AUTHOR’S NOTE: These are not my words. I merely compiled the writings of the most prominent sidereal astrologers, all who give a thorough explanation of the signs as they really are. The works of Cyril Fagan, Rupert Gleadow, and Alex-Blaire are hardly known to the world. They deserve to have their voices heard. Their writing is invaluable to any serious student of astrology.
Manilius, ASTRONOMICA book 4
Shining at the hinge of the year by the blazing turning-point which when recalled the Sun rounds in his course on high, the Crab occupies a joint of heaven and bends back the length of day. Of a grasping spirit and unwilling to give itself in service the Crab distributes many kinds of gain, and skill in making profits; he enables a man to carry his investment of foreign merchandise from city to city and, with an eye on steep rises in the price of corn, to risk his money upon sea-winds; to sell the world’s produce to the world, to establish commercial ties between so many unknown lands, to search out under foreign skies fresh sources of gain, and from the high price of his goods to amass sudden wealth. With heaven’s favor he also sells seasons of idleness at rates of interest to his liking, wishing the swift passage of time to add to the principal. His is a shrewd nature, and he is ready to fight for his profits.
Cyril Fagan, THE SYMBOLISM OF STAR CONSTELLATIONS, 1962
SUN IN CANCER: Jul 17 – Aug 16
Cancer is the exaltation of Jupiter (15 degrees), August 2, and it is ruled by Delilah, the Moon. According to Manilius, it signifies merchants, traders, and those intent on amassing money by barter and exchange. It tallies with the 10th house of the mundane sphere… noon…the busiest hours of the day, when business of all descriptions is transacted. It is the time when marketing and shopping is at its greatest swing, and the buying and selling of merchandise at their maximum tempo. Like the flow and ebb of the tides, during these hours much money changes hands. But according to medieval tradition, the 2nd house holds dominion over “Money and the Means of Livelihood.
Ptolemy also averred that the midheaven and the Moon ruler of Cancer signified the mother, and here there is agreement. To Cancer, as stated, the ancients allotted the Moon, the Babylonians Sin, as regent because this constellation reflected its characteristics to a remarkable degree. Interalia, the Moon is the significator of the imagination and those born when she is placed in the foreground of their nativities have a hypernormal imagination and sensitivity. This image-creating faculty may be so strong as to cause natives of this constellation to mistake their own mental projections for reality, and accordingly, they sometimes tend to suffer from delusions. One can be moved to action by strong feelings of love or hatred, by never by pure thought. Demagogues know this and so they work upon the feelings and passions of an audience rather than on its common sense.
It is small wonder, therefore, that Cancer has produced some of the greatest imaginative writers, dramatists, actors, painters, poets and reporters….The unintelligent ones live in an imaginative world of make-believe, and fancy themselves playing all sorts of roles from the heroic to martyrdom. If introduced to strangers, unacquainted with the facts of his life, a Cancerian will narrate, with excited gestures and grimaces, a series of episodes from which he always emerges as the modest ‘hero.’ Like Mussolini, he is forever acting a part, trying thereby to inflate his ego; or else he visualizes himself as a Mahatma, wielding potent powers. Sometimes these stories are believed, and they gain wide circulation until the day comes, as it must, when they are exposed for what they are worth, to the utter dismay of the native…
Seeing that Cancer signifies the mother principle, the Cancerian finds his greatest joy in his home, his children, his relations, the mother church, the mother country and the Alma Mater: hence his marked sense of patriotism. A lover of sports…when, as a spectator on the sports field, he identifies himself with the home team, shouting and cajoling it on to victory. Always generous, to his children he is generous to a fault and for this reason he is often accused of nepotism. He takes the greatest pride in their achievements, and is disconsolate at their failures, because he has identified himself completely with them. When they succeed he has succeeded, but when they fail, it is he who has failed.
As Jupiter is enthroned in this constellation, Cancerians are generous to a fault and cannot refrain from helping the seemingly undeserving. In any activity that brings them face to face with the general public, catering to its needs, especially if the fair sex is involved, such as working in hotels, supermarkets, coffee bars, night clubs and so on, the scions of Cancer are in their element. Generally speaking, Cancerians make shrewd and usually successful business people, with a flare for organization and expansion.
With the imaginative Moon as ruler, it is not surprising to find that the mysterious and occult hold a strange attraction for natives of this constellation. The Cancerians’ most characteristics signature is their ‘rubber’ faces. When photographed they always pose and distort their faces into some strange grimace. Seldom does one catch their features in repose…. Hypersensitive to a degree, he is touchy, moody, soon angered and soon moved to tears.
