Cancer: Home is Where the Heart is…


Cancer is symbolically the doorway into incarnation for the soul – who finds its way ‘home’ through the birth process - into a physical body. This sign culminates the journey initiated at conception – symbolically in Aries on the fiery mental plane; consolidated further in the next sign Taurus, by the development of the desire or astral vehicle - at the ‘quickening’ stage of gestation; furthered in the following sign Gemini, by the patterning of the physical template in the etheric body; finally that process is completed in Cancer at the first breath or cry of the new born babe – the soul is incarnate in matter.

The ‘home’ therefore, can be the physical body, or at a collective level it can be the ‘homeland’ – where a nation finds its doorway into incarnation. At a higher level Cancer is the home of the causal body, abode of the soul - the home for the majority of our lives, of the monad or spirit, the highest spiritual essence of ourselves.

The keynote for Cancer, on the ‘reversed wheel’ of life (heading towards the ‘father’s house’) is, “I build a lighted house and therein dwell’. We cultivate qualities lacking in ourselves and seek diligently to bring the personality under control. We are:

“…building the causal body with deliberate intent, filling any gaps that may exist, and seeking to make it a fit receptacle for the Christ principle. The analogy between the prenatal period in the history of the human being and that of the development of the indwelling spirit is curiously interesting.  We might look at it in this way:—

1. The moment of conception, corresponding to that of individualisation.

2. Nine months' gestation, corresponding to the wheel of life.

3. The first initiation, corresponding to the birth hour.

The Probationary Path corresponds to the latter period of gestation, to the building in the heart of the babe in Christ. At the first initiation this babe starts on the pilgrimage of the Path.  The first initiation stands simply for commencement. A certain structure of right living, thinking, and conduct has been built up. That form we call character.  It has now to be vivified and indwelt. Thackeray has well described this process of building, in the words so often quoted:—

"Sow a thought and reap an action; sow an action and reap a habit; sow a habit and reap character; sow character and reap destiny." [1]

The ‘lighted house’ we build attracts all fellow travellers, cold or weary from the rigors of the road, to warm themselves at our ‘hearth’, an evocative metaphor for the magnetic pull of the soul, and a word that easily converts to ‘heart’.

In metallurgy the hearth is the lower part of a blast furnace in which the molten metal collects and from which it is tapped out. In this image is expressed the birthing qualities of Cancer, of bringing something that was fluid and unformed, into form. (Arupa to Rupa) There is also somewhat the hint of Vulcan here, bringing his Ray One will energy to the furnace - from other points of Cancer’s cardinal cross, Aries and Capricorn.

This fluidity also reminds us of Gemini, the previous sign to Cancer, that was mentioned in relation to the etheric body. Gemini is a sign of  movement and restlessness and is most symbolic of the wandering soul searching for the sustenance and rest of a home. It is that yearning for stability, safety and protection which is found finally in Cancer.

Cancer’s nurturing nature is most expressive of that special mother’s love for the child, and it can do so because of its deep emotional empathy and instinct to protect and nurture. Instincts are primitive and remind us that Cancer is one of the most ancient signs of the zodiac, hence closely connected with the instinct to self-preservation and survival. We can see this in Cancer’s symbol the Crab, scuttling under a rock at the nearest hint of danger. Through the rulership of the Moon, Cancer relates to fear, that ‘irrational’ aspect of humanity that still drives 95% of the world:

“The Glamour of Authority … is imposed and ordered through catering to the fear complex, rampant in humanity at this time; and this fear is one of the most fruitful sources of glamour which we have. We might perhaps and with reason regard it as the seed of all glamour upon our planet. Fear has been the incentive to those conditions which have brought about the glamour of the astral plane…” [2] (Author’s italics)

Note the reference to the ‘nursery stage’ of evolution, giving us the image of baby humanity being nurtured by ‘mother earth’. Linked to ‘fear’ is that other Cancerian glamour of attachment to the past (or to anything for that matter), and this is related to the Moon rulership of Cancer and physical memory.

