Design by Sue Robertson

Moon mother,
yin maiden
smiling from your silver
empress throne
Spin dreams and silken fantasy
glide noiselessly on cloudless skies
holding ancient pearly wisdom
in your womb
Nurture gently your creation
Send fertile seed to earth like rain
pulling softly on the tides of
time and change

By Sue Robertson 1987

Esoteric Keyword Phrases for Cancer

The Personality asserts: Let isolation rule and yet the crowd exists.
The Soul sounds its note: I build a lighted house and therein dwell.

Rulers for Cancer
Exoteric Ruler:
Moon under the Fourth Ray of Harmony through Conflict
Esoteric Ruler:
Neptune under the Sixth Ray of Idealism and Devotion

Happy Birthday to all the Cancerians who celebrate their birthdays between June 22 and July 23. Cancer is one of the three water signs along with Scorpio and Pisces. Water is the element which denotes emotions, feelings and sensitivity. Cancer is one of the 4 cardinal signs – the others being Aries, Libra and Capricorn. In the Northern Hemisphere the summer solstice begins at 0 degrees Cancer while in the Southern Hemisphere it marks the winter solstice. For about three days the Sun remains at maximum latitudinal elevation, hence it is known as the Gate of the Northern Sun. Esoterically, Cancer is known as the Gate into physical incarnation, and the glyph for Cancer is the two breasts, symbolising nurturing and motherhood. It is the sign of the Universal Mother and fertility, the sign which heralds the Northern summer with its pulsating life force coming to the fore. Cancer the crab not only symbolises nurturing but also tenacity, delineated by the crab’s claw. Originally in Babylon in 400 BC, the sign of Cancer was represented by the tortoise, and then in ancient Egypt in the Zodiac of Denderah it was replaced by the scarab the symbol of immortal life. The scarab meant ‘only begotten i.e. birth into incarnation. The month of June in ancient Egypt was called “meore” which again means rebirth

The Constellation of Cancer

Constellation of Cancer

Even the constellation of Cancer encompasses the theme of nurturing, with the constellation Praesaepe which means the manger or crib. In his book,’ Alan Oken’s Complete Astrology’, Alan Oken writes that modern astrologers refer to it as “the beehive” Cancer was called “the coffin” by the Hebrews and “the grave of Lazarus” or “the womb”. Cancer rises backwards in the sky eluding its adversaries. There is no bright star in Cancer, in keeping with its being a sign of hiding and retreat. Alice Bailey, in ‘The Labours of Hercules’ elaborates on the esoteric symbolism for the glyph for Cancer: The glyph for Cancer is composed of two “asses” tails and these again link up with the gospel story with the story of the manger. There are two asses connected with the birth of Jesus, the one which the Virgin rode to Bethlehem prior to the birth, and the other on which she rode to Egypt, after the birth. Close to the sign Cancer are two bright stars, one called Asellus Borealis or the northern ass, and the other, Asellus Australis, or the southern ass. There is also the third time, when Christ rode into Jerusalem during his brief moment of triumph on Palm Sunday.

Moon, the Ruler of Cancer

The Moon, the ruler of Cancer, along with the Sun is referred to as one of the ‘Lights’. The sun is known as the ‘Light of day’ and the Moon, the ‘Light of night. The Moon is representative of the feminine principle, Eros or relatedness and the yin. Primitive people attributed great powers to the Moon, believing that it could cause women’s pregnancy. It was a symbol of fertility, responsible for planting, fertility and pregnancy. The waxing moon was regarded as benign but the waning Moon was seen as destructive – something to be feared. In the mythology of most cultures the Moon was symbolic of the Great Mother Goddess, often portrayed with the symbol of the Moon. In Egypt she was represented by Hathor with her horned crescent headdress; Hecate was portrayed as the three headed hound symbolising the three phases of the moon – Persephone, the maiden or New Moon, Demeter, the matron or Full Moon and Hecate, the dark Moon or crone. The Mother Goddess had a dual role as Opener and Closer of the Womb. In her light phase she was life-giver, but in her dark phase she was life destroyer, as was the role of grieving Demeter, the goddess of the grain, when she stopped all living things. The ancient Chinese revered Kwan Yin, ‘Lady of the Moon’, as the World Mother in her capacity as Goddess of Mercy and protectress of children.

The Moon is associated with the pull of the ocean’s tides and with women’s menstrual cycles. In fact in many cultures and languages, the word for moon is synonymous with menstruation. The Moon’s phases are symbolic of the womb shedding its lining, and the snake shedding its skin. Many goddesses were portrayed with snakes accompanying them. The snake also symbolises the subterranean and phallic power associated with the goddess.

