Cancer: The Healer of the Zodiac

Cancer: The Healer of the Zodiac

June 21st. The first day of summer and the season of the first water sign of the zodiac wheel, Cancer. When we talk about Cancer, it might bring up emotions related to the disease with the same name. Even though the naming of the sign and the disease are only related to the crab creature, there is a symbolic relationship between them. You might feel a twinge of sadness or protectiveness when you hear that word, or you might feel fearful and angry. Old newspaper and magazine horoscopes used to put “Moon Children” instead of “Cancer” because of the nature of the word and the fact that the Moon rules this sign.

The zodiac sign of the Crab, as well the Moon, are the one of feelings. In the zodiac’s wheel, start with Aries, who wants to do all the things. We then move on to Taurus, who wants to have all the things, and then to Gemini, who wants to know all the things. Cancer is the sign that wants to feel all the things.

On a conscious level, us Cancerians don’t want to feel all the things, but on the evolutionary path of our soul, we need to feel all the things. We need to slow down, chill, and accept the things we feel without judgment. Feelings happen because they need to happen, and there’s never anything wrong with how you feel, so stop judging yourself. It’s a natural process we must all go through, but this is especially true for those of us with a heavy signature of the Crab in our charts.

Shedding the Shell

When we think of the Crab as a shelled and clawed creature, it is very symbolic to the Cancerian archetype. As a Crab’s body grows, the shell stays the same size. When the body is getting squished in its little protective home, it sheds its shell and becomes vulnerable to predators as a soft shelled crab. To grow, we must become vulnerable and leave our protective shell. Just like you outgrow your shoes as you grow up, you outgrow the capacity of your vulnerability.

This is true for everyone incarnated into a human meat suit; it’s just more difficult for people with a lot of Cancer energy. We must all become vulnerable in order to experience more in life. You have to be vulnerable to start a new job, fall in love, tell that friend what they did to irritate you, or confront toxic family dynamics. The key to shedding our shell as humans is to risk vulnerability carefully and be cautious about who we let in our space when we shed it. This is the core of healing. Choosing not to shed it at all can lead to depression, loneliness, boredom, and a plethora of dark temptations. 

The Protective Nature of the Crab

Protection is the nature of the Crab. Protection of oneself, their loved ones, and even their environment. Cancerians want to protect and nurture everyone they recognize might hurt in one way or another. For those of us with prominent Cancer placements in our chart, when we feel, we feel. As evolutionary astrologer Steven Forrest puts it, “When you were born, the Universe turned the volume up to maximum on your ability to feel.” The Crab is sensitive, but that’s not a bad thing. Sensitivity doesn’t mean weakness. It just means having the ability to quickly detect or respond to slight changes, signals, or influences. With that sensitivity comes defensiveness. Before you get defensive of your defensiveness, understand that this is important in the evolutionary process.

It comes back to protection. When you shed your shell and become vulnerable, which is absolutely necessary in order to avoid spiritual stagnation, you must also be able to defend yourself so the eels don’t take advantage of your shedding process and soft exterior. Cancerian natives must learn to balance the urgency of growth with the natural urge for safety and self-preservation. The journey of growth in Cancer is a necessary ongoing cycle of shedding and progressing, moving ever forward.

The Cancer Soul Evolution

For those born between June 21st and July 22nd (most years), their evolutionary aim is to foster an open heart, to nurture a compassionate and receptive nature. To embrace vulnerability and acknowledge the depths of your own humanity is to walk your soul path. Becoming an enlightened solar Cancerian, one must allow their feelings to flow freely, without editing, restricting, or judging them. Accomplishing this will mend a wound in them that’s as old as time. In progressing on that healing process, they gain a larger capacity to help others on their healing journey. The Crab’s work in this lifetime is to be a healer, but in order to do that, they must heal themselves first. Healing work is the source of their energy and how they recuperate. Healing forms the bedrock of Cancer’s spiritual well-being.

Like the crab in the wild, solar Cancerians truly value quiet away from outward stimulus. Material rewards and public recognition are not nearly as important to them as this quiet time at home. Introversion itself is a spiritual path for the Crab. Home, hearth, and any interpretation of the word family are core to the evolution of this sign. The relationships must be functional, kind, and respectful of the diversity of human nature.

Strategy and Tools

Cancerians should protect their heart and open up to their inner life when safe in order to achieve their soul’s evolutionary goals. As important as it is to shed the shell, we must only do it when we feel safe. People with their Sun in Cancer put up walls and are allowed to value them. Whether it is the physical walls of a home that keep the chaos of the outside world away. It might be walls that are put up around the heart to protect it from others who might do it harm.

They must take time to be in the quiet and let it simmer enough to feel the feelings. The Crab can defend itself and their sensitivity, both emotional and psychic, are tools used to keep from being afraid. They have the volume up on their familiarity with the organic energies of their inner world.

The Shadow

The shadow side of Moon Children is their insecurities. They feel everything and have a tendency to wonder if they’re “crazy” because of it and withdraw into their shell. In an effort to defend their sensitivity, they can sometimes defend it too well. Hiding in the shell is also hiding from life itself. When coming out of the shell, they must be cautious not to trap themselves in a hole of never ending nurturing behavior that drains them of the very life they are trying to experience. Caring for others is in itself a shell and a way to hide from their own lives. Shed your shell and experience life. Heal yourself before helping others. Protect your sensitivity from those who don’t understand.. 

“Excuse me if I seem a little unimpressed with this; An antisocial pessimist, but usually I don’t mess with this; And I know you mean only the best; And your intentions aren’t to bother me…” Alessia Cara (Sun in Cancer)

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