Of Intellect and Spirit

Book of Your Life for Cancer | By Eric Francis Coppolino

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We’re not living in an easy time to make plans, especially long-range plans. We’re living through an era where it’s questionable whether there is a future, though of course, there is one. Yet among the many things being deconstructed are obvious and logical paths to get places, such as how one builds a career. The days of the “career book” are over. We keep hearing experts say that schools are attempting to prepare young people for jobs that don’t yet exist.

Sign Art by Lizanne E. Webb.

And this is relevant to you, because one of the boldest and most illuminated angles of your chart is indeed the professional one. Yet the planets you have there seem to be taking you on a wild and at times erratic ride, with very little you can actually predict. This is a fact, one that you would be wise to reckon with.

Even so, in times of profound change, there are certain time-honored methods for keeping your bearings. And there are other methods for seeing opportunities in the midst of the chaos; an ability that, if you cultivated it, would give you a genuine edge over the competition. There is indeed some competition in your chart, even if you want to do a little better than yesterday or, for example, if your line of work is one that requires you to have a new idea every day.

The solar chart for Cancer, or the whole-sign chart for Cancer rising, places Aries on the career angle. Without looking at a single planet, this says “innovator.” Sometimes astrology boils down to a simple equation (not often — but sometimes), and this is one of those times. You are here to do exciting, interesting and, moreover, new things. There simply must be an element of inventiveness to what you do every day. You will get restless and bored if there is not.

Couple this with the fact that the sign ruled by the Moon is so prominent in your chart — that is, your sign is the one associated with the Moon — from which we know that you need constant, if not consistent, change. You need the ebb and flood of the tides, the changing of the seasons, and shifts in the length of night and day, to keep your mind attuned to your cosmic orientation. The sign Cancer wants and needs cycles. This is the single most prominent fact about your sign.

Aries, your career house, wants to drive specific goals. It’s motivated and pushy in a way that supposedly caring and empathetic Cancer is allegedly not. Yet if you think of the familial symbols associated with your sign, and its association with mothering, there is a biological level of competitiveness that is natural; a mother wants to feed her family. She will go into a burning building to save her child. There are reports of superhuman feats of strength, like lifting up cars, to save one’s kid. Remember that about yourself.

For you, competition is never the end; it must always be the means, used when necessary. And now the thing you have to keep up with are the changes in the world.

One last factor about your chart: you identify strongly with what you do. This is not true of everyone. Plenty of people can go home at the end of the day and be happy to leave their work in the office. You are the kind of person who must become your intentions and give everything all you’ve got. You feel better when you do this, even if you’re having to stretch a little. Being half-hearted does not suit you. You are a whole-hearted person, you want to feel that fully, and you want to be appreciated for what you do. This is the essence of self-esteem and it’s currently one of the most basic elements of your astrology.

Uranus, Eris and Pluto: You and the Changing World

Cancer is a sign on the cardinal cross, and there has been unusual (and continually building) activity on this cross going back about eight years. The cardinal signs assert a new reality onto the environment. The best metaphor is the changing of the seasons. Every time the Sun enters a cardinal sign (Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn), the season changes. New weather patterns, psychological patterns, social patterns and biological experiences come with the change of seasons. The cardinal signs and what they represent push existence as we know it forward.

Most of this activity would seem to be outside yourself. There is interesting movement in Cancer, which I’ll get to, though it’s subtle. The thunderbolts are flying out of the signs Aries and Capricorn, which for you have strong environmental associations: you experience them outside yourself. Aries represents where you focus your goals and reputation in the world; and Capricorn represents the way that the environment and your relationships assert themselves on you.

And you must, of course, assert yourself on them — though let’s start with the first: they are being pushy in your direction. The planets involved are the potent slow-movers: in Aries, Uranus and Eris; and in Capricorn, it’s Pluto. Since we started with your career, let’s develop that — the Uranus-Eris conjunction in Aries.

Aries is the sign of identity. Uranus and Eris are the cresting of energy of the digital revolution, which is running identity through a blender. I’ve spent the past 18 months assessing how this is associated with digital technology and the consciousness that it provokes.

Since this is taking place in your career house, this is one reason why goal-setting is so difficult for you: at the moment, everything is resisting definition, and the changes in society are a maelstrom that’s been relentless over a period of years.

What this says, among other things, is that any professional goal you have is going to be associated with the internet or digital media in some way, probably larger rather than smaller. This may bristle your nerves. While the internet is now being treated like the Borg (resistance is futile), you know that there’s more to life. I would encourage you to maintain that self-awareness.

