protective, sensitive, sympathetic, emotional, creative
Cancer the constellation is said to depict a crab, and I’ve promised myself not to make any comments about how crabby people with Cancer placements can be (if it’s in the “big 3” or one has a stellium in Cancer). The real reason that the crab is such an appropriate symbol for Cancer is the protective shell that acts as a home and a defense mechanism. Cancer energy loves the feeling of home and brings it wherever it goes (if it can even be coaxed to leave the home). Cancer is also highly sensitive and emotional, being a water sign and ruled by the moon, and if the vibes aren’t right they will want to retreat into a safe, protected place (literally if able, metaphorically as in the happy place inside if not able to actually leave). Cancer energy is mother hen energy, and whatever area of life this sign rules (house or planet in your chart) is an area where you will be sensitive and protective of both yourself and others. Cancer is also a cardinal sign, because the sun passes through Cancer at the beginning of a season (around June 20-July 21, which is the beginning of astronomical summer in the northern hemisphere). This gives Cancer a motivated, ambitious, and reactionary energy to any house or planet they influence. In Cancer’s case, the strongest cardinal quality is the emotional reactivity, but the intense motivation part comes out when it comes to caring for or protecting those they love.