Welcome, Cancer, to the Art of Becoming, your 2018 annual reading.
Here are the contents:
- Your 2018 annual reading | A4 PDF | US Letter PDF
- Charts for your reading
- In the Shadow of the Moon — our 2017 midyear video for your sign
- Your latest birthday reading
- Book of Your Life for Cancer
- Links to previous annual editions
The Art of Becoming for Cancer
“I will not follow where the path may lead; instead I will go where there is no path and leave a trail.”
— Muriel Strode
It’s often said that Americans work too much. I would not say that. I would say that most Americans work too much at what they don’t value, or don’t really like to do. Many people show up at work wishing they didn’t have to be there. The world is becoming more like American society in many ways, with longer workdays, less vacation and less meaningful work — though there are exceptions. You must be one of them.
The mandala (solar chart) for the sign Cancer is oriented with Aries in the 10th place (also called a house). The 10th is one of the most public houses, yet also the one that carries the most responsibility. All signs play a role in every chart and in the amusement park known as life. Aries is where it’s possible to seek and find yourself — and this you do in your house of reputation, your professional activities and your service to society. This is a natural orientation for you.
Despite the Homebody reputation of Cancer, your sign is by all rights one of the most professionally endowed of the lot. Aries is a natural orientation for everyone; we all seek it out for its energy, its impulse toward beginning and its fresh, spring-like quality. Aries is a great place to feel alive, and you have fantastic potential in your work as a result of this. If anyone can find this in astrology-textbook descriptions of the properties of Sun sign Cancer, or Cancer rising, please let me know. Sometimes I feel like I’m writing about a different zodiac from anyone else, though the solar chart is an excellent tool for understanding your sign.
And one property of your sign is that it makes you a pioneer and a leader, at least potentially, when you do the work that you take the most seriously, or that’s the nearest to your heart. It also turns out that your work is where you can do your most effective self-exploration. It’s an actual path of discovery, better than going to an ashram or spending a week at the Omega Institute. Part of how you learn about yourself is by putting yourself out there, taking responsibility, taking charge, and taking the ride.
This has been a somewhat wild ride in recent years, with many unexpected and unpredictable turns. The planet Uranus has been working its way across your 10th house since mid-2010, which reminds me of the story of Jimi Hendrix and Neil Young stealing a car one night in Los Angeles. During these seven or eight years, Uranus in Aries, your 10th, has done a number of rather exciting things, including making seven (count them) squares to Pluto in Capricorn, your 7th solar house, between 2011 and 2014; and then making three conjunctions to Eris in Aries in 2016 and 2017 (both of these transits are somewhat past their peak of intensity, though they will have long-lasting effects).
I’m sure there have been many days when your internal dialog sounded a little like, Wow, this is a lot; I wonder when this will ever settle down; will this ever settle the fuck down?; what the holy heck is going on?
With Uranus in your 10th, your adventure may have included either some instability in your employment situation, you gaining your independence, or some form of extreme independence. If you’ve gone through these seven years and are still in good standing with your boss and the government, you’re doing excellent. If you’ve managed to create some distance between you and your family’s efforts to control you, you’re doing fantastic.
Saturn Enters Your 7th, Chiron Enters Your 10th
In April, Chiron begins the process of transitioning from Pisces to Aries, while Uranus exits Aries and begins the transition into Taurus. (Both planets changed signs in the same era about seven years ago; to visit that time, check this article, my last in 2010.)
This is a watershed moment, meaning that these two transits alone will guide society into a new place, one we’ve never been in before. Combined with Saturn moving into Capricorn, we will soon discover that we’re in another part of the landscape, with a different climate.
For you, of these changes, Chiron ingressing Aries is probably the most important, though Saturn through your 7th — your relationship house — qualifies as well. Both of these transits are high-order because they’re what’s called angular; put simply, Cancer is a cardinal sign, and both Saturn and Chiron are or will be transiting other cardinal signs. Over time, they will make a series of squares to your natal Sun and any other points you may have on the cardinal cross.
