The Cancerian Factor


I've already shared overviews of the two big astrological news-stories of these next few months, (1) Venus's lengthy transit through Leo, which extends into October, and (2) Saturn's three-month return to Scorpio.

What we haven't yet discussed is the sign of Cancer's highly relevant role during the first segment of this duo's extensive influence, now that both the Sun (Jun 21) and Mars (Jun 24) have entered the crab's watery domain.

Whenever astrologers want additional insight into a planet's expression in a particular sign, we look to the position of that sign's planetary ruler (based on a traditional rulership schema which dates many centuries back) for more information. In the current case of Venus in Leo, for example, we'd look to the Sun. That's because Leo is ruled by the Sun, so the distinguishing tone of any planet moving through Leo is necessarily filtered through the Sun's present position. Likewise, as far as Saturn in Scorpio is concerned, we'd look to Mars, the traditional ruler of Scorpio, to tell us more.

Both the Sun and Mars are now in Cancer, and will be so for the next several weeks. (The Sun doesn't leave Cancer until Jul 22, while Mars remains through Aug 8). Therefore, the two main astro-events of this interval must 'report' (by planetary-ruler dispositorship) to the sign of Cancer—and its ruling luminary, the Moon—for their expression. This is an important detail for us to reflect on, considering it brings a potent emotional undercurrent to the corresponding developments we can expect to encounter.

Ever heard that Cancerian types can be a bit (or more than a bit) moody? That's not me hating; it's simply an integral part of their being. As the only sign ruled by the Moon, Cancer is the zodiacal tribe-member most closely attuned to the swiftly-shifting rhythms of our intrinsic emotional nature. The Moon is by far the quickest-moving celestial body we follow in mainstream astrology, traveling through a sign in just 2-to-3 days. The influence of the transiting Moon's sign thus only impacts us for that brief span before it advances into the next sign.

This makes a certain sense when you think about it: The Moon symbolizes our emotions, an elusive and transitory part of our makeup, hard to pin down, dependent on that moment's contextual inflections, colored by our care for others. When emotions are functioning healthfully, they ebb and flow, in continual (even if subtle) motion. We feel, we process, we respond, we move on. When we instead hold on to a feeling and refuse to let it budge, it hardens in its place, creating dull hurts which hinder our capacity to freely move forward.

Factoring in this Cancerian effect, we must stay aware of the fast-cycling quality of the Moon's emotion-based influence on Venus-in-Leo's present expression. Our affections, attractions, and appreciations may subtly veer from one day to the next, based upon what the Moon is up to at that given time. We might seem so certain of what and/or who we enjoy, value, or cherish the most… only to later notice, as our mood changes with the tides, we feel somewhat differently. This is to be expected, and isn't abnormal, even when we aren't under such a Cancerian influence.

However, Venus in Leo loves an exuberantly convincing response, a grand gesture, an epic love-story of one sort or another—and this predilection is only magnified by Jupiter's presence alongside Venus, also in Leo (and therefore, 'reporting' to the Moon as long as the Sun's in Cancer). Though our fondnesses may be prone to continual shifts due to Cancer's lunar imprint, the Venus-in-Leo gestures we make and stories we concoct, in the moment of grandly expressing our fancy, could take on a life of their own… creating such a dramatic splash (Venus and Jupiter in Leo!) that their effects endure beyond the span of our shifting feelings. And then, we might be stuck trying to save face after, say, declaring our lifelong love for someone who no longer warms our cockles as feverishly as they did last week.

Saturn in Scorpio, too, is dependent on the Moon's ever-varying influence for its expression while Mars is in Cancer, a setup probably worthy of its own distinct warnings. Mars is considered quite ill-at-ease in Cancer (the sign where it's 'fallen'), mainly due to the dissonance between Mars's role as an instigator, desire-pursuer, and warrior and Cancer's nurturing, emotionally intuitive style. Though Mars in Cancer is quite effective at asserting efforts intended to proactively provide comfort, care, and connectedness, it can easily get itself into trouble if such efforts are made manipulatively and/or non-consensually. For every sincerely nurturing 'warrior' which Mars in Cancer might inspire to offer their care, there's also an emotionally volatile 'protector' who may carry out unwanted acts of aggression or domination, under the misguided impulse that it's for the other person's 'own good'… and/or a shady snake who covers their tracks or withholds key truths, in a move meant to 'spare' their loved ones the 'upset' which would accompany full disclosure.

In Scorpio, Saturn's duty is to hold us accountable to the full scope of our psychological reality, to prevent us from unconsciously creating turmoil by keeping our inconvenient desires or crude drives in the shadows, where they remain unrecognized until a fateful instant of passion rouses them into visibility. Under the heightened intuitiveness presently brought out by Mars in Cancer, we may feel more acutely aware of the potential hurt, distress, or complicated mix of emotions our actions are liable to stir in someone else. If we are reluctant or unwilling to confront these feelings head-on, considerately allowing the other person a fair chance at responding to any developments pertinent to their life-circumstances, we'll only accumulate a heavier set of consequences… which we then bear for a longer time, under the punishing weight of our dishonesty or shame, yet must eventually deal with regardless, and likelier to more destructive ends.

Again, factoring in the Moon's shifting influence on our emotions, we may currently be more prone to experiencing such 'fateful instants of passion' which later cause us to feel regret, guilt, and/or an urge to deceive once the passionate mood drifts on. Saturn in Scorpio really does want us to embrace our passions, but with mindfulness and longer-term intent… integrating them into the fabric of our lives rather than fearfully and/or passive-aggressively letting them rip a devastating hole right through it. Lest we allow Mars in Cancer to tempt us into showing our 'care' in sneaky or deceitful ways, let me point out the most genuinely caring approach affords all individuals the right to emotional self-determination—and to all facts relevant to deciding which intricacies and entanglements to involve themselves in—rather than shielding them from the truth, presumptuously managing their emotional process for them.

Do we really 'care' so much about someone when we attempt to spare their feelings… or are we merely trying to spare ourselves the emotional challenge of directly presenting them with our upsetting truth? Saturn in Scorpio asks us to courageously face up to the whole ball of wax, forgoing immediate ease in favor of sustainable authenticity.

And what are our own motives for extending any care-giving efforts? Is it selfless love? What do we get out of positioning ourselves as the sensitive hero in such cases? With the Venus/Jupiter-in-Leo influence being filtered through a Sun-in-Cancer dispositor, we must be on guard against such blindly self-centered motivations obscured by a cover of so-called sensitivity. Do we really want to keep someone else hanging on our line, just to make ourselves feel needed? Whose 'need' is it, anyway?