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Cancer Confidential (for Sun and ascendant)

By Eric Francis

Cancer (June 21- July 22)

How would you say your life has changed in the past 12 months? Do you even resemble the person that you were, say, in the summer of 2008? Do you have any of the same concerns? And what became of the concerns you had back then? How did you get past them?

I ask this because you’re experiencing one of the most important transits of your life, which is Pluto going through your 7th solar house. If you know something about natal charts, you know that technically, this transit will not affect everyone with Cancer or Cancer rising at the same time. Pluto moves slowly, and some time between now and 2023 it will make an exact opposition to your Sun or contact with your 7th house cusp. However, in the kind of astrology we’re doing here, I presume the entire sign Cancer and all elements in that sign are sensitive to the ingress of Pluto into your opposite sign. I have good theories and a lot of experience to back this up.

As one of the four signs on the cardinal cross (the others being Aries, Libra and Capricorn) you are in a kind of astrological spotlight, which at times may feel like a hot seat; at others like being followed by a television crew; and at times being stalked by your own shadow. Yet Pluto in the 7th provides a focal point. There is a continuous confrontation with a bottom line, whatever that line is for you. Whatever it is, it will be a kind of ultimatum: it could represent a growing understanding of mortality, which could, in turn, lead you to value your life to a degree that you have not in the past.

You may be confronted by imminent changes in a relationship, or acknowledging your desire in the realm of your relationships for the first time. This could be something as profound as the dawning of your real sexual orientation, or admitting fully the kind of relationship(s) that you want to experience. Pluto is nothing if not a hormonal messenger, and you are likely to be experiencing a new surge of vitality in your desire for an impassioned partnership. Yet even as that dawns on you, your concept of relationship is becoming less rigid; less dependent on tradition and more dependent on integrity. True, there is integrity to tradition but what we need and what you need is flexibility, choice and to keep your sense of potential open; Pluto is here to help.

There is something, too, about the basis of contact: Pluto is as soulful as it is erotic, thus resolving that false dichotomy in a gesture.

And then…

At the same time, Mars in your solar 2nd house of self-esteem and self-worth is drawing you into this issue deeper than you’ve ever been, as you search for the way to express the value that you feel toward yourself, or process the ways you have denied that value.

Many influences are guiding you to want more out of life. Yet as you may have imagined, the process does not end here: there is something you need to express, some new role that you’re being called upon to take, which until now may have seemed like nothing more than a collection of unfinished ideas or a scattered sense of who you are. You’ve known for a long time that this could not last; you feel an indescribable connection to the world, a sense of participation and most of all a sense of purpose lurking within you. This is about to come into focus in a highly unusual way, with implications for every aspect of your life — principally what Earth-dwellers call their profession or their career.

Really, those words translate to a hybrid of your true sense of identity; your mission in life; your reputation; and your sense of participation in the world: all of the above, in one concept. And before this year is over, that mission will come to the fore; what you are doing now will (if it is dharmic) be radically enhanced, and (if adharmic), be swept away and replaced with something entirely new. In any event your world gets larger and you become more visible in it. You become a kind of inventor, certainly an innovator, but in truth it looks like you will create or be credited with creating something entirely new.

There is a hint from Pluto in your solar 7th house: your relationships change; your concept of relationships changes; and your relationship to the world changes. Yes, Pluto in Capricorn style: on one level, transcending tradition entirely, while at the same time bringing out something deep and authentic that is a kind of jewel of history.

And what if you work as a secretary? Well, do you want to work as a secretary? The scope of these transits will, in part, be limited by your vision of life; yet in recent years that vision has been widening. I write these things knowing that most people live in a small world, working with a small corner of their minds and never feeling quite up to anything.

However, if that describes you, you might want to reconsider, before you are quite literally backed into a new perspective by events associated with your transits. In sum, you are being called to rise to the occasion of your own life. When things get intense or start to move fast or you find yourself somewhere you never expected to be, remember that.

With the remainder of this reading, I will do my best to prepare you for these events, with some background theory and practical ideas.

Your Sign is the Gateway to Humanity

In the system described in the book Esoteric Astrology, the sign Cancer is considered the gateway to humanity. Cancer and Capricorn are the gateways; Cancer in, Capricorn out; this is symbolic; think of it as representing initiations: thresholds within life that take us from one place to the next. Yet in a curiously literal way, Cancer and its ruler, the Moon, are associated with many, many people, and you seem to be under consideration to be their spokesperson, messenger or alchemist for progress.

