Full Moon in Cancer

Hekate and the Three Graces (1st – 2nd Century CE)

Full Moon in Cancer

Around the hollow of her right flank a great stream of the primordially-generated Soul gushes forth in abundance, totally ensouling light, fire, ether, worlds.

In the left flank of Hekate exists the source of virtue, which remains entirely within and does not give up its virginity.

The Chaldean Oracles translated by Ruth Majercik, fragments 51 & 52

Full Moon in Cancer

The Full Moon on December 29 is in the watery sign of Cancer, the home of the Moon where its potency for nurturing restoration and drawing sustenance from memories and dreams can be expressed directly and fully. Ever since 2018 the Full Moon in Cancer each year has had to share its watery domicile with its North Node as well as forming an opposition with Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn, creating greater volatility and a harder edge to our lunar experience. In fact, we entered 2020 with a Lunar Eclipse in Cancer on January 10 that set off the conjunction that formed between Saturn and Pluto a few days later on January 12. While the Cancer full moons and eclipses of the past three years have been helpful for drawing our attention to issues in need of tending, the Cancer lunation at the end of 2020 will deliver a purer dose of lunar medicine to imbibe. The silvery soulfulness pouring down from the Cancer Full Moon will be able to find its way to the parts of yourself in need of its nurturance, the more so that space is made to receive it and discover where it leads you.

The Full Moon in Cancer will peak as we prepare to cross the divide of calendar years into 2021. While the end of the year typically feels like a threshold experience, there will be an amplified sense of being at a collective crossroads due to the recent conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn on the solstice. The Cancer Full Moon will serve as a beacon of light not unlike the torch traditionally carried by Hekate, illuminating our feelings about what we are ready to release from the past year and what we are hopeful will emerge in the year ahead. We will need to draw from the perspective of the two-faced, threshold guardian Janus that can simultaneously reflect backwards while looking forward, as we need to honor the freshness of being at the beginning. The Cancer Full Moon will illuminate our arrival at the beginning of a new chapter in world history that has opened in correspondence with the new cycle set into motion by Jupiter and Saturn.

The Cancer Full Moon is separating from a sextile with Uranus in Taurus and applying toward an opposition with Mercury in Capricorn and a trine with Neptune in Pisces. The Moon’s opposition with Mercury will be mentally activating, while its movement from the sextile with Uranus into the trine with Neptune will activate the nonlinear realm of memories, emotions, and somatic material that often impacts us without our conscious awareness. Doubling down on the lunation making a potent subconscious impact is that in addition to immediately separating from a sextile with Uranus, the Cancer Full Moon is also separating from a catalytic square aspect with Chiron in Aries that will help to dislodge material that has been frozen in the psyche or held in the body so that it may become processed and released. The opposition between the Full Moon and Mercury may feel overwhelming if life events are creating excessive busyness and mental stimulation, and so if this is the case find ways to calm and soothe nerves. Otherwise the tension between the Moon and Mercury can be utilized in divination, journaling, artistic expression, or any other medium that can draw on the lunar activation by Uranus and Neptune to provide insight into important aspects of your inner parts and purposes that are ready to emerge in the new year and new era we are entering.

The Cancer Moon will form an opposition with Pluto in Capricorn on December 31 and then will form oppositions with Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius and a square with Uranus in Taurus after entering Leo later in the day. In the wider context of the astrology of 2021, it’s fascinating that the Moon will move from an opposition with Pluto into hard aspects with Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus as the new year begins. As a result, the Moon’s movement will connect us with the fact that on a larger scale we are leaving a period of time dominated by the cycles between Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto into a year that will be dominated by the cycles between Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus. The deep contractions and heavy gravity of years influenced by Pluto will now be erupting with the propulsive and shattering force of Uranus that can be erratic, unpredictable, emancipatory, and inventive all at the same time.  Uranus can be a positive influence when connecting us with whatever makes us feel authentically passionate and inspired, and so the Cancer Full Moon can aid in shedding the dead weight of the past so as to feel lighter and more freely capable of aligning with the exciting opportunities that can emerge in the new year.

