Around ten thousand years ago, just as our nearly forgotten relatives were supposedly figuring out agriculture, contemplating the trade-off with the old nomadic ways, they were also quite fixated on the Goddess-or the Mother. It’s hard to imagine what they talked about, but they clearly worshiped the feminine, and I imagine a lot of talks orbited the subject, just as they do today. We know this through the ample evidence of figurines and fetishes similar to the much older Venus of Willendorf (the image for this post) that have been discovered from that time. These people witnessed the ferocious beauty of life and death and were in absolute reverence of how a belly bloomed, then gifted life. This was the Age of Cancer. A time for moon worship, living myth, and life according to the messages given through the natural world; Our Mother.
art: Venus of Willendorf from over 20k years ago
It’s safe to assume they were not aware they were living in such an Age. Their knowledge of the precessional cycles was likely washed away with the Younger Dryas, yet we must wonder what stories they were telling around the solstices when the Sun pointed at the two gates of where souls travel to and from. It was only a few thousand years later when we begin to see evidence from the Sumerians and definitely the Egyptians, beginning to talk about this area of the sky we now call Cancer relating to fertility. For example, to the Egyptians, it was a scarab, not a crab, who rolled the Sun across the sky, dropping it into the dark abyss at day’s end, allowing it to be nourished by the dark waters to be reborn again tomorrow. At first glance, the correlation they made between a beetle rolling balls of dung and human fertility is strange, that is until you realize those balls are used to build houses and be the feast for the young ones when they hatch. The world would also smell much worse and have billions of more flies without them. Perhaps the Egyptians knew them to be models of how to build a good home and nourish the Mother.
The miracle of life will never ever cease to amaze. No matter the Age or the time and place, we will always worship the mystery behind what brings new life. Perhaps this is the root of the Greco-Roman story at the core of Cancer where Hera hates Hercules and is doing everything in her power to destroy him. In one of his 12 Labors (which were put into motion by the Queen of Olympus herself) Hercules is to battle the Hydra. As he is lopping off heads and they are growing back even faster, Hera sends a giant crab to assist in the battle. It latches on to his heel and then he quickly stomps it to death. A different fate with the heel than Achilles and Krishna experienced, but an interesting point of anatomy to target nonetheless. I always felt this to be an unimportant detail to the Cancer myth, that is until I heard Sadguru speak about the importance of the left heel. He talks of its importance in touching our perineum (Muladhara) and how it creates a perfect alignment in the body where we cannot take any sides. We become unified. We understand Parzival’s revelation and can empathize with all perspectives; we become aligned with only One. The heel heals in other words.
Now, it is also said by Robert Graves that the Lernaean Hydra was where there was a well-established fertility cult. That Hera was enraged with Hercules because of what he had done to his family and what he was doing trying to defeat the multi-headed Hydra. Graves felt it was a symbol of the masculine overtaking the feminine. And for Hera to send the fertility mascot to target his heel, Hercules would have lost connection to spirit-or his father, Zeus, which gave him his supernatural powers.
Myth cannot be taken literally, nor should it be dissected too much with Reason’s scalpel either. The images speak differently to everyone, at different times, and at different places. I do find it interesting though how the Sun just scurried into Cancer and has “coincidently” shone the brightest of lights on this fertile subject. The overturning of Roe v Wade is wild and clearly writ in the stars. Whatever side you are on, the light dances around the oldest miracle known to humanity. It’s a Hydra-headed battle with many sharp objects aimed at the heels of everyone. How it all plays out remains a sticky unknown at the heart of Cancer wherein lies the Beehive Cluster-a place where we find countless Suns, innumerable births, and, of course, a Queen.
May we all do our best to make sweet honey in our hearts and avoid being killer bees amongst the madness of crowds. May we consider-with the stars-that this too, is perfect. Somehow, someway, sometimes.
www.Patreon.com/adamsommer ….to support the creation of my writings/podcasts and be showered with gifts as well
www.adam-sommer.com …to adventure deeper into kosmos, mythos, and psyche