Although a creative faculty, memory constitutes the shadow or ‘dweller on the threshold’ as it puts us in touch with all those unredeemed features of ourselves which have their roots in the past. One of the most healthy options Cancers can exercise is to constantly release this past. In the next part of the watery triplicity, Scorpio, the disciple deals with the dweller being evoked through memory, pitching it into battle with ‘angel of the presence’ or soul.

It is this deep attachment of Cancer to mother, family, tribe, race or nation that can be a blessing and a curse. On the one hand it can bring about stability and a firm foundation on which to build, yet upon the other, an over-attachment to those groupings, being imprisoned in matter and subject to the dictates of mass consciousness. This is where the Cancer individual or group becomes separative toward its fellow humanity, creating a state of isolation, recalling the keynote for Cancer on the ordinary wheel, "Let isolation be the rule and yet—the crowd exists.":

“If you are still an isolated soul, you will have to pass through the horrors of a more complete isolation and loneliness, treading alone the dark way of the soul. Yet this isolation, this loneliness and this separation in the dark night are all part of the Great Illusion. It is, however, an illusion into which the whole of humanity is now precipitated in preparation for unity, freedom and release. Some are lost in the illusion and know not what is reality and truth. Others walk free in the world of illusion for the purposes of saving and lifting their brothers, and if you cannot do this, you will have to learn so to walk.” [3]

When living at the ‘isolated’ mutable cross level of Cancer, the theme and fear of abandonment is foremost, whether it is the child left by the mother, the people forsaken by their leader, or at another level, Jesus on the cross ‘plumbing the depths of alone-ness, ‘abandoned’ by God. It is the pain and fear of not belonging to that family, group nation or God - within which is found identity and meaning. So when a disciple ‘reverses the wheel’ and renounces the status quo, it takes much courage to find the way back to the true ‘soul family’ of which they are a part.

The phrase in the above quote, ‘an illusion into which the whole of humanity is now precipitated in preparation for unity, freedom and release’, recalls the United Nations horoscope, containing a conjunction of Mars and Saturn in Cancer, a most poignant reminder of the struggle for nations to find their ‘home’. This is most pertinent now as the UN is coming up to its second Saturn return in the next year or so, a time of real maturity. It is also a time of major hurdles to surmount, such as the Israel-Palestine problem, as well as other deeply disturbing events in places such as Liberia or Zimbabwe.

Cancer Suns, Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama, both understand the term ‘homeland’ and have fought long and hard on behalf of their respecitve people. Aung Sung Suu Kyi, with Cancer rising and Saturn in Cancer, has like Nelson Mandela, experienced ‘house detention’ and imprisonment because of her struggle for the people of Myanmar (Burma). The American horoscope, which is a world horoscope because of its declaration of human rights, is also a Cancer Sun, as is its current president George W. Bush.

Both H.H. The Dalai Lama and George W. Bush were born on July 6, and will experience the transit of Saturn close to their respective Suns briefly this October 2003. Saturn comes back to go over their Suns in June 2004. A Saturn transit to the Sun can be most onerous in terms of the particularly difficult tests that Saturn applies, and it can also restrain the lifeforce of the Sun and have a negative effect on health.

Washington and New York are ruled respectively at soul and personality levels by Cancer, as is the 1776 Declaration of Independence horoscope for America. If New York does indeed constitute the solar plexus centre of the world, its Cancerian personality was most suited to the absorption of the emotional shock of 9/11 – and the outpouring of empathy that followed. Nevertheless, transiting Saturn’s conjunction to the American Sun in 2003 and 2004 will most likely be intimately related to these two cities, particularly as Washington is the seat of government.

