the Key & 4th Fundamental

The Seven Ray Cycles

Occult Cosmology

Science of the Antahkarana & Ray Words of Power

Esoteric Astrology

Commentary on
Zodiacal Meditations

72 Faces of Man
Complete Text


On the Ordinary Wheel

June 21st to July 22nd

And the word said:
Let isolation be the rule, and yet the crowd exists


First decan           Venus                   June 21st to July 1st

Second decan       Mercury               July 1st to 11th

Third decan          Moon                   July 11th to 22nd


Please read the prefatory material before investigating your own Decanate Stage, as proper assignment is required. i.e., your birth date does not indicate the stage of development, rather, you must employ a subjective recognition of the state of consciousness (point of advance along the Path of Initiation) which you, or another, has achieved.

See this note on determining the decanate.

Step One: Physical Man

June 21st to July 1st


Proceeding upon the Wheel of Illusion as it rolls onward into form, the sign of Cancer is entered via Venus in the first decan, Mercury in the second and the Moon in the third.

Under this stimulation the Cancerian is enhanced with a response apparatus which has a natural sensitivity to the impact that intelligent substance and mass form life make upon the physical body. The first stage of Cancer fosters the embryonic growth and development of the intelligent faculty of sentient response to environing conditions. The life activity of the soul here is the development of psychic sensitivity in its lower materialistic aspects. The urge toward incarnation leads to the densest immersion in form.

The pull of the form life and the processes of concretization control; hence the symbolism of the hard outer shell of the Crab. The soul exclusively identifies itself with its physical form and its active modifications. Attachment and longing for objects of desire are the dominant characteristics, and these lead after many incarnations to a point of crystallization.

The problem of the Crab is that it identifies itself with the mass life and symbolically the "blind unit" (EA 332) is lost or submerged in the ocean of mass social consciousness. Negative physical receptivity remains a lifelong problem and there is an acute need for self-preservation to be developed. Eventually the 'blind physical unit' will awaken to that which is around it. In the interim period of evolution, the Crab is deeply immersed or captivated in the mass 'ocean' of life and must tirelessly endeavor to attain some measure of control over the physical plane.

Subjectively speaking, the stage is being set for the eventual appearance of the soul in form. Only after countless incarnations will the form life become the conscious method of expression. At this latter stage the pull of matter will be superseded by the free choice of the soul. Obviously the successful development and eventual use of the form aspect is essential, as the task in this decan is to build adequate physical bodies and to become a self-conscious, self-sufficient, independent and individual personality.

At the advanced physical stage the essential dualism of soul and body begins to be sensed. The soul is making its presence felt, underscoring the truth that it will one day be fused into one form with the physical body. The ability to clear the ocean of debris and to walk free in the world of illusion for the purpose of helping, serving, saving or lifting other human beings remains a latent but distant possibility.

For long ages however, the life of the Crab is selfish and self-centered with all efforts focused upon personal satisfaction and personality enterprises, and these become steadily stronger and stronger. Quite naturally, at the rudimentary stage of physical development the young Crab is quite timid and helpless, staying hidden in the crevices of the rocks, trembling at the approach of danger and smothering those upon whom they rely for security.

Just starting out, the young Crab—to speak in symbols—must first begin to learn how to string and tune its own physical instrument and strive to find the key to its harmonies. At first they make a complete mess and jangle of the chords, ignorantly, impatiently and helplessly attempting to force a tune out of each string. In the early stage the instrument itself—the physical body—must first be outwardly developed before the inner music of the soul can find a voice or fit vehicle of expression. The pitch is altered fitfully and spasmodically as the ability to register response to the discords of life is slowly and painfully developed. At the advanced physical stage the Crab will begin to consciously listen for harmonies in nature and lend its efforts to producing them; but at the beginning of the first stage the soul must deal with physical awkwardness, numerous imperfections, lack of symmetry and poor proportion.

Generally speaking, the Cancerian physical type is usually somewhat large and round, gains weight easily and may be strong, but certainly is not very well proportioned. In fact, perhaps the outstanding physical trait is the lack of any regularity of feature. The skeletal structure itself is generally the most striking aspect, with its limbs—especially the arms—long in proportion to the body. Shoulders are typically quite broad with the hands and feet excessively large, but the legs are often like spindles, underdeveloped and thin.

In both sexes the upper body, especially the chest or breasts, are quite full or wide with a decided tendency to top-heaviness, out of proportion with the lower body. This is certainly not always the case however, and many Cancerian women are quite flat chested. Nevertheless breast appearance and development or lack of it plays an important part in their psychology. Irregularities or small abnormalities in feature due to obscure karmic causes, are common occurrences.

