Glenn Perry

Glenn Perry, Ph.D. is a licens­ed psy­chothera­pist in private prac­tice in Haddam Neck, CT. He re­ceived his doctorate in psycholo­gy from Saybrook Insti­tute in San Francisco. A profes­sion­al astrologer since 1974, Glenn is the founder and president of the Academy of AstroPsychology, and lectures internationally on the application of astrol­ogy to the fields of counsel­ing and psy­cho­therapy. Dr. Perry is the author of eight books on psychological astrology. From 1997-2000 he was adjunct professor at The California Institute of Integral Studies. Currently he serves as program director and lead faculty for the Archetypal Cosmology & Conscious Evolution program at The Graduate Institute of Connecticut. Glenn’s website: www.aaperry.com

glenn@aaperry.com

Members area



 

Not a member? Register here!


Cancer

 

Questions

  1. Why are Sun Signs or the Sun’s position in the natal horoscope important and what can that tell us?
    I always say that the Sun performs the same role in the psyche that it does in the physical solar system. It is the central hub around which everything else revolves; it’s the heart of the matter, the core of the personality, the seat of consciousness. Psychologically, it signifies creative self-expression, will, and intentionality – our capacity to choose and by our choices create an identity. Underlying our choices and self-expression is a wish that others will validate those choices; i.e., that they will enjoy and approve of who we are becoming, which supports the development of self-esteem. 
    The Sun’s sign and house position show how (sign) and where (house) the person will attempt to establish their own identity. It reveals how and where they will experience a sense of purpose, play, creativity, enjoyment, and pride.
    The Sun sign, of course, is very different from the Sun itself, although often astrologers tend to conflate them. I don’t like to talk about signs as personalities, e.g., Cancers and Capricorns and Aquarians and so on, because it gives the false impression that signs can be reduced to personality types. Essentially, a sign is a motive, drive, or need that seeks fulfillment according to its own nature. Every sign wants something. When the Sun is in a sign, it means the person tends to 1) express him or herself in a manner consistent with the nature of that sign; 2) make choices – exercise his or her will – in a style that reflects the psychology of that sign; and 3) tends to identify strongly with that sign’s motivating principle. 
    All of this is very abstract, I realize, but it serves to establish the foundation of the matter. 
  2. What is the essence of the Sign of Cancer?
    Again, for me this is a different question than “how does the Sun function in Cancer?” But I will try to address both questions. The essence of Cancer is the need for closeness, belonging, understanding, nurturing, and unconditional love. This underlies and motivates all Cancerian behavior; thus, any behavioral trait of Cancer can be understood in the context of the need that behavior serves. Cancerian introspection, caring, and sensitivity to rejection are all in the service of fulfilling Cancer’s primary need for closeness. 
    Note that Cancer is semi-sextile Leo, which is the sign the Sun rules, i.e., Leo comes immediately after Cancer in the natural zodiac. It succeeds it. Leo is the Sun’s natural home; the place where it feels most comfortable and can most easily be itself. Signs that are semi-sextile have a compensatory relationship, as if the succeeding sign (Leo) is pushing away the sign that precedes it (Cancer) by saying, “I am so over you; I define myself by being everything you’re not!” So, when the Sun is placed in Cancer, it’s like going backwards. The urge to differentiate and carve out a personal identity by making choices that express one’s authentic self is compromised. This is the equivalent of having a 12 year old boy who balks at the prospect of adolescence. He would prefer to remain close with his family and not have to deal with adolescent angst involving the formation of a personal identity distinct from his family. 
    Cancer modifies the Sun’s natural expression by muting its vitality and exuberance; it softens and gentles it, turns it inward, and inclines intentions in the direction of caring and protection. Rather than differentiate oneself from others by a strong, clear expression of personal will, the solar function is stifled because expression of personal preference may have the unintended consequence of creating distance between oneself and others. By itself, the Sun might spontaneously declare, “I am a Catholic, a Democrat, a Yankee fan, and I love country music!” But if in Cancer, the Sun might worry how many people will be alienated by those choices because they cannot identify with them. There are bound to be people who are Protestants, Republicans, Dodger fans, and hate country music. This is worrisome to Cancer. All of this implies that Sun Cancer cannot readily and naturally be authentic, i.e., true to itself, out of fear it might be setting itself up for rejection. It equally worries that others who make different choices could feel rejected. 
