Cancer-Scorpio potentially resonates with the trine between two planets.  However, an out-of-sign square aspect is also possible between planets in late Cancer and early Scorpio and out-of-sign quincunxes are also possible between planets in very early Cancer and very late Scorpio.  Thus, the Cancer-Scorpio relationship, while generally harmonious, is somewhat complex with the potential for some conflict or stress.   Interpreting the Cancer-Scorpio combination may also shed some light on a number of related symbol sets.  These include Cancer in the eighth house, Scorpio in the fourth house, the Moon in Scorpio, Pluto in Cancer, the Moon in the eighth house, Pluto in the fourth house and aspects between the Moon and Pluto.

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-Scorpio, we have the juxtaposition of two Water signs, one in the Cardinal modality and the other in the fixed modality.  While Water signs are generally compatible with each other, the dynamic between the Cardinal and Fixed modalities, one in motion and one intransigent, may lead to some friction, reducing somewhat the natural compatibility between two signs of the same element.  Images that can be associated with Cancer-Scorpio include a lake fed by a deep underground spring or deep trenches that run along the ocean floor.

The common bond among the Water signs is emotionality and, in the images noted above, we perceive the Scorpio container to be in a position of emotionally feeding the Cancer container.  It is not that the Cancer container is emotionally dry or needy--far from it!  It is, rather, a matter of emotional quality rather than emotional quantity.  With the first image, it is Scorpio (the spring) that supplies the emotional content for Cancer (the lake).  We tend to think of this image in terms of pure, cool water but it may not necessarily be so.  If the well springs from volcanic depths, the water being fed into the lake will be hot and turbulent, even turbid.  If the groundwater from which the subterranean well springs has been polluted, the waters of the lake will be poisoned.  Thus, it seems that in the Cancer-Scorpio relationship so much depends upon the evolutionary state of the Scorpio container.

A key to understanding the Cancer-Scorpio relationship is to consider the way in which Cancer processes input.  Cancer is known for their sensitivity and responsiveness (which is often a reactive response).  Because there is no elemental barrier between Cancer and Scorpio (there is no boundary between bodies of water), the Cancer container will likely be very open and receptive to the emotional content projected or released by the Scorpio container.  There are a number of responses by the Cancer container to Scorpio's influence that can occur.  One is that the emotional content conveyed by the Scorpio container can be internalized by the Cancer container.  When this happens, it is often the case that the Cancer container's emotional state or moods will reflect those of their Scorpio counterpart, whether this is positive or negative content.  This is an expression of the co-energetic aspect of the trine, in which the trine symbolizes an easy transfer of energy between the two containers.  The emotional content conveyed by the Scorpio container can also elicit a pattern of response from the Cancer container, triggering the nurturing quality associated with Cancer.  This may particularly be true if the Scorpio emotional content is distressful.  Then, the role of the Cancer container may be to try to soothe the Scorpio container and alleviate their emotional pain.  If the emotions conveyed by the Scorpio container are positive, then the Cancerian response may be to share in and support the emotional state of their Scorpio partner. 

If you perceive the emotional content projected by the Scorpio container as threatening, however, your response is likely to be reactive.  Since Scorpio's emotions are often intense, the very intensity of these emotions may cause a reaction in the Cancer container, particularly if the emotional intensity is felt as destabilizing to the emotional often fragile emotional balance that you may be trying to maintain.  Your reaction is likely to be in a protective mode but this may take many forms.  You may withdraw from interacting with your Scorpio counterpart.  You may erect barriers or throw up boundaries between you and the Scorpio container.  You may become passive-aggressive with your Scorpio partner.  Or, you may lash out emotionally in some way against the Scorpio container.  This is the most dangerous reaction since the Scorpio container is not likely to take an aggressive response as something not warranting a response, and Scorpio's response could be vengeful, hurtful, or even violent. 

The natural trine between the two signs may also suggest a more balanced emotional connection between the Cancer and Scorpio containers.  This may be expressed in an emotional sympathy or compatibility that exists between the containers in the two signs.  There may be a deep understanding of each other at the emotional level.  For the Scorpio container this may include insights into the emotionally-driven motivations of the Cancer container.  Depending on the level of development of the Scorpio container, they may use this information to manipulate the Cancer container, to enhance their empathy towards the Cancer container, or to help the Cancer container attain a more positive state of emotional awareness and attunement.  For the Cancer container, this understanding may be expressed as a natural attunement to the emotions and motivations of the Scorpio container.  Increased empathy and enhanced emotional perception toward the Scorpio container are likely results.