Dr Eugene Jonas & colleagues

Eugene Jonas, the Czech psychiatrist, rediscovered the ancient secrets of how the moon affects a woman’s ability to conceive, the sex of a child, and the viability of the embryo.

In his study of the mentally ill, Dr Leonard Ravitz of Duke University, discovered marked changes coinciding with the phases of the Moon in both normal and mentally unstable people. The more disturbed the patients were the more the Moon affected them. This especially showed on the night of the Full Moon. Medical emergency staff have attested to the fact that their busiest night of the month always occurs on the Full Moon. Hence the word,’ lunatic’, referring to a crazy person affected by the Moon. Cancerians, being ruled by the Moon are often regarded as moody, their moods reflecting the fluctuating phases of the Moon and the ocean’s tides.

The Labour of Hercules – The Capture of the Doe or Hind

Hercules captures the Doe

In the book, ‘The Labours of Hercules’, Alice Bailey relates the test for Cancer in the fourth labour of Hercules. Hercules’ teacher tells him that he has to capture the doe which belongs to Artemis, but Diana, the goddess of the woods, also lays claim to it. However, he is told that it belongs to neither of these deities but to the Lord and that he must rescue it and bear it to the holy shrine of Mycenae. Both goddesses foil Hercules’ attempts to capture the doe for a whole year. Finally he captures the elusive doe while it is sleeping close to a quiet pool, wearied from its flight. He bears it in his arms close to his heart. On returning to his teacher and reporting that the labour is done, his teacher points him in the direction of the hill and there again is the doe. The teacher explains to his pupil that the test must be done again and again. The doe is very elusive and no sooner has Hercules glimpsed it, than it has disappeared again. Alice Bailey comments that this is one of the shortest stories but it is one of the most profound. There is no success for the aspirant until he transmutes instinct into intuition just as intellect needs to be balanced with intuition. Cancer is the sign wherein the duality of form and of the soul is unified in the physical body. There is deep symbolism attached to each of the characters in this story. When Hercules carries the doe into the shrine, it is recognised by Apollo, the Sun god, as the spiritual intuition. A battle ensues amongst the three of them. For Diana, the huntress, the doe represents intellect, for Apollo it represents spiritual intuition and for Artemis it represents instinct. To sum up, intellect carried into the holy shrine by Hercules is transformed into intuition, which becomes aware of spiritual realities that neither intellect nor instinct can reveal to him. There is also some significance in the fact that Hercules bears the doe close to his heart, representing love and compassion, which are traits to be developed during the Cancerian phase.

Cancerian Hall of Fame

Being the nurturer of the zodiac, Cancerians are drawn to caring professions such as nursing, midwifery, teaching, social work and healing. Cancer, ruling food and beverages, is well represented in the hospitality industry as restaurateurs, chefs and waiters. They are also attracted to high finance, as well as making great performers in the arts, with their vivid imaginations and zany sense of humour. Nelson Rockefeller and John D. Rockefeller symbolise the Cancerian’s money making ability. Cancer has its share of much loved icons

Cancer has its share of much loved icons such as Diana, Princess of Wales, the people’s princess or in her own words, the Queen of Hearts, whose tragic untimely death caused a global outpouring of grief. Her son, Prince William who shares his mother’s good looks and charisma is born with both the Sun and Moon in sensitive Cancer.

Tenzin_Gyatzo Dalai Lama

Another much loved icon is the Dalai Lama whose Buddhist teachings espouse love and compassion. Cancer, ruling home and country has produced two outstanding patriots in Nelson Mandela and Xanana Gusmao.

Malala YousafzaiPerhaps the youngest example of a shining light of a Cancerian is the courageous young Pakistani Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head and the neck by the Taliban for her championing education for girls. She received a standing ovation after addressing the United Nations on her 16th birthday 12 July 2013. President George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld also demonstrate the Cancerian tendency to march to the patriot’s drum as does their nemesis, Cindy Sheehan, the Cancerian grieving American Mum whose son died in the war in Iraq.

Dan BrownDan Brown, the American whose controversial blockbuster book and movie, the Da Vinci Code, champions the feminine principle is also a Cancerian. Tom Hanks, the hero of the film is also a Cancerian. The lonely heart balladeer, Chris Isaak whose soulful songs have touched so many, is also a Cancerian. Other Cancerian celluloid heroes include Charles Laughton, Donald Sutherland, Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, Isabelle Adjani and

Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep. Comedians include Phyllis Diller, Red Skelton, Robin Williams, Terry Thomas, Mel Brooks and Dave Allen. Other famous Cancerians include Elizabeth Kubler Ross whose groundbreaking work on death and dying lifted the taboo on the subject of death. Cancerians whose vivid imagination has been expressed in prose include George Orwell, Herman Hesse, Marcel Proust, Saint Exupery, Franz Kafka, Ernest Hemingway, and Barbara Cartland, the Queen of the Romance Novel, and step-grandmother of Diana, Princess of Wales. Musicians of note include Ringo Starr, Louis Armstrong, Edward Elgar and Oscar Hammerstein.

