In my experience, Cancer is the most poorly integrated sign in our society. I don’t find in other signs, such a polarized expression of a sign’s qualities when it comes to gender; women are allowed full expression of Cancer whereas men must basically repress all of it. I think it says a great deal about our attitudes toward femininity, female power and mothers. The patriarchy can co-opt and control the sensuality and femininity of Venus, but it can’t co-opt the menstrual cycle and motherhood of the moon so easily. The best it can do is pathologize and sentimentalize the hell out of it.
Very watery men have it rough. But while watery emotions are denied to men in general, Cancer has it the hardest. Mars ruled Scorpio gets to be the sex machine, the psychologist, the brooding bad boy. Jupiter ruled Pisces gets to be the spiritual visionary, the sensitive artist, the martyr on the cross. But what does Cancer get? Mama’s boy? Male “PMS?”
The expression of vacillating emotions and nurturing/maternal behaviours are both denied to N. American men. Cancer sun men are trained to repress the primary expressions of their own sign, or else they risk antagonizing the gender police force. Which is, despite all our genderfuck and liberal progressiveness, about as fascistic as it comes. For this reason alone, I consider a Cancer sun or moon placement in a man’s chart, indicative of a heightened risk factor for drug abuse and addiction. (Of course, we should expect other placements to support this theme before suggesting this is the case in reading a chart.) It’s about self medication to cope with the complete lack of social permission to unleash one’s full expression of self and one’s primal needs.
Underlying this problem is the idea of Cancerian traits as a weakness. It’s only acceptable for Cancer women to be emotional, because, well, all these weak, irrational, PMSing women can’t really help themselves but men of course, can hold themselves to a higher standard. (That was sarcasm, by the way.) So the fact that women are allowed to embrace Cancerian traits is not exactly something to celebrate.
All our lives, women are told our only power lies in our sexual attractiveness. It’s a double edged sword in which possessing this quality makes you at best, a desired object to be plundered and raped while a lack of it renders you safely invisible and non-existant. We spend so much time and energy learning to preen and pose and maybe we’ll even wield this power to get some of our own, but at the end of the day, the majority of women are unable to escape this paradigm we keep getting shoved into. Even motherhood is slowly being sucked into this vortex with the pressure to be a MILF.
A Cancer that has integrated Cancerian qualities are like exit doors to this madness. The sign’s focus on nurturing and protection, on family, legacy and heritage, on domesticity, on emotional intimacy, on instinct, on receptiveness, fertility and sensitivity, all these qualities offer us a different type of feminine strength that has nothing to do with attraction and seduction. It is not easy however, to find an integrated Cancer. We need more integrated Cancers, especially Cancerian men. Start a gender revolution and support the Cancers in your life!