“The sacred Raskoano (death) is full of inner beauty. The Truth about death is only known by the one who has experienced its deep significance. The Moon carries away the deceased and brings them back. The extremes touch each other. Death and conception are intimately united. The path of life is formed by the tracks of the hooves of the Horse of Death.”
-Samael Aun Weor, Esoteric Treatise of Hermetic Astrology
Cancer the crab is a watery sign ruled by the Moon and governs gestation, growth, birth, as well as the types of groups bound by these phenomena- families, tribes, and clans.
The waters of Cancer are the rivers, wells, streams, springs, and lakes that gestate tribal existence and eventually civilizations. We are also reminded of tidepools with Cancer, the home of crabs and other creatures at the edge of the great oceans.
The Moon is in charge of the flow of the tides, and this lunar influence extends to the water in all life systems including plants, animals and humans. Therefore the Moon and Cancer are very closely connected with the cyclical and fertile nature of the feminine.
Cancer is polarized by Capricorn the sea-goat, an earthy sign governed by the planet Saturn. Cancer is growth and life, Capricorn is time and death. Cancer rules the soft and feminine body parts- the stomach, belly, and breasts, which change and fluctuate throughout the life stages of the female. Capricorn rules the bones and the teeth- the core skeletal structure which perpetuates long after the fleshy parts have rotted away.
Capricorn and the skeleton reminds us of our limited time, the constriction and burdens of karma we face in this world. Cancer, the waters of life and the fertile feminine remind us of the cycle of life that continues, and the blood ties that keep people together to support each other.
The Cancer-Capricorn polarity is about growth and time. Time is growth and movement, and change is inevitable with the passage of time.
Johann von Goethe, in his studies of natural phenomenon, noted the time quality as an under-appreciated aspect of scientific observation, and the need to be present with nature to know it in all its dimensions. A living thing such as a plant is not static in three dimensions, it is nurtured, grows, changes, is never the same moment to moment. All things only really live in the movement and time-based four dimensions.
Growth needs the limitations of time and time needs the movement of growth. The disease cancer, named for the crab-like way the cells manifest in the body, is unchecked growth. In a normal system cells undergo a type of voluntary death and dismantling called apoptosis, but in cancer cells they refuse to die. Cancer-Capricorn is about balance between the multiplicity and progression of life and the simplicity and severity of death.
“Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes.”
-Johann von Goethe