Cancer (♋) is the fourth of the astrological signs in the Zodiac, originating from the constellation of Cancer. In astrology, Cancer is considered a “feminine”, negative (introvert) sign. It is also considered a water sign and is one of four cardinal signs. Cancer is ruled by the Moon. Being the fourth sign in the zodiac, Cancer has been associated with the astrological fourth house. Individuals born when the Sun was in this sign are considered Cancerian individuals. Under the tropical zodiac, the Sun enters Cancer on the moment of summer solstice by definition, or roughly on June 22, leaving it around July 22. In Western astrology, this sign is no longer aligned with the constellation as a result of the precession of the equinoxes.
Zodiac Symbol: Crab <p>Duration (Tropical, Western): 21 June – 23 July (2011, UTC)
Duration (Sidereal, Hindu): 14 July – 1 August (2011, UTC)
Zodiac Element: Water
Zodiac Quality: Cardinal
Detriment: Saturn, Uranus
Exaltation: Jupiter, Neptune(modern)
Fall: Mars, Pluto(modern)
According to an ancient Greek legend, the figure of a crab was placed in the nightime sky by the goddess Hera to form the constellation Cancer. Hera swore to kill Heracles, the most famous Greek hero. Hera attempted to kill Heracles in many different ways, but each time his incredible physical strength allowed him to survive. Hera cast a spell of madness on Heracles, causing him to commit a great crime. In order to be forgiven, he had to perform twelve difficult tasks. One of these tasks was destroying the terrible nine-headed water-serpent, Hydra.
During the battle between Heracles and Hydra, the goddess Hera sent a crab to aid the serpent. But Heracles, being so strong, killed the crab by smashing its shell with his foot. As a reward for its service, Hera placed the crab’s image in the night sky.
Generally, the natives of Cancer are considered to be compatible with the natives of the other water signs Scorpio and Pisces, and the natives of the earth signs Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. Aries and Libra are signs of the other nature (masculine/extroverted), but are considered semi-compatible with Cancer due to them having the same cardinal quality.
There are many variables that determine compatibility in astrology, such as birth dates, birth months, birth years, position of a sign within the Moon, Stars, etc. The signs listed as compatible with Cancer do not reflect an individual profile or individual reading as interpreted within astrology, but rather reflect a general guideline and reference to compatibility as dictated by variables such as Qualities and Elements within the Zodiac. The branch of astrology dealing with interpersonal compatibilities is called Synastry.
Definition courtesy Wikipedia.