Esoterically there are deep mysteries associated with the “quiet” sign of Cancer. Cancer is the smallest of the constellations, but that shouldn’t lead us to underestimate her power. Cancer is the cardinal water sign, and all cardinal signs are here to take the lead in some way: to pioneer, introduce enlightened ideas and new ways of being into a specific area. In the case of Cancer, that area is emotions. All water signs are about mastery of emotions, so as the cardinal water sign, Cancer is here to take the lead in terms of our personal emotional development and to lead us into a new era in the evolution of human consciousness through emotional intelligence.
Cancer: The Light Within The Form
~ The Tibetan, Esoteric Astrology
As we have seen in the previous articles in this series, our Rising sign (Ascendant) indicates awakening: how we awaken into our spiritual reality, how we awaken or are born into the world, and indeed how we awaken each day into the world. With Cancer Rising, you are really here to learn how to nourish yourself and others with your soul-light. The whole journey of the soul through the twelve zodiac signs is a story of light, building up the volume of light in our light-body, or soul, while simultaneously increasing the amount of light that can be held and processed in our physical bodies. When the soul is in Cancer there is the potential for you to become aware of your soul-light.
I build a lighted house and therein dwell.
~ The Tibetan, Esoteric Astrology
Our Rising sign indicates how we awaken into our world, into new situations, and stages of consciousness. According to the Tibetan in The Labours of Hercules: An Astrological Interpretation,” Cancer is the last of the four signs of preparation (read more about the stages of the soul’s journey in a previous post) and, as a cardinal sign, leads us into the next phase of our soul’s development. If you have Cancer Rising, you are about to leave the womb in a spiritual sense, and be born into the next phase of your soul’s development. It marks a rite of passage, where we are maturing into our Soul’s awakening.
Not only does our Rising Sign indicate awakening, but also the sign of Cancer is about birth and awakening. In Cancer, we experience the first glimmer of our soul’s presence. We begin to realize that we have a soul and are so much more than just a physical body. We awaken to a greater aspect of our being. If you have Cancer Rising, you are here to find your soul-light and, like a lighthouse keeper, keep your light lit, no matter what is going on in the world around you, even if it sometimes feels like trying to keep a candle alight in a howling gale!
The zodiac uses animal symbols to convey an impression of energetic qualities. The energy of Cancer is crab-like in many ways – for example, walking sideways! Cancerians tend to approach new situations side-on, as they feel their way forward. Rising Cancer tends to approach new people, places, and situations with caution, possibly a little trepidation, and maybe come at it sideways until they can establish a feeling of safety.
Have you ever watched crabs near the ocean? They have the ability to quickly bury themselves in the sand and hunker down to wait until the most dangerous tides have passed. We can use this symbology to understand the soul’s journey in Cancer. It is about where you place your attention. Because Cancer has the ability to attune to mass consciousness, it is too easy for Cancer to be swept away on the current tide of mass consciousness, fear, and emotional overreacting. This is where the Cancer soul needs to learn how to hunker down and ride out the tide. You do this by keeping your attention on your own light, not the tsunami of mass human emotion that is (apparently) heading your way. When you do this, you learn how to keep your soul-flame alight, and by so doing. you realize that the real key to changing the world lies in changing yourself.
Every jewel is intimately connected with all other jewels in the universe, and a change in one jewel means a change, however slight, in every other jewel.
~ Stephen Mitchell
As the sign of mass consciousness, Cancer has built-in radar, which you can send out to sense the mood and feelings of the collective. Your innate sense of connectedness with all of humanity is the source from which your deep empathy and ultimately compassion arises. This ability to feel what others are feeling is the key to understanding both the highest spiritual purpose of Cancer and the ego-based challenges at personality level.
Part of the journey for a Cancerian soul is to cultivate intuition. It isn’t easy, when you can tap into mass consciousness, to hear your own voice over and above the many. It also explains why the sign of Cancer is associated with fear and caution. If you have Cancer Rising, it is likely that you experience fear on waking each morning! This is because when you first awaken and your mind is quiet, this is the time that you are most tuned-in to the consciousness of the masses, and it is a simple fact that there is a lot of fear rippling through humanity at the moment. You are aware of it. You feel it. All cardinal signs are courageous signs of leadership. This may not be how you initially think of the sign of Cancer, but imagine the courage that is needed to stay focused on compassion in the face of a tide of human suffering and fear. On a very practical level, for someone with Cancer Rising, your first act of courage is to get out of bed in the morning in the face of all fear and to stay focused on your light throughout your day.
As the sign of emotional intelligence, part of your work in this lifetime is learning how to navigate through emotional frequencies so you don’t keep your attention on the wavelength of fear, but are able to transcend it and hold a higher emotional tone within your own being. You understand the truth of our connectedness by experiencing for yourself that the changes you make within your own being have a definite ripple-effect in the consciousness of humanity, and that you have the power to reduce fear in the world by first and foremost working on it within yourself. This process of emotional evolution through the water signs begins in Cancer (cardinal water), is consolidated in Scorpio (fixed water) and culminates in Pisces (mutable water).
Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.
~ HH XIV Dalai Lama
Through your own experience you begin to learn that compassion is not just an idea or a philosophy, but a real tangible energy that you can consciously flow through your own heart-center and, by doing so, you change the “flavour” in the ocean of human consciousness. The Dalai Lama has Cancer Rising and has spent a lifetime teaching, demonstrating, and transmitting compassion and unconditional love across all cultures and boundaries. This is the true nourishment that Cancer brings to the world: spiritual nourishment. When you transcend fear, you will come to know that the divine nectar of compassion, which flows through your heart, is what will truly nurture and nourish humanity on our journey of evolving consciousness.
If you have Cancer Rising, you are here to bring compassion and unconditional love into the world in ways that you possibly cannot imagine. You do this by overcoming fear and attachment, cultivating emotional intelligence, and fine-tuning your own intuition. Your spiritual home is the light that you always carry within, the whole world is your family, and you selflessly nourish others primarily through the emanation of your inner light.
Ruth Hadikin – Soul Astrologer
Karen MacKenzie is working on a series of astrology inspired paintings using goddesses from different cultures. For more information about the symbolism in this print and to view other works in her ongoing series, check out her website, Karen MacKenzie Art.