Cancer - Sun Sign - Dates: 21st July to 9th August



Definition: [Sun Signs - Solar Zodiac] Cancer, the sign of the Crab, is the 5th sign of the Real Solar Zodiac.

Cancer Astrology: Below can be found the fundamentals of the astrology of Cancer. The quotations are from the Magnum Opus of astrology, Tetrabiblos, composed by Claudius Ptolemy [c 130 - 170 AD] - the father of Classical astrology.

The Power of the Fixed Stars:   "Of the stars in Cancer, the two in the eyes produce the same effect as Mercury, and, to a less degree, as Mars; those in the claws, the same as Saturn and Mercury; the cloud-like cluster in the breast, called the Manger, the same as Mars and the moon; and the two on either side of it, which are called Asses, the same as Mars and the sun."
Character of the Sign:   "Solstitial" [now Solid (Fixed) - see below] 
Planet and House:  "Moon; Feminine." [now Mercury [Feminine Aspect] - see below] 
Triangles:   FourthTriangle - Cancer, Scorpius, and Pisces: Feminine. Ruled by the Venus/Mars in day and Moon/Mars at night. 
Exaltations and Depressions:   "Jupiter exalts in Cancer. Mars is depressed in Cancer." 
The Egyptian Terms:   "Mars = 7; Venus = 6; Merkur = 6; Jupiter = 7; Saturn = 4" 
The Chaldean Terms:   "Mars = 6; Jupiter = 7; Merkur = 7; Venus = 7; Saturn = 3" 
Countries:   "Numidia, Carthage, Africa; in the centre, Bithynia, Phrygia, Colchica." 
Effect upon the Weather:   "The sign of Cancer as a whole is one of fair, warm weather; but, part by part, its leading portion and the region of Praesepe is stifling, productive of earthquakes, and misty; its middle temperate, and its, following parts windy. Its northern and southern parts are fiery and parching."  

Movement of the Ages : Ptolemy's astrology described the heavens in the Age of Aries. However, nearly two thousand years later we are now in the Age of Pisces. Therefore, some of the astrological features noted above are no longer accurate. Cancer is no longer a Solstitial sign, but is now a Solid sign. In modern terminology this makes it a fixed sign. [See Tetrabiblos Book i Chapter 11]

Which planet makes its 'house' in Cancer [in modern terms the planetary ruler] is even more complex. In the Age of Taurus, 4000 years ago, Leo was the Summer Solstice sign in the northern hemisphere and hence the Sun made its 'house' in Leo and the rest of the signs followed from this starting point. But by the time of Ptolemy, in the Age of Aries, Cancer was the Solstice sign and should have been assigned the Sun. However Ptolemy assigns Leo the Sun. Even Ptolemy kept out-dated astrology, as we do today. [See Tetrabiblos Book i Chapter 17] In our time at the end of the Age of Pisces, Gemini is the Solstice sign and so should be assigned the Sun. Hence in the Age of Pisces Mercury makes its 'house' in Cancer.

The Powers of the Stars of Cancer :

Cancer, the Crab.  From Uranometria, Johann Bayer, Augsburg, 1603 AD.


Cancer, the Crab. From Uranometria, Johann Bayer, Augsburg, 1603 AD.

Click on the above picture for a larger version 164 kB.

The Real Solar Zodiac Sun Signs:
  Sun Sign    Meaning   Dates 
01:   Pisces   the Fishes   12 Mar to 18 Apr 
02:   Aries   the Ram   19 Apr to 13 May 
03:   Taurus   the Bull   14 May to 19 Jun 
04:   Gemini   the Twins   20 Jun to 20 Jul 
05:   Cancer   the Crab   21 Jul to 9 Aug
06:  Leo   the Lion   10 Aug to 15 Sep 
07:  Virgo   the Maiden   16 Sep to 30 Oct 
08:  Libra   the Scales   31 Oct to 22 Nov 
09:  Scorpius   the Scorpion   23 Nov to 29 Nov   
10:  Ophiuchus    the Serpent Bearer   30 Nov to 17 Dec 
11  Sagittarius   the Archer   18 Dec to 18 Jan 
12:  Capricornus     the Sea Goat   19 Jan to 15 Feb 
13:  Aquarius   the Water Carrier   16 Feb to 11 Mar 
* The Non-Zodiac Constellations    


© Dr Shepherd Simpson, Astrological Historian


Historical Astrology

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