Three aspects of THE SHADOW SIDE of Cancer energy are:
When the Cancer personality exhibits DEPRESSION, it’s all about emotional chaos. To first understand this sometime roller-coaster ride that these sensitive souls can find themselves in, look to the ruling planet of Cancer. The Moon.
Of all of the celestial objects that we can see in the night sky, it’s the Moon that grabs our attention. She moves fast and flies through the entire 12 signs of the zodiac in only about a month. All the while that she is in constant shift zodiac wise, her literal appearance is also constantly changing; from no Moon visible at all growing into the full fat globe and then gradually shrinking back to nothing. This physical and metaphysical ongoing transformation lends insight into the ever-shifting nature of the Cancer psyche. At the very least, we can call it moodiness or inconstancy of nature but at its worst, it can manifest as outright depression, an emotional disorder that can profoundly affect the day to day life.
You can’t alter the natural flow of energy but you can work with it mindfully. If you have strong Cancer in your psyche, then you, of all people, should track the Moon. This is a project that can be super simple; just track the moon for a few months marking when its new and full. Create a legend to use to describe your EMOTIONAL self at the end of each day. It can be as simple as D for down, N for neutral, and P for positive. Tap into your own sense of your feeling nature to create a legend that instantly speaks TO YOU. At the end of each day, use either a calendar or datebook to record your sense of what the day felt like for you emotionally. Don’t overthink this. Just do it faithfully for at least a few months. Then the review can begin. See if you notice a pattern. The 2 weeks from new moon to full moon are a waxing time; the moon is increasing in brightness. The 2 weeks from full moon to new moon are waning time; the moon is decreasing in brightness. It can be that simple. Which period of time is more emotionally fluid for you? When are you more settled? Is there any difference? Knowledge is power especially when it comes to the feeling, irrational side of life. Once you spot a pattern, then you can create strategies that will facilitate a smoother passage through the more turbulent parts of your emotional cycle. Remember, Cancer is always going to be sensitive and changeable. That’s a given. The YOU element in the equation is how you manage the sensitivity and changeableness.
If you know your horoscope, then noting what sign the Moon happened to be in when you were born is also useful. Not all Cancer psyches are equally sensitive and prone to depression. For instance, if your Moon happened to be in Sagittarius, you will navigate emotions much more adroitly since the fiery Sag energy of the Moon provides you with a good dollop of optimism, joi de vivre and a philosophical outlook. On the other hand, if that Moon happened to be in Scorpio, you may want to be even more mindful of emotional triggers that could send you into a downward spiral. Consult a professional astrologer for your unique blend of energies to tailor make a strategy that suits you perfectly.
Here’s what depression can do FOR you. It’s a signal that something is off balance. Think of it as a massive STOP light that is telling you to reboot, take a pause, change your direction. It’s a symptom and when you get it, its time to look for root cause. Of course, it will take effort and persistence. It is NOT simple or easy. But, then, nothing that is worth anything is ever simple and easy.
The second shadow to explore is ANXIETY. Above all things, the Cancer psyche craves security. Remember the crab who hauls around his little house with him. That hard shell is protecting a soft interior and so it is with the Cancer person. Self-protection is of paramount importance because there are so many perils out there that could demolish that sense of safety that is so vital. And thus, anxiety ensues. What could happen? What if this or that happens? And so on. The emotional imagination begins to concoct all sorts of dangers that could threaten and rob one of security. And once anxiety begins, it is difficult to rid oneself of it. That vivid emotional imagination can escalate even the smallest of obstacles into insurmountable mountains.
Anxiety is a slippery shadow. One useful response is to focus totally on the present moment. “BE HERE NOW’, goes the old adage. Another useful strategy is to use physical techniques to slow down heart rhythm like deep and mindful breathwork. ‘COUNT TO TEN & THINK OF ZEN’, goes another old adage. Visualization or hypnotic techniques could also be used to counter irrational anxiety. Imagine that you are on a beach, in a forest, by a river, anywhere that brings you a sense of wholeness and calmness. Better yet, go to a beach, forest or river and just be there for a bit. Nothing is more healing than nature.
A proactive use of anxious energy is caution. When those little whispers start up, take it as a signal to double-check, to be vigilant, all the while doing what you can to calm the irrational responses.
The last of the dark shadows to explore is FEAR. When Cancer exists in a state of insecurity, this can trigger the reactive energy of fearfulness within the psyche. The future can become looming and full of peril. Danger lurks behind every bush and barrel. The reactive response is to withdraw completely into a self-protective shell and hide away. Worst case scenario is that Cancer is unable to DO anything for FEAR of doing something wrong. It can truly immobilize the working, day to day self, and the accompanying paranoia can infuse every situation with toxic energy that is a challenge to diffuse.
The call to action is to apply critical, not emotional thinking when gripped with fear. If Cancer can access its partner energy, Capricorn, and use the power of practicality and strategy to deal with irrational situations, then some measure of balance could be achieved. Capricorn does not deny that challenge exists but it approaches that challenge with an eye to a solution-based strategy; practical, one step at a time, and matter of fact.
Overall, the key issue with the Cancer shadow is the management of emotions. Actualized, this is an energy that can embrace others, nurture and meet the needs of others, provide comfort, compassion and motherlove to others out of the depth of a full and calm heart. The overriding archetype for Cancer is THE MOTHER. So, Cancer, put on your Mother mode, face the shadow of fear, anxiety and depression honestly, willing to create little strategies to shift the shadow into the light. It won’t always be simple or easy but it will always be worth the effort.