Posted by: Donna Cunningham | July 20, 2013

How to Help a Cancer Leave Home

Donna says: This series of excerpts from Mary L. English’s books on all 12 signs of the zodiac has been very popular with Skywriter’s readers, and her newest one is out now. Here, with permission of the publisher, is an excerpt from How to Care for a Cancer: Real Life Guidance on How to Get Along and Be Friends with the 4th Sign of the Zodiac.

©7-20-2013 by Mary L. English

When a Cancer is growing up, they enjoy the whole being in the arms-of-the-ones-they love or, equally, embracing-the-ones they love. It’s a two-way street. Generally, and I say this cautiously, because there is always someone this won’t apply to, Cancers love their mothers. They just do that automatically. As mother represents all those things they love: being cuddled, having tasty food, feeling together and feeling safe. Even if their relationships with their mothers are challenging, they still yearn for that one true love of mother-dom.

I can’t tell you the amount of clients who have told me that one of their children just doesn’t seem to want to leave home. And if I enquire a little further, their Sun sign is Cancer. The parents are generally Air or Fire signs, as they’re the most independent signs… and there their child is, all grown-up, with a job and a car and a partner sometimes, and they still come home for dinner, still sleep in their bed in the childhood bedroom. They make themselves useful with helping around the house, doing shopping, paying bills, so any mother in her right mind surely wouldn’t want them to fly the nest. 

I even know a Cancer lady I read for who married a man, then divorced him and married his brother so she could continue to stay in the family home. The divorced brother even continued to live in the same house. We did some tie-cutting.

If you want your Cancer to leave home, you will have to plan very early in their life. Plan ahead. You might even have to downsize to help them leave, as even if you use their room for other purposes, they’ll sleep on the sofa, or even on the floor. Make the moving out as gentle and as thought-out as you can.

Encourage them to stay the night with friends. Explain that you need your freedom too. Teach them about managing their finances and paying bills and all of the practical things that leaving home entails, otherwise you’ll have them back in two months because they didn’t pay the rent.

Find out what their Moon sign is, and work around satisfying that part of their psyche to make the move easier. If you’re still having problems, get their full birth chart made up, and look at their 4th house and the planets that are in there (or not) as this will give you an idea of the type of home they feel most comfortable in, and then you can help them recreate it in their own home.

Here are some examples, though all 12 signs appear in the book: 

Libra Ascendant or Moon: Be nice! Libra/Cancer will be an indecisive wreck and pointing that out won’t help. Stay away from any decisions, don’t ask them what they want; in troubled times they can barely think, so make all the decisions about lunch, shopping, cooking and eating. Find something truly beautiful and share it with them. Point out some lovely things that are true, take them to see a beautiful sunset, take a walk through a pretty meadow or landscaped garden. If you don’t have the time or the money, set their computer to have a picture of nature on their screen saver. Listen to gentle music together. Just ‘be’.

Capricorn Ascendant or Moon: As this is a more serious combination, your Cap/Cancer will enjoy wise words from an elder, someone older than them, who has been there, done that very thing they’re fretting about, and has got the tee shirt. They like to think of serious, practical, traditional subjects that have meaning; and when they’re in a headspin, prefer and respond better to wise council.

If you’ve got any elderly relatives, drag your Cap/Cancer to see them, so they can understand that everything-will-be-alright. To get to be old, you have to have taken some risks, so finding out how this older relative might have survived their own tragedies will inspire your Cancer to better things. If not, tell them about how your mother/grandfather/elderly neighbour handled it, or how someone from long ago that you heard of/read about did it. Use examples that contain results and feelings.

Pisces Ascendant or Moon: The sign of the mystical and spiritual Pisces/Cancer will love the more esoteric solutions to problems so you can use Angel cards and the flower essences to assist. They also need time and space to reconfigure, as they’re more likely to have picked-up everyone else’s feelings and angst which might have contributed to present problems. Keeping a dream diary also helps during wobbly phases.

Once a Cancer has made the move and created their ‘own home’ they’re fine. It’s just making that transition that can be more challenging.

Donna asks: Fellow Cancerians, what was your experience in leaving home, and how have major moves affected you as an adult?  Readers with Cancerian children, was it hard for them to leave home? Share your experiences in the comment section beneath this post.

