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Ask A Cancer: Why Do You Cry So Much?

Astrology

We get answers from two tender Crabs

Welcome to Cancer season, babes. For those of you out there feeling wrung out by the mental energy of Gemini season, the methodical interpersonal gymnastics and terrible showdowns between Mercury, Mars, and Pluto—don't stress, 'cause Cancer energy has got something lined up for you. Something like Mercury retrograde falling in step with all those other planets already in retrograde, giving you plenty of time to slow your roll and feel your thoughts all the way through before you turn them into actions.


Cancer season is that video of Mariah Carey in the back of a convertible with her hair blowing, hopping house parties, singing "you got me feeling emotions" ecstatically, all the while being in an exploitive business and romantic partnership. This isn't about Mariah, mind you, who is an Aries, because: Could she be anything else? Rather, it's about how Cancer season is the vibe of that whole video; it's that impulse, that execution, that sepia tone nostalgia seeping over that gingham bathing suit; it's a gentle summer distraction.

To get us situated for the wateriest (read: most emotionally rich) part of summer in the U.S., I asked two Cancer sun signs how the drive their chariot (Chariot is Cancer's affiliated Tarot card) over and through the waters that cross their path. In her section, Stephanie write about leaving behind an "old story about 'strength as toughness' and growing into a new story about 'strength as having the courage to be receptive .'" Meanwhile, Regina reminds us that "the most upsetting situations are happening for you, not to you." Don't let the waves bring you down, dear reader, it's only feelings, and feelings are information not facts. For more wisdom and insight on the Cancer traits and truths that teach us to thrive in moments of emotional difficulty, read on.



Regina is an Ayurvedic wellness counselor, yoga teacher, and breathwork healer living in Brooklyn. She has a Cancer sun, Scorpio rising, and an Aries moon. Join her at Maha Rose North for her next Breathwork Retreat July 5 to 7.

Cancers are rumored to be big criers. Do you feel that you cry more than the average person? Is it possible that your tears hold a magic elixir within them?
I like this idea of a magic elixir... Yes, I definitely cry more than the average person, but I'd also add to that and say, what I cry about is definitely not average. I've lost count of the number of commercials I've cried watching. I've cried watching Project Runway, I've cried watching Real Housewives (pretty much all of them). Hell, I've even cried watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

Basically, any real, authentic, display of pain, grief, or sadness that someone is expressing, I feel it. I cry at least once a week, usually while watching some sad, grief-stricken person on a TV show or little kids being sweet on the train or street. I've cried a lot witnessing children being their authentic selves. I try to keep it together, though, because I don't want to be a creep staring at them and wiping my eyes.

I do NOT, however, cry if someone is mean to me. I'll probably curse someone out before I'll cry. I think that magic elixir you allude to is us cancers crying for the world. Some people can't get in touch with their emotions and feelings despite being in a lot of pain. I cry for them, and hopefully, that will help them along in their healing process.

Crabs grow cyclically rather than linearly. When a crab outgrows her hard shell, it must be shed for a larger shell to take its place. In this vulnerable and dangerous process, called molting, the crab extracts herself from herself. While in the old shell, she slowly begins to secrete a new shell. Often, many crabs molt at the same time. What is your relationship to molting or, ahem, to change? When do you know when you've outgrown your old shell?
I love change. I definitely embrace it and am pretty much always ready for the next chapter. A lot of Cancers I know are like this, too. We can cling to the past a lot, but will also dive right into something new. The hardest change for me in the past year was having to move out of a (seemingly) awesome living situation. I loved the location of the apartment, the building, my room, my roommate... all of it. I did not deal well with the new place. I was forced way out of my comfort zone and, yeah, I did cry about it once, but I also saw it as the push from the universe that I needed. I needed a shift. I needed to get out of my comfort zone. I've since moved again and am much happier with my new crab home. It's cozy and comforting—just what a Cancer needs.