The Crab with distinctive recessive physical traits is excessively overweight and displays an over-sized skull broader than it is long, with a large over-hanging brow and decidedly wide lower jaw. The teeth are irregular in size and shape. Small eyes and a full face are the norm. The lines and features of the face are round and flat with unhealthy fatness, and jowls which resemble the mandibles of the Crab totem of the sign. The nose is typically snub, turned up, with wide nostrils. Excessively large, the mouth appears greedy and sensual, as if the appetites are indulged indiscriminately. The eyebrows are thick or bushy, arching above the small, pale eyes, highlighting an expression of dull, placid unintelligent curiosity. The hair is straight, thin and dull, lacking body—or else the opposite, uncontrollably thick, curly and unmanageable.

In the feminine type blessed with active features, the look is petite or small and quite doll-like, with baby-soft skin and quiet voice. The skull and cranium are longer, more angular, and the features decidedly more oval and aquiline. The cheekbones are high, rounded and sometimes rather cute, like chipmunks.

The eyes are large, generally pale blue or gray, deep set and wide apart, with long eyelashes full and curling, and the eyebrows very distinctly marked. The eyes often reveal a painful, shy, hurt or sad expression and are characterized by a drifting, dreamy, watery, moist, child-like quality. The most beautiful Cancerian eyes are like deep mysterious ocean pools, whirlpools of delight, colored by an exuberant expression of luminous receptivity, intelligent curiosity and a beholding wonderment. The skin and the face of the Cancerian female are often especially sensitive and great care must be taken. The mouth is generally somewhat wide and expressive, with a generous smile of great sweetness. The hair is usually plentiful, blond or light brown, flaxen, silky and wavy; but can also be very thick, tight, twisted and curly.

Positively inspired by the Venusian force, as we might expect, we find a whole host of great artists, writers, bodybuilders, athletes, actors, musicians and fabulous dancers born under the auspices of this decan. The focus here is the production of adequate forms, well-proportioned, graceful and harmonious, the body possessing a real sense of symmetry, rhythm, timing and beauty. The capacity to beautifully build and to wisely use and control a relatively perfected human form are the result of the efforts of the soul achieved over many lifetimes. Eventually the full glorification and adoration of the perfected human form life will be successfully and creatively achieved.

In the meantime the Crab must often work hard to balance physical injustices, inadequacies and irregularities. When the accomplished athlete, bodybuilder, dancer, yogi or gymnast can stand triumphantly on the physical plane, the temple of the soul has become well rounded, attractive, complete and practically perfected.

The advanced Cancerian physical type is a shape-shifter fully capable of molding, sculpturing and transfiguring their physical vehicles, and are also experts in the task of training the bodies of others. They therefore make excellent personal trainers and instructors of great inspiration and imaginative power. As teachers, musicians, artists and coaches they often establish their own studios or schools of specialized instruction. Although some Cancerians simply prefer a quiet walk in the park or countryside, many like to jog, cross-train or engage in a wide range of leisure and sport activities including biking, swimming, golfing, skiing or tennis. In all cases the active physical type appears in top-shape, with excellent hygiene, perfect make-up, well groomed and immaculately dressed. The successful Crab personality certainly more than makes up for any lack of regularity or imperfection in physical feature through personal magnetism and charisma.


Step Two: Emotional Man

July 1st to 11th


At the second step the watery life of the emotional body is developed. At this stage the Cancerian deals with ordinary feelings, personality sentiments and personal reactions to pain and pleasure. Mercury's rulership indicates that antagonism, conflict, struggle, stress, battle and crisis represent the path of least resistance and the modus operandi for emotional unfoldment in this decan.

Deeply ingrained in the Cancerian psyche is the craving for completeness or well-roundedness. Struggling with opposition and wrestling blindly with the duality of existence, they subject themselves fully to the tearing process generated by competing choices, options and alternatives. Emotional growth results from the intense progression through the highs and lows of personal crisis. In the early sentient stage the struggle is waged unconsciously and unintelligently without a give-and-take which modifies the abrasive and discordant elements of the experience. Adjustments and accommodations are difficult, even though the Crab unconsciously seeks harmonization and is extraordinarily sensitive to any type of personal conflict.

The achievement of emotional harmony and balance is especially difficult for this type and certainly does not proceed in a straightforward manner. No matter how circuitous the route however, hypersensitivity to impacts from all angles and a rapid capacity of response to contacts from every point of the compass are the benchmark traits of the fully developed and mature Cancerian emotional body.

Mercury produces a painfully sensitive emotional temperament. It is amazing however, to what lengths and through how much pain an advanced Cancerian woman will go in order to appear more beautiful, attractive and desirable. Cosmetic surgery, electrolysis, waxing, tattoos, excessive periods of working out or training, fasting or special diets are the norm. The ability to change the physical appearance helps to produce a dramatic transformation of the Crab personality. Making themselves as physically beautiful and attractive as possible is an attempt to achieve emotional fulfilment.

