Cancer (June 23 to July 23). The psychological nature of the pure Cancerian is rather like the physical nature of the crab and other crustaceans: a hard outer shell conceals an interior that is soft and vulnerable to injury. To outsiders Cancerians present a hard appearance, giving the impression that they are rough and unsympathetic; to those who know them well they are gentle and compassionate. A sea crab is totally attached to its home, in the most literal way, and the pure Cancerian is, in metaphorical terms, equally attached to his/her home - his/her life is centred on partners, parents, children and their surroundings.
A Cancerian is a loyal and devoted friend, an even more devoted parent or child, and one who can be relied upon in all circumstances Cancerians would rather betray themselves than those who are close to them. As they are themselves so loyal, Cancerians are badly wounded if others are disloyal to them. Their reaction is almost always to withdraw, like a crab into its shell, rather than to attempt to revenge themselves on those who have hurt them. Cancerian individuals include and have included the poet Byron, the writer and artist Jean Cocteau, the painter Chagall, the movie star Gina Lollobrigida, and that extraordinary novelist and confidence trickster 'Baron Corvo' .
Sexuality and the Emotions
Beneath an outward aspect which suggests coolness to the point of frigidity, Cancerian men and women are often highly sexed. The Cancerian type was attributed to the Element of Water by the astrologers of old, but as far as the emotions are concerned the Water of the pure Cancerian is that which erupts from volcanic depths rather than that which is found in ice-cold mountain lakes. The strong physical urges of at least some Cancerians are modified by their attachment to the home and those they know well. In a sense Cancerians never leave their parents: the female Cancerian will seek a lover who is also a father figure; the male will rarely value a partner who does not have some maternal qualities. On the whole Cancerians make good long-term relationships. These, however, are sometimes marred by an emotional moodiness which can be trying to those who have to cope with it day by day. Cancerians tend to swing between extremes of attraction and repulsion, elation and depression, optimism and pessimism. Only someone who is prepared to accept such swings of temperament should marry a Cancerian.
The first, and even the second, impression made by a Cancerian is often an unfavourable one. He/she strikes others as ultralogical, a person who does not fully appreciate the feelings and problems of others, who adopts a sternly practical attitude lacking in sympathy and empathy. Nothing could be more erroneous; whatever their outward aspects, Cancerians are the kindest, most generous and most protective of human beings.
They are also the most sensitive and are extremely easily hurt. Cancerians respond very badly to criticism and such criticism rarely has good results, for Cancerians do not respond to it by making greater efforts in an attempt to do better but by running away from the scene. However good the motives of the critic, the Cancerian feels under attack and goes into retreat, withdrawing into the crab-like shell which feels familiar and utterly safe. Thus, for example, the Cancerian child who is told that his painting is attractive but that his perspective is defective will respond, not by concentrating on improving his/her perspective, but by giving up painting in favour of metalwork. Similarly, the adult Cancerian will retreat from anyone who does not enthusiastically respond to a kindly action or an agreeable word. There is no doubt that this causes more extrovert types to find considerable difficulty in establishing good relationships with Cancerians. If they persist, however, it is well worth the effort, for it would be hard to find a more rewarding friend or associate than a Cancerian whose trust has been won.
Home is the most important aspect of the pure Cancerian's life, and if he/she is to be happy at work the workplace must acquire some of the characteristics of home. That is to say, the Cancerian must feel secure in his/her work and feel that workmates are all part of some enormous family. Any type of enterprise which demands the utmost loyalty from its staff and, in turn, endeavours to protect them from the harshness of the outside world provides an admirable work environment for the pure Cancerian - a university, an old-established school or a traditional financial concern, for example. Nevertheless, a Cancerian's work life must not be too humdrum: Cancerians are often imaginative, in spite of their sometimes pedestrian outward aspect, and they also tend to be shrewd and intelligent. Any successful Cancerian career must provide some scope for these qualities. Provided the home environment is right, Cancerians do not care whether that home is in the depths of the countryside or the midst of the city.