“Various daughters and daughters in law came in to cool and clean on a sort of rota. Every flat surface was stuffed with ornaments brought back by far-traveling members of the family. Sons and grandsons kept the logpile stacked, the roof shingled, the chimney swept; the drinks cupboard was always full, the pouch by her rocking chair was always stuffed with tobacco. Above the hearth was a huge pokerwork sign saying “Mother.” No tyrant in the whole history of the world had even achieved a domination so complete.”
-Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters
Cancers have a reputation for being manipulative. In fact, whenever I’ve written a post specifically about Cancer, the conversation in the comments almost immediately tuns to that reputation. So I thought it was time to address it head-on.
Are Cancers manipulative? The answer is yes! But how you feel about that is up to you.
I think many of us have had the experience of feeling like out strings were being pulled by a Cancer in our lives. As someone raised by a Cancer father, I can attest to the heavy sighs and looks of long-suffering disapproval. I can’t count how many times I heard, “I’m not angry, just disappointed.”
And many Cancers, like the character described in the quote above, can run entire empires based on sentiment and familial loyalty, not to mention a solid helping of guilt. The character in question even had family pictures positioned and ranked based on who had pleased or upset her recently.
So why are Cancers like this?
Cancer is cardinal water. Cardinal signs are concerned with control, and water represents emotion. Cancers like to control their emotional world to help protect their vulnerabilities. Cancers are crabs! Hard shells encasing soft, squishy insides. Cancers feel everything deeply and have an innate fear of how powerfully the outside world can affect them. So they build emotional edifices to keep out the harshness of the world.
I don’t mean to endorse this or say that this is the best use of that cardinal water energy. It’s not. It’s far better for a Cancer to learn to control their own internal emotional world rather than their exterior environment. But look at it this way:
The character above is a feeble old woman living alone. She is vulnerable. My father was a sole provider who poured every ounce of his being into supporting his family. He was vulnerable. Is it any wonder they are manipulative? They have so much to protect.
So the next time you feel yourself being subtly pushed by the Cancer in your life, as yourself what they’re afraid of, and what they’re trying to protect.
Do you find Cancers manipulative? Can you see the underlying cause?