Cyril Fagan on Constellations (Cancer)

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Jim Eshelman
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Cyril Fagan on Constellations (Cancer)

Post by Jim Eshelman » Mon May 08, 2017 6:30 pm

[Here is a Fagan article from the 1950 issue of The Astrological Bulletina. It is probably of lesser interest than most of the other things I've been typing up lately, because it reflects more of his early post-Tropical p.o.v. than most of the other materials. Nonetheless, I find it interesting, and perhaps you will, too. - JAE]

THE "CONSTELLATED" HOROSCOPE
By Cyril Fagan, F.A.F.A.

ASTROLOGIGALLY considered, the seat of consciousness is centered at that point of the mundane sphere where the great circles of the horizon and meridian mutually intersect, namely, in the physical body of the native himself. Whenever a planet is precisely on one of the angles, which are defined by these great circles, the native will become fully conscious of its effects. Should, for example, the planet be Jupiter, he will feel marvelously elated, but if it is Saturn, he will cringe with apprehension.

Those parts of the constellations that happen to be crossing the horizon or meridian at the moment of birth – but more particularly the eastern horizon, called “ascendant” by modems and “horoscope” by the ancient Greeks – signify the type of physical body bequeathed to the native by his parents. It will be noticed that in large families there is a certain “family resemblance” between most of the members, however much they may differ in detail. Examination of their birthcharts will usually show that the degree of the zodiac on the Ascendant or Midheaven in one natal scheme will be on one or other of the other angles of the parents, brothers or sisters.

At the moment of birth, the likeness of the native to one or other of the parents is usually very striking, but as the child gets older, the resemblance becomes less obvious. This is because the constellation occupied by the Sun, and the Solar aspects, have a considerable bearing on the personal appearance. This is confirmed by the number of successes of those astrologers who specialize in deducing the correct birth-month from an inspection of personal characteristics alone.

The Sun symbolizes those non-hereditary characteristics that are unique to the native, and which distinguish him from all other members of the same family. On the other hand, the Moon typifies his manner, behavior, personal habits, and general destiny. It is not an uncommon thing to find three or four members of the same family having almost the same degrees of the zodiac on the Ascendant, but beyond a common family resemblance, have nothing else in-common. Solar and Lunar constellations are more important than that which was on the Ascendant at birth, from the point of View of individual uniqueness.

In matters of health, of course, the degrees of the zodiac on the eastern and western horizons have a vital importance, not only in the natal theme, but in the Solunar Returns as well. The degree of the zodiac on the Ascendant constitutes the Apheta or “Giver of Life,” symbolized by the ancient Egyptians as a naked male child. That on the Descendant constitutes the Anareta, or “Destroyer of Life,” and was symbolized by a mummy. The affliction of these degrees by the malefics, without any assistance from the benefics, threatens danger of physical hurt or disease.

The Sun is the great source of life, and life expresses itself physically as vitality, which in its flow gradually alters the appearance from that signified by the rising constellation at birth, to that occupied by the Sun. Life expresses itself psychologically by those deep-seated cravings which in the aggregate give rise to the uniqueness of character. The frustration of the flow of desire (the Sun, as “the heart,” is the desire-nature) forms a physical eddy or vortex which we call the Ego or “I.”

The constellation in which the Sun is placed at birth gives the background to the character, but this may be considerably modified by the Solar configurations. For instance, if the Sun is closely aspected by the Moon from the angular houses, the native will be highly imaginative, soft, gentle, timorous, sympathetic, generous, sensitive, tender-hearted, and easily moved to tears, irrespective of the constellation occupied by the Sun. On the other hand, if the Sun is in close configuration with Mars from the “foreground” (the angular houses), the native will be harsh, vulgar, rough, violent, drastic, rash and unfeeling. If the Sun is with Jupiter, the native will have merry eyes, a rollicking manner, be inclined ‘to corpulency, and will exult in the luxuries of life. But should the Sun be involved strongly with Saturn, the disposition will be thoughtful, cautious, responsible, solemn, painstaking, conservative and frugal in most things. Furthermore, the frame will be somewhat tall, sparse, and angular. The Sun with Venus endows a disposition that is smiling, friendly, sensuous, voluptuous, affectionate and aesthetic, with a comely and alluring figure. But with Mercury, the native is garrulous, restless, informed on most subjects, eternally busy, and slim and light in bodily form. Therefore, in assessing character from the Solar constellation, it is essential to make liberal allowance for all Solar configurations.

When the sages of antiquity wanted to epitomize the astrological nature of a fixed star, such as Regulus, for instance, they likened its influence to that emanating from a conjunction of two planets; in this case, Mars and Jupiter. This convenient. technique is familiar to all astrological students today. Similarly, when they wanted to convey a clue as to the nature of a constellation, they likened its effects, taken collectively, to that of a planet commonly known as its “ruler” or “regent.” For example, we are informed that the regent of Aries and Scorpio is Mars, hence, the influences emanating from these two constellations will, generally speaking, be forceful, martial, and given to strife, which are similar to those emanating directly from the planet, On the other hand, the character of those born with the Sun in the constellations Taurus and Libra will he lovers of peace; voluptuous, erotic and artistic, because Venus, goddess of peace and voluptuousness, is their tutelary deity. And so on, with the other constellations. The real clue to the influence of a constellation will be found not so much in its symbol (e.g., a bull for Taurus) as in the qualities of its “ruling" planet.

