Things you should but might not know about Cancer:
* They say Cancers are hoarders or collectors of objects. This is because the Moon (whose home sign is Cancer) collects the lights of all the other planets as it moves very quickly through the zodiac.
* They say Cancers are warm and "giving." This is also because the Moon not only collects the light of the other planets but also distributes the light through her gentle, nocturnal light.
* They say Cancers are secretive and moody. This is related to the fact that the Moon changes faces and even seems to hide each month.
* They say Cancers are family and tribe oriented, or that they are interested in ancestry and things from the past. This too has to do with the Moon's quality of reflection. When we reflect upon something we are remembering what has already issued forth or already occurred. The relationship to family, home, tribe, heritage, and things from the past are all related to the idea of the Moon and her cosmic act of reflection!
* They say Cancers are emotionally dramatic and intense. This may relate both to the fact that full moons were once considered "fiery," in nature, or it may relate to the fact that Cancer is a tropical sign. The word tropical comes from the word "tropos," which means "turning," or "to turn." The modern word we commonly use is "cardinal," like the cardinal points of a compass. But the original conception is a bit more like the pivot point around which the arrow of a compass swings. The tropical zodiac was originally conceived of in relationship to the cathartic pivot points of these four points in the solar year. Cancer was considered both watery and pivotal, hence the emotionality, moodiness, and intensity. Cancers are emotional catalyzers.
* They say Cancers hold grudges. This is related to both the emotional intensity and the memory. In other words, Cancers don't necessarily hold grudges, but they do have good memories and especially for powerful emotional events.
* They say Cancers are romatic and nostalgic. These too are related to the reflective quality of the Moon. Romance and nostalgia are both related to memory and reflection, as well as the shadowy, boundaryless realm of night and the ocean which the Moon is thought to rule. However, romance is also related to the descent of the Sun at the Summer solstice. The Cancer season begins as the light of the Sun has reached its climax and is now descending. In the midst of life and light, in other words, there is decline and descent, like the sweetness of a fruit that's showing just the first small signs of decay. This is the romance of the Cancer season.
* They say Cancers like to nurture and soothe, cook or bake, etc. This is related to the cooling hours of night and the gentler light of the Moon, as well as its constant changes, adapting, listening, taking in and giving out.
SO, if you didn't know, now you know these fun facts.
Here's something else you may not realize. We didn't need to access any mythology about the Moon or about crabs in order to get here. That's not to say that mythology isn't relevant, but it's a good reminder that we don't necessarily need to turn to myth right away for everything. Simple "reflection" upon the astronomical nature of the planets can also show us a lot! And in fact, in most of the ancient source texts we don't see any mention of mythology when defining the signs of the zodiac. Instead we see the correlation of the signs to the planets, to their modality, gender, and element family. Furthermore, we don't really see astrologers reducing the signs to personalized behavioral descriptions like the ones above. This is because depending on what kind of inquiry people were making, the sign of Cancer can offer a lot of different descriptive qualifications (maybe about an event, a job, or another person or situation in your life).
Prayer: Cancer, home of the Moon, help us to reflect, remember, and recall what matters most.