Today we’ll dive deeper into the meaning of things, the essence of things, the purpose of things – as we enter the celestials and spiritual wisdom of the Cancer Constellation. As a spiritual astrologer, I love doing celestial natal interpretations in the astrology readings that I offer to my clients, because this gives them deeper insights from various perspectives, and they are better able to see and connect to what is happening within them, while also better understand how all is cycles within cycles within cycles – cycles within our bodies, cycles along the skies, and this too is how life moves along the cycles of the lands, the inner lands and outer lands.

Astrology is an ancient practice and knowledge, and it is not just to be studied from what is found in ancient scriptures and books, you need to look up to the sky and the stars, have the celestial awareness of how it all relates to one another and to ourselves and our own perspective; have some general understanding of astronomy, as well as mythology and symbology, and how to apply esoteric wisdom and knowledge in deeper and more meaningful ways towards your understanding of the zodiac. In other words: Celestial awareness deepens one’s understanding of astrology.

Today we’ll talk about the beautiful constellation of Cancer, and the spiritual wisdom and true beauty it holds within itself. Let’s begin.

Cancer Constellation

To speak of the love within, the true self, the home of the heart, we need to speak of the zodiac of Cancer. The human heart has two chambers: one receives blood, and the other pumps out blood. This is how we are alive.

In our natal charts, the 4th house, ruled by the zodiac of Cancer represents the high heart and the first chamber, which is connected to receiving, love and nurturing; and the 5th house and the energy of Leo represent the second chamber of the heart which is about expressing our heart’s joy through creativity.

Being ruled by the first chamber of the heart, the zodiac of Cancer is our deepest, most inner self. And what is the high heart? It is our unconditional love – it is the love expressed through the virtues and in its highest self, through compassion, grace, forgiveness, tenderness, joy, creativity, nurturing, patience, generosity, dedication and devotion.

The Cancer constellation represents the “crab” that represents the zodiac month from June 21 – July 22. However, in modern times the sun passes through the Cancer constellation approximately 1 month later. It is one of the original 48 constellations listed by the mathematician Ptolemy, who lived in Alexandria in the 2nd century.

The Cancer constellation can be seen from September to June but can be found high in the sky at 21:00 pm during March. This is actually very symbolic because the esoteric ruler of Cancer is Neptune, ruling over the deep waters and the unconditional love consciousness that we are meant to inspire to be as human beings.

The traditional and exoteric ruler of Cancer is the Moon, which is all about the emotional depth of this energy, its faith and church within – it is the home of the heart and our ability to love. The esoteric ruler Neptune bestows inspiration of a high order and the invisible assistance to bring it into reality. His impressions manifest a vivid and powerful imagination, and are nourishment for the soul if this frequency is constructively used.

The representation of the the water sign of Cancer originates from ancient Babylon. Both crabs and snapping turtles had the same name in ancient Babylonian language and research of ancient script and artifacts indicates that the Babylonian reference was actually of a snapping turtle as various depictions associated with the constellation of turtles (usually in pairs) have been discovered and no reference to crabs. It is thought that Greek astronomers later misinterpreted the Babylonian term.

This shows us that while we may call it the crab, it may have actually been the turtle – and due to its turtle pairings images in artifacts, it shows us of the importance of sharing of our love and partnerships and family for this sign. The turtle understands time and timing – it understands the wisdom of patience and kindness of rhythm, of perseverance and that moving slow isn’t slow, it is purposeful; and it also allows us to pause to treasure in the present moment, and that it is the walk that matters – and that eventually we will reach our destination. The turtle is a very wise energy – and the zodiac of Cancer is wise also, as it relates to Jupiter and the exalted 4th house ruled by Cancer.

The wisdom of Jupiter that is bestowed upon Cancer lies in its deeper heart-centered understanding that compassion, spiritual maturity, love and sensitivity attunement are needed for creating and sustaining long term loving relationships. Jupiter shows that true wisdom is the one of the heart not mind – and that true wealth is the one of the heart, our sensitivity and compassion. 

The Beehive Cluster, M44

The first thing to know about the constellation of Cancer is that it is a dimmer one in the sky. To find it, you need to look for it somewhere mid point between the mouth of the lion from the Leo constellation and the bright stars of Pollux and Castor from the Gemini constellation.

As it is dimmer, we now know we are entering a quieter part of our sky – one that is private, sensitive and internal. We are entering a lover’s intimate moody cocoon.

What signifies its eyes are the two stars: Asellus Borealis, known as the “northern donkey”, and Asellus Australis, known as “the southern donkey”.

