Ready to revitalize? We’re excited to bring you Cancer Healthstrology, a monthly column that focuses on feeling your best during every solar cycle. We’ve tapped our friend Stephanie Gailing, MS—an astrologer and wellness alchemist—to share her wisdom as a guest contributor. With the Sun decamping into Cancer from June 20-July 22, here are some stellar suggestions for wellness. Enjoy and salud! –T&O
By Stephanie Gailing, MS
Astrologer & Wellness Alchemist
Each year, when the Sun sails through Cancer (June 20-July 22), we experience the ability to tap into the sensitive, nurturing, and protective qualities that this sign represents. And while this may provide us with more connection to our family, the past and a desire to take care of others, this time—like all others—may also offer us an array of unique challenges.
Turning to wellness astrology, and keeping in mind the unique strengths and vulnerabilities associated with Cancer, we can find stellar ways to encourage vitality, reduce stress and fine-tune our well-being.
Enjoy these self-care strategies to feel your best during Cancer season:
Cancer Wellness Mantras:
- This too shall pass
- I can trust my gut
- An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
Cancer Stress-Reducing Allies
- Powerful intuition
- Tending to your feelings
- Focusing on nourishing yourself
In wellness astrology, aspects of our anatomy and physiology accord with the twelve zodiac signs. Cancer areas include the sinuses, stomach, esophagus and breasts.
Honor Your Gut
With the stomach and esophagus ruled by the sign of Cancer in wellness astrology, these are two of the realms of the body we should pay special attention to during this time. While excess stomach acid can cause its own host of ailments, so can insufficient amounts. Often caused by excessive use of antacids, hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid) can lead to indigestion as well as malabsorption of nutrients such as protein and vitamin B12. Bitters formulas—which use herbs like gentian, dandelion and burdock—can help to stimulate gastric acid production.
Other strategies to curb indigestion and heartburn include reducing caffeine, avoiding foods that trigger allergic or hypersensitivity reactions and eating slowly. Also, during this emotional time, we tend to internalize our feelings, leaving our stomachs “tied in knots.” Make time each day to relax and unwind. Your gut will thank you!
Soothe Your Sinuses
Allergies can irritate the sinuses, causing uncomfortable symptoms or pain. For some people, food allergies or food sensitivities are at the root of their congestion. If sinuses are your sensitive spot, consider doing an elimination diet to see whether any food you eat is a contributor. Environmental factors like pollen, chemicals and pollutants may be the trigger. Keep tabs on the pollen count and invest in a good air filter to support your sinuses. Some people find that supplements like NAC (n-acetyl-cysteine) and vitamin C help to prevent or minimize flare-ups. And others swear by their Neti Pot as a means for maintaining sinus health. It can lubricate the nasal membranes and helps to remove excess mucus as well as irritants. Another ayurvedic treatment for sinus health is nasya, which is the application of special oil and herbs into the nasal passage.
Cancer governs our feelings as well as the things that nurture us. Therefore, this season may be a time when we feel called to nourish and soothe ourselves more readily with food. And while there is nothing inherently wrong with that, using food to stuff down our feelings—instead of allowing ourselves the opportunity to process them—can lead to overeating, sluggishness, poor nutritional choices and indigestion. If you find yourself drawn to food as a means of self-soothing or you can’t seem to override a heightened oral fixation, try snacking on carrots, celery, broccoli florets or other healthy finger foods.
Cook with Your Melting Pot
Cancer is super connected to hearth and home, making this time of year perfect for polishing our epicurean skills. Feed your body while you nurture your spirit by cooking your own meals whenever you can. As you prepare each dish, infuse it with caring and love so that when you (and others) eat it, it will nourish you on an even deeper level. Cancer is the sign of heritage. Dust off some traditional family recipes during this month and connect to your roots. Or buy a cookbook or take a cooking class based upon meals from your ethnic or cultural lineage.
These Cancer-ruled fruits can bring such delight during this time. Refreshing and juicy, enjoy them for breakfast, dessert, or as a snack. Whether fresh or frozen, a handful of melon makes a great addition to a smoothie. Want to spice up your melon game? Make melon granitas, cocktails or pico de gallo. Different types of melon boast different nutrient stars. For example, pink watermelon is exceptionally rich in lycopene, the red-pigmented carotenoid phytonutrient made famous by tomatoes, which not only has vitamin A activity but is also thought to be beneficial for cardiovascular and bone health. And the quite popular cantaloupe is a storehouse of nutrients such as the antioxidants beta-carotene and vitamin C.
