I can’t explain myself, I’m afraid. because I’m not myself, you see, Oh, my fur and whiskersi It is this, it is this that oppresses my soul. The best time to hunt for human crabs is by the light of the silvery Moon. It’s usually easier to recognize them at night, when they’re all dressed up to go dreaming, wrapped in vivid imagination. Moonlight becomes them beautifully. It goes with their many moods, and it matches their changing emotions.
You’ll gather lots of clues to the Cancerian nature by doing some Moon-gazing on a clear night in the country. It may be hard to see it through the smog in the city, but you can always study an almanac. Notice the Moon’s changing shape and appearance. As it waxes and increases in light, it slowly grows into a perfect, round ball in the sky. When it wanes, it gradually disappears, so there’s nothing visible but a thin sliver of light with a faint, silver shimmer.
The Cancerian’s passing moods are synchronized to the Moon, answering to the same mysterious lunar influence that causes the tides of the ocean to flow in and out. Yet, the Moon doesn’t really change at all. It just seems to. Likewise, the Cancerian remains the same person through all his fluctuating highs and lows. Such dependable periodicity-constant in its inconstancy-makes the crab easy to recognize, once you know the phase he’s in when you see him.
You may first come across him when he’s laughing the crazy lunar laugh. It’s inescapably contagious. It runs up and down the scales with a deep, throaty undertone. It giggles and gurgles, then finally erupts in a loud cackle that sounds exactly like two hundred hens laying two hundred perfect eggs. In his life-of-theparty mood, youll have no trouble finding the Cancerian. Hell be the funniest one in the room, a laugh a minute. If he’s not performing himself, then he’ll be grinning at someone else’s antics. No one likes a joke better than Cancer, and his funny side is all the more startling when it pops up so incongruously from his normally quiet, gentle personality. Lunar humor runs deep. It’s never shallow or superficial, because it stems from the sensitive observation of human behavior. Cancer may not wear his lunar laugh every day, but he can always dig it out of his old trunk in the basement at a moment’s notice.
These people don’t pant after the spotlight like the extro-verted Leos or-clownish Sagittarians, but Cancerians have an uncanny sense of publicity, when it pleases them to be noticed. Don’t let that unassuming manner fool you. They secretly enjoy attention, and they’ll soak up any headlines they get. You won’t find Cancer pursuing fame with passion (he pursues nothing with true passion), but he certainly won’t shrink from it. He’s far more likely to bask in the reflected glow of applause than to run away. Cancer may hide from things, but you can be sure that appreciation is not one of them.
If you’re the kind of person who catches cold easily, wear your raincoat when you expose yourself to the dampness of a Cancerian in a melancholy mood. He can wrap you in wet blankets until you shiver and shake. Cancer can turn bluer than an inkwell, and drown you in depression deeper than the floor of the ocean. His fears are usually well covered by the nutty lunar humor, but they are always with him, haunting his days and nights with a vague sense of nameless dangers, lurking in the shadows. Pessimism is never far away, always ready to spoil those beautiful nights of fancy. A Cancerian can take the dreamiest trips to the stars on the gossamer wings of his imagination, if he leams to ignore that harping inner voice which keeps nagging him and warning him he might get lost in outer space. But until he leams to conquer his fears, they form his Achilles’ heel, and they hurt every time he starts to fly too high.
His tears are never crocodile tears. They flow from the deep rivers of his fragile and vulnerable heart. You can wound his sensitive feelings with a harsh glance or a rough t- tone of voice. Cruelty can bring on brimming eyes or a ‘complete withdrawal (It’s an odd thing that Cancerians seldom get fevers; they’re more likely to suffer from the chills.) It won’t be easy to spot the crab in this mood, because when he’s hurt, he disappears into reproachful silence. Sometimes, he can retaliate with an almost scorpion revenge, but he’ll usually do it secretly, seldom openly with the Scorpio’s fine contempt for consequences. Most of the time, however, hell turn away from getting even, content to hide under his protective shell. Once you’ve wounded him, you can poke at him with a sharp stick for days afterwards and not reach him. He won’t answer his phone, his doorbell or his mail. In the midst of uncertainty, despair and sadness. Cancer people seek retreat and solitude. Just like real crabs.
That’s another mood Cancerians have. Crabby. The person who gave you a cranky answer when you asked for the time, the one who nearly snapped your head off when you asked him to pass the salt-was probably a Cancer person going through one of his occasional crabby spells that makes him hate the world. He’s not angry with you. He’s disappointed with life. He’ll get over it, and be his own sweet, gentle and understanding self when the Moon changes. Consult the daily paper for the next quarter, or wait until the tides come back in.