More Posts from Mary’s Zodiac Series: 

 NOTE: Here’s a direct link to order this book:
The Kindle book is already available too,
and can be made available on every different format:

All of Mary’s books  in this series on the 12 signs are available in every different format, so you can get them on Nook
Itunes for Mac devices
Amazon (books and Kindle)

 Biography: Mary English was born in London and educated in Switzerland at the American International School of Zurich. She comes from a large family and is one of 5 children. Mary has been writing since she was 13 when her sister Lucy (a published author of fiction) gave her a diary for her birthday. Mary lives in Bath, UK with her husband, son, and her black cat.

She sees clients face-to-face and writes personal Birth Charts for visitors to her website. It was these consultations that inspired her to write about the Sun Signs to help her clients understand their motivations and learn about their Astrology profiles. Mary is a member of the Society of Authors, The Astrological Association of Great Britain and The Association for Astrological Networking. Visit her website at


  1. Let me be the first to comment. I can feel some of you Cancerians out there bristling at this choice of excerpts, objecting that it’s a stereotypical picture of a Cancerian. Well, I always say, “if the stereotype fits, wear it. If not, donate it to a thrift shop.”

    The reason I chose that excerpt is that it struck home for me. I’ve worked hard at eliminating my worst Cancerian qualities over the 45 years’ I’ve been involved in astrology. They still come out from time to time, but the yearning for my home town is painful and poignant and usually brings on a flood of tears. Moving away at the age of 12 has left a deep wound in my root chakra.

    My path would never take me back there to live, and though I lived in NYC for 25 years and here in Portland for 20, if you asked me where home was, I would tell you that it is Onawa, Iowa.

    There’s nobody left there now, and nobody still alive in the whole state of Iowa that I feel close to, but I have a lithograph from 1941 on my wall of a riverbank that powerfully evokes our homestead on the Missouri River. And a framed piece of a crazy quilt that my great-grandmother made out of worn-out clothing from the 1930s and 1940s.

    So, no, there’s a sense in which I never left home. Fellow Cancerians, can you relate? Donna

    • I relate too much. My parents are air signs. They used to literally lock me out of the house when I was 5-8, forcing me to play with kids when I felt like being alone in my room. My dad forced me to spend time with family instead of be alone in my room to recharge. I moved around a lot. Attended 25+ schools. Moved 3K miles away for college, and my mom, who always claims to want her freedom, made me an offer that I couldn’t refuse to return home…

      While my parents forced me away from home, they also used to punish me for exploring unknown places without their permission/approval, spanked me for running away, etc. I kept a suitcase packed. Quite contradictory personality and mixed early childhood messages.

      The key to finally leaving home is cutting ALL of the (umbilical) ties that bind and creating a new one. The bait? Show Cancerian how good it feels to manage our own home. We are a cardinal sign, after all.

      I recently received a job offer. My potential manager visited my current job / workspace and offered me “nesting privileges” at the new spot and the freedom to come and go as I please. It’s time for me to move on. I’m pretty sure that she’s psychic…and a maternal Pisces.

      I have Sagittarius Rising and Scorpio Moon – Uranus conjunction in the 12th. Pisces in the 4th. Mom has Pisces Moon.

      • Also, until about 16, I had a habit of returning to all of my previous residences and schools to see how things have changed or stayed the same and still mentally travel down memory lane. Though I’ve traveled the world, I’m currently working at the place I used to visit when I was 3…

        Cancers never truly leave home. We always take a piece of it with us until we return.

      • Nelson Mandela – “There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”

        Cancer Sun
        Sagittarius Rising
        Scorpio Moon

  2. We grow out of the landscape from which we were born. genus loci…spirit of place. I totally understand, and thank you for sharing. Susan Scofield

  3. Hi, Donna, and hello Ms. English! I also enjoyed Mary’s observations, and could totally relate to them. My Sun sign is Capricorn, but it is hunkered down in the fourth house, and the Moon is the Alpha dog planet in my chart. My mother is an Aquarius, and she despaired that I might never leave the nest. I finally moved out at the ripe old age of nineteen, in response to a plea from my Sagittarius sister who was having trouble making the rent on her apartment and needed a roommate.

    Since then, I have moved several times for my husband’s career (he has Mars in Sagittarius conjunct his Midheaven, so I knew what I was getting into). But I still dream about the neighborhood where I grew up, and feel deeply nostalgiac for my hometown.

    Next challenge for me on this front: the inevitable day when my Sagittarius daughter and my Virgo Sun/Aquarius rising son will fly the coop. Ah, I feel the pangs of empty nest syndrome already!

    Thanks again, Mary English, for your astute observations.

  4. My Cancer Sun sign husband has a Sag Moon. Guess what he loves to do? He watches House Hunters International! He also loves to travel.

