Cancer (♋ and Latin for crab) is one of the twelve constellations of the zodiac. Cancer is small and dim, and to many it does not resemble a crab. It lies between Gemini to the west and Leo to the east, Lynx to the north and Canis Minor and Hydra to the south.
As the constellation vaguely resembles a crab, it may, together with the Hydra constellation, form the basis of the myth of the Lernaean Hydra, one of The Twelve Labors of Heracles, with which it is associated.
The astrological sign Cancer (June 21 - July 22) is associated with the constellation. In some cosmologies, Cancer is associated with the classical element Water, and thus called a Water Sign (with Scorpio and Pisces). It is also one of the four cardinal signs (along with Aries, Libra, and Capricorn). It is ruled by the Moon. Its polar opposite is Capricorn. Each astrological sign is assigned a part of the body, viewed as the seat of its power. Cancer rules the breasts and belly. The symbol for Cancer is the crab. Cancerian qualities include tenacity, powerful and tempestuous emotions, strong moods, a fierce protectiveness of family and country, a strong ability to nurture others, and a resistance to external change, but negative traits include a tendency to get too emotionally attached, mood swings, and mild paranoia.
- Wikipedia (2005). Cancer (constellation) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cancer_%28constellation%29). Retrieved March 2, 2005