This graph is the most
common for the zodiac sign of Cancer, the Crayfish, which in earlier times was often called the
Crab. Another common
graph for the sign of Cancer is .
The sun, , enters this part of the ecliptic around June 22 and exits around July 23. This means that is a sign for both that month-long period of each year, and for the part of space against which the sun is seen during that time period. The sign of Cancer begins at the midsummer solstice in the Northern hemisphere, and is the zodiacal sign most closely associated with summer.
Together with the zodiac signs Scorpio, , and Pisces, , Cancer belongs to the astrological element of water, . In astrological symbolism water stands for feelings. Individuals born in water signs, or having the moon and other planets in water signs, use their feelings to come to terms with the world. There is nothing more important for water sign individuals than personal relations and human values. They are prepared to sacrifice everything to retain a relationship and will create a crisis, even if they have to pay a high price, to achieve the necessary reaction or response from their partner. The feelings are the air the Cancer person breathes. In the world of feelings there are no well-defined boundaries between this and that, me and them. Instead everything is one huge sea of waves in which strict compartmentalizations are impossible to maintain.
Each of the water signs is symbolized by a cold-blooded animal: the crab (or crayfish), the scorpion, and the fish. When they appear in dreams they are often associated with the instinctive, unconscious energies that lie close to the very roots of human nature. At the same time these energies are alien to rational, sensible thinking and acting.
Cancer, , belongs, together with Libra, , Capricorn, , and Aries, , to the cardinal quality or quadruplicity, symbolized by . For more information on the cardinal quadruplicity, look up in Group 30.
According to astrologers the home and family are more important for individuals with and/or in than for others. Their symbol is the crab or the crayfish, an animal that has a hard shell, but that is soft and sensitive inside. (Neither crabs nor crayfish are known for their family feelings and care of parents and young, though.)
Keywords for this type of individual are sensitivity to all feelings and emotions and concern for other persons' needs. The cancer type is very responsive, very much for home and family, and has an understanding of all human states of mind. The negative aspect of this type is a tendency to become hysterical and to nourish ungrounded fears, and an exaggerated and almost blind love for one's own group.
The moon, , is this sign's ruling planet. In astrological symbolism the moon is related to the home, the family, the emotional life, the feminine aspect of the psyche, and the subconscious. The moon also symbolizes receptivity and responsiveness. It covers all those aspects that characterize individuals born in . The facts that is a water sign, that it is cardinal, and that it is of the negative polarity, mean that the sign has an emotional, self-inhibiting, and passive tendency that comes into conflict with its basically enterprising spirit. Anatomically rules the breast or chest, the female sexual organs, the stomach and the digestive system in general.
In mundane astrology the sign of Cancer is associated with Scotland, Holland, New Zealand, and most of Africa, as well as parts of the United States. The cities ruled by Cancer are Amsterdam, Venice, New York, Istanbul, and Milan.
Both Jupiter, , and Mercury, , are considered well placed in this sign. The energies symbolized by Saturn, , and Mars, , however, do not have ease of expression in this sign.
In alchemy is related to the process of dissolution, i.e. the process by which a substance is dissolved in a liquid, for example an acid.