Julian Assange seeks political asylum in Ecuador embassy in London

One Cancerian who is very much in the news at the moment is the Australian born Julian Assange who has challenged the Establishment.  He has just sought political asylum with Ecuadorean embassy surprising even his supporters. He sought asylum today 20th June on the new Moon in Gemini and as the Sun prepares to enter into the sign of Cancer. Julian was born 3 July 1971 in Townsville birth time unknown but his chart has been rectified by the astrologer called Lauren Delsack has  that is she has calculated his birth time by taking into account the main events in his life. In an earlier post entitled Julian Assange Embodiment of the New World Order I wrote: He has the Sun in sensitive Cancer and Lauren’s chart time would put his Moon in Scorpio in the 12th house which fits with Julian’s secretive nature and at times he has been described as being paranoid but the Kafkaesque circumstances that he now finds himself in would contribute to his fear of persecution. Lauren’s rectified chart gives him an early Sagittarius ascendant which certainly fits in with his nomadic existence travelling the world with only his knapsack on his back and sleeping at airports or friends’ or supporters’ places. A Sagittarius ascendant would also describe his crusading zeal to change the status quo by revealing the truth about matters of concern to the people concealed by the Establishment representing the old world order. According to esoteric astrology Cancer rules mass consciousness so Julian Assange is fulfilling his mission this life time in informing the masses.

Other aspects of note in his natal chart include the tight square between his Sun and Uranus which encapsulates his non conformist and rebellious nature. However, there is another powerful archetypal combination in his chart that sheds further light on his role. He has Chiron conjunct the trans-Neptunian planet Eris. Chiron or the wounded healer was discovered on All Saints Day 1 November 1977. Because of Chiron’s mythological and astronomical role he is viewed as a maverick. When you add to the mix Eris, the biggest dwarf planet named after the goddess of strife and discord who threw the golden apple amidst the goddesses who were at the wedding you get quite a dynamic combination.

Julian has had some interesting transits in 2012 and in 2013. Transiting Jupiter trined his natal Uranus  in July and again in December in 2012 and in March 2013. The combination of the two planets which represent freedom and rebellion, individuality and revolution are indicative of his bid for freedom. Other transits of note include transiting Jupiter trining his north node or destiny point in September and November in 2012 and in April 2013 which indicate he could meet some people who may positively influence the course of his life.

He is also in his mid-life transition with Neptune squaring his natal Neptune in October and December in 2012 which could see him doing some soul-searching re his future life direction and discarding those hopes and dreams that are unrealistic.  In January 2013 transiting Pluto squared his natal Uranus which is a very disruptive energy marking a period of sudden change. This is closely followed by transiting Pluto opposing his natal Sun in February and June 2013. Pluto always involves issues to do with power so life might be like a battle zone in which he finds himself embroiled in power struggles and intrigues. He may find that he has to surrender to a higher force and let go of certain things in order to be reborn. The last phase of his mid-life transition is marked by transiting Uranus opposing his natal Uranus in April followed rapidly in succession by transiting Uranus square his Sun. This Cancerian is not going to go gently into the night – he is going to continue challenging the Establishment to the bitter end! Whatever his fate may be, it is inextricably linked with that of Private Bradley Manning, the American soldier, a Sagittarian, assigned as an intelligence analyst who is awaiting trial in September 2012 for passing onto Wikileaks the largest set of restricted documents ever leaked to the public. These documents included videos of a 2007 helicopter gun attack in Baghdad and the 2009 Granai airstrike in Afghanistan. Both Julian Assange and Bradley Manning are acting as catalysts for transformation in the collective. They represent the Zeitgeist in challenging the Establishment’s maintaining power by withholding information vital to the masses.

Cancerian Health and Anatomy

In her book, ‘Astrology and Biochemistry’, Vanda Sawtell notes that physiologically the fourth sign, Cancer, pertains to the breast, stomach and spleen, and governs expansion and contraction, elasticity and tenacity. It is a fluidic sign and all the organs which it rules are concerned with the secretion of fluids. 1. Mother’s milk (breast). 2. the chyle (digested food elements of the stomach) 3. the white corpuscles of the blood (spleen). Cancer is the most fertile of all the twelve signs. Cancer, being ruled by the Moon is concerned with growth and reproduction. However, the hidden power within this sign is that of Nature’s power to reproduce otherwise the body would not be able to recreate itself daily. It has to do with the ceaseless formation or birth of corpuscles within the spleen, and not with procreative germs which can only be accomplished in the testes and ovaries.

