Welcome to Cancer season! Our cardinal water sign, this archetype is here to help us tap into our inner world of emotions, heal our ancestry, and connect with the themes of home, family, and mother.
Whether you have Cancer placements in your birth chart or not, we’re all feeling into this energy during this season. In this blog, I’ll be sharing what Cancer is all about, the planetary and tarot associations of Cancer, and how to understand Cancer in your chart.
As a cardinal sign, dynamic Cancer initiates us into the swirling, watery, fiery container that is summer. Ruled by the moon in western astrology, this archetype connects us to the inner world, to the chaotic nonlinear world of feeling.
If you feel grief coming up during Cancer season, rest assured – that’s normal. If you feel deep swells of feeling, rest assured – that’s normal, too. As many have said, we are bodies of water on the planet of water and so, of course, our emotions flow with the moon. When the sun is in Cancer, we all feel the movement of the moon through its phases and cycles more acutely. We can feel its pull on our hearts, our intuition, our bodies.
There’s an inherent vulnerability to Cancer season, and the protective urge that comes with it as well. Picture the crab shell that represents Cancer: the crab makes its body a home and is protected within it. We can learn from Cancer how to protect ourselves and others, and we can also learn how to distinguish between what is protection and what is hiding from ourselves, our lives, our feelings.
This archetype’s association with family and the archetype of the mother connects us not only to our relationships with our families and the ways we mother ourselves but to our ancestors as well. Cancer season can be a time of deep ancestral healing, waking us up to patterns, traumas, and wounds in our lineage that we are invited to heal.
All signs have a shadow energy and expression, and in its shadow Cancer can be reactive, overprotective, and overcautious. There is a tendency for Cancer to hold things in, and a danger in holding them in for too long. When balanced with its polar energy of earthy, structured, Capricorn, Cancer’s watery energy is free to flow within a safe and boundaried container.
Watch more in this video from Eryn.
As I mentioned above, Cancer is ruled by the moon in western astrology. In esoteric astrology, Cancer is ruled by Neptune.
The Roman sea god, Neptune is associated with water, sensitivity, imagination, and the dream world. According to astrologer Heidi Rose Robbins, Cancer at its highest Neptunian level is all about being a great mother for the world, wrapping humanity in its arms, and nourishing us all.
CANCER IN THE TAROT
In the tarot, Cancer is associated with the Chariot, the High Priestess, and the Knight of Cups.
The Chariot, the seventh card in the major arcana, teaches us how to move from the heart and tap into a deeper kind of knowing to guide us on our path. This card speaks to the balance between holding boundaries to protect ourselves and still allowing our water to flow. The High Priestess shows us how to descend into our own underworld (where there are no gurus, no masters other than ourselves over our own energies and lives) to gather the knowledge we seek of our own mysteries. Lastly, the Knight of Cups, the initiator of water, invites us to embody love and compassion.
CANCER IN YOUR CHART
To understand Cancer in your chart, you’ll want to look at a couple of pieces:
- Any planets in Cancer
- The house that Cancer rules in your chart. Whatever house Cancer rules indicate the area of life where you are meant to let water lead.
- Your 4th house. The 4th house is the Cancer house. The sign that rules your 4th house can add another layer indicating how Cancer themes show up in your life.
Another way to understand Cancer energy in your life could be to ask your oracle or tarot deck: how is Cancer energy showing up in my life right now?
About Eryn Johnson
Eryn Johnson is a breathwork facilitator, tarot reader, and Reiki Master based in Fishtown, Philadelphia. She is also the host of the Living Open podcast for mystics and seekers, a storytelling tool here to help facilitate soul evolution. The foundation of her work is energetic and based on the belief that there's nothing wrong with you- we are simply programmed from a young age to forget the truth of who we are. She uses energy work, storytelling, and breathwork to guide you back to you - your heart, your power, your magic. Find her work at www.living-open.com and @erynj_ on Instagram.