Capricorn, Cancer and Parent/Child Dynamics in Adult Relationships

When you enter into a romantic relationship, you’re (hopefully) engaging with your partner on an adult playing field. The idea is that you have moved beyond your childhood. But for some, parent/child dynamics remain a major part of their love life. If you have Cancer/Capricorn on the 1st/7th House axis (or vice versa) you probably end up playing the role of the child and/or parent in your intimate relationships. This is who you are; it’s neither positive nor negative. But it can cause difficulties if you’re not conscious of how these energies are operating.

Cancer and Capricorn represent family. More specifically, Cancer represents the archetypes of mother/child, and Capricorn represents the paternal archetype. Cancer is about nurturing, and Capricorn is about authority. Together, they create the security that enables you to survive. These zodiac signs can be embodied in men or women, even though the Moon (Cancer’s ruler) is associated with feminine energy and Saturn (Capricorn’s ruler) is associated with male energy.

Cancer Rising, Capricorn on the Descendant

If you have Cancer rising, nurturing is part of your identity. The house/sign position of your Moon will describe how and where that nurturing is expressed, and it may not be obvious. But on some level, you want to take care of others. Cancer’s flip side (the child) will also be expressed. You need that nurturing just as much as you dish it out. For example, if your Moon is in 10th House (career) Aries, you probably don’t come across as domesticated because your ambitious needs are hooked into making a name for yourself. But you may express that mothering energy towards people you work with, or even the public. Perhaps you impulsively (Aries) stick your nose into their business when you think they need help. If things don’t go the way you want (in your career) you may have temper tantrums: moody, foot-stomping explosions of anger.

The partner you’re drawn to is described by Capricorn (on your 7th House cusp). This person will embody your ideal of authority (they may be older than you), and the house/sign position of Saturn will dictate how that authority is expressed. For example, Saturn in your 2nd House of personal resources (in Leo) may suggest that you end up with partners who control or even limit your finances and your confidence (Leo). This, despite the fact that you’re a driven, career-oriented person. Something just seems to “happen” when you partner up, and that assertive, Aries energy takes a backseat to what your partner says. However, if you work with your inner authority (remembering that the 7th House is your projected qualities) you can become your own parent. By taking control of your finances (or whatever area of your chart Saturn occupies) you’ll attract balanced relationships. You and your partner can “parent” each other. You can act as the assertive mother, while your partner still provides the structure and stability you crave.

Capricorn Rising, Cancer on the Descendant

Capricorn on the Ascendant suggests that you’re the boss. If we put Saturn (your chart ruler) in 11th House (friends/group) Scorpio, you take your social position very seriously. Maybe you’re the one people go to when they need guidance on deep or ugly matters (Scorpio) that everyone else is afraid to touch. You could be intimidating and intense — not an easy person to get close to. You’ve got the adult thing down pat, because control and responsibility is part of your identity.

But your 7th House cusp in Cancer indicates that you crave a softer touch in your relationships. If your Moon is in 5th House (self-expression and children) Taurus, you definitely have an indulgent side. You may be drawn to partners who are pleasure-loving or childish, because you’re looking to have your needs (Moon) for playtime met. This is OK, but if these dynamics become extreme, you’ll always end up playing “the heavy,” and eventually you’ll get tired of looking after these playmates. One astrological truth is that in order to be truly happy, you must feed your Moon. This is especially relevant for Capricorn rising; your Moon represents your emotions, and they must be honored. You can own those 7th House qualities by doing something that meets your needs. In the case of a 5th House Taurus Moon, that would involve the physical (Taurus) manifestation of your self-expression in a way that invites appreciation from others (the 5th House wants an audience). By owning your needs, you can attract a relationship with someone who nurtures you, rather than someone you have to parent. You’ll still have authority, but wouldn’t it be nice to partner up with someone who isn’t totally dependent on you?

Whether you have Cancer or Capricorn on the Descendant, the goal is to become involved in a relationship where the exchange of nurturing and authority is relatively balanced. No matter where your Moon and Saturn are located, it’s probable that romantic difficulties are related to unhealthy parenting in your relationships. While your relationship with your parents will obviously have a huge influence, know that you are not your mother or father (and neither is your partner). You have the power to create a healthy relationship that honors the needs and authority of you and your lover.

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About Nadia Gilchrist

Nadia Gilchrist offers 15 years of experience in Evolutionary and Traditional astrology. Her writings and personal consultations focus on applying astrology and tarot readings with a clear, practical approach to the real world. Nadia blogs regularly at Ruby Slipper Astrology.


  1. Hi Nadia! Thanks very much for this article. I have a cancer rising Capricorn descendant with both my moon and saturn in the 5th in scorpio. Taking control of my self expression and creativity and not bowing to authority seems something I’ve long struggled with.

  2. Im cancer rising and cap des…husband of 30 yrs is cancer sun(merc,mars and uranus in cancer all in 12th house)….I’m always thinking he acts like a capricorn..acts old,stodgy,bad knees,doesnt llike to do anything spontaneous. now I understand the capricorn connection.(projection?) ..although he is a great nurterer, he wont let me nurture him..he would love it if I were the bread winner and acted the capricorn role rather than the cancer nurtrerer (cancer rising that I am). it’s very odd.almost like a reversal of how it should be…is it because we both have that cancer and expect the other to be the opposite capricorn?

