Let’s keep the chart ruler series going. We started off with Capricorn Rising, so the next one I’m tackling is Cancer Rising. Now, I feel like I’m going to need to say this pretty often: the chart ruler is the ruling planet of your Rising sign. It’s not your “dominant planet.” I think most people know that but I do still hear certain people making that mistake. Your Rising sign’s ruling planet rules your chart because the Rising sign represents how we view life and, as a result, the part that we play in life, whether we realize it or not. The chart ruler tells you the story that you’re making of your life and also certain ways in which you might want to change this script.
With a Cancer Ascendant, your chart ruler is the Moon. In astrology, the Moon’s influence is responsive, supportive, intuitive, and emotional. It’s all instinct, operating solely from the gut, which doesn’t make it very rational. So, when the Moon rules your chart, your life is lived out very instinctually and reactively. Cancer Rising people are highly reactive. This is just the way that they behave. However, where the Moon falls in your chart is going to show how you go through life reacting, thanks to this Rising sign. It’ll show just what you’re most sensitive to.
A Cancer Rising with their Moon in the 7th House is going to be most sensitive in the area of relating to other people. Therefore, they spend their lives reacting in ways to try and maintain this relationship security: making people happy, keeping the peace, reflecting good things back to others, looking for a mate. If the Cancer Ascendant person’s Moon is in the 5th, their sensitivities come to the forefront whenever they’re being creative and spontaneous and having fun. So, they are reactive in ways that keep the party going and allow them to gain positive reinforcement.
People show their Ascendant’s “character” by how they carry themselves and project themselves. With Cancer Rising, this ever-sensitive, ever-reactive character is written all over them. It’s usually all over their face and in their mannerisms. Cancer Rising individuals frequently appear to be uncertain, fearful, or on the verge of tears. They have those very vulnerable, watery faces that make many more tenderhearted or perceptive people want to reassure them or give them a hug. In the end, we’re giving them just what they need by doing so, affirming the role they play through life. They view life from a point of view of “I need comfort/security/support.”
This particularly needy, cozy quality is evident from the start. Our Rising signs are present from birth, describing the particular environment that we entered into and the role we learned to play because of it. So, with a Cancer Ascendant, we see two things here. On one hand, they came into an environment where they were quite openly and readily nurtured. These people are often born into a situation that is very warm, comforting, and loving. Not to say that their parents are going to be total angels. But, unlike the harshness or discomfort that their opposite, Capricorn Rising, is ushered into the world with, they’re usually greeted with a lot of support and nurturing (unless there’s some sort of square or opposition to their Moon; but, even then, the immediate environment will feel really supportive and loving even when there are other dysfunctional issues going on).
Since the Moon represents the mother figure, you’ll particularly see the mother playing this role with the Cancer Rising child. In fact, Mom is a very powerful influence in these people’s lives. With this Rising sign, your bond with your mother runs deeper than the rest of us. I’d dare say that Cancer Ascendants are more deeply tied to their mothers than Cancer Moons. A Cancer Moon also shows a profound maternal influence. But, unless their Ascendant is also in Cancer, a person with this Moon sign will have an Ascendant that gives them a very different life focus. However, those with this placement possess a life that can be so defined by their mother and their relationship with her that it can get to a point where it starts to become unhealthy.
It doesn’t help much that these mothers are so quick to smother their Cancer Rising offspring, from childhood onward. This is usually “the baby” of the family or the only child. Even if you are higher in the birth rank, you were still singled out by your mom, in some way, as the one who needed extra care and comfort. But, the thing is that it can continue as you grow up, to a point where it starts to cripple you. This makes you too accustomed to playing an overly dependent, overly needy role in life. And since the unconscious Moon is ruling your chart, it can be quite difficult for you to realize this and snap out of it. So, all throughout life, you engage by looking to be taken care of. That 7th House Moon ruling your chart can make you emotionally drain partners and a 5th House Moon as your chart ruler could easily cause you to demand the attention you need like a spoiled child.
Also, another way that mother is constantly hanging over your head is that you are the spitting image of her. Cancer Ascendant people will almost always take after their mother, to an extreme degree, while Leo Ascendant individuals are typically exactly like their father, in appearance and/or behavior (since the Sun symbolizes the relationship with the father). I’m not the biggest fan of taking the appearance part of the Ascendant too literally. But, Cancer Rising does usually lean the genetics way very heavily toward your mother’s side. Not only will you probably look just like her, you’ll also act just like her, as well. With the Moon ruling your chart, you spend a lot of time, growing up, really absorbing your mother’s needs, reactions, feelings, etc. Now, it’s to the point where you behave in a way that’s like a true mirror image of her.
