Cancer is the least visible sign of the zodiac.Piecing a ritual walk together from the remnants of the Cabilla crab, through gorse bushes and stone tracks, is like retrieving a false memory, the visual evidence for truths we prefer to forget. The crab defines the limits of the imagination of Mesolithic Cornwall, to try and get a sense of the original shape by tapping its ruins, following our designated route, is futile. We are contradicted, misinformed, fenced out for every inch of the journey. But the perversity of that desire, to pick up on the energy field, is a strong as ever.
|The origin of the symbol or glyph of Cancer has been given diverse interpretations. Some sources describe it as a representation of the breasts, an area of the anatomy ruled by Cancer and which is also indicative of the inherent nurturing nature of this Sign. Other sources liken the glyph to a pair of crab claws, intertwined in such a manner as to represent the dual nature of the Cancer individual. In this latter interpretation, it is similar to the Asian symbol of the Yin and the Yang. In Vedic Astrology, this glyph signifies the Womb of Time, in which all manifestation takes place and is symbolic of the caring qualities associated with motherhood, as well as spiritual creativity.
In Kabbalistic astrology Cancer is known as Tammuz named after the Babylonian corn god. It is one of the three negative months of the year: Tevet, Tammuz and Av. In Tammuz the walls around Jerusalem were penetrated. The Kabbalah teaches that the course of history transpires from the cyclical energy processes of the year rather than because of physical events. Therefore, by looking at the time at which each moment in history occurs, we can better understand why it happened. Each planet controls two signs, except for the sun, which controls only Leo (Av) and the moon, which controls only Cancer (Tammuz). Because the sun and the moon control one sign each, an unbalanced situation is created in each of these months. This imbalance causes the crab, the symbol for the month of Tammuz, to walk sideways rather than forward and backward. This could explain the many deviations that have occurred during our ritual walks in the sign of the crab.
Cancer is the only astrological sign named after a disease. Nearly all cancers are caused by abnormalities in the genetic material of the transformed cells. These abnormalities may be due to the effects of carcinogens, such as tobacco smoke, chemicals, infectious agents, or radiation. Many modern astrologers consider it significant that the first atomic bomb was detonated when Saturn reached the longitude of 20 degrees Cancer.
|In Greek mythology, the goddess Hecate sent the crab to kill Heracles. Hecate’s equivalent, known as Trivia in Roman mythology, was the goddess of witchcraft, the three-way crossroads, and the harvest moon. As a part of her role as an underworld goddess, she was known as the Queen of Ghosts. Images of Hecate, as a liminal goddess were placed at borders as a ward against danger. The liminal state is characterised by ambiguity, openness, and indeterminacy. One’s sense of identity dissolves to some extent, bringing about disorientation.