There’s a running joke in my family about me and my sister, Antonietta. If you’re in the mood for some gourmet food served on Lenox, exquisite linens, fine wine and beautiful presentation, then come to my house for dinner. But, if you’re in the mood for “real” food, comforting surroundings, and a gallon of table wine (which we, in our loving Italian family, like to call “grape juice”), then go to Antonietta’s.
My sister, you see, has been blessed with the gift of every Cancerian – the ability to provide nurturance to the deepest part of you. Perhaps I can feed your senses, but my sister, watery Cancer that she is, can feed your soul.
Antonietta, born July 3rd, has been nurturing me ever since I can remember. Not an easy task considering I’m nearly fourteen months older! And yet, for all the times I might call my brother to lift my spirit, I call my sister to recharge it. Nothing replenishes quite like some time with a Cancer.
Why? Ruled by the Moon, Cancers are one of the most intuitive, sensitive signs of the zodiac. Their instincts are so acute, it’s downright eerie. Cancer can put into words what you’re feeling, when you didn’t even realize that’s what was going on.
Razor sharp in their perception, yet tender and fragile in their self-protection, Cancers have been called both the most creative sign in the zodiac, and also the most insecure. The creative potential and sensitivity comes from the combination of the Moon’s rulership, but also the fact that Cancer is a water sign. Picture the emotionally angst artist, who must express herself through her art or else she’ll die – this is Cancer. This same artist however, paints in the dark and refuses to allow anyone to see her work. No, that’s too dangerous – then they’ll be exposed. This is also Cancer.
Antonietta, because the placements in her natal chart happen to make her less guarded than the average Cancer, might not have any obvious security issues, but make no mistake – they’re still there. She always loved to draw and paint but never allowed herself the time to pursue her passion. Yes, she’s busy raising three young children right now, but that’s my whole point. Cancers have an easier time nurturing others and taking care of family than they do their own needs. Cancers have that selfless mother instinct where their own happiness will float to the background for the sake of family or tradition.
I’ll never forget the last time I went to the mall with my sister. We had “the girls” with us (her two daughters and my one) and went into GapKids looking for some cute girlie outfits. She recently had her third child and was in that in-between stage where old clothes didn’t fit and maternity clothes were out of the question, so she started moaning about how she had no clothes.
I suggested we go next door to Gap and see what we could find for her “inbetween” stage. From her response you would have thought I suggested she put one of her children up for sale:
“No way, I can’t justify spending money on myself now; it would be such a waste. I’d rather stick to having no clothes until I finish losing the weight.”
“But Antonietta, why don’t you just buy a couple of outfits so you feel better about yourself?”
“No, I refuse to buy anything for myself now. But let’s stop there for a minute; Jay could use a new pair of pants.”
Yes, I wanted to slap my dear sister. Yet again, she put everyone in her family before herself – in mammoth proportions. Cancer seems to have a hard time believing they’re worth any investment in time or money before the needs of their family.
Cancer has this pattern of nurturing anything that isn’t capable of caring for itself with amazing tenderness and ambition. That’s right, I said ambition. While it’s easy to picture a Cancerian around the home fires, don’t forget that Cancer is a Cardinal sign. This gives them incredible drive and leadership ability. You will find a Cancer nurturing their career or a pet project just as much as you might find them nurturing children, family, pets, or their infamous mood swings.
As a child, my sister didn’t have a lot of self-confidence. Cancerians often suffer from low self esteem and various insecurities and this gives them a certain type of vulnerability to the world. Think of the crab in his protective shell. Braces, glasses, and being a little overweight during childhood caused her to retreat into this shell for a long time. But when she finally emerged, she became the tough as nails on the outside, but soft on the inside woman she is today.
She has a way of getting right to the heart of the matter, one of the things I love most about my sister. She’s never blunt or crude, but always honest and penetrating. One day, when I was sitting on the couch at her house with her, watching our kids play, we began talking about my then “new hobby” of astrology. She looked up from the personalized horoscope book I had given her as a birthday gift and said:
“Maria, you’re going to become a professional astrologer and write about astrology someday.”
I couldn’t help laughing. “What are you talking about? I have no intention of ever doing this professionally.”
She looked right into my eyes and said, “I’m telling you, that’s what’s going to happen.”
Here I am, a few years later doing exactly what she predicted I’d do. That’s the thing with Cancer. You have to trust their instincts. They just know.