Let’s take Saturn first, since this is a transit with many implications. Saturn joined Pluto in Capricorn on Dec. 19. Pluto has been in Capricorn, your 7th house of relationships, since 2008. You’ve lived with this transformational energy in your environment for quite a long time — nearly 10 years, so far, with another six or so years to go.
Having Capricorn as your 7th house suggests several innate things about you. One is that you prefer your relationships to have a degree of structure and durability. You don’t like things to be disposable, as a general rule; and you probably prefer cast iron to Teflon, glass to plastic, and sincere, respectful people to flashy types.
You also have a somewhat formal approach to relationships; there must be a measure of dignity and at least a nod to tradition — for example, in courtship methods and sex roles. For you, in many matters, the old way of doing things is better than the new way of doing things. However, this has its limits, and traditional approaches have a way of evolving into stuck patterns. Pluto moving through Capricorn the past decade describes a way in which many personal traditions have been up-ended, which include dysfunctional approaches to relationships that you learned from your family, and many ways you did things before Pluto ingressed Capricorn in 2008.
It’s not necessarily easy to have Pluto in your 7th house (to put it mildly). In these 10 years, though, I’ve heard very few negative experiences (I was pretty sure I would hear more about stalking, but I have not; we have heard a lot about abuse.) What we are seeing is the shredding of the known order, whether of the banking system early in this transit, or exposure of the corporate-sexual power complex starting in the last months of 2017. We have all experienced this deconstruction, in ways coming from the public sphere, and from within our personal lives.
You’ve done quite a bit of sorting out in these years, which has included dismantling your prior values and approaches to relationships. On this theme, I suggest you review what was going on in your life from 2001-2005, when Chiron was in Capricorn — the last major event in Capricorn, before Pluto. Now we have the next major event, which is the return of Saturn to a sign that it rules.
This is an opportunity for reconstruction or rebuilding, though of an approach more suited to the times that we’re in. You need stability, though nowadays that means real flexibility. Saturn’s presence is also about clearing out the debris of your previous demolition and deconstruction efforts. This includes moving on from people who don’t belong in your life — and that is based on knowing who they are. Said simply, Saturn in Capricorn is your chance to apply all that you’ve learned from Pluto and Chiron in Capricorn.
In any event, this transit seems destined to convince you to take your relationships more seriously, rather than seeing them as the games, opportunities for personal gain, or codependent exercises in fixing people that most people experience them as.
The Strong and the Trusted: Professional Matters of the 7th and 10th
The 7th house involves professional matters as the house of partnerships, which includes artistic collaborations and business partnerships. The 7th also describes certain elements of competitors and what the old astrologers called ‘open enemies’.
Having Capricorn located here further describes a business element to your relationships. In a sense they all must work as a business, which means they all must provide some service and run at a mutual profit, whatever you consider that profit to be. This can be challenging because you’re inclined to take care of people, and sometimes resist being taken care of. If you have not been studying this skill, it’s time to bone up.
So, it’s fair to say that Saturn in the 7th for you represents some unusual potential in business relationships, though these will only work if they are above board, with full integrity and a genuine mutual understanding of purpose.
Your 10th house describes this personal, self-knowledge-based approach to your career; and Chiron will somewhat dramatically increase the personal emphasis on your professional life — by which I mean a kind of urgency to do what is personally relevant, in accord with who you really are, and most of all, something that fosters your growth.
You’re probably already onto this. Yet in a way similar to how Saturn is here to help you focus your approach to relationships, Chiron is here to help you focus your approach to your work — after many chaotic and creative experiments. The way to think of these combined transits is that you’ve already broken down some barriers and boundaries, and now you need to work with the new open space you’ve created. In Aries, that open space is the freedom to be and become yourself, through the work that you do. This is considered so rare as to be impossible by most people, like the types who are willing to go to a job they hate. If this includes you, please count those days as numbered, and take charge of the matter.
Chiron is famous for precipitating a crisis when some obvious necessary action is not taken. Should that be the case, you will get little warnings in advance that you need to take command of your life and pick up the pace of progress.