Looking at the ruling planets of these two signs can also throw light on the relationship between Cancer and Scorpio containers.  There are a number of common threads linking the Moon and Pluto.  In fact, in many ways, Pluto can be viewed as the exponent of the Moon, rather than Mars, erstwhile ruler of Scorpio.  One thread is their association with duality.  Both are associated with the dynamic playing out between Light and Dark, in all their manifestations.  The Moon, with its phases as viewed from Earth, fluctuates rhythmically between the opposites.  Thus, a quality of Cancer is to fluctuate from one emotional state to another, generally on a "positive"-"negative" spectrum.  If we suspend value judgment on these emotional states (as the Cancer container is wont to do), then both states are an equally valid expression of who the Cancer container is.  In other words, it is possible for the Cancer container to embrace both emotional states.  Of course, societal conditioning may not allow the Cancer container to suspend its value judgments on these states and, if that is the case, the Cancer container can fluctuate between states of feeling good and self-acceptance and feeling rotten and self-loathing or self-pity. 

Pluto, on the other hand, symbolizes the polarization of duality.  Only at the highest levels of consciousness where the essential illusion of Duality is grasped will the Scorpio container refrain from value judgments being placed on the dualisms they perceive.  After all, a primary psychological function associated with Pluto is the separation of negative content through polarization and then the destruction or elimination of that content from the psyche.  That process presumes value judgment.  That is not to say that Scorpio may not embrace the Dark Side of the polarity, thus either consciously identifying with the "Satanic" pole or finding justifications for actions and attitudes that others would consider undesirable or unacceptable.

The question then becomes how these two dualistic dynamics interact between the Cancer and the Scorpio container.  First, we can consider the situation in which the Cancer container is suspending value judgment while the Scorpio container is intensely aware of the value differences between opposite states.  This is likely to result in conflict, with the Cancer container protectively crying out, "Don't judge me!"  The Scorpio container may be consistently critical of their Cancer counterpart, especially when you enter your "down" cycle.  Sometimes, the criticism may be biting.  Another reaction may be that the Scorpio container messages that it is not OK for their Cancer counterpart to indulge in melancholy or other "negative" emotions.  This may take the form of you wanting to help your Cancer partner get out of their funk or solve their emotional problem.  The Cancer container's response to this may very well be a "Leave me alone" or "Accept me for how I feel." 

There is also the situation where both parties place value judgments on the dualistic poles.  This may result in the Scorpio container's efforts to dissect the situation and help their Cancer counterpart obtain relief from their negative emotional side being welcomed by the Cancer container.  Another possible outcome is that the two containers both deny the negative pole within themselves and project that onto others.  This can result in the two containers supporting each other in their critical and judgment laden attitudes toward the world and others with whom they interact.  At the other end of this dynamic, their awareness of the negativity existing within their own psyches could develop and support feelings of empathy toward others' failings, encouraging them to employ their emotional gifts (nurturing, caring, insightfulness) to alleviate negativity in the world.

The easy transfer of energy and compatibility symbolized by the trine can also manifest as the two containers pulling each other down toward the negative dualistic polarity.  It may be the case that both containers embrace their darker sides.  This dynamic and relationship may look dysfunctional and unpleasant from the outside, with lots of bickering between the containers and each poking at the other using their emotional weapons.  However, in a perverse way, this is fulfilling some emotional need in both containers.  Some variant of the sado-masochistic relationship would not be uncommon.

A second thread tying together the symbolism of the Moon and Pluto is their connection to the subconscious mind.  The Moon is the primary astrological symbol of the subconscious, as the Sun is the primary astrological symbol of consciousness.  The qualities and functions associated with the Moon are all, in some way, rooted in the subconscious.  Although emotions, behavior and habits, reactions, nurturingness, and family ties all manifest in the field of consciousness (on the material plane), they all spring from the subconscious (or unconscious).  The primary mechanism for this transfer of content from the subconscious to the conscious realm is conditioning.  At the Moon-level, our feelings and face emotional responses, our habits and routines, the roles we take on, our comfort level, our nature are all conditioned.  Although the conditioning exist in the outer world--family, learned behavior, societal myths and tropes--these function by implanting conditioning stimuli and responses into our subconscious, where they take root and grow powerful.  Those external mechanisms are most often themselves subject to the conditioning influence of the subconscious and, so, are part of a never-ending cycle of the conditioning of human consciousness.

