The Cancer Path - Emotional Security

by Guru Rattana, Ph.D. - Issue #120 - June, 22, 2006
Planetary Alignments
The Evolution of the Soul

Last month we began a new series on the spiritual path of the Zodiac signs. Cultivating awareness is a progressive endeavor. It takes time, persistence and experimentation to follow our path. A spiritual path denotes moving forward, embracing change, and allowing transformation, while focusing on an evolutionary goal. Evolution is an incremental process. We don't reach our goal automatically. We also don't realize our goal simply by understanding what it is. We have to work with energies, experiment with new modalities, and experience the results. This month we can take another step inward to embrace the Cancer aspects of our path, learning to feel, care, nurture and establish roots. Our main mechanism is our emotional body.

Gemini's path centers on the curiosity of the mind, exploring our environment and having new experiences. Cancer is not interested in roaming around. Cancer has a definite nesting instinct. The Crab wants to put down roots, establish a home base, experience a sense of family, establish emotional connections with others, and feel cozy in a safe environment. Cancer energy is focused. It orients itself toward a specific goal. It focuses its attention in one direction, and devotes its attention to a defined purpose and activity.(1)

Cancer - The First Water Sign

Cancer is the first water sign. Aries celebrates the aliveness of fire energy. Taurus makes us aware of our body and the earth element. Gemini explores the mind. Cancer introduces us to the emotional component of our being. Emotions are unstable by their very nature. Emotions are energy that moves. Emotions move through our body. Our emotions are an energetic entity, and can be referred to as our emotional body.

Dealing with our emotions and befriending our emotional body can be tricky business. We get in touch with very uncomfortable feelings, and sabotaging programs, that run our lives. For centuries, and even millennia, most spiritual paths have tried to ignore, and even condemned, the human expressions of the emotions. However, denial of a critical aspect of our human makeup has produced disastrous consequences, both personally and collectively. Suppression doesn't get rid of this energy. It forces it into our subconscious, and makes us unaware of how it controls our lives. Denying our emotions not only promotes irresponsibility, traumas and unfavorable outcomes; it robs us of the power and pleasure of this dynamic energy of our soul.

The Unconsious Side of Cancer

When we do not know what to do with our emotional energy, we feel insecure, unsafe, unsupported and unloved. When we are emotionally immature, we feel vulnerable and can be obsessively self-protective. Add the highly sensitive nature of emotional energy, and we find that Cancer can be moody, over-reactive, defensive, and even an emotional basket case.

If we do not know how to take care of our emotions, our hyper-sensitivity creates a needy projection, which sends out annoying emotional demands to others. We consciously and unconsciously hope for sympathy, and try to manipulate others into pampering our sensitivity. Cancer's basic needs, to feel secure, safe and loved, can make it overly reliant upon others for emotional sustenance.

One of Cancer's biggest challenges to getting its needs met, is that Cancerean programming is hidden in the unconscious. We are unaware of how we are wired, for an unstated program that others should respond to our needs, even if we cannot verbalize them ourselves. We can alienate others without even knowing why, by our needy projection and defensive reactions. We can isolate ourselves, through our self-protective mechanism that causes us to withdraw into our shell, in response to the slightest input that activates our feelings of vulnerability.

Cancer's Path

The Cancer path is about:

  1. learning how to create a sense of inner security and safety and
  2. learning how to comfort and love ourselves with our own energy.

The only way to reclaim our emotional body, is to take responsibility for figuring out how to use it to satisfy our own subjective needs. Our emotions are the moving energy of our soul. It is our responsibility to employ our emotional body, to create our own satisfaction, security and self-love.

Our inner journey often begins when we become aware of the fact that our methods and actions do not produce satisfactory responses. One of the things we realize is that our desire for intimacy can repel instead of attract. We also face the uncomfortable fact that we constantly feel vulnerable, because we are unable to create our own protective state. We attempt to feel protected by changing or controlling others and our environments.