Cancer is also the sign associated with the conscious personality, which is an interesting metaphor for a gateway: a portal to awareness. That awareness is emotional (the Moon rules Cancer) and it is intuitive (in Esoteric Astrology, Neptune rules Cancer). There is a difference between the two that it would help you to sort out. It’s good to know when you’re emoting and when you’re getting intuitive information. Plenty of both show up in your charts. You are the one who will be doing the discerning.

As you may be reading, we are currently in the middle of a cardinal T-square that is forming from Aries to Libra to Capricorn. Your sign is the one cardinal sign missing from this equation, though that is not entirely true. Using another method of astrology available only on the back streets, there is a mysterious point called Kronos in your sign. Kronos, which moves about half as slowly as Pluto, is treated as a planet by some astrologers, has no actual body; it’s merely an idea with an orbit, and at the moment, that orbit has it in Cancer, precisely aligned with where many other planets are about to align this year and through 2012.

Before I give you other delineations of Kronos, my take on Kronos in Cancer is that it’s about attaining the emotional self-mastery to bestow or have access to other forms of mastery. Obviously, if you don’t have a grip on yourself, you can’t have a grip on anything else (such as applying your talents) and you won’t be able to handle a surge of energy like the one that is currently heading straight in your direction, from three different directions.

Here is what Arlene Kramer says about Kronos: it represents “Superiority: the highest quality attainable; the ultimate in authority; standard of excellence; undisputed expert.” Martha Wescott associates it with VIPs, and shifts the theme of competency to the question of competency: good idea, but I suggest you remember what you’re good at and what you want to be good at. This, too, provides a focusing principle, which is precisely, exactly what takes the transits from Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Pluto. In other words, you’re being guided, pushed, pulled, stretched and seduced into discovering and developing your talent; and recognizing the talent you have developed, as if it matters, because guess what? It does.

A Word About the Thema Mundi

In ancient, traditional astrology, there is a document called the Thema Mundi, or the chart of the world. This document dates back to the classical Greek database. Only recently unearthed, I view this as the single most meaningful document to come out of several decades of researching and translating the astrology of the Hellenistic era.

For you, it relates one rather significant fact: in the chart of the world, the sign Cancer is in the ascendant. In other words, the chart that holds the key to astrology has Cancer rising; and Cancer — not Aries — is the sign most closely associated with the 1st house. This is another clue that your sign is closely associated with the concept of identity, and that your own identity has something in common with the whole process of incarnating, and part of incarnation involves mastery over the emotions and mastery of a topic or field of expertise.

The main implication of this discovery — the Thema Mundi — is that the identity orientation of humanity is not the Aries/warrior/conqueror that modern astrology suggests; rather, in the view of the ancients, the primary identity of humanity is to nourish and nurture and gestate existence. Any placements in any first house of any chart will have this idea associated with them.

Aries, which factors prominently in your astrology this year and for the next seven years, is on your midheaven — the 10th solar house: the house of reputation, and much more appropriate as such. Cancer is more of an internal process, within the crab shell of the home and the feelings; Aries is more like that ram, which can run up a mountain or leap onto a rock like a lizard.

Mars Retrograde in Leo: From Money to Value and Back

Whatever experience of life we have tends to be mediated entirely by how we feel about ourselves. It’s possible to get fired and be ecstatic; it’s possible to win the lottery and be suicidal. What’s the difference? How we feel about ourselves. That’s the environment into which all other data flows; the circuits through which it flows; the reference by which all else is measured.

We live in a culture that puts incredible emphasis on money, and we are taught that our value involves money. It’s funny how few bother to put the donkey in front of the wagon: how we feel determines how much money we have and whether it means anything at all.

Mars retrograde in your 2nd solar house, Leo, is stirring up this whole confluence of issues. Note how a house (any house) works: it offers different topics that are really one topic. The confluence of the 2nd house is self-value, self-worth, self-esteem, personal resources, sense of self, spiritual bank account, monetary bank account.

Mars is retrograde in this house, stirring the pot and sending you on a deep inner search. Mars rules the houses in your chart associated with playful sex, creativity, pleasure and risk-taking (the 5th house); and reputation, career, mission and profession (the 10th house). This translates to something so easy a Jack Russell Terrier could work it out, to wit: your self-worth is based on the extent to which you blend the properties of these two houses, and recognize that they have both a value on your self-worth and your financial value.

