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Cancer
Spiritual Meditation for Cancer

   Cancer is a most deeply mystical sign, the principal feminine sign. The Moon, ruler of Cancer, is the exaltation place of both Jupiter and Neptune, and its physical keynote is fecundity. In the cosmic waters of Cancer are the germs that ensoul every earthly form belonging to the several kingdoms of nature. Also, Cancer governs home and family, and its qualities tend to develop attributes of character that enable parents to preside lovingly and harmoniously over their household.

   The mysticism of Cancer stems in part from Jupiter, planet of expansive sympathies and generosity, but still more from Neptune, the higher octave of Mercury and the planet of divinity. The Summer Solstice occurs when the Sun enters this sign, at which time the brilliant blue-white fixed star Sirius pours out its spiritual influence upon earth in greatest measure. As the cosmic mother sign, Cancer is the portal whereby human egos come to rebirth.

   By means of the Jupiterian influence, creative arts are especially inspired at this season, while Neptune makes this period one of the most propitious for enlightened souls to pass through the gates of light into the inner world and there experience immortal life. One of the three principles of man's triune being is governed by the Moon, Jupiter or Neptune. In their correlations the Moon relates to his physical body, Jupiter to his soul, Neptune to his spirit.

   Humanity in general responds to Jehovah through the influence of the physical Sun; Initiates of the Lesser Mysteries respond through the influence of the spiritual Sun, the body of the cosmic Christ; Initiates of the Greater Mysteries respond through the influence of Vulcan, which corresponds to the solar body of the Father. Astronomers have not yet discovered the planet Vulcan. It will, however, become known to the world as the result of scientific observations when enough individuals have become sufficiently sensitive to receive its vibrations. This was the condition under which the planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto commenced to register in the higher vehicles of man.

   The Ancients represented Cancer by the figure of a woman with the Moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. This symbol was also used by St. John in Revelation to represent the triumphant restoration of the fallen feminine, the Eve of Genesis, to its original divine estate. This exalted feminine figure is symbolic of that great Initiate of the Cancer Hierarchy known as the Cherubim. One of the highest Initiates of this Hierarchy is the Cosmic Mother of the universe to which this earth planet belongs.

   The Moon as ruler of Cancer means generation; Neptune exalted in Cancer means regeneration. The transmuting of generation into regeneration is the new birth — that new birth about which Christ spoke to Nicodemus when he came to the Master "by night." The biblical keynote of Cancer is found in those words of Christ: "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God . . . Except a man be born of water (Moon in Cancer) and of Spirit (Jupiter in Cancer), he cannot enter the kingdom of God (Neptune in Cancer)." This is one of the most explicit teachings on Initiation given by Christ during His three years' ministry. All men know the natural birth under the Moon in Cancer; but few there are who learn to walk the "strait and narrow way" of renunciation of the flesh and dedication to the spirit implicit in the exaltation of Jupiter and Neptune in Cancer. Yet this is the true and only key to that elevation of consciousness whereby man is lifted from the natural or "water" birth into the divine at-one-ment of the "fire" birth in spirit.

The Path of Holiness Through Cancer

   The Sun in its annual transit through Cancer reaches the highest point of its northern ascension at the time of the Summer Solstice. Its physical radiation then attains to maximum in the northern hemisphere, so the days are longest and the nights shortest. It is the high noon of the year, and its keynote is light.

   Cancer is the foremost feminine sign of the heavens. In harmony with this fact, the sign contains a small cluster of stars arranged so as to resemble a manger. From the heart of Cancer well up the waters of eternal life, in which are germinated seed-forms that animate all the kingdoms of earth. The Summer Solstice occurs when the Sun enters Cancer (June 21st) and is also attuned to the principle of fecundity. It is in obedience to this active principle in nature that seeds burst forth into a cycle of manifestation. Light, freedom, joyousness are dominant qualities of the midsummer season. Accordingly many people, particularly in Europe, observe this time of year with music, dancing and exuberant festivities.

   The Hierarchy of Cancer is known biblically as the Cherubim. It is the ministry of this Hierarchy to guard sacred places. They hover above the Holy of Holies. Through initiatory processes an aspirant is taught to build this Holy of Holies within himself. The pot of golden manna within the Ark of the Covenant is a symbol of man's own individual Grail Cup and his own sacred life force. Humanity lost the Garden of Eden through misuse of this life force, since which the Cherubim have guarded the gates of Eden lest unregenerate humanity should find its way back prematurely. The Blessed Virgin Mary and the Disciples are alleged to have communed with the Cherubim after Pentecost, meaning that they had learned these sacred truths from this divine Hierarchy.

