A person with Mercury in Cancer understands and receives information subtly and instinctively. The memory is often highly retentive and it is also likely that they absorb information from the environment. Mercury in this sign possesses a strong artist’s sense of visual imagery, poetry, and music. Mercury here is an attentive and sensitive communicator, but the conveying of facts is often colored with emotion and it may be difficult to articulate ideas and perceptions objectively. Mercury in a watery position learns best when the focus is on human needs and feelings. Many are natural psychologists and they possess a sympathetic view by listening and responding well to the feelings of others.
The mind is often focused on home, family and personal issues; they think a great deal about safety and security. The individual may have an interest in history, antiques and the continuity of the past. Sometimes their views are quite traditional and conversations reflect backward and so forward thinking causes apprehension and worry. Mercury in Cancer also has a tendency to take differing opinions as a personal attack or criticism. The imagination of these people can work overtime, all too often negatively. Views are also expressed cautiously and new perspectives appear threatening until the individual has had time to become more familiar and comfortable with an idea.
Verbal expression tends to be defensive, protective and highly reactive; sometimes they appear withdrawn and hardly talk at all. The individual is often a sensitive and gentle speaker and may talk about family, care, and emotional states frequently. Those with Mercury here write imaginatively, drawing the reader into his or her private world. Words can be comforting, assuring and familiar. Mercury in Cancer has a way of transporting us back to childhood. Thought patterns are often influenced by the past and impressions received from the environment.
There can be a liking for recording information or a need to do so. Thus, this is an excellent placement for the diarist or curator. This may be a person who records lectures, because there can be a need to be able to play things back, to be able to replay the past, to go back over things. Often there will be an interest in history. Memory and touch go together, and some people with Mercury here particularly like feeling things with their hands. One famous actor with Mercury rising in Cancer (and therefore strongly placed) has a notorious reputation for handling women’s breasts (Cancer). This is a good placement for the restauranteur because it combines commerce (Mercury) with food and nurturing (Cancer). There can be a need for a mother figure to talk to. Many with Mercury here will take on this role for others. An attentive and sympathetic communicator is implied. However, the receiving and conveying of facts can be skewed by emotion, and personal experience may colour the individuals attitude to interpreting data, without their even being aware of it. The Contemporary Astrologers Handbook