I have a good friend who has Cancer rising. She is a gifted artist, but she refuses to sell her work because she does not want to be any kind of whore: the cheap kind or the expensive kind. I’ve never asked her how she supports herself or how she acquired her wealth, but unless one is independently wealthy or fully supported, you have to sell something: your labor, your ideas, your time or the products of your hands and mind. Call this prostitution; I know a lot about prostitutes and prostitution, and I can tell you that it’s nothing of the kind. Most prostitutes hate what they do and hate themselves for doing what they do. They hate their clients and by extension tend to hate men. Few that I have ever spoken with see the value of their work in the lives of the people they serve. If that’s how you feel about offering your best work to humanity, then you’re definitely a prostitute.

I am talking about being passionate about what you do, with intention and love and a sense of devotion and nurturing, and honoring the value that your work has on the lives of others. This, in turn, will help you cultivate your sense of self-esteem, which is in truth your sense of belonging on the planet.

Because Mars is involved, the entire confluence of themes will be threaded by what you want the most.

Money as a Bellwether

Because the 2nd house relates to money, let’s check in with that topic specifically. Money is an indicator for you, a kind of bellwether of your overall condition in life. This extends to how you feel about your resources and whether they are worth anything, including your talents.

You could make a list of everything you categorize as a financial issue, and then write on top of the list, “This is how I feel about myself,” and you would have an accurate, useful summary. Much of this involves how you relate to what you want in the material world. What story do you tell yourself about those desires? What rationalizations do you make?

I suggest you study the relationship between what you want and what you have to offer.

Next, I suggest you question the basis of that assessment. Worth is generally a comparison. It is a relative estimation. A cigarette lighter may be of little worth in a bar, where nearly everyone has one, and where you cannot even light a cigarette; but if you’re stuck in the wilderness, it could save your life. Likewise, you estimate your worth based on certain comparisons to your environment and to others who are making contributions to the world. So the question is, what is your reference point?

Is someone else’s contribution the reference, or is your contribution the reference? Or do you have some objective value? Your own particular constitution suggests that you need to use yourself as the reference point, and not compare yourself to others. Mars retrograde is a reference to the past, pushing you to investigate your whole lifetime of financial concerns and themes.

I suggest you look back through the years and the decades of your life and consider what you consistently value about yourself over long periods of time. It may be something tangible, such as your ability to focus a group effort; it may be something less tangible, like a commitment to leaving the environments you come into contact with better places.

Now, here is the deeper question: how do your values work against you? Or rather, how do you allow them to be used against you, or find yourself in situations where what you have to offer ends up resulting in a personal loss of some kind? One of the crucial lessons of this time in your life is learning how to allow your values to work for you rather than against you. That, in turn, will allow you to see how your value works for others; and the equation is: what works for you is more likely to work for them; what does not work for you is much less likely to support your environment.

Freud said that money issues involve unresolved material around father. Once father issues have been resolved, money issues work themselves out more naturally.В  The point of whether this involves mother or father has been debated by psychology for a century, though the father angle is worth considering as one born under the sign Cancer.

Because of your lunar orientation and your inherently nurturing nature, true paternal strength may be not only alien to you, but something you have sought over and over again in the world and never quite found. It’s slim pickings in the days of the missing father, or the mysterious father. In an ideal world, father is the source of structure, protection and a last line of defense when all else fails. What he taught us helps establish our relationship to the world beyond ‘our mother’s garden’.

Given the Leo nature of this transit, I suggest you make a careful study of how your father felt about you, your worth, and your value to the world. Consider not just how he felt about you, but how he felt about the kinds of things that you offer to the world. Make a realistic assessment about how he felt about money.

As a Cancer your orientation will be naturally to take care of the world; to nurture and nourish and leave it a better place than you found it. There is a message: take care of the world a little more like a father than like a mother — whatever that means to you. You are currently on a search for your deepest inner masculine attributes. This subject has taken me a bit by surprise — but it seems to have some value. So I’d like to add a section on this idea, looking at how it’s likely to manifest in your inner world and your relationships.

The Theme of Equanimity: Shared Resources

Once we have resources, there comes the theme of sharing. When we need resources, we need to be shared with. In recent years you have gone through a particularly challenging time on the issue of shared resources, and may be questioning the value of your investments. This is partly due to the presence of Neptune in your 8th solar house, which seemed to blur the lines and represent a loss of confidence in others, particularly the groups represented by Aquarius.

