New Moon in Cancer

Pelican Dream 1 by Michelle Doucette

New Moon in Cancer

The zodiacal, living image of Cancer is the watery home of the Moon. A place of deep emotional content where we hold memories of sentimental nostalgia as well as painful wounding; lunar patterning that draws and magnetizes us into resonant relational dynamics. Within the reflection of the water streaming through the landscape of Cancer, we catch glimpses of our essential nature and the changing face of our emerging psyche. The nonlinear aspect of memories, feelings, and the kind of lunar content stored by Cancer may make evoke rumination over past memories, yet the lunar cycle that follows the New Moon in Cancer on July 9 in fact contains extraordinary potential for making new memories that will enliven our passion for life and bring sustenance to our inner sense of soulfulness. The lunation brings an opportunity for a replenishing descent into inner realms of imagination that can bring both a regenerative resourcing as well as important guidance for the next steps to take along our evolving path forward.

The New Moon in Cancer is separating from an invigorating sextile aspect with Uranus in Taurus and is applying to a flowing trine with Neptune in Pisces as well as a cathartic opposition with Pluto in Capricorn. Notably, it is the first New Moon in Cancer since 23 June 2017 to not be a solar eclipse or have to face Saturn opposing it in the opposite sign of Capricorn. Since the Cancer New Moon is in harmonious relationship with Uranus in Taurus and out of aspect with Saturn in Aquarius, we can utilize the fertile darkness of the Moon being reanimated in her home to deepen into whatever dreams of future growth, love, and livelihood have been gestating within. The Full Moon in Aquarius on July 23 that will illuminate the meaning of the forthcoming lunar cycle will be in the sign of Saturn and so can facilitate grounding into whatever tangible, practical adjustments will be necessary in the cultivation of personal visions. As a result, the more we can sink into the depth of soulful meaning during the Cancer New Moon, coming into closer contact with what we wish to create and nurture in our lives, the better we will be able to navigate through the continued collective, societal rupturing that will be erupting in correspondence with the ongoing square aspect between Saturn and Uranus.

The ongoing square aspect between Uranus in Taurus and Saturn in Aquarius is the dominant theme of our present movement, yet it is only one movement in a much larger sweep of time that will have long reaching effects over the course of the next five years. The difficulty we can witness so many people around our planet experiencing in the midst of so many radical changes, the weight of history and the collapse of longstanding sources of societal security can all feel incredibly overwhelming with no way to know for sure which way the unknown future will unfold. Yet the New Moon in Cancer invites a return to more private and personal concerns, feeling into whatever vulnerable, unconscious material is calling to be noticed within. We can monitor inner feelings to see if we are reacting based upon the crystallized remnants of past patterns, or if we are instead being open to a new vitality of emergence full of unformed potential. The more we can claim our own sense of inner authority to create what we wish to develop with our life, the better we will be able to find our way forward through a period of history that will continue to be filled with great collective volatility.

Fairy Tale – III (1907) by Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis 

The waxing Moon will form a conjunction with Venus and Mars in Leo on July 12, a day before Venus and Mars form a conjunction on July 13. Thus the darkness of the Cancer New Moon can help us listen to whatever messages Venus has to share as she brings her previous cycle with Mars that began on 24 August 2019 to an end. The union of Mars and Venus in the week following the lunation can revitalize passions and help nurture the courage needed to pursue meaningful visions and the dreams we hold dearly. While Mars supplies the burning desire to go after what we want, protect what we cherish, and separate from what may harm us, Venus in Leo will inject the radiance of our inner desires, values, and creative potential into their union. Following sunset each night, we will be able to witness Venus and Mars coming closer and closer to one another against the backdrop of the stars. Listen for the new meaning they are bringing into your life, welcoming whatever new sources of inspiration and creativity emerge.

Notably, Venus and Mars will be carrying messages gathered from the ongoing square between Saturn and Uranus into their union. In the week before the Cancer New Moon, Venus formed an opposition with Saturn in Aquarius on July 6 and a square aspect with Uranus in Taurus on July 8, after Mars had formed the same aspects in the previous week. As a result, there likely have been both fears and anxiety as well as excitement over inspiring passions stirred up recently by Venus and Mars mixing it up with Saturn and Uranus. However, while Venus and Mars have been testing our relationship with the boundaries of Saturn as well as the liberation of Uranus, there has been stronger synergy between Venus and Mars with Uranus in Taurus. Not only was the square between Venus and Uranus mediated by Venus receiving Uranus into her earthy sign of Taurus, Venus is also antiscia Uranus from July 9 through July 11. This brings the electrifying, emancipatory influence of Uranus into direct contact with Venus. Thus the liminal borders of Saturn in Aquarius will need to make space for the vivifying desires emanating from Venus, Mars, and Uranus, finding ways to slow things down enough to make wise choices rather than impulsively throwing all caution to the wind.