Saturn’s recent ingress into Cancer (until 2005), will signal some important changes. It is a sign of Saturn’s detriment and creates challenging conditions, leading to a ‘needed’ struggle that can eventually destroy patterns built up through wrong orientation toward life. It is said that the power of Saturn in Cancer ‘furthers the ends and purposes’ of the fourth ray – the ray of Harmony through Conflict - Humanity’s ray par excellence.

Saturn in Cancer can force us to face up to our most deep-seated fears, as well as family responsibilities, or on the other hand, unhealthy attachments to family or groups. As both Saturn and Cancer are related to resources and money, and their upkeep, this is a time when the world could really feel the pinch economically, yet also an increasing awareness of the wise and compassionate use of money and debt in developing countries – the ‘family of nations’ of which we are a part. If there were a recession for example, there may result an increased awareness of what is really necessary in life - and a greater rejection of the materialistic maya within which we all swim. Scotland, ruled by Cancer, and demonstrative of many of the positive and negative traits of this sign, will be interesting to watch over the next couple of years.

However, the hoarding mentality (based upon fear) of the unevolved Cancer in the realm of possessions and money could be the point of least resistance for many during this cycle. Saturn in Cancer can give many a distinct sense of ‘lack’ and even a poverty mentality. The last time Australia experienced the transit of Saturn in Cancer (opposite her Capricorn Sun) the government of the day lost the parliamentary support needed to pass government expenditure bills (the blocking of supply), and the Whitlam government was dismissed from office by the governor-general.

‘Hoarding’ can also extend to the emotional realm – traditionally emotional expression can be frustrated with Saturn in Cancer, and one can feel isolated and alone. Hence Saturn’s lessons for the next couple of years has much to teach about being open to receive the Divine Flow, and allowing it to flow back out from the heart. The tendency to hoard or hold onto will only result in emotional or monetary tight-fistedness, a parsimonious heart.

The transit of Saturn in Cancer is a good time to start building those forms that will provide a sound foundation upon which to consolidate during the next 28 year Saturn cycle - whether it is a financial plan, a relationship or the learning of a new body of knowledge.

The third ray of Active Intelligence comes through Cancer, making it a birther of ideas – especially with practical Saturn transiting this sign. The seventh ray of Ceremonial Order also comes through Cancer, and along with the third ray, helps these ideas precipitate into practical, useful resources. Indeed, the seventh ray of Magic, aligned with the forces of Cancer, is capable of manifesting some truly wondrous creations during this time. This is particularly so as we are currently in a subcycle of the seventh ray (1975-2025) within  a greater cycle (1675-2375).

Nations like Russia and Spain who are a seventh ray soul and personality respectively, may be ones to watch for response to these forces. By the same token nations ruled by Cancer at a soul level, like Turkey and Argentina, will also be worth noting in terms of their responses.

It is interesting that Cancer has strong mental rays coming through it, yet is an intensely feeling sign. Indeed, the soul ruler of Cancer is Neptune, God of the Waters - our watery emotional nature. Neptune is closely related to the second ray of Love-Wisdom, and is as students are aware, another name for The Christ:

“In certain ancient formulas, the great Teacher of the West and the present world Initiator, Christ, is spoken of as Neptune, Who rules the ocean…” [4]

Cancer is ruled by the Moon at an exoteric level and relates to the biological (non-spiritual) influences upon the growth of forms in nature. Neptune as soul ruler is related to the feeling-sensitive nature which dominates ordinary people. Both planets control the lower psychic nature and lead to the unfoldment of the form and the emotional body – important in the soul's experience.

It is said that it is fortunate that the moon steps down the higher vibrations of Neptune because humanity is not equipped to deal with them. The most common expression in this sense is the vague subtlety of Cancer, addiction in its many forms, or the glamourous world of movies and media.

The Master D.K. has said that an initiated person does not react to ordinary feeling, sentiment or the personality reactions of pleasure or pain. The watery-emotional reaction is superceded by the life of a true and inclusive love. Eventually soul control obliterates the moon and all traces of Neptune life and the initiate is no longer ruled by the Mother of Forms or God of the Waters.

