Full Moon in Cancer: Solstice Light

Full Moon in Cancer

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year by Max Ernst

Cancer Full Moon

The solstice gets its name from the Sun standing still by declination, reaching its lowest depth in the northern hemisphere at the turn toward the winter, while reaching its peak height in the southern hemisphere at the shift into summer. A time of rebirth within the darkest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, we imagine the Sun pausing in contemplation as we welcome and honor its increasing rise and presence in our life. Each day after the solstice on December 21 in the northern hemisphere we will experience more solar light, while in contrast the southern hemisphere will experience the initial decline from maximum solar light. Thus in the northern hemisphere, the Full Moon in Cancer on December 22 brings the striking symbolism of peak lunar light illuminating the longest stretch of night, while in the southern hemisphere it aligns with the longest days of the year.

The Moon rules the lunation from its home of Cancer and as it separates from its opposition with the Sun it will begin applying to an opposition with Saturn in Capricorn. After the Moon completes its opposition with Saturn on December 23, it will begin applying toward the formation of a watery triangle with Neptune in Pisces and Venus in Scorpio. As a result the Full Moon in Cancer will illuminate a hard, unflinching examination of the current state of affairs that opens a window to imaginal visions of whatever we wish to manifest that is currently lacking. The overwhelming emphasis, however, is on Saturn as the Capricorn Sun is simultaneously initiating its annual regeneration with the ringed planet (the new cycle between Saturn and the Sun will begin on the first day of 2019).

Thus the Full Moon in Cancer is ideal for taking a pause within the trajectory of current motion, reflecting upon events across the past year while pondering what you want to set in motion in the year ahead. The strong influence of Saturn brings the necessity of taking responsibility for wherever you find yourself and remembering that even at the darkest moment of despair we can summon the resiliency needed to make the most of current circumstances. The overemphasis on water signs connected through flowing aspects between Venus, Neptune, and the Moon could dredge up difficult emotions concerning any areas of our life we feel like we haven’t been doing our best. Fortunately, the Cancer Full Moon does have supportive aspects for self-nurturing as well as comforting and soothing others who are overwhelmed with difficult feelings.

Solargraph

Solargraph taken from the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment

The Moon in Cancer rules the Full Moon and is headed toward a union with the North Node of the Moon in Cancer, emphasizing the Moon’s new position as the ruler of its transiting North Node. Since Rahu now has the speedy Moon as its ruler, we will experience the North Node in Cancer uniting with its lunar ruler once a month during the next year and a half of the lunar nodes transiting Cancer and Capricorn (the North Node will be in Cancer until May 2020). The union between the Cancer Moon and its North Node on December 24 will be the second time so far that the Moon has conjoined its North Node in Cancer, the first time being on November 26 during the period that both Jupiter and Mercury retrograde were being regenerated in union with the Sun. Since Mercury and Jupiter are uniting in Sagittarius at the time of solstice, the Cancer Full Moon will bring stark clarity regarding whatever has been coming into our life in the past month.

Whenever the Moon conjoins its own North Node in Cancer we will have the opportunity to discern new choices regarding the desires drawing us forward as always, but the nodal rulership being activated will bring an intensification of hunger and pull.  Since the Moon in Cancer will also be moving through oppositions with both Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn on its way toward uniting with its North Node each month, the astrological symbolism suggests we will be experiencing an intense lunar passage through Cancer each month highlighting whatever we want to protect and nurture more so than normal. Thus the Cancer Full Moon initiates us into one of the most important astrological themes of 2019. Since the Moon signifies a constantly changing emotional landscape, the more we can sift through inner feelings to find the desires laying at the heart of passing dynamics, the more we can feel centered and grounded in whatever processes of growth we are engaged with.

