Cancer: The Great Embrace


Summer Solstice!

The time of the ‘great light’ here in the northern hemisphere is upon us. We have arrived at the ‘Full Moon’ point of the yearly cycle. At Winter Solstice, we were at the point of ‘least light’, with the days short and the nights long. This point can be co-related to the New Moon. If you go outside at New Moon and look into the sky, you will see stars but no trace of Luna. It appears that the sky is moonless!  New Moon time is the seeding time, a time of gestation, womblike, mysterious, and fertile. On the other hand, Full Moon is a time of revelation, fruition, and manifestation. This is a natural  cycle of becoming and does not alter in its flow. First comes seeding and birth, the beginning, followed by an unfolding until that point of full manifestation occurs so that all is revealed. The celestial sphere mirrors this cycle beautifully, as a reminder to us to pay attention to the natural cycles of being around us.


In the northern hemisphere, winter drives most of us inward, we slow down and even, for some, hibernate, metaphorically speaking. This meditative state can facilitate the birth of new projects, new mindsets, new protocols. After the gestation period, we start to implement until finally, we see the results of all of our dreaming and activity. So, if you follow the flow of energy mindfully, you can take a moment now, as we approach the Summer Solstice, and review for yourself, how you have worked with your own cycle of growth. Did you set any specific goals back in December? (New Year’s resolutions could serve for this purpose.) How have those goals or resolutions formed so far? Are there aspects of your own unfolding reality that need adjustment and refinement? If you are a journal keeper, you can look back at your December and January entries and note how you have evolved over the past few months, how initial ideas have changed, how your perspective of situations has shifted. Now is a good time to make some evaluations and necessary adjustments!


It is now, as the Sun enters Cancer that the cycle shifts into waning of light. The days will begin to shorten and slowly we will move into the dark. But, for now, for these glorious sun-filled days, we are bathed in the light and warmth of summer.


This year, 2020, is full of increased shift and change with a heightened eclipse season. In general. Eclipses herald a tremendous surge of energy that both opens and closes whatever is currently in the mix for each one of us personally. Not everyone will necessarily feel this surge, in the same way, in their personal lives depending on the structure of their psyches but collectively we are witness to the incredible forces at play around us and in that sense, each one of us will be personally affected. As is always the case, the key is not what occurs but how we respond to what occurs. Our health and welfare are directly connected back to how conscious we are as we move through the ultimate four-letter word—LIFE. Reactive response leads to further negative consequential experience. Lose your temper, damage a relationship. Lie to your partner, destroy trust. Steal from your friend, create an enemy. Respond with kindness and love, gain an ally, stand in your truth, receive respect, give from your heart, create fellowship. Its not rocket science, just good old common sense.


Cancer is one of the Water signs, flowing, emotional, and sensitive. It is also cardinal energy, keyed to movement, relatively swift in its reactions, and attuned to growth. The element of Water is usually associated with the emotional body and Cancer does indeed correlate to the breast area of the physical body as well as the stomach. The breasts are the outer layer of the heart area, suggesting a connection here with love and nurturing. The stomach, of course, is critical to our well-being, since we need nourishment in order to live and Cancer is the nourisher.


The celestial object associated with Cancer is the Moon. Constantly shifting above us in the sky, the Moon is the least constant heavenly body except for, perhaps, the comets and meteors. At any given moment, we can look up and see a transforming Moon, first a little sliver, then a delicate crescent, then a whole half pie, then a humped back old woman and finally, the full and fat globe that rivals the sun—sort of… The Moons changeable nature lends insight into something important about Cancer. This is an energy that is constantly flowing from form to form. On an ego level, this could manifest as a certain moodiness, a restlessness that could appear as irritation. If you have an accentuated Cancer energy in your psyche, you must honour your very real need to follow your feeling nature and if you feel grumpy, it might be that you just need some downtime to unwind and re-integrate.  Experientially, Cancer types are absorbent, like a sponge, and as a result, they must take the time to sort through the wide array of emotions that they take in through their skin. Once this is understood, both by the Cancer types and their loved ones, life gets much easier to bear. The old scripture that tells us about there being a “season for everything under the sun”, (ECCL 3: 1-8) is particularly true about the Cancerian experiential process. Laughter is often followed by tears and sorrow leads to peace…and swiftly.


Cancer is found in the 4th house of the natural wheel of the Zodiac. This 4th house is all about the deep things of the personal, where we come from, where we are, in theory, most comfortable or, at the very least, where we better come to some sort of terms of agreement, our deepest emotions and our impulse to nest, to build home and family, to be ultimately who we truly are. It is the ego in search of its roots. No wonder that Cancer is attuned to caregiving and nurturing. One of the archetypes that come to mind when talking about this energy is The Mother. Of course, just what kind of a mother springs forth from the Cancer soul is quite another matter. We can witness the controlling mother, the detached mother, the oppressive mother, the ineffective mother, the monster mother, and so forth. The maternal demonstration is entirely dependant on other factors in the natal structure! However, with mindfulness and intention, the strongly “cancer type” can find her way into the arms of the ‘Model Mother’ who nurtures just enough to give support without eating her young one up!


The symbol for Cancer is The Crab. Here is the little creature who, basically, carries his house around with him. Think about this for a moment. What is a home, really? Is it a place or is it a feeling? For Cancer, it is the feeling of Home that is of paramount importance, thus the image of the little crab, trucking around all that is familiar and secure wherever he goes. And, as long as there is a sense of security, then the Cancer type can really step out and shine. It is only when she does not feel safe that she recedes into her ‘shell’ to hide away from the world.


The Partner sign to Cancer is Capricorn. Winter solstice occurs when the Sun moves into Capricorn, exactly 6 months after Summer Solstice. Where Cancer is soft and emotional, Capricorn is all business. Where Cancer can typify the feminine side of parental care, Capricorn is the disciplinarian, the taskmaster. While we recede into the security of our own space in Cancer, we face the external world in Capricorn and carve out a place for ourselves in society under the auspices of that energy! Together, working in harmony, we see a complete picture of the self, both private and public, in here and out there. Cancer is, as I mentioned, a water sign. Capricorn is an earth sign. When you mix water and earth, you get mud which, with some expertise, can be made into bricks and bricks, after all, are what make up a building, a home, a structure to be safe in and for all the world to see. What a fitting metaphor for the energy of Cancer/Capricorn!

As with all of the energies of the psyche, where there is light, there is also shadow. Keep checking in for my exploration of the Shadow Side of Cancer!