There are two basic Cancer types. The first kind has a • handsome round face, soft skin, a wide, grinning mouth, almost circular eyes, rather a baby-faced look. Think of the man in the moon. That’s a perfect image. The second type is more common. The unmistakable look of the crab is immediately noticeable in the face. You’ll see a fairly large skull, an overhanging brow and high cheekbones. The brows themselves will seem to knit together in a sort of permanent frown which, strangely, isn’t offensive, but rather interesting. There’s a pronounced lower jaw, and the teeth are either prominent or irregular in some way. The eyes are small and usually far apart. Sometimes you’ll see a Cancerian who combines both the lunar face and the crab face but each is so distinctive that, even when they’re blended, it’s easy to recognize them as Moon people, born under the sign of the crab.
Some of them are indisputably plump, but the great majority have a strikingly bony structure. The arms and legs may be extra long in proportion to the rest of the body. The shoulders will be broader than average, and often the hands and feet are either unusually tiny or quite large. Most Cancerians are a little top heavy, and they waddle slightly when they walk fast. Whether the body is plump or wiry, the women will usually wear a sweater size considerably larger than the skirt size. Or they’ll be absolutely flatchested. Either way, this particular characteristic is quite marked. There is never a middle ground for this part of the anatomy with Woman crabs.
All lunar people have enormously expressive features. A thousand moods play fleetingly across their faces in the course of a conversation. Do you know someone who sometimes cackles wildly, then weeps despondently,-who occasionally snaps at you irritably, and then hides when you hurt him? Does he normally treat you with gentle consideration? If he’s gruff, yet kindly, a fascinating conversationalist with deep wells of creative imagination, that person was probably born in late June or July.
Caneerians have such control of imagery, and their moods are so intense, they can make you feel them, too. Their imagination seizes joy and despair, horror and compassion, sorrow and ecstasy, and holds each emotion fast with a retentive memory. Like mirrors and cameras, they absorb images and reflect them faithfully. Every experience is engraved on the heart as a photograph is etched on a negative plate. They never forget any of the lessons life has taught them nor do they forget the lessons history has taught mankind. A Cancerian reveres the past and is usually patriotic to the core. Historical figures intrigue him as much as his own ancestors do. He often collects antiques, old treasures and ancient relics and has an insatiable curiosity about yesterday.
Cancer is a sort of mental archaeologist, always digging for more fascinating facts.
He’s also a well of secrecy. People automatically confide their secrets to the crab, but with his sensitive emotions he already knows what’s on their minds. Cancerian compassion is deep and highly intuitive. There’s hardly a secret he can’t strip naked, if he chooses. It’s a one-way street, however. He’ll eventually soak up all there is to know about you, but you’ll never guess his own private thoughts. He guards his inner feelings carefully from prying eyes. The typical Cancer person doesn’t like to discuss his personal life, but he’s delighted to hear about yours, as his lunar imagination lets him easily guess the parts you leave out. Cancer seldom judges, however. He simply gathers, absorbs, reflects.
Although the crab gives back emotions like a mirror, he won’t give up tangible things without a struggle. Take a stroll along any beach and observe the habits of the real crab. When he grabs an object (and make sure it’s not your big toe), he’ll hang on for dear life. He’d rather lose a claw than let go. If the crab does sacrifice a claw, he grows a new one, so he can grab hold once more with the same tenacity; and let that be a lesson to you when you’re trying to get a Cancerian to give up something he or she really wants. Cancer will never relinquish a treasured object, and that can range all the way from a beloved friend or relative to a title or a position-from an old tintype photo to a pair of frazzled house slippers, with the soles half worn away.
While you’re still on the beach, take a few more notes on the customs of the real crab. The way he walks, for instance. If his eye is on that big toe, he’ll never come forth directly and head for your foot. First, he moves backward a few paces. Then he moves sideways. Suddenly, without warning, he crawls to the other side. He always appears to be moving in the opposite direction. But he’s watching every second. If that delicious toe starts to get away from him, he’ll move straight forward, and you’d better run if you don’t want those claws to dig in. He means business when he sees he has a chance of losing the morsel he covets. The human crab imitates these tactics precisely. Cancerians never go directly after what they want. Their strategy is to move in every direction but straight ahead. They’ll play this shifting game indefinitely, until it looks as if someone else is about to grab the prize. Then the cards are played quickly and cleverly-Cancer lunges forward, takes hold firmly, and refuses to let go.
