What is Cancer’s Ruling Planet?
The ruling planet is the planet which has the most influence over a sign of the zodiac. The rulership of signs by planets is one of the most ancient and central parts of astrology. The powerful and unique properties of each planet have a direct influence on the characteristics of people born under the sign ruled by that planet.
Cancer is ruled by the Moon, which, of course, is not technically a planet, but a satellite of Earth. After the Sun, the Moon is the most instantly visible and recognizable heavenly bodies to people on Earth, which is why it has such a significant place in mythology. The Moon is frequently portrayed as the opposite of the Sun, but it really shares the Sun’s light, just reflecting it back in a different way.
The Moon is an extremely sensitive planet to have as your ruler. It gifts you with an extreme conscientiousness about other people’s feelings and experiences. More than any other sign, you are ruled by feelings of empathy that lead you, not only to be able to connect with others on a very deep level, but also to try your best to help them with every struggle they face.
You feel other people’s struggles as your own and are always passionately driven to illuminate the way for them. At times, this can be exhausting and lead to feelings of burnout and hopelessness. However, your powers are more than just the desire to help, and you have an array of tools at your disposal that you may not even have been aware of.
Read on to find out twelve things about having the Moon as your Ruling Planet that will guide you to live a balanced life, without giving up on the core values that make you such a loving and valued addition to so many people’s lives.
Facets of Cancer’s Ruling Planet
The Moon is often associated with femininity in Western culture, while the Sun is more often associated with masculinity. This is far from a hard-and-fast rule, and not every culture sees it this way, so associating the moon with either femininity or masculinity is a much more personal and self-fulfilling matter than it might originally seem.
With that said, in Western European and North American culture, the Moon’s consistent link to divine femininity is undeniable. It began with the Moon goddess Selene in Ancient Greek mythology, and continues to this day. Because of this, if you are ruled by the Moon, you are highly attuned to what are traditionally considered the feminine aspects of your personality: compassion, emotion, intuition, and nurturing and maternal behaviour.
You also set more store by the intrinsic worth of these characteristics than some other signs do. Not only do you possess characteristics of compassion, intuition, et cetera, but you also believe in their genuine worth and ability to make a difference in the world.
As anyone who has been out on a walk in the night, away from light pollution, is aware, the Moon is the main source of light during the night. Although the light is weak, it is generally enough to guide any person who is walking in it. Metaphorically, this is echoed in the people who are ruled by the Moon.
Like the Moon, you give light to people who are enveloped in darkness. Humans are biologically trained to be afraid of the dark (because of the nocturnal predators that are both more active and harder to see during the night), and even a small amount of light can make an enormous difference.
It should be said that, although the importance of the Moon’s ability to give light in the dark should not be underestimated, the light that you have to give is not always very strong. On the contrary, it is frequently quite weak, and can even distort reality.
Moonlight can give the traveller a sense of security that not well founded. Alternatively, the ghostly light can make things appear strange or frightening even when the traveller is very familiar with the way they look in daylight. You may not realize that you’re doing this – in fact, you probably don’t, because you are always genuinely trying to help people – but at times, you can distort your own perceptions, or those of the people around you, in such a way as to make it even more frightening than the undistorted realities.
This is something that you must be conscious of, and it is important to surround yourself with optimistic and level-headed peers, who can notice tendencies towards dramatizing or catastrophizing, which would lead to distortion.
The Moon represents the personality, the subconscious, and the instincts. It’s no surprise that the Moon represents our dreams, since we do most of our dreaming at night (and there is some research to suggest that full Moons can have effect on the vividness and frequency of remembered dreams).
When the Moon is your ruling planet, it is extremely important to be conscious of the ways in which you perceive and process your subconscious and instinctual experiences. Do you see all dreams and intuitions as invalid? Conversely, do you see them as a one-to-one representation of reality as everyone else perceives it?
Neither of these ways of viewing them is ideal, and it is far preferable to find a balanced approach that integrates skepticism with recognition of the value of dreams and instincts.