  3. this is similar to me, but I have cancer and capricorn intercepted in my 7H and my 1H, respectively. My AC is 24 degrees sag, but Capricorn takes up most of my 1H. My DC is 24 degrees Gemini, but Cancer takes up most of my 1H. I have found that I seem to take on the role of parent in relationships. People often say “you shouldnt be looking for a partner that you have to take care of, or mother” etc. But it seems these are the relationships i wind up in. i dont really mind, because i think im good at it.

  4. i meant cancer takes up most of my 7H, not 1H.

  5. Thanks so much for this article Nadia! My dad is a double Aries (Sun and Moon) with Cancer Rising and I see this dynamic play out with my parents and it has always puzzled me. It all makes sense now.

  6. Thank you so much for this article, Nadia! I have a Capricorn Ascendant – which has been getting hit by so many transits over the past year – and I have really been struggling to understand what it means. This article was beyond helpful! If I’m understanding you correctly, are you saying that people with cap ascendant need to take responsibility for meeting their own moon/nurturing mother needs to find a more balanced relationship, and people with cancer ascendant need to take responsibility for meeting their own Saturn/authority father needs?

  7. PiscesPrincess says:

    Very interesting. I have cancer ascendent and mars in cap on my 7th house cusp. I have only ever been attracted to or had long term relationships with Scorpio or Aries men. I need someone with a strong mars. Saturn is in my 12th house and I have always loved caps and aquas but never in a romantic way.

  8. waterlily says:

    Thank-you for your article! I have Cap rising; cancer on the 7th house cusp; my moon is in 9th house Libra. How does one feed their moon in this position?

  9. Hi Nadia, interesting article! I wonder how a planet in the 7th or 1st houses changes the cancer/capricorn dynamic? I have a capricorn descendant with saturn in 5th in scorpio. This all sounds quite heavy and serious (which is how I see myself, I’m really self-reliant and almost afraid to ever rely on anyone in the way you suggest a cancer ascendant would). I also have jupiter in aquarius in the 7th house which implies an expansive and liberal type energy (the opposite of capricorn). I’m hoping I attract more of a jupiter type partner as this is what I feel I need.

  10. @River
    You’re welcome! :)

  11. @brn
    I would look at his Saturn…aspects it’s making to his planets and your planets. Also, what’s happening with the planet that rules his 7th House…the kind of partner he wants.

  12. @acquagal
    You probably are good at it. You chart is a good example of how intercepted signs can still have a huge impact.

  13. @Selene
    You’re welcome. It’s always interesting to gain insight into the parents’ relationship.

  14. @Katie
    Yes, exactly.

  15. @PiscesPrincess
    Yes, any planet close to the DC will absolutely influence the choice of partner. Mars is exalted in Capricorn, as well, so it’s very strong there.

  16. @waterlily
    Relationships (Libra) with people from different backgrounds than you, or relationships that allow you the freedom to explore (mental horizons and different locations). Travelling companion, maybe. Libra needs to relate to another person, but in the 9th House, you still need that freedom to roam. Even if that just means intellectually.

  17. @Ellie
    The planet/sign influence will blend, but as to what dominates (planet or sign) it depends what’s more emphasized in your chart. Which planet receives more aspects, if the planetary ruler of the house is in an “open” house (like the 5th) or hidden (12th, 8th). If you want to attract more Jupiter type partners, the key is to access that Jupiter energy in yourself…you attract what you give off.

  18. Thanks so much Nadia! Could you give me any tips on how to feed a fourth house moon in Pisces?

  19. Wow! Thanks, Nadia! I’ve not read about this before. I am a sag rising (AC in 12) and my first house is intercepted in Capricorn with Mars at 1°. In my 7th house is cancer NN and part of fortune. Would this cancer/Capricorn dynamic apply to me as well? It seems fitting because I have been ‘the heavy’ in a couple of significant relationship. But I also have a 5th house Taurus moon and attract pleasure loving guys who put a lot on the back burner.

  20. @Katie
    4th House is home and family, so concentrate on these areas. But Pisces needs a place to be creative and peaceful, so your home should become your sanctuary to dream, worship, imagine…whatever appeals to you.

  21. @megan
    Yes, absolutely. Mars in Cap and your NN in Cancer would add extra “juice” to these signs, giving them emphasis. But to get the full, partnership picture, look at what’s happening with your Jupiter (chart ruler) and Mercury (7th House ruler).

  22. Thank you, Nadia! It’s so funny that to feed my Pisces moon (creating a home sanctuary) I need to get better at Virgo (daily tasks)! I love astrology :-)

  23. Thank you, Nadia. (I need to schedule an appointment with you!) I’ll think about Jupiter and Mercury…

  24. Hi Nadia,

    I have a capricorn Desc and Saturn is in my first house in cancer. How does this affect one s relationships?
    Plus i have a moon conj uranus in the 5th house with a sqaure from Saturn….oh well


  25. Thank you for an illuminating article! How would I go about feeding a Cancer moon that is conjunct (1°) my Cancer descendant?

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