Greek Mythology Wiki

The Cancer constellation, which is also the fourth sign of the zodiac, lays between the constellations Leo (the lion) and Gemini (the twins). It looks similar to an upside Y in the night sky and it can be very difficult to see it with the naked eye because it is so faint. However it is visible in both the Southern and Northern hemispheres during the right seasons. The Latin name for Cancer is 'crab' which is also its mascot in the astrological calendar.


  • Cancer, (Latin: “Crab”) in astronomy, zodiacal constellation lying in the northern sky between Leo and Gemini, at about 8 hours 25 minutes right ascension and 20° north declination. It contains the well-known star cluster called Praesepe, or the Beehive.


The fourth sign of the Zodiac in Cancer, the crab, representing a creature named Carcinus from Greek mythology. Carcinus is a relatively unknown creature from the tales of Greek mythology, but it does appear in a famous story, for it was encountered by Heracles as he completed his second labour, the slaying of the Lernaean Hydra.

Carcinus was a crab of monstrous size that was dispatched by Hera to distract Heracles when it appeared that he was about to overcome the Lernaean Hydra. Carcinus though did little to distract Heracles, for the Greek hero simply crushed it beneath his foot, and then continued killing the Hydra. Hera though would place the likeness of the monster amongst the stars as the constellation Cancer. 


Zodiac Constellations
Constellations : AriesTaurusGeminiCancerLeoVirgoLibraScorpioSagittariusCapricornAquariusPisces