Cancer New Moon

Study for ‘The spirit of the new moon’ 1888 by Arthur Loureiro

Cancer New Moon

The New Moon in Cancer on June 28 comes only a week after the seasonal turning point of the solstice, the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere and winter in the southern hemisphere. Since the New Moon is in the watery, reflective and receptive sign of Cancer, the zodiacal sign where the Moon finds her home, our emotional needs, drives, hungers and desires will become palpably felt. With the New Moon forming an amplifying square aspect with Jupiter in Aries, feelings regarding one’s present circumstances can become magnified, with the fiery presence of Jupiter inducing yearning for satiation of unsatiated hungers, demonstrations on behalf of what we wish to nurture and cultivate within our relationships and community, conflict from the impact of ambitious plans on personal relationships, and courage in taking risks to leave the familiar for the inspiration found in the unknown. The Cancer New Moon harbors a renewal of vision for goals to pursue that will nurture an enlivening of purpose and meaning in the season ahead.

The Cancer Moon is also forming a conjunction with Black Moon Lilith, indicating that the Moon will be at the outskirts of its apogee or farthest point in its orbit. As the wide ranging motion of the Moon signifies the wide range of our perceptions and feelings, the Cancer New Moon being at the point farthest away from us in orbit will bring to the surface insights, symbols, and reflections that have been farthest from our conscious awareness. As Black Moon Lilith is an unconscious balancing point connecting our conscious awareness with what has been cast off or kept in the subconscious, it’s fitting that it is named for a mythological figure who has taken a multiplicity of forms across different cultures but has consistent associations with the wild feminine and being cast off from civilization into the outskirts of the wilderness. As Lilith is also a figure who has been demonized and exiled, the New Moon conjoining Black Moon Lilith can also put us into deeper contact with parts of our inner multiplicity that carry the burden of feeling judged or being ostracized. The tension of the square aspect between the New Moon and Black Moon Lilith in Cancer with Jupiter in Aries can catalyze inner conflicts that create opportunities for bringing parts of our personality out of exile and more fully into the scope of our personality.

In current events, the numerous economic and political crises erupting around the world involving mass populations facing hunger and lack of foundational resources have continued to inspire mass protests. There has recently been a wave of protests and workers’ strikes around the world due to inflation and political turmoil, with the build up of tensions erupting into mass demonstrations such as in Sri Lanka where the longstanding economic crisis has more recently shifted into complete economic collapse. The synergy between the Moon and Jupiter that can inspire mass movements was intrinsic to the Cancer Solstice chart which signifies mundane astrological themes for the season ahead, as there was an applying conjunction between the Moon and Jupiter in Aries when the Sun reached zero degrees of Cancer demarcating the solstice. Furthermore, the forthcoming Leo New Moon on July 28 will form a flowing trine aspect with Jupiter in Aries, with Jupiter’s presence intensified due to stationing simultaneously. As a result, we can expect the numerous conflicts exacerbating food and resource shortages, a well as other societal conflicts, such as the recent reinterpretation of the 14th amendment of the United States Constitution by the Supreme Court in the United States to take away a woman’s right to choose whether or not to have an abortion, to continue to mobilize widespread action in the season ahead.

There are numerous planets occupying air and fire signs, diurnal zodiacal signs that support active direct action in the world, as the Sun and Moon form their conjunction in Cancer. As a result, there is astrological support for taking action to create change and make significant movement regarding whatever ways personal storylines have been reshaping due to shifts emerging from within and due to a need to adjust to the impact of disruptive external events from around the world. Fortunately, within the emphasis of planets in air and fire signs (Mercury and Venus in Gemini, Mars and Jupiter in Aries, Saturn in Aquarius), Venus in Gemini is applying toward a harmonious sextile aspect with Jupiter in Aries during the lunation. The creative collaboration present within the sextile between Venus and Jupiter can show up through the formation of alliances of support as well as in creative collaborations, and suggests there are opportunities available to find greater support to help with whatever difficulties one is presently experiencing.

Providing an underlying lift of inspirational support drawn from Spirit for mass movements and individual motion is Neptune, as Neptune will be stationing retrograde during the Cancer New Moon at 25°27’ Pisces. Neptune stationing places it in a phasis condition of saturating the astrological landscape with its numinous significations, with the divine archetypal presence of Neptune becoming more present in our daily lives. Neptune in Pisces unleashes a tidal wave that can disintegrate the structures that have been defining identities, dissolving patterns and boundaries as part of a radical reshaping process. Neptune stationing retrograde is an opportune time to reflect upon however Neptune has been washing away the familiar and contemplating the messages we have been receiving from intuition, imaginal realms, and spiritual exploration. Any disillusionment being experienced will be important to pay attention to and remain curious about however it may be bringing reorientation to deeper truths.

From June 28 until December 3, Neptune retrograde in Pisces will slowly recede from 25°27’ to 22°38’ Pisces, bringing a second opportunity to experience its impact in this degree range. Allow the stationing of Neptune to release the illusions of the past that need to be carried out to sea, while opening you to waves of inspiration that can help carry you further than you would otherwise imagine. The stationing of Neptune during the Cancer New Moon makes the forthcoming lunar cycle ideal for taking action on whatever dreams and inspired revelations have been developing.