While there are indeed many aspects of life that seem to be inextricably tied to the digital realm, there are plenty that are not — and you will thrive on maintaining balance between them. This may not be an even-steven 50/50, online/offline distribution of your affairs; but emphasize the distinction between what you do in person and face-to-face, and what you do in a little glowing rectangle. The difference is more meaningful now than ever.

It’s also a reminder that you must maintain awareness of your identity and cultivate knowledge of who you are in ways that are physical, located in your body, in real time, and in real space. This will augment and enhance your digital life considerably, providing opportunities that are not available to those who live exclusively inside the Borg.

In particular, the thing you will be able to cultivate is trust. You still remember what it is. You still know there’s such a thing. You get that relationships are not so vapid that they can be deleted or broken off with a text message. And if you’ve slipped into this modern point of view, you might want to make a careful, conscious retreat into your humanity.

The internet is a robot. Humans become like the tools that we create, and humanity is fast becoming an automaton. In fact humans are faster becoming robots than robots are becoming human. Artificial intelligence is not very intelligent, but the artificial stupidity that many humans and society are adopting is indeed disturbing.

You need to remind yourself that you are not an android, nor are the people you work for, work with, or provide your services to. This means that in all of your professional affairs, you must do your utmost to be a person — the person that you are. One of the gifts of your sign is your value on what is familial, on what is tactile and what has feeling.

These are the assets that you must bring to your work, even and especially if your work is in the digital realm. This translates first to being highly adept within the digital realm, and then to utilizing as many in-person meetings as possible, and telephone or Skype when that is not practical. You want the human touch in everything that you do, and the feeling of quality. Use physical mail whenever you have the chance to do so. Use high-quality paper, handwriting when appropriate, and your very best courtly manners in all that you do.

If you have any control at all over this, make sure that humans answer the phone where you do business rather than those annoying interactive systems. In other words, go retro.

So far I have not gotten to the specifics of what your professional developments might entail, though I reckon you have an idea what they might be. You are probably well on that track, and have conducted your share of trial and error to find out where you belong. The past five or six years have been nothing but a phase of trial and error — and by now you’re likely to be reaching your stride. You seem to be finding the sweet spot between taking yourself seriously and not taking yourself too seriously.

Now, it’s unlikely that the usual kinds of orientation points guided you to where you are now; for example, tangible, sensible goals. More likely your professional life has developed in odd and unexpected ways, with some chance encounters and situations developing into unusual outcomes.

You’ve had to develop a great deal of independence and self-leadership to make this work. And work you have, with the intensity of an inventor. It has not been easy and your work life has likely felt like one long turning point since 2011 or so, almost like a hairpin curve that never seems to end. Yet the road is indeed straightening out and the past is beginning to make more sense.

One factor that has guided you has been necessity. That’s always a good baseline to maintain. Following this principle, you’ve been able to keep your focus, despite some wildly erratic influences. You’ve had to maintain a balance between containing and controlling your vision, yet making sure that you have one.

You must give yourself credit not just for what you have accomplished, no matter how modest you may feel it is, but also for having acquired the skills that are going to carry you forward into bigger and better opportunities.

Whatever you are doing, the essential spirit of your chart is that you define yourself. You set your mission; you establish your reputation; you are the master of the experiment. If you want to accomplish anything beyond the routine level of success, that also entails the highest level of self-responsibility and inner authority. The more revolutionary you want to be, the more focused and — in a sense conservative — you must be.

Your chart is taking so many high-intensity transits over the next few years that this must become a code you live by on a daily basis.

Pluto, Capricorn and the Stability Factor

One of the most standout facts from your astrology involves the association between your relationships and your quest for stability. The discussion of relationships is usually placed along the 1st house/7th house axis. For you that is the Cancer-Capricorn axis. The theme of this alignment is change versus stability.

An image of this is the ocean crashing against the rocky shore. Cancer is the ocean; Capricorn is the shoreline. The ocean has its tides and its currents; it’s constantly changing. We expect the shoreline to be stable, even if it’s defined, in part, by the constant movement of the ocean. You in particular have either depended on others to provide an orientation point, or a rock of stability — or you’ve envisioned that as your ideal.

Yet in your life, the shore is moving. The dependable reference points that you’ve used throughout your whole life are not what they used to be. This includes certain people and your notion of relationships. At times it may have seemed that your relationships were changing in ways beyond your control. However, what was really changing was the foundation on which your relationships stand. This is a conceptual and energetic foundation through which you associated with others.

And this foundation is moving, which means that you are growing. Pluto represents many things in astrology, though I am down with the concept that it describes an evolutionary process. Pluto’s primary message is “grow or die,” and if you’ve been feeling like your relationships have been sending you this message, then you’re right on time.