There is an ever-widening interest among students in the study of the starry constellations, which are the basis for the Hindu and “sidereal” zodiac. There is need, then, for an enumeration of what may be called “Sun-constellation" traits. Owing to limitations of space, it is only possible here to give the barest outline of the salient characteristics of one constellation, taking our clue from the “ruling” planet. This will suggest the approach new students of the sidereal zodiac might make to do further research along this line.

But first, let us tabulate the dates on which the Sun enters each constellation for the present year (1950), reckoned in G.M.T. Owing to the precession of the calendric points, these dates increase at the rate of one whole day in about every 72 years. For example, the Sun entered the constellation Aries on April 14th and left it on May 15th of this year. But, some 72 years ago it entered and left Aries on April 13th and May 13th, respectively; and in 72 years hence, the dates of ingress and egress will be April 15th and May 15th. It was only about A.D. 200 that the Sun entered Aries on March 21st. The exact date of entry of the Sun into any of the zodiacal constellations for any year in antiquity or modern times can be quickly computed from the “Hypsomatic Solar Tables” appended to ZODIACS: OLD AND NEW, a new Llewellyn Publication every ambitious student should have.

Dates When The Sun Enters The Constellations (1950)

ARIES April 14
/FAURUS May 15
GEMINI June 15
CANCER July 17
LEO August 17
VIRGO September 17
LIBRA October 18
SCORPIO November 17
SAGITTARIUS December 16
CAPRICORN January 14
AQUARIUS February 13
PISCES March 15

Example Treatment of CANCER, “The Crab”
July 17th – August 17th

To Cancer the ancients allotted Sin, the Moon, as regent, because this constellation reflected its characteristics to a remarkable degree. The Moon is the significator of the imagination, and those born when it is near an angle of the horoscope have a hypernormal imagination and sensitivity. This image-creating faculty may be so strong as to cause natives of this constellation to mistake their own creations for reality, a condition which, in extreme cases, may produce lunacy. It is small wonder, therefore, that this constellation has produced such gifted writers, dramatists, actors, poets, painters, and reporters as Rembrandt, Thackery, Alexander Dumas, George Bernard Shaw, Emile Jannings, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Emily Bronte, Walter Pater, Guy de Maupassant, Shelley, Tennyson, Omar Khayyam, Northcliffe, Reuter Harpignies. and H.P. Blavatsky. (To which we add: Carl Jung, Felix Adler, Max Heindel, Aldous Huxley, Mary Baker Eddy, Claude Bragdon, fairy-tale teller Grimm, animal-story teller Ernest Thompson Seton, and the incomparable epic-producer Cecil B. DeMille. The lack of musical people and composers is striking. A list We compiled of more than 80 eminent persons born with the Sun in the constellation Cancer shows only one composer among them, Carrie Jacobs Bond, whose music, although sentimental and pleasing, was relatively shallow. –Editor.)

The average Cancerlan lives in a world of make-believe and fancies himself playing all sorts of roles, from the heroic to martyrdom. If a convenient audience is at hand, he will narrate, with excited gestures and grimaces, a series of episodes from which he emerges as the hero. Like Mussolini, he is forever acting a part, trying to become the darling of the crowd. Or else he visualizes himself as a mahatma wielding potent powers.

Nevertheless, Cancer's greatest attachment is to his home and his children. To them he is generous to a fault, and for this reason is often accused of nepotism. He takes the greatest pride» in their achievements, and is disconsolate at their failures. Being, hypersensitive, he is touchy, moody, moved to tears. The most characteristic Cancerian signature is a “rubberface." When photographed, Cancerians usually pose and distort their faces into some strange grimace. Seldom do you catch their features in repose.


The men in middle age are inclined to become quite bald on the top, leaving a shiny pate fringed by a ridge of dark hair above the ears.

As chemists and druggists, Cancerians are in their element. As a rule, they are very patriotic and are much attached to the mother-country, mother-church, and their Alma Mater, and for this reason the roots of partisanship are deep and enduring.

Among film-stars the following are representative of the signature: Joe E. Brown, James Cagney, Reginald Owen, Regis Toomey, Arthur Sinclair, Leo Carrillo, William Powell, Lloyd Nolan, Paul Kelly, Maria Ouspenskaya, Jean Parker, Myrna Loy, Billie Burke, and Ethel Barrymore. In demotic texts, Cancer is represented by a Scarab or beetle.