If you are indeed making progress, your professional activities will proceed with a little extra order and organization than they have recently. Uranus comes with some chaos wherever it goes, and if you’ve grown accustomed to that chaos, you’ll need to get accustomed to something else. This is not always easy. Many people suffer a kind of addiction to calamity, and getting out of that is a learning process.
Chiron’s arrival, which begins in April, will compel you to acquire new tools and a new approach. This takes both creativity, discipline and the willingness to change. However, the gods of change are upon you, and it’s time to make the adjustments that are necessary to improve your life.
Chiron brings two other themes, at least for here at the beginning of a nine-year discussion. Oh, I didn’t mention that Chiron takes more time to go through Aries than any other sign. Chiron’s orbit is elongated, and it takes 18 months to go through Libra, while it takes six times longer than that to go through Aries.
Theme one is your relationship to power and authority. Most people struggle with this. The combined influences of Saturn and Chiron are designed to focus your relationship to authority, which means how you relate to those you perceive as having power, and how you handle your own power. It’s essential that you keep a grip on any rebellious tendencies, and instead, become a mature negotiator.
You will also be called upon to take leadership in our era where this is one of the most serious crises we face. Elvis Costello asked, “Where are the strong and who are the trusted?” You must count yourself as one of them, and live up to your commission.
Pholus and Quaoar: Family and Community
To read for Cancer or any of the cardinal signs, we need to pay close attention to any changes along this axis. Let’s begin the discussion of two other points entering Capricorn, your 7th house or place, the one addressing relationships. The thing to remember about the 7th place is that in addition to describing relationships, it gives important clues to the environment. Every house has its “figure” and its “background,” and the background of the 7th describes something of how you experience the world.
Pholus and Quaoar, important minor planets (much more influential than asteroids) are not well understood and are easy to overlook. Because they’re moving at approximately the same speed right now, they will be making a long, long conjunction in early Capricorn. They will remain within one degree of each other for about the next 10 years, so they’re functioning as one influence. And that influence involves genetic lineage among other things.
This combination of influences is properly the subject matter of a major article, and we will assemble some of my writing on both points on the resources page.
One thing I can say confidently from a couple of decades of working with astrology clients, therapy training, spiritual training and life experiences, is that most people have no clue the degree to which they are the slaves of their parents and grandparents, and of those people’s views on life.
I am not saying this out of any lack of kindness, though I bring no sentimentality to the discussion. The fact of loving and caring about something must be distinguished from the impact that someone’s influence has on our consciousness. Family provides a kind of refuge from real growth, and all growth involves addressing family matters. This is because family patterns recreate themselves in many, many facets of our lives. If someone is dealing with unresolved family issues, they will manifest in some form in almost any group situation.
What I’m talking about is that helpless feeling you might get walking into your parents’ home on a holiday — the sensation of being treated like a child, stripped of your adult privilege, is part of this. So too is the unconscious participation in family drama. This stuff runs deep, and most people do not succeed at addressing it. Many people’s parents (by which I mostly mean the mothers of the women I’ve worked with) run their lives, for all of their lives, even when the mother is gone.
These patterns must be brought out and addressed consciously if one is going to make any progress on this branch of healing (and consequently, many others). Here’s the necessary disclaimer: doing this kind of work often involves confronting the feeling of betraying one’s family in the healing process. Betrayal is rarely stated or claimed overtly. It operates on the level of a taboo, lurking amidst one’s shadowy fears; it is a kind of lever used to push people back into their assigned corner, role and place in the emotional pecking order. This is how all forms of abuse are perpetuated.
To investigate this, it will be helpful if you go back to your great-grandparents’ generation. Your process may take you back further; though if you study the prior three generations, and consider the issues without getting sappy, and don’t back down when you feel like you’re betraying someone by acknowledging their problems or what they did to you, you’ll have an excellent start. However, you must proceed with the objectivity and open-mindedness of an anthropologist: not easy where your own family is concerned, because the emotional triggers run so deep.
