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The Sign of the Crustacean


The Cancer constellation represents the power of water to reshape and distort. Cancers are intuitive, sympathetic, and reflective, but can become reclusive and spiteful when left to themselves.


Although the Romans refer to the Cancer constellation as a crab, the constellation itself and many of its artistic renderings more resemble a lobster or crayfish.

The 20 Days of Cancer range from around Independence Day thru most of July.

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Water Sign

Sign of Fresh Waters

Cancer, the 1st Water sign in the Zodiac, belongs in a serene, reflective, and remote lake. Just as a lake provides a home for diverse life forms, Cancer nurtures, protects, and nourishes those they hold dear, creating a safe and nurturing environment. 

But the calm surface of a lake belies the muddy waters beneath. Cancers experience emotions with great intensity, sometimes even becoming overwhelmed by their own mood swings, like a lake with hidden currents. This depth of emotion allows them to empathize deeply with others, making them highly intuitive and compassionate. They have the remarkable ability to sense the needs and emotions of those around them, providing a comforting presence in times of distress.

Their sensitivity can make them overly vulnerable, so they may have to retreat into their protective shells when faced with excessive turbulence. This self-protective nature is not out of coldness but rather a need to preserve their own emotional well-being. It's important for others to approach a Cancer with gentleness and understanding, respecting their need for emotional security.

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Power Sign

Sign of Compassion

Cancer is the 2nd Power sign in the Zodiac. Out of the Newtonian laws of motion, the Water element corresponds to Inertia, wherein a body in motion tends to stay that way unless acted upon. Once their course is set, they drift along until the sailing is no longer smooth. Then their problem solving strategy involves relying on their own intuition and connection to the feelings of others to navigate rough waters. This can lead to overconfidence in their ability to correctly empathize, but within the Power motivation this is usually strengthened by taking a lot of their time to do the inner work and cultivate genuine compassion. In its shadow form, this could manifest as speculation, guessing, or presuming the intentions or emotions people around them are experiencing, and acting inappropriately upon those projections. Many of Cancer’s natural inclinations guard against this however, such as nesting, spending quality alone time, and understanding their own boundaries and needs to better relate to others. 

They are well aware of what they like, and what their tendencies are, which is helpful for setting realistic expectations.  It can lead to trouble if they start to over promise, and get in too deep with what responsibilities they sign up for. Feeling like they can handle it might drain the tank faster than anticipated, and though they excel in social graces they don’t always have a realistic idea of what tasks or errands might entail. They get on a roll with something, and because of the Inertia, over do it and burn out. Once something is ‘their thing’ they go too hard on it, and this can lead to a crisis where they don’t know how to simply dial it back and have to walk away entirely to get a fresh perspective.

This all-or-nothing cycle can be exhausting, and it can be easy to get in a rut once they get used to something, even if it makes them unhappy. Going with the flow can be an amazing coping strategy instead of holding on tightly to control and suffering disappointment, it just needs to be balanced with realism and honesty! Their self acceptance helps them to strive to see the good in other people also, and in the absence of genuine malice this is a serene way to go through life. Believing that everyone is fundamentally trying their best, and modeling that example in  your own life is a sensible route to happiness.

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Personal Life / Personality

Those born under the Cancer constellation or with a Cancer influence in their Star Chart tend to have an aura of reflectivity about them. They reflect their surroundings and those around them, attaching themselves to caregivers, spaces, and relics of all kinds. They often become the darling of a household in childhood and the director of a household in adulthood. 

Their strong intuitions guide them throughout their lives, determining what they should value, believe, and strive for. They must learn to balance their intuition with other methods, however, especially when they find themselves at odds with other perspectives. 

  • Selective, observant, intuitive, 

  • Picky, negative, depressive, serious, self-protective

Interpersonal Life / Relationships

Cancer's self-protective qualities extend beyond themselves to their loved ones. They fiercely defend and care for their family and close friends, creating a sense of belonging and security. 

They have a tendency to crave adoration, servitude, and devotion in excess from significant others, since they feel so validated and comfortable being loved and cared for. However, this often leads them into codependence and abuses which can go either way. Cancer signs must cultivate larger networks of care in order to feel deeply satisfied; so involving more families, communities, and friends into their everyday home life goes a long way. 

  • Giving, considerate, supportive, compassionate, familial, helpful, empathetic, sensitive, seductive, 

  • Secretive, moody, deliberate, manipulative, misleading, creepy, intense, touchy, nosy, demanding, smothering, reluctant, stuck, pitiful, disturbing, oversensitive, stubborn, difficult, unscrupulous, 

Social Life / Society

  • Enigmatic, mysterious, delicate, insightful, principled, steady, responsible, dutiful, disciplined, 

  • Enigmatic, elusive, secretive, antisocial, awkward, reclusive, calculating, cold, detached, biased, defensive, dark, withdrawn, disillusioned, pessimistic, inflexible, arbitrary, independent,

Archetypal Story of Cancer

Fried Green Tomatoes: Evelyn is in desperate need of change in her life, but her passive Southern Belle demeanor constantly holds her back from taking an active role. She takes steps like signing up for marriage coaching and female empowerment classes but lacks the self confidence to take full advantage of them. Serendipity smiles upon her one day when she and her husband go to visit a relative in the nursing home who hates Evelyn and sends her out to the common room, where another resident Ninny who is ‘just passing through’ latches on and begins to regale her with an elaborate story. At first the skittish woman finds this advance annoying, but grows fonder of her with every return visit, and gets sucked deeper into the intrigue of her story. She becomes so transfixed in fact that she begins to apply it’s lessons to her life, and taking larger steps toward getting a handle on her copious eating and over agreeableness which people have taken advantage of. Her son had flown the coop some time ago, and the empty nest syndrome left her with a void in her life she had attempted to fill with comfort. 