Again, you can look to the house that the Moon’s in to see how this happens. With a 4th House Moon as your chart ruler, you’d be just as much of a sensitive, supportive homebody as your mother. An 8th House Moon ruling your chart allows you to imitate the exact strength, depth, and magnetism of your mother figure. But, you’re also going to have to step back and do some reflection, in this sense. Where is the line between you two? Because of the need-dominated character you play throughout life, you can spend too much of your adulthood too emotionally intertwined with your mother. It can keep you living life like a scared child, in some way or another, still looking for Mom’s reaction as a signal as to how you should react. You can also allow yourself to be coddled far too much, not just by her but by other emotional enablers.
The challenge with a Cancer Rising is to learn to alter your perspective so you can truly take good care of yourself, like an adult. You will always love your mother more than anything. But, the apron strings are going to need to be cut, on some level. It doesn’t just mean moving out or not letting her do things for you that you should do for yourself. That unhealthy tie can exist in a psychic manner. Even when she’s a hundred miles away, she can still be overly influencing your every move. I think the toughest thing for Cancer Ascendants to move past is “this is just how I was raised.” You have to find the strength to shed certain elements of your childhood conditioning, particularly from your mother, that are no longer working. These attitudes might be comfortable but that doesn’t mean that they’re good for you.
But, ah, childhood! You love nothing more than sitting around and reminiscing about the good old days. You engage with life and your environment through reflection. All of this reflecting inevitably brings you back to the past. For better or worse, having the Moon rule your chart makes you see life through a filter of the past. Our Moon sign represents all of the various phases we’ve been through in life and how they emotionally impacted us. So, there will constantly be times where you’re not sure if you’re seven or seventeen or thirty-seven. You react from all those different emotional parts of you, with all the memories still fresh in your mind, including vivid memories of others in their various phases throughout your life. This is why you are most assured of the role you’re playing around those who are very familiar: not just your family, who you worship, but old, dear friends.
It’s the thing that makes many Cancer Rising people come off as quite shy or self-protective. The truth is that you are inherently shy because you’re dealing with any given situation by really feeling it out first. Not all people with this Ascendant are in a shell. But, again, they totally react their way through their life story (even if they’ve got a logical Air Moon and feel like they’re not reactive, they are; their compulsive way of being rational is their form of reacting). So, their instincts speak to them more loudly than the next person. This is the thing that can also make them behave in downright insane ways because we’re quite crazy when we follow our instincts, for good or bad. The Cancer Rising people who don’t appear to be shy and seem quite outgoing are the ones who are just wildly instinctive, letting all their responses flow freely, instead of being in a shell.
We all have a Moon, so we all have some craziness in us. It’s just that you, dear Cancer Ascendant, turn this way of being into the story of your life. With a planet as your chart ruler, it’s going to feel like it’s the “return” of that planet all throughout your life. But, that allows that planet’s return to be an invigorating, motivating time for you when you can really turn things around in your life for the better. Now, those with this Rising sign are lucky, in that sense. While some people’s chart ruler returns can occur anytime from once a year to every few years to two or three times in a lifetime, the Moon returns once every 28 days. So, the Lunar Return is once a month, giving Cancer Rising people endless opportunities to change their lives and their approach.
The Lunar Return is “that time of the month” for all of us, both women and men. Each month, we are moodier, touchier, and more reactive during these couple of days. We’re wrapped up in our feelings and needs. We also have an amplified ability to respond to others and support their needs. This is already a Cancer Rising person’s life. They live to be there to comfort others and they live in their irrational side. So, if you have this Ascendant, you will probably feel much less nutty and more stable on your Lunar Return than most people. While others feel their inner lunatic taking over during this time, you already act on your inner lunatic so much that you don’t need the release.
Instead, your Lunar Return will be a tranquil monthly time to recharge and reconnect. You should divide this time between withdrawing to strengthen your powers of reflection and introspection and reaching out to care for others and share these feelings with them. The Moon, after all, rules the tides. You constantly embody this extending and retreating, like the tides of the ocean. Your Lunar Return will make this an empowering process, allowing you to flip the script of your life by redefining or rediscovering your inner security.
Also, people feel their intuition become more powerful during the return of their Moon. While this can feel like an emotional awakening to other people, for you, it’s just going to confirm everything that you’ve been processing and dwelling on. Since you have an outlook that’s so geared toward the past, your Lunar Return is a great time for reflecting on everything that’s happened in the past month. You’ll feel yourself getting amazing hits of intuition, as all that occurred before will make much more sense. You internalize so much, every day, and your monthly Lunar Return can bring a lot of that stuff to the light, making you realize just how psychic you are. Keeping a journal of your feelings and dreams will be very helpful, as you can look back on all of that during this time and find more clarity with things that you didn’t understand before.
Since your life is being dominated by this irrational planet, there are many things that will happen to you, on a regular basis, that won’t make much sense, at first. I think all the Water Ascendants, including Scorpio Rising and Pisces Rising, deal with this deep-seated feeling. But, everything is connected, in a mysterious and beautiful way, and you’ll spend your life realizing that.