Cancer Full Moon & Cardinal Cross

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The Golden Pill (2015) by Marlene Seven Bremner

Full Moon in Cancer

The Full Moon in Cancer on 12 January 2017 has a forceful intensity capable of dislodging us from wherever we have been stuck within rapid currents of release.  The first lunation of 2017, the Full Moon unleashes the tension between Jupiter in Libra and Uranus in Aries that will dominate the coming year.  The year ahead will bear the scars of Uranian lightning strikes as well as the enlivening heat stirred up from within that heals old wounds and liberates us from our past.  Collectively it’s a pivotal time in which the freedom granted by the Internet and it’s potential of freely flowing knowledge has been corrupted by mass manipulation of messages at levels previously unimagined by those with a thirst for power and influence.  Yet the vibration of Uranus can also disengage us from external conditioning influences, taking us within to discover our voice drawn from our deep well of soul.

Jupiter in Libra facing off with Uranus brings inspiring catalysts through relationships, but simultaneously asks us to own how we project into them, integrating the gifts stimulated through merging with others without losing sense of our center and core.  A back and forth can develop bridging vivifying relational experiences with space allowing the inner freedom able to receive what we need and release the rest.  However, because the Cancer Full Moon creates a cardinal cross, meaning that the polarity between the Sun and Moon forms a square to the polarity between Uranus and Jupiter, the volatile mix between all four cardinal signs can create disorientation over multiple paths of interest to follow at the same time.  As a result discernment is needed in terms of the next step to take in every moment, losing attachment to whatever we had convinced ourselves the subsequent step would be.

Cardinal signs initiate and instigate to create change and movement.  While cardinal signs set things in motions, they also involve a curious component of control. Perhaps it is the cardinal capacity to create change which leads each sign to want to compensate by attempting to control the outcome.  Change is difficult for many as it brings the unexpected, yet the year 2017 the Cancer Full Moon heralds will encourage releasing attachment to expectations in order to flow with the fiery twists and turns eluding control.   Creating a blueprint of goals while clarifying priorities will be important, but plans need to be written in pencil and open to continual modification.  Each step taken requires the presence of mind to receive and allow for the next step to take shape beyond preconceived notions of what that step would be.  Through openness to what we discover in each moment, allowing for the unexpected discharges of Uranus, we can free ourselves from both external and internal conditioning.

The shadows of control within the cardinal signs can be found in the modus operandi of each sign. In Aries where Uranus is holding space, we claim our needs through selfish assertion of our desires.  In Libra where Jupiter resides, we manipulate relationships through attuning to the needs of others in a way that ensures, or so we think, they will correspondingly do what we want them to do for us.  In Capricorn holding both Pluto and the Sun, the control is around claiming power in time and space so we can make sure we are responsible for what is happening rather than surrendering to someone else.  In Cancer where the Full Moon falls, control comes from the ability to draw on emotional intelligence to manipulate outcomes.  Trying to exert control in these ways will lead into a spinning out of distracted fragmentation within the Full Moon’s torrential force.

The cardinal cross is the interface between self and other and how we navigate and utilize form.  Primarily, all four of the cardinal signs possess profound gifts for finding one’s path and creating the forms necessary to fertilize and nurture essential growth.  Releasing control opens the lunar capacity of Cancer to receive subconscious content that will replenish and clarify conscious choices.

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Origins (2012) by Marlene Seven Bremner

The Cancer Full Moon not only creates a grand square with Jupiter and Uranus, it also re-activates the square between Pluto and Uranus that dominated astrology between 2011 and 2015.   Primal feelings that feel overwhelming under the light of the Full Moon also carry a valuable message buried under their density like hidden treasure.  There is support to dig deeper and receive a more penetrating perception of underlying unconscious dynamics than previously realized.   In other cases the electrical charge of the Full Moon catalyzing Jupiter and Uranus can allow for a purging of toxic feelings that need release.  To paraphrase the harmonizing of Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris in “Return of the Grievous Angel,” you will see your devil and you will see your deep blue sea.  Subconscious contents unearthed will become a resource helping to balance and center within the dissolution and shattering of surrounding collective structures.