We get even closer to our truth, when we realize that others cannot provide us with emotional comfort and security. We have to fill our cup ourselves. If we opt to ignore or sacrifice our emotional needs, we only fuel our needy projection. Our healing begins when we start paying attention to our emotional needs, in a non-judgmental and compassionate manner. As we build an emotional connection with ourselves, we are able to stop the unconscious tendency to demand sympathetic, care-taking responses from others. When we stop indulging in emotional manipulation, we also stop exposing ourselves to unnecessary (perceived) rejection.

Activating Our Gifts for Ourselves, then Others

Cancer possesses the innate gifts of being emotionally perceptive, caring, empathetic and nurturing. However, in order to share these gifts with others, the Crab must first activate these gifts for itself. The process of becoming emotionally available to ourselves, begins with the realization that we are emotionally impulsive, and programmed to try to ignore our feelings. That we would try to deny our feelings, when they so vividly operate in our space, seems a bit strange. However, this self-protective mechanism gets installed at a very early age, when our emotional responses are misunderstood, not allowed, go unheeded, or are punished. The feeling of being rebuffed and criticized creates a deep wounding of the emotional body, which is imprinted with the message, that being in our body and the world is unsafe.

Our first job is to train ourselves to perceive and accept our own sensitivities. Then we have to learn to use our emotional body to nurture ourselves. Paying attention to and caring for ourselves, makes it possible to stop using our emotional energy to influence others in order to get attention and sympathy. As we create a base of self-love, we are able to non-judgmentally tune into the sensitivities of others. Allowing our awareness to increase, we expand our experience of human sensitivity and vulnerability. We become compassionate from our own center. We communicate without projecting neediness, or demanding care-taking from others. Our emotional body becomes a nurturing mechanism for ourselves, others and the world.

It is interesting to experience how an objective view of our feelings can clear the air and benefit everyone. Cancer has the innate ability to create environments where everyone feels safe, secure and nurtured.

Cancer gains a deep sense of value, from using its emotional energy to express its natural compassion, and ability to extend empathy to others. Everyone needs to learn to feel safe, being present to, and appropriately expressing their feelings. Everyone wants to feel loved and valued. One of the gifts of the Cancer Mother, is providing the nurturing space that allows others to develop a sense of their own emotional security and self-love.

Direct and Open Communication

Cancer has a very strong defense mechanism, that prevents it from sharing personal feelings and thus relating authentically in relationship. (Instead of sharing its emotions honestly, it projects them unconsciously onto others and into the world.) To overcome its self-imposed limitations in an attempt to avoid rejection, Cancer must learn to face its fear of dealing objectively and directly, with itself and others, about emotional sensitivities. Cancer must get in touch with how it limits and represses its emotional nature.

When Cancer, obsessively and compulsively, lets its fear programs control the responses of its emotional body, feelings of rejection and isolation cause it to further withdraw inside its shell. Cancer privately recoils, at what it perceives as abrasive communication that is unsympathetic to its personal needs. Cancer secretly wants others to respond, in ways that its feelings won't be hurt, and it can feel loved and worthwhile. However, until the Crab can communicate what it is feeling and what it needs, what it perceives as appropriate behavior will not be forthcoming from others.

Honest expression of one's needs is valuable, but as a strategy to control the bahavior of others, it is an endless and futile task. One of the most important lessons for the Crab, is to learn not to take everything everyone does and says personally. People say what they say and do what they do, independent of who we are, and what we want and need. People act from the perspective of THEIR own beliefs, needs and desires. What we have to pay attention to is how and why our subconscious programming gets triggered, take responsibility for our reactions, and take care of ourselves.