Doing family constellation work requires patience, knowledge and some experienced people — though this is what your transits are calling for. It’s essential to recognize the power that families have to render seemingly grown adults into dysfunctional, infantilized non-adults.
Chiron Conjunct Salacia in Aries, Your 10th
Through the whole Harvey Weinstein drama, a planet called Salacia was on the Aries Point. This has been a kind of proving moment for Salacia, which has all the attributes of “salacious,” amplified by the personal-meets-political qualities of its current degree position: the first degree of Aries. That will be redoubled by Chiron when it arrives in Aries in April.
Chiron-Salacia is a developing aspect; it will be within one or two degrees for a while, and makes its first exact conjunction in 2019. Both planets will be conjunct the Aries Point and working the cusp of your 10th house. The theme is sex in the workplace, which relates to sexual patterns and customs of the family. This relates directly to the previous discussion, as the 10th addresses the family; and it relates to the 7th, for all the reasons I’ve described in the section above.
Said technically, Saturn, Chiron, Pholus, Quaoar and Salacia will be dancing around in an aspect pattern for a long time, and this is angular in your chart, meaning contacting your 7th and 10th houses.
With all the discussion of workplace sexual politics and behavior the past several months, there’s been next to no discussion of how this relates to family patterns. In that topic I include family patterns of all kinds: karmic, environmental and genetic. These range from what values were taught, what examples were set, and who did what sexual act to whom. For most people who experience some kind of transgression in the workplace, their problems did not start there. For most perpetrators, their activities did not start there.
There is also the power aspect of sex. Most people are equally starved for sex and power, so when they get a little sexual power, they tend to “make the most of it,” to put it politely, and this goes for men and women. But lacking more overt forms of corporate power, women must be cautious of the way they use their other forms of power — just as men must be cautious of their conduct in corporate and other formally structured settings.
We have a factor to address when considering these issues, which is how enamored of this fusion of sex and power people tend to be. There’s a fantastic 1996 or so piece from Penthouse by Erica Jong, called “Is Sex Sexy Without Power?” We will try to get this up in the resources area. Essentially, she concludes that as much as feminists and others rant on and on about equality, the thing that turns most people on is power dynamics.
Many people want to fuck the boss just as much as the boss wants to fuck them, and part of what they love is the power dynamic. She gives many examples of this, including describing a visit to a dungeon where a dominatrix is working her wonders on the rich and mighty men who come to her. Were this not true, money could not be an aphrodisiac. It just would not work.
When dramatized anywhere BUT the dungeon, where the dynamics are agreed to consensually, and where dommes are well-paid specialists at what they do, we’re usually dealing with unconscious family dynamics. Just remember: family dynamics and sex have everything to do with one another, and most people you meet are repulsed by this idea. Your astrology is urging you to embrace it.
Eclipse Patterns: 2nd and 8th Houses
Since your sign is ruled by the Moon, let’s look at eclipse patterns. I’ll have a parallel discussion in the Leo chapter. Eclipses are currently moving through Leo and Aquarius, which are your 2nd and 8th houses, respectively. These houses address the matter of resources: the 2nd being your own, the 8th being what you share with, and from, others.
Eclipses follow the lunar nodes, which are calculated points that have the emphasis of planets, perhaps a bit more. The nodes represent a process, and the eclipses push that process to peaks several times a year. One of the points of eclipses and nodal movement is to balance out a polarity of the zodiac. In this case, it’s about your resources intersecting with mutual resources. The 2nd is personal resources. The 8th is usually about resources shared in marriage or partnership, though you have Aquarius on this house, so there’s a group component as well.
The North Node is pointing into your 2nd, emphasizing personal resources and the values you espouse. The South Node is in the 8th, for you Aquarius, which is encouraging you to shed certain group dynamics. Aquarius is about crystallized patterns. These involve both people and mental structures within relationship dynamics and social dynamics. These structures are often difficult to discern, almost like invisible magnetic domains that soak through physical space — yet which guide our movements and actions.
