We are now in Cancer month, so I thought to celebrate that I would take a look at Cancer rising and the Cancer-Capricorn axis. Recent events have underlined, sadly, the importance of being able to feel safe in you own home, community and homeland. Cancer is the sign associated with that kind of sensitivity and protection, so it seems all the more shocking to us when that safety and security is violated.
Like my previous post, Taurus Rising: The Taurus – Scorpio Axis, his post is an excerpt from my book, Real Life Astrology: The Cross of Matter, which has now been published. So, if you have Cancer rising – or you know someone who does – settle down and remind yourself of the ways your Cancer-Capricorn Axis of Awareness
The Cancer – Capricorn Axis
Of the ascending signs, Cancer rising is probably the most sensitive. Self-awareness is closely allied to self-defence, and no wonder. You give out so much emotionally and, as a result, you may feel defenceless against the tempests and storms of life. You are a creature of the senses so when you sense danger, you scuttle back under the nearest rock.
That is classic Cancer, but when it’s your rising sign, it acts as a barrier between you and the rest of the world. Those of you with Cancer rising present with a tough and seemingly impenetrable outer shell that can make you really hard to get to know. Those people who are so sensitive, defensive and easy to offend? They have all the traits of Cancer rising. You are naturally guarded and, while you are not as suspicious as your Scorpio rising cousins, you do have similar trust issues.
Cancer rising’s orientation leans towards protecting your own interests and the interests of those you love. That may be primarily your own family (and you are likely to be family-oriented, even if your definition of ‘family’ is non-traditional) or it may be the friends and close associates you trust enough to ‘have your back’. It should go without saying that you are extremely loyal and will have their backs too.
So far, I’ve made Cancer rising sound like the hermit crab of the astrological world – and that’s a little unfair. You approach life from a cautious angle, but it’s because you sense the dangers present in a variety of situations rather more easily than most people do. If something’s not right you tune into that. Your gift for reading the room is an amazing asset that can be applied across the whole spectrum of your life experiences.
The natural ‘feel’ that you possess for both people and situations gives you the ability to tune into what makes other people feel the way that they do. You often have a natural empathy and sympathy with others who are less fortunate than you and, as a result, there are many people with Cancer rising who will be found in the healing professions.
Your nurturing instincts have a broad application and, with Cancer rising, you will find your personality a natural fit with the creative arts and any imaginative form of expression. You may have an interest in history or historical artefacts (you may be a great collector) or in ‘cultivation’ in all its forms. You may mentor young people, for example, or cultivate a vegetable garden. It’s all part of a personality that puts emotional security first, so you prefer to engage in activities that help you to do just that. Creating a safe space is important to you.
At this point, grab yourself a coffee because I think we need to talk about food and drink. One of the ways you integrate yourself into the world is by sharing meals. Food is important to Cancer rising in an emotional sense; it’s not simply fuel for the body. For some of you it may become a form of emotional support; this may lead to some of you having a complex relationship with food and drink should you become emotionally stressed or hurt in any way. Your sensitivity can also result in moodiness, regardless of your Sun or Moon sign.
One issue you have is that you may appear to have porous boundaries. That’s not uncommon with the water signs, and you may experience times in your life when you feel emotionally unsettled because you’ve absorbed negative feelings from those around you. That core vulnerability is the kind of thing that may make you withdraw. Unfortunately, withdrawal won’t resolve the issue, because feelings (like many other things) are something you tend to cling onto.
Some Cancer rising people give the appearance of having a ‘clingy’ persona, as they hold onto people and situations that many other people would let slip away. There is another thing you cling onto. Money. Your need for security extends to your finances too; many with this Ascendant are shrewd investors and may feel comfortable in the world of finance or real estate, as comfort comes in many forms.
So, Cancer rising, how would you define yourself? I would say, caring, gentle – yet surprisingly tough, as you’re often a tenacious and determined person. Cancer rising often produces someone who knows exactly what they want. You will do exactly what is necessary to achieve your goals, but not in an outwardly aggressive manner. As a cardinal sign there is considerable drive to your personality, though it’s expressed privately or in understated ways. You are often a hard worker, as the visibly nervous energy associated with Cancer rising needs a productive outlet.
Many with Cancer rising will be notably maternal, regardless of gender or parental status. However, that natural kindness may lead to a couple of types of expression that are typical of this ascending sign. Your caring nature may lead you to ‘smother’ those you are close to as you seek to make yourself indispensable to them. You may also become controlling in a passive-aggressive manner.
Cancer rising may also become a ‘people pleaser’ as you try to hold onto the people you have ‘collected’. This may lead to you being unable to enforce the firm boundaries that are essential to your wellbeing. It’s a trust issue – but remember that, when your trust is abused, you were given powerful claws for a reason.
