Jesus – the Cancer personality

22/06/09 | Posted by Steve Hollinghurst

This personality is strongly associated with motherhood and the mysterious as well as the compassionate. It is traditionally connected with the imagery of the moon and the flow of the deep oceans. Yet as its symbol the crab suggests people of this personality can also be ‘crabby’ moody individuals. In what way might Jesus embody the motherhood of God and how might he help those with this kind of personality to grow out of its worst tendencies?

 Cancer (traditionally 22nd June – 22nd July)

The Cancer personality is based in the water/spirit element.  Compassion and nurture are central to these people who are often strongly family orientated. They are also resourceful, tenacious and highly empathetic and make highly gifted and powerful leaders who will nurture and understand those they serve. They can often have an air of mystery with hidden depths to their character.  If these people represent the principle of motherhood then they also embody the fact that this is not only to be seen at a homely level but as something of great strength and power at work in the mysteries of creation. They are in the pursuit of the best for others self-sacrificial in their love at best being heroic whether in home or family or as leaders in other realms.

The idea of Jesus as mother may seem strange but it has not been so down the Christian tradition. Jesus was of course a male Jew but he himself talks of being a mother hen longing to gather Jerusalem into his arms. This is very much in the tradition of the Cancer personality. We are reminded in the first creation account that humans were made male and female in God’s likeness so the idea of Jesus the one who is the perfection of that image as being the ideal mother as much as the ideal father makes sense. St Anselm writing at the turn of the 11th and 12th century would pick up this image in a song used to this day

Jesus, as a mother you gather your people to you: 
you are gentle with us as a mother with her children; 
Often you weep over our sins and our pride: 
tenderly you draw us from hatred and judgement. 
You comfort us in sorrow and bind up our wounds: 
in sickness you nurse us, 
and with pure milk you feed us. 
Jesus, by your dying we are born to new life: 
by your anguish and labour we come forth in joy. 
Despair turns to hope through your sweet goodness: 
through your gentleness we find comfort in fear. 
Your warmth gives life to the dead: 
your touch makes sinners righteous. 
Lord Jesus, in your mercy heal us: 
in your love and tenderness remake us. 
In your compassion bring grace and forgiveness: 
for the beauty of heaven may your love prepare us.

This takes the mother imagery into labour, childbirth and nursing us with milk as well as gathering us up and comforting us. The mystic Julian of Norwich in her ‘revelations of divine love’ written at the turn of the 14th and 15th century would pick up the same image “A mother can give her child milk to suck, but our precious mother, Jesus, can feed us with himself”. This takes the nurturing image and adds to it the self-sacrificial element, Jesus death present in communion with Jesus very self being given for others.

Jesus also shows the powerful leadership qualities of this personality. A good illustration would be when he is a asleep in a boat piloted by his disciples when a great storm blows up. The disciples eventually rouse him, fearing they are all about to drown. Jesus however knows there was no reason to fear and commands the winds and waves to die down. We see further at the supper on the night before he died he is praying for those in his charge when facing his own death. His concern is always for those given into his care before himself.

The ‘crabby’ side can develop in people of this personality type, they can become moody and unpredictable and their nurturing love can become possessive and controlling. This can be seen classically in the parents or leaders who no-longer seek the welfare of those in their care but instead see them as extensions of themselves and start to dictate others lives for their personal satisfaction. Building the qualities of the earth/strength element will help such people to grow; these help the Cancer personality to not be inward focused and thus start brooding on their inner feelings. Making sure their empathy and connection to others is geared to practical results and actions is thus similarly helpful. Jesus can be not only an inspiring example to such people but his life can, as the mystics realized, nurture the mother/leader qualities within them so they grow fully into the image they are modelled on.

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Thank the Lord, for a great resource In understanding other people amd also for self-development.
May God increase and bless the wisdom of His ways

#1. By Jessica payne on September 08, 2011

Jessica thank you for the comment my God bless you

#2. By steve on September 09, 2011




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