating to breakups to weddings and more.

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Cancer in career and money

The Cancer career path is focused on creating security. As the sign of family, you want to work in a place where you feel safe and at home. You nestle right into your job with the same spirit that you use to create a warm household. Cancer will cozy up your workspace with personal touches, like a candy bowl, artwork or a comfy lumbar pillow. 

When it comes to money, Cancers need security. You’re always on the lookout for a bargain or sample sale. Although you indulge in designer clothes and lavish meals, you’re a conservative spender overall. Cancer can hold on too tightly to money, just like a crab that’s unwilling to loosen its grasp, and you can deprive yourself of the comforts you crave. However, you’re always prepared for an emergency and extremely resourceful with very little.

Cancer in a family: Cancer parents and Cancer kids

Cancer is the warm-fuzzy family member who is chicken soup for the family’s soul. Almost nothing makes this sign happier than being a part of and being with family (related or curated). Ruled by the moon, Cancer is the nurturer of the zodiac.

As a parent, the Cancer mom or dad is a sensitive empath. Because children are such emotional beings, you’re able to sense when yours needs a hug, encouragement, or some direction.

The Cancer kid is family oriented from the get-go. This child wants to feel safe and loved. They can tend to be shy and prefer to not be the center of attention like other kids.

Read more about Cancer family dynamics

Cancer taste and style: fashion, decor and wellness

Cancer Style + Home Decor

The Cancer style is protective. Clothing is this sign’s “armor.” Cancers love to shop, and since their moods can change on the hour (thanks to their ruling planet, the moon) they might run out on their lunch break to buy something more suitable for the second half of the day. Cancer home decor is comfortable and never too fussy. Home for Cancer is where they’re most comfortable and their spaces often reflect a lived-in look.

Cancer Health + Wellness

When it comes to Cancer health and wellness, these people prefer activities that benefit the body and the mind. A sporty soul at heart, this sign may stick to a religious workout routine. When needing to unwind, a Cancer focused meditation or one that invokes the water element may do just the trick.

Famous Cancer & Cancer Celebrities:

Meryl Streep, Tom Cruise, Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, Khloe Kardashian, Jaden Smith, Vin Diesel, Robin Williams, Lana Del Ray, Lindsay Lohan, Gisele Bundchen, Li’l Kim, Courtney Love, Pamela Anderson, OJ Simpson, John Quincy Adams, Calvin Coolidge, Gerald R. Ford, George W. Bush, Franz Kafka, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Pablo Neruda, Ernest Hemingway, Emily Bronte, Vera Wang, Giorgio Armani, Oscar de la Renta

Cancer Daily Horoscope, Read Yours!

Read about another zodiac sign


The AstroTwins

Identical twin sisters Ophira and Tali Edut, known as The AstroTwins, are the founders of and the authors of multiple bestselling astrology books. Their horoscopes reach millions here and through their resident astrologer column at ELLE Magazine.