Written In The Stars

I Didn’t Relate To My Cancer Sign’s Soft Girl Reputation Until I Got A Birth Chart Reading

Until now, my Myers-Briggs and zodiac chart never made much sense to me.

Here's how a birth chart reading from two astrology experts helped me finally connect with my zodiac...

As a Cancer sun, I’m happy to announce we’re officially in my season. But every year when June 21 rolls around, I can’t help but be reminded of how disconnected I feel from my zodiac sign. Our most well-known stereotype is probably that we’re tender-hearted nurturers. In reality, though, I’m much more stoic and reserved, and I struggle to physically and emotionally connect with even the closest people in my life. I have vivid memories of watching shows like American Idol and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition with my mom (also a Cancer) as a child and having to leave the room when things got too sappy because it made me uncomfortable to see her cry. And to be quite honest, I think my aversion to emotions has only gotten worse as I’ve gotten older. So instead of spending another Cancer season living in confusion and discomfort, I decided to get learn more about the ways I do relate to my sign.

The simplest explanation is that our personalities aren’t completely determined by our sun signs. If you didn’t know, our sun signs represent who we are at our core, but it’s our moon signs that determine how we carry ourselves emotionally. My moon happens to be in Capricorn, a logical sign with a reputation for being unflappable or even detached. Sounds about right.

To learn more, I met with astrologer and psycho-analyst Lauren Donelson for a birth chart reading. She explained that Cancer and Capricorn are directly opposite each other on the zodiac wheel. Cancer’s ruling planet is the moon, which means the moon would prefer to be in the maternal water sign. Because my moon is in Capricorn, my internal battle is supposedly heightened even further. Lucky me.

Still, how is it that my sun sign happens to be the one sign that is known for its emotional disposition, and yet I can’t even tell my friends I love them? That has to be a fault within my personality, right?

Like most people, I associate personalities with the Myers-Briggs test. IYDK, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a questionnaire that helps you boil down your disposition into one of 16 different types. The types are distinguished by four letters, and determine if you’re more introverted or extroverted, sensing or feeling, and more. The last time I took a Myers-Briggs test, I determined I’m a Defender, or an ISFJ, which stands for introverted, observant, feeling, and judging. Curious to know if my astrological chart had any influence on these results, I received another birth chart reading, this time from spiritual leader Masha Loddy, who uses psychology to back her practice.

Psychology and astrology both put an emphasis on gnosis, or knowledge of spiritual truth, and therefore the two practices share a lot of the same end goals (learning about your own behaviors, gaining self-awareness, understanding how you interact with others, etc.). Loddy combined her knowledge of both subjects to paint an even brighter picture of the inner workings of my personality and after assessing my chart, remarked that my Myers-Briggs results “definitely make a lot of sense.”

When it comes to my feeling side, the expert clarified that the Myers-Briggs results for this category are less about how we express our emotions and more about one’s ability to make decisions based on empathy. She determined that the feminine polarity between my Cancer sun and Capricorn moon may make me softer than I realize, because even though I’m not a touchy-feely person, the two planets help me “empathize and sympathize” with people very easily. She was also able to gather that I have a tendency to go out of my way to take care of my inner circle, which feels true for the most part, though comforting someone while they’re upset has never been my strong suit.

With my birthday falling on June 22, that also means I’m a cusp — someone whose birthday falls close to the end of Gemini season. This can result in a blend of both signs’ energies. Gemini is known for having a sense of humor, which definitely feels more in line with my personality than most Cancer traits. Not to mention, as the communicator of the zodiac, Gemini might be the reason I love to write, too.

Though I was starting to see the influence my birth chart had on my Myers-Briggs results, I kept coming back to this notion Donelson shared, that birth charts essentially map out the course of our lives but aren’t the only thing that impacts how our life will go.

“The birth chart is a static document,” Donelson explained. However, as we get older, different areas of our charts become activated, like how we all go through our Saturn return sometime between the ages of 27 and 31. When those placements become activated, our personalities tend to change a bit, even though that shift has been written in the stars since the beginning. Donelson said it’s not out of the question for your Myers-Briggs results to bend based on your evolving personality traits.

Donelson believes people tend to “grow into their sun sign after their Saturn return.” Prior to experiencing this cosmic event, she says, our moon signs can tell us a lot about our childhoods and how we experience (or experienced) emotions during those years. Our sun signs really shine through later on. I won’t be entering my Saturn return for at least another year, so I guess I’ll just have to wait and see if I feel like a true Cancer after that happens.

After two birth chart analyses, a review of my Myers-Briggs results, and a reflection on how they work together, I determined that I don’t need to be an overly emotional person to feel connected to my sun sign because, as Donelson said, “We are so much more than our sun and our moon.” My Mercury, the planet of communication, is in Gemini, and as a professional writer, I like to think I’m capable of putting together a sentence or two. I’ve also been told that I likely get my sense of style from my Libra rising, and that’s something I don’t take for granted. There are so many dynamic conversations happening between our planets, houses, aspects, and signs that work together to make us who we are and to reduce our personalities down to one trait, or even four letters, would be a huge disservice to ourselves.


Lauren Donelson, psycho-analyst and astrologer

Masha Loddy, spiritual leader