Full Moon in Cancer

Stonehenge by John Constable

After the Full Moon culminates and the Moon enters the waning half of its lunar cycle, we enter the mysterious matrix of eclipse season that brings a heightened experience of forms entering and passing away. There will be a Solar Eclipse in Capricorn on January 5 followed by a Total Lunar Eclipse in Leo on January 20. As Saturn in Capricorn is a foundational influence more so than normal in the next month, keep in mind the temporal nature of difficult emotions that could come up with our life not currently being in a desired condition. We are likely to feel the weight of responsibilities we have taken on and the ramifications of whatever we wish to initiate more fiercely than normal. By being mindful of the bigger picture and where we hope to be in the years ahead, ideally we can recenter in the present and figure out steps available to move toward the larger vision.

Not only is Saturn and Pluto co-present with the transiting South Node of the Moon in Capricorn, there is also an added factor that in the next year Pluto and Saturn will be coming together in close proximity with their own south nodes, meaning the south nodes of Saturn, Pluto, and the Moon will all be uniting with the coming conjunction of Saturn and Pluto. There is an ancient arc of dominant societal influences being brought to collective attention, creating a tidal force from the collective unconscious to navigate. We can observe myriad signs in current events indicating the decay of global civilizations and underlying structures. Yet even beyond this we can sense the severe weight of collective history, of the havoc wreaked by world powers and their impact on our present state of being.

The silvery, luminescent light of the Cancer Full Moon will create space for compassion, compassion for both ourselves and others in the ways we have been conditioned overtly and covertly by societal forces. Through dialogue and listening, through feeling all the grief and emotions, we can begin to loosen the hold of history in order to not only decondition as needed, but also find strength in the traditions that bring healing. While difficult ancestral karma may come up, the emphasis on Saturn facilitates support and resources to be found in the old as well as the ancestral realm.

splendor solis sunset

from the Splendor Solis

In the pre-dawn darkness of solstice season we have a host of planetary allies heralding the coming rise of the Sun. Brightest and highest is Venus in her Morning Star role as light bringer, but we can also witness Mercury and Jupiter visible as Morning Stars before sunrise. In fact, Mercury is barely beginning to separate from Jupiter in Sagittarius at the time of the Cancer Full Moon, providing a spark to light inner fires of inspiration.  The union of Mercury and Jupiter helps bring to a close the retrograde transits concluding 2018: Venus has now moved beyond the degrees where she previously stationed retrograde, and while Mercury is still a few degrees away during the Cancer Full Moon its final union with Jupiter brings resolution.

Venus in Scorpio is currently in a supportive relationship with Mars in Pisces making it a great time to formulate plans and begin taking action toward whatever essential values you unearthed during the Venus retrograde transit of recent months. The trine between Venus with Neptune in Pisces is dreamy and restorative, perfect for luxuriating in pleasurable sensual experiences as well as for providing healing support in service to others in need. If you’ve been overwhelmed by stress from current events, it’s also a supportive transit for creatively active imaginal escape. Combined with the influence of Mercury and Jupiter in Sagittarius, it’s a potent time for finding words and forms to manifest and make real images and ideas that have been brewing within.

Whether or not you celebrate any of the religious holidays associated with this solstice season, the astrological transits and timing make it an ideal time to gather with those you love and who support you. We have finally reached a stage that will facilitate looking back toward the dramatic changes brought by the year 2018 that involved an intense sequence of Mars retrograde, eclipses, Venus retrograde, and a trio of fiery Mercury retrograde transits deeply connected to all of the former.  In the fire kindled by Mercury and Jupiter, within the watery flow between Venus, Neptune, and the Moon, listen within to whatever you want to voice and enact in the light of the Full Moon. It may be hard to understand the reasons for all of the changes that have come, but we can now feel more clearly where the changes are taking us. In the words of Rainer Maria Rilke, “Past upon past has been planted in you, / in order out of you, like a garden, to rise.”

