Big Picture


Willpower of the Champion.


June 22nd to July 22nd.

Ruled by the Moon.

I feel.

Carer or cowerer.

Cardinal Water. Emotion, sensation, power, communication, ideas, depth, all concerns of water, begin in Cancer, in a swirl of activity, with everything in a state of potential. The garden bubbles in preparation for Leo. Cancer influences in the chart (Fourth house, or planets in Cancer) create an emphasis on personal subconscious. This can manifest as a deep, satisfying internal life, a sheltered, cohesive family, a firm grip on the food.

Cancer, when active in the chart, is loving, caring, building for security, latent, indirect, reserved, sensitive, perceptive, kind, forgiving, humane, psychic, imaginative, economizing, artistic, grateful, deals well with emotional problems, elegant, turns negatives to positives, open emotionally, cultured, capable of great love, comfortable, devoted, soft yet strong, spiritual, humorous, prudent, steady, and consistent.

Blue Crab

Unfavorable Cancer can be manipulative, passive-aggressive, petulant, peevish, timid, helpless, easily tired or dominated, brooding, moody, erratic, too attached, smothering, impressionable, gullible, anxious, impatient, open to flattery, too emotional, unreliable, fickle, too optimistic, lazy, too sensitive, given to idle chatter, overly generous, an emotional black hole, undernurtured and undernurturing, closed to advice or self examination, or unclear about goals.

Mary Elizabeth Rhoads

Domains of Cancer are home, the kitchen, childhood, protected environments, a place for nurturing, a temenos, or sacred space; management in general, from the small to the gigantic. Cancer encloses things, and provides an incubator.

Jupiter, exalted in Cancer, rules Saggitarius, Key 14, the home of Samech, another temenos. Here, Samech resembles the gestating womb. The temenos is also associated with Key 9, and Key 11.

Cancer, when active in the chart, can bring compulsive behavior, and a drive to control people and situations. Taurus, Capricorn, and Scorpio share these traits. Cancer's control is often subliminal, taken for granted, or unnoticed, but it is vital. Cancer's manipulation is "behind the scenes," and sometimes can be sneaky, mean, or destructive. These traits could arise from a Mars/Cancer combination in the birthchart, for example.

Cancer, by simply occupying the right place, and providing stable, consistent support, manages to dominate. Cancer is the passive aspect of the manifestion process; it is the strategy of 'placing oneself in the path' of what is needed, much like coral who feed on nutrient rich currents in which they situate themselves.

Pronounced Cancer influences in the birthchart suggest personalities who can set their biorhythms to the Moon. Vitality, enthusiasm, and creativity all ebb and flow with the tides. This can seem chaotic if the influences are not harmonized with the rest of the chart.

Cancer, the 4th house, is said to be the mothering, or nurturing parent, and Capricorn is the fathering, or structuring parent.

Sade Rhoads & little Mary Elizabeth

The glyph of Cancer is like two eggs in a nest, or like a whirlpool, or a bubbling spring.

a Finch nest

The interlocked 'sixes' also look like a coiled spring: contained, latent force. The crab, another symbol of Cancer, carries its home with it - a hard shell covering soft flesh.

anemone crab

Cancer is often the "inner circle," "backstage," and "on the list." This results from being "Consort of Capricorn."

Scorpio, Cancer and Pisces influences, negatively aspected, can bring problems with addiction, psychological imbalance, and isolation. Retrograde planets, detriments, and squares are warnings.

Lessons for Cancer include being open and communicative, generous, assertiveness, honor, bravery, sincerity.

Cancer rules the breast, stomach, and solar plexus.

For Cancer, the Shadow takes the form of Other's being coldly realistic or unfeeling. You fear your own Reaction though, more than those who are objective or businesslike, because of your subjective nature. Work with your shadow, and the people you project it onto, by adopting their sense of objectivity, seriousness, and sober sense of purpose, characteristics you need to develop, to feel more secure in the world. The more you deny your Shadow, the more it will manifest itself and attract what you will interpret as disruption or pain.

Cancer is the 'Fourth House,' the base of operations, the home, the inner world, childhood and old age, real estate, the least prominent parent.

The Cancer cusp, June 22, is the first day of Summer, the Summer Solstice, when the days and nights are of equal length. It is a time of bustling activity, nature 'getting ready' for the big burst of Leo/Summer. In the circular chart, it is where the soul has reached the 'Nadir,' or the depths, and now climbs up into the higher realms.

The Fourth house has the character of Cancer: planets in this house are concerned with Home, and all of the administrative perseverance that entails. Planetary scenarios in the 4th house will act out at home, or in early childhood. This is the "final gestation" of the Self Development trend in the first four signs.

The water triplicity is Cancer (cardinal), followed by Scorpio (fixed), and then Pisces (mutable) .

In the natural order of the signs, Cancer is water, preceded by Gemini (air), and followed by Leo (fire).

The opposite axis, or antidote to Cancer, is Capricorn.

Back to the Qabala Home