fountain from hypnerotomachia poliphili

from the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili

Venus in Sagittarius is making important aspects to consider during the Cancer Full Moon, including forming a conjunction with the South Node of Sagittarius that it will complete on December 30 with the mean node and on December 31 with the true node. Venus moving across the Sagittarius South Node will focus attention on material that was seeded at the Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius on December 14, with issues that were previously hidden becoming unveiled. With Venus tending to the release valve of the Moon’s nodes, the full light of the lunation pouring down upon us will bring realizations mediated by Venus in Sagittarius such as anyway we have been relating from dogmatic values, righteously believing we know the truth or crusading to convert others to our own viewpoint. Positively, Venus in Sagittarius can help in rooting our relating through awareness of not only the ways we are interacting with other humans but also in the ways we are interacting within the vaster field of animals, land, ancestors and other living spirits. As we leave the era of earth to enter the era of air, Venus in Sagittarius can help in revealing how it’s not only our relationships with other human beings that will need greater care and attention, but that our innumerable relationships within the vast realm of Nature above and below will also need greater focus and cultivation.

The lessons Venus can teach from its proximity with Ketu, the South Node of the Moon in Sagittarius, involve many themes covered by Jason Holley recently in a webinar entitled Sagittarius in Myth and Psyche. Holley focused on the tendency in today’s astrological world to project upon the nomadic consciousness of Sagittarius from the settler consciousness of the colonial cultures we live within. Some of the aspects of Sagittarius discussed by Holley led me to consider how they connect with our collective movement into the era of air, and in these ways it makes sense that Venus combined with Ketu in Sagittarius can help us cut through what is in the way of us becoming more spatially mobile, fluid in our roles, flexible in our social organizations, and capable of grounding in movement while retaining a differentiated perceptual field capable of restructuring interpretation and analysis as needed. Holley described the orientation of Sagittarius as carrying “an ancient memory that one is partly here to shepherd the souls of others and oneself- to free them from limitations.” This is a worthy lesson to remember from Venus as the star of Aphrodite journeys across the South Node of the Moon as we journey into 2021.

However, Venus is not only applying to a conjunction with the South Node of the Moon, but also to an imaginatively activating square aspect with Neptune in Pisces that it will complete on December 30. The square between Venus and Neptune will constellate fantastical images and enticing visions, but we will need to be wary of being led astray into dangerous tidal forces. As Venus is now forming a waning square aspect with Neptune, it may bring back important insights, memories, or relationships connected with the long series of waxing square aspects Venus formed with Neptune due to Venus shifting retrograde in Geminiin May 2020 (May 12, May 20, and July 27 were the three exact aspects). Although Venus has not garnered as much attention as Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto in the astrological world during the past year, it has been a major factor in reshaping our relationships and relational needs during 2020. The pivotal sequence of hard aspects formed between Venus and Neptune have been opening our awareness to previously unseen needs, desires, and values during a year in which severe social distancing restrictions around the world have limited physical contact.

The waning square from Venus to Neptune is additionally bringing focus to the fact that Neptune is presently residing at the southern bending of the lunar nodes, forming a square aspect with both the North and South Nodes of the Moon that it will eventually complete on January 26. With so many people locked into polarized conflicts and perceiving things from completely different perspectives regarding reality, the disorientation stirred up by Venus with Neptune can potentially lead to even more widespread delusion that will make it even more difficult to resolve differences and mediate resolution. It’s been noted by many that the deluge of conspiracy theories circulating coincides with the fact so many people have felt anxious and alienated due to the global pandemic, and mistrustful of those in authority. It also seems fitting that the disorder being brought to consensus reality is coinciding with the great reordering of structural realities that will ripple out from the great astrological cycles beginning now. The collective volatility will not be ending anytime soon, and so it will be up to each of us to figure out how to hold the tension of our differences in viewpoints when relating with others. The square from Venus and the South Node of the Moon to Neptune in Pisces can help us deepen into understanding the troubled history of our world and the ways in which the ripples from systemic oppression across time are playing into our present relational difficulties.