They behave much the same way when it comes to generosity and giving. Cancer’s heart is too soft not to be touched by someone’s need. He truly cares and he wants to help. But he’ll sit back cautiously and wait to see if. there’s anyone else who might move in first. Why should he foolishly squander his time or money if it is not necessary? When all other sources fail, when no other help shows any sign of materializing. Cancer will rescue the struggler at the last minute. He’ll let you go down twice, but he’ll save you just before you submerge the third time. He’s too kind to watch you drown, but he’s certainly not going to get all wet if there’s a life guard around, or if it looks as if you can swim to shore yourself. It’s selfpreservation, not selfishness or unkindness. The crab’s heart is soft at the core, under his hard, conservative outer shell. But there’s just so much of his time, his money and his emotions he has to give, and he chooses to distribute each wisely. His eventual gesture will often be grand and generous. Yet, in his mind, it’s only sensible to watch and wait before plunging. No one could accuse him of being impulsive.
When he does make a move, he’ll want some sort of track record behind him-or behind you. The crab carefully calculates his actions on experiences, either his own or someone else’s. He needs the strength of an accepted precedent or the assurance of financial security as a foundation. He fears going it alone without such an insurance policy, which is why most of his ventures are successful and each final move a coup de grace, executed with finesse. Naturally, Cancerians will seldom stumble into deep holes in the dark. With a fiery Moon sign, or a fire sign on the ascendant, he may gamble on an occasional maneuver, but if he fails, he’ll be miserable about going against his own better inner judgment. Leo or Sagittarius influences may have driven him to act, but when he falls back on his own Sun sign after defeat, misery sets in. Cancer tends to brood over mistakes instead of shrugging off bad luck and trying again, and it will be some time before he takes another chance.
Male or Woman, the Cancerian loves his home with a respect bordering on reverence. No devout high priest of ancient times ever considered his altar more sacred than Cancer considers the place where he hangs his old hat. You’re liable to notice a sampler on his wall with the words, There’s No Place Like Home, Be It Ever So Humble. (Yes, I know the verse is backwards, but his little girl made it at school, and to him it’s a masterpiece, a pearl beyond price. Admire it often.) His home is where he plays, lives, loves, dreams and feels safe. Though he may travel over half the earth in connection with his career, no Cancer person is ever quite happy without a hearth to call his own. Sometime make a point of noticing the expression on the face of a crab who has just returned home from a long trip. Pure ecstasy.
No matter how much money he piles up in reserve, Cancer never feels really secure, and no matter how much love he gets, he always needs more. His emotions never let him become sure enough to relax completely. He’s always piling up tangibles against some imaginary future disaster. Some Cancerians actually keep big cardboard cartons of food of all kinds under their beds. It keeps away those nightmares. You may think that’s stretching the truth, but when was the last time you looked under a Cancer’s bed? If you don’t find the canned foods there, look on the closet shelves. You may find two dozen cans of paprika and twenty-eight boxes of fortified bread crumbs he bought on sale in 1943. What’s he saving it for? Don’t ask ridiculous questions. There might be a famine someday. He’s prepared. (Noah must have been born in July. The flood didn’t catch him with his rudders down, either.) Why doesn’t he use all that paprika and all those bread crumbs? The answer to that one raises another question. Why doesn’t he use those fourteen pairs of new pajamas and the seven dozen cashmere scarves he’s been given over the years as gifts? They’re still in the original tissue paper. Who knows? Maybe he’s planning to wrap them around the animals to keep them warm when the next flood comes. Could be.
He thinks that far ahead, and he remembers yesterday’s catastrophes vividly, even if he wasn’t there. You’ll often find the Cancerian on the water. If he’s not swimming, he’s water-skiing or at the very least, wading. Unless there’s some definite planetary affliction in his natal chart that makes him fear the waves, he’ll usually be found spending most of his leisure time on a beach. Lots of Cancer people own their own boats. He’d much rather have a trim little ship he can escape to than a dozen color television sets and fifty limousines. Some crabs have fabulous yachts, but even if it’s a rowboat or a canoe, he’ll blissfully row, paddle or steer it to happiness. It’s as though the Cancerian has a special, private dream that’s been lost out there somewhere in the deep waters, and he keeps seeking it. Over half the crabs you meet will be weekend sailors. Maybe it’s the moon and the tides calling him. Whatever it is, he’s never as moody when he’s happily walking his own deck in the tennis shoes he bought when he graduated from college. (Don’t ever suggest that he buy new ones. There’s one thing you have to understand about these people. If it’s old, it has value. If it’s new, it’s suspect.)