We should not view this subconscious conditioning as entirely negative for it is vitally necessary for our existence on the Earth-plane.  We are, in effect, conditioned into the structure and fabric of the material world and human society.  Our conditioning forms the basis for our human interactions and our interactions with our environment (with "Mother Earth" in the widest sense).  Even when we individuate, when we develop our conscious Self apart from our conditioned self, we risk existential disaster if we fail to acknowledge our conditioning and our link to the subconscious mind, which is the seedbed of our conscious existence.  If we become so individuated as to divorce from this underlying support of the consensual reality, we go mad--at least in the view of the rest of the world.

Thus, Cancer by its nature maintains a warm and fruitful connection to the nexus of conditioned consciousness and to the life of the subconscious.  This is part of their instinct for emotional security.  It is the security of being embedded in the womb of all transaction, of the stuff of experience and our response to that experience.  Cancer's instinct for self-preservation is to remain within the guidance of the conditioning subconscious. 

Pluto's work is within the subconscious mind.  Pluto functions as a mediator between the subconscious world and the world of the conscious ego--the conditioned ego.  Whether conceived as a higher level of consciousness transcending the subconscious, or as that part of the subconscious which is aware of itself (though not in a "conscious" way), the Plutonian function recognizes that the conditioned patterns associated with the Moon take on a life of their own--they are essentially self-perpetuating.  This in itself is a necessary thing because, otherwise, the subconscious would need to be constantly reinventing its mechanisms of conditioning and control (control, here, taken as a positive function).  Yet, any self-perpetuating mechanism will ultimately take itself as the reason for its existence and, thus, become detached from its original purpose.  When this happens, the conditioned pattern of behavior, emotion and/or thought becomes dysfunctional. 

This is the role of Pluto--to identify those dysfunctional conditioned patterns and destroy them, or dislodge them from the subconscious. The Plutonian function and the methods that are associated with it--chiefly polarization and destruction of the separated negative content--color Scorpio's qualities.  There is the fascination with the Shadow and the taboo.  There is the intensity of emotion (the polarization process can be likened to nuclear fission. which generates tremendous amounts of concentrated energy).  There is the private and secretive nature of Scorpio (for the Plutonian function takes place all underground, in the internal depths of the subconscious). 

Many qualities associated with Scorpio also have their origins in the ego's defensive reactions to the Plutonian process.  Not only may the ego be attached to those conditioned patterns that have become dysfunctional and must be destroyed in the Plutonian process, but the power, unpredictability and violence of the Plutonian process threatens the ego's (illusory) sense of being in control.  Thus, a Scorpio container may become obsessed with certain patterns of behavior or with objects that have become associated with those patterns.  While this obsessiveness can be seen as an element within the polarization process (the intensification or distillation of negative content), at the ego-level it is the frightened attachment to old, conditioned patterns and the fear that in letting go of these attachments the ego will lose identity. 

Another common Scorpio quality associated with the ego's resistance to the Plutonian function is the will to control.  Again, the Plutonian process itself is frightening to the ego and the intense energy involved in that process raises the specter of everything spinning out of control.  The illusion of the ability of the ego to control their environment is at the core of the ego's sense of self-worth and a validation of its existence.  When this sense of control is threatened, as it is by the Plutonian function, a common response is to grasp onto the levers of control ever more tightly.  Of course, there is also a positive component of Scorpio's inclination to keep things under control, for one doesn't want the Plutonian process to result in catastrophic explosion and total loss of control. 

If the Plutonian function is to be valuable and successful in eliminating negative and outmoded subconscious content, it needs to be a controlled process.  Obviously, as this process is occurring within the subconscious, unless one has attained a super-human mastery of the Mind, the Plutonian operations cannot be consciously controlled.  Yet the level of internal control exercised by the subconscious itself (or the super-consciousness, perhaps) can be reflected in positive aspects of self-control exhibited by the Scorpio container.

