The beginning of the seasons is taken from the Solstices (summer and winter) and the Equinoxes (spring and autumn). In astrology, the signs marking the beginning of a season are considered particularly 'noble' and are known as the Cardinal signs, in reference to the cardinal points, North, South, East and West. Cancer is one of the signs that occupies these points, in the part of the Zodiac where the Sun passes along the Ecliptic between 22 June (the precise date varies from year to year) to around 22 July.
The ancient Roman poet Manilius, in his work Astronomica, gives an explanation for the strange, and in some ways unsettling, name of the Celestial Crab: the moment of the summer solstice also indicates the longest day of the year. From the 22nd of June onwards the days start to shorten and are re-dimensioned , the Sun giving the impression of going back over its tracks in the sky. From this observation of many centuries ago the fascinating concept of Cancer, a Water, cardinal, feminine sign, ruled by the pale and longing Moon, was born. This is a distinctive element, considering that only this sign is the 'domicile' of the Moon, that is, the sign in which the Moon is most comfortable and in harmony, as if in a symbol celestial home.
According to the early Christian Fathers, who dedicated a lot of time to Astrology, souls are incarnated passing through the 'Door of Cancer'. From this one can understand why Cancer is attributed with a zodiacal 'lunar uterus' nature, with very strong ancestral ties in relation to the maternal role.
The Summer Solstice has always been considered a magical moment, for which the Church placed the celebration of St. John the Baptist, symbol of baptism and the regeneration of the soul. An ancient custom suggests gathering medicinal herbs that grow spontaneously on the night of the 24th of June and then keeping them to be used for the rest of the year for curing many infections. This is therefore an esoteric sign, magical in the widest and most positive sense, its profound and secret nature being expressed by poets and writers, starting with 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' by William Shakespeare.
After the intense spring the mood changes, noble summer advances and those born in this period of the year carry with them a deep (and often unconscious), distant, ancestral and unique knowledge. The awareness of being an original and very particular personality gives the apparently fragile Cancer the capacity to move with adept style through life. One must not be deceived by Cancer's status as the backward moving animal of zodiacal. Cancer uses the past to build a more stable future!