Cancer Rising: The Cancer Soul

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Cancer ©Josephine Wall Http://

In this twelve-part series LCM’s Soul Astrologer Ruth Hadikin explores the fear-based reactions and love-based expressions of the 12 Zodiac signs. We continue this month with Cancer...

The sign of Cancer is associated with home, food, nourishment, family, nurturing, childbirth, Motherhood, empathy, compassion and emotional intelligence. Symbolized by the Crab it is also associated with the ocean, and like a crab it is associated with being near the ocean, yet living on the land. Esoterically there are deep mysteries associated with the ‘quiet’ sign of Cancer. Cancer is the smallest of the constellations, but that shouldn’t lead us to underestimate her power. Cancer is the cardinal water sign, and all cardinal signs are here to take the lead in some way: to pioneer, introduce enlightened ideas and new ways of being into a specific area. In the case of Cancer, that area is emotions. All water signs are about mastery of emotions so as the cardinal water sign, Cancer is here to take the lead in terms of our personal emotional development and lead us into a new era in the evolution of human consciousness through emotional intelligence.

“Cancer: The Light Within The Form”

- The Tibetan, Esoteric Astrology

As we have seen in the previous articles in this series, our Rising Sign (Ascendant) indicates awakening: how we ‘awaken’ into our spiritual reality, how we ‘awaken’ or are born into the world, and indeed how we awaken each day into the world. With Cancer Rising you are really here to learn how to nourish yourself and others, with your Soul-light. The whole journey of the soul through the twelve Zodiac signs is a story of light, building up the volume of light in our light-body, or Soul, while simultaneously increasing the amount of light that can be held and processed in our physical bodies. When the Soul is in Cancer there is the potential for you to become aware of your Soul-light.

“I build a lighted house and therein dwell”

-The Tibetan, Esoteric Astrology


Our Rising Sign indicates how we awaken into our world, into new situations, and stages of consciousness. According to the Tibetan in “The Labours of Hercules: An Astrological Interpretation”, Cancer is the last of the four signs of ‘preparation’ and as a cardinal sign, ‘leads’ us into the next phase of our Soul’s development.  If you have Cancer Rising you are about to ‘leave the womb’ in a spiritual sense, and be born into the next phase of your Soul’s development. It marks a ‘rite of passage’ where we are maturing into our Soul’s awakening.

Not only does our Rising Sign indicate awakening, but also the sign of Cancer is about birth and awakening. In Cancer we experience the first glimmer of our Soul’s presence. We begin to realize that we have a Soul and are so much more than just a physical body. We awaken to a greater aspect of our being. If you have Cancer Rising you are here to find your soul-light and, like a lighthouse-keeper, keep your light lit, no matter what is going on in the world around you. Even if it sometimes feels like trying to keep a candle alight in a howling gale!

The Zodiac uses animal symbols to convey an impression of energetic qualities. The energy of Cancer is crab-like in many ways, for example walking sideways! Cancerians tend to approach new situations side-on, as they feel their way forward. If you have Cancer Rising you may have a tendency to approach new people, places and situations with caution, possibly a little trepidation, and maybe come at it sideways until you can establish a feeling of safety for yourself.

Have you ever watched crabs near the ocean? They have the ability to quickly bury themselves in the sand and ‘hunker down’ to wait until the most dangerous tides have passed. We can use this symbology to understand the Soul’s journey in Cancer. It is about where you place your attention. Because Cancer has the ability to attune to mass consciousness, it is too easy for Cancer to be swept away on the current tide of mass consciousness, fear and emotional over-reacting. This is where the Cancer Soul needs to learn how to ‘hunker down’ and ride out the tide. You do this by keeping your attention on your own light, not the tsunami of mass human emotion that is (apparently) heading your way. When you do this you learn how to keep your soul-flame alight, and by so doing you realize that the real key to changing the world lies in changing yourself.

“Every jewel is intimately connected with all other jewels in the universe, and a change in one jewel means a change, however slight, in every other jewel

- Stephen Mitchell


As the sign of mass consciousness Cancer has a built-in radar, which you can send out to sense the mood and feelings of the collective. Your innate sense of connectedness with all of humanity is the source from which your deep empathy and ultimately compassion arises. This ability to feel what others are feeling, is the key to understanding both the highest spiritual purpose of Cancer and the ego-based challenges at personality level.