This particular story goes back to approximately 2008, when Pluto first entered Capricorn. There may have been an intensification of your experiences at this point. You may have also started to have experiences that defied your usual patterns, and that you did not understand. With Capricorn as your relationship sign, you’re probably used to things staying the way they are for a long time, whether it was working for you or not. Hence, the stability factor has had its plusses and its minuses.

By 2011, Pluto was in high gear, approaching the first of seven squares to Uranus. This merged certain relationship factors with professional ones, whether by pitting one against the other, interweaving the two or by experiencing life changes that affected all the most significant aspects of your existence. It was a challenging time to hold things together, though that very fact meant that things were moving, shaking and changing. There was no turning back, though it took some time to figure that out.

Where this left you was in new territory with people. You had to figure out, from scratch, what each relationship was about. This influenced every last association, from the most casual to the most profound; from your parents to your friends to your business associates.

Today this process still continues. We are just over halfway through Pluto in Capricorn. So this growth process will go on for a while, but now you have some idea what it’s about. Those with their Sun or ascendant in the last half of the sign Cancer have yet to feel the strongest expression of Pluto, though you’re at an advantage because you have been gradually growing accustomed to the process.

We might sum it up as bringing the quality of soul into your relationships. Pluto pushes evolution and change of all kinds, and it also grants depth and meaning. It’s fair to say there are no casual encounters under the influence of Pluto in your 7th house. Every relationship is meaningful, if you are willing to engage that meaning.

It’s also true that relationships touch you more deeply. They may reach into you in ways that you don’t recognize at first, and take you to their natural depth. Notice your true feelings for people and make peace with the fact that you feel that way. You may have had a habit of resisting intimacy, and now you have little choice but to yield and open up to allowing others to touch your soul. In this way, you will come to the direct experience of growing into the soul dimension of your life.

The thing not to do is cling. Ride with the experiences, and allow people to be who they are, while sincerely offering them who you are.

There’s one other cautionary note about Pluto in your 7th house, worth repeating. That’s about being cautious with obsession, whether your own or that of anyone in your environment. Pluto definitely has this quality included among its most salient attributes. You may not be able to avoid obsession but you will want to be mindful of it at all times. Proceed with awareness. Know if and when things (by which I mean negativity) go too far. In fact, the time to get concerned is if you notice yourself running out of control at all.

This is a subset of another property of Pluto, which is that of shadow material. Shadow is a controversial subject, which is in its very nature. The essence however is about how we deal with all of the darkest human emotions, including guilt, shame, jealousy, rage and alienation. The tendency is to project these feelings onto others, which means either saying that someone else has them when it’s really you, or blaming someone for causing them in you.

There is profound growth in these experiences. You will have no choice but to use them as consciousness-raising opportunities. This is the essence of the spiritual path: to use anything and everything as fodder for your growth and enlightenment.

This is not easy, though it’s very important. Most people are running around haunted by their own shadows, living in fear of what is in their minds. There’s only one way out of this, which is to bring it to consciousness. One of the most common ways this happens is in relationships. And when this happens, that raises the need for compassion and forgiveness.

Yet this can take real discipline, particularly under the influence of Pluto.

Mars Retrograde Review: The Embodiment

On the topic of relationships and bringing to spirit that which was previously shadow, let’s review last year’s Mars retrograde, which took place in Scorpio and Sagittarius.

The essence of Mars retrograde was the interweaving of these two seemingly antithetical signs, which you might think of as integrating sex with your spiritual path. Adjoining signs are the ones that possess the maximum energy of opposition, as they are the most different from one another. For example, Scorpio is a fixed water sign, and Sagittarius is a mutable fire sign. So there is some real contrast when working with any idea that utilizes adjoining signs in this way.

Not just incidentally, this relates to Pluto in your 7th house because that, too, is about integrating the deepest elements of sexuality, including its shadow manifestations.

Mars retrograde was particularly poignant for you, as Scorpio is your 5th solar (or whole-sign) house, relating to your ongoing sexual experiment in life, and Sagittarius is your 6th house, relating to your healing process and your most practical version of spirituality. My take on the 2016 Mars retrograde is that it represented an initiation that will take some years to integrate, and that we count it as more of a natal chart feature than as something fleeting. The lessons revealed and the integration called for are ongoing and they are relevant to your growth at this time.

The message in your solar chart, with Mars in your sign at the time of the 2017 summer solstice, is to embody the results of what you’ve learned. ‘Embody’ is a strange concept here in the age of disembodiment, though it’s a necessary idea. I’m talking about getting the material out of the abstract and/or intellectual realm, and into the realm of physical activity and lived reality.

