Category Archives: Cancer

The Zodiac and Environments – New Video Series

I have been making a series of videos detailing the zodiac and the environments that each sign represents. For example, Scorpio rules desert regions, while the opposite sign, Taurus, rules farmland.  Here is part 1, where I explain how this information comes from the Yavana Jataka, an incredibly ancient text that has been preserved in India.

In part 2 I cover the places ruled by Aries, Taurus, Gemini, and Cancer. There are many ways to apply this information to our modern life. Aries can signify skyscrapers within the context of a city, for example. The city itself would also be ruled by Gemini, but within the context of that city, Aries would rule a skyscraper.

If you enjoyed these videos, subscribe to my channel, and stay tuned for more!

 

Jupiter and Pranayam

It sure is interesting that the planet Jupiter, commonly called “Guru”, is exalted in the sign of Cancer. Guru means “heavy” (read more about this name here). This implies that Jupiter is the planet that is the most heavy with life experience or knowledge. Of all the different yogic practices and paths that are available to take, a competent Guru can discern, one way or the other, what path and practices are best for the particular person in question.  Because each person is different, each path will be a little bit different.  Just like some people make a better runner than a swimmer, it is the same with spiritual paths. converted PNM file

One of the things that Gurus frequently advise for most serious aspirants are pranayama practices.  Pranayama practices are essentially breathing exercises and techniques that are used to expand consciousness and awareness. Everyone knows that states of mind relate to our breathing…but often we leave it at that. The Yogis took it much further and fully explored the relationship between breath, life-force, and awareness.  [Fun Fact: The word “Pranayama” itself comes from the Sanskrit “Pran” which means “life-force”. Pran, or Prana, is similar to “Chi”, or “Qi” in Chinese thought,  and to “Ka” in Egyptian philosophy.  Yama means “restraint” or “suppression”, and many of you may know that Yama is also the name of the God of death.  The single letter “a” means “not” in Sanskrit. Now you can fully understand the word Pranayama, as “Life-force Not Restrained”, in other words, “Life-force Expansion”.  Does that make sense? ]

Pranayama is, therefore, a practice that slowly infuses the body with tremendous amounts of life force energy, purifying all of the bodies subtle energetic channels and pathways (nadis), in turn leading to more rapid awakening and clarifying of awareness.  There is of course much more to it than that, but this should explain the concept sufficiently for now. It really is a great practice. In my opinion, we should learn it from people in person, one on one, and not try to practice it straight from books, which I think are great but should be used more as a reference. (There are different opinions on this, and as I said above, everyone’s path is different. I am not making a blanket rule here.)

So now we are all on the same page about pranayama and why Gurus tend to advise it so often.  Now, when we look at the exaltation and debilitation signs for the planets, Jupiter may pop out at us. Notice that Jupiter, the planet of Gurus and wisdom, is exalted (meaning in its strongest possible sign) in the sign of Cancer, the sign of the breath. Cancer is the sign of the rhythm of life, the waxing and waning of the Moon, the inhalation and exhalation of the breath, and the high and low tides that regulate the growth of life on Earth. This clearly shows that the Guru is most “exalted”, or most awakened through the Cancerian environment of the breath.  Jupiter is our wisdom, so another way to see this is that our wisdom is most exalted (able to produce fortunate results) through the faculty of breath expansion (aka “ayama”- non-suppression, in other words, expansion).

It should be no wonder now why the Guru so often recommends pranayama, or breath (Cancer) expansion (Jupiter). If you follow me, the very term “breath expansion” is a synonym for a healthy Jupiter in Cancer.  This is clear “astro-logic” for why breathing exercises are so important for spiritual awakening.  Cancer is a brahmin rashi as well, and a sattvic one at that. Only Pisces and Cancer are both sattvic brahmin signs, which means they are signs most naturally inclined towards spirituality and seeking liberation (moksha). These qualities also show how Cancer is connected to spiritual development.  Jupiter will only be in Cancer 1/12th of the time, so most people are not born with this blessing innately. But if we practice pranayama every day, it is like we are exercising the karmic muscle that would make our Jupiter exalted, or at least strengthen it, which is why pranayama is such a great remedial measure as well. When we strengthen Jupiter, we find more grace in life. It is said that a strong Jupiter can remove 100 blemishes from a chart. I do not think this is because of some magical rule, I think it is because a strong Jupiter will use wisdom and knowledge to make life better and to avoid 100 other mistakes that easily happen to a person who is not behaving wisely. And of course, a really strong Jupiter will use Pranayam as well!