What do you believe is your most Cancerian quality? Do you think this quality is easily perceived by others?
Can I pick two? I'd say empathy and the fact that I'm a huge homebody. The most obvious is my homebody ways. I haven't stayed out past 1am in almost three years. It's very difficult to get me out of the house, but when you do, I'm a total extrovert who's getting to know everyone and making a BFF of everyone I meet. But, then I won't go out again for at least two months. I love nothing more than to be comfy in my "home clothes" watching my favorite show or reading my favorite book. In terms of empathy, well, it's there, it's just not that easy to perceive because I don't have a really comforting "motherly" presence. But, I definitely pick up on anything someone is going through and feel it.

Cancers are cardinal signs that love emotional self-improvement. Share one emotional self-improvement tool or text that has rocked your world?
Every situation is a tool for spiritual growth. I try to see painful, hard-to-deal-with situations as a means toward growth. The most upsetting situations are happening for you, not to you.

Cancers are said to be creatures of comfort. What gives you comfort when your world feels topsy-turvy?
I've always gravitated toward the comfort of my home and a good book. When I'm really stressed, usually from having a long week with a lot going on, I look forward to going home and curling up on the couch with a book. I just wanna be at home all the time!

What are you offering to the world right now? Where can we find you scuttling?
I will be leading breathwork for creating abundance July 13 at Maha Rose, as well as July 27 at The Invincible Hall. Check me out on Instagram @wolfmedicinemagic


Photo by Phillip Lehans

Stephanie K. Hopkins is a writer and intuitive writing coach, as well as an intuitive animal communicator. She is the author of the award-winning weekly column "Love Notes," and has been published in anthologies and journals like Hematopoiesis Press, Painted Bride Quarterly, Blithe House Quarterly, Dirty Girls: Erotica for Women, and Make Mine a Double: Why Women Like Us Like to Drink (Or Not). She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and was a finalist for the Rauxa Prize for Erotic Fiction, as well as the Bone Bouquet Experimental Writing Prize. She holds a Ph.D. from New York University and is currently working on a memoir about bartending in the Hamptons.


Cancers are rumored to be big criers. Do you feel that you cry more than the average person? Is it possible that your tears hold a magic elixir within them?
I prefer to think of it as fucking raining, but yes, I cry a lot. I think all tears hold a magic elixir within them because water is a direct link to our vitality. If the well is dry, what channels have we shut down? If the news isn't bringing us to tears, what injustices have we made okay for ourselves?

The only time I can't cry is when something gets in my eye. I've had surgery three times to remove NYC debris that flew in my eye and rusted into my cornea. Once, an ophthalmologist suggested a procedure that would plug up my tear ducts to regulate the flow of water and presumably save some for the debris. Is there any greater affront to a Cancer than telling them the solution to their problem is to regulate the flow of water? I said nope to the procedure, and every time I cry, I revel in the too-much, too fast-ness of it.

Crabs grow cyclically rather than linearly. When a crab outgrows her hard shell, it must be shed for a larger shell to take its place. In this vulnerable and dangerous process, called molting, the crab extracts herself from herself. While in the old shell, she slowly begins to secrete a new shell. What is your relationship to molting or change? When do you know when you've outgrown your old shell?
I know I've outgrown my old shell when I start to become super irritable, as if I'm actually wearing something too tight and itchy. Actually, that's not true at all. It takes me a long time to realize what's up, and even when I do, I grip the old shell. Why can't I live in a shell house made up of all the shells I've ever loved? I meant to bartend for a couple of years, but eight years in, I was still clinging, even though I was destroying my body. Eventually, it took a concussion to make me let go. When the noise and action and intensity of the old shell finally cleared, I discovered my capacity as an intuitive medium. My current path is amazing, and I had no idea it was coming.

What strikes me most is how in this molting phase, the old becomes acutely visible against the new. Before, the old was just the way things are. But suddenly, the old is revealed as a story. Sometimes (because of my Aries rising?), I dive into change impulsively, but then I often end up in the same story with different circumstances. It's the slower change, the fully molted one, the one that often feels painful and endless as it's happening, that ends up sticking. But first I've got to be in the uncomfortable stage of being both old and new for a bit. For example, maybe I'm leaving behind an old story about "strength as toughness" and growing into a new story about "strength as having the courage to be receptive," but I catch myself applying the old value of toughness to this new way of being when I give myself a hard time for not being receptive enough.