Anna Mae Wong, New York by Edward Steichen

While Mercury and Jupiter are not forming as pivotal of aspects as Venus and Mars during the Cancer New Moon, their movement during the forthcoming lunar cycle will also be important to pay attention to. Mercury in Gemini has now moved beyond his retrograde shadow zone, finished his third and final square aspect with Neptune, and is moving fast as a Morning Star. Mercury will finally leave his airy home of Gemini that he has occupied since May 3 on July 11, two days after the New Moon in Cancer. After entering Cancer, Mercury will complete a flowing trine aspect with Jupiter in Pisces on July 12 that will bring a boost of underlying vision to support the new desires of creativity emanating from the union of Venus and Mars. Once in Cancer, Mercury will begin applying to a visionary sextile aspect with Uranus in Taurus that he will complete on July 20 a few days before the Full Moon in Aquarius. As a result, Mercury will be in a supportive position to help us make progress on whatever dreams we nurture during the New Moon in Cancer.

The New Moon is in the exaltation of Jupiter and initiates us into the final lunar cycle in which we can enjoy the presence of Jupiter in its oceanic home of Pisces until the very end of 2021. Following the Full Moon in Aquarius on July 23, Jupiter will move backwards into Aquarius on July 28 where he will return to address whatever issues we have been dealing with related to the transit of Saturn in Aquarius. Make space to reflect upon whatever new visions of growth have entered your life since Jupiter entered Pisces on May 13 and however Jupiter has been inspiring you to expand your vision beyond what you thought was previously possible to create with your life. While Jupiter’s return to Aquarius may call us to fine tune plans, problem solve and make necessary adjustments, whatever treasure Jupiter in Pisces has brought you into contact within the depth of its oceanic expanse deserve to be protected and cultivated. Once Jupiter returns to Pisces at the end of the year we will have renewed potential to bring them into fuller manifestation.

3 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Cancer 2 Decan

The New Moon in Cancer is in the second decan of Cancer associated with the Three of Cups illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The merry image of dancing women evokes the three graces and signifies harmonious collaborations of inspired thought and creativity.  Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “a walled garden in which something precious is kept” to this face, adding an element not obvious from the above image:  the need of protection and nurturance in order to create an incubating space that can bring forth joy, beauty, and abundance.  With the New Moon in Cancer occurring in this decan just before Venus and Mars initiate a new cycle together, we will want to consider whatever we have been letting in as well as keeping out from our life with the barriers we have erected to protect whatever is most important to us. It’s likely we will need to restructure and renegotiate boundaries in order to cultivate the inner process of creativity and intimacy we desire. It will also be helpful to find ways of finding joy with others similar to the image of the Three of Cups as a way of navigating through the societal, collective rupturing that will be continuing to accelerate.

In comparison, the Hellenistic text Liber Hermetis, “Book of Hermes,” described the image of the second face of Cancer as having the body of a vulture with the face of the great goddess Isis wearing a crown. In part we can imagine how this image connects with the brilliantly bright fixed star Sirius which was associated with Isis and heralded the flooding of the Nile, as well as the significance of vulture goddesses within Egyptian cosmology. Vultures connect the upper wold with the underworld through the eating of the dead, and in the story of Isis searching for her dismembered lover and twin Osiris she also transformed into a Kite, a raptor which is also known to feed on the dead. Yet vital to the story of Isis and Osiris is the courageous passion of Isis to not only relentlessly search for her true love, but to bring it back from the dead through her magical reanimation. Similarly, we may use the space around the Cancer New Moon to notice what is passing away from our life and how the death of old issues or patterns may feed and nourish the new growth to come.

As we connect with the desires we wish to devote ourselves to as Venus and Mars unite in the days following the Cancer New Moon, we also will need to become aware of what sort of protective boundaries and containers will need to be created, strengthened, and developed in order to facilitate fruitful collaborations and exchanges. The cathartic experiences we may experience within the forthcoming lunar cycle hold the potential to break us free from ways in which we have become stagnant, releasing us from old patterns and initiating new ones in the process. Allow the essential heart of your true desires to guide your way forward step by step, even if there is uncertainty over how things will or could develop.

