The Story Behind Cancer

Cancer is all about safety and sensitivity. Driven by changeable emotions and intuitions, they are protective of anything and anyone they care about, motivated by the status quo and family. Cancer is creative and nurturing. They can appear cool, but don’t be fooled – Cancer may be a crab with a hard shell, but they live in emotional waters. Cancer is ruled by the Moon.

Cancer Myths

For Cancer we need to look at all the Mother myths. In the beginning, before there was anything else, there was the Mother Goddess or Mother Earth, the source of all life. The Mother is mysterious, nurturing and sustaining, but also dangerous, dark and destructive. She often appears with a consort in the form of a young lover/son/brother. Here are a selection:

Gaia is the Greek goddess of the earth. She is sister/lover of Ouranos, god of heaven, and together they create the manifest universe.

Isis is the Egyptian goddess of fertility, among other things. Her brother/lover is Osiris, god of life and death. Isis brings Osiris back to life after he is dismembered by his nasty brother Set.

Kali is the scary Hindu goddess also called ‘the Black Mother’. She rules over disintegration and death, but will grant life to those faithful to her. Recognise her by her necklace of human skulls and piercing red eyes.

Tiamat is the Babylonian primal mother goddess or a giant sea monster, depending on your perspective. She is chopped up by her son Marduk in order to create the physical universe.

Ripley & Newt in Aliens © 1986 Twentieth Century Fox
Ripley & Newt in Aliens © 1986 Twentieth Century Fox

Cancer on Film

Laura in The Orphanage 2007
Laura in The Orphanage 2007

Ripley taking care of Newt in Aliens shows the nurturing side of Cancer, whereas the alien herself reveals the darker side of the Great Mother.

Laura, who will do anything to protect and care for her son in The Orphanage.

Another destructive mother can be found in Grendel’s mother in Beowulf.

Famous Crabs

Patrick Stewart
Patrick Stewart

Bill Cosby (Sun, Mercury & Venus in Cancer)

Harrison Ford (Sun, Moon & Mercury in Cancer)

Tom Hanks (Sun & Mars in Cancer)

Sylvester Stallone (Sun, Mercury & Mars in Cancer)

Patrick Stewart (Sun, Mercury & Mars in Cancer)

Who are your favourite Cancer characters? Share your feelings below…

>Read the rest of the series here

8 thoughts on “The Story Behind Cancer

  1. I did not know Tiamat was her killer’s mother. Nor did I know her parts created the universe. Though, the Tiamat in the 1980s Dungeons and Dragons cartoon WAS made up of the five elements.

    I haven’t done much research. But, I recall one episode of the 1980s Ghostbusters cartoon in which Tiamat was a black dragon with five heads, and this orange guy with three eyes was disguised as a detective while hunting her.

    I think Tiamat may be related to Campe from Greek myth. Or, Typhon.

    Ripley is one bad-ass mother in the final minutes of that Aliens film. 🙂

    Hmm, to compare Sylvester Stallone to Patrick Stewart…

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Maybe that, or maybe just a necessary shift in consciousness from the unconscious to the conscious. Slaying the dragon represents slaying the unconscious and learning to think for yourself. The old goddess religions had to be replaced so we could grow up – you have to leave mum behind sooner or later!


        2. Who comes up with this stuff? How is a dragon “the unconscious mind” and slaying one is suddenly a change in thinking? It’s one thing to say a dragon is a river system…but a dimension of the mind? So, this is similar to Prometheus stealing the gods’ “thunder” and making mortals less religious?

          Leaving old for new isn’t growing up. It’s just the primitive version of the IPhone shift. I heard IPhone 1 spoke to an oracle who said his son would rise up to take him down. So, IPhone 1 cut off his own power supply and swallowed it.


        3. Representing the unconscious or subconscious with a dragon is pretty standard stuff in archetypal psychology and is often how ancient myths are interpreted. The stories are metaphors for the process of evolution in consciousness – how we learn to think and identify ourselves as separate from the environment and our subconscious emotional nature. You have to learn to think, and become ‘rational’, so you can avoid getting carried away by your unconscious emotional impulses – which is what the dragon represents in these stories. It’s absolutely about growing up and becoming an independent individual with your own mind.

          Don’t get the iPhone analogy at all – that’s just reinventing the wheel – i.e. doing the same stuff but in a slightly better way.


        4. You mean there’s a psychology class that relates dragons to the subconscious? I sense a dark Freud joke coming.

          So, Don Quixote was battling the division of his mind, between conscious present thinking and daydreams.

          Then, I guess I have a dragon to tame/slay. I suppose we could say How to Tame Your Dragon is then about those kids growing up.

          Who says an IPhone is better than the wheel?:P

          Liked by 1 person


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