The biochemic salt related to this sign is Calcium fluoride, a hard substance possessing nevertheless a peculiar property of elasticity. Calc. fluor. is an important constituent of the enamel of the teeth, the finger nails, bones, crystalline lens of the eye, and in the elastic fibre of the muscular tissue. When this cell salt is deficient the skin becomes cracked, and fissures and splits tend to form between the toes or fingers, at the anus, behind the ears or in the corners of the mouth. This is because the skin has become hard and brittle and crusty. Prolapsed organs, varicose veins, hardening of the arteries or testicles, valvular heart troubles, haemorrhoids, receding gums, and loose teeth are all indications that the tissues have lost their elasticity. Cataracts, blurred vision, hard growths and osseous lumps are all evidence of a lack of this salt. There is another interesting and important function of this salt which must not be overlooked. The brain has a fine membrane like a spider web covering it, called the Arachnoid, and Calc. fluor. Is a constituent of this membrane. When the spider web-like filaments of this membrane are plentifully supplied with Calc. fluor. They are elastic, pliable and strong, and thoughts are easily connected, and we have the characteristic of Cancerians, a good memory, or a tenacious memory which is the ability to hold on to thoughts. When this cell salt is deficient, however, the tiny web-like filaments become flabby, like a worn out piece of elastic. Connection of thought becomes difficult, and so we get a poor memory or forgetfulness which is lack of mental elasticity. The individual becomes hesitant, finding difficulty in expressing themselves as though the words were actually held in leash by elastic threads which had become worn, and lost their power to contract. The symbol of the crab for this sign is very aptly chosen, not only because of its tenacity, but because it is a crustacean, having a hard shell or crust. The word crustacean in Greek means crystal, having the power to crystallise or harden: it also means a hard coating or covering, a shell or horny substance. One can see how well the symbol fits the function of Calc. fluor. the cell salt allocated to Cancer.

Cancer rules the colours light blue, silver and white and their birthstone is ruby. They also respond to the energies of pearl and moonstone. The metal for Cancer is silver in keeping with the appearance of the Moon.

Healing aromas include chamomile, jasmine lily, myrrh, sandalwood and rose. The healing musical note for Cancer is E. With the Cancerian proneness to digestive problems, foods which ferment in the stomach such as refined breads, sugars, pastry and meats should be avoided at all costs. Fish is better option for the sensitive Cancerian digestive system. Diet for Cancerians should include the cabbage group such as cabbage, kale, broccoli, mustard, greens, watercress and cauliflower. They should drink plenty of water, fresh fruit and vegetable juices.

Transits for Cancer and Lunar Cycles

As the Sun begins its journey through Cancer, the spotlight falls on Cancerians. At the Cancer Ingress on June 22 in the Southern Hemisphere and June 21 in the Northern Hemisphere which marks the Winter and Summer Solstices respectively, the Moon, the ruler of Cancer, is in Cancer. Like the other water signs, Pisces and Scorpio, Cancerians are enjoying the benefits of Neptune, the planet of spirituality, transiting Pisces.

Dane Rudhyar, in his book, ‘The Lunation Cycle’, delineates the 8 moon phases, and depending under which phase we are born i.e. Full Moon, New Moon, etc. it describes our personality and destiny.

Overview for Cancer for 2014

Good news for Cancerians – Jupiter, the planet of good fortune, continues its passage through your sign until 16 July 2014. This will imbue you with optimism and a sense of adventure and will bring more opportunities for growth in the areas of study, writing, publishing and travel. Your enthusiasm and zest for life will attract positive people and events in your life. The Grand Cardinal Cross which involves the 4 planets Mars, Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto will activate your career, domestic and relationship sectors in April when these planets form a grand alignment in the heavens. This will bring tension to these areas of your life bringing the impetus for transformation in how you conduct yourself  in your career and relationships. Quicksilver Mercury will pay a visit in your sign from 14 – 31 July fostering your curiosity and desire to communicate and network.