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Re: Cyril Fagan on Constellations (Cancer)

Post by Jim Eshelman » Mon May 08, 2017 6:32 pm

jamescondor wrote:Fagan makes fundamental descriptions of Sun in Cancer highly resembling Neptune qualities. Then sometimes its like he is going back and forth between Cancer and Pisces. Some description he makes is Cancer sun living in a make believe world acting out roles, having strong imaginations and sensitivity-Neptune. Then he mentions lunacy, home and family-Cancer I could see what he means in people like Robin Williams, Steve Martin ect. And Jupiter vs Neptune/Moon vs Neptune. But as a sidereal astrologer he should have been more careful in contrast so readers do not mistake him. His analysis here creates more confusion than absolution. Sounds pretty lame.

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Re: Cyril Fagan on Constellations (Cancer)

Post by Jim Eshelman » Mon May 08, 2017 6:32 pm

jamescondor wrote:Fagan makes fundamental descriptions of Sun in Cancer highly resembling Neptune qualities.
Good eye! Very good catch.

I think what's going on here is that Moon actually has far more of those traits we attribute to Neptune than people usually give credit. One of the character traits Michel Gauquelin found attributed to people with Moon near angles is mystical. Throughout his life, in his work and that of his wife Francoise, they could never demonstrate that Neptune near angles had any clearly identifiable character traits, but - when they took a cluster of traits traditionally given to Neptune - they found overwhelmingly strong presence of Moon on the angles. From very early on, they also found words attributed to imagination and related ideas for strong Moon.

So a lot of what's happening in the above article is that he isn't just observing Cancer... he's observing Cancer through a lens of what he already knows to be true about Moon. The "fit" becomes even stronger when you consider Jupiter's exaltation in Cancer.

Bradley (in "Kid Gloves") related Neptune's function in is the psychological elements arising out of the time we spent in the womb. Seeing how these are concurrently Moon ideas isn't hard. (I have occasionally suggested that Pluto and Neptune are, respectively, the Sun and Moon of collective humanity rather than individual humanity.)

Much that Fagan mentions is also true of the lunar aspect of Qabbalistic psychology called Yesod. It's almost a dead-on description. (A nearly overlapping Qabbalistic idea is that of the World of Yetzirah.) When typing it, I was wondering how much he had counsel of Rupert Gleadow who, at the time, was a member of Dion Fortune's Society of the Inner Light. In later years, Fagan didn't necessarily change the concepts on angular Moon or Sun in Cancer all that much, but his word choices never seemed quite so dead-on like this one Qabbalistic idea. In one of my books on Qabbalah, I summarize the World of Yetzirah this way:
Yetzirah is the level of images and other forms that pre-exist material actuality. We participate in, and potentially control, these formulations by concentrated thought, employing the image-building power we call imagination. In human psychology, Yetzirah corresponds to the field of personality, including the whole range of emotion; the reactive and adaptive aspects of consciousness; the capacity to form, perceive, and select images; and the intellect. The World of Yetzirah itself is what we commonly label the “astral plane.” The Yetziratic aspect of each of us is “in and of” the World of Yetzirah in the same sense that our physical bodies are “in and of” the physical world. In awakening to conscious awareness of Yetzirah, we learn to see past the veil of our physical senses to the wondrous world behind them, a world of magic and fantasy, of psychic realities and shifting tides, and of energies too subtle for physical sensation.
Sorry for the barrage of information - I want to show just how deeply these ideas are truly lunar ideas, inherently lunar ideas.
But as a sidereal astrologer he should have been more careful in contrast so readers do not mistake him. His analysis here creates more confusion than absolution. Sounds pretty lame.
I understand your point. I'm glad this article opened up this particular discussion. But I wouldn't agree at all that Fagan's effort is "lame." That might be true if these were, in fact, not lunar traits. The error, I think, is in astrologers overall not recognizing that these are exactly lunar traits. Fagan, across the decades, was consistently clear that Moon is the function of imagination. I think he's right and (more important than that) the Gauquelin statistics show that "imagination" is a character trait strongly associated with angular Moon people.

In my standard interpretation for foreground Moon on this site, you'll find "imaginative, strong powers of imagery," and a note relating this to Gauquelin traits "poetic, dreaming, imaginative."
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Re: Cyril Fagan on Constellations (Cancer)

Post by Jim Eshelman » Mon May 08, 2017 6:33 pm

jamescondor wrote:I got frustrated after reading so I exaggerated. I know Moon/Neptune and Neptune/Jupiter are similar . I also know how easy it is to confuse subtle descriptions. Even if the interpreter knows in his heart what is true sometimes the interpretation isn't communicated as clearly as the reality.

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Re: Cyril Fagan on Constellations (Cancer)

Post by By Jove » Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:26 am

I remember Fagan writing about the other signs too. It was at a website that I can't find anymore. Could you please post those, perhaps at a different thread, perhaps over time?

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Re: Cyril Fagan on Constellations (Cancer)

Post by Jim Eshelman » Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:37 am

By Jove wrote:
Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:26 am
I remember Fagan writing about the other signs too. It was at a website that I can't find anymore. Could you please post those, perhaps at a different thread, perhaps over time?
I have no idea what you might be talking about unless it is his standard interpretations from Symbolism of the Constellations, reprinted in Astrological Origins. Those are the interpretations I stripped of extraneous language and give as bullet points here:
http://solunars.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=101
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