 

Scorpio New Moon: Fire from the Depths

William Blake blasted tree and moon

Blasted Trees and Flattened Crops, from Thornton’s Pastorals of Virgil (1821) by William Blake

New Moon in Scorpio

Scorpio is known as a place of depths, deep feelings and desire to penetrate through superficial exteriors into the hidden core of matters.  Scorpio is also the zodiac sign perhaps most commonly associated with death and rebirth processes, those experiences called regenerative or transformative.  Yet Scorpio is also known to resist becoming vulnerable to the loss that comes with change, using any tactics imaginable to manipulate and control changing dynamics. The New Moon in Scorpio on November 7 comes at a time of tremendous changes within the cycles of astrology that indicate a necessity of surrendering to the elements of flowing flux outside our control. Jupiter, Uranus, and the lunar nodes are all changing signs in the days surrounding the Scorpio New Moon, while  about a week later Mars will also change signs at the same time both Venus and Mercury station and change directions. The sensitive, probing gifts of the Scorpion may be used within the darkness of the lunation to reorient plans within the shifts of both outer and inner landscapes.

For over a month we have been experiencing the liminal space of Venus retrograde, a time when our innermost values and desires mutate and bring about external alterations from transfiguration of inner roots. Within the darkness before the Scorpio Sun rises on the day of the New Moon, as the Dark Moon in Scorpio approaches its union with our hidden solar light, Venus will bring light into predawn skies as a Morning Star. Venus retrograde has returned not only to its heralding role as a Morning Star, but also has firmly established itself back into its home of Libra.

Thus the New Moon arrives in time to set intentions for the final week of Venus retrograde, a period in which Venus will only be moving about one degree before stationing in stillness. Due to Venus occupying its outwardly directed, airy domicile of the Scales, as well as stationing in close proximity with the beneficial fixed star Spica, the week of the waxing Moon following the New Moon can be used to actively gather whatever brilliant insights, ideas, and talents have been brewing and developing during the space of the Venus retrograde transit that began October 5.

At the same time Uranus maintaining its opposition with Venus retrograde will be amplifying the pace of developments and making everything more exciting, surprising, and ultimately liberating. Uranus retrograde returns to Aries the day before the Scorpio New Moon, bringing a torch of Promethean fire to the revelations arising in the final phase of Venus retrograde. Uranus has been in Taurus since May of 2018, and so its return to Aries will wrap up with finality the arc of narratives that developed across the seven year stretch of Uranus being in Aries that began in 2011 after an initial ingress in 2010 from the end of May through mid August. No longer under the rulership of Venus in Taurus, Uranus has now returned to being ruled by Mars in the fiery, independent, and impulsive sign of Aries. Uranian fires will bring the heat to needed to volatilize matters to a level that pushes us to take action to rebalance elements of life ready to shift in the final phase of Venus retrograde in Libra.

Scorpio New Moon

Shepherd chases away a wolf, from Thornton’s Pastorals of Virgil (1931) by William Blake

Mars in Aquarius rules the Scorpio New Moon while forming a flowing trine with Venus retrograde in Libra and receiving Uranus in Aries through a harmonizing sextile.  There has been an embattled dynamic involving Venus and Mars at times this year, with Mars in Aquarius previously stationing retrograde in range of square to the degree that Venus later stationed retrograde at in Scorpio, and Mars in Aquarius forming a square to Venus at the beginning of its retrograde in Scorpio.  Mars is now in a mediating position between the opposition of Venus and Uranus, which means the significations of Mars such as vitality, courage, protection, defense, assertion, and separating from undesirable circumstances are all strongly available to be used in negotiating the final phase of Venus retrograde.

Mars has been in Aquarius since May 17 (with a return to Capricorn in August and the beginning of September); we have had a long time to work with whatever aspects Mars in Aquarius has been making in our astrology charts, and we are now in the final week of experiencing Mars in the sign of the Water Bearer. Mars in Aquarius is able to use the airy placement to forge supportive connections and pinpoint areas of growth to focus on that can bring far ranging benefit.  Allow yourself to be surprised if necessary by whatever arises to demand your attention in the week following the New Moon.