Joining Uranus through conjunction are the dwarf planets Eris and Ceres, with Ceres finally beginning to separate after stationing direct in conjunction with Uranus last month.   Ceres invites us into the abyss of surrender that ultimately leads to greater understanding and regenerated strength.  When Ceres in her story of losing her daughter was paralyzed in mourning, at the crossroads of her struggle appeared Hekate from the void to offer counsel that eventually led to her resolution.  Similarly the Cancer Full Moon will serve as a guiding torch directed by Hekate for those willing to listen to inner guidance.  Ceres in Aries offers active, loving care that fosters mutual independence and empowerment in outer relations.

Another guiding light within the Full Moon is Mercury, now direct as a Morning Star and arising at dawn to herald the rising of the Sun and our awakening from sleep.  Mercury is at the threshold between Sagittarius and Capricorn at the peak of the Full Moon, and as the lunar cycle wanes Mercury will move forward through Capricorn.  Like the colorful cock celebrating the return of solar heat, Mercury will be up at the crack of dawn, alert to daily priorities and curious to discover the path that will lead to desired goals.  Due to the recent Mercury retrograde in Capricorn, this will be the third time that Mercury has crossed over the first fifteen degrees of Capricorn since the beginning of December 2016.  Replenished from its time in the retrograde underworld, Mercury has freed the space needed for revitalized authority in navigating life as it approaches a conjunction with Pluto during the waning Moon cycle.

Venus in Pisces is closely applying to a conjunction with Neptune while separating from her previous union with the South Node of the Moon.   Venus in her exaltation of Pisces may express the full range of her boundless sensuality, a euphoria heightened through her union with Neptune that can elicit feelings of unconditional love and acceptance for loved ones.  With the South Node of the Moon having passed over both Venus and Neptune, there has been a purifying release of old relationship desires and patterns possible.  Signs and symbols illustrative of the love story we have been living for what feels like ages may have appeared, giving us the gift of being able to create a new story through our deepened awareness.  Recent experiences of disillusionment in relationship can serve as a necessary awakening to what we need to cultivate for ourselves in relationship and nurture from within ourselves to avoid external dependencies.

Both Venus and Mars in Pisces are Evening Stars who can be seen together in the transfiguration of twilight, distilling insight into our past relational desires through their balsamic relationship.  Mars in Pisces is applying to a conjunction with Chiron at the Cancer Full Moon as it also begins to form a square to Saturn in Sagittarius.  Last year brought a series of eclipses aligned with Chiron as well as a pivotal Mars retrograde that was bound with Saturn, and so Mars is in position to dredge up whatever remains unresolved from key 2016 storylines.  Mars will form an exact square with Saturn as the lunar cycle wanes into its last quarter square on January 19, an important phase of initiation connected back to the conjunction of Mars and Saturn in Sagittarius that occurred on 24 August 2016.

Whatever was torn down last year has cleared the space for new forms to be built and fortified now.  Saturn demands accountability and discipline but not limited thinking.  In fact, the aspects surrounding Saturn in Sagittarius will support manifestation for those with far reaching vision and passion who are also willing to put in the hard work and effort necessary to bring immaterial ideas and plans into material form.  These are not transits that support playing it safe or doing things the way they’ve always been done.  This is a time to risk working and living for the animating aspirations, hopes, and dreams you may have previously held back from pursuing with full force for one reason or another.

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4 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Cancer 3 Decan

The Full Moon falls in the third face of Cancer, associated with the Four of Cups card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith.  The Moon rules the third decan of Cancer, bringing added potency to the lunation.  In the image of the Four of Cups illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith above, we see someone sitting on the roots of a tree with three golden cups ready to be filled in the foreground, with a fourth cup being magically offered by an otherworldly hand. The recipient of this magical offering appears to be engrossed in contemplative thought, allowing inner exploration to guide subsequent choice.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces gave the image of “The Overflowing Cup” to the third face of Cancer, declaring that it reveals the conflict of choosing “luxurious excess” within “a world of limited material resources” in which “the attainment of luxury for one entails deprivation for others,” leading to a “hidden violence and secret competition entailed within the quest for luxury” (p. 115-6). Coppock noted this seems to be the perspective of the young man seated in the Four of Cups with an ascetic air of refusing to accept more than he needs, and therefore bringing up questions around choosing the extra cup of luxury.  Significantly, Coppock additionally noted the spiritual dimension of luxury:

