Being sensitive is risky business these days. As human beings we simply want to feel good, but it’s difficult to do that in light of what is happening on the world stage. How do we restore happiness in the face of life’s darkness? Our basic human values of freedom and family are under attack by insidious forces and we can’t seem to agree who the enemy is. All that we know is that something out there is threatening what is precious to us.
The Sun and Moon meet in Cancer Thursday night at 10:48, marking the New Moon in the cardinal water sign. The term ‘cardinal’ refers to an initiative energy– cardinal signs are the signs of the zodiac that signal a change in seasons. Cancer is incredibly sensitive, seeking to protect and defend the inner privacy it needs to listen to its own feelings. Emotions are one of the most powerful inspirations to action, and Cancer is symbolic of the fiercely protective and endlessly nurturing energy of the Great Mother archetype. By taking care of what is innocent and weak, Cancer fuels its own desire to create a safe space. By taking care of what is in need, Cancer builds a secure nest to tend to. The United States was born under this sign (July 4th birthday), and our country has long been known as a defender of humanitarian rights.
New Moons are a point in the lunar cycle that support setting intentions, planting metaphorical seeds that we nurture throughout the month. And no other New Moon is as safety-oriented as Cancer. Feeling vulnerable and introverted is natural here as we go inward to figure out what we need. As the Great Mother, Cancer provides us with depth of emotion and a strong sense of the bonds we care about.
But this New Moon is opposed by Pluto in Capricorn, reinforcing fears and overwhelming despair. Pluto represents all the toxic material that must come into the light of consciousness in order to be healed. Its long, slow passage of Capricorn since 2008 has been churning up all that is corrupt in our institutions, particularly government and corporate business. You don’t have to look too far to see examples of this abuse of power rearing its ugly head in our world, especially when it comes to women and families: immigrant children locked in cages, breastfeeding denigrated by conservative politicians, and abortion rights being threatened by the potential new Supreme Court appointment. The Great Mother (Cancer) is being challenged by the dark face of Pluto, the unconscious greed, racism, and sexism of the patriarchy.
To be fair, the extreme conservative side of the aisle is also feeling this astrology. In their eyes, the dark face of Pluto is represented by other symbols: the increasing number of minorities in our population, the growing power of the #MeToo movement, and the Mueller investigation. The preservation of the status quo is under threat in their eyes, so the instinctive reaction is to protect and conserve what is precious to them: their power. In order to do that, women and immigrants have to be controlled so that white men feel safe. Astrology reflects universal themes, and the one thing that we can all agree on is that there’s something dangerous “out there” threatening our way of life.
The remedy for fear is brave action. Mars represents how we become brave– and Mars is in the midst of a transformation. It is retrograde and “out of bounds”, meaning that it has reached a point in declination where it’s beyond the Sun’s reach. Mars is closer to the Earth than it has been in 60,000 years. These are powerful astronomical factors that reinforce these themes in our astrology: we need to engage with what scares us in order to bring light to the darkness. That means standing up to bigotry and harassment, calling out bullies and cheaters. It’s easier to look the other way, to steer clear of trouble. But ask Germans what it felt like right before Hitler took power, and they will tell you they regret being passive. All it takes is indifference, apathy, and self-preservation, and we are on our way to oppression.
The heroes are within us, and they are ready to march. Think of the woman (with a baby on her arm!) who confronted EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, telling him he should be ashamed of himself for his environmental policies. That takes courage to do that publicly, face to face. The woman who climbed the base of the Statue of Liberty to bring attention to the immigration crisis, literally risking her own life to get into the headlines. The Arkansas mothers who were arrested on Capitol Hill for protesting family separation. All of them– heroes. And so are we, every time we refuse to sit back and look the other way. We need to do this now, in our own families and communities, and we need to continue doing it all the way to the voting booths in November.
We all embody the Great Mother at this New Moon, and instead of running from the darkness, we need to run toward it. If you feel fear in your life, this is the time to claim your power back. We only get braver by facing what scares us. And we’re getting an added boost of support this month as Venus moves into a trine with Saturn and Uranus. A trine is basically a triangle, and it represents an easy, stable flow of energy. This trine involves all three earth signs– Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. Earth energy can build things in the material plane. Earth signs are pragmatic, realistic, and diligent; reinforcing our ability to get down to business, stand our ground, and make a tangible difference.
Simply stated, all we need to do is act and speak from our conscience. Stay engaged, stay supportive, and listen to our conscience. We need to save our children and our earth from the darkness that looms. Every small step we take in our microcosm of life affects the greater whole, even if it doesn’t seem to relate. Maybe it isn’t marching in a protest or calling a senator– maybe it’s a quiet action, like not laughing at the office clown telling racist jokes. Speaking up when the loudmouth bully trashes female politicians. Let’s prove that integrity can’t be suppressed. Just keep caring, and keep showing it.
Conscience is the voice of the soul. (Polish proverb)