This is an important time for you to be able to make up your mind about what you believe, and also to take a new approach to how you handle the views and opinions of groups, and how you let them, in turn, view you. The primary human tendency is to conform; the secondary one is to rebel. You need to take a middle ground, where you assert your bona fide views within group contexts. Then you and the group you’re surrounded by work out your collective position.
Because you’ll have Chiron in the 10th house, you’re going to be sensitive to your own influence. There will be times you need to make decisions on your own, though I suggest you do this after taking the opinions of key people on board. Taking information under advisement does not mean being told what to do. It means that you’ve considered a diversity of viewpoints, then do what you think is right.
The South Node in the 8th house may also be describing a more independent position in your intimate and sexual partnerships. For all your desire for closeness, you need your own space, which means distance when you need it, and the ability to use your resources your way.
This is emphasized by the North Node in the 2nd house and Leo. You can think of this as having your own pile of gold. This can often be addressed by having your own bank account, even if you’re in a relationship where shared accounts are customary. You need your own savings and your own discretionary budget, meaning that you have a budget where you don’t need to consult anyone else when you spend that money.
Varuna in Leo: The Value of Self-Esteem
The 2nd has its roots in personal resources, though in modern astrology it’s really about self-esteem. One of the keys to your success in life is feeling good about yourself. Once you have this as a goal, it’s pretty easy to attain, though it must be consciously chosen.
Eclipses will be helpful, pushing the issue for you, and also pushing contrast on old and new approaches to the issue.
There’s another point in Leo that will also be helpful: Varuna, which was in your sign from 1994 through 2017. Varuna is a distant planet orbiting our Sun, living in the next ring out from Pluto. It was discovered in Cancer in 2000, though it had already been there for six years.
Varuna has been an important influence in your life, teaching you to strive for equality with people around you. If you’re honest and you have some integrity, Varuna is a force working in your favor. Now that it’s taken up residence in Leo, you must continue to work for fairness — for yourself and for those you care about.
One theme of Varuna is contracts, and this placement is urging you to keep your commitments to yourself. This means keeping track of the promises you make to yourself, and making sure you fulfill them.
Pisces in the 9th: Sage and Spirit
Cancer is one of the most naturally spiritual signs. Ultimately everything and everyone is spiritual, though having Pisces in your house associated with religion means that it’s natural for you to espouse values such as empathy and universal love. These things actually mean something to you. When you make a choice to tune in to the ‘higher realms’, you get a dial tone and the call goes through.
Since 2010, you’ve had Chiron moving through your 9th house, which is a beautiful image of making contact with what some traditions describe as your higher self. You’ll know in more detail what this was about once Chiron is firmly in Aries. However, you can consider your journey of the past eight years, and what you commenced around the beginning of that time, as a specific set of spiritual teachings that have advanced your cause in the world.
Chiron in this placement is always a teacher of ethics, which is the most pragmatic level of spirituality, though it’s really a lot more than that. This has been about your ability to make contact with whatever you access through the realms beyond ordinary consciousness, and Pisces in this area of your chart points to soul. Soul is not a thing; rather, it’s a process. It really should be a verb because it’s about the formation of something within you: a way of seeing the world.
In that peculiarly Chiron-like way, this process has, at times, taken over your life — which is appropriate. You will need everything you learned under this transit, as your responsibility level increases. And you’ve learned plenty; pay particular attention to what you’ve gained from any mentors or teachers.
Equally interesting is what’s left behind in Pisces, your 9th place, after Chiron exits: there are a number of deep, long-lasting influences. The first of these is Nessus. This is a caution, among other things, to be wary of potentially false teachers. They will most likely reveal themselves with hypocritical teachings on sexuality. However, hypocrisy in any form ought to warn you away from a potential teacher. A measure of consistency is important, because people teach by example.
Nessus is also a warning to be cautious of the dark side of spirituality. Many forms of pop- and hobby-spirituality disregard this. An example is the Ouija board, a “game” introduced during the height of “spiritualism” in the late 19th century. Most people are familiar with this thing, which people use to get messages purportedly from the other side.