Among those who have the Sun in the constellation Cancer, mention may be made of the following: Balfour, Hore Belisha, H.P. Blavatsky, Emily Bronte, Rupert Brooke, Hiram Butler, Calvin, John Dee, Guy de Maupassant, Alexander Dumas, (Pere et Fils), Amelia Earhart, Henry Ford, George IV, Haldane, Harpignies, Max Heidel, Emile Jennings, Carl Jung, Keyserling, Harry Lauder, Alan Leo, Louis XI, Henry Lunn, Marquess of Queensbury, Dag Hammarskjold, Fidel Castro, Mussolini, R.H. Naylor, Walter Pater, Oswald Reeves, John Reith, Rembrandt, Reuter, Reynolds, Dawson Rogers, George Bernard Shaw, Shelley, Phillip Snowden, Southey, Thackeray, Tennyson, David Yule. Marshall McLuhan, John Glenn, Aldous Huxley, Alfred Hitchcock, Jacqueline Kennedy.
MOON IN CANCER
When the Moon is in Cancer she is, as the ancients would say, ‘in her own house,’ and therefore perfectly at home and at her ease. So placed and in proximity to the angles, she makes the native soft, super-sensitive, tender, gentle, delicate, timid, yielding, graceful, dependent and somewhat effeminate, reacting to every shade of emotion which is instantaneously reflected in his expressive features. For this reason, Moon-in-Cancer people are popular, as they are willing to listen, patiently, to any tale of woe, and to tender their sympathy.
Such men readily find favor with the opposite sex. Despite the Cancerians timidity, they ‘long to be the darling of the crowd’ and are best suited for a career which brings them into close contact with people. Many scions of royal families were born with the Moon near the middle of Cancer, that is near the 15th degree, which is that of the exaltation of Jupiter. Provided there is no influence to the contrary, Moon-in-Cancer folk are very conscious of their appearance, and many noted dandies will be found among them.
Rupert Gleadow, YOUR CHARACTER IN THE ZODIAC, 1968
The Moon then probably received the rulership of Cancer when Greek traders in the Levant discovered that this constellation was not after all simply a tortoise, belonging inevitably to Hermes, but on the Syrian coast was a crab, which belonged equally plainly to the Moon. For although the actual formation of the zodiac owed probably nothing to the Greeks, there was a time before planetary rulerships were invented, and these may well have been devised when Babylonian, Egyptian and Greek influences were all becoming blended together, soon after the conquests of Alexander; and he died in 323 B.C.
So the character of Cancer ought to be determined, like that of any other sign, by its ruler as much as anything else. In recent times astrologers have tended to see Cancer as ‘the maternal sign,’ but in rather a sentimental way, as though all mothers were necessarily sloppy. The Great Mother, however, is much more than a bosom to weep on….
Two thousand years ago there was nothing sentimental about the Moon and the sea; they suggested travel and trade, and to knock about in the world of those days it was no use being thin-skinned. So it was the crab’s hard shell, which was, emphasized then, not the half-hidden sensitiveness on which modern writers have laid stress…. Here is the complete politician! The Moon’s rulership is obvious in his dependence on the public and on circumstance, and the word translated ‘affected’ implies that sidereal CANCERians love showing off, telling stories and playing to the gallery. A good example of this was Mussolini, who was always strutting about pulling faces and trying to look dignified. A more surprising case is the severe Calvin. Perhaps this is explained by the fact that extreme Protestantism arose among the people as a protest against the misbehaving Church; and the Moon traditionally represents the people.
The advertising profession illustrates the artificial jolliness needed to evoke a good response in the public nowadays only too plainly, which is typically Cancerian. But even if bogus charm and hypocrisy are the profession vices of advertisers and politicians, it does not follow that Cancerians are insincere….
Cancer became ‘the Ascendant of the world’ not because of the basic importance of the Moon and the people, nor because this puts the ambitious Aries on top of the world horoscope, but because the ancient Egyptian year began with the rising of Sirius; and although the sidereal longitude of Sirius is always 19 degrees Gemini, Sirius lies south of the zodiac, and hence the actual Ascendant, when Sirius rises at Memphis or Alexandria, is in Cancer.
Cancer, like Aries, is easier to describe by its vices than its virtues. This happens to some extent with all signs, because the vice is often only the exaggeration of a quality which if it were not exaggerated would not attract attention. Cancer, like the Jungian ‘sensation type,’ appears to be more interested in phenomena than in their meaning; he likes to know what happens, by contrast to his opposite sign Capricorn, who is sometimes a little careless about what actually happens if he things he can fathom why it happens. Cancer, though sometimes a dreamer, is very rarely out of touch, because he likes to know what is going on; he may be guilty of misinterpretation, but his theories will not be remote from facts. He is affable, popular, familiar, and does not feel that in agreeing with others he is having to make allowances for them.
