Desiree Roby Antila


By Desiree Roby Antila


Desiree Roby Antila (she/her), author of “Sun Signs in Love,” specializes in sun signs and astrological relationships. She has been studying astrology for several decades and has written numerous articles on matchmaking, cosmic timing, forecasts, and more.

Image by Studio Firma / Stocksy

March 22, 2023

When it comes to astrological compatibility, some zodiac pairings are more similar, while others couldn’t be more different. As far as Aquarius and Cancer go, they tend to fall into the second camp—but that doesn’t mean they can’t have a good relationship. Here’s what to know if you’re curious about this astrological matchup.


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Aquarius & Cancer compatibility.

There is a natural fascination between Cancer (the crab) and Aquarius (the water bearer) from the moment they meet. They aspect one another in a quincunx, which means they’re 150 degrees away from the other on the astrological wheel.

The vibration of the quincunx aspect makes it difficult for this pair fully see the other, which creates great mystery, interest, and intrigue in the other. Their vibration lies somewhere in between a square and opposition, which leaves them in a limbo of tension that boils over into incredible attraction.

Quincunx pairs always do best if they are able to incorporate autonomy in their partnership because of their vastly different astrological compositions. Cancer is a cardinal, yin, water sign—while Aquarius is a fixed, yang, air sign—which makes combining their energy bizarre, yet stimulating.

Cancer’s planetary ruler is the moon, which governs emotion, while Aquarius’ two planetary rulers, Saturn and Uranus, rule structure and radicality. Astrologically speaking, these two have absolutely nothing in common. Yet, within their differences, a magical space is created that fosters their dynamism for one another.

In terms of compatibility (aka synastry), you have to take both people’s entire birth chart into account, not just their sun sign, to get the full picture. But with that said, here’s more on how Aquarius and Cancer fare in love and friendship, plus how they’re similar and different.


Aquarius and Cancer feel a natural fascination toward each other that keeps them coming back for more. They are very different signs but can help each other grow.


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In a friendship.

In a friendship, these two can teach each other a whole lot. Cancer is always on a mission to create security in every area of their life, while Aquarius prefers their days to be spontaneous. They will challenge one another in many ways, which will inevitably make them grow into more well-rounded versions of themselves.

Aquarius is always surrounded by a sea of friends, and if Cancer is one of them, the crab will aim for a more familiar connection, which will feel stifling for Aquarius at first. However, over time Aquarius will realize how Cancer’s nurturing balm heals them in ways that they need more than they know.

To Aquarius, friendship is everything, and they often find safety in numbers. However, Cancer has a way of showing Aquarius that there is also safety in getting vulnerable in friendships on a personal level. 

Aquarius prefers to take their moods and intellectualize them rather than making them tangible and moving through them. However, Cancer will teach the water bearer that feeling things on a deeper level than the surface can be incredibly valuable in a friendship and can be used as a way to connect. Subsequently, Aquarius will be able to show Cancer how they can gain more control over their state of mind by simply not giving so much power to others.

Cancer has a way of pulling Aquarius out of the sky and down into reality in a way that is kind and tender, while Aquarius can pull Cancer out of their melancholy state with ease by utilizing their intelligence and high vibration. If they can both keep an open mind to their varied ways of handling their natures, their friendship will help them both in different yet equally important ways. 


While Cancer and Aquarius have different approaches to friendship, they will find they have plenty to offer each other, helping them both to become more well rounded as friends.

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In a relationship.

Romantically, this relationship works better if the pair is karmically developed and understands that differences in a partnership are of high value to inspire growth. Another way they can connect is if they have experienced similar life experiences.

These two give and receive love in very different ways, which is something they can absorb from one another with time and adjustment. Cancer’s emotional expressiveness will simultaneously alarm and charm Aquarius. It’s not that Aquariuses are afraid to feel—they just find Cancer tends to be more emotionally complex, while Aquarius would prefer to stay safely aloof.

Once Aquarius realizes it is not so scary to get personal is when the magic between them really starts to take place. Through their love, they will bring one another correction, experiences, and conciliation in a way that only this pair is able to.

There is a philosophical knowledge they both gain by simply loving one another when Aquarius and Cancer come together, and their relationship often gets stronger with time.

The reason they get stronger as a pair boils down to their modality. Cancer’s cardinal energy will eventually gently lead Aquarius while still allowing them their required freedom, and the water bearer will bring the crab out of its shell to show them a whole new dimension.

Because of their different alchemy, they will constantly challenge one another in strange ways, yet they are intertwined through their own unique elixir of safety and sovereignty.


Cancer and Aquarius approach their relationships differently, with one wanting security and the other wanting freedom, respectively. If they are mature and developed people, these differences can enrich their relationship, and the union will get stronger with time.


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Ways they match up.

One thing that will connect these two is that they’re both interested in various forms of the whimsical and far-out, which will be a shimmering link between them that will bring a colorful ecstasy of passion that is known only to people who invite their imaginations to their partnership.

These two are by every definition a diverse and modern couple. They are both incredibly changeable and no one will ever know what is next, not even them. Predictability is not a world that they live in. With Cancer, it is their moods that are unpredictable, and with Aquarius it is, well, just about everything. They both keep one another on their toes, which is exactly how they prefer it. 

Aquarius adds a splash of color to their bluish-gray life while Cancer holds the fort down. Cancer creates a safe home base for Aquarius to return to after they explore the galaxy. There is a natural push and pull between them that never allows for boredom or indifference.

However, the real magic between them lies in their quincunx aspect. In astrology, the fifth and eight houses rule sex, passion, intimacy, and creation. All quincunx couples have strong themes of sexual attraction and a crazy physical connection that makes their tie impossible for either of them to forget.

This astrological fact makes them intoxicating to one another. The rest of us may not understand how two incredibly different people can work, but that is because the majority of their secret sauce takes place behind closed doors. Cancer and Aquarius have no problem smoothing their indifferences out in the bedroom. 


These two are both into the whimsical and far-out areas of life, making for a modern and imaginative pair. Their quincunx aspect also creates an undeniable attraction.


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Where conflict may arise.

There will be plenty for these two to work on, and it will take a lot of time for them to find their rhythm within their union. There will be a consistency in their inconsistency, but when they figure that pattern out, that’s also when they’ll start to vibrate as one.

One qualm they will experience is Cancer’s innate desire to reminisce about the past as Aquarius is unreachable in the future. The crab likes to cling to memories, making them the most sentimental sign in the zodiac—while Aquarius does not have the capacity to be bogged down by anything that does not propel them into the fourth dimension. They will both have to remember to remove themselves from the past and future, respectively, so they are able to be present with one another. 

Another area of opportunity for this pair has a lot to do with their emotional makeup. Cancer’s intense feelings are emotionally intuitive; meanwhile, Aquarius picks up their insight from their mentality. Because of this difference, Cancer can find Aquarius cold, and Aquarius can find Cancer poignant.

Aquarius prefers to scatter their emotions more thinly across a broad set of issues rather than concentrating them on one idea or thought, whereas Cancer likes to grab onto things tightly with their claws. With adjustment, understanding, and empathy, they will find a way to respect each other’s varying brands of expression.


Cancer is more emotional, while Aquarius is more aloof. As such, Aquarius may find Cancer to be clingy and overly emotional, while Cancer may find Aquarius to be cold.


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The takeaway.

This pair’s powerful chemistry draws them together regardless of how different they may be and regardless of how much time passes. They are both elusive to one another, which keeps them both returning to their love time and time again, and throughout the years, they get better and better as a team.