Silver Shoes

My Nan will be 91 soon. She still wears strappy heel sandals, still wants to dance past midnight, still watches her weight and is a busy “Volunteer”. Nan first discovered volunteering when the Olympics came to Sydney- she was 82 that year & the oldest volunteer by far. She still helps out at all major community events in Sydney, often catching 3 trains and walking long distances to get to the venues. At her 90th last year she arrived in a silver lame jacket, smart black pants and some silver strappy sandals announced “Darlings, I am here, the party can start!”

But what does this have to do with astrology? Nan’s Sun is in Cancer. And, according to most popular literature, she is not a typical Cancer. Apparently typical Cancer’s don’t party hard, don’t wear silver and heels into their 90s and tend not to survive on diets of cigarettes and aspirin powders. Typical Cancers are supposed to be moody (depending on the moon), gloomy and grumpy. Typical Cancers are supposed to be insecure, depressive, fearful, over protective, clinging and paranoid. (I will stop there…) Not as fearless or dramatic as the Fire signs; not as social as the Air signs or as practical as Earth, and not as sorry as Pisces or as dark and sexy as Scorpio; Cancer generally gets a bad rap.

But when I look at my Nan, I see the quintessential Cancer. The Mother who would do whatever it takes to ensure her children were fed, clothed, housed and safe. The Grandmother whose house is stuffed full of photos, trinkets and memories- all surfaces, all spare pieces of wall. The party animal whose day is made complete because everybody in the room is dear to her. This is also the same woman who will go into fight against anybody who dared to criticise any of her family, and the woman who when interviewed on radio earlier this year could not understand why the journalist didn’t want to hear about her “beautiful family”.

Cancer is associated with the archetype of the Mother- and there is no doubt that Cancer has an innate ability to provide compassion, emotional and physical security and nutrition for their family- but this amazing talent to nurture and protect is extended beyond kids and family to whatever is important. Not everyone with a Cancer Sun (or Moon) necessarily wants or has a family- many Cancer Suns are not even close to their family- but they all need something to look after and raise to be the best it can be. The “baby” may be a business venture, a job, a pet, a project or a partner.

It is often the case, however, that Cancer forgets to look after herself.  Cancer will provide a meal for others and go hungry if extra guests arrive. Cancer will bake up a storm, even if she is on a diet. Cancer will ensure her children are well clothed, even if it means she has to go without. Cancer nurtures the body and the soul, Cancer does more with less and Cancer will fight tenaciously when her “baby” is threatened. Only after everyone else is cared for and the job is complete, will Cancer consider her own needs.

The Moon rules Cancer. Not only is this responsible for their celebrated moodiness, but it also is why  Cancer is one of the most sensitive and emotionally intuitive signs in the zodiac- If my Cancer friends tell me they feel something or someone is not right, I will trust them… implicitly. They feel it.  Born from the need to survive, their ability to see below the surface and read between the lines is second only to Scorpio. Underneath the hard and mistrusting outer shell of every Crab is the soft underbelly of Cancer.

Where is Cancer in your chart? This is the area of life you will feel most ready to grow and nurture. It may also be an area that you feel threatened and need to protect. Feed it, clothe it, educate it and send it out into the world in full awareness that when the bad stuff hits, your creation knows it can come back home for a meal and some compassion.

Happy Birthday Nan.

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