Memory is one of Cancerians special gifts. Geminis deal with experience by expressing it. Cancerians by remembering it. The taste and smell of certain biscuits were enough to call up the whole fictional world that Cancerian Marcel Proust created in Remberance of Things Past. Cancerians love all things old; they cling to old possessions and old ways. They are wonderfully retentive; thus they make fine historians-caretakers and custodians of the past.
The symbol of the Crab s highly emblematic of the Cancerian nature. Metaphorically, Cancerians have a hard outer shell and soft interior. They need to feel safe if they are to put aside their brittle exterior and expose their considerable vulnerabilities. They risk little and flinch easily. They are wary, defensive, and quick to withdraw into their shells. Like the crab, they approach the world obliquely, sideways. They tend to be exclusive in their local contacts; at the same time, they are particularly touchy about being excluded by others. And they never forget a slight. The Crabs’ antennae are amazingly acute; another distinctive Cancer gift is great powers of perception.
Extreme sensitivity to their environment and to what others want or need makes Cancerians excellent business people. John D. Rockefeller and department-store magnate John Wanamaker were born under the sign of the Crab. Cancerians are also good resource people-the ones who always seem to know where the best goods can be had or the best services rendered. And they share their information generously-up the point. Cancerians keep score. Their expect their kindness to be returned. If they are disappointed, they become withdrawn and hostile. It is then that the Crabs’ pincers come into play, ripping at the vulnerabilities they sense in others.
According to astrologers, the complex mother-child relationship dominates Cancerians’ emotional lives. The dynamic may play out in any number of ways, with the Cancerian taking the role of good or bad mother, good or naughty child. In the child mode, Cancerians hunger for love; there is never enough to satisfy them. But they feel always compelled to doubt it and therefore to test it, seeing how much a friend or partner can endure before withdrawing or withholding love. In this regard, the generally unaggressive Cancer can sometimes be the pushiest of signs-as history witnessed in King Henry V111 of England.
The Cancerian man is likely to be very much attached to his mother. In his adult life , he may be greatly in need of security, protection, tenderness, domestic harmony, ritual and routine. The Cancerian woman gravitates toward traditional roles of wife and mother, seeking outlets for her strong maternal instinct and her love of hearth and family. She is talented at creating a homey, protective atmosphere, a place of refuge-whether actually at home or among her colleagues at work.
At their best, Cancerians of both sexes are amongst the most loving of people, profoundly intuitive, and quick to grasp and respond to the emotional needs of others. They inspire and nurture growth-of children, animals, plants, projects, homes, ideas, cultures. Cancerian Buckminster Fuller invented structures to house the families of the future. Cancerian Emma Goldman, tough revolutionary though she was, still was moved to provide chicken soup to her colleagues in the midst of the Russian Revolution. It is Cancerians’ task to find the safe haven in which their sign’s exquisite sensitivity can bloom and flourish. Otherwise, the Crab may find itself dominated by the prickly, grasping side of its nature.