Another Cancerian, moon-ruled food is squash, which actually belongs to the same botanical family—cucurbitaceae—as melons. (How very keeping-it-in-the-family Cancerian, is that?) Summer squash includes zucchini, pattypan squash and yellow crookneck squash. They can be delicious additions to salads and make great side dishes when lightly sauteed. There are a great variety of winter squash including butternut, acorn, hubbard and kabocha. As a whole, winter squash are exceptionally rich in fiber as well as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory carotenoid phytonutrients. Roasted winter squash takes on a delicious rich caramelized flavor; if you don’t have upwards of an hour to cook it, you can always cut it into cubes and steam it, which only takes about seven minutes. Spiralizers work great with both summer and winter squash, transforming them into a noodle shape. This adds a great texture twist to recipes.
Sometimes the past seems to have a pincer grip on us, just like the claws of a crab, the symbol for Cancer. When this happens, it can reduce our vitality and distract us from the present as we become preoccupied with worry. If you need some energetic assistance during this nostalgic solar cycle, Honeysuckle flower essence can support us in releasing shrouds of wistfulness and making peace with the past.
Cancer is the sign of the mother and the maternal nature that exists within all of us. During this time, we may crave greater nourishment; or, experience a lack of warmth and radiance if we aren’t properly soothing or caring for ourselves. If issues related to your mother and your internal feminine energy arise, consider Mariposa Lily flower essence. It helps to inspire maternal consciousness and a sense of warmth and caring, enlivening a reconnection to the mother archetype.
As Cancer is the first water sign of the zodiac, water is prima materia during this solar cycle. Soak up the many benefits of this fundamental elixir with hydrotherapy. Water-focused treatments vary. For example, there are spa treatments such as Vichy showers, underwater massage, and mineral-rich soaking tubs. Yet, you can enjoy the therapeutic benefits of water other ways. Try a leisurely soak in your own bathtub, immersing your feet in a basin of flower-filled water or soaking in a whirlpool. Contrast hydrotherapy—where you alternate using hot and cold water compresses—can enhance circulation, reduce soreness and promote immune system activity.
It’s no surprise that milk would be Cancerian, given this sign’s connection to nurturance and mothering. Milk can be nourishing to the skin (its lactic acid content has skin-softening and exfoliating properties). Channel your inner Cleopatra and indulge in a beauty ritual for which she was known—the milk bath. You can do this at a spa where you soak in milk- and flower-infused water or have warmed milk poured over you as you lay on a massage table. Or do this at home by adding a cup of warmed milk and a few drops of your favorite essential oil to your bath water. Alternatively, you can create a bath sachet of powdered milk and flower petals.
Take your lead from crabs, who need quiet, undisturbed environments to molt and rejuvenate, and make sure to schedule in some good quality “me time” this month. Carve out time to focus on yourself and the things that nourish you rather than giving all that nurturing attention to other people. Even if it’s just an hour, reserve space to do what you love and need. Plan it in advance to make sure it’s a priority. Schedule someone to watch the kids. Arrange for your partner or roommates to give you some private time (or, if possible, the whole place to yourself). Treat your “me time” as sacred so it yields the relaxation you desire.
The sign of Cancer reminds of the past, and our deep and complex relationship to it. As such, it’s great time to discover and explore your roots. Dig in to the depth of ancestry websites and discover records that reveal fascinating facts about your family members—where they lived, the occupations they had, former surnames. Talk to older family members too, asking them to tell you stories about their earlier life. What you learn can help you better understand yourself, your place in the family and your place in the world. Want to go ever farther back? Take a DNA test from 23andMe. With a simple saliva swab you can discover your true ancestry and also get reports around wellness and carrier traits so that you can make informed choices around prevention and self-care.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health condition or disease and is not intended as a substitute for consulting with your physician or healthcare provider.
About Stephanie Gailing
As an astrologer and wellness consultant, Stephanie Gailing weaves together stellar insights, flower essence therapy, dreamwork, and compassion-based coaching. Author of Planetary Apothecary, Stephanie offers Stellar Guidance Sessions, teaches workshops, writes about holistic well-being, and crafts custom-designed flower essence elixirs. Stephanie’s new online class, Inspiring Dreams and Sleep, will launch this summer as part of the Hillman School. Based in Seattle, she frequently travels to New York City, and works with clients all over the world.