Cancer-Sagittarius potentially resonates with the quincunx between two planets.  However, an out-of-sign trine aspect is also possible between planets in late Cancer and early Sagittarius and out-of-sign oppositions are also possible between planets in very early Cancer and very late Sagittarius.  Thus, the Cancer-Sagittarius relationship is complex with the potential for crisis and stress but some harmony, also.   Interpreting the Cancer-Sagittarius combination may also shed some light on a number of related symbol sets.  These include Cancer in the ninth house, Sagittarius in the fourth house, the Moon in Sagittarius, Jupiter in Cancer, the Moon in the ninth house, Jupiter in the fourth house and aspects between the Moon and Jupiter.

As a reminder, “container” is used here as a general term designating a planet whether in one’s own chart or another’s.  When in another’s chart, “container” may practically be viewed to mean the other person.  So that the analysis doesn’t wind up seeming too cold and depersonalized, I will sometimes use the personal pronoun (you) in lieu of the impersonal “container.”  Recognize that either term can refer to a planetary energy within you or your relationship with another person.

With Cancer-Sagittarius, we have the juxtaposition of a Water sign and a Fire sign, one in the Cardinal modality and the other in the Mutable modality.  The Water and Fire elements are generally viewed as incompatible with each other and the dynamic between the Cardinal and Mutable modalities is complex.  However, the quincunx affinity suggests that the inherent elemental conflict and the potential modal conflict is latent, rather than active, because the two are usually kept apart.

Images that can be associated with Cancer-Sagittarius may include a furnace with water pipe valves that are shut; a party around a campfire on the shore but a distance from a lone person on the shore of the ocean and obscured from view; or a body of water from which the Sun's light is obstructed.  In each case, there is a potential utility that is unrealized.  At the same time, there are potential dangers that are averted.

The furnace symbolizes the fiery energy of the Sagittarian container.  This is a mature Sagittarian who has learned to contain and harness that energy.  Those who come in contact with that container are "warmed" or positively affected by that energy, as long as they do not get too close or actually touch the furnace.  However, generally, the heat generated, the Sagittarian "presence" is so powerful that people naturally keep at a safe distance.  Yet, there is a missing component--emotional transference.  Yes, there are the fiery emotions being experienced and displayed, but the feeling, empathic emotions are somewhere else (or belong to someone else).  Therefore, the Sagittarian container fails to connect emotionally at that level. 

The Cancer container, on the other hand, may experience empathic emotion but remains unmotivated.  There is no "fire in the belly" to transform the compassion and nurturing feelings into action.  There is likely to be dissociation between feeling and doing.  Or, there is a compartmentalization of the two functions.  This compartmentalization, at times, serves a useful function for it keeps the Cancerian emotional body from becoming overheated.  Particularly, if there is some blockage in the "piping" of the psychic system, there may be a reason for the valves to be turned off, so that overheated water or steam does not burst those pipes when there is no outlet and relief.  Thus, the Cancer-Sagittarian combination has the potential to become explosive if the two energies mix improperly.

The challenge, often prompted by some crisis that is triggered by the compartmentalization of action and feeling, is to bring those two worlds together in a positive and safe way, so that the Sagittarian fire can have a more far-reaching effect, or the Sagittarian hubris and judgmentalism can be softened by compassion, or the Cancerian empathy can be motivated to action,  If this fails to occur, then there is likely to be dysfunction, with the possibility of emotional explosion, or a lost opportunity, or an unwanted contamination of Fire and Water resulting in a loss of enthusiasm as negative emotional content drowns Sagittarian fire. If the challenge is met and the Cancer and Sagittarian energy is integrated, the combination can be extremely positive, with the Sagittarius container finding their heart or their emotional center and the Cancer container finding their will to act and their enthusiasm to express their empathy and nurturing through positive action.

The second image suggests another dynamic that may occur between the Cancer and Sagittarian containers.  This dynamic focuses on the introverted tendencies of the Cancer container and the extroverted tendencies of the Sagittarian container.  It also focuses on the potential excesses of each element.  This image suggests a Sagittarian container who is socially engaged, bringing their fire, their enthusiasm, their passion for adventure and their fun-lovingness to enliven their social sphere and brighten those around them.  Meanwhile, the Cancer container may be brooding on their emotions, withdrawn, and emotionally contemplative--not necessarily in any negative way.  Potentially, however, each may run to excess.  The Sagittarian party may get out of hand and Cancer's emotional reveries may turn to melancholy or other negative emotional spirals.  The boundaries that have been erected between the two containers can prevent one becoming an antidote for the other.  When imbalance occurs, a crisis may erupt which calls for the integration of the two energies in order to restore the balance of each side.  The calming influence of Cancerian rhythms and centeredness, or of domestic life and family obligation, can put water on an out-of-control bonfire.  A call to the lonely person on the shoreline to come and join the party around the campfire can pull the Cancer container out of the emotional deep waters into the light.

