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JULY 21 - AUG 9

"Third Eye" by Hiroko Sakai

The All Seeing Eye of CANCER


The ancestrial home of Cancer, the Crab Nebulae, is known as the birthplace of stars. Many modern-day astronomers believe the sun might have originated from Cancer’s fainter star cluster, Messier 67, although this idea is disputed. Still, it looks as if Cancer may be the kernel of the creation story in both myth and science.

Cancer contains two Messier objects – the Beehive Cluster (M44, NGC 2632) and M67 (NGC 2682) – and has two stars with known planets. The brightest star in the constellation is Al Tarf, Beta Cancri.

In ancient Chaldean and Platonic philosophy, Cancer was called the Gate of Men. It was through this portal that souls descend from the heavens above and into the bodies of the newly born.

Around 2700 years ago, the sun passed in front of the Beehive cluster on the Northern Hemisphere’s summer solstice. Back then, this cluster stood at the apex of the Zodiac, so perhaps it was this heavenly nebulosity that marked the Gate of Men. At present, the sun has its annual conjunction with the Beehive cluster in late July or early August. In a dark sky, the Beehive looks like a tiny faint cloud to the unaided eye. As seen through ordinary binoculars, this nebulous patch of haze instantly turns into a sparkling city of stars. It is an open cluster, one of the nearest to our solar system. The Beehive is thought to contain a larger star population than most other nearby clusters.

The Beehive cluster once served as a celestial weather station. The ancients referred to the Beehive as the Praesepe (“little cloud”). The Roman author Pliny reported that when the Praesepe is invisible in an otherwise clear sky, it’s a sure sign of impending storm.

Although Cancer may be the faintest constellation of the Zodiac, its legacy remains intact. On a dark, moonless night, look for Cancer’s faint grouping of stars to spring out in between the more conspicuous constellations Gemini and Leo


In mythology, Cancer is associated with the crab in the story of the Twelve Labours of Heracles (represented by the Hercules constellation). In the myth, Hera sends the crab to distract Hercules while the hero is fighting the Lernaean Hydra, the serpent-like beast with many heads and poisonous breath, represented by Hydra constellation. When the crab tries to kill Hercules, the story goes, Hercules kicks it all the way to the stars.

In another version, the crab gets crushed instead and Hera, a sworn enemy of Hercules, places it in the sky for its efforts. However, she places the crab in a region of the sky that has no bright stars, because despite its efforts, the crab was not successful in accomplishing the task. Cancer does not have any stars brighter than fourth magnitude.

source: constellation-guide.com


Source: Shabdmanish

Cancer according to Cyril Fagan

• Imagery. Revises, edits, and enhances things incessantly.

• Story telling. Great at physical and vocal inflection, can shift moods quickly and easily. Tendency to flower things a little or dramatize a situation. Persuasive.

• Loves center stage. Darling of the crowd.

• Sensitivity gives most imaginative writers and artists; also makes them extremely touchy, moody, vacillating.

• Deep sense of insufficiency: lives on borrowed prestige. Uses fertile imagination to create an image of grandeur about self. Dream-weavers (or web-weavers).

•Self-centered and self-oriented (selfish). (Most eminent bachelors!)

• Very adaptable. Several business ventures going at once.

• Frequently unemployed , Cancer in toto excels in fewer professions than any other constellation, although motivated individual Cancers do quite well.

• Ardent, covetous, sense of urgency.

• Model-building. Bias toward symmetry, schematics, and creating complex structures (Weltanschauung)

• Need to uncover or disclose, to solve or create problems. Constantly putting together puzzles or solving something.

• Always manage to solve problems for others not for themselves. Born psychologists. Confessional, mirroring.

• Strongly sensitive and attuned to others, can See right through ruses.

• SHADOW motif. Subversive sense, involved in occult, often psychic (cf. Jung).

• Fault-finding (due to jealousy?). Careful, insists on accuracy. Afraid of being caught wrong.

• Tenacious memories, retains knowledge easily. Studious. Self-improvement oriented.

• Masters of organization. Great talent for delegating authority and heading operations from the executive chair.

• Stick to home, patriotic (Francis Scott Key). Nepotism. Politics, political science, etc.

• Chefs, kitchen entertainers. Home oriented.

• A friend in need. Cherishes friendships, willingly fulfills obligations to friends. Mothers, others (friends, pets, etc.)

• As a parent, overly possessive and mothering.


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[These books are for 12-sign astrology; However, aspect and transiting angles are the same
in all systems. Go to our Ophiuchus Rising page for the meanings of the angles,
planets and asteroids in Ophiuchus]

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