The sign of Cancer begins with the summer solstice (the first day of summer). The Sun appears to have reached the northern latitude referred to as the tropic of Cancer. The Sun stands still for a moment, reverses its direction, and heads south towards the equator. The hours of daylight have reached their maximum length for the northern hemisphere. The hours of daylight begin to decrease. The hours of darkness increase.

The Cancer phase of life begins with the first day of summer and ends approximately 30 to 31 days later. In this phase, the identities or entities which were born or started in Aries begin a new phase of stabilization. During the Gemini phase, growth tended to be outwardly directed. In Gemini, living things were exploring their immediate environment and reaching out to form relationships and gain understanding of the outer world. During the Cancer phase, growth tends to be inwardly directed. The vines that reached out across the ground or up into the air and the relationships, associations, and ideas formed in Gemini are now given a chance to strengthen. Growth solidifies the new life forms. For plant life, trunks and branches thicken.

For animal life, muscles thicken, especially leg muscles.Territory is claimed and boundaries are drawn and defended. Life during the Cancer phase concentrates on developing a solid base, a home, or a foundation. The concrete basis or foundation for future self-expression is formed. Cancer is the phase of personal integration. The experiences of the Gemini phase, the concepts formed, and the feedback received from neighboring life forms are integrated into a single identity. The Crab, as the symbol of Cancer, represents the home, the security of the home, and the protection of one’s home. It also represents behavior naively guided by egocentric feelings. The glyph of Cancer represents both the breasts, which provide nourishment in infancy, and the claws of the crab, used to protect oneself, one’s home, and one’s family.

  • Cancer is traditionally ruled by the Moon. It is the detriment of Saturn, the exaltation of Jupiter, and the fall of Mars.
  • Cancer is a cardinal water sign. Cancer marks the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere. As a water sign, Cancer refers to emotional activity, to changes in feelings, sentiments, and emotions.
  • The key words usually used for Cancer are I Feel.
  • In Jung’s analytic psychology, the feeling function is the function of personal judgment. That is, it is deciding what is good or bad for the personal self and making decisions are based on personal experience.
  • Cancer rules to the stomach and the breasts. 
  • Cancer represents the foundations for life--the home, houses, the family, the mother, nurturance, and protection. It represents both the body and the personality as newly integrated vehicles for self-expression. Cancer symbolizes the foundation or concrete basis for future self-expression. It is the phase of personal integration during which roles, thoughts, feelings, and experiences are synthesized into one whole personality. Cancer is expressed through such characteristics or traits as domestic, emotional, loyal, maternal, moody, nurturing, protective, religious, sensitive, and sympathetic.Planets in Cancer take on an emotional, protective, and maternal nature. Their activity may become strongly tinged with feelings of attachment, with moodiness, and with an unsteady, cyclic nature.

When Cancer is found on the cusp of a house, the individual approaches the affairs of the house in an emotional, moody, protective, maternal fashion. The affairs of the house may involve the individual’s mother and/or children.