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Cancer (♋️) is the fourth astrological sign in the Zodiac, originating from the constellation of Cancer. It spans 90° and 120° celestial longitude. Under the tropical zodiac, the Sun transits this area between approximately June 21 and July 23,[2] and under the sidereal zodiac, the Sun transits this area between approximately July 16 and August 15.[3]

Supplément turc. 242, fol. 14v - Osman, Cancer 1582 crop.png
Zodiac symbolCrab
Duration (tropical, western)June 21 – July 23 (2019, UT1)[1]
Zodiac elementWater
Zodiac qualityCardinal
Sign rulerMoon
DetrimentSaturn, Uranus

In astrology, Cancer is the cardinal sign of the Water trigon, which is made up of Cancer, Pisces, and Scorpio.[4] It is not considered a negative sign, whose domicile, or ruling planet, is the Moon. Though some depictions of Cancer feature a lobster, the sign is most often represented by the crab, also a woman by the ocean has been depicted near based on the Karkinos, a giant crab that harassed Hercules, during his fight with the Hydra.[5]



Those who are born from approximately June 22 to July 22 are born under Cancer.[6] Individuals born during these dates, depending on which of the astrological signs they are born under, may be called "Cancerians."[7] Cancer is a northern sign and its opposite sign is Capricorn.[8][9][10] Cancer is a cardinal sign.

Along with Scorpio and Pisces, Cancer forms the Water Trigon.[11] The Water Trigon and possibly Fire Trigon are two of four elemental trigons, fire, earth, air, and water.[12] When a Trigon is influential, it affects changes on earth.[12] Cancer is said to be the house of Neptune and the exaltation of Jupiter, both astronomical bodies having influence over those born under Cancer.[8][9] In Vedic astrology the sign is named Karka and its Lord is Moon.[13]

In ancient times, Cancer was known as the "dark sign" because of the obscured visibility of its constellation in the night sky.[14]

In the artsEdit

In Dante's Paradiso, he makes reference to Cancer, writing:

Thereafterward a light among them brightened,
So that, if Cancer one such crystal had,
Winter would have a month of one sole day.

— Dante, Paradiso[15]

Cancer is figured in Giovanni Maria Falconetto's 1517 painting, Cancer, as the guardian of the city of Verona.[16] The Cancer symbol is also depicted in Agostino di Duccio's sculpture View of Rimini Under the Sign of Cancer (1450).[17]




  1. ^ Astronomical Applications Department 2011.
  2. ^ Oxford n.d., s.v. Cancer, Leo.
  3. ^ Amao 2016, p. 70.
  4. ^ Shoemaker 1904, p. 45.
  5. ^ Atsma c. 2015.
  6. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica 2014.
  7. ^ Oxford n.d., s.v. cancrian.
  8. ^ a b Smith 1828, p. 64
  9. ^ a b Lilly 1835, pp. 14, 60
  10. ^ Simmonite 1896, p. 17.
  11. ^ Allen 1899, p. 107
  12. ^ a b Harkness 1999
  13. ^ Charak 1996, p. 12.
  14. ^ Chwalkowski 2016, p. 453.
  15. ^ Allen 1899, p. 109.
  16. ^ Battistini 2007, p. 47.
  17. ^ Battistini 2007, p. 46.


External linksEdit