The Manifesting Magic of Emotions

Cancer's foremost task is to create an internal sense of security, satisfaction and self-confidence. This is essential, not only to feel safe alone and in social situations, but also to manifest in the world. As we get in touch with our true feelings, and allow ourselves to consciously feel our emotions in our body, we embody the substantive energy of our soul. The embodiment of our emotional body is one of the things that makes possible manifestation in physical reality. Grounding our energy in our body allows it to take root and grow.

Cancer energy connects us with the earth, and is a powerful force of creation. To use this energy to create satisfying situations, relationships and careers, we first have to acknowledge that we are the creator of all the feelings that we experience. As we liberate our emotional energy from the unconscious, we unleash our manifesting powers, and access our hidden talents. We discover modes of self-expression that are truly fulfilling, and that deeply satisfy our basic inner needs. The deep satisfaction that we experience comes from using our emotional energy productively, to pursue our creative endeavors.

From Codependence to Inner Authority

Subconscious emotional fear makes us feel that we need be taken care of by others. We reach out to others for sympathy and protection to survive. Deep within, we actually feel that our life is at stake. This profound insecurity leads us to establish unhealthy, codependent and overly protective relationships. This debilitating bondage can only be overcome by finding, and learning to rely on, our own comforting authority. We can learn to redirect our clinging tendencies by attaching ourselves to our own goals, and channeling our energy to creative expressions. The energy we use to sustain dysfunctional dependencies, can then be used to depend upon ourselves for our own internal strength and support. Taking responsibility for ourselves gives us true emotional satisfaction and freedom.

The bottom line is, that we have to find a higher authority (our soul and the Divine) within ourselves, that we can rely on, and trust to direct us and take care of us. Then we can energetically release others from our net of neediness and unrealistic expectations. As our attachments are released, we not only find freedom, confidence and support within ourselves, others are also liberated to find these empowering experiences within themselves as well.(2) In this liberated state, we get in touch with an exceptional ability to be sensitive to others' needs, without creating debilitating dependencies. We also discover a profound emotional freedom, that makes it possible to experience and enjoy our authentic self.

Trauma or Transformation

Cancer teaches us that we can use emotional energy, either to induce trauma, or to create healing transformation. We continue to create trauma as long as we try to find security and confirmation outside ourselves. Healing of our subconscious fears happens as we get in touch with the security inside our own psyche. Fundamental transformation happens when we attach ourselves to our own energy. By focusing on, and experiencing, our emotional energy, it no longer leaks out and attaches to others. We free ourselves and others to be owners of our own souls.

Cancer teaches us that we have to surrender to our sensitivity, and be brutally honest about what we are feeling. Honesty helps liberate our emotional energy so it can align with our soul. When we no longer feel the need to control others to protect our vulnerability, we free our emotional body to express our true self. We become authentic. Authenticity transmutes our fears. We move into a congruent place where self-mastery becomes possible. We get in touch with our core self and our core values. When we are not afraid, we can maintain a steadfast commitment to our values. It hurts to constantly shift to accommodate to others. On the other hand, it is powerfully comforting to hold fast to what we believe, and to who we are. Being able to commit to our values gives us strength, steadiness and peace. We finally achieve the emotional stability, security and peace we have been searching for.

Creating Stability

By their very nature emotions are not stable. Emotions are moving energy. However, we need some form of stability to be able to hold and contain this ever-changing energy. A certain type of stability is created when feel the flow of our emotions, and go with their flow. What makes it possible to allow the flow of energy, is a stable space in the mind, that holds the body and all the sensations that flow through it without judgment.

Emotions reside in the body. We have to feel the sensations in our body to be present to our emotions. It is easier to stay present to our sensations when our body is healthy. If our body is unhealthy, we want to escape the discomfort by not feeling. However, when we stop feeling, our emotions have no home. When they are deprived their ground in the body, they hide out in our unconscious, and create havoc in our psyche. Therefore, one of the most important things we can do to take care of our body and our emotions, is to consume a diet that is appropriate for our constitution. Although what is appropriate for each one of us varies considerably, there are a few things that are generally detrimental. The major ones include refined sugar, fried foods and processed junk food. Experiment with your own diet, and note which foods support or interfere with your emotional, mental and physical states.