Chiron may have driven this theme to a crisis point in more recent years. This transit may have sent you into revolt against organizations of any kind, as you recognized the often-toxic nature of groups and collectives, despite peoples’ best intentions.

Yet something is changing here. You are developing a sense of identity that is drawing you toward groups, and into a position of ideological leadership. That means the leadership of ideas, and of ethics. This is subtle. Words are involved, but they are specific words, which are summarized to focus on the core of an idea in question; my take is that this relates to how individuals and groups relate to one another, and in particular, what shall be the agreed-upon idea of what is fair? Who sets the rules? To what extent do individuals get run over by group movements, and to what extent do individuals hinder groups?

I am speaking about the Chiron-Neptune conjunction in your 8th solar house; yet this theme also relates to Jupiter moving through your 9th house, on the way for that conjunction to Uranus in your 10th. You are someone who exemplifies the concept of equanimity. Your ideals far exceed what is typically considered possible in the world, though transits coming later in the year suggest that you are in a clear position to do something about your ideals.

A Word About Contracts

Aquarius is your solar 8th house, the house of shared resources. Here is where I am getting the information about equanimity as a key goal. I don’t mean equality, but rather a way of looking at life wherein you see the needs of everyone as having a useful relationship to everyone else’s needs. Along the way to learning this, you have made many sacrifices, mainly by counting your needs as less than those of others, and by counting your contribution as less than those of others. You could get yourself pretty far by at least accepting that you are equal in value to the world around you.

I suggest that one of the places you do this is in contracts. One of the signs of a good contract is that it leads to the mutual benefit of the parties. Another sign of a good contract is easy in, easy out. A contract where one party benefits excessively can even be ruled invalid by a court; take this on the microscopic, immediate level. Here is something I suggest: every agreement you make, commit to writing. It would be better if it involved a letter of agreement that you both sign; but in the alternate, an email thread will work, and short of that, commemorating the agreement in a diary of some kind.

Astrologically, this is about Chiron and Neptune making their ongoing series of conjunctions in your 8th solar house — the one that rules agreements — a process that reaches its astrological focal point over the next few months. Chiron wants documentation. It rewards documentation with clarity. On one level, the clarity itself will be its own reward. You will be able to see, with the benefit of a thought process and documentation, how your agreements work (or do not work). You will become a more active voice in making them work for everyone, as one who insists on documentation.

In some respects you are at the forefront of the world, figuring out what a win-win situation is. This will be a big discovery, when it catches on; and one of the things you will be doing in your new role in life is teaching precisely this. Yet remember that at the core of a win-win situation are people who value themselves. At least one person in the equation must have a solid value on himself or herself, and then bring that into the relationship. Let that person be you.

A Few Words About Saturn in Libra

I have mentioned the changes in your orientation with relationship earlier. That’s anything with Capricorn connected with it. The ruler of Capricorn is in your 4th solar house, which is prompting several things: one is a housecleaning on any scale you like. Second is a possible reassessment of your location in the world. Third is a tangible break from the past. Last, already mentioned, is an assessment of your relationship to your father and his values. The 4th focuses these themes on your home base and security base. What Saturn basically does is take many or all of the themes I have described so far and place them directly in your home, as a primary focus of grounding and necessity. This will be particularly true when worldly matters such as your career begin to move at unexpected speed in the spring. You need grounding. Take care of your home and your relationship to your home.

Mars and the Reversal of Gender Roles

Retrograde planets indicate an inner search. Cancer is one of the most feminine signs, and both Mars and Leo are two of the most masculine archetypes in astrology.

Due to another factor, Pluto in your solar 7th house (Capricorn), relationships are high on your agenda. This is going to last a while, and once you’ve grown accustomed to the kinds of changes portended by this transit, you will appreciate the focus that it offers. In this context, your search for your masculine side is particularly meaningful.

This will factor into traditional gender roles, which are all worth examining. What do you not do, specifically because you’re a woman or a man? Literally, what rules do you follow? For example, if you’re a woman, do you not ask men out on dates because ‘that’s not what women do’? If you’re a man, do you insist on paying for things specifically because you’re a man? These rules are more likely to affect people over the age of 35 (as an approximate division) than under, owing to certain movements and rules of our culture.

However, gender roles are pounded into us constantly, mainly by advertising; and those supposed values are adopted by our social groups, then pounded into us a second, third and fourth time. I suggest being mindful of the subtlest expressions of this.

