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Cancer - the sign of the Mother

Posted on May 10, 2015 at 3:15 PM

In the US, today is Mother's day -


In honor of the Mother archetype - Today we're exploring the sign of Cancer, the symbolic 'mother' energy in the Zodiac.  

Most encounter their understanding of Cancerian energy through the sun sign articles in the paper.

Cancer as an archetype symbolizes the concepts of mother, early home environment, comfort, emotional expression, and self-care needs.

Cancer occurs in the natal chart of  every individual.  It makes up the fourth sign in the sequence of twelve signs of the Zodiac.  It's "home" position is at the bottom of the zodiac wheel forming the foundation/nest area for individuals.

Not everyone has the Sun in Cancer - but we all have significant portions of our chart and personality that are affected by Cancer and its ruling 'planet', the Moon.

For further exploration of ways Cancer energy may be influencing you, here is a list of various planets and how their influence is modified when they are "IN" the sign of Cancer.  You will notice the repetition of the sign's symbolism - the difference in the individual placements is in how the energy is modified or expressed.

Sun in Cancer - (Sun represents individuality) These individuals shine their light by feeling intensely, expressing their emotions, seeking to nurture others, providing comfort through environment or food.

Cancer Rising [meaning Cancer was the sign on the Horizon at the time of birth]  (Rising sign represents approach to life) - These individuals approach life sensitively interacting with others but also considering their own emotional needs.  They may be oversensitive to others who need mothering and drawn into meeting the mothering needs that they see around them.

Moon in Cancer (Moon represents emotional needs and subconscious reactions) - The Moon is considered the ruling planet of Cancer.  These individuals can be extremely sensitive to the moods of others causing them to be protective, intuitive, and nurturing in response to the emotions around them.

Mercury in Cancer - (Mercury represents thinking and communicating processes) - These individuals comunicate about and with their emotions, often considering emotions in the information that they absorb from others.  They can also provide supportive nurture to new ideas - their own or others'.

Venus in Cancer - (Venus symbolizes relationships, appreciation, and affection) - These individuals are drawn to relationships that FEEL like family.  They are very protective of their own friendships and intimate relationships and express their affection in a very cautious way.

Mars in Cancer - (Mars symbolizes taking action or initiative) - These individuals take action indirectly and can often be shy or hold themselves back because of their own fear and unconscious fears.  However, they will fiercely defend family if their loved ones are threatened.

Jupiter in Cancer - (Jupiter symbolizes expansion and improvement) - These individuals grow and improve throughout their lives using the emotional sensitivity to others as well as opportunities to nurture and protect others.  They are generous emotionally.

Saturn in Cancer - (Saturn symbolizes self-preservation and authority) - These individuals often fall into the self-preservation/caution combination that Cancer and Saturn share.  On the other hand if they can accept their own emotional nature and express it comfortably, they provide great comfort to the rest of the Cancerian family.

A Note about the outer planets - because they move slowly, these planets are in one sign for longer periods of time - and therefore have an infludence on a whole generation of people.  Their interpretation will be true for a whole generation - but their expression in an individual chart will be stronger or weaker depending on placement.

Uranus in Cancer - (Uranus symbolizes uniqueness, freedom, genius.) - The generation born between 1949 and 1956.  They will play an important role in integrating emotions into the growth of the realm of ideas and communication. Example: emoticons

Neptune in Cancer - (Neptune symbolizes spirituality, dreams, inspiration, imagination.) - The generation born between 1901 and 1916. They play an important role in nurturing spirituality and providing a safe environment for the growth of spiritual/emotional connection.  They have a great amount of empathy and my hold a strong emotional attachment to their spiritual experiences. (Neptune won't be in Cancer again until 2065 - 2078.) 

Pluto in Cancer - (Pluto symbolizes powerful change, rebirth, opportunities to dig deep and confront self-darkness.)  The generation born between 1914 and 1939. They are deeply introspective emotionally and have had opportunities to redefine the social norms of family and personal growth. Often feel that their emotional security is threatened.

For more information on how the archetype of mother occurs in your natal chart and influences your expression of emotions and need for security, please contact me for a brief Sun and Moon report.

Current astro-weather update: Venus has just moved into Cancer (May 7) so babies born in the next month will have the Venus in Cancer energy present in their chart.  For those of us living through this time, it is a good time to pay attention to relationships either as a mother or to your mother. It's also a great time to be aware of how you relate to your own emotions, of your emotional health in your relationships, and of how you nurture yourself within relationships.

Mother: Role vs. Identity

Posted on February 1, 2015 at 3:30 PM

Each person is the embodiment of a unique signature of energies.  Whether we interact with that idea as 'personality', 'behavior', or purely in the physical realm of the senses, there is no denying that each individual is unique.