While this face has much to teach about the material dynamics of scarcity and excess, not all matters relevant to it can be confined to matters of food, wealth and shelter. Our world also provides gifts not so easily exhausted. The ever present energy of the natural world- the chi which emanates from all living things- is an ocean even a thirsty god could not drain. Likewise, the spirit offers cups ever-refilled. This decan thus offers a vision not only of hoarding the finite, but the endless luxury of the limitless. (p. 117)

Resonant with cycles of creation and destruction that bring limitless luxury and spiritual gifts, Coppock also noted that the Hellenistic text The 36 Airs of the Zodiac connected the goddess Hekate with the third face of Cancer. Hekate rules over the phases of the Moon, all realms of the upper world and the underworld, crossroads, magical craft, midwifery, and prophetic mediation among many other significations.  For ages Hekate has been available to call for regenerative power, as described in the following excerpt from “The One Who Waits at the Crossroads” by Soror Basilisk:

When one is at a crossroads, Hekate is there to show the options.  The crossroads is also an initiatory ground zero . . . one disposes of unwanted remnants there and this can apply to the unwanted remnants of the Self.  With that in mind, attitudes, beliefs, outworn and outgrown patterns of behavior and thought can be shed.  The whole of the Self can be completely destroyed and rebuilt anew.  Hekate, mad as she is, wise as she is, can be trusted to guide and clear the mind.

The Cancer Full Moon brings a revelatory clearing, a release which will open space and freedom for the unknown to arrive in the next two lunar cycles involving eclipses tightly connected to the opposition between Jupiter and Uranus.  In the shedding of the past an intensification of our essence will be felt and able to be transmitted with love into our personal works of passion as well as our relationships and greater community.

References

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.

Hekate:  Her Sacred Fires. (2010). Compiled and edited by Sorita D’Este. Avalonia.

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Mercury Mediates the Cardinal Cross

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Hermes. Attic Red-figure Calyx-Krater, by Euphronios, 515 BCE. NYC, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Just as we are in the wake of the exact Cardinal Cross corresponding to a multitude of chaotic current events, Mercury steps into his Superior Conjunction with the Sun.  When Mercury is moving direct and conjunct the Sun it is called a superior conjunction because Mercury is moving very fast (this is in contrast with the Inferior Conjunction that occurs when Mercury is moving retrograde and slow).  Demetra George has compared Mercury at this phase of his cycle with the Sun to his detriment placement in Sagittarius because he has gone invisible under the beams of the Sun and his swift movement can correspond to both ingenious insight as well as a feeling of overwhelm in the face of an avalanche of disorienting information or events.  The challenge is to assimilate and to integrate all of the information that is made available at the superior conjunction:  this is always the case, but the fact that this particular superior conjunction is occurring at the time of the Cardinal Cross, in between a Lunar Eclipse and a Solar Eclipse, makes this a particularly volatile and catalytic superior conjunction.   We may be sensing brilliant insights of genius, the frenzied madness of a manic perspective, or both at the same time.  What is clear is that this time of a Cardinal Cross in between eclipses has lived up to its billing as an intense crossroads:  liberation from past limiting patterns is the potential benefit of this time, and so we need to maintain the mental balance to take in and digest the profound insights available to our perception.

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While one can see in the chart above the square alignment between Mars retrograde in Libra, Jupiter in Cancer, Pluto retrograde in Capricorn, and Uranus in Aries, one can also see that Venus is tight in trine to Saturn retrograde in Scorpio as well as conjunct the Moon in Pisces.  Yes, grand squares can be stressful, but they are also a building energy that can initiate new forms and structures, particularly in the cardinal signs.  Venus in Pisces rules the superior conjunction of Mercury and the Sun in Taurus, and since she is also aligned with the Moon and in trine to Saturn we have an opportunity at this time to perceive the profound personal message directed at us from the universe that is found in this Cardinal Cross.  Venus in Pisces and Saturn in Scorpio also bring in the two other modes of operation besides the initiatory focus of Cardinal signs:  Venus being in a Mutable sign that helps us to flow with changes while breaking up and mediating our experiences into the essential take away, Saturn being in a Fixed sign helping us to solidify and realize the golden insight we can glean while processing all of the events and exchanges occurring in our lives at this time.

