April 16

Loving Mars in Cancer – 10 Swords


Mars in Cancer is another one of those placements that just doesn’t get any respect. It makes me feel compelled to speak up for the other side. While I’m not an astrologer, I pay attention. My dear husband has Mars in Cancer, so I have had long-term opportunity to become acquainted. I asked Tarot for help in illuminating the often misunderstood Mars in Cancer.

Up shows the Ten of Swords. This version from the Legacy of the Divine is particularly stunning rendition. I think of Tens in Tarot as that void between the end of the cycle and the beginning of a new one, holding both the completeness of what’s been and the birth energy of what will be in tandem. Swords are, of course, the Air element, so we’re centered largely in thinking. Astrologically, this card is associated with the Sun in Gemini. The 10 of Swords shows up for me both for betrayals or overreacting. Think overkill.

Because Cancer is so sensitive, even slight attacks are felt very deeply by Mars in Cancer. You may not have idea you were responsible for those swords. Maybe you consider the reaction out of proportion, but you’re not the one with the swords in your back, huh? Be aware that being part of a Mars in Cancer person’s “family”–the inner circle–is a hallowed position of trust. If you want to stay there, never ever take a stab at his soft spots. You’re doing much more damage then you realize.

You’ll often see Mars in Cancer characterized as passive aggressive, and like any generalization, there is some truth. That’s certainly one way for the energy to express. I think it most likely to come out that way when the individual is not sufficiently mature, or if Mars in Cancer folks do not feel heard. Mars prefers to be more direct. But if the direct way is blocked, Cancer will express indirectly. One way or another, that frustration is coming out. Acknowledge conflict and listen kindly, even when (especially when) your viewpoint differs, and you will have much less trouble with passive aggressiveness.

One of the things about the placement you don’t hear enough about is the loyalty factor. Mars in Cancer will defend their home and their family, birth or chosen, vigorously. The quickest way to rile a Mars in Cancer person is NOT direct attack, but through an attack on a loved one. They pull out all the stops. Furthermore, they will genuinely and deeply care about their beloved’s safety and security, doing their best to quietly, gently look after you.

The Mars in Cancer man may check to make sure your tires are well inflated, fill your windshield wiper fluid reservoir, or remind you about ice on the road. The Mars in Cancer woman will not only feed you well, but also make sure that meal is nutritionally balanced and healthy. In other words, they will act (Mars) to secure your well-being (Cancer), physical and emotional. Mars in Cancer often expresses love in a very tangible, practical way. As a bonus, Mars in Cancer will generally respect your feelings, having an innate understanding of the role emotion (Cancer) plays in your actions (Mars).

The Ten of Swords reminds us that the pain Mars in Cancer feels is real and intense, even when it may be (at least partially) self-generated. To successfully relate to a Mars in Cancer native, don’t wield one of those swords. If a Mars in Cancer native is wounded, allow them time to retreat, heal, and gain perspective. Be sensitive to their needs and clearly express the value you place on all those sticky feelings they’ve got. A Mars in Cancer person who is secure they are heard and loved as-is will be less likely to overreact to small slights or become passive aggressive. Treasure the loyalty and devotion to you. Not many would go to the lengths they will in order to protect you and make sure you’re secure. They don’t commit with their mouth—they commit with their heart and express it by action. That’s worth the trouble to manage, don’t you think?

What’s your experience of Mars in Cancer?

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Captain Virgo, Legacy of the Divine, Mars, Mars in Cancer, Ten of Swords

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  1. Mars in Cancer usually makes me cringe. When I saw it in my composite chart with Ox, I was not happy. You just made me understand that placement a little better. Thanks

    1. Oh I’m so glad, Josi. I know people don’t like this placement, it’s not supposed to be “good” or whatever, but it ALWAYS depends on how you live it as far as I’m concerned. In a composite, I’m betting the two of you together would come together to be an utterly immovable force for protecting the family.

  2. Thank you for this. We are sensitive, yes, but also deeply caring and loyal. :-). And yes I get more angry if you hurt my sister or my mama than if you attack me.

    I have gotten tons better at direct expression of my feelings (uh, gem sun/Sadge moon is not innately good at this ok?!) and it has made my life infinitely better.