In older astrology texts, the Moon is sometimes referred to as the “Builder of Form.” This means that the Moon shapes the forms that humanity perceives.As Sigmund Freud would point out, our subconscious desires and fears guide all the actions of our waking lives.
The Moon is able to build the perceptions around which we structure our lives. Obviously, the Moon is central to your own understandings, but furthermore, you have a massive influence on the way that other people perceive the world.
Your nurturing side frequently puts you in positions of authority over the emotional well-being and development of others, and it is your responsibility to ensure that you are teaching them well-adapted ways to deal with the world. This honour rests in your hands.
Romance and Compatibility with Cancer’s Ruling Planet
Because Cancer is ruled by the Moon, people born under it are extremely compatible with those ruled by the Sun – usually those born in Leo. The Sun and the Moon are natural partners, so people ruled by the Moon are instinctively drawn to those ruled by the Sun, and vice versa. You bring out their nurturing and protective tendencies, while also encouraging them to have a calmer and more sensitive way of reacting to the world.
These relationships are a case of “opposites attract” – your quiet, introverted, and thoughtful personalities make a nice complement to their outgoing, extroverted, and talkative personality. However, like every relationship built on an “opposites attract” basis, some people handle this type of contrast better than others.
You need to very carefully evaluate your potential partner – does their energy rub off on you and get you excited about things, or does it make you feel tired and burnt out after a short period of time? They will also need to evaluate whether they find your sensitivity inspiring, or feel as if they’re walking on eggshells around you. No two couples are exactly the same in this way.
Your nurturing and caring nature is attractive to a wide variety of people in romance. From hotheaded Aries to flighty Gemini, to practical Capricorn or equally sensitive Pisces, almost everyone can find something to appreciate in your loving and understanding attitude. For this reason, you will never have a shortage of potential suitors.
Beware, however, of spreading yourself thin in an effort to please everyone around you (romantic partners and otherwise). You want to make people happy (who doesn’t?) and can be prone to giving all of yourself in an effort to smooth out other people’s lives.
There needs to be some degree of give-and-take – other people need to be willing to help you as much as you help them. Not everyone has your maternal streak, but everyone has some way that they can help others. If your peers aren’t willing to put forward some effort towards helping you, then you shouldn’t feel guilted or obligated into putting all your energy into helping them.
There is no elemental basis for incompatibility with someone ruled by the Moon – the Moon is a watery planet, in terms of its correspondences, but it is also made of stone, resides in the heavens, and gives light, making it equally well-attuned to the forces of earth, air, and fire, respectively.
However, there can be issues of compatibility between Moon-ruled Cancers and people whose charts are ruled by the other Cardinal signs (Aries, Libra, and Capricorn). Cardinal signs have a strong belief in themselves and can be very set in their ways.
Cancer is a Cardinal sign too, but because of the influence of the highly mutable Moon (which, after all, changes every single night, but along a set pattern), you are fixed in your unfixedness. You place an extremely high value on qualities of receptiveness, reactivity, and compassion.
Because of this, you can have a difficult time reconciling with people whose Cardinal placements lead them towards singlemindedness, constant action, and what you perceive as lack of empathy.
This is not to say that no relationship between a Cancer and another Cardinal sign will be successful. As always, the factors affecting personal compatibility are highly varied, and cannot be distilled to just one astrological point.
However, if you are in a relationship with someone ruled by a Cardinal sign, you must be open to having frequent, frank, and non-judgemental discussions when you come to points of difference. Never allow yourself to stew in your concern about their singlemindedness, and never allow them to believe that you are holding back or indecisive.
Using the Power of Cancer’s Ruling Planet in your Life
The first thing that you must do when trying to integrate the power of the Moon you’re your life is to decide on the type of credence that you are going to give to your emotions. We live in a world that is very skeptical of emotional reasoning, because it is so subjective, and consequences of it can be so strong.
You may have been socialized in such a way as to completely dismiss your feelings because you were told that they were too strong, or that you set too much store by them. Conversely, you may have decided that you should pay careful attention to your emotions, and in the process of doing so, lost sight of the very valid importance of logical scientific reasoning.
