Cancer is the fourth Sign of the Zodiac. They are emotional and traditional, interested in heredity and ancestors, and this is reflected in their desire to care for relatives and propagate the family line. Their lives are generally centered around the home, including hereditary property and "family roots." As the fourth Sign, Cancer also rules the fourth House: the House of Home.

The Astrological Symbol of Cancer is the Crab. Like the Crab, Cancerians go through life with a strong shell around them that is not easily broken. If necessary, they can retreat into their shell until it's safe to come out, but sometimes they become moody and refuse to leave. They can, quite literally, be crabby. In general, Cancerians are the first people to express emotion in any given situation -- the first to laugh and the first to tears. In this way, Cancer exemplifies the Cardinal Quality assigned to it. They are strong willed and persistent, and the rare occasions when their sympathy and kindness doesn't get them what they want they aren't above using emotional manipulation -- tears or sulking -- to get it. Within the Zodiac, Cancer is opposite Capricorn, the Sign of Social Status. While Capricorn is about how the world perceives you, people born under Cancer are more interested in their family and home life. They tend to be very protective of loved ones. They usually aren't ambitious, preferring the gentle and passive side of life.

Cancer is ruled by the Moon. In ancient times, the Moon was perceived as the Great Mother, responsible for nurturing all life. It represents fertility and instinct. The Moon controls the tides and all water on Earth, and it has a strong effect on human emotions. People born under Cancer tend to be more sensitive to the movement of the Moon through the Zodiac than other Signs are, their moods changing with the Moon's passage. They may be brooding or touchy when the Moon is passing through incompatible Signs, but strongly intuitive when the Moon is in a favorable Sign. Because of the maternal aspect of the Moon, Cancerians tend to have a strong need to protect themselves and their families. Generally domestic and peaceful, they have strong emotional drives and won't sit still when loved ones are threatened. Despite their general timidity, they can be patronizing when people cross them.

The Element associated with Cancer is Water. Water Signs are emotional: they tend to respond to the world through emotion, rather than physical action, practicality, or intellect. Cancerians are very intuitive, and emotion is a key part of their lives. They may be sentimental, often becoming collectors of things that remind them of family or the past. They need to be careful not to hoard things, however, and they can be possessive of what is theirs. They are thrifty, and dislike wasting money on frivolous things. Because of their strong emotions, people born under Cancer may tend to live in the past. They are easily hurt, so they attempt to protect themselves from the emotional stress of the present by rehashing the past instead. Their warm and caring nature is very sensitive to other people's harshness. It is important for Cancerians to learn not to jump into self-protective mode at the first sign of trouble, because their need for security can prevent them from discovering new things.

Romantic Profile : Home is where the heart is for Cancer, a great nurturer and protector of family, home and tradition. Catch that mood on an upswing and you are likely to encounter a caring and devoted soul who can easily take the lead in romance. The strong-willed, persistent Crab will usually get its way, but that's not a bad thing, since it usually means being drawn into a "shell" which is rife with carnal pleasures. As is natural to a Water sign, Cancer's moods can flow like a meandering river or rage like the highest seas. Where the romance dance is concerned, the Crab enjoys being the initiator in the game of love. Gentle, tender probing can soon turn to heightened passion, and few will be able to resist Cancer's charms, which is just fine. Romance here often involves a beautifully prepared meal, since those born under this sign have an innate feel for the comforts of home and the joys they can bring. This love of physical and emotional well-being which the Crab must have is a duty which a partner must help to fulfill. If this isn't achieved, the Crab might retreat into its pesky shell. When Cancerians are in full flower, they can make their lover feel like the center of the universe, and might feel the same way themselves.