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References

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

New Moon in Cancer

New Moon in Cancer

La Nascita (The Birth) by Marc Chagall (1911)

Cancer New Moon

New Moons are a time of visioning and nurturing the intentional seed we plant in the hidden depths of fecund darkness.  Cancer is a sign associated with birth, the creation of new life from the wombs of mothers, the arising of a new season at solstice, and the development of our personal identity from the matrix of our soul.  The New Moon in Cancer on July 15, 2015 falls in the final decan of Cancer and brings to our awareness a sense of separation from sources of past comfort and a vague dawning of realization into the new direction arising out of this dark genesis.  Creating a new lunar cycle following a Full Moon in Capricorn that was conjunct Pluto on July 1, this New Moon in Cancer resurrects the potency of the seven squares between Pluto and Uranus we have lived through in the past several years, as it is square to Uranus in Aries while Mars and Mercury are conjunct in Cancer and directly opposite Pluto in Capricorn.

As an infant must bravely breathe in air separated from the sheltered nurturing of the womb, so must our identity shed the comfort of past security attachments if we wish to embody the full radiance of our potential in the moment.  Amplifying the air with instinctual individualism is a Uranus currently stationing in Aries, standing still by zodiac degree from our earthbound perspective and preparing to turn retrograde in less than two weeks.  Since the New Moon in Cancer is separating from a square to Uranus in Aries, it triggers the discomfort, insecurity, anxiety, or fear that can strike from within when we realize that the burning force beckoning us to embody a liberated presence creates the possibility and even likelihood that we will become disconnected in the process from our ties to family, culture, and other elements of the accustomed reality we take comfort in.

We may find it necessary now to create a sacred space of some sort to nurture the vulnerability we feel in the unfolding of our current creativity.  Even when we consciously have desire to free ourselves from the conditioning of culture and the way we felt our family of origin limited our full creative actualization, a fear of losing the security we gain from our relationship with these same influences can still overcome us.  In addition, due to sensitively observing authorities in positions of power taking advantage of the more vulnerable, we can also come to fear the potential impact of expressing our full power into the world around us.  Synthesizing together the strength that can come from hard aspects between Cancer, Capricorn, and Aries, we can ultimately learn to take the responsibility for expressing our personal power in a way that protects and empowers ourselves and our relationships.  Yet the calamitous aspects held by this New Moon of Mercury conjunct Mars in Cancer and opposite Pluto in Capricorn, with Saturn in Scorpio in square to Venus and Jupiter in Leo, means that there will be a number of oppressive power dynamics between people on display in our surrounding environment to observe and mediate.

Mercury conjunct Mars opposite Pluto

Image of Pluto taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft on July 13, 2015

Mercury conjunct Mars opposite Pluto

It is simply incredible that as the first images of Pluto enter our consciousness through the completion of the epic journey of the New Horizons spacecraft, Mercury is exactly conjunct Mars and in opposition to Pluto, while Saturn shapes structure in the Plutonic sign of Scorpio.  It is further fitting that this binary planet named for the Lord of Souls and the Ferryman of the Underworld claimed center stage in mainstream media in the dark of a balsamic Moon that was opposite Pluto.  Whatever shift in collective consciousness happens as a result begins to build in accordance with a potent New Moon that places the messenger (Mercury) and will-force (Mars) of consciousness in a full polarity to Pluto.

Due to a number of astrological factors, in the past couple of months there has been an emphasis on a new quality of Mars to exert through an influence of Mercury.  Mercury is an unstable planet of wild extremes and variation in speed, and so while on the one hand it can bring challenges in our ability to focus our Martian drive, on the other hand when we align instinctually with their unified energy it brings the eloquent cleverness of Hermes to our life force of desire.  With Mercury and Mars unified in polarity to Pluto, we need to be ready for the possibility of extreme power conflicts and emotional confrontations occurring around us.  Yet on a personal level, there is also an initiation found in this aspect to journey into our core depth to discover a regenerated treasure of gifts from within to begin to integrate and express in the cycle ahead.  There is a purification involved in this process, as Mercury is now under the beams of the Sun and preparing to enter into the heart of the Sun a week from now around the first quarter Moon, while Mars is also under the beams having already united with the Sun and beginning to get some clarified separation away from the fiery center of our solar system.  Emotions may feel raw and overly sensitive, but are the material through which we can now gain penetrating insight into the core emotional patterns and compulsions most in need of attention.