The third image suggests the inability for the Sagittarian and Cancer containers to connect, to the detriment (or preservation) of the Cancer container and the frustration of the Sagittarius container.  Ideally, the Cancer container would receive emotional warmth and stimulation from the Sagittarius container.  This stimulation would then bring out the most positive qualities of the Cancer container.  However, the quincunx relationship between the two signs suggests that this potential interaction is blocked, leaving the Cancer container "in the dark" and "in the cold."  Without feeling the energizing influence of Sagittarius, the Cancer container is likely to become negative and withdrawn.

It is quite possible that it is the Cancer container themself who has erected the barrier that is blocking the light from the Sagittarian container.  The Cancer container may fear the excessive energy of the Sagittarian container and opt for withdrawal rather than overstimulation.  The image, here, would be the heat of the Sun evaporating the pool of Cancerian water, or the emotional enthusiasm of the Sagittarian container displacing or overpowering the receptive, feeling emotion of the Cancer container.  

Again, this imbalance and dissociation is likely, sooner or later, to provoke a quincunx crisis between the two containers.  This may occur when the Sagittarian container reaches a frustration point as they persistently try to reach and stimulate their Cancer partner.  The challenge is likely to be that the Cancer container removes the protective barrier they have set between yourself and your Sagittarian counterpart, trusting and letting go of the fear that letting that light and energy in will rob you of your own emotional integrity.  

Looking at the ruling planets of these two signs can also throw light on the relationship between Cancer and Sagittarius containers.  This is a complicated relationship because Jupiter is exalted in Cancer.  This would argue a very harmonious relationship between the Moon and Jupiter and, thus, Cancer and Sagittarius but, as we have discussed, they are in a natural quincunx, which is distant at best and in crisis at worst.  An answer may be found in Vic Dicara's explanation of why Jupiter is exalted in Cancer--that this cardinal Water sign offers the best opportunity for Jupiter to express its mission of promoting growth, happiness and self-understanding.  From this viewpoint, we should look at the positive aspect of the quincunx--its promise of the beneficial integration of disparate energies resulting in wholeness and fundamental psychological and spiritual growth. 

This suggests looking at the Cancer-Sagittarius relationship in terms of the dynamics involved in reaching this desired outcome.  The Moon-Jupiter relationship then becomes one in which emotional processes are used in order to achieve developmental growth resulting in real happiness.  Real happiness, of course, is not dependent upon external circumstances but is an internal state of being that can be achieved and maintained regardless of outer circumstances.  Therefore, we can say that as long as happiness is associated with material abundance and external well-being--conditions that are often associated with Jupiter--it cannot be lasting and true happiness.  In Sagittarian terms, the pursuit of happiness through the quest for adventure, the search for fun and pleasure, or through seeking dominance by pushing your own values on others will lead nowhere.  The quincunx relationship between Cancer and Sagittarius calls upon the partners to find true happiness and the true well-being of the soul (the Sagittarian component) through a deep exploration of the subconscious, an emotional cleansing and a transformation of the conditioned self (the Cancer component).  This transformation, however, is not to be an Aquarian breaking away from past conditioning but rather a process of bringing light (enlightening) to the conditioning processes so that they may be properly understood and dealt with positively.  Jupiter does not seek to overthrow the status quo, but to grow and develop within established boundaries.  Thus, the Cancer container, besides presenting a possible object of transformation (the emotional body) and defining the processes to be used to affect transformation (emotional and/or subconscious work), also may provide a safe and nurturing environment for growth and development to take place.

There is also a tension, suggested in the Moon-Jupiter relationship, between the basic, intuitive understanding that is feeling-based (the Moon/Cancer) and the synthetic, integrative and more intellectual understanding that results in the formulation or reformulation of a consistent worldview (Jupiter/Sagittarius).  The Moon-based understanding is immediate in that it is felt, not constructed.  While it may shift in reaction to its environment, it is also deeply lodged and resistant to direction from the intellect.  The paradigmic, Jupiter-based understanding, once achieved, is also difficult to change, since it is based upon an assemblage of information into a comprehensive construct that when accepted becomes belief, the basis for understanding the world and to which everything becomes related.  This paradigm is subject to change and development but through the incorporation or assimilation of new information or by viewing information about the world from a higher vantage point or level of consciousness.  Belief and feeling may be compartmentalized and co-exist independently.  However if belief and feeling are dissonant, and particularly if a choice must be made between one or the other, a crisis of perception may well occur. 