Seated Giant (1818) by Francisco Goya

Dredging up volcanic volatility underneath the flowing waters of the Cancer New Moon is a tumultuous square aspect between Mars in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn that will become exact on July 1. Moreover, Mars is moving in between Saturn and Pluto, separating from a productive sextile aspect with Saturn retrograde in Aquarius and applying toward a turbulent square aspect with Pluto that may correlate with significant developments in the reordering of personal and global structures. In the United States, the stormy square between Mars and Pluto will be especially potent as the USA approaches its second exact Pluto return on July 10 (meaning Pluto will be returning to the same degree and minute of Capricorn where it was on July 4, 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was signed). In current events we will likely witness an intensifying of conflicts, while in personal events the intensity may be felt in the deepest recesses of psyche. Mars clashing with Pluto can feel relentless and ferocious, supplying a fuel of fierceness to relentlessly pursue goals in the face of opposition and contention. While we may feel a tenacious resiliency in pursuit of objectives, we also need to temper expectations so we are not consumed by anger if results fall short of our ideals. The tension between Mars and Pluto may feel like being dragged down into the fires of the underworld, yet the intense heat of associated challenges can reforge our will force and put us in touch with new found sources of strength from within.

In the midst of the titanic tension brewing between Mars and Pluto, Mercury in Gemini will be playing an intermediary role as it applies to a trine aspect with Saturn in Aquarius and a square aspect with Neptune it will complete on July 2. Mercury will then separate from Saturn and Neptune and fly swiftly through the rest of its airy home of Gemini while applying to a sextile with Mars that it will not complete until Mars enters Taurus and Mercury enters Cancer on July 4. Mercury is moving fast as a visible Morning Star in its airy home, and so while in an optimal solar phase and sign position possesses the full skillset of Hermes for listening, questioning, communicating, mediating conflicts and paradoxes, as well as brokering deals. With Mercury simultaneously in a flowing aspect with Saturn and a tense aspect with Neptune, the Star of Hermes can help sift through the fog of Neptune relative to dreams and ideals to separate out the illusory aspects from that which can be effectively brought into reality, as well as how to effectively organize and structure plans to be grounded while retaining the inspirational influence of Neptune.

The dual entrance of Mars into Taurus and Mercury into Cancer on July 4 is important not only due to them finally completing their sextile aspect, but also due to Mars and Mercury leaving their diurnal domiciles where they directly express themselves with great speed and outwardly directed action into earthy and watery nocturnal signs where they will take a slower pace with greater emphasis on being reflective. Mars entering Taurus is additionally significant because it begins an immense build up of extreme tension that will culminate at the end of the month when Mars in Taurus will form a conjunction with Uranus and the North Node of the Moon in Taurus. The combined presence of Mars, Uranus, and the North Node will likely correspond with another wave of increased volatility regarding the present economic and political crises already taking shape, as well as opportunities for incredible innovation and breaking new ground in development. While the influence of Mars, Uranus, and the North Node will be more acutely felt during the forthcoming Leo New Moon on July 28, the entrance of Mars into Taurus on July 4 with Mercury forming a harmonious aspect will deliver early warning signs and messages regarding the shape of what is to come.

2 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Cancer 1 Decan

The New Moon is in the first decan of Cancer associated with the Two of Cups card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image we find two lovers coming together in passion and longing, 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 New 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. Yet the nurturance and sustenance present in this face for both biological children and what we birth from our creativity must also be placed within the waxing and waning nature of the Moon and the fact that hunger and loss can lead to “the chain of mothers and children becom[ing] an endless cycle of beasts devouring and being devoured in return.” 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.” Coppock declared there is an alchemy of love and need blended together in the first face of Cancer, with the energy circulating between the two participants “as if the two reside in each other’s wombs, simultaneously devouring and being devoured, yet neither is depleted.” The ideal entwining of vessels found in the first face of Cancer can be found within all manner of collaborative relationships and is not limited to the realm of romantic love.

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 the past few years that has involved a massive reordering of society due to a global pandemic and numerous conflicts and power plays for control that have resulted in reaction. 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.

In connection with Coppock’s symbol of “A Mother and Child” for the first face of Cancer, it’s worth contemplating the significance of Nike being the daughter of the underworld river goddess Styx. Residing in the heart of the underworld, Styx allied herself with the Olympians in their revolution against the Titans, eventually becoming the source of the water by which gods swore oaths, ensuring that the Olympians who replaced the Titans would keep their oaths. Nike and the other children of Styx helped enforce order even amongst the gods, with Nike’s emphasis on victory not only limited to the climatic moment of the victor but also the devoted care and commitment necessary to ensure that what has been gained in victory will not be lost due to carelessness or forgetting what one has sworn to do.

Within the darkness of the Cancer New Moon, give yourself the space to feel all the limitless, nonlinear emotions and messages emanating from the Sun and Moon coming together and fertilizing the lunar fields of Cancer. Though emotional processes unfolding within the darkness of the lunation may feel messy, the harmonious sextile aspect between Venus and Jupiter can correspond with finding support through relationships of mutual care for the new directions emerging to follow. With Venus and Jupiter in the active signs of Gemini and Aries, it’s also an opportune time for helping to organize networks of support within community to care for those in need and helping to mobilize effort on behalf of the changes you wish to materialize in society. The astrology for the rest of 2022 will bring increasing waves of disruptive change across global societies, yet within the chaos will be found great sources of creativity to engage with.

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References

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

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

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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.