Cancer Ascendant seems to give one a sense of emotional softness that may be gentle, nurturing, and even vulnerable. The establishment of emotional security, especially within the family, is essential for the identity fortification of this Ascendant. Without such emotional connection, the self image may become unstable (moody and vulnerable), and shyness and withdrawn attitude could result.
As the modifier of the Sun-Moon blend, it may help tone down an otherwise too overbearing horoscope: “It makes me tolerable!” said Noel Tyl, whose Cancer ASC softens the “King complex” of his Capricorn Sun and Leo Moon; the emotionality (his crying easily or expressing affections readily, etc.) serves to make his tough, authoritative energy much more acceptable to others.
If the rest of the horoscope is also Watery, Cancer ASC will – in the best cases- lead to a smooth expression of depth, intuition and caring. The example I can think of is Roberto Assagioli, the founder of the psychosynthesis movement, who has Sun-Mercury in Pisces, and Moon in Virgo (a sensitive intuition harnessed by intellect.) A brilliant and innovative thinker, he is also remembered for his compassionate attitude toward his students and clients.
Archetypally, I think Moon stands for the psyche’s inward movement toward wholeness and healing (as opposed to Sun’s outward drive toward conquering and achievement)- in that way, Cancer Ascendant may suggest the need to develop a complex character capable of expressing – and experiencing – all kinds of emotions.