The Cancer Shadow
(From the book "Astrology for Lovers" by Liz Green)
It's time to take a look at the less pleasant side of the crab. We have already had a peek at some of Cancer's tricks to sustain relationships. But most Cancers are aware, however dimly, that they play emotional games at times. They may not admit it, or discuss it. One of Cancer's favorite expressions is, 'Must we talk about everything? Some things are better left unsaid.' But Cancer isn't blind. With sure-footed instinct, Cancer can read emotional currents very well - even his own.
The unknown side of any sign, as we have seen, lies in the element which is antithetical to it. Water signs, being family-orientated, have a secret side which resembles the air signs. Cancer's gentle, sensitive, sympathetic quality - the loveliest aspect of the sign - carries a strange shadow behind it. We can sum it up in one term: destructive criticism.
Listen, some time, to the ordinary everyday conversation of a truly Cancerian person. Ordinarily they are full of sympathy - oh, don't be too hard on the poor man, he can't help it; how can you turn away such a pathetic stray kitten? Yes, I know she's taking advantage, but she's old and lonely…..etc. Cancer is quick to excuse the most difficult behaviour traits of others, especially family, because of that sympathy and sense of recognizing other people's needs. But listen, some time, to a Cancer having a good gossip. Some of the nastiest, bitchiest things you'll ever hear come streaming out. Little snippy things - not disagreements of opinion, or honest debates, or recognized dislikes - for this side of Cancer is epitomized by the bridge club ladies who get together and slash the friend to pieces behind her back and then smile sweetly when next they see her, wondering why in the world she should be offended when, after all, they didn't really mean it….the Cancer father who, without attempting to be snappish, tells his child how to be. 'Why can't you be like little Johnny down the street, he doesn't show his father disrespect'….the Cancer mother who, a little jealous of her daughter, says before the important dance, 'Yes, you look lovely, dear….as lovely as possible, all things considered….' This is the veiled insult, the disguised criticism, designed to strike below the belt, to demean, to hurt, to goad. Cancer's shadow might be pictured as a gnat, a wasp with a little sting. And most of the time they are completely unaware of it. Criticize? Never. Many Cancers, displaying this shadow to others, will protest. They like to think of themselves as kind, sympathetic, understanding. But the shadow side of any water sign is ruthless. And can be cruel. Or cold. This is true of all three water signs. With Cancer, the shadow speaks through the mouth.
What are the true motives behind this? Since we are wading through murky waters here, let's have a close, honest look. Remember what we said about water signs. Most important to them is their relationship with others. Water signs do not like to be alone; they cannot bear isolation or rejection. Cancer, a sign of intense feeling needs, has a strong tendency to live through his loved ones. External fidelity. Cancer is a possessive sign - as possessive as Scorpio is traditionally.