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Aries | Taurus | Gemini | Leo | Virgo | Libra | Scorpio | Sagittarius | Capricorn | Aquarius | Pisces

they asked "Merlin" Mervin:
"Who Is Cancer?"
©1999, Rudy Mervin, All Rights Reserved.


Mothering, nurturing,
Not crops or money,
Like Taurus, but people
The sympathetic hand on the brow
The home, those walls
That offer protection to the family
Where Cancer may retreat
In wounded self-pity
From the threats of Aries
And the tactlessness of Sagittarius.

To his left stands Gemini,
That past person of frantic wanderings
And glib intellectualism,
The itinerant pedlar
Who through cruel experience
Aquired feelings
And became Cancer -
Gemini, whose secret yearning
For protection against random misfortune
Urged him to build four walls.

To his right is Leo
His future.
Oh, to be a person
With the power of command,
To whom others dare not render insult.
Oh, to be powerful
And not powerless
Outside those four secure walls.

Cancer renders fealty to Leo
So that Leo will protect his home and children
And in return
Sends his children into battle
To protect the national home
Which Leo commands.
And it is through patriotism,
That feeling of identification
With those walls outside of walls,
That Cancer aspires to security
Within his environment.

Cancer feels at cross-purposes
With Aries and Libra.
Aries, with those piercing eyes
Full of contempt
And that aura of potential violence
Makes Cancer retreat into timidity.

And Aries cannot be won over
By pity and hurt looks
And tears make him scornful
For he only respects strength,
And has liking for vivacious conversation
And a battle of wits, adventure,
And the thrill of the chase.
And Cancer avoids struggle
Except where the home or children
Are concerned,
And here the battle is not for sport,
But to the death.

And Libra,
Why, that woman, with all her airs
Cannot even make a decision
And stick to it.
She is always rearranging her home
Into more and more uncomfortable patterns
As if it were a work of art
And not a place to live and work.
And always saying "On the other hand,"
Endlessly, as if she had more than two.

Why, if she, Cancer, were like Libra
She would no doubt have a dozen breasts
Like Sirius the dog.
Yes, that woman gave herself airs
Dressing like a high-class harlot
In light blues and pinks, frilly things
As if she were some kind of baby
Pretending to be helpless,
Though not with wanting a mother,
But another man.

- Though who would want to be married
To Aries, with his wild and selfish ways,
And to cope with the man?
- Why, I'd have to give her credit there,
But certainly no credit for good judgement.
Well, she's ruined many a man
With her endless quest for perfect love
And insistence on Romance
That I suppose they deserve each other.
Why, I heard from Gemini
That she had an affair with Scorpio last year,
Though what a man like that
With true feelings
Would want with light fluff
When he already has Taurus
With her lovely voluptuous body
And true, practical feelings

- Well, Scorpio is a man, and highly sexed,
And he gave me a look the other day
That I knew saw deep inside me.
Oh, to have a man like Scorpio
Strong and patient, and so knowing
When the mother wants to be mothered!
And Pisces is another one
Who knows exactly how you feel
Without words
As if it was himself who lost the child
And not me.
Such a compassionate man
So warm, and I gave him cookies
With honey, and milk
For every tear he shed.
And before he left that night
He played some tunes on his fiddle
That even had old Capricorn dancing.
And Taurus sang, and Leo
Did a fine bit of theatre,
And Gemini mimicked the lot of us
'Til we were in tears.
Oh, it's so nice to have
Good friends over!

I was over at the Blacksmith Shop
And there was Virgo
Crafting away - such a fine man
I swear he's getting younger
As he gets older, just like old Capricorn
Who hasn't changed since he was twenty
And I was twenty, and thought
I'd married an older man.

But Virgo has been married twice,
Once to Gemini
Though that didn't work out
Because they both
Wanted to talk at the same time
And nobody was listening.
Now, Virgo is a good catch
For an honest woman.
He's hard-working and careful
With his money,
Though he'll always work for someone else,
Unlike old Capricorn
Who has a position in the government
And can make our home
As secure as Leo's castle.

Taurus and I have always gotten along.
There's a good, honest, hard-working woman.
She keeps a nice, comfortable house,
And we can go on all day
About the renovations we are doing.
One thing about her
- It's hard getting her started
But once started
She'll see it right through.
She's practical, and doesn't take risks
Except for putting her money in the bank.
Myself I'll put mine under the floorboards
Where I can put my hands on it.

Sagittarius and Aquarius
Now, there's a pair of n'er do wells,
The one always off on long trips
To far-off places - I swear
He'll end up with a home in a foreign land,
And he's never learned any manners
Or consideration for the feelings of others.
For all his talk of gaining wisdom
From speaking with foreigners,
As if anybody else knows as much
As those in our own homeland.
If he bought some land
And built himself a home right here
He'd learn good, old-fashioned wisdom
Right at the mother's knee
So to speak.

And Aquarius
Always sounding off about the poor,
As if their laziness
Wasn't responsible for their poverty,
And always talking
About the meaning of planetary positions
As if the beauty of the stars
That God put there for his glory
Wasn't enough for any god-fearing man.
Why, he even talked about a property tax,
As if any sane person would risk his home
To give some lazy do-nothing
Food he could be earning by the sweat of his brow.
And as for the truly poor,
Why, they wouldn't even come to my house
If I weren't charitable
And generous with my baking.

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Aries | Taurus | Gemini | Leo | Virgo | Libra | Scorpio | Sagittarius | Capricorn | Aquarius | Pisces