Musashi Plain moon, from the series One hundred aspects of the moon (1891) by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi

After peaking in light at the full moon, the Moon in Cancer will move through an opposition with Pluto in Capricorn into a cathartic square aspect with Mars in Aries on December 31. The tensions unleashed between the Moon with Pluto and Mars on the final day of 2020 further shows how it’s a time of releasing the trials and tribulations of the past year, while also needing to recognize that the impact of the troubles that were exposed all around global societies in the past year will not be going away and will need our continued attention in the future years to come. Rather than develop illusory hopes that the great conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn that has arrived at the end of the year is ushering us into a new era free from the suffering of the past, we instead need to utilize it like a lighthouse helping us navigate through the turbulent storms that will be coming in 2021 so that we may find our way to a stabilizing shore or harbor.

During the waning half of the current lunar cycle, Mars will enter Taurus on January 6 and immediately incite the explosive tensions building between Uranus in Taurus with Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius. Mars will not form its exact square aspects with Saturn and Jupiter and its conjunction with Uranus until after the upcoming Capricorn New Moon on January 12, but we will begin sensing a notable increase in disruptive influences and social unrest as the present lunar cycle comes to a close. On personal levels, the friction stirred up between Mars and Uranus with Saturn and Jupiter will dislodge whatever has been stuck, creating rapid change in some cases. It will be much better to find your way into the flow of the changing currents rather than attempting to hang on at all costs to the way things have been in the past.

Two of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Cancer 1 Decan

The Full Moon will rise in the first face of Cancer associated with the Two of Cups card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image we find two lovers coming together with equal passion, with a caduceus of intertwining snakes and a winged lion arising in the space between their merging desire. Fittingly for the erotic reciprocity found in the symbolism of this image, the first face of Cancer is ruled by Venus and the Moon. Yet Venus is not only about the romanticism of Eros and Psyche, nor the Moon only about the enclosure of their fertile love in the palace of Eros. The Cancer Full Moon can thus connect us with the Eros of care, love, and fellowship that weaves community together when focused upon a common purpose that brings practical help and resources to those in need. It can also reveal those in our relational field who we can form mutually supportive dynamics with. As we are entering an extended period of collective volatility, we will need to be actively co-creating community that can flexibly mutate in accordance with the changing societal dynamics.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “A Mother and Child” to the first face of Cancer, as he wrote that the face holds the hungers of our emotions and biology, the womb that gives birth to us and all of our resulting needs. Coppock further connected the themes of mother and child to the pursuit of romantic love found in the Two of Cups since “it is the perfect support, half-remembered from the womb, that gives rise to the human dream of similarly nursing bonds between committed partners.” Coppock wrote that idealized unions can be realized in the first decan of Cancer, and that the “face’s magical virtue is to establish mutually nurturing relationships.” With Venus applying to a square aspect with Neptune during the Full Moon, we may also gain realization for patterns that have led us into unhealthy enmeshment with others, as well as a more lucid sense of the needs we seek within all types of relationships we form with others.

In contrast, the Hellenistic text 36 Airs ascribed the goddess Nike, the goddess of victory, to the first face of Cancer. A daughter of the underworld river goddess Styx, Nike allied herself with Zeus in the war against the Titans, a mythic war resonant with the astrology of 2020 that has ended with a new order being constellated between Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius. Nike served as the divine charioteer of Zeus in battle, while also rewarding victors of competition with the glory of wreathed laurel. In 36 Faces Austin Coppock connected the presence of Nike in the first face of Cancer with the ancient symbolic link between chariots and the body as the vehicle of the soul, symbolism also resonant with the connection in tarot between the VII Chariot arcanum and the zodiacal sign of Cancer. If we want to make a difference in 2021 and help to shape the world we wish to live in, we will need to take care of our body and mind so that we will have the strength and clarity necessary to be effective agents of change. Make time and space during the Cancer Full Moon and the following days to get all the rest and restoration you need. May the strength you cultivate now serve you in deepening into fulfilling your purpose and destiny in 2021.

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References

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

Majercik, Ruth. (2013). The Chaldean Oracles. The Prometheus Trust.