Cancer Mew Moon - June 25th

The Sun, Moon, Mercury, Jupiter, Uranus and the North Node are all in water signs at this New Moon. This is an optimal time for an internal check in. We are invited to use our emotional Geiger counter to monitor how we are doing. Our emotions are indicators on our path. They tell us if we are getting closer to, or further away from, our immediate and evolutionary goals.

  1. How are we feeling? Our feelings indicate the degree to which we are aligned with what works for us.
  2. What is our mood telling us about where we are in relationship to where we want to be?
  3. Are we getting the nourishment that we need to feed our body, mind and soul?
Mercury Retrograde - July 5th-28th

Mercury goes retrograde July 5th at 1° Leo. July 11th it returns to Cancer, and goes direct at 21° Cancer July 28th. Since the retrograde movement is felt before the actual moment, we have over 3 weeks to examine our inner emotional state. The major questions and subjects for attention are outlined in this newsletter. Mercury Retrograde was covered previously in several issues including Issue 6. Try using our site search for more links on this and other subjects.

Capricorn Full Moon - July 10th

Whatever is out of alignment gets revealed at the Full Moon. The earth energy of Capricorn is a stabilizing force for watery Cancer. We can use this full moon to find the place of stability in our body, that makes it possible for our emotional energies to feel grounded and to comfortably flow. On the day of the Full Moon, Saturn (ruler of Capricorn) crosses the 11th degree of Leo where it stationed retrograde on November 21st, 2005. We are ready to move forward. Focus on what you want. Take responsibility for manifesting it, and act from your inner authority.

Jupiter goes Direct, July 6th

Jupiter goes direct at 8° Scorpio July 6th, after being retrograde since March 6th. This is an important event that will release what we have experienced as stuck energy. Jupiter retrograde in Scorpio expanded our internal awareness of what works for us and what doesn't, what expands us, and what makes us want to withdraw from the race. Now that we are clear about our values and goals, we can expand into the world. If we act from our truth, we can take a leap of faith, and move with grace to manifest our vision.

Kundalini Yoga - Exercise

During the month of Cancer, and while Mercury is retrograde, watch what you are doing with your emotional energy. Experiment and experience the nature of the energy that you send out, and how it impacts others. Are you centered within yourself, feeling your feelings and monitoring your reactions? Do you reach out to others to get their attention, or try to elicit a certain kind of response?


SA TA NA MA meditation, or Kirtan Kriya, is a very effective meditation to create emotional and mental balance. Yogi Bhajan said if we could do only one meditation, this is it. This meditation is explained in detail in my free online Kundalini Yoga course Lesson 15.

Do this meditation for either 11 or 31 minutes, for 40 consecutive days. Monitor shifts in your ability to be present to your emotions, and to create a space of internal stability to hold their ever-changing expressions.

Cancer/Capricorn Touchstones

Cancer - My body is my cozy home.
Capricorn - I recognize myself in the world.

References and Footnotes

"Cancer New Moon and Capricorn Full Moon", by Stephanie Austin, The Mountain Astrologer, Issue #127, June/July 2006, p.100-1

"Astrology and Spiritual Awakening", by Gregory C. Bogart, Dawn Mountain Press, Berkeley, 1994.

"Spiritual Astrology", by Jan Spiller and Karen McCoy, Simon and Schuster, 1985 and 1988.

1. Bogart, p. 8.
2. Spiller, p. 56. BE SURE TO READ TO THE END. As you will read later in forthcoming issues, other configurations of astrological energies in the next few months will activate a sense of urgency to define our destiny path and implement our social contribution.
3. I wrote about this in Issue #17 May 2000 - The Taurus Party - Aspects and Cycles.


For news of all the latest astrological events, check out Guru Rattana Blog