Cancer rising finds its complement in Capricorn, the sign on the Descendant. If we think of Cancer as the feeling sign, Capricorn is the antithesis of that. The Descendant is where we become aware of ‘the other’ and, as you know how defensive Cancer rising can be, it’s no surprise that control played a large part in your socialisation process.
We often think of Cancer rising as ‘shy’ because that’s the appearance you give out, but in order to feel comfortable in relationships, your trust is given to those who demonstrate the loyalty that you demand from a relationship. Loyalty equals security in your eyes and, with Capricorn descending, loyalty is the ultimate prize in a relationship. You will seek to control your relationships to ensure that loyalty is in steady supply.
That sounds a little manipulative but, in reality, you are ensuring that you get what you need. Leave emotional manipulation to Scorpio types; with Capricorn descending, relational core values are demonstrated in a practical fashion. You drive the relationship forwards by demonstrating how responsible and reliable you are. You are supportive, but have high standards and expectations of your partner. And when you partner up – in any context – it’s a serious and committed endeavour.
Cancer rising’s need for security is found in the stable and long term relationships that are a hallmark of Capricorn descending. This is not a descending sign populated with those who are fickle and prone to ‘buyers remorse’. Capricorn here implies a degree of patience in making your relationship choices and that is a reflection of the guarded approach that dominates both ends of your ‘Axis of Awareness’.
Capricorn descending takes a mature and pragmatic approach to all forms of relationships and it’s likely you learned this at an early age. In your childhood, you may have been equally pernickety about choosing a ‘best friend’. Best friends are the relational ‘trial runs’ that prepare us for relating in our adult life. In your early years, you may have sensed that a bad choice would cause you deep emotional hurt; it was not a risk you wished to take.
So, you learned the valuable lesson of choosing well and you may even have chosen the most sensible and least threatening kid to buddy up with. In other words, your Cancer rising intuition and Capricorn relating style attracted you to a Capricorn-type of reliable best friend. With a Cancer – Capricorn ‘Axis of Awareness’, you may still be friends today.
You will be attracted to those Capricorn types – and they will be attracted to you. Partners may literally have this sign emphasised in their natal chart, or there may be a strong Saturn or tenth house emphasis. The Capricorn signature may also manifest in other ways; this is a sign associated with serious, hard-working people, so your partner’s career or their approach to life may reflect the qualities of this sign.
Capricorn’s characteristics include ambition, reliability, respectability and responsibility. It’s an awesome collection of traits. When you have Cancer-Capricorn on your ‘Axis of Awareness’, you don’t trust to luck when it comes to relationships; you are prepared to work hard at them to make them work. When security – both emotional and financial – are your primary considerations, it seems the most logical approach to take.
However, there is another side to this. Capricorn is a sign that can be associated with being solitary and, when it’s your descending sign, it may indicate a preference for solitude or remaining single. This may occur because your personal standards are so high that, when it comes to choosing a partner, few people are capable of making the grade.
Having high standards is not, in itself, a problem – in fact it’s an admirable thing – but given the defensive and aloof nature of the Cancer-Capricorn axis, it’s not unusual for those with this descending sign to partner up later in life – in romantic situations that is. For business relationships, however, it’s an excellent combination; business and professional partnerships may even be the preferred route to social integration.
The characteristics of the descending sign are often projected onto the partner, rather than being a characteristic of the relationship itself – and that’s not just a facet of this particular AC-DC combination. However, the best expression of any descending sign is that the relationship itself should embody the best traits of the descending sign. It’s better to focus on that, rather than simply project your needs and expectations onto your partner.
In practice – for many people – it can be difficult to achieve this because, so often, we find it difficult to own the characteristics of our descending sign. As an example of this, let’s consider the following. Cancer is a cardinal sign but (unlike Aries or Capricorn) it’s one that may find it hard to overtly own its cardinal, ambitious, assertive drives.
When a Capricorn-type partner is seen as the ‘strong one’ in the relationship, that satisfies the requirements of this descending sign. Cancer rising breathes a sigh of relief. However, what the Cancer – Capricorn axis is asking you to do is to develop your own strengths within the relationship. That may include you being the strong and supportive one in the relationship and it may include you developing a sense of personal responsibility.
The relationship may be helpful in this respect because it provides you with a supportive and secure framework you need for your own personal development. The message here? Own your inner Capricorn – though it may take a firm, steady and committed relationship to help you to do that.
If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy reading this post about the Sun in Cancer.
Real Life Astrology: The Cross of Matter is the second book in the Real Life Astrology series. To receive updates, new astrology articles and free monthly horosopes, subscribe to this site using the form below. Thank you for reading this post.
© Sara Shipman 2022