One way you will experience being more masculine is by insisting that the world treat you on more equal terms. This has been going on for a while. You have felt this calling for years. However, it’s only recently that you have taken the initiative to demand equity. That is to say, you have begun to move from theory to practice over the past year; and I suggest that you keep practicing. Much good will follow in your life as you go through this process of seeing your value, accepting your theories as valid, and rising to the occasion of your challenges.

Part of your gender reversal involves taking leadership in all aspects of your life. This is not as obvious today as it will be in six months, though I suggest you take these words to heart and begin to get yourself and everyone around you accustomed to the fact that you are the boss; and demonstrating that things will go better when you are the boss. Part of this involves taking initiative rather than waiting. Another part involves taking personal responsibility for the determination of what is fair and what is not; and standing up for your viewpoint.

Jupiter-Uranus on the Aries Point

Let’s end with a review of the most spectacular event in your chart, which is Jupiter-Uranus in your 10th solar house or Aries. Your solar chart has a special distinction — you have the Aries Point on the 10th house cusp. In case you’re not familiar with this term, it’s worth reading about in some depth; but as a precursor to describing the personal meaning of a truly beautiful conjunction that is happening.

Simply, the Aries Point is the first degree of the zodiac. Because your Sun or ascendant is in Cancer, the Aries Point serves as your 10th solar house. The Aries Point relates to all the cardinal signs: Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. Because your sign is a cardinal sign, it’s directly affected by this astrology, and I dare say in some truly positive ways. Yet the key to this is embracing leadership both in your professional and intimate contexts — all of them are involved at once, embracing household matters, interpersonal relationships and your professional activities. If there was ever a year when everything big comes up at once, this is the year: the year for a revolution.

The entire Aries Point effect works to combine personal and collective interests. Study the Aries Point and enough events through the Aries Point and you will see that basically everything comes back around to this concept. Humanity is in such trouble because we have this false idea that one can actually divide the personal from the political. Which is true — but only if you plan to profit from this kind of divide-and-conquer technique.

You might say that your astrology this year is all about unite and embrace, and take territory. I would say conquer but that is too strong of a word, and isn’t really applicable to uniting anything; however, taking strong, assertive action does have a flavor of taking turf — and you will, even if you’ve experienced long delays doing so in the past. This is in part why you need to keep the idea of a win-win approach in the forefront of your mind. If you find yourself running short of ideas, come back to win-win as your core value.

Indeed, you are likely to do something that has never been done this year, against any odds you think you face. Remember, the fact that something has not been done before does not mean that it’s any less likely to happen, or more difficult to make happen. Rather, it means that the development will be that much more meaningful and notable when it happens. Let other people say it was unlikely or difficult: for your part, stick to the ingenuity factor. Stick to how useful you can be, and how much fun you can have being so useful. And if you get invited onto The Daily Show, tell Jon Stewart I said hello.

3 Responses to “Cancer Confidential (for Sun and ascendant)”

  1. Neil Walsh says:

    I am both a seeker and a rather poor Astrologer who only looks at Natal/Psychological stuff really. My mentor was Charles Harvey. Me 9.12 am 1952.London UK. Sun 8 Cancer conjunct Venus/Uranus; Pluto rising in Leo (asc 25); Moon con Saturn 6&8 Libra; Jupiter con M/C, etc. A friend just sent me your 2010 forecast, Thank you(and Lauren!). In many respects you refer to themes of my adult life. More specifically your advice for 2010 resonates with the greater determination I have to “make my mark in the world” to honour me more etc. My life as always seems to resist thanks to all that Saturn, but I am aware that persistence may offer me the jewel beyond price a truly authentic self!

    Thanks Neil.

  2. Amanda says:

    you know… i had opened this page this summer sometime upon the realization that i was starting to “get” the significance of my cancer asc. i began reading but never finished, leaving the tab open for months.

    oy. wish i’d made the time to get back to it then — plenty of great stuff to really soak in, sit with and work through.

    side note: why does the font change partway through the essay? the second half is tiny.

  3. Prosewriter55 says:

    Very right on with the identifying with the masculine and Father issues concerning money….two very distinctive dreams describing just that. I thank you very much for sharing these insights and when I can I would love to have my personal chart done…though I believe this is SO where I am it fits now. Amazingly accurate and timely. My Sun and Asc in Cancer, with my moon in Scorpio..most planets in water signs without any earth. I am remaking so much of my adventure here on earth at this time…it does fit me to a T!
    Thank you again,

    Fellow Cancerian

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