In order to resolve this crisis, the two must become integrated.  This may involve a willing exploration by each container of the viewpoint of the other, which is difficult because the Sagittarian container has little affinity with the feeling-based, intuitive perspective of the Cancer container, and the Cancer container has little affinity with the synthetic/intellectual perspective of the Sagittarian container which is likely to be grounded in a paradigmic belief system.  The natural inclination of each is to feel that the basis of their perspectives--intuition or belief--is the correct one but, in order for integration to occur, each must be willing to enter into the other's perception-space and accept the validity of the mechanisms on which those perceptions are based.  If they cannot do this, then the containers will remain separate in the way each sees the world.  If they can enter into each others' perceptual realities, both can experience growth and move closer to the goal of real happiness.

The Moon-Jupiter dynamic also suggests another tension that may exist between Cancer and Sagittarius which involves differing risk tolerances inherent in the two signs.  Cancer's natural inclination is to protect their vulnerabilities and, thus, generally exercise a cautious approach to the world.  Sagittarius' natural inclination, on the other hand, is to take risk in order to expand their experiential horizon.  There may be a sense of invulnerability on the part of the Sagittarian container which contrasts with a, perhaps overly keen, sense of vulnerability inherent in the Cancer container.  A quincunx crisis may occur when these two poles on the risk continuum result in a system that is out of balance.  Ignoring the potential for danger, the Sagittarian container may take undue risk that may ultimately lead to failure or catastrophe.  The Cancer container, on the other hand, can become paralyzed by their inability to overcome their risk aversion, leading to another type of failure and potential catastrophe.  Either imbalance requires the understanding and integration of the other attitude toward risk resulting in not just compromise, but a new and more realistic assessment of risk that leads to a fuller and more productive experience of life.

Finally, we can view the Cancer-Sagittarius dynamic through the lens of their respective glyphs.  Here we have the Crab and the Centaur.  The crab lives in the ocean, venturing up to the shoreline sands with the tides.  It is a creature of low lying places.  The Sagittarian centaur is aiming their arrow to the skies.  They are not concerned with the low lying places.  Thus, symbolically, we have a lack of connection associated with the quincunx affinity.  When and if the two glyphs do come into contact, it will be the hoofs of the centaur and the crab, with the crab scurrying out of the way in order not to be crushed.  The centaur's hoofs are too hard to pinch and the fleshy parts of the centaur are generally too high for the centaur to reach, so reactive defense by Cancer is ineffective.  We note, too, that it is the "baser" animal part of the centaur that places the crab at risk and that the damage done is almost always thoughtless and unintentional.  This speaks to the insensitivity of Sagittarius to the feelings of others and, particularly, the Cancer container. 

In order for the centaur to avoid crushing the crab, there must be intention to pay attention to the consequences of Sagittarius' actions and, particularly, control over their impulsive and desire-driven, ego-oriented actions.  Cancer, also, must learn not to place themselves in harm's way by exposing their vulnerability in defiance, demanding that their feelings be approached with kid gloves.  The temptation to become an emotional martyr in order to force the issue and validate their feelings when faced with emotional insensitivity can be great for the Cancer container and easily activated when in contact with an unaware Sagittarian. 

The higher glyph of Cancer combined with the elevated aspiration symbolized by the Sagittarian glyph may point out a resolution to the quincunx problem inherent in the Cancer-Sagittarius relationship.  This suggests a recognition that spiritual adventure is not the real goal, but an achievement of equanimity within (and integrated with) the necessary duality of the Creation.  Still, there is a tension here because the spiritual warrior on the one hand must learn to be content with the Will of the Divine and on the other hand is compelled to go deeper and deeper, higher and higher.  For there is no end to the Wonders of the Divine, and in at some point the chains of Duality must be transcended if true Liberation is to be achieved.  Cancer and Sagittarius point to two ways in which to transcend Duality but, ultimately, the Oneness behind those two approaches must be realized.

Of course, all of the Cancer-Sagittarius dynamics can play out internally, as well as between two people.  The Cancer-Sagittarius energy will also be modulated by the planets involved, whether in your own chart or someone else’s.  The depositorships of the Moon and Jupiter may also come into play.  -- Gargatholil             
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