To the ancient Greeks, who gave birth to the Western astrology we use today, the sign Cancer held a special place. It was the rising sign of the Thema Mundi, the so-called “Chart of the world.” It's deeply linked to the waters of life, the seas from which all things are born.
Dive deep into it and see how astrologers around the web counsel us to find healing and wholeness during the July 4 Cancer New Moon. But be warned, this is no simple Moon: you may need to take extra time to sit and feel the implications for yourself.
Water, Water Everywhere
As the cardinal — initiating — water sign, it's the fluid realm of emotions, feelings, memories and needs that take center stage with this New Moon.
Astrologers universally concur:
“Cancer is the crab, a creature who lives at the edge of waters, who has no internal skeleton and so seeks to contain itself within its shell. For Cancer, the shell, the boundary, is essential. Without having a wall around the castle, Cancer is too vulnerable.
“Cancer can be the most nurturing and supportive of signs, the sign associated with motherhood and mother love. But always within the walls. We take care of our own. The rest of you, keep out.
“So this New Moon is all about that line, that boundary of caring. This New Moon is about what home feels like, and what feels like home.”
“What is said and done isn’t quite as important as how it feels. Does it hit us in our hearts? This New Moon is a flood of emotions, empathy, imagination, sensitivity. It will most definitely make for intense but lovely dreams. Day life will have a sweet, dreamy quality as well. [G]ood old fashioned comforts such as food, company, gatherings, music, movies and dance.
“While I think there’s enough feel-good vibes to keep the mood up for many, it … is prone to moodiness and mood swings. The super sensitive sign of the Crab puts on a tough exoskeleton to protect its soft interior, and people feeling raw will not want to be messed with here. Provoke someone in a bad mood and expect the claws to come out.”
Astrologers Kathy Biehl and Margaret Gray draw the links from Cancer to an encounter with your “inner child”:
“July’s Cancer New Moon is drawing us all into the water. It’s luring us with the promise of comfort, an escape to days gone by, a safe haven for wallowing and pouting, and maybe just a warm and soothing bath.
“The Moon is in her home base, stirring primal emotions, impulses and needs. They (and we) could all benefit from some TLC just now, after the weird, confounding ride that dominated the month of June. Give the adult in you a time out and treat your inner child to gentle nurturing and reassurance.”
“This New Moon reminds us that ultimately at our core all of us as humans desire love, compassion and connection. Hence the current chaos and destruction in the world could be viewed as a distressed child having a tantrum out of desperation that its core emotional needs are not being met.
“The question then becomes – what can we each do to contain and reassure this ‘child,’ whilst dealing with the inner distress that it is triggering in us? How can we offer it unconditional love whilst setting firm boundaries around its destructive behavior? How can we parent ourselves and also ‘parent the world’?
“The days of external authority are gone – it is now up to each of us to effect the changes we want to see on this planet, within ourselves, our family, community, town, country…”
Astrologer Margaret Wendt gives some practical advice on how you can help take care of your own inner child:
“When a water sign is stuck or stagnant it is the worst energy. No one can complain like Cancer. Well, maybe Pisces and Scorpio the other two water signs, but with Cancer it is 24/7 grousing when they are in a mood.
“And why does Cancer complain? Easy. Go to H.A.L.T. — Are you Hungry? Angry? Lonely? Tired? If even one of those is in play, expect cranky ass moods.
“Now a highly processed Cancer will take care of all those needs. They will get food when they are hungry. They will reach out when they are lonely. They will go to bed when they are tired. They will exercise when they are feeling low energy. They will tune into their bodies. And when they tune into their bodies their emotions start to regulate themselves.
“Such is the case with all of us during the Cancer Lunar cycle. For 29 days you need to monitor [yourself].
Into the Crucible
After we explore the nature of the New Moon itself, we look for other factors that shape how we experience its energies in the world.
As the gods' messenger, Mercury was the one planet free to soar on winged-feet between the heights and the depths.
At this moment, Mercury prepares to merge with the heart of the Sun. Any impurities he's picked up are about to be burned away in the Sun's fiery crucible.
Says Marina Macario of Darkstar Astrology: “Sun conjunct Mercury is close enough for it to be combust. Therefore it can be very hard to debate sensibly at this New Moon because ego/mind fusion may not see the compromise between the opposing thought forms” clearly.
Astrologer Gary Crawford explains in greater detail:
“At the time of the New Moon, Mercury is combust — meaning it is undergoing a period of purification and regeneration in the flames of the Sun. With Mercury in Cancer it is possible moods, memories, emotions, or fears circulating could overwhelm capacity to maintain centered focus, especially within a tumultuous environment of chaotic collective events stirring up hysteria.
“Although this phase of Mercury can feel overwhelming, the surrounding potent aspects to Mercury suggest epiphanies can be unveiled. The Mercurial atmosphere will contain moments to soak within the elements of our past whose memories will nourish us going forward, while simultaneously opening to a regenerated presence.