 

Cancer Solstice Eclipse

Moon Tree

Image by Michelle Doucette, whose work can be found at The Dreaming Canvas

Solar Eclipse in Cancer

The Annular Solar Eclipse on June 21 will emit a thin golden ring of light around a pulsating black center. For those who can view the eclipse in daylight hours, the supremacy of the radiant sun will be overcome by the darkness of night, the blackness that gives birth and through which life passes into the otherworld of ancestors. Experiencing a solar eclipse brings a sense of the fertile void where the emptiness underlying everything is found. Eclipses can feel like an opening into the primordial reality that is always there, unchanging, waiting to be entered. It’s not a time for projecting your ambitions into the world, but rather a moment of allowing your conscious ambitions to be eclipsed, connecting awareness with what is waiting to emerge from inner shadows.

The Solar Eclipse will occur nine hours after the exact moment of the Solstice when the Sun enters the tropical zodiacal sign of Cancer. The time of peak day that marks the beginning of Summer in the northern hemisphere, it is simultaneously the pinnacle of darkness in the southern hemisphere that demarcates the beginning of Winter with the promise of returning sunlight. The word solstice  has stationary at the root of its etymological meaning, a time when the luminous Sun pauses at an extremity of height within its endless cycle, initiating a descent. As the Sun is a living symbol of coherence, the shadows that will devour its light indicate an old paradigm that has been used to hold a center on civilization is ready to be dissolved and de-centered.

The lunar nodes demarcate eclipses whenever a new moon or full moon conjoins them, as the nodes are the intersection of the great planes of spirit/soul and matter, the intersection of the apparent path of the Sun with the orbital arc of the Moon. The word node comes from the Latin nodus or “knot,” and so the knots that bind and tie together the strands of civilization become unravelled within the vortex of the ringed blackness. Similarly the knots of our consciousness we use to tie down and bind our inner multiplicity become loosened, allowing vibrant new desires as well as difficult fears and projections to temporarily erupt into awareness.

Since the Solar Eclipse in Cancer is very close to the North Node of the Moon in Gemini, it places more emphasis on intake and a surge of new activity more so than the release, sacrifice, and harvesting associated with the South Node of the Moon. Dane Rudhyar in The Planetary and Lunar Nodes stressed the importance of properly metabolizing, digesting, and integrating the absorption of new material that takes place at the North Node of the Moon. It will be vital to discern what we consume and make the necessary time and space to integrate and digest what we take in that can bring nurturance and nourishment, emptying ourselves of the toxic residue we have taken in from our surroundings.

Although the Annular Solar Eclipse is at the first degree of Cancer, the transiting North Node of the Moon is in Gemini and therefore signifies a great upwelling of new perspectives and information to sift through. There will be new perceptions, new information, and new insights that need to ferment within and disrupt our old belief system and worldview. Yet the amount of information and viewpoints to consume in the present information age is far too much to take in. Discovering the personal meaning of the eclipse can be facilitated by turning away temporarily from the cacophony of culture to discover what the blackness of the eclipse is revealing about the inner fertility of your own underground world of chthonic, black depth.

Paul Nash Eclipse of the Sunflower

Paul Nash (1945) Eclipse of the Sunflower

The lunar nodes have long been imagined as a dragon or serpent of chaos that devours our lights, the Sun and the Moon, with the North Node of the Moon symbolizing the head of the dragon and the South Node of the Moon its tail. In Egyptian cosmology, the sun faced death in the regenerative underworld of Night at midnight every night, before being reborn at daybreak. Aaron Cheak wrote an essay included in The Celestial Art which described the primordial waters of Nun as hosting the rebirth of our solar light, a sphere that is also associated with the primeval chaos serpent and “constitutes the very matrix in which reality and existence gestates.” As a serpent signifying the matrix of reality consumes the Solstice Sun, we may ask what new forms are gestating to come into existence and take shape.

An eclipse in Cancer, in fact at only twenty-one minutes of Cancer, reveals how we have been caring and who we have been caring for. It reveals the people who have been targets of the oppressive weapons of civilization and the people lacking support and care from their families and community. We can consider how we have been appeased and distracted by technological gadgets made in oppressive working conditions to look the other way. We may ask how we have been enmeshing ourselves in co-dependent attachments in relationships that do not truly nurture us or in material items and conditions that never fully satisfy our soul.

