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Vol. III: Astro-Rayology
Table of Contents

Tapestry of the Gods
Volume III
by Michael D. Robbins

in progress

Interpretations of Famous People by Ray, Sign and Life Emphasis
With Explanations of All Astrological and Rayological Elements

Michael Robbins Homepage
hosted on MAKARA

Mars in Cancer

Mars in Cancer or Mars in Relation to Cancer

(from Esoteric Astrology)

1. The Indirect Influence of Mars upon Cancer:

“Indirectly, and via the influences of the Cardinal Cross (of which Cancer is a part)...the Cancerian subject becomes responsive to the uses of conflict (Mars)...”etc. (EA 323)

2. Mars rules the second decanate of Cancer if Cancer is partitioned among the members of the Fire Triplicity. Scorpio, exoterically ruled by Mars, would then correspond to the second decanate.

Specific Expressions of Mars in Cancer

1. Mars (in Cancer) in Relation to the Dense Physical Vehicle:
Mars in Cancer will increase the strength and tenacity of the physical elemental, which seeks to perpetuate its ‘hold’ upon the physical plane. The self-protective instincts will be augmented. The natural defensiveness of Cancer will be stimulated by the Martian tendency to “ward-off” danger. The energy of Mars will be enlisted to promote the survival and perpetuation of the physical vehicle. Attachment to the life of the senses is strong. Continuing the metaphor (and in many cases the literal fact), “blood rushes” to the area of the stomach, bringing friction and problems to that area, and reflecting the strong solar plexus stimulation which is inherent in this combination.

2. Mars (in Cancer) in Relation to the Etheric Vehicle:
Cancer is associated more with de-vitalization than vitalization. Mars and Cancer both have strong lunar associations—Cancer, because it is ruled by the Moon, and Mars because it rules the Creative Hierarchy of Lunar Lords. The etheric vehicle is solar in many ways, and its means to absorb and radiate solar, pranic vitality. The fall of Mars in Cancer suggests that its stimulating, vitalizing potentials are reduced by the Cancerian ‘atmosphere’ in which it must, perforce, express. Strong emotions (Mars upon the astral plane) and strong instincts (Mars upon the dense physical plane) absorb the vitality of the etheric plane. Mars in Cancer may well work as a devitalizing influence.

3. Mars (in Cancer) in Relation to the Astral Vehicle:
With Mars in Cancer the emotional nature is powerfully stirred, but not easily expressed. The sixth ray of Mars, the sixth ray resonance of the astral plane, and the sixth ray of Neptune (the principal planetary ruler in Cancer) and the solar plexus (highly activated by this combination) all combine to increase the emotional/devotional energy. But Mars falls in Cancer, which is an ‘atmosphere’ hardly conducive to the characteristically out-going Martian energies. Thus, strong emotions are internalized and may well work, reflexively, against the peace and equilibrium of the one concerned.

This position often indicates that the desire nature is in rebellion against the love and light of the soul—which seek to flow into and condition the astral vehicle at the time of the second initiation. Powerful attachments prevent the necessary relinquishments. The attempt to be emotionally close to “near ones”, and yet, somehow, rebelling (Mars) against such familiar and family ties—these characterize the individual born with Mars in Cancer, and, thus, bring turbulence into one’s intimate life—conflict with those who are closest. The basic attitude is one of emotional defensiveness, aggressively protecting one’s vulnerability against those, who, knowing one best, are in the best position to do harm. Once reorientation occurs however, and sufficient experience is gained upon the Fixed Cross, heights of devotion can be reached under this influence. The now soul-infused person adheres to the role of humble server, and fights to protect persons, places or things for which he has taken responsibility.

4. Mars (in Cancer) in Relation to the Concrete Mind:
The third and seventh rays works through Cancer. Mars, distributing the sixth ray, is also closely affiliated with the third and the fifth, and in any case is much associated with what might be called the ‘sensory concreteness’ of life. Under normal circumstances, this position will enhance the tendency to seek for material advantage. The mind will be turned to issues of survival, or, more selflessly, towards promoting the survival of those for whom one has taken responsibility. Desire is turned towards the lunar realm—the “three worlds” of human development.

