The beautiful myths of the Greeks served to embody the lessons of the zodiac very
nicely. Hercules, the original giant strong man, was said in myth to have done battle with a nine-
headed monster called Hydra. Being super-guy he won, of course, but the Hydra had a friend,
a Crab. In its endeavor to help, the Crab bit Hercules on his heel and we reckon that had him
limping for a while.
Hera, the wife of Zeus didn't get it on with Hercules too well (step-son, you know), and
awarded that Crab a place in the heavens as the Constellation Cancer. That's a neat story, but
the real point is that the fourth constellation of our year is Cancer the Crab and hidden within the
story is the story of the Cancer people. First of all, it is obvious that the Cancer types are
faithful and loyal. Old Crab stuck up for his friend Hydra in its own way, helping however it
could. A bite on Hercules' heel may not be much to a giant, but Crab did his faithful bit (or
should we say bite?). This exemplifies that a fierce loyalty is part of the Cancer thing.
Think about the Crab. Ever watch one move? He is like a sailing ship beating to
windward. He goes North by traveling N.E. then N.W. The crab, at least the one we last
observed, will go straight for the water by running along the pier sideways. Furthermore,
wherever the Crab is, he is at home, for he carries his home on his back, and whenever he
outgrows it he casts it off and grows a new one. Nomadic, secretive, and evasive are the
natives of Cancer. But inside that hard outer shell, should you somehow penetrate it, he is all
soft and mooshy with real feelings and a real sensitivity. Cancerians are faithful and brave.
The glyph of Cancer holds no mystery. It is the Crab. If this is not immediately
apparent you can see it very quickly the next time you meet one. The thing to do is to get down
to the same level as a friendly crab and look it straight in the eyes peering out from between the
shells, and that explains the glyph.
The Divine Password for Cancer is "I FEEL". Hence, the sensitivity of the emotions of the Moon-children. Cancer
people are very emotional. This discovery of feeling combined with the thinking
found in last month's lesson, makes the superb combination that makes us human. Feelings, or
our emotions, are a function of the superconscious mind while our ability to reason is a conscious
function. When we put the two together we have raised our operations to a union of the mental
and the mortal and it is this union which characterizes people.
With the acquisition of "feeling", as typified by Cancer, we bring into play in ourselves
the Cancer Keyword "IMAGINATION". This too is a super-
conscious function, for with our feelings in operation we can now function with our
IMAGINATION is the key to Cancer and the great operating center of the magic. It is
defined as the act of forming mental images of something that, at the moment, does not exist in
the usual material sense. Imagination is the creation of a picture by your own mind. Imagination
is what you can "see" in your mind's eye. This should not be confused with clairvoyance, which
is the art of the "seer". While clairvoyance is a form of seeing, the pictures are seen passively of
scenes at a distance. In imagination we are speaking of an active picturing of things in the mind
of familiar things that may occur in our daily lives, or how we could fantasize our lives. In magic
we imagine, or picture things deliberately, for this imagining is the origin of creating things with
Caesar said "Omina Gallia en tres partes divisa est", which is frequently translated by
disgruntled school children as "All Gaul is quartered into three halves". This was not one of
Julius' most profound comments, but raised to the skies we may paraphrase it and observe that
the signs of the zodiac are, like Gaul, divided into three parts, called decans. Decan means
"ten", for there are 10 degrees of the zodiacal circle within each third of the astrological
The first decan of Cancer brings us the first of the code words related to "Feeling".
Intuition is a way of knowing by feeling things. It is the immediate
knowing of something without having to consciously think of it. Our society, which is a product
of the so-called Age of Reason, has denied this form of knowing things but we all recognize it in
ourselves. It is the "gut feeling" we get about things and the fancy word for it is "clairsentience".
It is hunches and often it is what we really mean when we talk about picking up "vibes". It is an
important form of knowing for us, if often hard to interpret. The wise man will heed these
intuitive feelings and thereby receive more of them and use them to help himself in many ways.
Cancer people are good at this and their intuitions work well, even if they are inclined to keep
them to themselves.
Decan Two Code Word = SYMPATHY
The first of July heralds the second decan of Cancer. The Code Word here is more of this "feeling" thing. Sympathy is something more than feeling, however; it is feeling together. It follows on the heels of Intuition because it is an intuitive knowing with regard to other people. The derivation of the word tells us this. It is derived from the root "sym" which means together; and from "path" which is feeling or suffering. Hence "Sympath", feeling together. Sympathy, then, is the sharing of another person's mental or emotional state, and that too is appropriate to Cancer.
Second decan sensuality may well be felt at mid-month. People's feelings may well
become known and things can be dramatic as the stars harmonize with this sympathy nature to
Cancer's fixed decan. Watch a Cancer child now and search within for your feelings of
sympathy. This can be a good time for getting feelings together with the Brothers and Sisters
and learn a Cancer lesson doing so.
Decan Three Code Word = ASSIMILATION
Cancer is mutable in its third decan for at the end, things are always phasing out and the
new is felt. As you know, all the signs rule some part of the body and Cancer rules the
stomach. The stomach assimilates. "Assimilate> means to "take in".
Just as the stomach takes in our food, the Cancer person takes in also, taking others into his
arms and into his heart. It is appropriate too that this follows sympathy, for only when we have
taken others' feelings are we prepared to take them into our hearts. When we suffer with people
it is then that we want to take them into our arms.
Hence we see as we march through the month of the Moon, the great nature of the
Cancerians gives us the lessons of our feelings. First to feel INTUITION; then to feel with
others, which is SYMPATHY; and finally to take others' into our lives and thus ASSIMILATE
them. This is brotherhood and is the unity which the Wise people seek through their harmony
with each other and the Gods. To be -- To have -- To think -- and finally to rise to our mental
lives through our feelings and to take others, as our beloved brothers and sisters, into
Someone, misunderstanding medical terminology has coined the expression "Moon-
children" for the natives of Cancer. The Moon, lovely daughter of the Earth, child of the Blessed
Mother, rules the sign of the Crab. As such the Moon is of the Earth. She has come to
symbolize the Mother and thus is the patron of all Mothers and Cancer is the sign of
Motherhood. Cancerians are indeed Moon-children and we find, astrologically, that everything
pertaining to "Mother" is under the rule of the Moon and therefore Cancer. The Ruler's
Command is that we shall remember the creator in the days of our youth and our Mother all the
days of our life. It is a peculiar fact that when we are young we seem to forget our origins and
seem forever to lose track of the Mother that bore us forth by the miracle of her fecundity. Let
us remember then whence we came and let our feelings flow with the tides as reflected in our
feelings to teach us intuitively how we shall move upon the Way.