from BARDO

The stars are in our belly; the Milky Way our umbilicus.

Is it a consolation that the stuff of which we’re made

is star-stuff too?

– That wherever you go you can never fully disappear –

dispersal only: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen.

Tree, rain, coal, glow-worm, horse, gnat, rock.

Roselle Angwin

Friday 6 July 2012

the sign of cancer

'There is never enough darkness to extinguish a single candle.'


Hello again – from among the torrents, and, despite the vagaries of my very old Mac and Google, which seem to be a little at odds with each other, a few words!

We had one whole day of sun here yesterday – or if not sun, at least a little brightness: I could at least see the white disc. A being-outside day after weeks of rain. Bliss to wander up into the orchard, and to sit outside with the dog and a book and lunch with the bees (and the hornets) and the bluetits foraging in the cranesbill around us. And now again flood warnings in place.

And in this torrential rain, my sister's been walking the southwest coastpath, as she does, for her job (even with the rain it must still be the best job in the world!); and my friends Francis and Steve have set out from Land's End in Cornwall, at the far west of GB, to cycle the hundreds of miles to John O'Groats for various children's charities, weather or no. (Among them the Chernobyl children's charity, and also Ocean Stars; should you feel inclined to sponsor them this is the link: <>)

I have been thinking about the astrological sign of Cancer, which rules this month that begins with the summer solstice – an apparent anomaly, Cancer being a water sign (OK not so much of an anomaly this particular summer), and quite 'inward' in its focus, at a time when the year is burgeoning, in the northern hemisphere, in theory, at least, with the sun at its zenith and all manner of extraverted fecundity, heat and light.

But there is a connection, esoterically speaking, between Cancer, water and light, so maybe it's not such a surprise that Cancer rules the period beginning with the longest day, here in the northern hemisphere.

There is also a connection between Cancer and the notion of 'home' – home and family, astrologically the matter of the fourth house, are central to a Cancer sun-sign person. According to traditional interpretations, people born under the constellation of Cancer are supposed to be emotionally heavily armoured, like the crab, to protect their soft and sensitive interiors. Esoterically, though, perhaps the body-armour of the crab is rather, in the human, the cloak of the etheric body or aura, the 'light-body', which is drawn around one to protect the small flame within; and maybe one of the gifts of Cancer people is the sense of taking the small flame of home with them and guarding it, no matter where they are; tending it through the turbulence of the seas on which we all travel, setting our sails towards – something; something bigger than we have left, something which seems to us to be the light to which our small candle properly belongs.


  1. Thank you Roselle. I love your interpretation of Cancer, my birth sign (22nd June). I think I was born right on the cusp though as I have an awful lot of Gemini in me!

  2. Hello Angie - thanks for commenting! How lovely to be born so close to the solstice. And yes that is on the cusp – and it's also quite possible that you have some of the fast-moving 'personal' planets, like Venus and Mercury, in Gemini, which would also colour things...


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