  5. I’m 1 & trust me was reflecting over the exact point today so this came in timely. I’m near 30 & working but reluctant to marry n leave my parents. My parents too r both Crabs so makes’ leaving’ tremendously difficult! Strong Uranus for me frustrates the living daylights out of me but at the end of the day its my childhood bed room.
    I’ve done self therapy for past few yrs n am gettin my wings ready but older pinchers still refuse to allow me to fly the nest.
    I hv libra moon n Pisces acs so can imagine finding difficultly’ moving’ but soon I will.

  6. I am a Cancer sun, Cancer moon, Scorpio rising. While I was late leaving my parents’ home, I have never looked back(my upbringing was often emotionally toxic). I have learned that my home is me. It’s a work in progress. On the other hand, major moves have been emotionally exhausting-and that dang “Cancer Clutter Syndrome” – yikes!!! I have had to work reeeeallly hard at letting go of “the stuff that reminds me of….”!

  7. My brother has a stellium in cancer, including his sun. He himself behaves like the most stereotypical mother I’ve ever seen, to everyone.

    But I want to talk about something else. Both of us have pluto square moon in our charts. His has a much tighter orb than mine. I have a very strong pluto and uranus. I have an empty cancer and 4th house. I abhor my mother, she was a very dominant, controlling woman; would love to trod on you, and belittle you all the time. She would treat both of us in almost the same way.

    She would make my brother cry, and then would make fun of him because he cried. Now, my brother went to some hundreds of psychologists to deal with the destruction our mother caused; and now he’s perfectly fine with her, because he feels so guilty if he behaves in a negative manner towards her. I personally really don’t understand what’s going on in his head, it’s just incomprehensible to me. The mother is something holy to him- obviously- and no matter what she does, he just does not want to “see her sad”. The last time I heard from him, he had moved to another country; and would call my parents to his house.

    My father was also a quite useless, distant and authoritative man to me. My brother got married before I moved and i would hear my parents gossip about his wife, smirking. They had violent fights because he was to marry a woman from another country and another religion. He got angry, and -surprisingly to me- fought back at the time; but then he became fine with them again; as if nothing happened at all.

    My point is this: i find my parents to be a hopeless case. They’ll be harming him again in the end, no matter how old he is. They will cause unnecessary fights and stress. Anyone who would evaluate what happened in our house during our childhood and adolescence would know that. He does not. I find this to be a very negative side of cancer. You have a family that causes trouble every now and then, who has harmed you all through your childhood; but you don’t want to “turn them down and make them sad”. Whereas the truth is they don’t care about him at all. I wonder what you would make of such an illusive bond.

    • Very difficult family situation, Raa. But I would say that it’s not so much due to a Cancer Sun as it is more typical of a Moon-Pluto hard aspect. Donna

  8. As a Cancer Sun, Scorpio Moon and Taurus Asc, I have Uranus in my 4th house. I still look back fondly upon my first home, from which I moved with my family after 10 years. There were other moves, often difficult ones, but it seems that first home in Northwestern Massachusetts was the special place at least my mother and I (as the older offspring) look back upon.

    I have a very difficult T square: Gemini Venus (1st house) opposing Scorpio Moon (7th house) and both squaring Pluto in Virgo (5th house). Family has always been a very complicated issue for me, as has my relationship with my mother (a Taurus with a Scorpio Asc.). In some ways I feel I was kept a child for far too long, as her perceptions of adulthood were often negative and she felt a long childhood offered a protective buffer from what might lie in the big bad future.

    My reaction to this is to allow my children much more freedom, sometimes stepping back and perhaps not being as available as I should be in what was perhaps an unsuccessful attempt to instill a less dependent attitude in them. I just can’t seem to shake the shadow of my mother and the need for her approval, even though I have chosen to live a life which is exceedingly different from the one I experienced growing up.

  9. I am a strong Cancer Sun, Libra Rising with very sensitive Moon in Pisces. Yes, leaving my childhood home was very difficult but I was able to accomplish that task at the age of 21.5. Then, after my divorce from a very Karmic relationship spouse, my older sister really wanted me to stay at her house. My children were 3 and 11 when I moved in with my sister. Then, it was in and out, in and out of my sister’s house for many, many years. Finally, God broke my right ankle and told me in clear, plain language to move back in with my sister because she and I had some unfinished Karma to work on. Begrudgingly, I moved back in with my sister with my 13 year old son. My daughter was grown by then. Then, God told me to stay put until He gave me permission to move out. Well, my sister had Saturn (me) opposing her Pluto (her); she has a very strong controlling Pluto and she literally kicked me out by enlisting the help of her four other siblings. An astrologer told me to, “Get the Hell out of Dodge!” That was in 2002. I stayed out of Dodge for 4 years, until 2006, when God told me I could move back to Dodge City from the wild, woolie West in the scary country where I was surrounded by brown recluse spiders and Scorpions, not to mention the curse of the knats (tiny flys) who lived in my composting toilet and took daily vacations all though out my small cabin.