  3. What is the best and strongest quality of the sign of Cancer?
    That would be emotional intelligence. Cancer’s ability to tune in, sense, and accept what’s happening on a feeling level gives it an instinctive ability to understand people and situations emotionally. It then adjusts its behavior accordingly. This is why Cancer is often described as having chameleon-like qualities that enable it to blend in with its environment. Again, the need for closeness and belonging are primary drivers that underlie all Cancerian behavior. One could even say this is what motivates a mother’s love for her child, i.e., the maternal instinct to retain closeness entails an innate capacity to understand what the child is feeling and needing at any given moment so that closeness can be maintained.
  4. What is the weakness of the sign of Cancer?
    As with any sign, its strength is also its weakness when carried too far. Simply place the word ‘over’ in front of any Cancerian attribute and one can glimpse the problem, e.g., oversensitive, overprotective, or overemotional. Cancer’s sensitivity to rejection and its worry of hurting others can incline it to timidity, shyness, and inauthenticity, especially when the Sun is in this sign. Moon Cancer would obviously work better since Cancer’s strengths are utilized in the service of a (lunar) function that requires exactly those traits that Cancer has. The Sun, however, requires traits that are distinctly different from Cancer; thus, its functionality is compromised and inhibited.
    It should be emphasized, however, that a sign’s ‘weakness’ is not so much an inherent property as a consequence of its lack of integration with other parts of the personality. People can express any sign badly – either too much or too little – but that’s not the fault of the sign. Note how I’m being protective of signs!
    As with any sign, its strength is also its weakness when carried too far. Simply place the word ‘over’ in front of any Cancerian attribute and one can glimpse the problem, e.g., oversensitive, overprotective, or overemotional. Cancer’s sensitivity to rejection and its worry of hurting others can incline it to timidity, shyness, and inauthenticity, especially when the Sun is in this sign. Moon Cancer would obviously work better since Cancer’s strengths are utilized in the service of a (lunar) function that requires exactly those traits that Cancer has. The Sun, however, requires traits that are distinctly different from Cancer; thus, its functionality is compromised and inhibited. It should be emphasized, however, that a sign’s ‘weakness’ is not so much an inherent property as a consequence of its lack of integration with other parts of the personality. People can express any sign badly – either too much or too little – but that’s not the fault of the sign. Note how I’m being protective of signs!
  5. What have you learned from your Sign?
    That I would prefer to have my Sun in Leo. All kidding aside, I’ve learned the importance of knowing how to deal with feelings. Paradoxically, there is tremendous power in the capacity to be emotionally vulnerable. The willingness to open up and share that side of myself has had unexpected benefits that I could not have foreseen as a child growing up in a family where feelings were shunned. I am fiercely loyal to my feelings now, and regard them as my staunchest ally. 
  6. What is the Sign(s) you deal the best with and what is the most difficult sign for you and why?
    That’s a difficult question, since I think that all signs are equally difficult and equally easy, depending upon the person expressing them. I personally am very attracted to Scorpionic qualities, for that’s the sign on my 7th house cusp and it’s also naturally trine Cancer. So there’s a simpatico there. While I love Aries in some ways, in other ways it can be annoying in its egocentricity – a quality that Cancer finds difficult to understand. While Pisces is naturally trine Cancer, I have precisely the opposite problem with that sign when it’s expressed in a dysfunctional, exaggerated way – bleeding hearts that are prone to enabling people rather than allowing them to learn from the consequences of their own mistakes. 
  7. What have you learned from other signs?
    That, I’m afraid, would take a book, which it just so happens I’ve written! See Introduction to AstroPsychology on my website: www.aaperry.com. You see, even Sun Sign Cancers can on occasion indulge in shameless self-promotion.
  8. What can other signs learn from the sign of Cancer?
    That the rest of you are insensitive brutes. Okay, I’ll be serious. Other signs can learn the importance of understanding, accepting, and honoring personal feelings, and how doing so will invariably strengthen the functionality of every zodiac sign.