For many of us that may be a distant possibility or we may be in the process of moving to that point. In the meantime, may we reside beside our bright hearths, lighting the windows warmly in the night.

Phillip Lindsay © 2003


[1] Initiation Human and Solar, Alice A. Bailey. pp.63-4.

[2] Glamour: A World Problem, Alice A. Bailey. p.46.

[3] Esoteric Astrology, Alice A. Bailey. p.343.

[4] Esoteric Astrology, Alice A. Bailey. p.219.

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Blackouts 2003 - Saturn in Cancer:
Lessons in the Right Use of Energy?


The subect of power blackouts seems to be coming to a head for the world in the wake of recent events in North America. For the past few years chronic energy shortages have been affecting some of the world's major cities. This summer in the northern hemisphere has placed an incredible load on power supply systems in Europe, the middle east and America.

From Auckland to Tokyo to Los Angeles it is the same – threatened power cuts and the fear it generates, economically, or just surviving weather extremes. Notwithstanding, there seems to be a general trend toward nations living beyond their means power-wise, whether it is having all the domestic appliance luxuries, or in the IT and manufacturing industries . The situation also highlights the ways that power is generated – hydro, coal, oil, nuclear – and alternatives such as solar and wind power.

In esotericism, electricity is known as ‘fire by friction’, and is the manifested effect of the third ray of Active-Intelligence. Saturn and the Earth are the respective rulers of the this ray, which we are told transmits through Cancer the most powerfully in our current cycle.[1] Hence Saturn’s transit through Cancer from June 2003 to July 2005 will bring up many issues related to this energy and resources theme, as it did in its last cycle through this sign in the mid-seventies.

Much energy generated in the world today is from finite and inefficient, pollution-creating resources such as oil and coal. In many cases hydro electricity does not have a great track record in terms of degraded environments, salinity problems and water shortages. This leaves the door wide open for other forms of energy to be harnessed and developed, such as solar or nuclear fusion, as opposed to nuclear fission.

Looking at North Americaq’s recent blackout on August 14, 2003, transiting Saturn was approaching an exact square to the Libran Ascendant and Jupiter of the New York horoscope. The third ray is the only ray that passes through Libra and one of the most powerful through Capricorn, New York’s sun sign (January 1, 1898).  Also, New York is a third ray personality, ruled by Cancer. [2]

Transiting Saturn is also approaching the midheaven of this New York horoscope, bringing this city prominently to the fore, mainly through having a contracting effect upon New York’s  rather expansive Jupiter (‘big apple’) on the ascendant. There are other ways of looking at general trends during this period. An ‘ingress’ chart is set up for when any planet enters a sign, creating a new chart. The Saturn into Cancer ingress chart for June 2003 also has the Moon in Cancer making a difficult square to New York’s Moon in Aries, currently conjoined by its progressed Sun in Aries. The Sun is exalted in Aries, and is a symbol of the power and life-giving energy of the Sun.

The ingress chart has the Sun in Gemini opposite Pluto, planet of power, therefore this theme will be a keynote for the whole world until 2005. Gemini esoterically relates to the etheric body, that fine latticework of lines (or grid) that constitutes the blueprint for the physical form. It was the electricity grid that went down, in fact of a whole series of grids linked together, creating a ‘web’ – a major symbol of the third ray. This is not unlike an externalised expression of the Earth’s etheric body, as is the world wide web by which we communicate.

Gemini ruler Mercury, rules communication and is associated with the third ray.[3] Gemini the third sign, and the third ray have a relation to one another. In the ingress chart Mercury is in Taurus, reflecting stock exchange trading, communications and transportation – all affected seriously by the blackout. Mercury also squares Neptune in the second house event chart (for New York) of resources and energy.