    Well, I adjusted and tolerated the rest of my unfinished karma. Then, in September of 2012, my sister kicked me out once again! Hopefully, for the last time! It was very traumatic because she kicked me out while I was trying to recover and heal from the West Nile Virus. I spent the whole first week in August of 2012 in the hospital making a miraculous recovery from the very dangerous disease that affected my brain and my right eye. I was totally OUT of IT for three whole days and don’t remember much of those three days. But, I certainly remember the Pluto Uranus Square on September 19, 2012. It seemed like an awful time for my sister to be kicking me out of her house. I had to go to my son’s house. He was miserable also because he was having his first 29 year old, Saturn in scary Scorpio Return. So, talk about going from the pot into the frying pan…..I was pretty miserable!!!

    Well, I can’t go one. I have survived, but it has been hard. I am now in a tiny efficiency apartment! peace and quiet, finally. You will be hearing more from me later.
    Thanks for Listening,
    Elisabeth Barry…..still searching for a home….thank Heavens, I am being led by God, day by day by day by day……

    • A very hard, very sad set of circumstances for a Cancerian–so sorry! Donna

    • Keep following God and the signs. The path gets easier to walk…

  10. This makes me laugh as I am a Cancer Sun/Cancer Ascendant, and a Sag Moon. The Sag moon is my savior or I fear I would have stayed home forever. LOL Or at the least have stayed in my hometown and never left. I think it is that Sag moon that got me going. It still does. I love my home now and thoughts of leaving it drive me nuts…even though I think I would love to move. It is just so hard. I also laugh because I know that I would have no problem moving back home with my Mother right now if I had to.
    Yep, I am the one who will help with the cleaning and doing all the stuff around the house, etc. I am so grateful that I do have my own home so I know I will never be homeless…LOL Another cancer fear.

    • Ah, I’ve been remiss in not mentioning the Bach Flower Remedy, Walnut, for help in the transition period before and after the move for at least 6 months. I always felt so discombobulated for months, then would settle again once I started taking the Walnut again. You can get it at health food stores or new age bookstores. (Lots of articles on essences here on Skywriter.)

      Another that would be helpful to Cancerians after a move would be Honeysuckle for homesickness. Donna

  11. As a Cancer Sun, Cancer Ascendant, and Capricorn Moon squaring Uranus and Pluto, Cancer stereotypes always make me laugh.
    Independency (and restless) could be my middle name. I’ve felt compelled very early to leave parental home, home town, and home country, however it seems that a comeback movement is often present, and there’s clearly a cyclic energy/flow in my life. I left my parental home after my university’s studies, although until then I was away whenever I was able to, especially during school holidays (having summer jobs and travelling abroad for two months). I got my first teaching job 2000 km far from my home town (for three years), then I came back to my parental home, then got my own flat; then I decided to work overseas for three years, and I came back again, although I’m thinking about living my home country again (at 43 years old). I can see these patterns very clearly in my birth chart: Pluto conjunct the IC, Uranus and Jupiter in the fourth house, the Moon squaring Pluto and Uranus, and doing a sextile to Jupiter.
    I could say that my truly home has mainly a philosophical/spiritual nature, and astrology and archetypal psychology have been amazing tools (in my progressed chart, I’ve been having a very fruitful Mercury/Pluto Virgo conjunction).
    My father is also a Cancer Sun and Cancer Ascendant, and Scorpio Moon. I think that leaving parental home wasn’t difficult for him either. He has a Sun-Jupiter conjunction (exact aspect), and patriarchal values are very important in his life (for example, he’s a judge). Patriarchal values are important in my life as well, but often motivating a rebellious behavior… sometimes a teenager behavior. Cancer people tend to stay young, isn’t it? 😉

  12. It took me 6 years to get my Cancerian (Sun, Moon, Mercury and Ascendant)ex away from his mom. After 10 years living with me he was back with her. ”Welcome home”, she said. He is 44.

  13. I have Cancer rising with a Gemini Sun in the 12th house, Neptune in Virgo in 4th and Saturn opposite in Pisces in fall in 10th. Mutable T-square there. I was anxious to leave home, and did at 15.