   As the Sun reaches its highest ascension the Christ Spirit ascends to the very throne of the Father. His activity is then focused at the very highest level of earth's planetary aura, where he brings added illumination and renewed blessings to the celestial Beings who inhabit this realm; also to souls who, in their spiritual progression between physical embodiments, have risen to this high plane. In harmony with this, it is also at the summer season that an illumined one who is following the Christ on the Path of Holiness rises in consciousness to this realm to commune with its celestial denizens and learn further about the nature forces. Here it is perceived how the elementals of water and fire, the undines and salamanders respectively, work in spring and summer with growing plants; and how the elementals of air and earth, the sylphs and gnomes, work in autumn and winter with disintegrating and dying plant life. On this exalted plane one who pursues the Path of Holiness stands before the actual mystery of life itself. Only the pure in heart attain to this plane. Those whose hands are stained with blood can never lift the veil of this holy place. He who seeks to discover the secret of life will never find it until his hands and heart are chaste and clean. Only to such will come the realization of the oneness of all life.

   These are truths that belong particularly to the Hierarchy of Cancer, and they are not possible of direct transmission to the earthly plane. Therefore they are passed by the Cherubim to the Hierarchy of Capricorn, the sign opposite Cancer and home of the Archangels who, being of a lower hierarchical rank than the Cherubim and thus closer in consciousness to humanity, disseminate them to those of earth who are ready and willing to receive them. Hence, it was at a time when the forces of Capricorn permeated the earth that there descended into embodiment the Master Jesus, of the seed of David, who became the bearer of the Christ.

The Biblical Parable for Cancer
The Prodigal Son — Luke 15:11-32

   According to esoteric astrology, every incarnating soul passes through the gates of Cancer. In the waters of Cancer are formed the life germs ensouling each unit of the mineral, plant, animal and human kingdoms. This life impulse progressively raised the mineral into the plant, the plant into the animal, the animal into the human, and the human into the angelic, for all evolution is under the guidance of the Hierarchy.

   The parable of the prodigal son is correlated with Cancer. It is a story of evolution. This parable is a story of evolution. This parable introduces two brothers, an elder who never leaves his father's house and a younger who goes into a far country. To the former the father says, "All that I have is thine." This brother typifies man's higher nature which is ever in attunement with all that is good, noble, beautiful, pure and true. The other brother left his father's house and wasted his substance in riotous living, eventually descending to sharing husks with the swine he tended. This one typifies man's lower nature which succumbs to sensual temptations and worldly glamor.

   Because of its universal application, this parable will be found in some form in every spiritual teaching given to the world. It was an important teaching of the Mysteries of ancient Egypt. A slightly different version appears in the symbolism of Blue Lodge Masonry. As therein presented, the candidate — poor, naked and blind from having wasted his substance unworthily — lifts his eyes once more toward the Father's house and begins the journey toward the light in the east. There sits the worshipful Master who, when the candidate has proven himself worthy, will give him instructions for also attaining to mastership.

   Humanity at large is enacting the role of the prodigal son. For all too long mankind has turned from the true light and, in its absorption with material pursuits, literally lived on the husks of existence. This has given rise to the fear, chaos, uncertainty, conflicts and social upheavals that fill the earth today. And they will increase until humanity begins to retrace its steps toward the light that shines in the east.

   When the prodigal son returned the father met him "a great way off." Said the son, "I have sinned . . . and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants." But the father welcomed him with loving embrace, placed about him the best robe, and put upon his finger a golden ring.

   The most comforting assurance there is for man in the midst of world chaos is the realization that he can never really separate himself from his Father's loving care and protection. "The hound of heaven" pursues him ever. In the words of the Psalmist: "If I ascend up to heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there." (Psalms 139-8) No person can become so hardened in crime or so debased but what he can be assured of the Father's loving welcome when he lifts his eyes and begins to journey toward the east. The returned prodigal will have placed upon him the robe of a new life and will be given the golden ring of love and protection.

   The nearness of the Father is beautifully expressed by Elizabeth Barrett Browning:

   The two natures of the prodigal son are well defined by Emerson: "It is only the finite which has wrought and suffered; the Infinite lies stretched in smiling repose. And St. Paul illustrated the path leading from unreality in the statement: "Things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."

 — Corinne Heline


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