Thoughts on Cancer

The Working out of an Idea:

Each month at the moment of the full moon, when the Sun and the Earth stand in open, unimpeded alignment, powerful spiritual energies from our solar system and beyond pour into the world through the open, unimpeded alignment between the Sun, symbolic of the soul, and the Earth, representative of the human personality. The whole story of astrology is the response of form to the urge or pull of energies and streams of force, we’re told in the writings of Alice Bailey, and this month we consider the forces conveyed through the sign Cancer.

The focus of the first three signs of Aries, Taurus and Gemini is essentially subjective in nature, but with the entrance into Cancer the shift is to the form, the material plane. The hope, the goal, of this descent into form in Cancer is expressed in its keynote: I build a lighted house and therein dwell. The purpose of the “lighted house” is the perfection of the form as an instrument of service, for esoteric teaching tells us that the building of adequate forms for the use of the soul is essential for cooperation with the Plan of God. According to esoteric astrology the solar system is the Body created by a Being for the expression of Itself, in order to work out a definite purpose and a central idea. And because “as above so below”, every human being is, in turn, an idea through which God is working out an idea, by means of manifestation through form, a recognition tracing back to Plutarch. A fundamental transformation can occur when one’s focus shifts from asking, what is my purpose, and begins asking, what does God/Deity/the Creator/Brahman/the soul seek to work out through my little life?

Each kingdom in nature has a different purpose to fulfill, and (perhaps surprisingly, so self-focused are we humans) we’re told that the vegetable kingdom is more advanced in its evolutionary purpose than is the human kingdom. The evolutionary process is complex, long and arduous, and this may be why Cancer is so closely associated with the theme of reincarnation— the cyclic process of rebirth into manifestation. Reincarnation is increasingly familiar but not yet deeply understood, as is suggested in Alice Bailey’s comment that “Reincarnation, in modern, popular interpretation has become distorted and the real truth and beauty lost to sight.” As is the human tendency, the popular imagination has been focused on reincarnation in completely personal terms while unaware of its far vaster role implicit in the manifested universe as a basic and fundamental theme underlying systemic pulsation.

Another effect of the human tendency to personalize reincarnation has been to miss the most essential aspect: group rebirth. The entire theme of cyclic impulse—the esoteric definition of reincarnation—should be approached, we’re told, from the angle of the group, however one defines (and inevitably limits) this term. This is why the power of the mass or herd consciousness to inhibit the individual’s capacity to think, and the dominance of the individualized personal consciousness to narrow the field of vision, both constitute limitations to the development of group consciousness.

The vast majority of human beings are emerging out of the mass consciousness into self-consciousness, the writings of Alice Bailey say, and this accounts for much of the present world difficulty. A few yet growing number are moving into the stage of group awareness in response to the pull of the Aquarian energies. Inevitably, at the end of an age and the transition into a new cycle, these differences in consciousness are particularly revealing, for each stage responds according to its field of vision and all is in flux. The old forms are in disintegration, including ideas, including beliefs and ideals, yet Alice Bailey’s writings give us reassurance that “we need to remember that all this disruption is occurring just because the life within those forms is gaining strength. There is no room for pessimism, she wrote…only profoundest optimism.



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