Within the Mooned sands of Cancer is where we feel the first sign of emotion, and it also signifies those first bonding feelings that we feel as children to our mother. In this zodiacal area is where the beginnings of a sense of helplessness and vulnerability take root. The Moon is symbolic of a powerful need for protection, sanctuary, and refuge. Being the first sign of emotion in the zodiac, Cancer represents the earliest forms of emotions and so much of it can express itself in infantile, regressive or dependent ways. Those born of the first four signs (Aries, Taurus, Gemini, and Cancer) as C.E.O Carter wrote are experimenting with new energy:
“From the standpoint of individual psychology one might perhaps call the first four signs, comprising as they do one sign of each Element, as experimental. In them we see the subject experimenting with fresh powers.”
Again, the Moon rules over the mother in the natal chart. Rudyhar’s explanation for this symbolical connection is beautiful:
In astrology, the Moon traditionally stands for the mother…The reason for this symbolism is clear. The Moon is our only satellite; as such, it constantly turns around us; likewise, the mother unceasingly attends to and surrounds the little baby.
In Cancer is where the primary emotions of joy, sadness, and fear first appear and color all of our later emotional relationships with people. Cancer possesses the most powerful urge to protect and to “mother “and within there is a needfulness that underlies the personality. In this intimate world, there is a descent of feeling into emotional depths, down into the basement of our soul.
“Cancer is Mother Nature. Not physical nature, which is shown in the earthy trigon.” By C.E.O Carter
Ancient imaginings of Mother Nature showed figurines as a timeless image, and one of the earliest was The Goddess of Laussel in France. The sculpture showed the crescent of the Moon and the thirteen lunar months. In this model of a woman is also depicted rounded, fleshy buttocks and belly infused with red, symbolic of birth and menstruation. Portrayed as the life-giving female, and extremely fertile it undoubtedly represents the sign’s massive creative abilities.
Water is Cancer’s element and this fundamental aspect of their being is shown by the way feelings can sink below the surface of life. In the emotional realm, we can express in watery terms when we think of a ‘flood of feeling’ “ or ’emotional torrents inside’ or ‘drowning in our feelings’, and it is all linked to the feminine realm. Our emotional development is often thought to be one of the most fundamental facets of psychological growth and most obviously connected to our earliest bond of family relationships.
A loss of security early in life is reflected by difficult aspects involving Cancer, Moon, and the 4th house. Such early wounding can result in tremendous hurt, or in later life there is a deep dependence on loved ones for a constant supply of nurturance. A study done on baby monkeys, which was horribly cruel, separated them from the nurturing of their mothers and families. According to their development, they found it difficult fitting into the environment and were terribly insecure and uncertain, described as having big, lost eyes haunted with a need for reassurance.
Many people can respond in a Lunar way to these kinds of happenings towards others, and it tends to bring out our maternal instinct. On another similar note, concerning our mothering instincts, it was claimed that a serial rapist and murderer used the recording of a baby crying to get women to unlock their doors late at night. In conclusion, our instinctive, protective and caring side, can override all other rational thoughts.
The Moon can stir us to our emotional cores and relates to feeling and deep emotional needs. This silvery body is symbolic of our deepest dependencies, representing a powerful need for emotional contact. A withdrawal from the outer world is also something needed and the lunar-ruled Cancerian needs to go within for that inner sense of security. Cancer people are easily moved by another’s distress and are empathetic and can offer sympathy in comfort. A Cancer cannot bear detachment, acting cold or distant. Much of Cancer’s nature responds to life in an unconscious way and similarly when acting from our lunar side we feel like a child emotionally when something shakes our sense of inner security.