Rick Tarnas has deservedly been gaining increased recognition for the incredible amount of time and research he put into his book Cosmos and Psyche and how accurately he pinpointed the cultural themes that erupt during periods when Saturn and Pluto come together as they have in 2020. At the United Astrology Conference in 2018, at the threshold of our collective entering the amplified period of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto we find ourselves in today, Tarnas gave the talk “A Kairos Moment” in which he described periods of Saturn and Pluto as activating tremendous moral courage in the face of totalitarian forces and that it activates the moral determination of birthing a baby, or new era, under huge stakes.

Rick Tarnas has often said that the gift we can take from modernity is the idea of taking personal responsibility to shape our world, applying this to developing a participatory and co-creative relationship with the Anima Mundi or World Soul. The Cancer Solar Eclipse is arriving at a collective dark night of the soul exactly as described by Tarnas, a moment necessitating the ego death of initiation and facing the evil and danger of our world. Tarnas and many other great minds before him have long highlighted the fact that transformative rites of passage necessitate uncertainty, and that is is the uncertainty of the unknown that can compel us to confront our moral values and make the changes not only within ourselves, but also within the wider systems of our civilizations.  In his talk at UAC 2018, Tarnas concluded that we cannot do the work as isolated individuals but need to form heroic collectives and communities who hold a vision of good values radically different from the oppressive structures of mainstream society.

cups02

2 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Cancer 1 Decan

The Cancer Sun will be eclipsed by the Cancer Moon in the first face of Cancer associated with the Two of Cups card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image we find two lovers coming together with equal passion, with a caduceus of intertwining snakes and a winged lion arising in the space between their merging desire. Fittingly for the erotic reciprocity found in the symbolism of this image, the first face of Cancer is ruled by Venus and the Moon. Yet Venus is not only about the romanticism of Eros and Psyche, nor the Moon only about the enclosure of their fertile love in the palace of Eros. The ferment of the Cancer Solar Eclipse on June 21 combined with Venus stationing direct in Gemini a few days later on June 25 will demand confrontation with the inner values that underlie all of our relational dynamics with others and the emotional needs we seek to fulfill.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “A Mother and Child” to the first face of Cancer, as he wrote that the face holds the hungers of our emotions and biology, the womb that gives birth to us and all of our resulting needs. Coppock further connected the themes of mother and child to the pursuit of romantic love found in the Two of Cups since “it is the perfect support, half-remembered from the womb, that gives rise to the human dream of similarly nursing bonds between committed partners.” Coppock wrote that idealized unions can be realized in the first decan of Cancer, the type of relationships that seem “as if the two reside in each other’s wombs, simultaneously devouring and being devoured, yet neither is depleted.”

The first face of Cancer holding the Solar Eclipse indicates not only the seeking of idealized union with another, but also realization that the union of two can never be permanent and that all relationships must pass through loss. We may gain realization for patterns that have led us into unhealthy enmeshment with others, as well as a more lucid sense of the deeper needs of intimacy we seek in partnership. We may also gain awareness for a new passion to pursue in the arts or sciences and how we can be nurtured through exploring it in more depth.  The eclipse can also break us out of isolated relational dynamics to turn our energy and focus into the wider needs of our community, realizing ways of receiving emotional fulfillment through giving to others or contributing to collective efforts of reform.

The Hermetic text Liber Hermetis ascribed an image of a serpent joined with the face of a dog to the first decan of Cancer, revealing the chthonic powers of fertility and regeneration present. In contrast, the Hellenistic text 36 Airs ascribed the goddess Nike, the goddess of victory, to the first face of Cancer. A daughter of the underworld river goddess Styx, Nike allied herself with Zeus in the war against the Titans, a mythic war resonant with the astrology of 2020 that will end with a new order being constellated between Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius. Nike served as the divine charioteer of Zeus in battle, while also rewarding victors of competition with the glory of wreathed laurel.  Nike’s presence in the first face of Cancer suggests the eclipse bringing questions of what you are fighting for, who you are fighting for, and how your ambitions for glory may make you complicit in systems that go against your moral values. May the thin ringed light encircling the blackness of the eclipse help illuminate the values you will commit to embodying and living in integrity with.