Scorpio New Moon

Moonscape (1959) Kurt Seligmann

The Scorpio New Moon forms a flowing trine with Neptune in Pisces and a creatively harmonious sextile with Pluto in Capricorn.  These are deep aspects that promote our capacity to align with the larger changes happening across our global collective. Since its likely we may not agree or like what’s happening in many areas, we need to cultivate how to nurture ourselves and loved ones in personal spheres while at the same time not becoming overwhelmed by how the tides of mass change in the greater collective are swirling outside our control. The Scorpio New Moon supports the popular mantra of being the change you want to see in the world, taking the responsibility available to participate fully in the world in line with inner integrity.

The Scorpio New Moon also arrives at the same time that the nodes of the Moon ingress into new signs, with the North Node of the Moon leaving Leo to enter Cancer, and the South Node of the Moon leaving Aquarius to enter Capricorn. As a result while Saturn in Capricorn remains the ruler of the South Node of the Moon, the Moon itself becomes the ruler of the North Node of the Moon. We will be experiencing the lunar nodes as well as eclipses in Cancer and Capricorn for the next year and a half, an alignment that supports taking the responsibility to temper and structure whatever is needed to nurture and cultivate desired growth. Yet with the fast moving Moon as the ruler of the North Node in Cancer, we will be constantly navigating a waxing and waning of tidal forces rather than being led by the steady course of the Sun that had been ruling the North Node in Leo for the past year and a half.

It is notable that as the lunar nodes switch into Cancer and Capricorn, they immediately form a catalytic square aspect with the opposition between Uranus in Aries with Venus and Ceres in Libra. Ceres in Libra was waiting to embrace Venus as she returned from the underworld with her light as a Morning Star, and the involvement of Ceres in this dynamic nodal configuration amplifies the importance of nurturing the new growth ready to emerge from the past month of shedding and release. Yet the volatility of the cardinal square formed by the lunar nodes with Venus retrograde, Uranus retrograde, and Ceres suggests it’s not a time to force things to happen but instead make assertive choices aligned with the changing currents.

In contrast to Venus which recently re-emerged into visibility after a period of invisibility, Jupiter is on the threshold of going under the beams of the Sun into an invisible phase at the time of the Scorpio New Moon. Jupiter is co-present with the New Moon in Scorpio, at the final degree of Scorpio on the cusp of entering Sagittarius the day after the lunation. The co-presence of Jupiter with the New Moon in Scorpio brings a lift to the lunation, but most importantly the ingress of Jupiter into its fiery home of Sagittarius the next day brings a major boost of inspiration and hope.

Jupiter will be joining Mercury in Sagittarius, with Mercury shining brightly at maximum elongation as an Evening Star. Though Jupiter will be undergoing its own period of purification and rebirth and will not re-emerge in light as a Morning Star until approximately December 14, the return of Jupiter to its expansive home of Sagittarius serves as a fire kindled in the darkness bringing hope of victory where fear had previously clouded vision of possibility.

Scorpio New Moon

In Engelshut (1931) Paul Klee

Mercury in Sagittarius being at maximum elongation as an Evening Star in the darkness of the Scorpio New Moon signals that Mercury is crossing the threshold of its alchemical retrograde process as outlined by Gary Caton in his book Hermetica Triptycha: The Mercury Elemental Year. Indeed, in the following week on November 16 we will experience Mercury stationing retrograde in Sagittarius on the same day that Venus stations direct in Libra.  Mercury is at about eight degrees of Sagittarius at the time of the Scorpio New Moon and will return to this same area of Sagittarius while retrograde on November 27 when it will enter the heart of the Sun and be reborn at six degrees of Sagittarius. Thus just as we are wrapping up an alchemical, retrograde process of Venus we are entering another one focused upon Mercury. With Jupiter ruling Mercury in its own sign of Sagittarius, it promises to be a powerful Mercury retrograde for revisioning your life.