  14. After I was married the only thing that stopped me from stopping in my parents house after work was when my father said to me, “You don’t belong here, you belong with Peter now.” Stab in the heart, but those words were the shove I needed. Four states later, (my husband is a Lutheran minister,) I guess if I really knew what I was getting myself into I would have never left home in the first place! Agony, root chakra, I think mine is gone.

    I have Cap rising, listening to older women tell their moving tales can be comforting, listening to the Sag ones tell theirs is baffling. Three years ago was our last move.Two days after finding out we were moving, my father died. We had to sell our house and the house I grew up in, (in two different states,) at the same time. My husband moved right away to start his new position. Our older son got a good job and moved 500 miles away.

    I think the moves have affected me in that I hold people at arms length and I feel somewhat like a fool.
    The almost overwhelming longings and drownings in memories do not go away,I finally leaned to ride them out. I don’t know who said, “The love that you hold is the pain that you carry.” but that is very true for me.
    If we move again I will not let the realtor put a For Sale sign on the property. One of the worst things was when the realtor gleefully stuck a For Sale sign on our front lawn. Of course I had to stand there, smile and act like it was the greatest thing. I know this sounds ridiculous but It felt like I was trying to sell one of my children, like I was abandoning the house, the land, the trees, everything and how was it going all to survive without me?

    I am just starting to like where we live. Funny what happens in time, the place you dread moving to eventually will become the place you dread leaving.
    From time to time I Google the addresses of the homes we lived in. With the street view option I can be right there, sort of satisfies my home fix. Good luck to any Crabs out there, one thing you will do is survive and you won’t have so much junk!

    • Gosh, it seems to me that all Cancerians or people with a strong Cancerian flavor in their chart must be leaving home right now. I am in the TRANSITION of my life. Thank Heavens that God is blessing me in so many good ways. It seems to me that I have never wanted to grow up. At the ripe old age of 66, I am finally facing reality and learning total responsibility for my life. Having a Libra Rising has made me strongly desire a partner in my life and the only partner available to me has been my strict and cold, Aquarian flavored older sister. She is an Aires Sun closely conjunct an Aires Saturn plus Venus and Mercury in Aires all in her fourth house. She is Sagittarius Rising, and has Moon and Jupiter in cold Aquarius in her third house of siblings. After many, many battles with her, she kind of won by turning me into a Modern Day Aquarian Humanitarian and a courageous and Brave Pioneer. Our Mother was an Aquarian. My Cancer Sun is conjunct my MidHeaven, Mercury also in my tenth along with very stubborn Saturn and Pluto conjunct in fireball Leo in my tenth! So, four planets in my tenth, Venus in Cancer in my ninth along with Uranus and Part of Fortune in my ninth and Mars in Gemini conjunct North Node in my eighth house created a very willful and stubborn personality. On top of all that, my sister used her strong and controlling Pluto in her eighth house which was conjunct my Mercury in Cancer as a device to use a whole bunch of MIND CONTROL on ME! That is what made me the angriest!!! To me, for anyone to use MIND CONTROL on anyone is a trait straight from the DEVIL!!! My sister was extremely Controlling, Authoritarian and Dominating. In order to defend myself against her strong Mars ATTACK, I had to teach myself how to be more controlling, authoritarian and dominating. She taught me how to use my tough Saturn at 9 degrees of Leo conjunct my scary Pluto at 12 degrees of Leo in my equally scary tenth house. Every time, I walked up my mountain out in the wilderness where I lived for almost four years, I thought about Capricorn the Goat going up his Mountain. Somehow, I knew that there was an important reason for me to go through so many unusual experiences in my life. The Best Part of my life experience was the fact that I had no choice but to draw much closer to God. I knew that God was with me. Now, yesterday and this morning, I feel that I am almost HOME. I am nearly at the very end of a very winding and twisted path in LIFE! Soon, I will finally feel LOVED. I will be creating my own Heaven on Earth.
      I have surrendered myself to the Will of God. I have almost reached the Kingdom of God, the HOME inside of myself. I am God’s prodigal Daughter.

  15. Very interesting!

    I’ve seen this not only with Sun in Cancer people but also with 4th house South Node people and a little bit with Sun in 4th house people too. No matter if their Sun is in a fire or air sign. Home, mom and cuddles are very important for them.

    • As them Cancer Sun to whom this book, is (ahem!) dedicated, I have got to say, I agree with you all the way. Donna Cunningham sez modestly.

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