Health & Healing Through
the Signs: Cancer
(June 21-July 22)
Element: Water—Receptivity, Emotions, Healing
Planet: Moon—Feeling, Unconscious, Maternal
Body Part Ruled: The Breasts and Stomach
Patient / Listening / Sympathetic / Sentimental / Nurturing / Loyal / Protective
Summer arrives and we slip easily into the nostalgic feeling of childhood, home, pot-lucks and popsicles. The work in the field has slowed, the air is thick, and the water is oh-so inviting. Take comfort, dear one—it’s Cancer season.
Cancer rules the home and the center of all domestic activities, cooking, child-raising housekeeping, but more than this—the emotional labor and physical work it takes to care for another. Cancer individuals are symbolized by the crab, a creature that moves with grace between the physical and emotional, subconscious realms.
They easily feel into other’s unconscious motives and desires. This makes them very apt caretakers, as they not only are able to anticipate the physical and emotional needs of others, but also being active listeners they respond to the unspoken needs of their environment. They are deeply devoted to loved ones, which can also lead to a tendency to over-give and feeling exhausted. When the flow of giving and receiving becomes imbalanced, a soft-hearted Cancer can inadvertently close themselves off to the love and support that is so necessary for their well-being, and retreat behind a hard exterior. They do need support and encouragement in their personal relationships, but the Crab, take warning, is well-equipped with claws and a shell to defend itself from being mistaken as a door-mat.
Cancer’s need to be loved and cared for in return can reinforce this sign’s reputation for being become ‘clingy’ or ‘needy,’ their claws clamped tightly around the overpowered object of their attention. It is important for this sign to be conscious of co-dependent patterns in relationships, as the need to love and be loved turns toxic.
When pained, the sign can also slip into passive-aggressive tendencies, preferring to retreat to into their protective shell, defensively snapping at others, and swirling in their own tidepool of self-pity. However, this sensitive, broody, and moody sign is as dynamic as the moon itself, so rest assured, with a little TLC and time this water-ruled crustacean will emerge.
Being ruled by the Moon, it comes as no surprise that Cancer rules the breasts and the stomach-- both soft, round, and nurturing of life. And true to their nurturing nature, care and sustenance for a Crab come through food. As such, they can be prone to emotional eating. Becoming aware of their emotional connection to food, especially foods that cause them to feel heavy and weighted is of great importance for Crabs.
Their diet often is reflected in the quality of their lymph, the ocean inside us, which can become easily congested in their water-loving bodies leaving them feeling dull, bloated, and stagnant. They may also be prone to gaining weight and have a difficult time releasing it, especially when food is used as a barrier to protect their sensitive self. Food equates to security for these folks.
Care-taking is a cornerstone of a Cancer’s identity, so health is an important aspect oftheir lives which they will gladly prioritize. For the Crab, doctor’s visits and appointments with caregivers represent sources of comfort. Because the Crab has such faith in doctors, it will be important for them to work with providers who can acknowledge their emotional needs-- people who will take the time to ask them about their loved ones, and be sympathetic to their health concerns. Despite being a watery sign, Crabs are not wishy-washy when it comes to getting great care either. They tend to be traditionalists, seeking therapeutics that are ancient or ancestral. They will appreciate any well-known folk remedy, food as medicine, as well as time-tested medical disciplines, like Ayurveda or Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
A Crab’s giving heart cannot be understated. They can live with a perpetual weight on their chest, spending much of their time feeling worried and concerned for the well-being of others, while needing to redirect and conserve this care for themselves. Holding in their sometimes turbulent emotions can create an unnecessary burden on their open hearts. This tension can lead to hard-heartedness, aggression, fatigue, irrational thoughts and actions, and depression. By accepting these emotions and their inherent wholeness, their spirit becomes soft and luminous like La Luna herself. Come to the ocean, open your expansive heart, and let love in.
Wellness Tips for Cancer:
- The sweet, creamy and comforting nature of dairy makes it an apt potential allergen for the Crab. Avoid food allergies and keep a food diary to identify triggers. This will greatly improve mood and calm chronic inflammation.
- Stay mindful of emotional eating tendencies by tempering starches, sweets, and excessive salt with fresh fruits, veggies, and lean protein.
- Water signs need water! Stay hydrated and get plenty of electrolytes to avoid constipation, bloating, and to improve the quality of lymph.
- Support lymph stagnation with gentle diuretics, lymph (breast!) massage, alterative herbs, and gentle movement.
- Keep mealtimes restful, slow, and peaceful—stress at meals is especially harmful for these Crabs, who deeply identify food with safety and security.
- Cancers spend so much time caring for others and when they’re wounded they retreat. It is very important for this sign to consciously schedule ‘me time’ that can give them space to fill their own cup. This will allow them to care for others from an authentic and guilt-free heart-space.
- Like the moon, a Crab’s energy waxes and wanes. Accept the periodicity of your moods and motivation.
- Release the weight of your heavy heart—find healthy ways to express your emotions fully. Flow with your feelings like the ocean tides, and avoid self-destructive emotional holding patterns.
These suggestions are intended to be informative and enlightening. They do not replace the guidance of a healthcare professional.
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