Mercury in Sagittarius is a quick learner, communicating with a rapid, adventurous spirit that asks the big questions and is willing to search long and hard for the answers. Mercury in Sagittarius is the polarity of its airy home of Gemini, and looks to Jupiter for guidance. Since Jupiter is also co-present in its own home of Sagittarius while also undergoing a purifying rebirth with the Sun, the upcoming Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius will be a time to shed outdated beliefs and regenerate an inspirational vision of how to find meaning in life.

Vitally, Mercury will be stationing in range of forming a square to Neptune in Pisces, so an important part of the process will be uncovering and facing illusions that have been operating under the surface of our perceptions. Though corresponding disillusionment may be difficult, the eventual reorientation towards the actual truth of circumstances will be beneficial in the longterm.  Interestingly, Mars will finally leave Aquarius and enter Pisces at the same time that Mercury stations retrograde in Sagittarius. This means that Jupiter in Sagittarius will be ruling both Mercury and Mars, with Mercury stationing in square to Neptune as Mars begins moving toward a conjunction with Neptune. There can be a corresponding dissolution of previous beliefs as well as powerful potential in imaginal realms to tap into.

cups06

Scorpio 2 Decan

The second face of Scorpio is associated with the 6 of Cups card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image of the 6 of Cups, we find the child-like innocence of purely giving for the pleasure of giving and receiving the joy of witnessing gratitude upon the face of the recipient.  Fittingly, both the Sun and Jupiter are considered rulers of this face, revealing the restoration of expansive vision that may be found within the darkness of the Scorpio New Moon. Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “An Apparatus for Mutual Distillation” to the Scorpio II decan, as it is a face in which the desires of Scorpio interchange in relationship:

The parties here [in the 6 of Cups image] are children and their affection for one another is natural and unconditioned . . . It is a vision of ideal exchange between two parties, poignant and perfect.

The dynamic suggested by the children is identical to the alchemical process of mutual distillation, wherein the matter passes back and forth between on alembic and another, growing increasingly rarefied and potent . . . Though it is easy to imagine these dynamics between romantic partners, all relationships which rely on trust and continuous exchange generate such circuits (p. 180-1).

As the Scorpio New Moon falls in the final phase of Venus retrograde in Libra, with Venus united with Ceres in opposition to Uranus in Aries and in square to the lunar nodes, attention to the dynamics within our myriad relationships will be of the utmost importance. This is the time to make use of whatever inner revelations you have uncovered about your relational patterns during the past month of Venus retrograde. The involvement of Uranus demands taking the risk to be authentic and honest in expression of true inner feelings. Moreover, by insisting on genuine interaction while being open to inner vulnerability, it will become possible to reshape relationships with regard to increased intimacy or increased boundaries, depending upon the dynamics involved.

The Hellenistic text 36 Airs ascribed the Titan goddess Leto to the second face of Scorpio. Sister to the starry, divinatory goddess Asteria and mother to the twin lights of Artemis and Apollo, Leto’s presence in the space of the Scorpio New Moon is a further symbol of the need for protective nurturance to whatever we hold most dear and is need of cultivation. Leto had to flee and take refuge on an isolated island unattached to the ocean floor in order to escape the wrath of Hera, who had made all lands exclude Leto from entry due to her anger over the affair between Leto and Zeus.  It was said that the twin offspring of Leto would stabilize the new order of Olympian deities, and so her persistence in nurturing the birth of Apollo and Artemis was additionally a birth of a new collective age.  Similarly, today we can also witness a war of ideologies spanning around our planet, as we can simultaneously sense the birth of a new era on the cusp of manifestation. Like Leto, take whatever steps are necessary to give birth to the world you wish yourself and the generations to follow to inhabit.

References

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