Cancer invites us to develop the emotional security we need to continuously grow as human beings and business owners.
Picture this: under a blinding blue sky, a crab scuttles carefully down the beach, protected by a hard, crimson shell. But there’s a problem: The crab’s body has grown too large for the shell. It has to go somewhere safe, shed the shell, and grow a new one. If it doesn’t, it will die.
As business owners, we must continually shed our protective shells in order to grow.
But…just like with the crab on the beach, this shedding takes courage. The crab may be eaten by a predator while its shell is regrowing. And, even though we won’t actually be eaten when we shed our shells as business owners, sometimes it feels like we will.
Unlike crabs, whose shells are made of a hard bone called chitlin, our shells consist of the stories we weave to keep ourselves safe, the decisions we make in response to those stories, and the beliefs we keep about what we’re allowed to do or have. And, unlike crabs, whose shells are designed to protect their bodies, our shells protect our psychological wounds.
Over the past few months, I’ve felt particularly vulnerable.
Being a single mom is lonely sometimes, and recently, it’s been getting to me.
The Spotify playlist in my head has been cycling through my tried and true songs of No one wants to hang out with me and I don’t have any friends, despite having a lot of friends in Denver and many people who love me. These thoughts caused me to retreat into my shell and avoided reaching out to people, which has onlyjust made me lonelier.
When I shared this playlist with my therapist, she recommended that I take a quiz to identify my origin wound.
It turns out I have a wound of unworthiness. Let’s call her Wanda.
“Your wound influences everything you do, just like if you had a broken arm and changed how you did things in order to avoid using it,” she told me.
As a true Gemini, I have been thinking about Wanda (my wound) non-stop ever since taking the quiz.
I’ve realized how many decisions I make purely because of Wanda.
- I’ve set my prices very low because I just want people to say yes, even if it’s at a price that doesn’t support my work.
- I’ve avoided sharing my offerings because what if people reject me?
- I’ve committed to developing products far too quickly because I have to prove that I have good things to sell.
- I’ve avoided making my products easily accessible on my website because What if the sales pages aren’t good enough?
- I’ve delayed starting a blog (even though I love writing) because it needs to be amazing and what if it isn’t?
The list goes on.
At our next session, I told my therapist I want to build a new, larger shell that serves me better. A shell made out of self-trust, confidence, and the knowledge that I am the only one who can own my worthiness.
“So…can we build this shell in the next 25 minutes?” I asked.
We both laughed for a minute, and then I said, “Seriously. What can I do to begin dissolving my shell? I want to grow my business. I want to have authentic friendships. I’m tired of making my decisions from a wounded place.”
She told me, “Whenever you make a decision, ask yourself if you’re making it because you want to feel worthy, or because it’s what you actually want.”
Essentially, to dissolve my shell, she wants me to move into the space Cancer inhabits. To explore my inner world and emotions. To make decisions that nurture me.
I am not a Cancer Sun (meaning I wasn’t born during Cancer season). I don’t even have any planets in Cancer. Which means that this work doesn’t always come naturally to me.
But, as we all do, I have Cancer in my birth chart, and this inner work is essential to my growth and evolution as a human being and business owner.
Even though I know this work will take far longer than 25 minutes, I’ve already begun to outgrow my tiny shell and to take more steps towards a business I want.
I’ve also recognized that I’ve already outgrown shells and made new ones. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be here, writing this article.
Ways I’ve outgrown my shell include:
- I’ve become a tarot reader and astrologer despite my family not “getting” it
- I’ve left an unhappy marriage despite the uncertainty of being single
- I’ve created products and courses I’m proud of and sold them to many people
- I’ve been in business for myself for over a decade
And I know I can do so much more.
Young crabs shed their shells 3 to 5 times a month. And we, as business owners, have to keep shedding our shells, growing new ones, and repeating the process. This Cancerian work helps us fortify ourselves so that we can be the business owners we want to be.
Imagine that same crab from the beginning, climbing into a safe alcove and shedding its too-small shell. Imagine that crab patiently grows a new, spacious shell. And then, it wanders back onto the sunlit beach, ready to take on the world.
Even if you weren’t born between June 21st and July 21st, you have Cancer in your birth chart, because we all have all 12 signs in our birthcharts. You were born with the capacity to do inner work, nurture yourself, and tend to your wounds. Cancer season is a beautiful time to do this work.
To begin doing your own Cancerian work, take this origin wound quiz.
Then, make two lists. In the first, list the things that you don’t do for your business out of fear or self-protection. In the second, list the things you do to bravely create the life you want, despite your fear.
One of the first steps in dissolving your shell is in recognizing how many shells you’ve already shed.