A Meditation on the Sign of Cancer
My natal Sun Sign is Cancer, and it has taken me many years to warm up to this fact. I blame the old astrology books from the mid-20th century, the ones I was always perusing as a kid in the 70's. Their descriptions of my sign didn't appeal to me at all. In many of these books, each sign was shortly described and then followed by a short list of "Positive Traits" and "Negative Traits." The "Positive" traits were mainly about how good Cancers are at taking care of others, and what great parents we are. Some of the unflattering keywords listed in the "Negative" section have never left my mind – "whiny, clingy, needy, moody, and sensitive." Ouch! Ironically, the fact that I still remember every word, and am still holding on to the hurt, is itself a Cancerian trait. I have learned to own the fact that I am sensitive -- and that there is nothing "wrong" with me for being so. Through my years of astrology study – and through years of living my Cancer Sun – I have become intimate with the deeper layers of this sign, beyond what the books told me. I do find I must continually work to experience my emotional sensitivity as a gift rather than a liability, lest I do fall into the Cancerian shadow of being overly-concerned with my own moods. But I have also learned of the positive ways to work with the my Cancer Sun. The path of my Cancer Sun is to become aware of, and to honor, my feelings and intuitions. It is then to translate those feelings into action in the world, bringing healing and caring where I am able. This outward-reaching part of Cancer, however, must always be balanced with a healthy attendance to self-care.
Right now, we are collectively invited into a group meditation on this sign. The heavens are saying that we all have something to learn about this archetype, as there are several planetary events happening in Cancer:
-Mercury entered Cancer on May 31st, but will stay there an extra-long time, as it will station retrograde there on June 26th. Mercury usually transits a sign in about 2 weeks or so, but will stay in Cancer for well over 2 months, until August 8th.
-Venus entered Cancer on June 2nd, where it will stay through the 27th.
-The Summer Solstice, the time of the Sun's entry into Cancer, occurs June 20th.
-A Full Moon in Capricorn highlights the Cancer-Capricorn polarity on June 23rd.
-Jupiter enters Cancer, which only happens about every 12 years, on June 25th. It will remain there for about a year.
The focus on Cancer continues into next month as the New Moon in Cancer arrives on July 8th, and Mars enters Cancer on July 13th.
The comforting, healing qualities of Cancer are desperately needed right now. The recent eclipse season, which spanned from mid-April through the end of May, was an intense and difficult time for many. Terrorist attacks, violent protests, and natural disasters seemed to happen at an accelerated rate. March and April featured a strong planetary lineup in Aries, the sign that is square to Cancer on the zodiac wheel. It seems that the concentration of Cancerian energies is a response to the adrenaline-fueled time of Aries: we need soothing and relief from the trauma of these events. Even if we have not been directly affected, our psyches have been bombarded by images from the news or the internet, which are hard to avoid. One of the messages of this time is about nurturing ourselves and others after a time of stress and disruption.
You may also find yourself feeling more sensitive than usual during this time. If that is the case, do your best to become conscious of how you deal with strong emotions as they come up. Mercury will be retrograde in Cancer from June 26th through July 20th and will enter its pre-shadow period on June 10th, so we will likely experience some of the challenging aspects of Cancer, discovering more about ourselves through observing the way we deal with our emotions. Part of the message of Cancer is to deeply connect with our feelings. But If we are immersed in them too deeply, we can become just plain "touchy" rather than "in touch." I believe a deeper message of Cancer is not only to feel, but to learn how to handle our emotional experiences in a mature way. One of the Cancerian shadow expressions can be self-absorption, becoming too focused on one's inner world. From this perspective, our emotions can distort our reality, cutting us off from others rather than connecting us to them. Some other dysfunctional ways of dealing (or not dealing) with our emotions can be to hide them, stuff them, or numb them by overindulging in food and drink. Collectively, we may find ourselves struggling with the ramifications of actually feeling our feelings, and the high road will be to work through them rather than to side-step them. This is a time where we are being asked to take our emotional IQ up a few notches.
The caring, nurturing, and sensitive qualities of this sign are much needed in this often harsh world. There is always a good time for a kind word, a hug, a lovingly prepared meal. Every day is a good day to express to someone, through words or actions, how important they are to you. Cancer rules our connections to family, or to those who feel like family. Look around at your life, and acknowledge your soul family. Draw them closer to you this summer.
The themes of Cancer will continue to be highlighted beyond June and July, as Jupiter will remain in Cancer for a year from now. I'll share more about that in the next newsletter, as well as the Grand Trine in water peaking in July.