Image cut from Kat Patterson’s Zodiac Art serie.
The Ascendant or Rising sign is the name given to the sign on the eastern horizon during the time of birth of an individual. Having a Cancer Ascendant means that during your birth, the sign of Cancer was rising from above the ground, the same way that the Sun rises. People who have Cancer as their rising sign, have the Moon as their overall chart ruler.
Our Rising Sign is a very important astrological parameter, even though many theories are proposed by different astrologers and astrological systems. Still, most agree that the Ascendant defines our body and physical characteristics, also playing a strong role in the development of our character. This is quite natural, as the 1st house (the Ascendant being on its cusp) is responsible for our ego, self-perception and behavior. We should keep in mind, that when the Ascendant is at the beginning of a sign, the sign’s traits are more potent than when it is placed at its end. When the next sign occupies the biggest part of the 1st house, it naturally gives a lot of its traits to the native’s character and even to his body. If your Ascendant is at the last degrees of a sign, you can consider the next sign as a co-Ascendant. Many people though, experience the next sign to behave as the Rising sign a lot more than the one which is actually rising.
Before we continue with the traits the sign grants, we should mention that depending on the geographical latitude, each sign needs slightly different time to ascend. If we are born near the equator, the differences are hardly visible. Yet, the closer we are born to any of the two poles, the better the differences between signs can be visible. This is also the reason why people born in rather extreme northern or southern latitudes can experience rather strange natal charts, with some houses being huge while some others quite small. As always, we propose to our readers to use the Placidus system in calculating their houses, because we find it to function better both on our own charts and on the charts of other people that we have analyzed. In the northern hemisphere, Cancer is rising a little bit slower than the average of the signs. When someone is born at 50 degrees Northern latitude, the sign will need two hours and 30 minutes to rise fully. At a city placed at 60 degrees Northern latitude, the sign will need around two hours and 40 minutes. Thus, a person born in the Northern hemisphere has statistically a bit more possibilities to have a Cancer Ascendant, when the average time a sign needs to ascend is two hours.
As we already mentioned, individuals with Cancer rising will have the Moon as their chart ruler. The Moon, responsible for our emotions, will be of utmost importance in the lives of such individuals. Furthermore, this celestial body will have a strong effect on the native’s physical body, vitality and appearance. Their body and self will be affected not only by transits of planets through their Ascendant, but also by transits to the Moon. In addition, natal aspects of other planets to the Moon, while also its location in a particular house, will play an important role. People with a Cancer ascendant must take care to empower their Moon in healthy ways, as its functions will always have a positive or negative effect overall on their chart, touching all their life areas.
Having Cancer as your Ascendant feels like having the Moon in your 1st house. Both Cancer and the Moon have strong feminine characteristics, which is natural as they symbolize the archetype of the Female. This will naturally grant a very feminine appearance, even to men that have this natal placement. We should note here that this does not necessarily affect their sexual preferences, yet mostly how their appearance and presence are perceived. Cancer Rising people tend to have a gentle shape of body, with harmonic lines in their figure. The face of the individual is usually round, with slightly enlarged cheeks. They usually have pale and fair skin, with dark or even black hair. Indeed, especially when the native is a woman, the stereotype of their appearance follows this exact pattern. The Moon is the ruler of the night, and whoever baths in its silver rays will have a white skin, while the night that surrounds them gives its colors to his hair. We are speaking here about the exact opposite of the Leo archetype, where the Sun (ruler of the day) will grant the native golden skin and brownish hair. Thus, a Cancer ascendant will make the native appear somehow anemic. Other characteristics that such people can have are long and feminine eyelashes/eyebrows. When the native is a woman, she may have beautiful and somehow noticeable breasts and stomach. The reason is that Moon and Cancer rule both breastfeeding/maternity and also digestion.