So the ancient notion of a Cancerian was not a timid creature hiding his sensibility under a shell of hardness, but rather the cheery commercial or travelling salesman type, the circus tout or company promoter who says with great assurance whatever he thinks will please and lives entirely by his relation with the public. In fact the Leo native who now finds himself attributed to Cancer need not imagine that he is being put under a weak and watery constellation; sidereal Cancer is often a manager, and excels as the popular comedian, the convention organizer, the public relations officer.
For whereas tropical Cancer was maternal, sentimental, devoted to children and the sea, superficially sensitive but possibly rather hard within (which agrees quite well with sidereal Gemini), sidereal Cancer… wears his shell on the outside. He is thick-skinned, not as sensitive as he appears, but easily influenced by emotional situations. Being ruled by the Moon he is changeable, but only on the surface. Cancer wants to agree with people, to be one of the clan, to be in the swim, and consequently plays up to every situation, so much so that he is accused of insincerity and hypocrisy.
From his point of view this is unfair; he wants to give others the opportunity of being right, even if they disagree among themselves. His face is rarely in repose, and he is a bit of an actor, the typical politician in a democratic country, just as Aries is in an autocracy. But whereas Leo imposes himself on a situation by sheer force of personality, Cancer incarnates the popular feeling and thus becomes the natural mouthpiece of the people….Cancer also, thanks to his imaginative sympathy, makes a novelist and story-teller, and is always ready to make or to hear confessions about the private lives of himself and others.
But underneath this lunar changefulness Cancer knows what he wants and is getting it, and in order to have some element of security in his mind he is usually obliged to be conventional in his ideas and firmly attached to his family, country, employer, political party or some other anchor. He is often also a journalist, a gossip and flatterer, the universal joint of social life who knows a little of everything and gets on well with everyone. In Europe one has the impression that the noisy popularity-seeking type is especially common in the U.S.A. and is well liked there.
As parents, Cancerians are too indulgent and too possessive; in later life they tend to become fat, lazy and badly dressed. They dislike militarism, but are said to have very good memories…with a taste for history, antiques, and knickknacks. As a compensation for self-doubt they live in a fantasy world and readily identify themselves with some mother figure such as the Church or State, the party, country or local footfall team. They seem to suffer easily from inferiority feelings, and this is the reason why they project their ego on to an organization; others pose, boast or get drunk and other again make out that if they are not much themselves at least their family contains some clever people. They practice nepotism and expect others to be sympathetic and let them profit by it; but their pride is easily punctured. In spite of this they are good at business, conscientious and not mean.
Extraversion and introversion occur, of course, under all constellations, but Cancer is typically the extravert who finds truth outside himself, just as Capricorn is typically the opposite. Dr. Jung himself, though an introvert, took great trouble as a Cancerian to conciliate the prejudices of the conventional and pretend that he does not trespass on Tom Tiddler’s ground. And this is wise in one who has ideas to put over.
A most typical Cancerian was George Bernard Shaw, since he as both a dramatist and political worker, and sold himself to the public as a picturesque personality. Another was General Douglas MacArthur: he had the Moon in Cancer by either zodiac, and one would think that his Ascendant must from his character have been Leo, but his Sun was in Capricorn.
Sidereal Cancer In Depth
A really good loaf of bread is a fine thing. You worship security comfort and wealth as a means to sustain and protect the many deserving and undeserving people you care about. It is the mood music of life that you listen to and play moment by moment day by day as you pass in and out of each person’s atmosphere. Life is a soap opera starring you and featuring everyone you know.
You tend to absorb a lot of heavy emotional energy and carry it around with you to the point of depression. Being a natural busy body you forget where your boundaries are and interfere in things that you do not understand. But so convinced are you that your feelings are real information that there is no talking to you once you have made up your mind about what the ‘problem’ is.
Super sensitive to rejection you tend to protect your inner feelings from possible damage by being on guard all the time. You can be irritable and easily offended. In this way you reject others and hurt the ones who love you. You easily substitute emotional fulfillment with a job or career that absorbs all your time and energy. Respect is extremely important to you and you are willing to work very hard to gain it.
Like everyone else you enjoy good news. But what really engages you is bad news, the worse the better. Empathizing with people in trouble is a special natural talent which you possess; if you add real training to it you become a highly skilled councilor. Highly interested in Theatre Art and Film you like to collect books artifacts CDs and DVDs. Youre always upgrading your iPod because you just need more music. You may also be engaged in any of the many careers related to these fields.