The Moon gives an enormous amount of authority to your emotions. Ignore your strong intuitions at your own peril. At the same time, beware of relying wholly on them when you come to circumstances where you might risk harming others.
In other words, let intuition be your guide when making decisions that only affect yourself, or that (to the best of your ability) you cannot see causing harm, but employ every tool in your arsenal when making decisions that could potentially harm others: intuition, logic, and the opinions of others.
The Moon draws you to the past. This may be, in part, because so many ancient cultures worshipped the Moon (along with the Sun) as a powerful player in the universe. You are, therefore, intuitively drawn to the patterns of these past times.Although not all Cancers are aficionados of ancient history, many are great lovers of
Although not all Cancers are aficionados of ancient history, many are great lovers of history, or historical literature. You may be especially drawn to representations of femininity in the past (whether that is the matriarchy and divine femininity of Ancient Egypt, or the highly stylized roles of women in the Victorian period). You feel an aesthetic and personal connection to them.
Furthermore, your love of the past has a habit of dropping thick, rose-coloured goggles over your remembrances of your own past. Those ruled by the Moon may experience persistent feelings of nostalgia and wish to shape their current life in ways that remind them of their childhood, as they draw comfort and inspiration from it. (This is also why many Cancers are drawn to work involving children or childhood, like teaching, childcare, or writing for children).
Isabel Hickey describes the primary object of your attraction as “the habit patterns of the past.” Whether it is because the rhythms are soothing, the aesthetics are pleasing, or the memories are simply joyful, you are strongly drawn to all things, not of today. There is nothing wrong with integrating these things into your daily life, to the greatest extent that is possible without losing sight of present reality.
The empathy and intuition that characterizes Cancers mean that you are extremely attuned to mass consciousness. You have an intuitive grasp of the zeitgeist that surrounds you at any given time and are also very aware of changes that appear in it. You can tell when a crowd is getting angry, or when people are becoming excited about something new, even if, on the surface, nothing has changed.
This is a power that more people should possess – it’s extremely useful! In these politically charged times, you have a unique opportunity to tap into the heightened emotions that surround almost every public issue or debate.
Use your unique skill to help keep other people informed: you would make an excellent journalist on hot-button issues, but you’re also the person to ask when people are sitting around the dinner table and a debate springs up. Your empathy will help everyone see both sides.
Because of your flexible and emotional nature (not to mention your love of fiction and history), some people believe that those ruled by the Moon are quite departed from reality. Not so! Cancer rules the Fourth House in astrology, and more than any other sign, needs to keep a strong “base of operations” in order to feel safe and comfortable.
Do yourself and your family a favour, and do not neglect the importance of the home and hearth. You will be a lot happier and more productive when you feel that you have a safe, secure, and loving environment to return to at the end of every day. You’re not like a Gemini who can live out of the back of her car, or a Pisces who probably wouldn’t notice if the house fell down around her. You need to be conscious of the sanctity of your home.
In this spirit, also consult your astrological chart, and find out what signs or planets reside in your Fourth House. These will be extremely informative in deciding how to best organize and prioritize your home.
The receptive, emotional, and traditionally feminine powers of the Moon are a guiding force in your life. Do not shy away from the power that has the Moon as your ruling planet grants you: you are in a unique position of guidance, leadership, and nurturing that not all signs can effectively fulfill.
But, as Spider Man would say, “with great power comes great responsibility.”
The ability of the Moon to guide is also the ability to distort. You are highly attuned to the emotions and mass consciousness of the world, but, as all humans do, you see it filtered through your unique lens.
Therefore, beware both of assuming that your perspective is perfectly accurate (because it is filtered through your lens), and also of assuming that there is no merit at all to it (because it is highly receptive and picks up on much more than other people may).
Can you feel the power of the Moon in your life? Are you highly conscious of other people’s feelings and needs? Are you driven by a desire to illuminate the way for others? How will you harness the Moon’s reflective light to achieve the types of relationships that you are truly looking for?
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