Cancer New Moon: Of Caring & Deep Time


Thursday, July 12 at 7:28pm Pacific Time

I almost always, despite intentions otherwise, wait until the last minute to write New and Full Moon articles. Part of that is my procrastinatory nature. But another part of it is that I’m a feeler by nature. I often have to feel things in order to process them, and when it comes to writing about lunations, it’s pretty helpful for me to wait until I’m in the energy of a given lunation to write about it. Then it flows. Writing when it flows is, for me at least,  infinitely better than writing when it’s an act of logic.

cancer new moonThe world shifts and turns so much in a 24 hour period, and I have this idea that relevance is best served by writing in the moment.

So, leading up to writing this piece, I knew I was going to have to write it about a week in advance, as I won’t have access to the internet from July 8-15.

As I started leaning into the energy of this eclipse — leaning in from without, as it were — I started thinking a lot about time. How its tendrils get discussed by us as if they were linear, straight, solid lines. We’re born, we grow, we die. Or, in American culture, we’re born, we’re supposed to get an education, graduate, get a job, marry, buy a house, have kids, raise them, play golf…and then die.

Many traditions of the world, typically the esoteric kinds, view time very differently. They see time as something more like a sphere, as something happening all at once rippling out into an infinite number of possibilities all occuring at once. Everywhere. Forever.

That concept is one that can be very difficult to comprehend, especially from within a paradigm so solidly structured around time. The calendar we use is a solar one, but we’ve had to manipulate it to adjust to idiosyncrasies of the universe, still holding on the notion that we can control such a thing as time.

Time in this sense gives us boundaries, restrictions, limits. Helps us to structure. To track. We call this chronos time — Saturnian time. Again — how Capricorn.

Cancer is the opposite of Capricorn. It is tuned into the cycles of the Moon. The cycles of emotions. It takes the moon about two and a half days to move through a sign, or an emotional filter. Always changing, always shifting. Like the tides. And as above, so below — so are we constantly shifting.

Cancer has to do with longer-reaching time as well, though. With ancestral time. Through its connection with the womb and genetics, with family mythology and identity, and through its trine to Pisces, it is where we understand the realms of the ghosts that haunt our family lines (perhaps translated today into traumas, fears, strengths and gifts that carry down in our genes), and the ways we’re shaped by forces that are largely unseen.

As I wrote in last year’s Cancer New Moon article:

“Cancer, the sign of home and tribe and unconditional love, is also the sign of being thrown back in on ourselves. For it is through that process of being forced inward that emotional self-reliance and responsibility are born. There we meet Cancer’s polarity — Capricorn. Nurturance is tempered with boundaries. Not to say Capricorn is any less tender than Cancer, but it has mature awareness of timing and cycles — and how to make use of them.

It takes a long time to learn about those cycles. Think of our oceans etching away at rocks turning to sand, slowly over time. Here we can understand Cancer’s association with ancestral lineage. Standing behind us, the ones who came before, sending their teachings down through language, yes, but also through our genes…strengths and weaknesses, health and disease, phobias and favorites…it takes a very long time for patterns to become ingrained. And then to change again.”

This New Moon supports our ability to recognize and shift patterns that have been rippling through our ancestry for eons. It might come in the form of fears or suddenly enforced limitations, but this lunation feels strong to me. It feels like a new beginning for emotional self reliance.

This New Moon is supported by a grand earth trine. Here, we see Uranus, Saturn and Venus all working together to help us ground our values in new, liberating ways. Venus is conjunct earth mother Ceres in Leo, bring the fierce flames of the heart and all its creativity along for the ride, lighting up the degree of last year’s solar eclipse in Leo. What emotional remnants from that time are surfacing now to be loved and re-formed?

Pluto in Capricorn opposing this lunation brings a question of repression and denial to the table. At this point in Pluto’s journey through Capricorn, we’re oh so familiar with the ways our entrenched power structures and systems are still making huge grabs for long-term power in horrifying ways, but they’re out in the open now. No longer hiding. Bigger and badder than many of us dreamed.

In that sense, part of what we’re being asked to confront here is the ways we have been confined by the conditioning and expectations of our family systems, in particular the ways they have imprinted detrimental and destructive social norms into the behaviors of our everyday lives. These come through most clearly as expectations placed upon us by our parents that inform our identities into our adult lives. It can be very difficult to break out of the “We Smiths always…” mythology. But we have to do it when those mythologies aren’t serving us.

