The Cancer Phase Of Seven Year Cycle
Cancer is the fourth phase of the seven year cycle and it’s archetype is The Crab. The Crab symbolizes restlessness, defensiveness, insecurity in being able to establish a secure ‘home’ situation.
The struggle in the Cancer Phase is to attain a sense of emotional stability, security, and nurturance; to acquire a sense of “home” in the environment in which you live or to attain a firm ground on which to act. This phase can also be a struggle to attain a basic sense of nurturance in your life, a sense of belonging to a community that nurtures your growth. The search can stem from the perception that you are not nurtured in your present circumstances, that you are on ‘insecure’ ground or are in an ‘alien’ environment. In this respect, this phase can be a revelation of the most basic needs that truly drive the unconscious behaviors of your character.
It is a phase in which the subconscious drives, urges, and feelings that drive your character reveal themselves. This phase requires response as the environment seems to demand that you stabilize your “home” and sense of home. This sense of home is what you FEEL as home, rather than just being associated with your actual physical home circumstance. Thus it can actually be your work circumstance also. It is also a struggle with the sense of nurturing that you feel or rather don’t feel in your life, and deep intuitions of these needs and there lack of fulfillment in your life may arise in order to be acted upon. This phase in some sense requires a commitment to new response-ability. You may find yourself overwhelmed with a sense of instability, feeling the need to defend that vulnerable center within yourself, the sense that you are not in a hospitable environment or among hospitable and nuturing people.
It is a struggle with “finding” a sense of “home”, whether you move or not during this phase. (And often people find themselves moving or being very unsettled in their homes during this phase). This phase may manifest as a struggle with this sense of not being nurtured by your circumstances, or having not been nurtured and seeking ways to feel that nurturance. It can even manifest as the sense of threatening, arbitrary forces controlling your circumstance, keeping it from being stable and settled.
The experiences during this phase are of a lack of emotional security, with being vulnerable and needing to protect oneself, needing to establish a new sense of home, or of a relationship with nurturing energy. There may be the need to emotionally protect oneself because one does feel so vulnerable, so there is a self protective mechanism that may be engendered. This phase seeks to establish a new set of circumstances or relationships that nurture and can help you explore your nurturance needs.
The need for nuturance may grow from a sense of isolation from others with whom you have been associated as community as a result of their inability to fully support your growth. In this phase you may discover or uncover deep needs that have been motivating your character and have not been fulfilled. The archetypal animal associated with Cancer is the crab and like the crab on the beach individuals in this phase are defensive and vulnerable and constantly trying to dig down into the constantly shifting sands to secure a safe haven from the insecure environment in which they find themselves. An individual may confront the sense of not being nurtured by their “home” environment, with the sense of not even having a home environment. Additionally, like the crab, you may find yourself burrowing deep within your psyche and into your most fundamental needs for intimacy and nurturance, those needs that drive you at core levels, and understanding them better.
The process of the Cancer Phase follows on the experiences of Gemini in “getting a grasp on” one’s immediate environment, the new ‘environment’ in which you have been thrust by this new seven year cycle. It is the process of establishing home and community and because it is a process the experience during this phase can be one in which you first feel uprooted (either literally or figuratively) and then are forced to endure a limbo state between one’s home and a new one. As one writer put it, “The first stage of the essential Cancer experience is uprooting, abandonment of the security of background and upbringing. The next stage is the challenge of limbo, a sense of exclusion and isolation which must be endured until a new source of security is found and created, often a spiritual home, or a sense of belonging to some community.”