What is the sign of Cancer all about?

At the time of this writing, the Sun is making its yearly pass through the tropical sign of Cancer (June 21-July 22).  It seems an appropriate time to discuss the qualities of this sign, and its ruler, the Moon.  In Astrology, each planet rules both a positive and a negative sign (or Rasi, in sanskrit) except for the Sun and the Moon. The Sun only rules the masculine sign of Leo, and the Moon likewise only rules the feminine sign of Cancer.  This means that the Sun is the most masculine force in the solar system, and that the Moon is the most feminine force in the solar system.  The Moon is the only aspect of consciousness that is 100% receptive and feminine.  This is the key to understanding the nature of the Moon’s sign, Cancer.

At the point on June 21st that the Sun stops appearing to move north is when the sign of Tropical Cancer is said to have begun.  At this point the Sun appears to not move north but not necessarily move south either…it appears to stall in its point on the ecliptic.  Then it eventually starts to move back south for six months until December 21st on the winter solstice.  This movement is similar to how a crab will move sideways in one direction for a point, and then stop for a moment, only to move back the other way.  The nature of the Moon and its sign Cancer can behave in a very similar way.  People with the ascendant, Moon, or Sun in Cancer are often said to be emotional, moody, fickle, and to change about as quickly as the Moon changes.  One day the Moon is full, a few days later it appears almost empty.  So Cancer can be a sign that on the positive can be quite adaptable, but on the negative side can lack consistency.  We can see why this is because the rasi, or sign of Cancer is the exact point where the Sun, the most stable and consistent force we can see, begins to change motion and direction.  This is very unlike the Sun.  The Sun is the opposite of the Moon’s changeable nature.  The Sun rises and sets like clockwork and is thus what creates the zodiac and the seasons on Earth as we know it.  This point where the Sun changes direction and begins to move back south is very significant, and marks the beginning of summer for the northern hemisphere, where most humans live.

Cancer is therefore the most feminine, Yin, or receptive sign we could say.  Cancer time is thus a good time to stop and enjoy life, and be receptive to all that nature is providing for us at this time.  Its the sign of the Mother, and our family environment and emotional life. Its also the sign of our happiness and contentment overall.  It is more easy and natural to feel provided for and nurtured by life at this time, especially if one has their own garden which is plentiful for most at this time (gardens are another thing that is ruled by cancer).

The Moon is also the ego-mind, and its placement shows what we are comfortable with in life.  If one has the Moon with Mars, one will be more comfortable with aggression and confrontation.  If one has the Moon with Venus they may be the opposite, and be only comfortable with polity and beauty.  Assessing the Moon is how we can see what one will attract by the nature of their own thinking and emotional reactions.

People with a strong Moon, or Moon as the atmakaraka (planet with highest degrees in the chart), or well dignified benefics in Cancer (such as Jupiter) often have a great amount of grace in their life when it comes to this receptivity.  They are the types of people that can really benefit from techniques of creative imagination, and activities that deal with trying to attract things into one’s life.  The truth is that not everyone has the karmic good merit to just pick up a book like the Law of Attraction, apply its principles and actually see a great deal of change in their life…But many people do, and thats why they find that book.  Many others dont though, and many more never pick up that type of book.  This may be because their Moon is not as robust and so they dont have this ability or see this possibility of receptivity.  In that case, they could benefit from developing skills like mental affirmations, and creative imagination.  But each person’s karmic situation is different, and many are meant to make their wealth through hard earned work, or through various means.  This is what Astrology is used for, to shine light on the karmic strengths and weaknesses one has… So if you are skilled at attracting things into your life, now is a great month to exercise that ability!  If you are wanting to develop that skill, this month is a great month to work on that.  Creative imagination, mental affirmations, meditation, prayer and pranayama, and fasting from negative thoughts are some great Cancer/Moon-related ways to attract more good things into one’s life.  This is an overall great month for trying to develop that Lunar side in all of us.