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Cancer — Evocative Images and Esoteric Teachings

Francis DonaldThe images and texts published in these posts were created by Francis Donald.  His wonderfully evocative images and inspiring writings help us to more fully understand the nature of astrological signs, and the esoteric concepts underlying their meaning and power.

We are grateful to Francis for this most significant contribution.

Francis Donald can be contacted at oeahoo@yahoo.com




Cancer Discussion

by Francis Donald

In an age long past, a being emerged from the ocean of life, passed through the wide Cancerian gate, and thus entered the temple known as humanity. For aeons the Moon shone through that gate, strengthening its threefold form. After an endless tide of lives, the Moon began to wane– revealing a truer source shining through its dissipating veils. Thus Neptune waxed in strength; the astral trials began, and the scarab, symbol of the soul immersed in form, unfurled its wings, and began its upward migration. Now seeing the gate that leads into the spiritual kingdom, our disciple chants aloud, “I build a lighted house, and therein dwell.”

A Lighted House by Francis Donald

A Lighted House by Francis Donald

The Temple as a whole represents incarnation into physical form.

The six indigo pillars stand for the 6th ray energy of Neptune; their gold bases and capitals represent the 4th ray of harmony through conflict, which rules Cancer through the Moon during the aeons-long form-building stage.

The three steps stand for the physical, astral, and mental bodies. The disciple, sitting at the level of the lower mental, focuses on that which comes through…

The altar, which represents the higher mind, the seat of the soul. Having passed through the astral trials, its mirrored surface reflects and focuses the buddhic plane down into the now calm waters of the astral body.

The spaces between the pillars, or ‘gates,’ grant passage into this temple of water and earth along three axes. The Taurus-Scorpio axis has rotated counterclockwise. The wide gate into incarnation through Cancer stands behind the disciple, who gazes towards us through the Capricornian gate. The Moon, now as esoteric ruler, illuminates the coming phase: the axis that begins in Virgo and leads to the ultimate victory of the watery triad in Pisces. Master Djwhal Khul (DK) tells us: “This relationship is brought about by the esoteric linking of Cancer- Virgo-Scorpio-Capricorn-Pisces. In the future horoscopes of disciples, this significant interplay of forces will be recognized as dominating the chart at a particular and peculiar stage of discipleship.”

Through the upper dome, the Pleiades, called the “eye of the Mother,” illuminates the point around which our universe revolves. These ‘seven sisters’ hold the unfathomable key to the mystery of form.

“The word scarab means ‘only begotten’; it stands, therefore, for birth into incarnation, or, in relation to the aspirant, for the new birth.”– The Cancer section of the Labors of Hercules p. 86

In ancient Egypt the scarab was considered to be an embodiment of the power of transformation. Here it is depicted in flight, passing up from the solar plexus to the heart. Having achieved this repolarization through the threefold influence of Neptune, it takes the shape of the trident, which, if you look carefully, you can just see guiding its upward path.

* * * * *

We stand before the ancient Cancerian portal that leads into human incarnation– a kingdom we first entered in an age long past. On the far side of the temple, the portal of Capricorn opens into the realm of the 5th kingdom, its dual apex of Hierarchy and Shamballa just hidden from view (you can make out part of their auras in the mountains behind the temple pillars). The soul stands at the center. By emulating its open-handed gesture, the personality, depicted in the foreground, has begun to take on the quality of that with which it has aligned itself, and thus glows with soul light.

Temple of Light by Francis Donald

Temple of Light by Francis Donald









The Temple is made up of twelve columns and twelve lintels forming twelve portals; the lintels are embossed with the symbols of the esoteric rulers of the twelve astrological signs. It stands under the dome of stars that represent the manifested universe. The ‘six potencies’ (astrological axes) that make up the temple’s interior space represent the field of incarnated human experience. This temple is of ancient design, for it originated at the time of individualization– when the substance out of which it was then fashioned began recording humankind’s gradual awakening to soul contact. Now, after æons of struggle to integrate the personality and align with the soul, its opaque stonework has begun to gain the color and transparency of the soul that stands at its center.

You’ll notice that the ‘Temple of Light’ is oriented along the Cancer-Capricorn axis. We stand before the first great gate– the gate into human incarnation– looking towards the second– the gate of initiation.

The Geometry of Cancer is the cube, symbol of the realm of form. It stands for the ‘house’ that must eventually be lit through the discovery of, and orientation towards its hidden central point. The Tibetan tells us, “The lines become allied, and cubes are formed, shielding the inner fire. The altar is prepared, and four square stands.” Treatise on Cosmic Fire, p. 839

Cancer is the 4th sign; this ‘four square’ represents the lower quaternary, the realm of the lunar lords, described as the ‘imprisoning cubes’, and exemplified by the exoteric rulership of the moon in this sign.

The following quote gives further insight into why Cancer is so particularly associated with realm of form: “In Cancer this living substance [the threefold figure in the image] assumes a triple differentiated relationship to which we give the names of Life (Aries) [represented by the tiny innermost figure] of Consciousness (Taurus,) [the central figure] and manifested duality (Gemini,) [the outer figure] and these three, blended together, come into outer manifestation… to be consciously directed and controlled in Cancer, thus leading to the great liberation which takes place in the polar opposite to Cancer, Capricorn…” Esoteric Astrology, p. 314 and 389

Neptune: “the Fish God (Christ) introduces the water of life into the ocean of substance and thus brings light to the world. Thus does Neptune work.” Esoteric Astrology, p. 220

This is one of a few evocative passages form the Tibetan’s works that connect Neptune, the Christ and the ‘water of life’. Both Neptune and the Christ, we are told, preside over the second initiation, and it is inferred that ‘the baptism’– the name given to the second initiation– draws its potency from the ‘water of life’, which when poured into the ‘ocean of substance’the receptive initiate– ‘brings light to the world’– or in other words, anchors the influence of the soul on the physical plane by means of the consciousness of the purified initiate. But a shift has occurred since Atlantean times– the Master DK tells us that the purification that now comes through the 2nd initiation is by fire, not by water. In this regard it’s interesting to note that in A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, Neptune is described as ‘the repository of solar flames.’

Perhaps this fact gives us a clue as to Neptune’s esoteric nature– ‘the unveiled Neptune’– which is capable of releasing the initiate from the thrall of astral glamor: “The unveiled Neptune relates Cancer to no other constellation or sign, for when a man is an initiate, he does not react to ordinary feeling, sentiment or to personality relations as they express themselves in pleasure or pain. All these are surmounted and eventually the watery life of emotional reaction is superseded by the life of true and of inclusive love… the Mother gives birth to the Son and that individual spiritual entity then stands free.” Esoteric Astrology, p. 322


Thank you for sharing this work with me!

Highest Regards,



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Cancer – Evocative Images and Esoteric Teachings