Curious about Cancer the Crab? The Story of Cancer and how to Spot this Constellation in the Night Sky


Cancer Characteristics:  Cancer represents those born from June 21—July 22.   Cancer is the fourth Zodiac sign of the year, directly after Gemini.

Good Things about Cancer: Loyal, emotional and tenacious.  Just like a sheepdog!

Bad Things about Cancer: Moody, suspicious and insecure.  So basically you’re cute, but crabby!

Myth and Legend:   As usual we turn to the Greeks for the myths behind the cancer constellation.  It starts off with the Greek Goddess Hera, wife of Zeus being… jealous.  Hera spends most of her time on Mount Olympus being jealous of someone or other.  It’s her raison d’être.  Anyway this time Hera was jealous of Heracles, (Hercules in Latin) the famous Greek hero and spent a lot of time and energy attempting to kill him.

One of the twelve labors of Heracles, (Hercules) was to destroy the Hydra, a terrifying nine-headed water serpent.  During this battle Hera sent a gigantic crab to help the Hydra slay our Greek hero.  But Heracles (Hercules) was so strong, he crushed the poor crab with his mere foot!  For his loyal —but unfortunate service —Hera placed the crab in the night sky as the cancer constellation.

Element Sign: Cancer is a water sign.  Water signs are supposed to be extremely emotional and sensitive.  And mysterious too, like an ocean apparently, rather than a puddle!   Other water signs in the zodiac are Scorpio and Pisces.

Glyph:  The cancer glyph does not like a crab—at all, or much else.  Personally I think it looks a little like two tadpoles pausing for a chat.  But no, I’m wrong…it’s supposed to represent two breasts, because Cancers are so caring and nurturing…Okay, I’ve looked again and I still think it looks like a pair of tadpoles!


Constellation:  the constellation is even worse than the glyph.  Whoever decided this constellation could pass for a crab must have been mad.  Yes, completely stark raving mad! My cat looks more like a crab—well he acts like it occasionally—than the cancer constellation.  At best it looks like a lopsided upside down Y.  That’s about it!

If you want to look for the Cancer constellation the best viewing time is in March, around 9pm; between latitudes + 90° and – 60° in the northern hemisphere.  If you live in the southern hemisphere, look for the Cancer constellation in the autumn/fall.  It’s a dim constellation and can be very hard to see with the naked eye. Use a star map as a guide and the help of an experienced star gazer.


 Extra Fun Fact: Cancer is Latin for Crab. It comes from the Greek language originally and it means crabs and crayfish, as well as carcinomas.

Next Post—Curious about Leo, the Lion (July 23 – August 22)?  The Story of Leo and How to spot this Constellation in the Night Sky.

Evonne Blanchard is the author of, ‘Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace and ‘Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage.  These are the first two books in, ‘Amelia’s Amazing Space Adventures,’ an exciting series of ten books set in outer space (for children ages 5-9).

Ever wondered if aliens exist? What if one needed your help? Would you travel to outer space?  For the adventures… of a lifetime!

New Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage:  Book Two

Uglesnoo needs Amelia’s help.  His sister is very sick.  The only cure is a repelling crystal from Neptune.  With his Earthling friend, Amelia, they must continue their quest.  More items are needed to buy the crystal.  But Venus is full of danger and angry aliens.  Are Uglesnoo and Amelia in over their heads?

Amelia the Venutons cover with text

“A lively sequel offers a sure-handed blend of fantasy, humor, adventure, and an ingenious heroine.” Kirkus Reviews

5/5 star rating!  “Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage is a wonderful children’s book that will allow your kids to get started in the Sci-Fi genre… The story is intriguing and well thought out. All in all, the author did a great job of creating an engaging story that kept my kids interested. We are definitely looking forward to the next book!”-

Click below for a preview:


Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace:  Book One

When is a present not a present?  When it’s a friendly purple alien called Uglesnoo, from the planet Pluto!  Uglesnoo needs to leave right away for the Moon.  Uglesnoo also desperately needs Amelia’s help.  Should Amelia venture into outer Space?

kindle cover for upload

Click below for a preview:


Appealing Illustrations combine with lots of text to make this a great read for children transitioning from picture books to chapter books.”Kirkus Reviews

The story is imaginative and fun…and a perfect book to stretch my oldest in his independent reading with something fun to keep his attention.”Beautiful Books for Children

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