By Matthew David Savinar

(Image: Back to the Future, available via Amazon)

Pair the waxing and waning of a Cancer Sun’s emotionality with the zappity zap zap of an Aquarius Moon’s instincts for the alchemical and you get a Sun/Moon pairing that is off beat and exciting, more than a bit eccentric but never, ever boring. Few others can match this combination’s determination to explored the innovative and the imaginative, the experimental and the visionary. Cancer Sun loves the past and Aquarius Moon loves the future so this is probably the Sun/Moon pairing most likely to invent a time travel machine. To illustrate: using its premier date as its date of birth the film Back to the Future is a Cancer Sun, Aquarius Moon. (Chart) From his good intentions to his oddball eccentricity, the Doc Brown character portrayed by actor Christopher Lloyd is as archetypal a Cancer/Aquarius as you’ll find:

Astrologers Suzi and Charles Harvey tell us that Cancer/Aquarius has a real talent for “reading signs and symbols”, particularly those that come to them in dreams. (Source) In Back to the Future the idea for the “Flux Capacitor”, the device which makes time travel possible, comes to Doc in a dream.

Cancers tend towards being timid but not this one. With its Moon in the sign of mad science and futuristic style this Crab channels its emotional shrewdness into exploring the most far out corners of the human experience. More than a few Cancer/Aquarians live their lives according to the motto of “Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need roads”, to quote Doc Brown’s line from the end of the film.

Sitting 150 degrees away from each other, Cancer and Aquarius form what’s known as a “quincunx”, an inherently discordant aspect that requires two radically different signs to reconcile the irreconcilable. Consider some of their differences between to see just how discordant things can get when they meet up: Cancer is the sign of clannish attachment to family, Aquarius is the sign of cerebral attachment to ideals. Cancer hates change, Aquarius loves shaking things up. Cancer is the sign of social shyness, Aquarius the sign of the social network. Cancer’s idea of a great vacation is spending a week watching old movies at Grandma’s house, Aquarius would rather spend a week doing lord knows what at Burning Man. About the only thing they have in common is concern for the downtrodden as astrologer Bill Tierney explains in his book All Around the Zodiac:

Cancer is sympathetic toward the helpless or whatever is in need of special protection from harm. It’ll go on the defensive to shield the weak and the vulnerable from attack. Aquarius is famous for its humanitarian concern for the plight of the downtrodden, the socially alienated, and all misunderstood rebels and rejects of society. It seeks to socially validate the worth and uphold the freedoms of all such underdogs, protecting them from further abuse. Thus [this pairing] feels the urge to assist and support those in dire need . . . (Source)

There is one other thing they have in common: both moon beams (Cancer) and lightning strikes (Aquarius) have mystical, magical, marvelously enchanting qualities to them. The combination of moonbeams powered by lightning strikes results in a person or project that can be utterly ingenious to the point of seeming magical. When this pairing reaches out to help those in dire need it will deliver assistance of a charged, surprising, or visionary nature. In Back to the Future, for instance, Doc Brown renders assistance to Marty by jiggering up an ingenious way to harness the power of a lightning bolt, which provides the power necessary to send him zooming back (Cancer) to the future (Aquarius). The effect on the emotions of in-theater audiences was so magical that the film was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry.

Back to the Future is, of course, a fictional film but there are more than a few real life instances of Cancer/Aquarians pulling off similar feats of ingenuity when helping people in dire need. To illustrate: using the day of its establishment as its date of birth, the NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) is a Cancer Sun, Aquarius Moon. (Chart) The NESC’s official job is “to ensure the safety and mission success of NASA’s high risk projects” but when the need arises they lend their technological expertise to projects outside of NASA. For instance, it was the NESC that designed the capsule which rescued the 33 Chilean miners who found themselves trapped nearly 2,300 feet beneath the surface of the Earth back in August 2010:

The copper mine that “The 33” were trapped in was essentially a relic of extractive industries that go back (Cancer) to the 1800s while the NESC’s capsule was as futuristic (Aquarius) a piece of machinery as anything sent on missions to space. The miners were, in effect, trapped in the past (Cancer) while the NESC’s quick thinking got them back to the future (Aquarius). Doc Brown used the “flux capacitor” to get Marty Mcfly back to his family, the NESC used the “Fenix” capsule to get the Chilean miners back to theirs:


While the NESC is a non-political division of NASA, the textbook Cancer/Aquarius will express considerable interest in political causes, particularly those which defend the rights of the helpless and the powerless. Astrologer Jefferson Anderson writes of this pairing:

With your scientific bent of mind and wild imagination, you may pursue a technical or scientific career, although your strong social consciousness could lead you into the political, legal, or humanistic endeavors. (Source)

Given their wild imaginations, some Cancer/Aquarians will manage to create a career for themselves in which they combine their “scientific bent of mind” with a career in the political or legal world. To illustrate: using the date of its establishment as its date of birth, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is a Cancer/Aquarius. (Chart) If you’re not familiar with the EFF, they’re the San Francisco based legal non-profit which has taken on some of the most important technology related civil liberties cases of the last 25 years. (Source) A quick look at some of their promotional posters will bring you up to speed on the organization’s modus operandi:

cancer aquarius
The EFF is a Cancer Sun, Aquarius Moon

The EFF has never attempted time travel or to rescue miners trapped in primordial conditions but they have taken on the NSA’s attempts to turn the U.S. into a surveillance state, a dire situation as fraught with peril as taking on the forces of nature themselves.

Cancer/Aquarius men will often be attracted to groups like the EFF which endeavor to save the world while Cancer/Aquarius women will often express a desire to mother the world with every bit as much energy as they mother their own children. Noel Tyl says this is the pairing of “the humane aristocrat” who can be very innovative when it comes to social service. (Source) To illustrate: Princess Diana is a Cancer/Aquarius who is still loved to this day for being the ultimate example of a “humane aristocrat”. (Chart)

One of this pairing’s greatest strengths is its capacity to genuinely feel other people’s pain while remaining enough detachment to actually help them. Princess Diana is best known for her work to ban landmines, an insidious weapon of war that doubles as a deadly curious attraction for young children. Landmines also happen to be a very darkly Cancer/Aquarius weapon as they are often left over from past wars (Cancer) yet kill and maim people indiscriminately deep into the future (Aquarius). It thus makes sense Princess Diana was so aghast at their utilization that she made eliminating them her life’s mission. According to Wikipedia, “It was during this campaign that she was accused of meddling in politics and declared a ‘loose cannon'”. (Source) Cancer/Aquarius does tend towards eccentricity but in a world where ever greater numbers of people find themselves in dire need of assistance we could use a few more emotionally sensitive (Cancer) eccentrics (Aquarius) like Princess Diana.

About the Author: Matt Savinar is a California licensed attorney (State Bar #228957), voluntarily inactive as of June 2013. He can be reached for questions, comments, or consults at his contact page.

The premier issue of Hexagon, now shipping:

Photo Credit:
Our premier issue (Photo Credit: