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Dark Side of Cancer: Clingy, Sentimental, Unhappy, Unforgiving

Sylvia Sky, M.A., is an experienced writer-astrologer and author of "Sun Sign Confidential: The Dark Side of all 12 Zodiac Signs."

Diana, Princess of Wales ,was born under the sign of Cancer (birthday, July 1).

Diana, Princess of Wales ,was born under the sign of Cancer (birthday, July 1).

The Waterworks Sign (June 21 - July 22)

Watching the funeral of Princess Diana, British detective novelist P.D. James wrote:

I wonder if those sad, mascara-laden eyes will droop in reproach over the house of Windsor forever.

Kings and Queens of Passive Aggression

Any sad eyes you meet will probably belong to a Cancerian. Children or grownups who cling to their mothers' skirts are also probably Cancerians or have a Cancer Moon. Usually homebodies, Cancerians value love, family, and marriage, but when those relationships aren't working, negative Cancerians can make a second career or hobby of martyrdom, moping, addiction, or crime, like Jodi Arias (July 9).

Their unhappiness is always someone else's fault. They are known to seek pity. Princess Diana (July 1) is a perfect example of a Cancerian. All she wanted was a happy home (and to marry a king and have lots of money). When divorced, Diana, wanting to make a boyfriend jealous, secretly called the paparazzi so they could take and publish photos of her dining out or yachting with other men.

Cancerians are very devoted and sensitive. This can be a good trait, or a laughable one, depending on what they are sensitive about and devoted to. Mike Lindell (June 28), the "My Pillow" manufacturer, clings to a pillow while spouting vile conspiracy theories. Cancerians never forget or forgive and are "triggered" by most anything.

Two Real-Life, Negative Cancerians

Cancerian "Alice" (July 15), a widow, had a niche cut into a wall in her lovely home and hung up her late husband's portrait and stands in front of it and cries for him every day. She phones her married adult daughters daily, and they don't dare say they're busy or Mom goes to pieces. She keeps up their childhood bedrooms in case they want to move back home. Alice's holiday gatherings are really for family only, and the talk is all about family. Old friends or relatives by marriage are ignored. A career homemaker, loving parent, and expert cook or crafter, she doesn't circulate outside her family or church except to shop at the finest stores.

Very attractive for her age, Alice could date just about anyone, but chooses as her escort and bedmate -- this is true -- her ex-son-in-law, an abuser who for years has been anxious for readmission into the family. When her daughter objects to her mother dating her abusive ex, Alice cries, "Who else do I have?" Alice's bachelor son is her handyman, and she keeps him tied to her apron strings by harping on imperfections in his girlfriends. Mostly she finds them insufficiently religious.

To lunch with Alice is to gaze into her sad, beautiful eyes while she goes on and on about her wonderful husband of 47 years and his sudden death that was so traumatic for her. She is a shapeshifter: from June Cleaver uber-mom with high heels and pearl earrings to a lonely waif. She is the one who scrolls you through every photo she has ever taken.

Her materialism is hardly a secret, as her house is filled to the roof with collections, collectibles, and clothes. If she sounds like someone you know, that's because, with her Sun in Cancer, she's the epitome of the generation born with Pluto in Cancer (1914 to 1939). Women like Alice inspired the saying, "When Mama's not happy, nobody's happy."

Cancerian "Patty" (July 20) was a bashful, clinging middle child who eyed her siblings' plates on the dinner table, checking whether her mother had served them bigger portions than hers. If she thought so, she cried and screamed "You don't love me!" and fled and hid. A sullen and secretive teen, she moved to the far edge of the continent, cutting off all communications with her siblings and has not contacted her mother at all for 30 years.

Patty has moved coast to coast, saying she must live near the ocean and have a view of water. Intelligent and shrewd, she built a successful business and married another Cancerian. After serving gourmet food, she will talk for hours about how rivals plotted to cheat her, trick her, or undermine her business because they were jealous or because she is female. In her mind even slight acquaintances spend their days plotting against her in the most devious and subtle ways.

Cancerians either love their mothers or hate them, and Patty's hatred for her mother after 30 years is undiminished, she won't let go of it, and every cozy conversation devolves into a rant about Mom. She doesn't need any friends; she has her husband and pets. She has no children, and loathes children in general. When others show photos of kids and grandkids, she punishes them by showing photos of her pets and describing them in lengthy and lacerating detail.

What Cancerians Have in Common

Both Alice and Patty are family-centered, devoted, and sensitive. But negative Cancerians, also called Moon Children, are also tearjerkers, grudge-masters, string-pullers, money-mad, spendthrifts, complainers, martyrs, paranoid, grasping, sentimental, self-serving, gullible, punishing, and far more sensitive about themselves than about anyone else. A good example of a fine Cancerian artist is Frieda Kahlo (July 6), whose subject was herself and her suffering. Others get stuck on motherhood, Mom, ancestry (like Elizabeth Warren, June 22), or fertility.

Cancerians like the dark, and many are tempted to float their troubles away on alcohol or drugs. The women can be great beauties who age well, such as:

  • Lena Horne (June 20)
  • Eva Marie Saint (July 4)
  • Babe Paley (July 5)
  • Priyanka Chopra (July 18)
  • Selena Gomez (July 22)

The men age badly, and even young ones tend to have a rumpled, shadowy, dampish, day-old look, or a gut. They can be drifters or eccentrics, and they like money more than working for it.

Negative Cancerian Avatars

John Dillinger (June 22)Gary Busey (June 29)Lindsay Lohan (July 2)

O.J. Simpson (July 9)

Jodi Arias (July 9)

Bill Cosby (July 12)

Willis Carto (July 17)

Lizzie Borden (July 19)

Mike Lindell (June 28)

The Dark Side of Aquarius: Erratic, Self-Absorbed, Tactless, Superstitious

The Dark Side of Libra: Dramatic, Controlling, Condescending, Repressed

The Dark Side of Scorpio: Vengeful, Fixated, Self-Destructive, Insecure

Sylvia does not select or endorse the ads appearing on her pages.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Sylvia Sky


Maria Lea Chapman on July 23, 2020:

Hi Sylvia!

I love all of your articles and your assessment of The Dark Side of Cancer is spot on. My mother is one (June 29) and my sister is another (July 1); but, though Lizzie Borden is a Cancer, her birthday was July 19th and not the 29th - which would have made her a Leo - as am I (July 27). I believe this to be a typographical error because "1" and "2" are next door neighbors on the keypad.

I love all of your articles - especially The Dark Side of Aquarius...and Leo. These "Dark Sides" are well written and are very articulate and far reaching.

Vesterhunt on May 23, 2019:

I’m so sorry cancers are not to be trusted because I’ve been all that all my life, now I date a cancer that’s proven us as lolo0310 I think I agree with you. I’m not all you listed but this one makes me beg the difference. Sorry but I agree. I’m glad I’m different.

Bayou on April 29, 2019:

I work with a Cancer Woman. An incredibly moody, back-stabbing, liar, cheat who enjoys arguing with my wife! She feels she has the privilege to use whatever is ours is hers, including me, but I'm smarter than that. She's 60 years old and parties and drugs and drinks like a high schooler!

lolo0310 on January 31, 2019:

I really can’t stand most cancers. Majority of the cancers I know are the most jealous, insecure, self absorbed, lazy, miserable SOBs. They’re passive aggressive, liars and are perpetual victims. Accountability is like kryptonite to them. God help you if you have them as parents. I feel so sorry for my nephews having a cancer mother. Like Tony said it’s like having a girl raising children instead of a woman. Then they have a Virgo (another sign I cannot stand) as a father. All I can do is pray for those beautiful little boys. I get along with sign in the zodiac except for virgos and cancers because they are two sides of the same coin.

Annelise from copenhagen Denmark on June 16, 2018:

My Grandmother was cancer she has 3 children none of them want to see her after they moved from home, my Dad hated her

Tasya Situmorang on January 18, 2017:

Hello my name is Tasya Situmorang and I'm a new member of Hopefully everyone will welcome and accept me the more you get to know me!

patrick on November 07, 2016:

i'm a cancer , being a cancer seems like a borden or course , but we are lovely people living in a different world with strange minds , but being a cancer is my best gift ever , and my fellow cancerians , love everybody and still yet hate what is wrong , practice how to use your powers in positive ways, cancerians possess spiritual powers , i'm july 2 which middle in any 365 or 366 leap year, life sucks around us , but we feel what no one else could feel , thats a big plus , a well trained cancer can defect a magician

Nancy on June 25, 2016:

I'm a cancer teen my birthday is July 22 and so far the things I've read are accurate about cancer I do tend to be over emotional but know one knows that I keep my feeling to myself

juanitaperez on April 01, 2016:

This is absolute nonsense. I am a cancer woman with moon and ascendent in pisces. I am extremely sensitive and protective of myself, I can be really hurtful when people hurt me and I am the ultimate drama queen. Having said that, I am the most caring person and I have lost so much for love and trusting people than a lot of people can imagine. Yet, I will never give up on love and friendship and I enjoyed being loving, helpful and going to extra mile for those I love. I think the problem with cancer people is that we are way too sensitive with a world that is becoming more and more insensible.

Sylvia Sky (author) from USA on December 09, 2015:

Taurus, you're correct that Angela Merkel and Princess Diana have Aquarius moons.

Taurus on December 09, 2015:

Yes, there is a lot of things about the dark side of this zodiac sign, however lets not forget the importance of the moon as the ruler of Cancer. A badly placed moon can tear down the good characteristics of this sign. I can tell you that a lot of the cancer villains have moon in aquarius, which is a fixed sign with a certain coldness and self centeredness, even though they don't admit it. Princess Diana has moon in aquarius that is why she was evil on the inside and did the good deeds only to get protagonism and smash the royal family. Angela Merkel, the prime minister of Germany is also a cancer with aquarius moon.

shb on September 27, 2015:

@wanda 5

i understand what you're saying.but life is not that simple and straightforward.those who want to consider or make it that way,destroy many things in life.Relationships are the most difficult thing to nurture and keep on healthy level.its more difficult than even to understand Einstein's theories.

so dont take just sun signs so personal.

Wanda 5 on August 08, 2015:

Main irritant for me is that cancer is the only sign in the zodiac that lives in a glass house and has the nerve to throw stones.

then they dont seem to want to pull themselves out of their funk and better their lives. Any help or advice offered is quickly rejected. Very frustrating and if this person lives with you, you are already trying to send them out the door. All that negativity can wear on the rest of the household. It takes a cattle prod to get them to take action on anything, and, of course its all your fault. Kick them to the curb, as they wont change. Ignore the tears. Oh and it doesnt seem to get better later in life. I mean if they are still behaving like a 17 year old in their 50's, are you gonna wait til they're 80? Life is too short.

shb on May 21, 2015:


You feel exactly the same how my sister used to be.she is 9th of july.we are two brothers and five sisters.she is the second last and the last one is me.

she used to be in constant search that our mother or any elder is not giving her,"her rights"ever since she was a little girl she had an attitude to make others responsible for her 'unseen' or foolish insecurities and worries...

The problem was that she never wanted to negotiate on what charges or blames she put on others..

she just had difficulty in accepting her faults.

It's a long cut it short,she has gone through many phases in life,she's much mature now;obviously she's learnt through hard way..

resides in new jersey,have two kids..she's doctor by profession,her husband too...

I don't know in what house her moon is..

For most of cancerians,their later life is better than their childhood.

shb on April 11, 2015:

I am cancer man.My sis is cancer too.The problem with cancer females is their enormous insecurity which comes from not understanding behaviours correctly or at least comprehensively.

the key to the positive for them is just to understand and believe the fact that nobody is after them in particular.And that the criticism occurs to all people by the people.

I have figured out this truth by myself just by thinking and observing and with a pursuit to gain correct knowledge about matters and dilemas and so on.

just don't give up and what you have to do cancer females is to build an impartial way of observing and thinking. You'll find it so liberating;refreshing your soul and fulfilling to great extent.

we just need to care for 'others' too.

There's nothing much satisfaction or security in serving yourself.

believe in that !!!

Starr on September 13, 2013:

King Henry VIII of England was also a Cancerian born on 28 June 1491.

Sylvia Sky (author) from USA on July 02, 2013:

The article is called "The Dark Side of Cancerians," so of course it does not represent them all; but when a Cancerian is dark, they are as dark as the dark of the moon!

Margarite on July 01, 2013:

This is nonsense. This is a fraction of Cancerians. We are lovely pleasant people who always look on the bright side. I do any way.

sylviasky on September 06, 2012:

Please see a therapist or counselor. You might be suffering from depression.

Neha Walia on September 06, 2012:

I too, am a cancerian woman and life has been such a pain for me...there's always an emotional turmoil going on in my head and I am really tired of it....I get irritated for no reason at all....I can't express myself clearly...after marriage, things have only become more complex....I feel nobody can understand me....but that's nobody's fault because I myself can't figure out what exactly do I want from life...everybody around me is happy...or at least they can successfully fake it but I can't even do that...I keep regretting about each and everything in life....

Sylvia Sky (author) from USA on June 27, 2012:

This sign's positive traits include artistic talent, loyalty, determination, compassion and a willingness to work for the greater good of all. Read up on your sign. In astrology there is always a fund available of positive traits and changing conditions that can help you transform your life.

Vic on June 27, 2012:

I envy other star signs wishing I was more like them. I cannot tolerate myself therefore I don't expect others to like me. Still I wish this sign was not so negative, and people born in this month can find balance in life no matter how difficult this is. Even if one has to sacrifice happiness so be it, easier said than done

Vic on June 27, 2012:

I am a cancer woman, and I know all of this things are true.

I don't want to be all this things but I can't help it because they just seem to come natural to me.

Although I am dependable, loyal, and family orientated. I cannot stop the negative side of me, and especially envy, outburst of anger and so on. It is sooo bad even I am the one warning admirers away from. 'all that glitters is not gold' trust me you don't want to date me...

Now bearing in mind I don't want to be alone, I cannot change who I am, I can pretend but the real me will soon flare out. What are we then supposed to do?

Kimberly Brennan on April 12, 2012:

Oh gee... I am a Cancer woman. An I am a recovered alcoholic I haven't had a drink since July 9th, 2010. I went to an addiction when my relationships failed an I became a single mom. An I also love dark places. I am a case manager for a paranormal team. So I am out in the dark more then the day. An when I am home it is with my children. I don't date anymore. Because my family takes first priority. But I am a pretty lady. That is ageing very well. So I give you a A+ on your article..,

Tony on March 20, 2012:

Growing up was hard because my mom was really immature and childish and it was like being raised by a girl instead of a woman. She would act nice in front of certain neighbors but when we were alone with family she showed her colors and they weren't pretty! She didn't like sharing and still doesn't, the only time my mom shares is when she thinks she'll get something in return, never does she give with the kindness of her heart. As for loyalty, pshh, if I had to count how many times my pops almost filed for divorce from her, I'd be counting all day. I dated this Cancer woman once and I realized that they really like being the center of attention and when they see someone else in the spotlight that deeply infuriates them even though they won't show it. To this very day when I find out a female is a Cancer I steal clear of her and head for the hills. Cancer women are selfish to the point of being narcissist, but you can't always spot a narcissist right? They camoflouge themselves well in front of outsiders only family see the nasty side.