© CFA. 1994-2009. All rights reserved. Updated October 1, 2009
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Cancer: June 21 - July 23

Qualities: Feminine Sign, Water Element, Cardinal mode

Characteristics: Cancer people are the nurturers of the zodiac. They are very compassionate, caring, and healing. These people are able to bring beings back to health that which might not have made it on their own. They also make excellent nurses.

People born under the sign of Cancer are usually very family oriented, and traditional values are important. They are attached to home, country, and particularly their mother. There is a strong emotional connection to everyone and everything in their lives.

Conscious: Cancers are keepers of the home fire. They know the value of security and seek to create that around them. This does not mean they spend a lot of time actually being in their home; they just need to know its location. They are usually quite active socially.

Unconscious: Because they are so connected to everyone in their lives, they sometimes cling so strongly that others need to break away, just because they feel they are being smothered. Learning to let go of emotional attachments is sometimes very difficult. Cancer people tend to collect emotional memories as a sort of reserve, like animals storing food for the winter. They may also collect as a hobby, such as stamps, dolls, art, etc.

Early Life: Being mother-oriented, these are people who frequently feel so much love from her, that they are not sure they can make it alone in the world without her emotional support. This is also known as smother love. Mother manipulates situations a great deal to make sure people need her, so she can then feel needed.

The Moon is the planet associated with this sign, and Cancer represents the nurturing principle of motherhood. Both male and female children usually experience an emotional tearing away when it is time to leave home. Mother usually doesn't make it any easier because she continues to offer what looks like shelter from the storm. Of course, until the child makes an attempt at independence, he or she is still attached to her apron strings.

Ultimately, Cancer people must go into the world and try their wings. The experience of being smothered is still strong for them, and they continually have to leave home to make sure they have their freedom.

Relationships: Cancers need a strong emotional bond to feel a relationship is of value to them. There is much love to experience with these people, if you are willing to go that deep. Sometimes others need a break from all the emotion- it's okay to take a breather. This does not mean the love is gone; it just means coming up for air. Less conscious Cancers are afraid to let loved ones go like this.

Challenges: The emotional connections these people create can be very healing for others around them. The difficulty usually comes when a relationship has served its purpose and it's time for it to end. This is hard for Cancers, but once they learn the source of love is from inside, they experience a sense of security that allows much healthier involvements.

Issues: Detachment, learning to reason, defining clear personal boundaries.

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