What do you believe is your most Cancerian quality? Do you think this quality is easily perceived by others?
The way I'm answering these questions and focusing on watery truths rather than revealing specifics about myself? And the way that emotions are one of my primary languages. I think this is easily perceived—I can't hide much. My relationship with my emotions has shifted drastically over my life. When I was a teenager, my moods came on suddenly, and I never understood what triggered them; I experienced them as a kind of internal natural disaster, like a hurricane or earthquake, out of my control. They were often accompanied by a vast ambiguous ache that could not be soothed. In my 20s, I overcompensated by trying to control my emotions with my intellect. I did this by naming them and exerting my will. I lived out of a mind-body dichotomy and leaned into overthinking and restraint. A kind of noble martyrdom for no one. Not surprisingly, this failed. My emotions often erupted, with the help of alcohol, and I eventually developed mysterious chronic auto-immune issues.

I was led down a path where the mind-body dichotomy was replaced by a more complex understanding of the relationship between the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual, all working together in a symbiotic relationship we can't access fully from any one seat. These days, I am incredibly grateful to the wisdom of my emotions. As a writer, I tap into the language of my body and my emotions to guide me. If I'm not feeling something while I'm writing, I'm not going deep enough. In my current psychic work with animals, and also with writers, clairsentience is one of my primary modes of receiving information. A lifetime of big emotions has become a kind of internal library in service to others. Finally, feeling everything has a deep and fulfilling purpose beyond my understanding of myself.

Cancers are cardinal signs that love emotional self-improvement. Share one emotional self-improvement tool or text that has rocked your world?
Is it weird that just seeing the words "emotional self-improvement" turned me on? Here's two that I'm inspired by right now:

Robin DiAngelo's White Fragility: The shadow side of focusing on emotions is when we begin to privilege our own emotions as opposed to drawing on them for wisdom and empathy. We white folk have a lot of ongoing work to do around whiteness and making sure we aren't centralizing our emotional needs and asking people of color and indigenous peoples to educate us about race and racism. White Fragility helps us see how our discomfort with discussions of our complicity in racist systems can feed into and protect racial inequality. And that our complicity has nothing to do with being a good or bad person.

Layla Saad's Me and White Supremacy guides readers through a series of questions that facilitate this important work of looking at ways we might be unknowingly perpetuating racism and racist systems. The book is a powerful catalyst for change.

Cancers are said to be creatures of comfort. What gives you comfort when your world feels topsy turvy? Has it always been the same things?
Probably no surprises here, but: dogs on both sides of me, impossibly soft blankets, a big bed, music—all things that have the capacity to engulf and encapsulate, to comfort the soul by way of the skin. And of course, water. Preferably the ocean, to put me in touch with currents bigger than myself and my moods. Solitude (except for dogs and plants), because if someone is trying to comfort me, I find it difficult to not work hard to make them feel like they're doing a good job at it. Solitude can tip into self-isolation, though, but I'll know when the line has been crossed from the texture of aloneness. If it feels rich and full, I settle in. If it feels hollow and self-inflicting, I know it's time to eject myself from the cocoon. While the comforting things themselves haven't changed much over my life, my capacity to allow myself to receive comfort from them is a new accomplishment.

What are you offering to the world right now? Where can we find you scuttling?
My memoir, We the Ghosted, explores the notion of open relationships in practice and is looking for a home right now. Currently, I'm revising a young adult novel and writing a memoir about bartending in the Hamptons.

As an intuitive animal communicator, I offer Skype/phone sessions for those who want to receive information directly from their animal, who want to connect with a beloved animal who has passed, or who want to deepen their bond with their animal and find out what their animal is teaching them. My website is stephanieanimalcommunicator.com and you can follow me on Instagram: @stephanie.animal.communicator.

As an intuitive writing coach, I offer Skype/phone sessions for writers who long to feel excited and energized by their creative work, or who would like help achieving a sense of clarity in their project, or who are seeking help creating a sustainable writing practice. My website is stephaniekhopkinswritingcoach.com. Or you can email me at stephaniehop@gmail.com.

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