To do this, you must make decisions and stick with them long enough to test the result. It’s fortunate that Mars in Cancer is about passion; or, better, living passionately. Yes, it indicates strong feelings, yet what it’s inviting you to do is to live with full commitment.

Living in peace with your desire is one commitment to make to yourself. As you do this, it will have an influence on your relationships. This is to say, as you raise your energy and commit to being real with what you want, others will take notice. Ultimately the result will be living in your body rather than in your head.

Affirmation of your existence is to stay close to your physical being, and taking care of yourself. Denial in any form is something you may think of as disembodiment — as pushing yourself out of your body. We are all under intense pressure to do just this, yet for you it will be especially dangerous if you give in to this influence, and helpful for you to honor your commitment to being alive as a physical human critter.

A Spiritual Odyssey — Be Circumspect

The axis of your chart that spans from the mental to the spiritual is one of the most active now. For you this is the Virgo-to-Pisces axis. Virgo is your 3rd house, that of your ideas and your mind. Virgo on this house reveals that you have access to a high order of intelligence; that you possess something of a scientific mind. It’s a picture entirely opposite the emotional nature usually ascribed to your sign.

There’s a cautionary factor in this house right now, one that will be with you for the rest of your days (as it lasts about another 70 years). That is an odd point called Transpluto, a hypothetical point rarely used or understood by astrologers. Its message is simple: keep an open mind.

One action of Transpluto is to narrow whatever it touches. This could be good for helping with specific tasks requiring high focus and concentration, though it’s more of a caution to be open to learning, to new ideas and to information that might be helpful. It would not be going too far to say that Transpluto in Virgo and your 3rd house is a caution against being bigoted in any way, which is to say narrow-minded. This is extremely easy here in the age where it’s considered normal to filter out anything you might not agree with.

Another rarely used slow-mover, called Orcus, is suggesting that you keep your mind in compassionate mode; that you make a conscious effort to be warm rather than chilly in your thinking and in your communications. You might say that this is a caution against giving in to what is sometimes called compassion fatigue.

Now, opposite these points, in your 9th house of spiritual growth, are many, many planets and points that are taking you on a kind of spiritual odyssey. Pisces is the sign involved, so everything now transiting Pisces is included, among them Nessus, Neptune and Chiron. There are other points involved, all of which emphasize the same basic theme of spiritual expansion.

Chiron in particular is emphasizing the quest aspect of your journey right now. This is not spirituality of the sit-around-and-ponder-it variety. Chiron is not about theoretical exercises; it’s about actual experiences. Pisces is given to imagination; whether that manifests as idle fantasy or as active creativity is the distinction Chiron is highlighting: and Chiron favors active creativity.

There’s a healing process involved. Think of it this way: Pisces is an access point into the direct experience of spiritual reality. You have what could be called organic spirituality thanks to Pisces on the 9th, which balances with your organic intellectual power of Virgo on the 3rd. These are, however, gifts that you have to claim if you want to make use of them. They exist more as potentials and as affinities than they do as advanced gifts.

Your transits through Pisces involve two centaur planets — Chiron and Nessus — which are urging you to do what some call getting clear. The 9th describes your ability to envision your life, and your relationship to your higher self. But it also comes with what you might think of as ancestral baggage: it’s the house that describes the hidden psychological legacy of your maternal line, specifically your mother and your grandmother. With centaurs there, that pushes the ancestral theme as a healing necessity.

What I can tell you from working 25 years as a spiritual consultant is that most people are sure they have resolved their parental issues, yet most have not even defined them clearly enough to see what they are. As a result, most people remain children under the thrall of their parents even as they approach old age.

That the sign Pisces is involved can really make these issues difficult to see. Yet with the help of Chiron and Nessus, you have some focusing power. You have the ability to access the material and to work with it.

Neptune transiting this house is cautioning you to be realistic rather than idealistic. It would be too easy to decide you don’t have to worry about any of this, or to use spiritual approaches that are, in effect, superficial. But what do you have to worry about? Why would you not want to gain clarity?

Your sign is on the cardinal cross. While there has been plenty of activity here (from Uranus, Eris and Pluto), there is about to be more. In late 2017, Saturn enters your opposite sign Capricorn. In 2018, Chiron crosses your 10th house cusp. This may seem like a long way off, but it’s not — particularly at the current speed of time.

These long-lasting and profound transits call for preparation and for clarity. One of the great benefits of astrology is that of foresight. While we may not be able to predict certain events, we can indeed see the conditions that are beyond the horizon.