Goddess_Nike_at_Ephesus,_Turkey

stone carving of Nike in the ruins of the ancient city of Ephesus

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron – in addition to the normal benefits patrons receive, I am currently offering a 50% discount on all natal consultations for patrons until further notice.become_a_patron_button

References

The Celestial Art. (2018). Edited by Austin Coppock and Daniel Schulke. Three Hands Press.

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

Full Moon in Cancer

Hekate and the Three Graces (1st – 2nd Century CE)

Around the hollow of her right flank a great stream of the primordially-generated Soul gushes forth in abundance, totally ensouling light, fire, ether, worlds.

In the left flank of Hekate exists the source of virtue, which remains entirely within and does not give up its virginity.

The Chaldean Oracles translated by Ruth Majercik, fragments 51 & 52

Full Moon in Cancer

The Full Moon on December 29 is in the watery sign of Cancer, the home of the Moon where its potency for nurturing restoration and drawing sustenance from memories and dreams can be expressed directly and fully. Ever since 2018 the Full Moon in Cancer each year has had to share its watery domicile with its North Node as well as forming an opposition with Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn, creating greater volatility and a harder edge to our lunar experience. In fact, we entered 2020 with a Lunar Eclipse in Cancer on January 10 that set off the conjunction that formed between Saturn and Pluto a few days later on January 12. While the Cancer full moons and eclipses of the past three years have been helpful for drawing our attention to issues in need of tending, the Cancer lunation at the end of 2020 will deliver a purer dose of lunar medicine to imbibe. The silvery soulfulness pouring down from the Cancer Full Moon will be able to find its way to the parts of yourself in need of its nurturance, the more so that space is made to receive it and discover where it leads you.

The Full Moon in Cancer will peak as we prepare to cross the divide of calendar years into 2021. While the end of the year typically feels like a threshold experience, there will be an amplified sense of being at a collective crossroads due to the recent conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn on the solstice. The Cancer Full Moon will serve as a beacon of light not unlike the torch traditionally carried by Hekate, illuminating our feelings about what we are ready to release from the past year and what we are hopeful will emerge in the year ahead. We will need to draw from the perspective of the two-faced, threshold guardian Janus that can simultaneously reflect backwards while looking forward, as we need to honor the freshness of being at the beginning. The Cancer Full Moon will illuminate our arrival at the beginning of a new chapter in world history that has opened in correspondence with the new cycle set into motion by Jupiter and Saturn.

The Cancer Full Moon is separating from a sextile with Uranus in Taurus and applying toward an opposition with Mercury in Capricorn and a trine with Neptune in Pisces. The Moon’s opposition with Mercury will be mentally activating, while its movement from the sextile with Uranus into the trine with Neptune will activate the nonlinear realm of memories, emotions, and somatic material that often impacts us without our conscious awareness. Doubling down on the lunation making a potent subconscious impact is that in addition to immediately separating from a sextile with Uranus, the Cancer Full Moon is also separating from a catalytic square aspect with Chiron in Aries that will help to dislodge material that has been frozen in the psyche or held in the body so that it may become processed and released. The opposition between the Full Moon and Mercury may feel overwhelming if life events are creating excessive busyness and mental stimulation, and so if this is the case find ways to calm and soothe nerves. Otherwise the tension between the Moon and Mercury can be utilized in divination, journaling, artistic expression, or any other medium that can draw on the lunar activation by Uranus and Neptune to provide insight into important aspects of your inner parts and purposes that are ready to emerge in the new year and new era we are entering.

The Cancer Moon will form an opposition with Pluto in Capricorn on December 31 and then will form oppositions with Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius and a square with Uranus in Taurus after entering Leo later in the day. In the wider context of the astrology of 2021, it’s fascinating that the Moon will move from an opposition with Pluto into hard aspects with Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus as the new year begins. As a result, the Moon’s movement will connect us with the fact that on a larger scale we are leaving a period of time dominated by the cycles between Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto into a year that will be dominated by the cycles between Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus. The deep contractions and heavy gravity of years influenced by Pluto will now be erupting with the propulsive and shattering force of Uranus that can be erratic, unpredictable, emancipatory, and inventive all at the same time.  Uranus can be a positive influence when connecting us with whatever makes us feel authentically passionate and inspired, and so the Cancer Full Moon can aid in shedding the dead weight of the past so as to feel lighter and more freely capable of aligning with the exciting opportunities that can emerge in the new year.

