21st June – 23rd July: SUMMER SOLSTICE … ENTER CANCER
“Everyone take a nice deeeeeeep breath! Relax the body… relax the mind…” – these are the deeply reassuring words of my friend and master shaman, Mal, as he brings our attention back to the here and now. Deep in the Amazonian jungle, he rhythmically shakes his Chakapa and whistles to the plants. We are mid-way through our Ayahuasca ceremony, and Mal is checking that everyone is alive and well.
Mal recently passed away, and I will always remember him fondly. He was what we can call a true Cancerian. He had an enormous zest for life and cared tenaciously for the people he met, creating a highly inspirational and unique spirit plant community that was nothing short of real family to many. He gave genuine empathy and effortless support to all.
Whether male, female or shades between, individuals with a strong Cancer in their chart can give the mothering and emotional security many others are unable or unwilling to give. Understanding, encouraging and backing others comes naturally to this sign. Curiously, it is exactly this care and nurturing that Cancer needs for itself. This sign needs to be needed to achieve a sense of emotional safety. And it is this quality that makes Cancerians prone to grasping – for things and people alike. Like a true crab, once they have got hold, they will not let go.
In relationships, a Cancer will often worry about whether they can meet their loved one’s expectations, and, if not, whether they will still be loved. Material possessions can become a substitute for the nurturing a Cancer longs for if this does not come from others. Here, we may find the hoarder that always has some money, food or other stuff stashed away. A worry about what may or may not happen in the future – and whether their emotional needs will be met – can make a Cancer reluctant to start anything new. They may also cling strongly to memories of the past, with an ability to remember very minute details, which, on another note, can make for a great historian.
Generally, Cancerians may seem more passive than other signs. In fact, they are very active internally. Ruled by the Moon and strongly affected by its ever-changing phases, people with a potent Cancer in their chart are constantly processing great waves of feelings and intuitions, and tend to have a vivid imagination. A highly changeable nature gives the less matured the bad reputation of being over-emotional and touchy. Conservative in many areas of life, Cancer is proactive in relating and makes emotional connections; they are happy to initiate contact in close relationships. Like Aries, Cancer is naturally assertive. A Cancerian will go for what they want – however, this will likely be in a covert sideways shuffle, rather than a direct manner. The exception is if a loved one is threatened, then they will rush directly to their fierce defence.
Cancer’s caring strategies can result in not giving others the freedom to make their own mistakes and interfering needlessly. If their caring efforts fail to be acknowledged, a Cancerian can easily feel slighted. Our little crab may subsequently retract into its shell, emotionally withdrawing to protect its very sensitive inner core. This sign, more than any other in the Zodiac, is highly sensitive to any form of rejection. If it feels threatened enough, it may defend itself with the conviction that attack is the best defence.
Despite the sensitivity and emotional ups and downs, the compassion, empathy and receptivity of Cancer are essential for the building and upholding of family and community. At its best, a Cancerian is generous with their feelings and possessions and in tune with their own and other people’s emotions. This sign can embody genuine care for others’ wellbeing, whether it’s just within a partnership and immediate family, or extended out beyond country and nation to include all of Gaia and the universe. We all have Cancer somewhere in our chart, and so display its emotionality in at least one area of our lives. In our connectedness to all, it is Cancer’s care for the weak, rejected and needy – and an appreciation for roots and effective security – that is essential for the survival of all beings.
“ASTROLOGY IS AN ART OF LIFE-INTERPRETATION AND IT PROVIDES US WITH A TECHNIQUE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT AND FULFILMENT OF PERSONALITY.” – Dane Rudhyar
To find out about how much Cancer you have in your chart and to unleash the transformative power that comes with self-knowledge, explore your birth chart in an astrological reading with Daliah, The Highgate Astrologer. For more information and to book a reading, please visit BOOKINGS at thehighgateastrologer.com.
This article was originally written for Glasshouse Journal.