28 Degrees of Cancer – Ernest Hemingway and Hunter S. Thompson

Ernest Hemingway and Hunter S. Thompson were both Cancer sun writers who were heavy drinkers, loved to travel (and write about it) and committed suicide by self-inflicted gunshot wound while in his 60s.

Hemingway had sun in 28 degrees of Cancer. Thompson had sun in 25 degrees of Cancer with Pluto conjunct at 28 degrees of Cancer.

Hemingway’s moon is in Capricorn while Thompson’s is in either Scorpio or Sagittarius. From Thompson’s excess and traveling lifestyle, I would guess Sagittarius.

Clearly both men suffered from depression which led to heavy drinking and later suicide. Both men were under a major Saturn transit at the time of death.


Hemingway with sun in Cancer and moon in Capricorn – opposite signs indicating he was born close to or during a full moon. Cancer is warm, clingy and extremely sensitive and needs lots of affectionate love and constant reminder and feedback on that love. Capricorn is the opposite – a restraint of emotions.

Hemingway probably vacillated between a warm, loving person and a cold, resentful wounded child. At the time of his suicide, Saturn was conjunct his moon adding weight to a tightly wound emotional state. It must have felt like a physical weight on his body.


Thompson also has this warm, sensitive sun. He was so sensitive that he needed to wear sunglasses constantly. That’s a crab hiding in its shell.

Thompson’s moon is unknown as it shifted signs the day of his birth. Sagittarius explains the wandering writer and the excess of drugs and alcohol. A Cancer – Sagittarius combination would have a hard time saying “no” to indulgence.

The moon in Scorpio would add intensity and sensitivity. There would also be a tendency to brood. With Pluto on Thompson’s sun, he would have had some controlling Scorpio like behavior regardless of where his moon was placed.

Ultimately, Cancer is about belonging and feeling at home. Any control Thompson exerted would be to feel part of the gang, part of the brood. The worst offense to him would be to brand him an outcast or ban him from the party.

At the time of Thompson’s suicide, Saturn was transiting his sun, saying that his sense of belonging was being challenged. He may have felt he wasn’t part of “it” anymore. He probably felt left out in some way.

Cancer Sweetness

I was thinking of blogging on “the funniest sign of the zodiac.” For me, that would be Cancer. I also find that Cancers are some of my favorite actors.

Cancer, like all the water signs, is sensitive to the environment so picks up the nuances of the behaviors around them. I wonder if Cancer sensitivity feels like an allergy – the way our body reacts with hypersensitivity to substances in the environment that are not truly harmful. Cancer reacts to everything.

Cancer, then, can mimic your every habit. Just ask your Cancer cousin to tell you about Aunt Myrna at last Thanksgiving’s dinner table. Your Cancer can not only speak in Aunt Myrna’s voice, but will hold the fork like Aunt Myrna, tell you you’re fat (like Aunt Myrna) and then pick her teeth (like Aunt Myrna).

Cancer can be a “sweet” sign. That works well for Cancer women who can retreat into female “sweetness” to run the emotional chords in a family, but for men it is a challenge. Men are not supposed to be sweet and sensitive. Often sensitive Cancer men (and sometimes women) overcompensate by putting on a tough act.

Being tough and strong is a weak defense for Cancer and what ultimately makes Cancer break. There is great power in emotional honesty, something very rare. When you know someone who is 100% emotionally honest, you will shrink in your skin from your own emotional lies. You will also see that emotional honesty needs no protection. When you’re hiding something, that’s when you need protection.

It must be tough to be a male Cancer. When Saturn came pounding on the shell, both Hemingway and Thompson cracked in some way we’ll never understand.


About ohioastrology

I'm just another soul trying to make sense of the world. As I've grown, so has my understanding of astrology. I'd like to communicate that astrology is not occult and not fortune-telling but that it is a fluid, creative description of the life we choose to live.
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5 Responses to 28 Degrees of Cancer – Ernest Hemingway and Hunter S. Thompson

  1. daffodil1209 says:

    I think of Tom Hanks & Robin Williams & Bill Cosby- so able to see the absurdity in human foibles. And Harrison Ford, whose characters strive for justice & protection of his family in so many movies.

  2. Reblogged this on Ohio Astrology and commented:

    When an event happens, it’s difficult as an astrologer not to take a peek as I did at Robin Williams chart upon learning he died. His sun at 28 degrees of sensitive Cancer reminded me of this post. Williams also had moon in a super-sensitive sign as well – Pisces. Unless you have a lot of water in your chart, you may not know what it feels like to be so sensitive that it “feels like you don’t have skin” as a friend recently described. Phillip Seymour Hoffman who died earlier this year of an accidental drug overdose had sun at 29 degrees of Cancer. The last degrees of the water signs must be the most sensitive. We don’t know how these actors felt, only how they made us feel.

  3. mikeshreeve says:

    Great post !! I say this with my sun 27 degrees 49 mins cancer . Normally i seem to share my BD with Carlos Santana Diana Rigg and Alexander the Great ( some dispute on the date there tho). Didnt know i was in such talented and tortured company. Moon in Aries could be selfish enough to keep me from joining the above unhappy ones at any point. I’ll keep my fingers Xd. Cheers.

  4. Grant George Kitchener says:

    July 20, here, I concur on all the above !

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