This is a powerful, complex combination that typically gives rise to some power struggles. Leos feel that royalty and leadership are their birthright. Their larger-than-life personalities often enforce this belief. Meeker souls tend to follow their lead.
Emotionally vulnerable Cancers, who tend to express themselves indirectly and retreat into their shells when hurt, might seem to fall under the category of “meeker souls”. But to see it that way is an absolute mistake. Cancer is a cardinal leadership sign.
Steep power and tenacity in water, and you’ll soon find yourself drowning.
EMOTIONS AND VALUES
Leo is a proud fire sign ruled by positive masculine forces. The lions and lionesses of the world believe in themselves and their destiny; those who don’t fake it til they make it. Cancer is a sometimes-timid water sign who is governed by negative feminine forces.
Although tenacious with an indomitable will to get what they want, they are not optimists. The glass is half empty for them; it’s simply their job to fill it. Both Cancers and Leos are intense in their own ways and can have trouble distinguishing between wants and needs. What a Cancer or Leo wants, a Cancer or Leo needs and will virtually stop at nothing to get. Both of their wills are forces to be reckoned with.
To understand this relationship dynamic, consider the ways in which Cancers and Leos get what they want. Leos pride themselves on being honest and straightforward. The lions spot their prey and pounce on it. In other words, they go for what they want without pulling any punches.
Cancers, on the other hand, move sidelong toward the object of their desire, sometimes even backtracking before going in for the kill with those sharp pinchers.
COMPATIBILITY RATING: 5 OUT OF 5
Cancer is immediately drawn to Leo’s warmth and benevolent leadership. If a lunar person meets a Leo who is still controlled by ego and vanity, he or she will either run in the other direction or take a subservient role in the friendship. This is not healthy for either of them.
If Leo can listen to Cancer – really listen rather than merely waiting for the chance to talk – Cancer will likely be receptive to the lion’s guidance.
The lion who behaves like a gentle giant toward Cancer will win the crab’s heart in friendship or love. In turn, Cancer gives Leo a safe space to let down his/her guard and be vulnerable. This is something every Leo needs, no matter how unwilling they are to admit it.
COMPATIBILITY RATING: 7 OUT OF 10
Leo embodies the sun, warming Cancer under its powerful rays and illuminating the way for the crab, who often feels lost. Yet water and fire are always a precarious balance in relationships. If they don’t communicate clearly and their relationship contains unresolved hurt, Cancer’s watery nature could eventually extinguish even Leo’s bright fire.
When a Cancer is deeply unhappy, he or she doesn’t easily let go of a relationship the way a Gemini or Sagittarius might. No, Cancer stays, but retreats into a shell where even Leo can’t stalk her out. He/she becomes emotionally manipulative, growing remote when Leo wants to be close, and then clinging when Leo needs space.
Leos have the power of the sun within them. Ruled by positive, masculine forces, Leo has big dreams and believes in them. It is absolutely vital that they have a stage on which to perform in life. Sentimental Cancer provides it by being enamored with everything Leo does. However, their emotional make-up is quite different.
When Cancer gets into a pessimistic place or worries too much about security to give the lion space to hunt down his goals, Leo can get upset and have a strong reaction.
In fact, his/her reaction gets stronger and more aggressive each time; it’s rare for Leo to retreat into a shell when angry or hurt the way Cancer does.
A Leo who does repress herself may be one with a conflicted ascendant or moon sign, or her essence may have been damaged or suppressed by emotional abuse. In this case, Cancer’s tendency toward emotional manipulation and pessimism could become very unhealthy for Leo.
COMPATIBILITY RATING: 5 OUT OF 10
If Cancer can accept that he/she could use some of Leo’s guidance and has strong enough boundaries that Leo doesn’t dominate, this relationship could lead to a harmonious marriage.
To coexist in harmony, Cancers need to stay true to their soft, sensitive natures. Leos need to stay true to their powerful, intense natures. There are no two ways about it. Then they must decide how they mutually benefit from one another’s opposite qualities and adopt an attitude of loving tolerance.
If they don’t practice patience and tolerance, they may compromise their very natures to be together. Leo allows Cancer to wear down her natural power leadership qualities until her bright light seems to burn out. Or perhaps Cancer, who will never completely allow Leo to dominate, hardens and becomes bitterly self-reliant.
This may sound terribly disheartening to all the lions reading this who are roaring in protest that love can always win if both parties try heart enough. It may sound downright devastating to the Cancers, whose ideal of true love must always be intact or they fall apart.
