This section is from the book "Astrology", by M. M. Macgregor. Also available from Amazon: Astrology.
This is the head sign of the Water Triune, and corresponds to the breast of the Grand Man. Its colors are orange, green and russet, its birth-stones emerald and black onyx, its profession manufacturing and literature, and its chief characteristics sympathy, sensitiveness and domesticity. Its tribe is Zebulun, and its watchword is " Home," indicating the great love of and desire for a home, the exact opposite of its restless Gemini neighbor. This sign according to some authorities is the natural home of Venus, according to others, of the moon, which accounts for its variable nature. These people are generally of medium stature, and rather delicate appearance, with gray eyes and colorless complexion. Their features are usually small and fine and the face thin in youth, but inclined to lose its oval toward middle age. This is called a feminine sign. That is, a woman born in this sign is strong natured, positive and talkative. A man born in it is quiet, negative, not aggressive. These people are the most sensitive of the twelve signs. No matter what they are doing, nor how much interested they may be in it, if their feelings are hurt, they want to give up the whole thing then and there. But, laying this aside, they are the most persistent of people, holding on to, and standing by a thing to which they have once attached themselves like their prototype the Crab, till it either leads to their ruin, or they make it a success.
With these characteristics it is easily seen what a contradictory nature they have, and adding to it the fact that they seem to feel and suffer from the inharmonious mental conditions of those around them, one is not so surprised at the seemingly perfectly unreasonable states of depression, irritability, and sudden changes of humor which mark a Cancer person. It is said that as babies, they become delicate, nervous and even fatally ill from being in charge of thoughtless, cruel, bad tempered or diseased nurses ; and inharmonious companions during their childhood, so warp their natures, that the effects will be noticed during the rest of their lives in fits of morbid depression, sullen, morose moods and a general manner of nervous irritability from the slightest causes. But with all this outward crab shell of crustiness, there is no more loving, thoughtful and tender father, mother, brother, sister, son, or daughter than can be found in this sign. Their genius is the home. There they blossom into their sweetest nature. Deprived of it they are wanderers on the face of the earth, unhappy themselves and a source of unhappi-ness to others—cross, morose—all their bad traits in evidence, all their good and tender ones shut back into themselves.
The femininity of this sign is so strong, that should the father of a family be born in this sign, and the mother in another, the children, recognizing the strong mother love in him will love him more than the mother. In fact the men make better husbands than the women do wives, though the women are wonderful mothers. Both sexes are lovers of knowledge, but the man is better at manufacturing, trading and commerce, while the woman tends to literary pursuits. Cancer people are Positive Poles, and hate to be under others' control. They insist on being master of their own home, and do the best work when they are at the head of their own business. For this very reason they should guard against their tendency to domineer unduly over every one with whom they come in contact.
These people like money for its own sake, and, crablike, stretch out their hands to grasp everything they can reach. This carefulness in money is a good thing in moderation, but when indulged in till the stinginess of the child becomes the hoarding, miserliness of the man, it cannot be too greatly condemned. Even the home love is swallowed up in it, and the wife and children are stinted, pinched and starved for a little of the money that is hoarded away. There is a seeming contradiction to this in the inordinate love of precious stones, jewelry of all sorts, and fine clothes which characterizes some of these people, especially the women. But it is a form of the miser, getting and keeping for themselves what they most desire. The unregenerate Cancer women are in some cases lacking in constancy (much more so than Cancer men), and with them their jewels are a means toward shining in society. A Cancer person should watch for and fight to the death the very first symptom of miserliness, love of display, or inconstancy. And yet these people seem absolutely unable to see and realize their own faults. They consider themselves the soul of truth and fidelity, and criticise others freely on this point, and they are frequently lacking in both. There is no excuse for extravagance, and the women should realize this when they are using every means in their power to obtain the jewels and fine raiment they so desire. These people have exquisite taste, and with half the outlay of less talented persons could dress beautifully, but as a rule they are unsatisfied with anything short of the extremes of elegance and costliness. They are lazy folk and very jealous, yet they will work night and day to get the money they love, and give much more cause for jealousy in themselves than they would take from any other. So, contradictory, unexpected, and hard to understand, we see the crab nature approaching its object sideways or backward or any way but straight ahead, never seeming to realize that the best way to get along is to be open and above board in your dealings with men, and direct and straight in your reckonings with yourself. A marriage of Cancer and Pisces, its opposite pole, would be the most harmonious. Pisces would have a sympathy with the contradictions of this nature which would greatly help Cancer to overcome and grow out of them.
A marriage of a Cancer man with a Taurus woman is sometimes very happy, because of the great sympathy of the latter sign.
Restless Cancer will be attracted to the steady strength of Aquarius, for the support and comfort it would give him, and a union with Capricornus is pretty sure to be a success from a financial standpoint if not from a purely aesthetic one, as these two natures help each other in the accumulation of wealth.
But a word of advice to Cancer people would be, if they desire happiness, to be well on the road toward conquering their faults before they think of marrying; never do it early in life, and let the Cancer woman think very seriously over her own nature, and the man's, before she marries at all.
Cancer people will be fortunate when the moon is on the increase, and should avoid entering on new business during its decrease.