The vanity and fear of a Cancerian woman concerning her own aging process is perhaps unprecedented in the zodiac. The attendant loss of full and firm breasts and general muscle tone, and especially the appearance of wrinkles on the face is often an overwhelming experience difficult to cope with emotionally. Maintaining good form and keeping up the semblance of conventional appearance becomes a real forté.

Mercury fosters an emotional formalism with an overemphasis on outer structure and appearances. Inwardly however, emotions of hurt and resentment build up. Unconscious feelings of frustration, anger and entrapment stemming from the emotional straightjacket of restraint and constraint result. This syndrome causes the astral Crab to lash out furiously at times over seemingly innocuous, trivial or relatively unimportant issues at home or in the office.

Crabs are known for retreating within their shell and shunning friends and family for weeks or months at a time, after which they attempt to emerge again into the public gaze in an effort to regain self-respect. Keep in mind that Mercury is a planet of duality and the emotional temperament of Cancer is known for its alternating extremes and dramatic moods. Have you noticed how a Cancerian mother will love, pamper and spoil her children one moment and angrily reprimand them in the next?

Mercury is youthful and playful, so with the opposite sex a good deal of relatively innocent and harmless bantering, repartee, flirting and teasing is common. Cancerian types do seem to have quite a comedian inside. However they can also have quite a sarcastic and biting sense of humor, and can make snide comments or off-hand remarks exhibiting a real slanted and warped social, sexual and racist bias. A real hypocrite emerges who will not be seen talking to those outside of their own social milieu.

Cancerians love to be able to feel confident, safe and secure enough of their own status, social or financial position to be able to criticize others who are less fortunate or different in some way. They view life from the outside in; certainly not from the inside out.

The astral Crab remains oblivious and unconscious of the special needs or individuality of others, beginning with their spouse, family, friends and children. It is as if a sense of the latent but unexpressed powers of the soul gives the undeveloped Cancerian an absurd idea of their own self-importance and the respect, deference and consideration due to them by others.

The inertia of the emotional temperament is so strong that the Crab can really be stuck in the mud. The behavior of the astral type has much to do with attachment, bondage, grasping, holding on and clinging. Have you noticed that a crab will lose its claw before it will let go of an object; and will then proceed to grow a new claw? When emotionally hurt or apprehensive the line of least resistance for the Crab type is to take evasive rather than direct action. Note how a crab when threatened runs off sideways attempting to skirt the danger with a sudden flurry of lateral motion. Inwardly, the personal emotional state remains imbalanced, insecure, undirected, unsettled and unstable. The irrationality of the Crab is such that they are fully capable at times of throwing all caution to the wind, losing complete control and doing that which is forbidden, thus breaking all social taboos and shattering the illusion of the status quo. It is the constant craving for emotional experience that leads to the heights of folly.

The recessive Mercurial emotional disposition is an aggravating bundle of contradictions and inconsistencies. Strong feelings of exalted self-sufficiency are followed by periods of unreasoning terror, exaggerated shyness and humility. Fierce pride and independence alternate with vulnerability, helplessness and loneliness.

The Mercurial temperament is dualistic, unbalanced, spasmodic, vague, indefinite, moody, elusive, oversensitive and insensitive, difficult, restless, unreliable, erratic, unstable, angry, frustrated, repressed, depressed, destructive, uncontrolled, addictive, dictatorial, naive, unrealistic, manipulative, indiscreet, prying, troubled, unsure, frightened, phobic, smothering, passive, procrastinating, negative, long-suffering, insecure, anxious, withdrawn, biased, stuck, obsessive, disturbing, difficult, armored, shielded, fanciful, disillusioned, uncommunicative, isolated, misleading, materialistic, cold, self-denigrating, unforgiving, impulsive, moralizing, hardened, tethered, impatient, dissatisfied and self-unconscious.

Helpless slaves of their moods, astral Crabs are doomed to disappointment and failure and fall at times into silent despair. The young soul in Cancer is the prey of sentimentalism, sensationalism and exaggerated emotion of every kind.

On the positive side, the Mercurial emotional expression is well known for great magnetism, love of beauty, grace, ability to improvise, athleticism, artistic talents, rhythm, musical and aesthetic sensibilities. These Cancerians are charismatic, dramatic, enraptured, seductive, sensual, romantic, open, imaginative, receptive, enchanting, illuminating, skillful, magical, empathic, perceptive, courageous, protective, convincing, determined, humorous, interesting, entertaining, lively, fun-loving, child-like, experimental, vibrant, daring, adventuresome, fascinating, inspirational, influential, passionate, observant, truthful, sensitive, proud, attractive, intent, motivated, involved, creative, spontaneous, curious, inventive, patient, receptive, socially aware, cooperative, responsible, capable, consistent, committed, steadfast, faithful, self-confident and courageous.