5. Mars (in Cancer) in Relation to the Personality as a Whole:
Here the power of the fourth elemental, the personality elemental is emphasized. The Tibetan describes this elemental in the following way: “a dominant controlling lunar lord who is that which we understand by the term the ‘lower personality’; he (if the personal pronoun can be used) is the sumtotal of the physical, astral and mental elementals, and it is this power which at present forces the ‘fiery energies’ of the body to feed the lower three centres.” (R&I 9-10) Cancer is the fourth sign, and this elemental or lunar lord is the fourth. Mars represents the personality as a whole. (cf. EA 186) “Mars rules not only the physical body but the entire form vehicle, which we call the personality in the three worlds.” (EA 210) We understand that the personality is, initially, a rebel against the directives of the soul. Mars is that rebel, and a forcing agent—forcefully driving the fiery energies downward. Mars in Leo will have a similar and even more dominating effect. This “dominant controlling lunar lord”, seeks its own material survival, and selfishly pursues this end. Mars governs the “selfish faculties”. (EA 646) The soul has a significant opponent in this combination. Later, however, Mars falls away from its lower tendencies and expresses through courageous devotion to the “near and dear”, rather than through the offensive disturbance of intimates and of intimate situation.

6. Mars (in Cancer) in Relation to Glamor:
The glamors associated with Mars in Cancer are related to strong desires for physical/emotional closeness, for familial intimacy. These tendencies limit one’s own freedom and, definitely, the freedom of others. It is if this combination tries to force (Mars) other, to be close (Cancer). Glamors centering upon the fear (Cancer) and hostility (Mars) which cause separation and isolation are also possible.

7. Mars (in Cancer) in Relation to Mars (in Cancer) instinctual Life:
With Mars in Cancer we have the arousal of the instinctual nature, rather than its transformation. The ancient desires of the past are stirred, but, at first, nothing is done to change them. Lower lunar tendency rules.

8. Mars (in Cancer) in Relation to Necessary Transmutations:
Transmutations require moving from strong instinctual tendencies (for Mars, Cancer and the ruling Moon are all strongly instinctual) into a more progressive and solar attitude. Mars in Cancer has much resonance with the previous solar system and the previous chain. The adherence stimulated is so often for the past and for the lunar word, the matter of which originated in a planet and system other than our own. The binding power of desire must be released, and then there can be vibratory elevation and progress.

9. Mars (in Cancer) in Relation to Sex:
This combination is closely related to generation and birth (physical incarnation as a birth which is re-birth), rather than re-generation and psycho-spiritual rebirth. The urge to reproduce will be strong. There may be tendencies to jealousy, due to insecurities and the powerful need for intimate attachment. Under this influence, once can easily become bound to sex as a deeply psychological need to overcome the fear which arises from an inherent sense of isolation and helplessness. The emotional life and the sexual life are intimately connected, which is much less the case when Mars is found in Gemini. Later, as evolution proceeds, Mars in Cancer may lead to the retention of sexual energy (just as in Taurus) for the sake of personality transformation.

10. Mars (in Cancer) in Relation to the Management and Expenditure of Energy:
There will be an inherent urge towards economy—a desire not to let energy escape. Cancer is inherently retentive, conservative, and, under the third and seventh rays, economical. Of course, energy may be wasted in well-concealed, turbulent, and engrossing emotional states, but this is not the same thing as the scattering of energy. The question arises: “can the Martian energy be used constructively within the Cancerian ‘atmosphere’?” Cancer, eventually, must “build a lighted house”. The energy of Mars can be carefully employed to that end, once excessive emotional susceptibility is overcome.

11. Mars (in Cancer) in Relation to Courage:
This is, initially, not the most courageous placement, as the power of Mars is somewhat veiled and is certainly contained. If, however, there arises a question of defending loved ones, then great and unusual courage will be displayed. The tendency to self-sacrifice built into the maternal instinct, combines with the inherent bravery of Mars to produce a formidable force which can overcome an enemy apparently many times stronger. In this respect, it would be interesting to consider the relation of the Pleiades (the “nurses of the God of War”) to Mars (“the commander of the celestial armies”). Mars is involved with the “death of the personality or form” (EA 187) In this way, irresistible instinct helps to establish the preeminence of self-sacrificial soul-values, and the third aspect of divinity is rapidly translated into the second.

12. Mars (in Cancer) in Relation to Aspiration:
Cancer represents the “place of refuge”. Mars ignites the purposeful fire to reach the goal. Upon the Mutable Cross, there may be the longing for “heaven” or “haven”—safe refuge. This would carry the energies of this combination, apparently, ‘upwards’ towards the devachanic worlds.

For a long time, however, Mars in Cancer directs the energy of desire towards the three lower worlds. When selfless devotion arises, then there also arises the selfless aspiration to provide for the welfare of the “near and dear”. These “near and dear” eventually become Humanity as a whole. This is a more selfless aspiration than the longing for a transcendental place of personal/psychological safety

13. Mars (in Cancer) in Relation to Idealism:
The highest idealism in Cancer concerns the nature of Divine Providence—God as the Caring Mother. At first, the human being with this placement may hold the ideal of safety and happiness for his intimates, but eventually, this protective urge is expanded into the ideal of providing for all of humanity. Examples of this can be seen in the Hunger Project, and other global initiatives designed to meet the survival-needs of masses of human beings. Mars in Cancer, when expanded into selflessness, can indicate a militantly providential idealism.