And between these two stars is where we find its body – its heart – and in its heart is the Beehive star cluster, Messier 44 (M44), also known as Praesepe. The ancients called this the manger – symbolizing its relation to the birth of Christ and the nativity scene. 

This is deeply meaningful – because in the heart of this constellation we see the making of honey, the making of love, the birth of love and soul nourishment. 

One of the nearest open clusters to Earth, the Beehive cluster contains a larger population of stars than other nearby bright open clusters holding around 1,000 stars. Under dark skies, it looks like a small nebulous object to the naked eye, and has been known since ancient times by famous astronomers such as Ptolemy.

me and the bees

Ancient Greeks and Romans saw the Beehive cluster as a manger from which the two donkeys, the adjacent stars Asellus Borealis and Asellus Australis, are eating. And as such, this constellaton was believed to be one of the main ones that guided the path of the Magi towards the Christ child.

The Sun passes through the Cancer constellation right through the Beehive cluster, which makes it really significant and important to understand symbolically. Bees symbolize divinity, rejuvenation, and the mysteries of the natural world – they are about healing, magic, community, home, support.

They’re viewed as divine messengers in folklore, navigating between the physical and spiritual realms, and are associated with life’s sweetness and virtue in religious contexts. In many cultures and traditions, such as in Hinduism, bees are often associated with gods. The gods Vishnu, Krishna and Indra were called Madhava – the nectar born ones and their symbol is the bee.

Early Christians carved beehives on tombs as a symbol of the immortality brought by Jesus’s Resurrection. Honey is referenced in the Bible over sixty times and is usually synonymous with purity and abundance. Bees embody desirable human characteristics, symbolize Christ for Christians, and provide honey, a common food in ancient civilizations that represents pleasure, sweetness, truth, and knowledge.

What this all reminds us is that it is important to nurture ourselves, but we need to receive this nurturing first from our mothers and early childhood upbringing. The home environment is one of the most important aspects of the health and wellbeing of the energy of Cancer – and so, if you are born of Cancer Sun or Moon, you need to have your home feel calm, and you need to be supported by others.

You also need stability in life. You carry that seed of God, the seed of love, within you, and you need to nurture it into becoming a flower, a beautiful garden from which all others would then be nurtured, and the animals and humans will be nurtured as well. You are the mother of the zodiac – and you carry this honey in your heart. You have a lot to give to others, but you need the support also; because in many ways, you may often carry too much in your heart and feel burdened – because you just love so much. You love little animals, you help them, you care for them, you feed them and nurture them. You love people, your family, you carry their heart in your heart. You love them so much it hurts. You carry within yourself their worries, tears, everything – so you need to find your own home within also where you too can have some honey. Nurture yourself, and do not put yourself last.

The Sun on its path passes right through the Beehive cluster of the Cancer constellation, and this tells a story for humanity, and the human heart. It is story for community – for supporting and helping one another. And it is a story for nurturing – as only when we nourish that honey within our hearts and souls, we can feed the donkeys in the manger, feed the lion’s mouth, feeds souls and hearts – and of all beautiful things will become and be born.

Because Cancer is associated with roses and the energy of Christ love, and a mother’s love for her children, the flower connected to it is the rose – which is the sacred flower of the energy of Christ and the Virgin Mary. It is a symbol of unconditional love, of purity and spiritual wisdom; and a lot of sacred geometry is related to the pattern of the rose, such as the cycles of Venus as she orbits the sky and the unfolding of each of her petals as she grows on her soul love evolution.

Make love, make sweetness, make love through everything in life – in the way you make tea, in the way you view the world, in the way you speak. 

Love is a consciousness – it is a sweet fragrance of a rose, and when we’ve been touched by it, it holds us. It holds us for long after we’ve unheld the petals of the rose, and we touch other’s hands with it. This is how powerful love is, tenderness is, kindness is – because we affect others with it; and it continues its movement, from hand to hand, heart to heart.  

Love is also like bread – it needs to be made and remade each morning, each day, made anew. We need to build love, constain love, emit love. Love has various shapes and forms, speeds and movements, and always, love is a revolutionary power of our soul. Love unfolds through tenderness, patience, generosity, compassion, grace, forgiveness, support, laughter, creativity, nurturing, gentleness, kindness. It is to be shaped and expressed through our lips as words, through our hands and seemingly ordinary every day gestures along the circling staircases of our life. 

Like the bees, we too make honey and love along the way – and if you look at the Beehive star cluster it looks like little fireflies, thousands of them! We leave little sparkles along the way for others to find their own way also – it serves them; and as fireflies on their path, their paths will be lit by some light and guidance forward – especially when they enter the dimmer spaces. Remember the love in your heart, become the honey itself. 

Cover photograph is by me of our beautiful wild rose.

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