Home Beauty Tattoos inspired by the Cancer zodiac sign range from water motifs to vulnerable messages. Here, scroll through 20 beautiful designs fit for the cardinal water sign.

Tattoos inspired by the Cancer zodiac sign range from water motifs to vulnerable messages. Here, scroll through 20 beautiful designs fit for the cardinal water sign.

by белый

Tattoos are all about symbolism, thematics, and thoughtful imagery—just like astrology. Investing in ink inspired by the zodiac is a popular route, one that’s full of possibilities for both first-ever tattoos and additions to existing collections.

“Astrology tattoos have remained steady throughout my career,” says New York-based tattoo artist Astrid Elisabeth. “They’re fun to create and flexible to interpret, in case the client decides they don’t believe in astrology anymore (haha).” Take the Cancer zodiac sign, for example. Cancer is represented by a crab, is marked by the element water, ruled by the moon, and known to be among the most nurturing, tender, and loving signs. If you allow your imagination to roam, the design options are virtually endless, leaving plenty of room for art that’s meaningful, mutable, and multi-faceted. Another great aspect of astrology is that it acts as a lens through which you can better see yourself and the world around you. Whether you’re a Cancer sun, enjoy other Cancer placements, love a Cancer, or resonate with the sign, how you embody it is entirely up to you.

“I would tell someone who wants a tattoo that represents cancer for them to think beyond crabs and the zodiac symbols,” says tattoo artist Natasha Harden, who specializes in hand-poked designs that evoke vulnerability (a big Cancer vibe). “When people think of their design for a tattoo, it can be anything they want. We are all unique individuals with completely different lives and experiences. Your design doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else but you.” Elisabeth agrees. “Look for an artist whose style speaks to you and let the rest fall into place,” she says.

Read on for 20 designs inspired by Cancer and its qualities, from elemental to emotional.

Classic Crab

Tattoos inspired by the Cancer zodiac sign range from water motifs to vulnerable messages. Here, scroll through 20 beautiful designs fit for the cardinal water sign.

Cancer's crustacean means that there's no need to get complicated. "Honestly, crab are so cool just as they are," says Elisabeth. "I have a crab tattoo simply because it's cute." There's room to go realistic or cartoonish here, depending on your style and preference.

Full Moon

Tattoos inspired by the Cancer zodiac sign range from water motifs to vulnerable messages. Here, scroll through 20 beautiful designs fit for the cardinal water sign.

Astrologically speaking, Cancer is ruled by the moon, making the celestial body a perfect means of celebrating the sign. An illustrated full moon replete with shadows and texture is an eye-catching ode to the body.

Let It Flow

Tattoos inspired by the Cancer zodiac sign range from water motifs to vulnerable messages. Here, scroll through 20 beautiful designs fit for the cardinal water sign.

"Clients can incorporate specific traits attributed to their natal chart to create a custom image," says Elisabeth. "I've tattooed many double faced women with tears to represent Geminis with Pisces or Cancer placements."

Baby Heart

Tattoos inspired by the Cancer zodiac sign range from water motifs to vulnerable messages. Here, scroll through 20 beautiful designs fit for the cardinal water sign.

Wearing your heart on your sleeve (or shoulder) makes a strong statement regardless of size. This teeny tiny line heart calls doodled drawings to mind for a charming adornment.

Seashell

Tattoos inspired by the Cancer zodiac sign range from water motifs to vulnerable messages. Here, scroll through 20 beautiful designs fit for the cardinal water sign.

The crab may be Cancer's main icon, but as a water sign, all sea creatures and details are up for associative grabs. Opting for a seashell (perhaps the sort that can be found at your favorite beach) offers a subtle nod to your sign or placement without going full zodiac.

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Cat Cuddles

Tattoos inspired by the Cancer zodiac sign range from water motifs to vulnerable messages. Here, scroll through 20 beautiful designs fit for the cardinal water sign.

Cancers are known for their nurturing natures, a quality embodied in this simple, elegant cat cuddle. Because what's sweeter and more comforting than a snuggle with a furry friend?

Horseshoe Crab

Tattoos inspired by the Cancer zodiac sign range from water motifs to vulnerable messages. Here, scroll through 20 beautiful designs fit for the cardinal water sign.

The horseshoe crab is a worthy contender for fans of an alt design. Fun fact: This crab isn't actually a crab at all, but a species more closely related to spiders. Again, this one's for those after a rebellious interpretation.