No one person is defined by one particular role.  Although we all start off as infants, we move through other identities and roles throughout our lives.  These ideas (from observed identities and roles) fill out the symbolic language that make up our communication, stories, dreams and thoughts. 


Although we all start out as infants, the infant is not self-aware to make its own existence the first archetype in its symbolic alphabet.  The strongest archetype and initial one that most identify with is the Mother. 


For women, this can be particularly challenging as most, if not all, have some sort of struggle with separating from the mother, choosing whether or not to be a mother, making peace or not with their mother, etc.


But it is the Mother archetype herself that I would like to explore today as we interact with it.  The mothering role can be performed by either men or women.  Mothering is a nurturing function.  Plenty of familes have a father who is more of a nurturer and a mother who provides structure and livelihood for the family.  The association with traditionally defined roles is not what we are discussing here.  Instead let's look at the way an individual identifies herself with the role of mother. 


Many people have identified so strongly with their ability to nurture and care that when the time comes for the mother/child dynamic to come to its natural conclusion (the releasing of the child into adulthood), the nurturing individual goes through a kind of identity crisis.  Being a mother is not an identity.  It is a role.   Anyone can play this role, but it is a role that has a definite beginning and an end.


To identify too strongly with any archetypal role is to become a flat character in a story.  We are made to be much more complex both in our personalities and in our interactions with others.  The mother whose child has grown up must navigate the change in relationship or risk becoming codependent with the child - looking for any way to still nurture and feel as though she is 'being a good mother'.  When in reality, there is so much more for her to explore in her own energetic growth.


One cycle of feminity notes the progression of womanhood from Maiden to Mother to Crone.  Our society currently resists old age - rejecting the value of age and wisdom because it is perceived as a loss of beauty and vitality.  Elders in our society are not often viewed as beautiful, wise, or desirable.  It is a challenge for us as beholders to fight this trend. Instead, we hold the key to our own progress just by viewing graying hair, experience, and the natural slowing of our bodies as valuable for what they symbolize in life experience.  And for those of us without as much experience and longevity - these symbols indicate people who may have a lot of insight and wisdom to offer.


In the popular Disney film "Tangled", the villain Mother Gothel epitomizes this struggle to remain as close to Maiden-hood as possible by clinging desperately to the role of Mother.  Mother Gothel refuses to let go of 'her' child by keeping Rapunzel closeted in the tower. She tightly controls the youthful power that the Maiden inherently holds.  The Maiden, in turn, yields to the Mother's perception of her own youth.  In releasing the Maiden from her clutches, this clinging view of Mother must face moving into the archetype of Crone.  Since Mother Gothel fears old age, seeing no value in the wisdom of old age but only death at the end, she resists letting go of Rapunzel refusing her any kind of independence. 


Although the story is a gross exaggeration of the dynamic, it is a helpful exercise for all of us, mothers and fathers alike, to face our own shadow fears of releasing children to independence and the acknowledgement of our own growth and moving towards the independence of an empty nest and all that it entails.  This is healthy development.  Because development of any life progression must include the return to nothingness. "For we brought nothing into this world and we can take nothing out of it."




Building a Life

Posted on January 31, 2015 at 5:55 PM

When an infant first opens its eyes, it takes in information.  It is the task of the mind to sort through this information and make sense of it.  On a fundamental level, there is no language in the brain for the child to associate with what it is understanding.  Memories, although able to be retrieved at a later time in life, are not reviewed consciously.  Interactions are repetitive and kept to simple, basic needs: food, elimination, sleep.  For most infants these needs are met by one caregiver.  By societal tradition, these needs are most often met by the mother.  Therefore when we speak of a mother archetypally, she symbolizes the meeting of these basic needs.  She symbolizes the nurturing function both in society and for the individual.  But for the individual, these needs may have been met by more than just the biological mother. 

In astrology, the moon is the archetypal symbol of the mother and mothering needs.  Emotions are wrapped into this symbology as well, because it is emotionally that an infant communicates.  The infant has no words yet, no other way of communicating their needs other than by expressing themselves emotionally.  The moon in a natal chart also indicates the individual's emotional expression and needs.  The nurturer of the child pays attention to the crying of the child, because it is an indication that something needs to change.  Many times the mother anticipates the needs before the child expresses them.  In these ways, there is both an influence by the mother on the way a child perceives their own emotional expression as well as a predisposition for how the child perceives how their emotional needs will be met. 


For adults who have moved into competent independence, an understanding of their moon sign can help them understand their own emotional needs, how they are comfortable expressing and interacting with emotions, as well as how they will most often need to be cared for or be able to receive care from someone else.