Combined, these two transits will help you focus your career and focus your relationships. Unlike the outer-planet events you have going on now, Saturn and Chiron bring matters to the human level: of accomplishment, of personal responsibility, and of the need to structure your life. The greater an investment you make in yourself now, the greater the benefit you will reap as these transits take form.

And, notably, the more you do now, the more you clear out now, the less you will have in the way of hassles, obstructions or interference when these transits take hold. In other words, now is the preparation phase, prior to the action phase.

Jupiter in Libra: Feather Your Nest

If all of this seems like a lot of astrology requiring nonstop mindfulness, that’s about correct. Thankfully Jupiter is in Libra, your solar 4th house. This is a wholesome combination of factors that’s encouraging you to improve your home-space. Libra on the 4th house, regardless of transits, means that you will only be happy in a living space you truly love. This is an element of Cancer’s orientation on home.

The first thing to do is beautify. Before that you might de-clutter, in the spirit of clearing away what you no longer want, and making space for what you do want. Jupiter in Libra is all about living in the style that you want to live in. Some people figure out how much this matters, and some do not. It really makes a big difference, and it’s worth thought, time and investment. You may not be into decorating (you probably are but just in case anyone is reading who is not), though you will feel better when you live in a space that fits your psychic and emotional makeup.

With Jupiter in the 4th house, my first question is always: do you like your bed? If not, it’s time to design and create your exactly perfect bunk. If the answer is yes, the next question is: do you like the light in your living space? You need to have beautiful light, as much of it sunlight as possible. My personal guide-rule is only to live where plants will thrive.

Then there’s the kitchen. The center of any home, the kitchen is the place where you cultivate self-nourishment. Your kitchen must accommodate this one most relevant purpose.

Then there’s the question of art. Whatever your art is, your space must be designed to support that experience. Again, this is worth thought, time and investment. The way to do these things is slow and steady, first emphasizing what you remove and how you organize, and then focusing on what you add.

Jupiter is heading for Scorpio and the 5th house, where it will arrive in October. When that happens, you’ll want to have your space ready to handle the increased flow of energy associated with your creative projects and/or sexual adventures.

Finding Level Ground

One theme of the past long phase of your experience has been finding level ground with the people in your life. Pluto in your opposite sign can confront you with the power that others seem to hold over you. You’ve lived through this for a while. There are many sub-themes, including the way you navigate being vulnerable.

It might be difficult to imagine that you have impact on people or much influence over their feelings with Pluto in this position; yet that’s part of the theme.

In your professional affairs, you’ve done a lot of rising to the occasion. This may have manifested as a competitive spirit, though if the process is evolving for you, the newer theme is excelling in your work. This really took hold in the 2011 through 2015 phase, when Uranus in your 10th house was square Pluto in your 7th house. This was an invitation to rise above competition and emphasize cooperation. For you to be successful, rebellion could only go so far. This continues to the present day: what you need is to be inventive, and to devote your inventiveness toward the collective goal that you’re working toward with your colleagues.

Innovation is a personal trait, though you need to keep using it for collective goals. As such, your role is singular; you are providing something that only you can provide, which when combined with other talents will bring out your best gifts and help you co-create something synergistic — the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

This brings me to the subject of self-esteem. One thing to bear in mind is that you’re not the type to be an “army of one.” You’re someone highly invested in the idea of cooperation. Yet this is tremendously productive for your self-esteem. Your value is only rarely to yourself; your true value is what you provide to others.

The sign Cancer is built for self-esteem. You have Leo as your 2nd house of self-value. Let’s hold that thought for a moment.

In 2000, a planet called Varuna was discovered orbiting just outside the realm of Pluto. It was a big discovery at the time, and was given an honorary minor planet number: (20000) Varuna. This planet has the theme of “leveling the ground.” It’s also about keeping promises and honoring contracts. Varuna was in your sign from 1992-2016, emphasizing this as a major life theme.

Now Varuna is in Leo (where it will be until 2043). You can think of this as the total embodiment of Varuna and all it represents. In other words, think of it as living the truth that your word is your bond. This is genuinely a matter of honor, which you actually possess. And this is something that you want to enhance and bring to the forefront of your character.

Leo is already the sign of noblesse oblige. As the most regal sign, and the one associated with the Sun, it’s the ultimate symbol of service. In our painfully uncertain times, your devotion to service, or to what might be better described as your true purpose, is a dependable place to find some certainty. You know your calling. But in case you’re in any doubt, it’s what comes from inside you rather than from outside you.


Chart for Cancer.

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