But there’s good news for both the lion and the crab: Leos and Cancers can choose to draw on their unshakable faith in love and take-charge natures to love each other despite the differences. They can practice patience and tolerance, even during conflicted times. If they can both learn to do this, their marriage has the potential to last a lifetime.
COMPATIBILITY RATING: 6 OUT OF 10
Communication is probably the most challenging part of this relationship. It may require some benevolent leadership on the lion’s behalf. Leo is direct, while Cancer is evasive and indirect. Leos are powerful and might very well be used to exerting force to get their way.
However, when they behave this way, Cancers just retreat into a shell. When they do come back out, they seem fickle and touchy. The truth is that their sensitive emotional cores are wounded. Have you tried navigating a wounded lunar person whose moods wax and wane with the moon?
Leo hardly has the patience to do that, so it’s best to nip conflict in the bud before it gets that far. Luckily, Leo has enough romance and passion in his nature to fulfill Cancer. This is saying a lot. When Cancer behaves in a way that seems elusive or overly sensitive to Leo, Leo should remember that he/she harbors the power of the sun.
That means he can relate to Cancer on her own lunar level – by nurturing her until she opens up and tells the truth. She should allow herself to be swept off her feet and into bed, where Leo’s passion finds its most powerful expression for her. The same is true for male Cancers and female Leos; there is no gender specificity intended.
COMPATIBILITY RATING: 3 OUT OF 10
SEX AND INTIMACY
A tiny piece of gender-related specificity applies here, but to femine and masculine types, not specifically men and women. Cancer is a feminine water sign. These people are ruled by lunar cycles of illumination and darkness. As such, they feel their way through life and are intrinsically connected to the dark, unseen realms of energy and emotion in this world.
Leos are drawn to the sexual mystery surrounding Cancers, who are all emotion and embody their desires. Like Eve who offered Adam the forbidden apple, soft and sumptuous Cancers are forbidden fruit to Leos.
Leos are brighter than life, and their sexual passion is as consuming as a raging fire. Ruled by the sun, they have already karmically experienced Cancer and therefore feel exalted. Emotionally vulnerable Cancers are drawn to them like moths to a flame.
When Leo does answer Cancer’s siren call, his protective warmth makes him into a kind of knight in shining armor. These emotional patterns are true for female lions and male crabs, too. However, they are more exaggerated in relationships with Leo males and Cancer females.
In any case, their sex life is often passionate and never boring. Leo may need to refine his/her approach and be more attuned to Cancer’s sensitive emotions and moods, which ebb and flow. Cancer will usually be receptive to being dominated, but only if Leo puts his/her heart into it, doing it with passion and intensity. If Leo can react to Cancer’s moodiness with the comfort of his natural warmth, their sexual relationship can be deeply satisfying.
COMPATIBILITY: 6 OUT OF 10
CANCER/LEO COMPATIBILITY PROS:
- Leo’s combination of warmth and passion makes Cancer feel both safe and excited – a combination crabs need in order to be satisfied.
- Cancer brings out Leo’s softer side and nurtures it, helping the lion find harmony and balance within himself.
- Both Cancer and Leo have highly romantic and emotional natures, so their sexual relationship is a powerful one.
CANCER/LEO COMPATIBILITY CONS:
- Leo is fixed fire, and Cancer is cardinal water. This often translates to Cancer trying to control Leo with emotional manipulation, and Leo aggressively resisting it over the course of time. When this happens, either Leo explodes and leaves, or his/her natural power and fiery personality is compromised; Cancer’s soft, loving nature is also compromised.
- Both signs are expressive and loving. Leo is protective whereas Cancer is nurturing, creating a harmonious relationship pattern.
- Leo’s warmth draws Cancer out of his shell and into the light. Cancer feels more confident with a strong Leo by his/her side.
Summary of Cancer and Leo
Cancers and Leos have very different emotional makeups, but their differences can be complimentary when they love and accept each other for who they are. Leo’s light comes from the sun and is an illuminating force.
Cancer’s light comes from the moon, which is sometimes so bright that it casts Leo in stark relief, revealing the hidden vulnerability beneath his bravado. However, the moon also retreats into darkness, which requires a delicate balance of caring and space on the behalf of Cancer’s partner.
The key to harmony in this combination is this: Both Leos and Cancers allow each other to shine in their own lights and don’t compete for emotional space in the relationship.
This pairing requires them to go with the flow and adapt frequently, which isn’t easy for a fixed fire sign or an anxious Cancer. But both souls are certainly creative enough to do just that if they put their minds and hearts into it.
OVERALL COMPATIBILITY: 5 OUT OF 10