Cancerian emotions can be stronger than the physical body. Worry and apprehension can make him ill, and
I cheerfulness can make him well. Often, he fears financial * collapse or the loss of someone he needs emotionally. If his security is threatened, either at the bank or in his heart, he can fall into a depression which unconsciously courts sickness or accident. His active imagination can be morbid enough to turn a minor illness into a grave or chronic one. When he gets gloomy, he responds poorly to positive statements. Then he’s apt to think you’re unkind for not sympathizing with him. But sympathy is the last thing Cancer needs when he’s sick, never mind what he says. If he grows melancholy about fearsome possibilities, he invites real trouble, and he’ll take twice as long to get well.
The most vulnerable areas are the chest or breast region, the knees, kidneys, bladder and skin. The head and face areas are also sensitive, as are the stomach and the digestive system. Cancerians practically invented ulcers. But those who keep serene, and who call on their marvelous sense of humor to see them through their moods, can easily stay well until a ripe old age. If they get a firm grip on happiness and refuse to let go, the crabs have the power to cling to life with the same tenacity that they cling to those old newspapers and pot holders. Cheerfulness, optimism and laughter, taken daily in large doses, will keep their minds and bodies healthy. As Cancer imagines himself to feel, so shall he actually feel. No other sign is so prone to let negative thoughts bring on illness, yet no other sign can create such miracles of self-healing. It’s a strange contradiction, and it would immensely benefit all Cancerians to ponder it.
Lots of Cancer people have very green thumbs. They produce some beautiful gardens that are tended and watered with loving care. Most of them also have very green savings accounts, which they cultivate with the same devotion. Money clings to Cancer, and they like the feel of it, so they allow it to cling. They spend frugally, to say the very least. Even with impulsive influences in the natal chart, Cancer will keep a few dry bills aside for a rainy day. If he tells you he’s broke, he means he’s down to his last few thousand. To him, that’s a desperate situation. No one is a more capable manager of funds than the crab (although Taurus, Capricorn or Virgo may run a close second). He’s an expert at accumulating cash and making it grow like the trees and flowers he plants.
It will seldom dwindle in his tenacious hands or run through his shrewd fingers, and you won’t catch him tossing bundles of it out the window for the sheer joy of getting rid of it. His generosity is exceeded only by his caution. Cancerian John D. Rockefeller, Sr. probably thought he was being wickedly extravagant when he handed out all those dimes to small children; it tickled him to go on such a wild spending spree and teach economy at the same time. Still, the crab will share whatever he has willingly when someone he likes or loves is in real need. A child will never fail to move him to part with cash, but hell come down hard on a grocer who overcharges him two cents on a can of beans.
Pood somehow represents security to Cancerians. If Old Mother Hubbard had been born in July, she would never have recovered from finding the cupboard bare. Whether he actually eats it or not, the crab feels safer when the larder is full and overflowing. Just talking about food brings a rosy glow to his expressive face, and stories of starvation will actually horrify him. Cancerians care deeply about the hungry, and they feel a responsibility toward every empty stomach in the world. (The noted mathematician-astrologer Carl Payne Tobey has pointed out that Cancerian Nelson Rockefeller campaigned in supermarkets with the political slogan, He Cares.) Wasting food is a crime to Cancer. You’ll get all the second helpings you want, but be sure you clean up the plate.
There’s a strong maternal instinct in both sexes. They’re always trying to stuff hot food into you, or bundle you up against the damp, night air. Cancerians baby their friends and loved ones and hover over them protectively. It’s hard to tell which stirs the lunar emotions more deeply-children, food or money.
The crab’s sensitive nature is covered with a hard shell, and he’s wise enough to avoid the stormy seas. Half the time he lives on dry land, the other half in deep waters. He wears the luminous, pale gold and shimmering colors of moonlight, and hides his powerful emotions behind the pale green, mauve and lavender tints of modesty.
There’s a touch of Moon madness in every Cancerian. He knows a wild and secret place where two lilies and seven white roses grow among the iris. Sometimes the memory of this faraway garden causes him to explode with laughter. Now and then it causes him to weep with sadness. Cancer patiently gathers the emeralds, pearls and moon-stones carelessly dropped in the sand by others, as he waits for the tides to wash his silver dreams ashore.
Famous Cancer Personalities
John Quincy Adams Louis Armstrong Ingmar Bergman Milton Berle Julius Caesar James Cagney Marc Chagall Jean Cocteau George M. Cohan Calvin Coolidge. Phyllis DiUer Stephen Foster John Glenn Oscar Hammerstein Ernest Hemingway Henry VIII
Helen Keller Charles Laughton Gertrude Lawrence Anne Lindbergh Gina Lollobrigida Marcel Proust Rembrandt John D. Rockefeller Nelson Rockefeller Richard Rodgera Red Skelton Barbara Stanwyck Ringo Starr Henry D. Thoreau John Wanamaker Duke of Windsor Andrew Wyeth