You are interested in the world to the extent that it can impact upon your personal life your family your friends. And it sometimes happens that you find yourself personally involved in an issue that concerns the community as a whole. In this case public life and politics come naturally. Celebrities interest you and if you happen to become one yourself then you really don’t mind.
In love you seek emotional security and must be convinced that you are deeply understood before you give your emotional loyalty. You may be obliged to go through a series of harrowing emotional disappointments before you gain the inner stability to sustain a long lasting relationship. At your most intensely involved the romantic passes over into the mystical and you enter a kind of heaven of love.
Religious and spiritual concerns engage you because you carry a deep need to believe that there is a god/dess watching over you. When young you are likely to explore many different spiritual paths but as you grow older it is the god/dess of your childhood and ancestors that is likely to gain your final allegiance. Yet there is a much deeper level to your spiritual longings and if you can find the actual courage, you are able to go there and become a “twice born” member of the Elect.
With the ever changing and moody Moon as ruler of the Constellation of Cancer the Key Word is inevitably: Emotion. As the third Star House in the Archetypal Zodiac Cancer has everything to do with ones Mother and of course also ones siblings. The third Starhouse is also the scene of ones capacity to communicate to and empathize with others in an immediate and spontaneous way. The very first person anyone communicates with is Mother and that communication begins in the womb. The connection with siblings and spontaneous communication makes the Third Starhouse a house of Friendship and convivial self projection.
With the Exaltation of Jupiter in the Constellation of Cancer we find it’s Natives capable of being happy expansive and generous. Jupiter also endows the native with a strong interest in religion and to an extent in philosophy and the occult. The Moon if dramatically configured and strong will incline the native towards music acting and a public life. Though innately shy and defensive Cancerians love to be the centre of attention and bask in the warm feelings of their family friends and the public. Because of the connections between the Moon Jupiter and the effects of Saturn in Detriment in the Constellation of Cancer its Natives are very often deeply concerned with issues of Security and Safety.
Most immediately this need for Security is the need for Emotional Security. Many a Cancerian has terminated a relationship or employment position simply because they felt insecure. Whether this feeling of insecurity is rational or not will depend upon other factors in the Birth Chart such as the position of Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn. Natives of this Star House can be extremely intense emotionally and sexually. Often romantic to a fault they personalize every aspect of life, and can indulge in the most outlandish displays of self pity and melodrama. They also have a rather overdeveloped sense of guilt and when not busy making others feel guilty are indulging in it themselves.
The fall of Mars in Cancer can make its Natives sexually demanding and emotionally explosive with a pronounced weakness for alcohol and drugs. But should Saturn be stronger in the chart than Mars then the native will be abstemious controlling and miserly. It is often the case that Control as the afflicted extension of the need for Security can become the dominant theme in the Natives life. In this case the Native is moody withdrawn and uncommunicative and can drive others to distraction by subjecting them to the “silent treatment”. But so variable are the moods of Cancer that in due course the victim of the “silent treatment” will be subjected to an unending litany of complaints and grievances. If these are ignored the Cancer throws a big tantrum which can easily end in tears, with or without a remorseful confession of guilt.
There is a highly developed Native of Cancer who is capable of meeting and calmly confronting every kind of emotion come what may. These aristocrats of the Constellation of Cancer are able to become the central character in a very large “extended family” composed of a very wide variety of distinctly different human individuals who oddly are able to get along on a good humored “agree to disagree” basis. We can also find these individuals as the Heads of Corporations and Organizations enjoying the unflagging love and loyalty of their employees and associates.
These rare exalted Cancerians can also be found as spiritual teachers. The planet Jupiter carries the meaning of “spiritual teacher” and indeed it is true that by observing the position of Jupiter and its aspects in any Sidereal Birth Chart we can see the quality and worth of the Natives spiritual teacher. This kind of Cancerian will be found preserving and fostering a spiritual tradition rather than setting the world on fire with any unseemly or eccentric innovation. We should not forget that even at this level the need for security will make itself felt and the wise Cancerian will seek the most reliable and well tested spiritual knowledge and practice.
If Mercury and Saturn are also strong and in a positive position the Native will become an extremely effective spokes person for their spiritual tradition. There will be a natural talent for writing, public speaking and the ability to face any spiritual challenge. Being well able to understand the emotions that move and change people they are able to communicate with a very wide variety of people. There is a sound and sensible concern for the physical as well as spiritual needs of people and pragmatic social activists are found amongst the natives of this Star House.