fountain from hypnerotomachia poliphili

from the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili

Venus in Sagittarius is making important aspects to consider during the Cancer Full Moon, including forming a conjunction with the South Node of Sagittarius that it will complete on December 30 with the mean node and on December 31 with the true node. Venus moving across the Sagittarius South Node will focus attention on material that was seeded at the Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius on December 14, with issues that were previously hidden becoming unveiled. With Venus tending to the release valve of the Moon’s nodes, the full light of the lunation pouring down upon us will bring realizations mediated by Venus in Sagittarius such as anyway we have been relating from dogmatic values, righteously believing we know the truth or crusading to convert others to our own viewpoint. Positively, Venus in Sagittarius can help in rooting our relating through awareness of not only the ways we are interacting with other humans but also in the ways we are interacting within the vaster field of animals, land, ancestors and other living spirits. As we leave the era of earth to enter the era of air, Venus in Sagittarius can help in revealing how it’s not only our relationships with other human beings that will need greater care and attention, but that our innumerable relationships within the vast realm of Nature above and below will also need greater focus and cultivation.

The lessons Venus can teach from its proximity with Ketu, the South Node of the Moon in Sagittarius, involve many themes covered by Jason Holley recently in a webinar entitled Sagittarius in Myth and Psyche. Holley focused on the tendency in today’s astrological world to project upon the nomadic consciousness of Sagittarius from the settler consciousness of the colonial cultures we live within. Some of the aspects of Sagittarius discussed by Holley led me to consider how they connect with our collective movement into the era of air, and in these ways it makes sense that Venus combined with Ketu in Sagittarius can help us cut through what is in the way of us becoming more spatially mobile, fluid in our roles, flexible in our social organizations, and capable of grounding in movement while retaining a differentiated perceptual field capable of restructuring interpretation and analysis as needed. Holley described the orientation of Sagittarius as carrying “an ancient memory that one is partly here to shepherd the souls of others and oneself- to free them from limitations.” This is a worthy lesson to remember from Venus as the star of Aphrodite journeys across the South Node of the Moon as we journey into 2021.

However, Venus is not only applying to a conjunction with the South Node of the Moon, but also to an imaginatively activating square aspect with Neptune in Pisces that it will complete on December 30. The square between Venus and Neptune will constellate fantastical images and enticing visions, but we will need to be wary of being led astray into dangerous tidal forces. As Venus is now forming a waning square aspect with Neptune, it may bring back important insights, memories, or relationships connected with the long series of waxing square aspects Venus formed with Neptune due to Venus shifting retrograde in Gemini in May 2020 (May 12, May 20, and July 27 were the three exact aspects). Although Venus has not garnered as much attention as Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto in the astrological world during the past year, it has been a major factor in reshaping our relationships and relational needs during 2020. The pivotal sequence of hard aspects formed between Venus and Neptune have been opening our awareness to previously unseen needs, desires, and values during a year in which severe social distancing restrictions around the world have limited physical contact.

The waning square from Venus to Neptune is additionally bringing focus to the fact that Neptune is presently residing at the southern bending of the lunar nodes, forming a square aspect with both the North and South Nodes of the Moon that it will eventually complete on January 26. With so many people locked into polarized conflicts and perceiving things from completely different perspectives regarding reality, the disorientation stirred up by Venus with Neptune can potentially lead to even more widespread delusion that will make it even more difficult to resolve differences and mediate resolution. It’s been noted by many that the deluge of conspiracy theories circulating coincides with the fact so many people have felt anxious and alienated due to the global pandemic, and mistrustful of those in authority. It also seems fitting that the disorder being brought to consensus reality is coinciding with the great reordering of structural realities that will ripple out from the great astrological cycles beginning now. The collective volatility will not be ending anytime soon, and so it will be up to each of us to figure out how to hold the tension of our differences in viewpoints when relating with others. The square from Venus and the South Node of the Moon to Neptune in Pisces can help us deepen into understanding the troubled history of our world and the ways in which the ripples from systemic oppression across time are playing into our present relational difficulties.