Let’s imagine, for a moment, this is based on a real phenomenon of some kind; that is, it’s not merely physical or psychological but a tap into another plane of reality that opens up. Who is to say what comes through? It would be easy enough to discount any potential danger, but only if you discount the reality of the whole experience. Once someone admits that it actually works, that opens up a whole realm of possibilities few people truly understand. Therefore, few could understand the potential problem of opening a portal to another dimension and sending out a random invitation — wondering who might show up.
However, just thinking something is bullshit does not protect anyone. Indeed, it could make the situation a lot worse.
For several reasons described astrologically, it’s necessary for you to treat anything emerging from the spirit realm — or anything pertaining to spirituality, or to religion — with some caution. It’s better to be cautious while seeking understanding than to be careless while not seeking understanding.
Due to the extended presence of both Nessus and Neptune in Pisces, you need to have filters in place. Both of these points describe what you might call a spiritual vulnerability. Your protection against this can be intellectual, experiential, or spiritual — probably a combination of all three. This is not about being a skeptic or leaving behind matters of faith, which are of genuine interest and meaning to you. Rather, what you need is discernment.
One form of discernment is to be cautious of hypocrites, who are rarely helpful people in any way. Another is to practice the teaching of Jesus conveyed in Matthew 7:16, part of the Sermon on the Mount: “By their fruits you will know them.” This bit of Christian teaching is actually meaningful: you know people by what they make, and by the effects that it gets. Literally, pay attention to what people make, with their hands, and with their spirit.
Wikipedia of all places sums it up magnificently: “Jesus states that one will be able to identify false prophets by their fruits. False prophets will not produce good fruits. Fruits, which are a common metaphor in both the Old and New Testaments, represent the outward manifestation of a person’s faith, thus their behavior and their works.”
Based on your current astrology (which lasts for the foreseeable future), I am suggesting that you be cautious of any professed spiritual teacher, workshop leader, self-help guru, psychic, clairvoyant or astrologer, and that the caution involve having an actual understanding of what they make. This takes time, and it takes experiencing people in diverse circumstances.
What Chiron has taught you the past eight years is that you have an inner teacher, and that’s the most important one to trust, and to listen to. Your inner teacher will speak to you all day and all night, if you are listening. If you do, as A Course in Miracles says, “You will be told all you need to know.”
Works of Hands and Days
Speaking of works, let’s end with some thoughts about work. For the past three years, actually longer but especially the past three, you’ve had some rather high-energy transits through your 6th house of work and wellbeing. These have included Saturn, Pholus, Quaoar, and many other points that have moved — or are in the process of moving — to Capricorn.
You have Sagittarius in the 6th place, which is the perfect blend of work and the ideal motive for doing that work, which is the love of existence. I don’t mean to sound too dramatic here, though your natural spirituality takes up residence in your daily activity far more easily than it does for most other people. This is one of the main distinctions between you and most others. You cannot split apart the actual meaning of your life from what you actually do with your life. You know that you only have one life, not parts of a life that might — somehow, at some point — fit together into something meaningful.
The 6th is the house of everyday affairs, and you have the spirit of the universe booming in through the sign Sagittarius. Now that Saturn has moved on, you’re likely to be feeling considerably more flexibility around your work than you have in recent years. Events have likely pushed your discipline to the maximum; on a few occasions, you have accomplished the impossible.
Sagittarius is impossible to contain; that’s one reason why Saturn in Sagittarius was so challenging. Sagittarius contains two points that are central locations in our region of the universe: the core of our own galaxy, and the core of our galactic supercluster. Even when there are no planets in Sagittarius, this sign comes through at about a thousand times the strength of all the others combined, and you have it placed in your house of work, wellbeing and service.
You have a lot of energy available. For three years, you had Saturn teaching you how to guide, sculpt, form, shape and use that energy. Now you get more wiggle room to do what you want. You finally have more space to breathe, to move around, to make some choices, and maybe even take a vacation.
Cancer 2017 Midyear Reading
Cancer 2017-18 Birthday Reading
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