Mercury like Saturn is also in a Fixed sign at this time, and in fact in this period will quickly move through Taurus and become exactly opposite Saturn retrograde in Scorpio (May 2, 2014).  Mercury in Taurus is ruled by Venus transiting in Pisces, and in Taurus she is more of an inner Venus focused on our inner resources and values, a Venus that helps us connect with our body, our bodily instincts, and perception open to us through body language and interpretation.  Mercury being in a fixed sign lends stability to an astrological archetype that is very fluid:  Mercury can go between the underworld and the upper world, in traditional astrology he can belong to both the diurnal and the nocturnal sect, and indeed he is able to find the middle ground while mediating between worlds and unifying opposites.  Amazingly, the Sabian symbol for 6 Taurus where the superior conjunction occurs evokes this meaning:  “cantilever bridge across a deep gorge,” with the keynote meaning of a “conquest of separateness through group cooperation” (Rudhyar, p. 74).  To Dane Rudyhar, this symbol stresses the need to participate in a “collective project” in order to build a link “through the power of the collective mind of the group or the community at large, on the basis of the legacy of the past, to make a bridge over the canyon” (Rudhyar, p. 74). We need Mercury at this time to help us make sense of everything occurring around us:  it is not just our own personal patterns that are being revealed for our personal liberation, it is the great collective patterns of our collective history that are also being revealed, and it will only be through collective group effort that we will be able to collectively liberate ourselves from them.

The significant shift that follows the superior conjunction of Mercury and the Sun is the transformation of Mercury from a Morning Star to an Evening Star.  Mercury is in his Morning Star phase when he is behind the Sun by zodiac degree, and he is in his Evening Star phase when he is ahead of the Sun by zodiac degree.  When Mercury reaches about fifteen degrees before the Sun he disappears in the Eastern sky at sunrise, only to rise again at sunset as an Evening Star when he reaches about fifteen degrees ahead of the Sun.  In the last couple of months as a Morning Star, leading up to our current Cardinal Grand Square, Mercury has been functioning more in his Morning Star role as a more objective, yang energy that is outwardly directed and effective in a more public focus on reputation, honors, and career.  Once Mercury becomes an Evening Star, he will embody a more reflective, yin energy that is both subjective and intuitive, able to perceive information through dreams, memory, and bodily instincts.  At this time of Mercury’s superior conjunction, however, leading up to the Solar Eclipse that will occur around April 29 (or April 28 depending upon your time zone), we are in a time of accelerated perception and information, a vortex in which we may encounter many opportunities and be able to accomplish a great deal if we can maintain our focus amid the catalytic energy of the Cardinal Cross and Solar Eclipse.

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One can see here that at the time of the Solar Eclipse, Mercury will be (1) sextile to Neptune and Chiron in Pisces, (2) in trine to Pluto in Capricorn, and (3) in sextile to Jupiter in Cancer.  This means that Mercury will be mediating between powerful transpersonal and personal energies during this Solar Eclipse he is closely conjunct in Taurus, giving us the opportunity to perceive information and insight through the collective conscious and unconscious (Neptune in Pisces) that can help us regenerate core aspects of our authentic Self that can in the end help us re-make and re-form structures of the surrounding systematic power structure (Pluto in Capricorn).  We can also gain insight into how we have been conditioned to judge ourselves or allow ourselves to be judged or shamed by the imposed expectations of others.  Remember that very recently at the time of the Lunar Eclipse a couple of weeks ago that Mercury was conjunct Uranus in Aries as we entered this Cardinal Cross time period:  as a result Mercury is carrying a liberating message from Uranus with him into the Sun and the Solar Eclipse.  Making things even more amplified, the opposition between Jupiter in Cancer and Pluto in Capricorn has been in place for all of 2014 so far, and has been intensely triggered at this time of a Cardinal Cross.  It is therefore incredible at this time of Mercury’s superior conjunction that also happens at a time of a solar eclipse that Mercury is conjunct, that Mercury steps into such harmonious mediating aspects between Jupiter and Pluto.  This is a time to gain greater clarity for our true values, and the purpose and passion in life we want to direct our inner resources toward in this next phase of our life.