Neptune is of course God of the Waters that cascade over Niagara Falls, the source of hydro power for the power grids. Uranus exoterically rules electrical themes and is placed in Pisces in this house. Uranus is also related to lightning, one of the explanations for the cause of the blackout. Esoterically Uranus governs ‘electric fire’ associated with the ‘spirit’ aspect, whilst Neptune rules ‘solar fire’(soul aspect) and Saturn rules ‘fire by friction’ (physical).[4] 

The above three aspects are all related to the Sun, ruler of Leo:

Central spiritual Sun    The heart of the Sun        The physical Sun
Electric Fire                Solar Fire                        Fire by Friction

This is pertinent from the point of view that Leo is the month when Sirian forces can find an outlet and expression more easily than at other times of the year. Sirius is to our Sun what the soul is to the personality. Two days ago astronomers observing the Sun observed sunspot 431 as small and unremarkable, though now it's larger than the planet Jupiter, and poses a threat for powerful X-class solar flares. Sunspots have been well documented to have a ‘disruptive’ effect on Earth, electricals and communications. Wednesday night, shortly before the power outage, there was an exact contraparallel between the Sun and Mars, a "mini-opposition" by declination. This is also an important consideration as by August 27 Mars is going to be the closest it has been to the Earth in 70,000 odd years.

Mercury was also powerful in the recent full moon of Leo, where it was square to Pluto, as it was in the ‘event chart’ for the blackout. If ever there was a bringing together of two themes, power (Pluto) and communications (Mercury), this square aspect certainly contains them.

In the horary chart for the blackout at 4.06 pm EDT on August 14, Sagittarius is rising and Pluto sits right on the ascendant squared by Mercury. The Moon in Pisces had just opposed Mercury several hours before, and may have been a trigger for the actual event. Pisces here points to the mystery around how it happened, at least in the early stages, as well as conspiracy theories or terrorist plots. One of these theories involves electricity deregulation and financial manipulation by self-seeking corporations such as Enron and Niagara Mohawk. (See www.GregPalast.com)

Returning to the theme of Cancer and ray three:

“Ray III.—Cancer: The mass movement towards liberty, release and light, so dominant today, is caused by the energy of this sign.”[5]

This light is the developing illumined mind that brings understanding and a subsequent freeing from Cancer’s past imprisoning shells; it brings about an individualised consciousness, autonomous from the mass. Cancer-ruled New York is the throat centre of America [6], the chakra ruled by Saturn, who organises light into patterns on the mental plane. DK tells us that, “The fire of Mind is fundamentally electricity, shown in its higher workings, and not considered so much as force in matter [7] …"the mystery of electricity," … is the mystery surrounding that process which is responsible for the production of light”.[8]   

What does a blackout signify? Seems to be a powerful call for self-reflection, and perhaps with the ongoing presence of America in Iraq, there is a reminder of how many there are suffering a lack of electricity in 50-60 degree celsius temperatures. The scorching ‘dog days’ of Sirius are certainly being felt in August 2003 across the whole of the northern hemsiphere.

As New York is also one of the five major centres for the fifth rootrace, speculated to be the solar plexus centre of the world, what is the symbolism implied here? What is a ‘blackout’ of the solar plexus? Maybe some profound symbolism relating to a ‘dark night’ preparatory to a major moving into the heart? Or perhaps its just a blackout.

Another question that many are reviewing is the fact that many large grids are linked together, creating an economy of moving power around between states and/or nations. Almost all of North America is linked as such; almost all of South America is linked likewise. There will come a stage when those inhabitants can choose to link electrically the northern grid to the southern grid. Africa is developing similarly and is tentatively linked to Europe – already linked and ‘gridded’. In other words, it will not be long before the world could be running virtually on one grid made up of many linked grids. This has its economic benefits and also its dangers, in terms of vunerability to manipulation by selfish interests. It highlights the advocates of self-sufficiency and green power: getting off the grid altogether - as a matter of survival and control over their personal lives.