Musashi Plain moon, from the series One hundred aspects of the moon (1891) by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi

After peaking in light at the full moon, the Moon in Cancer will move through an opposition with Pluto in Capricorn into a cathartic square aspect with Mars in Aries on December 31. The tensions unleashed between the Moon with Pluto and Mars on the final day of 2020 further shows how it’s a time of releasing the trials and tribulations of the past year, while also needing to recognize that the impact of the troubles that were exposed all around global societies in the past year will not be going away and will need our continued attention in the future years to come. Rather than develop illusory hopes that the great conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn that has arrived at the end of the year is ushering us into a new era free from the suffering of the past, we instead need to utilize it like a lighthouse helping us navigate through the turbulent storms that will be coming in 2021 so that we may find our way to a stabilizing shore or harbor.

During the waning half of the current lunar cycle, Mars will enter Taurus on January 6 and immediately incite the explosive tensions building between Uranus in Taurus with Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius. Mars will not form its exact square aspects with Saturn and Jupiter and its conjunction with Uranus until after the upcoming Capricorn New Moon on January 12, but we will begin sensing a notable increase in disruptive influences and social unrest as the present lunar cycle comes to a close. On personal levels, the friction stirred up between Mars and Uranus with Saturn and Jupiter will dislodge whatever has been stuck, creating rapid change in some cases. It will be much better to find your way into the flow of the changing currents rather than attempting to hang on at all costs to the way things have been in the past.

cups02

Cancer 1 Decan

The Full Moon will rise in the first face of Cancer associated with the Two of Cups card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image we find two lovers coming together with equal passion, with a caduceus of intertwining snakes and a winged lion arising in the space between their merging desire. Fittingly for the erotic reciprocity found in the symbolism of this image, the first face of Cancer is ruled by Venus and the Moon. Yet Venus is not only about the romanticism of Eros and Psyche, nor the Moon only about the enclosure of their fertile love in the palace of Eros. The Cancer Full Moon can thus connect us with the Eros of care, love, and fellowship that weaves community together when focused upon a common purpose that brings practical help and resources to those in need. It can also reveal those in our relational field who we can form mutually supportive dynamics with. As we are entering an extended period of collective volatility, we will need to be actively co-creating community that can flexibly mutate in accordance with the changing societal dynamics.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “A Mother and Child” to the first face of Cancer, as he wrote that the face holds the hungers of our emotions and biology, the womb that gives birth to us and all of our resulting needs. Coppock further connected the themes of mother and child to the pursuit of romantic love found in the Two of Cups since “it is the perfect support, half-remembered from the womb, that gives rise to the human dream of similarly nursing bonds between committed partners.” Coppock wrote that idealized unions can be realized in the first decan of Cancer, and that the “face’s magical virtue is to establish mutually nurturing relationships.” With Venus applying to a square aspect with Neptune during the Full Moon, we may also gain realization for patterns that have led us into unhealthy enmeshment with others, as well as a more lucid sense of the needs we seek within all types of relationships we form with others.

In contrast, the Hellenistic text 36 Airs ascribed the goddess Nike, the goddess of victory, to the first face of Cancer. A daughter of the underworld river goddess Styx, Nike allied herself with Zeus in the war against the Titans, a mythic war resonant with the astrology of 2020 that has ended with a new order being constellated between Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius. Nike served as the divine charioteer of Zeus in battle, while also rewarding victors of competition with the glory of wreathed laurel. In 36 Faces Austin Coppock connected the presence of Nike in the first face of Cancer with the ancient symbolic link between chariots and the body as the vehicle of the soul, symbolism also resonant with the connection in tarot between the VII Chariot arcanum and the zodiacal sign of Cancer. If we want to make a difference in 2021 and help to shape the world we wish to live in, we will need to take care of our body and mind so that we will have the strength and clarity necessary to be effective agents of change. Make time and space during the Cancer Full Moon and the following days to get all the rest and restoration you need. May the strength you cultivate now serve you in deepening into fulfilling your purpose and destiny in 2021.

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References

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

Majercik, Ruth. (2013). The Chaldean Oracles. The Prometheus Trust.