    1. And when you gifted me that Low Carb Cookbook, that is exactly what I thought of: your Mars in Cancer in action. Taking care of my well-being halfway across the country.

  3. I’m glad you wrote this I’m a mars in cancer girl that’s just started dating a m.i.c. man. I think it’s really helped us get closer that we both needed reassurance and visible respect before taking any new steps (no need to explain it in this relationship, or apologize, cause we both get it!) . Also, we do end up really pampering each other, which is so fun! We just have to take turns haha…..

  4. Thank you so much for putting your “paying attention” into words. I feel so much better after reading this – it truly resonates with my inner being. As with ao many others who have this placement, I’ve been trying to appreciate it but it’d become a self-loathing session b’cos passive aggressivess carries such a negative label. I’m a leo-virgo cusp (super self-critical but enjoys serving others) with aqua rising and leo moon. It hasn’t been easy especially on the career front – slow and too sensitive of how others would perceive me if I’m a “go getter”. I always wanted to have leo in mars… But now I feel a sense of pride.

    1. So glad it was helpful, Jael! We may not always have the astrological placements we’d choose, but we can always strive to bring out the best in the chart we’ve got.

  5. This was very helpful.
    As you can see by my email I have discovered my nurturing Mars as a massage therapist and next as a counsellor. But I have a Capricorn north node which keeps me from applying this familial energy to my home/dixiblog/domains/afoolsjourney.com/public_html life and I turn it outwards to nurture and protect the nation in my own small ways. Both physically and emotionally. I live in Australia, a place rich with natural beauty but some deeply buried pain due to colonisation and failure to grow up . Sometimes I feel like I get up in the morning to flop my breast out to feed this damaged child called the national psyche and pray that we make it through the day without anyone losing an eye. . I went looking for Mars in Cancer stuff because of my Mars rulership over my 2nd house. Your thoughts and ideas expressed have really given me lots to think abiut. Bestest , Kate

  6. Love this. Found out about my cancer mars two years ago and it made so much sense. Always wondered why I’m so sensitive or guarded for an Aries sun. I love my cancer mars. And I realized my sensitivity is valid and I’m not crazy and a bunch of thanks to a patient Taurus and a protective scorpion, I was able to learn how to teach others to treat me and calmly stand up for myself instead of just closing up completely. My scorpio friend would laugh and say, “there she goes, into her shell.” Funnily I haven’t heard that in a while. :)!!

    1. Taurus and scorpio the most reliable ones… they are sensitive too so they will know how to handle cancer mars… Cancer mars dont want to hurt anyone eventhough those who hurt them most.

  7. Mars in Cancer is one of my friend’s traits. She can be exceptionally caring and is nurturing towards her loved ones and close friends. However, she can be very emotional and may hold a grudge for a certain amount of time when angered or upset. I am a Mars in Virgo and I am quite different than my friend. I can get upset and fuss over everything, just like a Sun in Virgo would. I would have trouble sitting still for a long period of time, wanting to be on the move. But at the same time I am very conscientious about work, my studies and am very organized. My Mars in Cancer friend is not exactly like that, but she has some positive traits pertaining to the fact that she is very cautious and reserved and a bit shy at times. I can be shy sometimes too. We are quite different but in some ways we are the same.

  8. Cancer mars.. You hurt her, she wont hurt you back.. You hurt her family or loved ones, she will kill you.
    They are just too sensitive, if you offense her (slightly), she will”crawl” to the bathroom to cry quietly… (no exaggerating) its true story haha

  9. I’m involved with a man whose Mars is in Cancer.

    “Moody” is an understatement. These guys are over the top emotional, and that’s coming from an emotional Scorpio sun/mars lady!!!

    I do love this position, though, as one can tell from his actions that he is very genuine… You kind of know where you stand with him, as he wears his heart on his sleeves.

  10. Sounds a lot like my mom! She’s very emotionally driven but doesn’t like to let it show. And when she does it’s very apparent that she has strong feelings she has been holding back. The domestic instincts are definitely there too. She wishes she could be a stay at home/dixiblog/domains/afoolsjourney.com/public_html mom her entire adult life. She’s the type to make clothes for the pets and is always fixing something around the house. Loves to take care of people… shes a social worker.

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