Cancer as an archetype also has to do with nationalism and nationalistic tendencies because its an energy that corresponds with where and when we first form our ego identities. We cling on, sometimes blindly, to pride and patriotism. We are so afraid of what comes when the mythology that backs up our personal identity gets destroyed because it uncovers a feeling of insecurity.

Cancer corresponds to the time in our development when we first become aware of our separation from source, be that mother and womb or god or love. In an effort to hide from our dismay at that separation and the deep sense of emotional insecurity it brings, we cling to a family ethos that provides a healing salve for that insecurity. Or, more consciously, we feel good when we belong to and are enclosed in something safe. Family membership provides that emotional security.

We then, through the polarity of Capricorn, attempt to codify that ethos into legal and social systems that form the foundations of society.

Nationalistic societies are no good, y’all. They are full of blind, rigid adherence to ideology that has the fuel and venom of fear and radical insecurity supporting it.

They are full of folks willing to participate the imprisonment of children. And of folks willing to look past it, ignore it, downplay it and distract from it. When the superiority complexes that spawn from nationalism allow people to downplay the traumatizing of children (which happens all over the world all the time and keeps getting worse), we have to reevaluate our social structure.

We cannot move forward in dismantling systems that continually reinforce nationalistic tendencies until we each individually address and question our own adherence to patterns and practices that were instilled in us by our families and early surroundings, especially those that have been with us for a long time.

And all of that starts with our willingness to face and transform the areas where we sustain and avoid feelings of radical emotional insecurity.

It also starts with good, old-fashioned tender loving care. Because, you see, sometimes ethos gets things right, and when it comes to recognizing the need for sanctuary, the need for tenderness and that opening spaces for acceptance paves the way for vulnerability and healing… well, we need so much more of that now. Spaces where folks can step in, express their most complex emotions including shame and guilt, and feel held through the process.

So it’s time to plant seeds for bringing care, nurturing and acceptance back into the patriarchy so that we can heal it from within. We make soup for ourselves, we feed our kindreds… and for now, we do all we can to make sure children in prison are taken care of. I wish that was just a metaphorical statement. In today’s world we are addressing this theme metaphorically but also very, very literally.

On Thursday, July 12 we have a New Moon partial solar eclipse in the sign of Cancer that can support all of these efforts. This New Moon eclipse is the start of a set of three eclipses, and is relatively ‘weak’ as these things go. The two that follow — a total lunar eclipse with the Full Moon in Aquarius on July 27, and then a partial solar eclipse with the New Moon in Leo on August 11 — are perhaps more potent in the eclipse category, and are continuing the story spun last August during the “great American eclipse,” which also highlighted the Leo-Aquarius axis.

Solar eclipses tend to have outer-world impact, and lunar eclipses tend to be more emotional. The Full Moon lunar eclipse on July 27 is a total eclipse, meaning it’s super powerful, and it involves Mars retrograde AND Uranus in Taurus. Of the three eclipses in this set, I anticipate this one speaking the loudest. More on that in a future article.

This New Moon in Cancer on the 12th is perhaps giving us a bit of foreshadowing about what’s to come as the eclipse cycle moves more fully into the Cancer-Capricorn story next winter. I said earlier that it’s fairly weak as far as eclipses go, but it is potentially loaded as far as emotional moments in time go. Here we have yet another potent moment for transformation, as it is exactly opposite Pluto, and within orb of an opposition to Black Moon Lilith. The potential for transforming and healing repressed anger is definitely here.

Eclipse windows can be trying because they tend to require us to release and adjust more than we’d like. They also contain somewhat of a wild card element to them, and so because it’s hard to predict what will happen, sometimes the best wisdom is to just accept that big changes might be in order (particularly if you have planets or angles near the degrees of the eclipses), and then when they happen to breathe and…well, let go.

Keeping it simple, this New Moon is a good time to revisit and review ancestral patterns. What patterns flow through you. Do you want them to keep flowing forward in time, rippling to effect not only any blood kin you might have, but those around you in your day to day life in general?

Stepping it up a notch, intentions that surround hearth and home, emotional transformation from a place of grounded self-reliance, and recognizing the ways time ripples out in all directions are all supported here.

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