Venus stationing

La Paresse by Felix Vallotton (1896)

Venus stationing

Meanwhile, our Queen of pleasure, luxury, and glamour, Venus in Leo, is slowing down and preparing to station at the time of this New Moon in Cancer.  Venus is now at the final degree of Leo and in a few days will enter Virgo where she will station retrograde on July 25- meaning that basically for the next few weeks Venus is not going anywhere and holding space at the first degree of Virgo and final degrees of Leo.  This would be intense under any circumstance, but is so even more as Venus is conjunct Jupiter and in a last quarter square to Saturn in Scorpio.  As Saturn is stationing direct at the beginning of August and will also be standing still then, this means that from now through the beginning of August we get to experience the seriousness of Venus in a last quarter square to Saturn, while simultaneously buoyed with a sense of expansive vision by Jupiter.  Venus now in Leo, soon to be in Virgo, in a last quarter square to Saturn in Scorpio, brings about a reorientation of our inner values that at times could feel severe as the scythe of Saturn cuts away the old value structures that must now be released.  At this moment, we are only at the precipice of a deep transformation with many dramatic experiences coming our way.

Thus, while we may feel a burning sense of desire through the union of Venus and Jupiter, their last quarter square to Saturn brings a constricting sense of an obstacle or major challenge standing between us and the full manifestation and experience of our desire.  Powerful work on an inner level and on an outer level through our vocation and creative expression can come about through this aspect, but we are being asked to be disciplined, focused, organized, and thorough in our approach if we wish to realize the full potential available to us.  This is not a lighthearted skip through the woods singing without a care in the world, but rather a courageous and focused trek into a deep region of the forest we have previously avoided exploring.   This is not to say that it will not be possible to experience moments of pure pleasure and luxuriation, as in fact bringing a sense of joy to our daily experience will be a vital help.  It is only to suggest that if we bring passion into our work with a sense of disciplined persistence to work through the upcoming obstacles, on the other side of these aspects we can experience a deep sense of fulfilled desire.

Cancer III Decan

4 of Cups illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith

Cancer III Decan

The third decan of Cancer is ruled by the Moon and so is a potent place for a New Moon, a particularly auspicious new lunation to set intentions toward the new direction sensed from within.  In the image of the 4 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 out of thin air by an otherworldly hand.  The recipient of this magical offering appears to be engrossed in contemplative thought, and appears to either not notice the fourth cup or be dismissive of it.  In fact, this protagonist’s stance of crossed arms, crossed legs, and eyes cast down suggests someone unwilling to go after what is being offered, perhaps until after completing an inner exploration.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces found that the third decan of signs are synonymous with the “Solve” phase of separation in alchemy in which “the constituent pieces must part ways,” similar to “the spirit forced to separate from the matter,” and “those factors which press for an abandonment of the balance created in the second” decan of the sign (p. 264-265).  Along this line of thought Coppock gave the image of “The Overflowing Cup” to the Cancer III decan, declaring that it “juxtaposes the advantages and dangers of luxurious excess with the truth of scarcity” (p. 115).  Our cherished sense of luxury we desire is shown in contrast here to a sense of scarcity rooted in “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. 116).  Coppock noted this seems to be the perspective of the young man seated in the 4 of Cups tarot card with an ascetic air of refusing to accept more than he needs, and therefore bringing up questions around choosing the extra cup of luxury.

Importantly, Coppock additionally linked the karmic significance of further investing any excess of luxury one accumulates into additional good works, so as “to be a conduit for luxury, not its endpoint” (p. 116).  Furthermore, he brought up 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 great goddess Hekate with the Cancer III decan.   Hekate  ruled over the three phases of the Moon, all realms of the upper world and the underworld, and also crossroads, magical craft, and prophetic mediation among many other significations.  In short, we could not have a better spirit to associate with the dark richness of this Plutonic New Moon than Hekate, and it is worth remembering there is a long tradition of praying to Hekate in order to receive wealth.  Hekate is also a goddess of midwives, and therefore an apt ally for us in the intense birthing process that will follow this Cancer New Moon.

CancerNewMoonWRIGC1

References

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