When emotionally mature, the Crab is a provider and nurturer who gives comfort, food, support, shelter and individualized love to those they care about. Their children are given every material advantage and receive the best possible schooling, and often the best musical and cultural training. They bring other people into their houses and warm them with the radiant love and light emanating from the central nucleus of their family. Eventually after many lifetimes of experience, the ability to compromise and mediate will enable the advanced emotional type to preserve their integrity and to be able to form and maintain complete unions.

In fact one of the great gifts of the emotionally mature Cancerian is that they are in fact a bridge of relationship and a reconciling link between diverse elements, circumstances and people. This gift is especially important when the marriage partner is not at the same point of evolutionary development. At this latter stage the life of true and inclusive love unfolds with the powerful feelings and emotions finally given full, free and abundant expression. The sentient ability to appropriately respond to environing conditions, circumstances, persons and objects has now been awakened.


Step Three: Mental Man

July 11th to 22nd

The Moon

In the early stages of mental growth and development these individuals are bound by convention and outmoded ethical values. In speech or writing, under the influence of the Moon the operation of the conscious mind is largely influenced by the past.

Original thought is non-existent and there is the constant urge to appeal to antiquity, precedent and outworn platitudes. The half-educated mind is cautious, conservative and does not wish to offend, so will merely say what is easiest or most convenient. While the recessive mental type is lazy, placid, seldom exciting and most often boring, the positive type in sharp contrast is quite outspoken, independent, self-sufficient, and critical sometimes to the point of offensiveness.

The active mind has an exceedingly retentive memory with a style that is picturesque, vivid, dramatic, arousing and kindling of enthusiasm. Under the Moon, personal style and imagination come to the forefront, so quite naturally these Crabs enjoy contact with the public and love to claim its interest, stimulate its imagination and sway its moods. Nevertheless both the active and the passive mental types need to develop independence of thought and action. Eventually they must attain detachment and break their dependence on approval and sympathy from other people.

The dicta of religion and science meet with a ready acquiescence in the untrained mind of the average mass-minded Cancerian. Emphasis here is on the building up of the equipment of thought and the attainment of the necessary mental training. Authoritative statements are accepted without being verified. Too many other thinkers color their point of view.

The Cancerian in this decan must learn practical application of the scientific method of experimental testing and the elimination of that which cannot be proven. Childish, impossible and unverifiable thoughts are rejected and the result is the consequent clarification of the mental field.

Under this decan a discriminating and scientific process enables the Cancerian to arrive at a degree of truth regarding his or her personality and the physical side of life in general. Through this process the incorrect formulations of truth are ultimately eliminated, and right processes of thought that focus on the essential are engendered. A steady focusing of the attention is required.

Correct conclusions will eventually be reached when the mind is developed and receptive enough to register some eternal verity, thereby bridging the gap between the world of form and the world of Ideas. The advanced Cancerian mind becomes trained, open-minded and focused. With great facility it can then identify, recognize, understand and adjust in response to the ever-changing tide of human needs and the peculiar demands of family, friends and associates. This decan teaches sensitivity to timing and responsiveness to the cyclic processes of life.

Highly evolved mental types possess a wonderful facility for bringing harmony out of conflict, and become stronger themselves through the process of constant struggle and crisis. A tremendous capacity to reconcile, compromise, mediate and bridge demonstrates through a dynamic creative living process. Carefully cultivating and developing skill-in-action, musical talent, fashion, design, style and literary abilities go hand-in-hand with refined artistic and aesthetic sensibilities.

Although Cancerians have a fighting spirit they also have the ability to make peace, amuse, delight and entertain. They have a natural love of color and beauty, and the capacity to create or express it picturesquely in any given field. They have a form-creating mind with a facile ability to bridge, link, resolve, unify, integrate and synthesize. They are capable of attaining rapid attunement and rapport.

Fully integrated Cancerian personalities possess constructive minds able to build an edifice of thought. This is a patterning mind which organizes, details, sorts, classifies, coordinates, standardizes and synthesizes. Its hallmark is the production of crystal-clear thoughtforms.

The evolved mental type is quick, improvisatory, playful, dramatic, inclined to exaggeration, expressive, imagistic, fictive, freely associative, non-linear and non-rationalistic. The process of refining, weighing and balancing comes naturally to this analogical and metaphoric mental disposition. Through the process of mixing, linking and fusing, the mind becomes truly non-separative, drawing lines of harmonious relationship between diverse elements.






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