Exploring the potential dynamics between Cancer and Scorpio containers in light of the above, we can see potential supportive and difficult relationships developing between containers in the two signs.  The common ground in the subconscious shared by the two signs can reinforce the compatibility and camaraderie that can be felt by Cancer and Scorpio containers.  There can also be a strong subconscious connection between containers in the two signs.  When the Scorpio container is cleaning out their subconscious rubbish, the Cancer container can supply solace and comfort, as long as they don't feel threatened by the Plutonian process being undergone by their Scorpio partner. 

Things can get difficult, though, when the Scorpio container begins cleaning out other people's closets, especially those of their Cancer counterpart.  Because the Cancer container is likely to feel that they are just fine and there is no need to be digging things up.  If this dynamic is occurring between two containers in relationship, then it is probably the case that the Scorpio container is in denial about their own dark side and the need to collect and throw out their subconscious garbage. If, on the other hand, the dynamic is occurring internally within the psyche, it is probably the case that the Cancer container indeed has developed subconscious patterns of behavior, emotion and/or thought that need to be eliminated. 

The resistance to this process--which often occurs for the Scorpio container, resulting in typical negative Scorpionic behaviors--is likely to be even more intransigent for the Cancer container because of their attachment to the regularity and rhythm of things associated with the Moon and the basic emotional level at which Cancer operates.  This resistance is likely to manifest as denial, withdrawal and defensive/protective mechanisms.  If the Cancer container is open, however, to growth and willing to undergo the difficult process of self-examination and the breaking of old, outmoded habits, the Scorpio-Cancer relationship can be productive with the Scorpio container providing insight and the Cancer container making use of these insights to grow and develop.

Another projection of the Plutonian process that the Scorpio container may make involves attempts to exercise control over the Cancer container.  This, again, is a misplacement of the self-control that the Scorpio container should be exercising internally.  The response of the Cancer container might be one of defensive self-protection but the trine between the two water signs can also indicate an acceptance of the controlling power of the Scorpio container by the Cancer container.  This may be due to a resonance between the Cancer need for regularity, predictability and rhythm and the assurances of those conditions that can be provided by a controlling Scorpio container. 

Another commonality between the Moon and Pluto, related to the subconscious but also distinct, is identification with or relationship to the primal Source.  With the Moon, the Source is generally associated with the image of the womb or of mother.  The highest expression of this symbol is the Cosmic Womb or Divine Mother.  With Pluto, the Source is generally associated with power.  This is because the Source is the essence and origin of all power.  Think of the immense potential power concentrated in the point/instant before the Big Bang. 

At the mundane level, the Cancer-Scorpio relationship may generate issues involving mother and power--the power of a mother or contests over power involving the mother.  At a deeper level, both containers can have a mysterious and compelling attraction to the Divine Source, particularly through the images of the Cosmic Mother and the Primal Power, respectively.  This shared affinity can create a deep spiritual bond between containers in the two signs.  

Finally, we can view the Cancer-Scorpio dynamic through the lens of their respective glyphs.  Scorpio has three glyphs representing the evolution of the Scorpio energy at three different levels.  Cancer's glyph can be interpreted as three different symbols.  Thus, we can assume some correspondence between the two sets of glyphs.  The most common glyphs for Cancer and Scorpio are the Crab and the Scorpion. B Both are crustaceans and both can inflect pain through their pincher or stinger.  When the two are allied, they can be effectively self-protective.  They may enhance each others defensive modes and even heighten the level of distrust with which each perceives the world.  On the other hand, their common "us-against-the-world" attitude can lead to bonds of loyalty between the two containers. 
Viewing the Cancer glyph as a woman's breasts and considering the Eagle as Scorpio's glyph, conjures images of care and feeding.  In the case of the Scorpio eagle, we can envision the eaglle returning to the aerie with morsels of food for their young.  Thus, the Cancer-Scorpio pairing may bring out the protective and sharing instincts of the Scorpio container while enhancing the nurturing instinct of the Cancer container. 

Finally we have the Scorpio phoenix and the Cancer glyph seen as a Tao.  Here, we have an indication of the level to which the Cancer and Scorpio containers can support each other spiritually, both reaching to their highest levels of consciousness.  In the Cancer-Scorpio combination, we have the transformative power of Scorpio achieving the calm and equanimity that Cancer may find when they merge into the Cosmic Womb.

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