Cancer: Claim What Nurtures You

The sign of Cancer is the ancient and powerful realm of the Cosmic Mother. These are deep currents of emotion and intuition. They’re full of the power to nurture the future into existence.  The Sun’s arrival in Cancer’s domain marks a cosmic event–the Summer Solstice. This is one of the great hinges in the cosmic year, it releases tremendous energy into our lives. 

The Summer Solstice marks the halfway point between the Vernal Equinox, where it all begins, and the Autumnal Equinox, which start the great Letting Go.    It’ the longest day and the shortest night of the year. Yang energy has reached maximum strength. What’s on the rise is yin power.  The first of each year’s two solstices triggers the Aries Point with a challenging square.  It’s all well and good to have made that new beginning.  Now the question is survival. For that, we need yin power. 

There’s a reason that the cardinal water sign is associated with nurture and mothering.  Without water, life as we know it wouldn’t exist on Planet Earth. We ourselves are water creatures, like more than 60% of all living matter. Over 70% of the Earth is covered in water. Still more water is buried beneath its surface and floats above us in clouds that cover half the planet.  Our lives began in the embryonic waters of the womb, and water comprises 2/3 of our bodies.

 Just so, we are renewed and sustained by the waters of our emotions. They ebb and flow within us like the tides, waning and waxing with the Moon. When we try and ignore or overrule these life-giving currents, we’re cutting off our power supply. Cancer’s waters are the primal currents we experienced early in existence—the bliss and terror of a vulnerable being dependent on the Universe for sustenance.  Cancer is always responding to that bliss and that terror–nurturing, guarding, and dreaming the future into being.

Cancer’s ruling planet is the Moon. The cosmic gatekeeper, she stands between Earth and everything else in the Universe.  Modulating the powerful cosmic energies for life on Earth, Luna’s cycles and rhythms nurture us in ways that our conscious minds have almost entirely forgotten.

The Moon is the fastest-moving planet in the zodiac, changing signs every 2.5 days. The Moon-ruled tribe of Cancer is keenly attuned to the Moon’s movements and their own feelings shift on a nearly constant basis.    It’s how they stay connected to life and its ever-changing needs. She rules our emotions, our habits, and the 95% of all we know that lies beneath the threshold of consciousness.  She is the ebb and flow of life within us and around us, at every moment.

Of the 11 planets in the horoscope, it is the Moon and Venus who have carried the energy of the Cosmic Feminine through the Cosmic Masculine’s long, 5,000-year climb to dominance. We’ve largely lost touch with the magnitude of this receptive, intuitive feminine power. Yet we carry the memory deep within us.  Even our language is littered with clues. The Indo-European root of our words for moon and mind is the same.  In Greek, the word menos, which now means state of mind, once meant both moon and power. The original meaning of lunacy and lunatic was possession by Luna’s spirit, and mania described a state of ecstatic revelation.

Changeable yet constant in its cycles, Cancer embodies the mystery and the power of paradox.  Vulnerability and creative risk lie at its core, along with a deep reverence for the past and an unswerving commitment to the future. Tough-minded and tender-hearted, this is the sign of the giver of life.

Want to tap Cancer’s creative power to nurture new life within you and around you? Try these:

  • Wear pearls and think of the oyster.
  • Put on sea-green or silver and invoke the sea and the Moon.
  • Burn some jasmine, myrrh, or sandalwood, Cancer’s scents. 
  • Cook.  Let someone cook for you. 
  • Take a hot bath. Add oils and salts and light a candle.
  • Feed your Natal Moon. The Moon rules your emotions, habits, and daily routines–the things you need to feel comfortable in your own skin. Your Moon sign describes how you were mothered as a child and how you receive nurturing as an adult. If you’re a fire sign, you do it by taking action. If you’re a water sign, by expressing your feelings.  An earth moon needs a goal and a step-by-step process for getting there. An air moon needs to talk with a friend and gain perspective on things.
  • Nourish your Cancer planets. Any planets in this sign will be  intuitive and resourceful, tenacious and indirect. Cancer has strong emotions—and if it wants something, it’s the most tenacious of signs.  To reach its goal, it takes the zigzag course of the crab, its symbol.  Watch and see.  Planets here will take on Cancer’s emotional sensitivity. Creativity will be enhanced and the emphasis on the future will be intense.
  •  The 4th House of Root.  This is the most private part of your life and it’s Cancer’s natural home . It’s the domain of home–the beginning of your life, and your relationship with your nurturing parent.  It’s also the end of life, and your relationship with the nurturing matrix that sustains you from your first breath to your last. 
  •  Nourish your psyche in the house of your birth chart with Cancer on the cusp. This is where you are most intuitive and connected to the past.  The affairs of this house will be deeply nurturing to you, and women will be important in its activities.