Astrology: Sun Sign Cancer

Frida Kahlo, “Roots” (Raices)”, oil on canvas, Mexico, 1943

I am that clumsy human, always loving, loving, loving. And loving. And never leaving.

Frida Kahlo, Mexican artist, Cancer, b. 6 July 1907 – d. 13 July 1954

The Sun travels through the sign of Cancer ~22 June – ~22 July. In the Northern Hemisphere, this ingress coincides with the Summer Solstice, and the longest day of the year, as the Sun dominates the sky, which is ironic for a month ruled by the Moon. One could say that the Moon is actually at her most powerful at this time of year, as the Sun’s strengthened presence offers more light to enhance her beauty, ever dependent as she is upon the Sun’s radiance to actualize her self-expression. This is a deep mystery, that the cold, emotional and unfathomable Moon in fact requires Solar power for manifestation of identity. Cancer as Cardinal Water is preeminent and commanding in its power, and the Moon is the Earth’s constant companion, locked in a timeless embrace as we race around the Sun. Imagine the immense power of the ocean, never ceasing, always rolling, capable of endlessly sustaining life, as well as destroying utterly anything that stands in its way for too long. The ocean is perpetually alive, indeed the very source of life, and even with all of our technological advances, to this day we do not fully understand what lies in its depths, far below the surface in the unfathomable places beyond the reach of the Sun. Linked in relationships that reach beyond the beginning of time, the Moon is a witness, a secret-keeper, a guardian and a guide.

Cancer natives are deep, strong and powerfully emotional, yet their emotion is rooted in the physical, for as the Moon requires the Earth as an anchor and the Sun for its light, the body is the ground for the fertile fields of emotional life. Emotion is a difficult terrain for many people, as they prefer to avoid feelings that may cause discomfort or confusion, rising and falling away without rhyme or reason, beyond the domain and control of logic and intellect. To Cancer, difficulty and complication are second nature, and infuse life with a richness and depth that would never be traded for the superficial frittering of those less inclined to contemplation. Cancer rules memory, the subconscious and those places that stretch far beyond the thinking mind. At its best, Cancer is nurturing, profound, tender, sensitive, tenacious, loyal, imaginative, shrewd, and protective. At its worst, Cancer is clingy, smothering, grasping, insecure, hysterical, demanding, needy, suspicious and hyperbolic with murky, mysterious drama. Cancerians have a tenacity that can sustain commitment across expanses of time, an ability to hone in on the very thing that is most important in any situation, and is able to sustain interest and attachment to people, places and circumstances until even the reaches of reason and capability have been surpassed.  For this reason, we often find the Cancer natives living in their memories, reaching back and reliving those things which caused grief, or joy, unable to let go what has passed away in the belief that as long as memory is honored, the essence of a thing will persist, and this is often done in spite of any pressing circumstances as they occur in real time.

Tarot Major Arcana VII: The Chariot (Rider Waite)

Emotional escapism and hiding are a regular control and secure tactic which can be very difficult to breach, as Cancer knows how to hide in the depths where no one thinks to look.  The Moon’s rulership gives Cancer a certain uncanniness, leaving others with the sense that while she never goes away, even when she is present, she is entirely elsewhere, and she is carefully observing you even when you least expect it, stashing away nuggets of information, vibrational frequencies and considerations for a later time. Cancerians like to feel acknowledged and important. They take great pleasure and build their self-worth on feeling needed, that what they have to give is of value and importance. The worst thing you can do to a Cancer born is ignore them. They take their feelings very seriously, for they are the essence of daily living.  Dismiss their feelings, and you have dismissed them, leaving a wounded and potentially dangerous, powerful and determined opponent on your hands. Despite being considered sensitive and introverted, many Cancerians love nothing more than to control their environments, however subtly, changing the mood with a glance or a word. Loving, potentially smothering, nurturing but occasionally stifling, Cancerians can be shrewdly powerful, cunning and subtle in their presence.

Cancer’s polarity point lies in the Cardinal Earth sign of Capricorn, which is the perfect foil for Cancer’s deep, watery sensitivity. Capricorn offers Cancer lessons in solidity and practicality, showing Cancer that taking care of number one first, even if that means showing a bit of tough love, is a necessity sometimes. Capricorn’s lessons of long-range planning, delegating energy, emotional austerity, sternness and stability give watery Cancer something to crash up against sometime. When things get a bit too much, and emotion threatens to overwhelm, take a page from Capricorn’s book. Pull back, get some distance, and engage your driest, most practical attitude, and you’ll soon be back in balance.

  • Key words: emotional, tenacious, intuitive, sensitive, nurturing, moody, caring, kind, instinctive, profound, rapacious, smothering, demanding, guilt tripping, controlling, needy, insecure, hysterical
  • Rulership: The Moon
  • Modality: Cardinal Water
  • Polarity: negative, feminine
  • Gemstone: pearls, emeralds, black onyx, chalcedony, selenite
  • Metal: silver
  • Tarot: The Chariot
  • Color: green, iridescent,opalescent, turquoise, russet, amber, dark green-brown, maroon
  • Deities: Luna, Selene, Hecate, Apollo the Charioteer, Diana, Artemis, Chandra, Chang’e, Metztli
  • Flora: lotus, white flowers such as roses, poppies, lilies, acanthus, geranium, water lilies, cabbage, cucumber, melons, mushrooms, pumpkins, squashes, turnips, trees and vegetables and in general
  • Fauna: crabs and all crustaceans, fish, frogs, hamsters, turtles
  • Famous Cancer personalities: Henry VIII, Julius Caesar, Helen Keller, George W. Bush, Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Diana Princess of Wales, Meryl Streep, Julian Assange, Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, George Orwell, Angela Merkel, Prince William, Priyanka Chopra, Sofia Vergara, Liv Tyler, Khloe Kardashian, Margot Robbie, Solange, Cat Stevens, Carlos Santana, Edward Snowden