Unlike the majority of the other zodiac signs, Cancer doesn’t have a particular Greek myth or mythic figure that explains the emotional entrails and significance of the sign. In fact, the only epic entity that has long since been associated with this sign is Mother herself. This sign rules the chest, breasts, stomach and womb. And though many Crabs can dispute or deny it, Motherhood means everything to them. Cancer’s planet, symbol, and glyph reveal a sizeable amount of its fundamental patterns. Like the other water signs, Cancer is represented by an elusive creature: an animal that can function on land and in the waves. And only upon fusing those fundamentals with the meaning of Mother can the true characterization of this sign finally be exposed.
Just like the moon, Cancer’s emotions and character are in continuous orbit, resulting in many changes (even though they don’t like change). The moon cycle, which lasts approximately 30 days, affects the way Cancer feels and acts. A change in appearance usually indicates which part of the molting phase they are in, and can reveal which of the 3 (mother, teen, baby) roles they will be playing, but it is unpredictable.
Fertility has long been associated with the Moon and the lunar goddesses of myths, and Cancer too can be considered one of the more creatively fertile zodiac signs. Their creative process is much like asexual reproduction or self-ovulation, and it involves both the male and female facets of the Crab. The emotional brain pours out an idea, a seed inspired by deep sentiments or thoughts from the past, and it travels into the logic brain, where objectivity must patiently wait and analyze the transmutation until it becomes inseminated. Shapeshifting emotions and imagination are finally stabilized when they are patiently nurtured through a step-by-step method…
The mutualistic glyph shows us that Cancer’s task is to foster conception. Cancer fluctuates between periods of jubilation and periods of despondency, times of inhibition and times of exhibition, and their mood alterations are meant to assist in the gesticulation of self, the birth of creativity. Cancer needs to nurture and protect the creative process that takes place within them.
The true meaning of this cardinal water sign is much more complex than what I have tried to bullet point here – pages upon pages could be written on Cancer’s glyph. In fact, I have written pages upon pages of moon material, including these excerpts which can be found in my book Cancer: the Genesis.
Of course, if you’re starving for larger portions of astro-food (which is digested in the brain, mind you), you can get a copy of my entire astrology anthology, The Zodiac Abstract.
Camille Liptak is Cosmic Cannibal