The Signs and Accomplished People, 12 Part Series – Cancer
Cancer, the 4th sign of the zodiac is cardinal water. This translates to important emotion or feeling. This sign is about home, family, country, roots, Mom and apple pie. Think about these things and whatever comes to mind is Cancer. The key phrase for Cancer is I Feel and we are emotional and protective about Cancerian things.
When the Sun enters the sign, Cancer, summer begins, kids get to stay home and we go to the beach, another Cancer thing. While there, we meet the sensitive, tenacious, obliquely moving crab, the sign’s symbol, who wears his home on his back. Human Cancerians like to fill up heir homes with collections.
The body parts associated with Cancer are the breast and stomach which feed others and ourselves; this is a nurturing sign. In a recent meditation on the images associated with the signs, I troubled over the pinchy crab being connected with nurturing. Nurses nurture us back to health and they do a lot of sticking. I saw two Cancer rising clients recently and they had cactus growing in their front yard flower bed for all to see. Obviously Cancer is pinchy and prickly and not all nurturing is pleasant. Since opposite concepts are so important in Astrology, let’s resign ourselves to the sign representing pinching and being pinched. The Moon Rules Cancer and all that is of its nature is part of Cancer’s lifespace: women, moods, the sub-conscious mind, change, all that is female and ordinary daily life.
In the horoscope the 4th house is like this sign. It is about home, family, private life, and endings. The 4th house is called the womb (female) and the tomb (ending or womb of earth).
Stories and myths associated with this sign include floods, water, creation (cosmic womb), the sea, crabs and scarabs, and history. Fertility goddesses, Diana, and Vesta (goddess of home fire and town fire) are associated with the Moon or Cancer at least in part. Some say the destruction of Atlantis happened when the vernal equinox was in Cancer. And that we will be destroyed again when the equinox is in Capricorn, by fire. This is over 4 thousand years away, so relax.
Capricorn is the sign opposite Cancer and is about opposite things. Cancer is home life and private life; Capricorn is public life and career. Cancer is us at home in comfortable clothes on the couch. Capricorn is us in a suit in town.
Here are some of the things that other astrologers say about the sign.
Kustesky says that the sign is subject to whims and moods like the tides. He describes Cancerians as mediumistic, reflective, dreamy, emotional, domestic, responsive to kindness, sympathetic, and in need of approval. He notes that they are very sensitive to surroundings and fond of publicity. He states that they are the most easily influenced by other planes of existence.
A paradox exists between the signs Cancer and Capricorn. Cancer is called the gate of heaven because the Sun reaches its highest declination in this sign. Capricorn is the highest sign in the natural chart and represents things that are elevated. Kustesky adds the lovely notion that the nurturing that happens in parenting builds the spiritual body of the parents. This is the body beyond the physical and beyond thought and beyond the feeling built astral that is built by goodness.
Oken describes the constellation, Cancer as faint and says that Cancers illude their enemies. He cites the Sun as the life force and the Moon as the soul which records experience, Cancers have a great memory. He adds that Cancers are insecure and need love. Early home life is important and Cancers need to live in the present and not the past.
Positive qualities are: sensitivity to feeling, caring for others, being psychic and impressionable, holding families together, and understanding of the human condition. Negative qualities are: being irritable, selfish, clannish, and snobby.
Alan Leo notes that Cancer loves the past and can be limited by it. He notes that they save, are conservative, and can feel impressions around them. He says that they need a good diet and that anxiety in sickness can make them even sicker. He states that they are good at interacting with the masses and may even achieve notoriety.
Evangeline Adams says that this sign is the most apt to attract disease and that they need care with their diet. She says that water magnifies and distorts as does emotion.
Zipporah Dobins says that this sign needs emotional security and that they need to nurture plants and animals, if not people. She adds the note that the element air represents the conscious and the the element water represents the sub-conscious.
C.E.O. Carter notes that Cancer senses “atmospheres” and others’ feelings.
Matthews says that they know without being taught like the cook that does not measure of the nurse that can diagnose. He also notes that they can hang on too long to the past or to an idea.
Jean Avery notes the behavior of the crab which hides when frightened and latches on to something after an indirect approach.
She suggest that they build up psychological strength to deal with obstruction and plan how they are going to deal with the emotions of others.
Douglas and Moore say they are cold and like to wear sweaters.
Heindel says that they are clumsy and adverse to mental, moral, and physical effort.
Let’s look at some charts containing important things in Cancer.
Chart 1, The United States. We have Venus, Jupiter, the Sun, and Mercury in Cancer. This is Mom, apple pie, and country music. This gives us a conservative and protective tone and we have to be careful not to be provincial. Our ingenious building side is Mars and Uranus in Gemini. And our progressive, global side is our Moon in Aquarius. I like the Gemini rising chart for us because the city sign is in the east where they were in our early history and Sag of the wild wild west is in the west. The Moon, the people, is at the top, the place of government, and we are government of, by, and for the people. Uranus conjunct the Ascendant and the Moon in Aquarius at the top are those clever, metaphysical masons getting us off to an interesting start.
Chart 2, George W. Bush has the Sun in Cancer in the unfortunate 12th house moving toward unfortunate Saturn. He lost a sister in his youth and lots of difficulty happened on his watch, 911, the Iraq War, and Hurricane Katrina. It’s obvious that he is a man of feeling from observing him. The Ascendant, Mercury, Pluto, and Venus are in Leo in the 1st house of identity. This means he does what he wants. It’s good to be the king. His Moon with Neptune and Jupiter describes him as idealistic and religious. Neptune with the Moon squaring the Sun is also addiction.
Chart 3, Eleanor Roosevelt had a Cancer Moon ( Mom) in the 8th house of death squaring her Sun (Dad). Her mother and father died when she was fairly young. Most of her planets are above the horizon and many elevated. She’s still a great model of fine behavior. She had high standards and a Saturnine husband (Aquarius), Saturn on the Descendant. Planets here show what comes to us. She was intelligent and progressive and listened to. This is Mercury conjunct Uranus high in the chart. Her ruler Jupiter, the good planet was in the 9th house, the good, divinity seeking house. Yes, she looked a little horsey, she had Sag rising, the horse sign.
Chart 4, Franklin D. Roosevelt had the Moon in Cancer, the Sun sign of the U.S. chart and the Sun in Aquarius, the Moon sign of the U.S. chart. Also Eleanor has the Moon in Cancer as well. His smart Aquarian planets, Venus, Sun, and Mercury square Saturn, Neptune, Jupiter, and Pluto in the money sign,Taurus. You can see what he was trying to manage. His Mars, planet of war, is in Gemini as is the Mars of the U.S. Chart. Mercury, his ruler square Pluto shows him overwhelmed, polio. Uranus conjunct the Ascendant makes him progressive. I love the Cancer connection between him, the U.S., and Eleanor.