Furthermore, just as Venus in Pisces is ruling the Solar Eclipse occurring at this time, so does Venus also rule Mercury’s journey through the sign of Taurus.  And as previously mentioned, Venus in Pisces is now significantly in trine to Saturn retrograde in Scorpio as we enter the superior conjunction of Mercury and the Sun in Taurus.  Love is the great harmonizer that can weave together disparate elements and events into a Venusian tapestry that can help us nurture ourselves during any wounding experience.  Venus was recently conjunct Chiron in Pisces and in trine to Jupiter in Cancer, and now that she is also in trine to Saturn retrograde in Scorpio means that we can get a more visceral feeling in our bodies and bones regarding the deeper meaning of recent events with respect to our core being.  It also gives us the ability to manifest a deeper sense of love into our daily existence, focusing on what we want to have happen with a greater ability to materialize aspects of our authentic desire.

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Venus Verticordia by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1868)

Mercury is moving fast however, and so will remain in the Venus ruled sign of Taurus for only a few weeks as he travels invisible under the beams of the Sun.  Mercury will appear again as an Evening Star in the sky at his acronymic rise at Sunset, occurring around May 9, 2014 when Mercury reaches fifteen degrees ahead of the Sun:  Mercury will be enjoying himself in the early degrees of Gemini at this time.  Demetra George has compared Mercury in this phase of his cycle with the Sun as being similar to his exaltation in the sign of Virgo.  This is not the youthful, risk-taking, and overly curious Hermes, but rather the sage and bearded Hermes, the educator of youth and the wise inventor of letters and numbers, the discerning interpreter of words and the giver of medicinal drugs.  The combination of this phase of Mercury being similar archetypally to Mercury’s exaltation in the discerning Virgo with the transit of Mercuy in his inquisitive home sign of Gemini is absolutely perfect to help us digest and integrate all of the mind blowing experiences from this time period.

As a result, Mercury moving direct as an Evening Star in the sign of Gemini will help us assimilate, classify, organize, and integrate all of our wild perceptions from this time period with a more deliberate mental process able to flow and navigate with all of the changes arising.  In these ways, Mercury will continue in his role of mediating the intense events of the Cardinal Cross within our perceptions through the Spring (in the Northern Hemisphere where I live; of course in the Southern Hemisphere you are in Autumn now), significantly reaching another phase of his journey on June 7, 2014 when he will station retrograde at four degrees of Cancer in trine to Neptune in Pisces.  This will be the next phase of our mental integration of all the changes happening now, the Mercury retrograde phase, where Mercury will take on more of the meaning of his detrimental placement in the sign of Pisces, a time of release of old thought forms and concepts in preparation for visualizing and envisioning our new future yet to come.  Mercury in this period has a strong ability to interpret omens and signs in our night-time dreams and day-time explorations, and since this retrograde phase will begin with a trine to Neptune in Pisces it will also give us the opportunity for greater acceptance and healing of any wounding changes occurring in our lives during this Cardinal Cross time period.  Again with amazing timing, Mercury in this phase will experience his Inferior Conjunction with the Sun around the time of the June Solstice (the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere; the Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere) at the very end of the sign of Gemini.  In the beginning of July, Mercury will station direct to move forward again in a month where Mars will finally leave his retrograde shadow zone, Jupiter will leave Cancer to enter the sign of Leo, and this Cardinal Cross time period will be clearly left behind.  So welcome the wise trickster Hermes into your life right now:  Mercury is making himself available at this time to help you navigate literally anything you are currently facing.

References

Demetra George. (2012). Lecture on Hermes: Guardian of Thresholds. UAC.

Dane Rudhyar. (1973).  An Astrological Mandala: the cycle of transformation and its 360 symbolic phases. Vintage Books.