Cancer Rising people are usually moody, and the monthly movement of the Moon around the zodiac has a very strong effect on them. Women are experiencing their period of menstruation a lot stronger than other signs, and even Cancer Rising men will feel monthly periodical swings in their feelings. The sign of Cancer rules food, cooking, eating and digesting; this will make such individuals have food very high in their priorities. They can have cooking as a hobby or even a profession, and will always feel beautiful when nurturing themselves and others through offering a meal. Cancer is the natural ruler of the 4th house, which represents the life area of “home, family, comfort”. This will naturally give tendencies to be housecats, preferring to socialize in cozy home surroundings than open places. Of course, food is served in such situations.
As the Moon is the celestial body mainly responsible for one’s feelings, Cancer Ascendant people indeed use their whole existence for radiating their emotions. Yet, Cancer is considered a rather introvert sign, building up security walls – as a real crab has his physical armor. They may appear shy, even if they have rushes and explosions of emotions inside them. These, too, are rather changeable and unpredictable. They cannot be really controlled, the same way that people who are connected to the moon are not able to control its effect on them (lunacy, hysteria, susceptibility to hypnosis etc). The Moon may appear to have one of the softest types of energy from all the celestial bodies, yet its taming is a rather tricky (if not impossible) business. In their relationships, they tend to wear pink glasses, idealizing their partners. Such people tend to fall in love rather quickly, without consulting their logic but solely using their intuition. They usually find partners that are stronger than them, and who will play the role of the Sun in the relation (if we assume that a relationship can be represented as a Sun/Moon duality). In any case, when it comes to their connection to other people, security and romanticism are certainly of greater importance than the physical needs and more animalistic urges.
Cancer Ascendant people are not famous for having the most robust bodies. The moon makes them rather fragile and tender as organisms, both on a physical and a psychological level. When a Cancer Rising person worries, he can transfer his stress to other body functions. Cancer rules our stomach and intestines, which are the first to suffer during a difficult transit to the native’s Ascendant or natal Moon. Many people with a Cancer ascendant have digestion problems on a monthly basis, especially when their natal Moon is adversely aspected. Another weak spot of such individuals is the chest and breasts, particularly if the native is a female. Naturally, psycho-somatic issues can arise through over-thinking or even self-suggestion. If you have Cancer as your Ascendant, know that you can easily make yourself sick or heal yourself through your own mind. Sometimes, the real problem will be the idea behind an illness, and not the illness itself. Lastly, problems can arise from intake of food that went bad, as Cancer rules the whole alimentary channel. We should not forget to mention that some disorders that can happen (especially when Jupiter is involved with hard aspects) are connected with gaining weight and overeating. Jupiter, even if is generally a benefic, can cause troubles to Cancer Ascendant people by heightening furthermore their appetite and expanding their stomach. Women with this Ascendant should also take some extra care of their breasts, as it is their Achilles foot and Jupiter/Mars influences could influence uncontrolled expansion to cells that should not act so.
Always have in mind that any planet present near the Ascendant point will definitely alter both the physical appearance and the characteristics of the native. We could say that in the first 10 degrees of the first house it will have the strongest influence on the Ascendant, while also the last 5 degrees of the 12th house. The planet’s energies blend with the Ascendant ones; we can imagine the sign as a canvas while the planet as the paint that will in the end create the unique picture of the individual. Of course, it is rather possible to have more than one planets (or astrological points/ asteroids) conjuncting the ascendant – furthermore complicating the big picture. To understand better your body, your Ego and how they function you should analyze all those planetary influences. This is why knowing your Ascendant does not necessarily mean jumping to correct conclusions about your life.
You can use our free natal chart generator, in order to understand better not only your Rising Sign but also any possible planets that are present near it. Also, do not forget to pay attention to your natal Moon placement, so that you discover the functions of your chart ruler and how it will affect your life and priorities. Finally, do not forget to read the article about natal Moon in the 1st house, as it has many similarities to having Cancer as your Ascendant.