Ninny conveys a tale about racial tension, domestic abuse, and how a community banded together to protect one another in the face of cruelty. Opening a restaurant that served Southern bbq and fried green tomatoes provided an economic outlet to their small town and honest work for the Black members of their circle who were harassed and marginalized. She experiences a roller coaster of emotions through the storytelling, and every loss attributed to its main character Idgie (short for Imogen) rocks her to her core. 

Realizing how short and precious life is, she is no longer content to sit back and hope things will magically get better. Though at first her empowered outbursts were reactionary and cathartic, they evolved into more lasting and meaningful changes. At Ninny’s suggestion, she gets a job selling cosmetics and finds great satisfaction and confidence doing that. Being out of the house more snowballs into her going to the gym and taking charge of her health, which her husband grumbles about as she adjusts her cooking habits to reflect this new priority. Her independence from her husband’s income also inspires her to take charge in making decisions. This culminates in her resolve to have Ninny move into their home once the passing of her roommate at hospice coupled with the demolition of her ancestral house left her with nowhere to go. 

Deep down Evelyn is motivated by Compassion, but without the proper outlet for it toward nurturing something worthy of it this drive had reduced her to a people pleaser. Her exchange with Ninny (who turns out of course to be Idgie) instills Confidence and brings out the best in her. In return, she helps Idgie find Humility, as she had long been at war with the world trying to protect herself and go her own way. One of the ways she did this was to tell ‘tall tales’, and embellish stories with larger than life details to make them, therefore her, seem much more epic and important. Around Evelyn, she was valued for her authentic self and didn’t need to dramatize her world to get attention. When she gives her fried green tomatoes for her birthday, she demonstrates just how carefully she had been paying attention to the humble, small things.

Waves on the Rocks

♋︎ Cancer

Emotional Regulation, Community Spaces, Quality of Life

We all develop emotional regulation on a personal level through our relationships, our introspection, meditation and so on, but there is an overwhelming consensus that there is not enough societal pressure and guidance for the individual to cultivate that skill. The outlets that have been made available tend to be very gender oriented, and we are in the midst of growing pains trying to equalize what has been fundamentally imbalanced for millenia within a comparably minute amount of time. So we have a fluctuation between extremes, which is unsettling and destabilizing for the individual, instead of spending energy to create common ground. It  has been framed in this way and presented to us as an ultimatum, what is male, what is female. And we have spent a lot of time and energy on this question, but as we do so the whole of humanity continues to drift toward the precipice of annihilation, the environment continues to degrade as our arms race continues. It might be best to table the discussion and worry about saving the world first because if we don’t there won’t be anyone left to argue. That’s not to dismiss the severity of the issue or the very real casualties on this battlefield, just to suggest that the solutions likely rely more on investing energy into what is desired rather than defending against what is not.


Confronting the scourge of ‘toxic masculinity or patriarchy’ head on has done little to improve our state and seems to be exhausting people. There is a time and place to take a stand, but remaining in a stalemate is wasting resources, and that comparison could be applied in any seemingly polarized situation, be it social, political, etc. For movement, there must be a third point. To that end instinctively there has been an influx of energy into androgyny and neutrality, which is a perfectly legitimate stance in its own right but not necessarily a response to this stand off. For change in this area, Cancer must take up the mantle of leadership, and my understanding of the way they go about this is something like ‘the conditions were right, so it happened.’ They set a scene, which is similar to the Capricorn mission which might be simplified as ‘if you build it they will come,’ but instead of a literal physical space Cancer has a unique ability to manipulate atmosphere, mood, and sense of security. This is a bit abstract and has to do with beauty, smell, memory, comfort, awe, ability to relax, all of these qualities which set the stage for a play to unfold.  


Hospitality, the hosting of feasts or events and the social graces that accompany them are often associated with this house, and may be thought of as the arrangement and grouping of resources rather than acquisition of them. The nesting behavior is often thought of in individual homestead terms, but that only works under the assumption that we are isolated beings (libertarian) and relegates hospitality to a purely transactional exchange rather than a cultural or emotional one. Our ancestors took great pains perfecting their arts of holding court, and if we were to extend these comforts and considerations to open social settings rather than gated paid experiences, we may create opportunities for magic to happen. Pickiness and curation are not at the heart of this matter, instead a general sense of inclusion and goodwill which when implemented into gathering spaces facilitates meaningful conversation and finding common ground.


Cleanliness of our environment actually plays a huge part in our mental well being, so Cancer's mission has to do with the emotional hygiene of the whole of society. We don’t need more stuff. We don’t need attitudes that are promoting the problem of inequality as, ‘they got more than I did, I want as much as they have!’ No, we all need less. Having more clutter actually makes us extremely unhappy.  But there are definitely intangibles that we can never have too much of, such as quality time, human connection, healthy bonds, and those aren’t for sale. We can never have too many parks or beautiful spaces, why then do we have malls instead of museums? From these deserted retail strips, could it be possible to create vibrant, liveable spaces from the ruins of late stage capitalism?

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