Cancer the Crustacean [21 June - 22 July] | star sign and zodiac facts
Cancer is the fourth astrological sign of the zodiac spanning 21 June – 22 July. It’s also the first water sign – the others being Scorpio and Pisces. Cancer’s symbol is the crab. Individuals born under these dates are called Cancerians.
The colours associated with cancer are white, violet, sea green, purple and silver and its celestial is the moon. Cancer is associated with the cardinal quality; that of warmth, creation and inspiration.
- Dates: 21 June – 22 July
- Symbol: Crab
- Element: Water
- Colour: White
- Day: Monday, Thursday
- Planet: Moon
- Quality: Cardinal
- Most compatible: Capricorn, Taurus
- Birthstones: Emerald, Pearl, Ruby, Moonstone
Traits of a CancerianStrengths: Tenacious, highly imaginative, loyal, emotional, sympathetic, persuasive
Weaknesses: Moody, pessimistic, suspicious, manipulative, insecure
Cancer can be a challenging zodiac sign to get to grips with. Cancerians are considered highly emotional, intuitive and sensitive. The family and home are usually of high priority to them. Cancer is sympathetic, empathetic, loyal and attached to the ones they hold close. Cancerians are often very good at empathizing with other's feelings.
The downside of such an emotive sign is that sometimes they can feel isolated when feelings are negative or non-reciprocal, or hypersensitive when surrounded by tempestuous waves of emotion or hostile environments.
A Cancerian is a matriarchal, nurturing sign - one that enjoys bringing out positive emotions in others and caring for their friends and family. They’re quick to help others and are in touch with their feelings, not being afraid to sometimes wear them on their sleeve.
The Cancer constellation
In ancient times Cancer was known as the ‘dark sign’ due to its obscured visibility in the night sky. It’s best visible in the Northern Hemisphere in early spring and the Southern Hemisphere during autumn. Cancer is bordered by Gemini to the west, Lynx to the north, Leo to the east, Hydra to the south, and Canis Minor to the southwest.
The brightest star in this constellation is Beta Cancri. Cancer contains two stars with known planets, including 55 Cancri, which has five: one of which has expected temperatures similar to Earth.
Cancer is best known among stargazers as the home of Messier 44, an open cluster called the Beehive Cluster, that sits in the centre of the constellation. It’s one of the nearest open clusters to our Solar System containing around 50 stars.
Cancer in History and Mythology
In Ancient Greek mythology, the constellation is explained in relation to the crab Karkinos, sent by the goddess Hera to distract Hercules during his battle with the Hydra. Hercules killed the crab by kicking it so hard that it ended up in the sky where it is today. A different accounts says Hercules crushed the crab under his foot, the crab krakinos having been clawing at his feet. Hera, grateful for Karkinos's effort, raised it into the sky. If you didn't know, there term for being turned into a star or constellation is to be 'catasterized'.
In Ancient Egyptian records dating to around 2000BC, cancer was described as a scarab beetle, the emblem of immortality.
In Babylonia the constellation was referred to as Mul.al.lul, a name used for both crab and snapping turtle.
In most Germanic languages, the constellations name relates to a crayfish.
Some famous Cancerians
- Princess Diana
- Tom Hanks
- Nelson Mandela
- Robin Williams
- Vin Diesel
- Harrison Ford
- Sylvester Stallone
- Patrick Stewart
- Tom Cruise
- Lionel Messi