As Saturn in Cancer relates closely to money and economics in general, the right use of energy will have a profound effect upon world economies, which in turn drive relentlessly forward for more power consumption. If some power companies are abusing the system, Saturn’s transit through Cancer emphasises ray three’s major glamour of ‘devious and continuous manipulation’.

If the outage creators are ‘outed’ then the positive side of Saturn in Cancer is developing strategies to counteract the manipulation so that the masses (Cancer) can benefit. If that does not happen then perhaps Saturn’s imminent transit over America’s and George W. Bush’s respective Cancer suns (starting October 2003), will demand a price be paid for transgressions against the law.

Will there come a point when the world lives beyond its means energy-wise and becomes energetically ‘bankrupt’, leading to financial bankruptcy? It may well do, as ray three is linked to economics and money. It is said that we are currently approaching a ‘III/3’ cycle of this ray starting in 2005 [9], the date when Saturn finishes its cycle through Cancer, no doubt preparing the way.

Saturn in Cancer only imposes restraint upon the use of resources and money when Humanity is out of alignment with the Law. As a result, quite often its position here can be one of difficulty economically, with shortages of resources or budget cuts, leading to a sparing and more frugal lifestyle. Let us hope that his period will lead eventually to one of abundance and prosperity through the right use of resources. The following quote relates to these resources, but some of DK’s prophecies more probably relate to Saturn in Cancer in its next cycle, starting in 2032:

“When the three major Ashrams have done their work, and this work—in spite of the difference of ray—is largely educational, then the other Ashrams will slowly send in their representatives to cooperate and to continue with the task. The first Ashram to do so will be that of the third ray; by the time disciples appear from that Ashram the world will be ready for an all-over financial adjustment; the "principle of sharing" will be a recognised motivating concept of the new civilisation. This will not involve beautiful, sweet and humanitarian attitudes. The world will still be full of selfish and self-seeking people, but public opinion will be such that certain fundamental ideals will motivate business, being forced upon business by public opinion; the fact that the new general ideas will in many cases be governed by the expediency of interplay will not basically matter. It is the sharing that is of importance. When the "adjuster of finances" (as an advanced disciple from this Ashram is called in the Hierarchy) appears, he will find conditions greatly changed from those now prevalent, and this to the following extent:

1. The principle of barter and of exchange (to the benefit of all concerned) will control.

2. Owing to the development of atomic energy on behalf of human welfare, national currencies will have been largely superseded, not only by a system of barter but by a universal monetary exchange—representative of the bartered goods when they are relatively small and unimportant—and by a planned scale of related values. National material assets and the needed commodities will all be provided for under an entirely new system.

3. Private enterprise will still exist, but will be regulated; the great public utilities, the major material resources and the sources of planetary wealth—iron, steel, oil and wheat, for instance—will be owned in the first place by a governing, controlling international group; they will, however, be prepared for international consumption by national groups chosen by the people and under international direction.”[10]

Phillip Lindsay © 2003


[1] Esoteric Astrology, Alice A. Bailey. p.490.

[2] Destiny of the Nations, Alice A. Bailey. p.93.

[3] Esoteric Astrology, Alice A. Bailey. p.427.

[4] A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, Alice A. Bailey. p.1154.

[5] Esoteric Astrology, Alice A. Bailey. p.490.

[6] Externalisation of the Hierarchy, Alice A. Bailey. p.85.

[7] A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, Alice A. Bailey. p.311.

[8] A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, Alice A. Bailey. p.1236.

[9] The  Ray Plan, Stephen D. Pugh. (www.esotericastrologer.org/EA%20Essays/EAessaysSDP19.htm)

[10] The Externalisation of the Hierarchy, Alice  A. Bailey. p.580.

The essay you are reading is in one of the books by this author Phillip Lindsay. You can view more about his titles if you go here and click on ‘contents, preface & introduction’, mainly in either Soul Cycles of the Seven Rays or The Destiny of the Races and Nations. You can buy these titles through Amazon or order through your local bookstore using
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