This is a continuation of my interview with astrologer Barry Cowger as we discuss the purpose of the Midheaven (MC) in an astrological chart, as well as how each of the 12 signs expresses itself at the MC. This article addresses the Cancer Midheaven.
Janet: Moving around the Zodiac, Cancer's up next. How does Cancer manifest on the Midheaven, Barry?
Barry: Cancer on the MC completes the first four signs of the Zodiac. We have gone through each element: Fire/Aries, Earth/Taurus, Air/Gemini and now Cancer, a Water sign, on the MC. Keep in mind that Cancer on the MC is opposite the natural sign on the MC, Capricorn. As such, people with Cancer on the MC are in many ways going for quality instead of quantity. They're not looking for professional success as much as they seek to connect with people, the earth, immediate concerns of what is happening around them rather than what's happening 'out there.'
Great hardship can be seen through those who have Cancer MC because many times the direction and guide in the world for them, the usual authority figure, is simply missing. That rudder, you might say, was not there. As a result they often parent themselves and have to find their own way in a sometimes hostile world. The Cancer MC sign would often see it that way. Those with a Cancer Midheaven can have very thin skins, you might say. Not the rough and tumble profile that Capricorn MC's can often have.
Janet: My Midheaven is in Capricorn, so I look forward to when we get to that portion...and find out what this "rough and tumble" is all about!
Barry: Keep in mind that Cancer Cardinal sign, like Aries. So once they find their emotional center, once they find that thing --that one thing--that matters more to them than anything else in the world, they can be very tenacious; a real go-getter. But you know, a funny thing with Cancer MC people: they go one step forward, freak out and get insecure, and then backtrack two steps! You've heard of "Flashdance?" Well, here's the "Crabdance!"
Their philosophy and attitude about change is a big one to figure out. Like those with a Gemini Midheaven, these folks are highly adaptable and can themselves be the vehicles for changes that the world is making or that people are making. "Change Agents" I think is the current buzzword. I would apply this term to Cancer MC people more than any other, for their message is there is security within change. It's a matter of attitude. That is, actually, a highly spiritual concept: change and how to manage it in any life under any circumstance. If you've got that one, you are way ahead of the game. What could you fear? Not much, if that is firmly entrenched into the Cancer MC's psychology.
And the way that that often happens is through the hard knocks of change in life itself. Some things we don't want to change, say 'No' to and so forth. Another spiritual concept is that things are in fact removed from our lives when no more growth could occur through a continued relationship with that which has been removed. This is a hard one. And usually Cancer MC people see this after the dust settles, not in the middle of it. So with Cancer MC we are in Harms Way in terms of experiencing change of those things we have worked so hard to get and maintain and are quite attached to. To get an idea of what those things are or what circumstances one is destined to deal with such things, is the house and sign position of their Moon. Its location will tell you in what areas of their lives they will be dealing with any or all of the above ideas. So, if anybody out there who has Cancer on their MC would like a brief analysis of this, write me and I will send it to you.
Janet: You mentioned the four elements (fire, water, earth, and air) and the three modes of expression (cardinal, fixed, and mutable). Do those modify the MC?
Barry: Yes, each of the four elements and three qualities are built into every sign. Each sign has both an element and a quality. In Cancer the element is Water and the quality is Cardinal. It is through the sign Cancer that people feel both secure and insecure. Secure because life is somewhat predictable or that we can plan in advance what is likely to happen. Insecure because everything is impermanent and will change. We invest emotionally in keeping things is a relatively predictable state. This is the Water element. Cancer is not only a water sign but is also Cardinal. These two collide in Cancer. One part wants stability (Water) but Cardinality is Yang in nature and needs to initiate. In lower levels, this feels to the Cancer MC that life is somehow conspiring to get them to change. So, to form a more productive relationship to change itself is the key here. You know it's like the person who retires (change) but who also makes the inner shift as well, and does not try to hang on to that which they were defined around in order to feel secure. The person who is actualizing makes a real inner shift. This is a positive relationship, as their self-image is now very different.
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