Part of the journey for a Cancerian Soul  is to cultivate intuition. It isn’t easy, when you can tap into mass consciousness, to hear your own voice over and above the many. It also explains why the sign of Cancer is associated with fear and caution. If you have Cancer Rising, it is likely that you experience fear on waking each morning! This is because when you first awaken and your mind is quiet, this is the time that you are most tuned-in to the consciousness of the masses, and it is a simple fact that there is a lot of fear rippling through humanity at the moment. You are aware of it. You feel it. All cardinal signs are courageous signs of leadership. This may not be how you initially think of the sign of Cancer, but imagine the courage that is needed to stay focused on compassion in the face of a tide of human suffering and fear. On a very practical level, with  Cancer Rising your first act of courage is to get out of bed in the morning, in the face of all fear, and to stay focused on your light throughout your day!

As the sign of emotional intelligence, part of your work in this lifetime is learning how to ‘navigate’ through emotional frequencies so you don’t keep your attention on the wavelength of fear, but are able to transcend it and hold a higher emotional ‘tone’ within your own being. You understand the truth of our connectedness, by experiencing for yourself that the changes you make within your own being, have a definite ripple-effect in the consciousness of humanity, and that you have the power to reduce fear in the world by first and foremost working on it within yourself. This process of emotional evolution through the water signs begins in Cancer (cardinal water), is consolidated in Scorpio (fixed water) and culminates in Pisces (mutable water).

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries.

Without them humanity cannot survive.”

- HH XIV Dalai Lama


Through your own experience you begin to learn that compassion is not just an idea or a philosophy, but a real tangible energy that you can consciously flow through your own heart-center and by doing so you change the ‘flavor’ in the ocean of human consciousness. The Dalai Lama has Cancer Rising and has spent a lifetime teaching, demonstrating and transmitting compassion and unconditional love across all cultures and boundaries. This is the true nourishment that Cancer brings to the world: spiritual nourishment. When you transcend fear you will come to know that the ‘Divine nectar’ of compassion, which flows through your heart, is what will truly nurture and nourish humanity on our journey of evolving consciousness.

If you have Cancer Rising you are here to bring compassion and unconditional love into the world in ways that you possibly cannot imagine. You do this by overcoming fear and attachment, cultivating emotional intelligence and fine-tuning your own intuition. Your spiritual home is the light that you always carry within, the whole world is your family, and you selflessly nourish others primarily through the emanation of your inner light. LCM

This post is an excerpt from Ruth's book "Soul Astrology: How Your Rising Sign Reveals Your Soul Path and Life Purpose" Click HERE to read more and/or order a copy.

Key Points:

  • If you have Cancer Rising you can think of yourself as a Cancer Soul.

  • The deeper purpose of Cancer is to selflessly nourish others through compassion and unconditional love.

  • To realize the highest purpose of Cancer, the Cancer Soul needs to transcend fear and cultivate intuition.

  • This is achieved by keeping one’s attention on one’s inner light, and cultivating emotional intelligence to the degree that you can navigate through emotional wavelengths.

  • Energy follows attention, so one of the main skills that the Cancer Soul is mastering, is holding focus on your inner light, which encourages it to grow.

  • The true nourishment that Cancer brings to the world is spiritual nourishment, by flowing compassion and unconditional love into the world.


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Ruth Hadikin

Ruth Hadikin

Ruth Hadikin is Associate Editor and website admin. for Life Coaching Magazine.   She is author of "The Bullying Culture" and "Effective Coaching in Healthcare" and has written articles for many professional journals including the Coaching Corner series for "The Practising Midwife" magazine.

She is a Soul Path Astrologer and Coach and writes regularly for LCM's "Living Soul Astrology" section. Get a 25% discount on a soul astrology report from Ruth for your birthday with LCM's special Birthday Offer! Subscribe to Ruth's newsletter and get "Your Essential Guide To Soul Astrology" free! Her latest book is "Soul Astrology: How Your Rising Sign Reveals Your Soul Path and Life Purpose" read more and/or order your copy at
Ruth Hadikin

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