In My Locket

Tattoos inspired by the Cancer zodiac sign range from water motifs to vulnerable messages. Here, scroll through 20 beautiful designs fit for the cardinal water sign.

Sentimentality is one of Cancer's primary traits, and what better way to commemorate your sweetest memories than with a heart-shaped locket? This tattoo doubles as a piece of forever jewelry and an opportunity to store symbols "inside" of the piece.

Kindness Counts

Tattoos inspired by the Cancer zodiac sign range from water motifs to vulnerable messages. Here, scroll through 20 beautiful designs fit for the cardinal water sign.

Cancers are among the sweetest signs of the zodiac, so this adage is a fitting message and a reminder for the more prickly among us. Placing the words on the thumb allows you to see them throughout the day while granting others the same courtesy. So kind of you!

Crimson Crab

Tattoos inspired by the Cancer zodiac sign range from water motifs to vulnerable messages. Here, scroll through 20 beautiful designs fit for the cardinal water sign.

A fine-line crab is bright and bold when inked in red. The color also renders additional detailing unnecessary—the vivid hue does all of the work.

Baby Love

Tattoos inspired by the Cancer zodiac sign range from water motifs to vulnerable messages. Here, scroll through 20 beautiful designs fit for the cardinal water sign.

Nurturing is the name of the game, making some mother/child ink feel quite Cancerian. Honor your little one (or your inner child) with a similarly sweet frozen moment.

I Believe

Tattoos inspired by the Cancer zodiac sign range from water motifs to vulnerable messages. Here, scroll through 20 beautiful designs fit for the cardinal water sign.

"I think hand-poked tattoos have this badge aesthetic that supports things like zodiac signs and other ways of wearing ourselves on our sleeves," says Harden. Cancer placements are sweet and supportive, and Harden's sentimental messaging is the perfect match,

White Rose

Tattoos inspired by the Cancer zodiac sign range from water motifs to vulnerable messages. Here, scroll through 20 beautiful designs fit for the cardinal water sign.

Cancer’s coupled flower is the white rose, a perfect design for fans of something floral. The tiny crescent moon punctuates the point.

Self-Love

Tattoos inspired by the Cancer zodiac sign range from water motifs to vulnerable messages. Here, scroll through 20 beautiful designs fit for the cardinal water sign.

Nurturing and loving apply to yourself, too, Cancer placements. This delicate self-care tattoo showcases the blooming that can occur when you direct your softest energies inward.

Hermit Crab

Tattoos inspired by the Cancer zodiac sign range from water motifs to vulnerable messages. Here, scroll through 20 beautiful designs fit for the cardinal water sign.

Crabs come in all shapes and sizes, and the hermit variety is fair game for Cancer representation. Hermit crabs have the added lore that comes with transience — making their homes in whatever shell fits — which adds another layer of meaning to the design.

Heart Bursting

Tattoos inspired by the Cancer zodiac sign range from water motifs to vulnerable messages. Here, scroll through 20 beautiful designs fit for the cardinal water sign.

Cancers must express their emotions — they just can't hold back! Jerry's heart-bursting tattoo is a nostalgic embodiment of loving hard and loud.

Choose Love

Tattoos inspired by the Cancer zodiac sign range from water motifs to vulnerable messages. Here, scroll through 20 beautiful designs fit for the cardinal water sign.

Another externally expressed sentiment, these words echo the ultimate pursuit of all Cancerian qualities. And who could argue with this urging?

Calm Crescent

Tattoos inspired by the Cancer zodiac sign range from water motifs to vulnerable messages. Here, scroll through 20 beautiful designs fit for the cardinal water sign.

The moon is (again) Cancer's ruling celestial body, a timeless tattoo that packs more meaning than that imbued by astrology. Adding a little whimsy to this ink idea is as simple as a friendly-faced crescent.

Dainty Crab

Tattoos inspired by the Cancer zodiac sign range from water motifs to vulnerable messages. Here, scroll through 20 beautiful designs fit for the cardinal water sign.

Crabs may be hard-shelled, but Cancers are all softness. A fine line interpretation of the sea creature is a thoughtful interpretation, and a great choice for those who prefer delicate designs.

Literal Heart

Tattoos inspired by the Cancer zodiac sign range from water motifs to vulnerable messages. Here, scroll through 20 beautiful designs fit for the cardinal water sign.

Another heart-on-your-sleeve design, this one more literal. A tiny red anatomical heart highlights the tenderness that comes with Cancer placements.

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