Powerful Pluto continues his passage through your relationship sector so you can expect transformation in your relationships, marriages and partnerships. You will find that you will be attracted to deep and meaningful relationships which will be deeply transformative. Light hearted dalliances are not for you. You will act as catalysts for change for your partner and vice versa. Passion and intrigue will be the name of the game. It is important that you have deep and honest communication with your partner to avoid emotional manipulation and power struggles. You may feel some extra tension when the cardinal Grand Cross occurs in April when you will be trying to strike a balance between your needs and the needs of your partner. All the planets in the cardinal Grand Cross will be in retrograde motion during 2014 so you will need to have patience if there are delays in theses areas of your life. The steadying influence of Saturn should bring stability and renewed commitment to your relationships. Venus, the goddess of love, graces your relationship sector with her presence on two occasions first from 9 January to 2 February and then again from 5 November 2013 to March 2014.

Home and Family

Your domestic sector will be activated by the presence of Mars and the karmic north node and Full Moon Eclipse. Feisty Mars’s presence here from the beginning of 2014 until 26 July will imbue you with plenty of energy to take charge of family matters but you need to take care not to stir up trouble by being too pushy. Part of the time Mars spends here it will be in retrograde motion from 2 March to 20 May so this is an ideal time to review family issues. Venus, the goddess of love, brings harmony to the home and hearth when she pays a visit to your domestic sector from 30 September to 23 October. You may feel the urge to beautify your home as your home is your castle. Mercury’s visit here from 3-27 September facilitates communication with your family and is an ideal time to do repairs and renovations. The most powerful celestial event that occurs is the full Moon Lunar eclipse on 15 April. This may cause challenges but you will gain insight and clarity on domestic issues that need to be addressed so that you can redress the balance between home and family and your career.

Creativity, Children and Romance

Saturn continues its sojourn in your 5th house of children, creativity and romance. You will feel extra responsibility for your children or take your hobbies or your creative endeavours seriously. The extra effort and commitment you put into these areas will pay dividends with Saturn’s two and half years’ sojourn here. Saturn will be in retrograde motion from 3 March to 20 July. Venus’ visit there from 24 October to 16 November will bring harmony in your dealings with children.  The powerful solar eclipse on 23 October may bring issues to the fore to be resolved.


Sun, Mercury and Venus highlight your wealth and values sector. The Sun’s presence here from 23 July to 23 August will promote your financial interests and give a boost to your self-esteem. Mercury will pay a visit here from 1- 15 August making an ideal time to network and communicate about your finances. Venus will grace you with her presence in your finance sector from 13 to 5 September.


Uranus, the karmic South Node and a Full Moon Eclipse will activate your career sector. Uranus, the planet of sudden change, continues its sojourn in your career sector which will add an element of unpredictability and surprise to your career. You may feel restless in your old work routine and surprise everyone by your lack of commitment and may feel that it is time for a complete change. With the influence of Uranus your need for freedom and individuality will be paramount. You may set up your own business rather than take orders from someone else. A powerful Full Moon Eclipse will occur 8 October bringing things to a head to be resolved.

Friendships, Groups and Goals

Sun, Mercury and Venus will highlight your friendship sector. Added to the mix is Solar Annular Eclipse on 29 April which will bring issues to the fore to be resolved. The Sun’s presence here from 22 May to 21 June will enable you to show your leadership skills in your social circles. Mercury’s presence here from 8 – 29 May will encourage networking and ensure a busy social calendar. Venus presence here from 24 June to 18 July will ensure harmony and pleasurable activities with your friends.

Travel and Higher Education

Neptune, the planet of spirituality and Chiron, the wounded healer continue their passage through your 9th house of travel and study. You may be drawn to undertake a spiritual pilgrimage to some exotic foreign country that you have always yearned to visit or you may take up some creative or spiritual studies. Mercury and Venus also contribute their energy to your travel and adventure sector. Quicksilver Mercury pays a visit to your adventure sector from 1 – 13 February and then again from 18 March to 7 April motivating you to do research or study. The retrograde phases of Mercury from 7 – 13 February may cause delays in travel plans but it is an ideal time to review your philosophical and spiritual beliefs. Venus graces your travel and education with her presence from 6 April to 3 May bringing harmony and pleasure here. It would be an ideal time to have that pleasure cruise.


Cancer Greeting Card Designed by Sue Robertson
Cancer Poem by Anne Robertson
Esoteric Astrology Volume 3 Treatise on the Seven Rays by Alice A. Bailey
Soul-Centred Astrology: A Key to your Expanding Self  by Alan Oken
Alan Oken’s Complete Astrology by Alan Oken
The Labours of Hercules by Alice A. Bailey
Astrological Keys to Self-actualization & Self-realization by Clara A. Weiss
Astrology and Biochemistry by Vanda Sawtell
The Inner Planets by Howard Sasportas and Liz Greene


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