As the most maternal sign in the zodiac, Cancer has an instinct for closeness that few signs can equal. The family you were born into never ceases to play a central role in your consciousness, whether positive or negative (or, more likely, a confusing amalgamation of both). You lavish attention on friends and lovers alike, and in the absence of a committed romantic partner, you turn friends into family. Children claim a special place in your heart.

Love affairs absorb you, but you're most comfortable in a committed, traditional relationship. Shyer than you appear to be, you long for someone with whom you share a soul connection. When you feel cherished and recognized, you're utterly devoted and supportive. When you feel insecure, it's another matter. Fearful of being alone and yet unwilling to engage in conflict, you hold on too tightly for too long. When a relationship falls apart, you're devastated, even if you're the one who made the decision. You withdraw into the safety of your shell. Many tears are shed. And then — it's amazing — you're fine. Although astrologers always say that the Crab moves sideways (and I've said it myself), it's not always true. Sometimes you move forward with giant strides. I have seen Cancer soar from abject misery to honeymoon cruise within a matter of months. In romance, as in other areas, your ability to take action and to recognize opportunities pays off.

For more on your relationships with other signs, turn to Chapter 15.

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