14. Mars (in Cancer) in Relation to Life’s Battlefield and the Readiness and Willingness to Fight:
As stated above, there is no readiness to fight, unless questions of self-defense and protection of “near and dear” ones arise. Then, Mars in Cancer can overcome its usual inability to express aggression, and become, for the sake of safety, security and survival—aggressive and incorporative (of others—their property and their persons). Under such conditions, the fight is to the finish—selfishly when mere self-defense is the motive, and selflessly when the protection of loved ones is the issue.

15. Mars (in Cancer) in Relation to the Nature of Personality Rebellion against the Soul:
Cancer always seeks to provide for a home, a place of refuge from antagonistic forces. At first, that place is conceives as upon the earth, and the solution to the inherent human insecurity will be a material solution. The rebellion against the soul arises as one seeks to provide, on earth, for his own survival and the survival of those immediately related to him. The higher soul values seem, then, to have nothing to do with this urgent task. The man values those things related to the third aspect which will give him the protection he wants and thinks he needs. He gives himself to ‘selfish work in the lower worlds’, and does not care for the higher worlds, or higher ‘homes’. His desires turn towards protecting the form from the infusion of the higher Light which would inevitably demand sacrifice in relation to his material situation. This is another way of viewing the defensiveness of Mars in Cancer—the materially-inclined form defending itself against the soul—an interesting type of ‘rebellion’.

16. Mars (in Cancer) in Relation to Personality Cooperation with the Soul:
All this changes over time, and, his view of the meaning of security matures. Eventually, he can say, with Master M—”as if a pile of sticks could make a home”. He comes to realize that the real issue of safety and survival concern the safety and survival of himself (and his intimate others) as souls. He reorients his vision and seeks refuge ‘above’—at first in ‘heaven’ (whatever that means to him), and then, still later, as a disciple within the inner Ashram.

Cancer (like Pisces) is a sign of humility and abasement. The Solar Angel humbled itself to serve, and descending into the realms where the laws of the first solar system held sway. There the Angel labored, and set His ‘little man’, his projected personality, to do the same. The redemptive task, however, is inevitably forgotten until much later in the evolutionary process. When the time of personality cooperation with the soul arrives, the human soul now seeks to provide a place of safety and haven for the higher energies, the soul energies, the Solar Angelic energies, as they seek to manifest within the lowest worlds. Mars in Cancer then gives its full devotion and ardor to building the “Lighted House” which is meant to embody the descending Light and Love.

A Few Miscellaneous Meanings of Mars in Cancer

1. A tenacious physical body.
2. Blood rushes to solar plexus
3. Weakening, devitalizing etheric body through astral influence. The astral body is directly connected to the physical body. Loss of vitality because of emotionalism
4. The power of great devotion, especially to one’s blood family and (later in the evolutionary process) those who are considered to be an extended family.
5. Later—lots of devotion
6. Patriotism: fighting for the “Motherland”; ability to defend; sentinel
7. Hunger project; fighting for the nurturance and protection of humanity.
8. Courage in the help of one’s family. Courageous devotion to family, and to near and dear.
9. Struggle for survival; survival of the fittest.
10. Fourth elemental—the personality, the dominant controlling lunar lord ruled generically by the number four will be empowered in this fourth sign. Feeding lower personality with solar plexus energy. The lunar lords poised to triumph over the Solar Lord.
11. Dangerous if threatened—the “Mother Bear” in defense of her cubs.
12. Disturbances and fights in one’s family life.
13. Abuse within the home
14. Strong fears and hostility—family life not peaceful
15. Defensiveness
16. Constant irritation
17. Arousal of instinctual nature; unconscious insecurities.
18. Psychological projections on ‘them’; xenophobia
19. Jealousy based upon insecurity.
20. Aggressiveness, in defense of loved ones.

Individuals with Mars in Cancer

Czar Alexander II
Susan B. Anthony
Marie Antoinette
Rosa Bonheur
Johannes Brahms
Willy Brandt
George Gordon, Lord Byron
John Calvin
Al Capone
S. T. Coleridge
Michel Gauquelin
George Gershwin
Michael Gorbachev
Hermann Helmholz
Pope John XXIII
Immanuel Kant
Jeddu Krishnamurti
Carolus Linnaeus
Karl Marx
Maria Montessori
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wilhelm Reich
Arthur Schopenhauer
William Shakespeare
Charles P. Steinmetz
Arturo Toscanini
Immanuel Velikovsky
John Wesley
Wilbur Wright


Astrological Interpretations
by Michael D. Robbins

commentary and projects
by Michael D. Robbins

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updated February 2008