It’s July, which means summer is here and Cancer season is upon us. Obviously we’re talking about people born between June 21–July 22, meaning they are born under the Cancer sign of the zodiac. Cancer is the fourth sign (after Gemini and before Leo) in the zodiac calendar.
Cancer (the word is Latin for crab) is also one of the four cardinal signs–specifically, it is the cardinal water sign. A cardinal sign is “any of the four astrological signs, Aries, Cancer, Libra, or Capricorn, that begin at the equinoxes and solstices, thus marking the beginning of the seasons: characterized by the attribute of strong initiative.” Cancer is ruled by the moon and represented by the crab, a crustacean that exists on land and shore. That’s fitting, because Cancers, like crabs, are known for their abilities to be in multiple realms—in this case, the material and the emotional. Cancers also, like their crab counterpart, are known to have hard shells to protect themselves from the outside world and external forces.
The Cancer emoji ♋️ usually depicts the symbol of Cancer, which resembles two 6’s or 9’s turned sideways. The symbol is thought to represent the claws of a crab.
But there’s more than meets the eye for our Cancer friends, of course. It’s said the Cancer sign rules the stomach, so people under this sign are often known for hosting and entertaining friends and family with food. This can also help explain the maternal quality that Cancers tend to exhibit. Famous Cancers include Chris Pratt, Meryl Streep, Nick Offerman, Khloe Kardashian, Sofia Vergara, Selena Gomez, Kevin Hart, and Kristen Bell.
Let’s take a closer look at what it means to be a Cancer, and then talk about some surprisingly descriptive words to describe our “crabby” friends born under this sign.
What does Cancer mean?
Cancer is a zodiacal constellation that can be found between Gemini and Leo. It is the dimmest constellation out of those in the zodiac, which makes it almost impossible to see in the night sky. (It’s just like a crab to pull back and hide from view, isn’t it?)
Cancer entered English around 1350–1400 and is derived from the Latin word cancer (“crab”). The zodiac sign was named after a crab from the mythological story about Hercules. To summarize: Hercules killed his family (yikes) and was paying his penance when Hera sent a giant crab to hinder his penance progress.
The positive side of a Cancer
There are some traits—both positive and negative—that many Cancers seem to possess. Let’s start with the positive.
Here are some great words that describe Cancers:
- Intuitive: Cancers are known for being extremely emotionally aware, and that intelligence allows them to read a room and understand people’s feelings and emotions without having to be told. For those who aren’t as in tune with their emotions, it can lead to proclamations of certain Cancers as being “psychic.”
- Ardent: This adjective and its senses cover multiple traits of a Cancer, as it can mean “having, expressive of, or characterized by intense feeling; passionate; fervent,” as well as “intensely devoted, eager, or enthusiastic; zealous.” A Cancer is often full of feeling and passion as well as extremely loyal to their friends and family.
- Benevolent: Cancers are nothing if not givers, especially when it comes to people they love. That’s why benevolent is the perfect descriptor for people born under this sign. Meaning “desiring to help others; charitable,” this word highlights how Cancers are often considered maternal and nurturing.
- Romantic: Cancers love love and are often swept up in their relationships. They aren’t ones to hold back on commitment and can be known to jump into new romances with both feet.
- Inspired: Creative, imaginative, and inspired (“aroused, animated, or imbued with the spirit to do something”), Cancers are dreamers and are often considered to be deeply connected to the spiritual world. Sometimes, they need help from the other signs to turn their dreams into reality though.
The downside of a Cancer
As amazing as they may be, Cancers do have some, let’s say, less-than-positive attributes, too.
Here are some words to describe the other side of Cancer:
- Aloof: Cancers can be known to hide under a hard shell, especially when first meeting them in person. This can come off as aloof or “reserved or reticent; indifferent; disinterested.” Once you warm them up though, you’ll have a loyal friend for life.
- Blunt: Meaning “abrupt in address or manner,” this term describes how some may perceive a Cancer’s speaking style. Cancers are known to say what’s on their mind, skip the small talk, and dive right in to the issues at hand.
- Codependent: Cancers love their friends, families, and partners (you may have gathered this from the article so far), and that love sometimes leads to a codependence between Cancers and the people in their relationships. People under the Cancer sign can also be known for doing things for these other people while doing little for themselves.
- Coddling: The nurturing aspects of the Cancer sign can sometimes border on coddling, meaning “to treat tenderly; nurse or tend indulgently; pamper.” While that definition may not seem negative, just ask the people being coddled; they’re likely to say it can make them feel a bit like a child.
- Crabbed: We can’t end an article about Cancers without including the adjective crabbed. Meaning “grouchy; ill-natured; irritable; churlish,” crabbed Cancers can be known to experience mood swings and be a little irritable when you catch them on an off day.
Let’s be blunt, this sounds like a Cancer you know, right?