Relationship: Call it a sixth sense, good gut or intuition, but whatever the name, the Crab has it. Members of this sign have an excellent instinct for which partner will serve them well, and once they hone in, it's a laser beam shot. Cancer's charm and magnetism are qualities which will prove most alluring to a lover, and coupled with their nurturing need, will prove hard to resist. The Crab loves to feel secure, so a lover who remembers birthdays and other special days, or simply pops a bottle of champagne for no special reason, will be rewarded with tenderness and affection. If the Crab tests a lover with occasional bouts of jealousy, it's only because a stronger emotional response is craved. The ideal Cancer soulmate can spoon on the couch and watch TV all night long.

Love: A slow, yet smoldering, courtship is what the Crab loves. What's the rush, anyway? The Crab is determined to win, so the prelims should go on for as long as possible. Once love is in the air, Cancerians prove themselves devoted lovers, protective of the object of their affections and unusually helpful and sympathetic. The Crab is an emotional bag of tricks and will feel most things very strongly, so don't be the one to cross them. That said, Cancer may be the perfect sign for a lover seeking pampering and seduction, someone who is willing to learn a thing or two in the game of love. An honest love, and lover, become Cancer, for it is in this safe environment that they are best able to create a warm home and indulge their nurturing instincts.

Sexuality: Like the rest of their life, a sexual encounter with Cancer is much like a slow dance, but if you've got the right moves, you can take the Crab to a torrid tango. Ole! The emotional firepower that can be aroused within Cancer usually manifests itself as a series of wonderful fantasies and less as sexual acrobatics. Either way, it's pure pleasure for both partners. The Crab is also quite intuitive and can generally sense what their lover wants, which makes an encounter between the sheets a finely-tuned union. Cancer's feminine side is often on display in the bedroom, which means the Crab enjoys being made love to. The good news is that the Crab is a very receptive student! With the Crab, sex often equals love and its nurturing aspects (such as home and hearth), so anyone who can appeal to this sign's deep need for security is likely to unleash a volcanic eruption of sensual treats. Being a Water sign, Cancerians are quite fond of sex on the beach or in the sea.

What Cancer Needs: What Cancer wants most is a partner who can take things slow and easy, secure in the knowledge that the ultimate victory will be sweet for both. An exchange of emotions is also ideal for the Crab, whether it's through sex, sports or some passionately-penned correspondence. Cancerians are great one-on-one and love that type of interaction, but they are also good at parties and enjoy dazzling a crowd. Consequently, an understanding lover is key. A partner as intuitive as the Crab will also help to draw them out of their shell and keep them out. In the end, a strong partner who can set the table and be there for the Crab is heaven-sent, and if they know how to retreat when necessary, even better. The nest is the most natural place for the affectionate Crab to be, and if they can share that space with someone special...well, that's hard to beat. The emotions of this winning sign help to make Cancerians empathetic and caring lovers, the sort of people who glow like the moon and flow like the sea.

Love Compatibility: Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio & Pisces

Cancer Career Profile : Don't mistake Cancerians for being under-achievers -- they are working the play as well as the next person, albeit in a subtle, low-key manner. The Crab's sensitive nature is readily apparent in business dealings, preferring a non-confrontational approach which protects them as well as those around them. The Crab likes to lead, and as long as these folks are comfortable with their proscribed duties and their colleagues in the quest, they will probably succeed. As long as their emotions can be kept in check, Cancerians can create a space of harmony and happiness for all. This empathetic and intuitive quality also makes the Crab a natural nurturer and someone well suited to the caregiver role, whether it's as teacher, healer or protector. There are times, though, when even the Crab won't follow his good "medical" advice and can sorely benefit from creating a harder shell -- one can only take so much abuse! Those born under this sign may not look like they're out to conquer the world, but in their own way, they're getting a lot of good done. Cancerians are very creative and love family, qualities that can lead to bliss in the workplace if properly merged. Think of an art therapist or family counselor and you're talking the Crab's talk. A word of caution to co-workers: don't cross the diligent Crab. Those claws are sharp! Cancerians are well suited as doctors, pharmacists, teachers, nutritionist, chefs, realtors -- anywhere they can feel truly useful.