“Insights into one’s family or ancestral karma and influences can be found, as well as greater awareness of relational patterns and emotional dynamics we have been constellating. As a result, the New Moon supports intention setting for a strengthened sense of inner security less needful of external attachments to feel stable.”
Pluto, Death and Regeneration
A New Moon with Pluto, ancient god of the underworld, calls us to explore the disowned, unloved, unprocessed parts of ourselves. There is nothing simple or easy about the quest, but the treasures waiting to be discovered by those willing to embark on the journey are beyond price.
Astrologers once again take up the mantle of the psychopomp to help you find your way through the dark:
“The energy of Pluto is to get down deep and transform. But at its core, and certainly in this [lunation] cycle, it is asking us to separate what is real from what is fake.
“Of course, the way Cancer finds real from fake is through its feelings. Feelings tell us so much.
“However, there is one problem with feelings especially in the Cancer psyche. When we are scared or insecure our feelings can see boogey men in every comment, or facial expression or even a sigh. A person yawns and we are certain they are sending us a message of boredom. Sure they might be sending that message. Or maybe they were up too late and haven’t had enough coffee.
“This is the trick with Cancer lunar cycle to not let fear or insecurity color the feelings. We all should remember this is the cycle to put our thin skin in the closet.”
“The New Moon in Cancer brings a cathartic release through its opposition to Pluto. Instead of a soft and supple lunar goddess we will feel more in the protective presence of a hard and skeletal Santa Muerte.
“Pluto has been associated with Shiva and his fierce destructive aspects by many astrologers, as the experience of a hard aspect from Pluto can not only feel like a complete destruction of one’s personality, but also be experienced through devastating losses of structures and relationships we had been attached to.
“When we stop resisting, denying, or being overly defensive, allowing our ego to be destroyed in the quakes of Pluto, in the resulting dismemberment we are given the opportunity to reassemble ourselves into a more authentic presence, remembering our essentiality through the dismembering.”
“There is a Welsh word called hireath that is difficult to translate fully into English. It means a longing for home, but it’s a special kind of longing. Hireath includes a kind of grief for a home that is lost, sometimes for a home we imagine but never existed.
“We all can find this somewhere inside ourselves, this sense of longing for a kind of Golden Age, even if we know logically it never happened. This longing for a place of simplicity, community, stability, security, and love often lies buried beneath the most vicious xenophobia.
“Pluto applies pressure and won’t let up. He says, this is the cost of your feelings. This is the cost of your walls. This is the cost of your longing. Not convinced yet? Here’s more cost. Pluto is all about the consequences. He’s the guy who makes sure that, in the end, the piper gets paid.
“He is not pretty. He can feel downright mean. He can seem to be tearing stuff down just for the fun of seeing it fall. But really, he’s got our best interests at heart.
“He’s the cosmic quality assurance guy who says, ‘Hmmmm, you really want to get on that bus? My tests say it’s going over the cliff at the first curve.' Sometimes, we insist on getting on the bus anyway. I’m not sure the ensuing crash is Pluto’s fault.”
Between Faith and Escape
If this all seems to much to bear, the Moon does come with an escape hatch — an easy trine to seductively illusive Neptune.
It's a tricky aspect. On the one hand, Neptune offers the power of faith and spiritual support when facing the darkest moments.
On the other, Neptune makes it easy to avoid the deeper issues, by allowing you to delude yourself into believing you've already faced your demons. Or simply pretend that what you don't like to feel, doesn't exist. But sometimes, when you don't have the inner resources you need to do the work, the oblivion itself is healing. At least until you're stronger.
You will have to decide for yourself which path you will choose.
“The main thing with this New Moon is the need to merge with its surroundings. At this time our boundaries are so thin that we can feel the harshness of the 3D world a little too acutely.”
“This Moon’s waters have the power not merely to soothe, nourish and unleash a wellspring of emotion, but also to connect hearts and souls in ways that unhook us from normal reality.
“Watch for nonrational experiences of relatedness (telepathy on overdrive, and fusing both emotions and thoughts), as well as zany creative inspiration pouring out in floods. They’re all coming through the open channel of energy linking cosmic messenger Mercury and the New Moon to Neptune, ruler of illusion and transcendence. A power is on tap like the one that drove Robin Williams’ rapid-fire vocal play. Some moments may well take on the feeling of a baptism or other holy rite.
“Down at the shallow end of the pool, delusion, self-pity or us against them protectionism may occasion behavior fit for toddlers. Splash back at your risk; there’s plenty of healthier, stabler areas elsewhere. These waters are overflowing with full-spectrum love, from the highest we-are-family level to connecting with one special one, deeply, intensely and fearlessly, with no intent (and perhaps likelihood) of take-backs.”
“Neptune will urge the endless expansion of whatever is starting- keep going, keep giving, keep pushing for needs to be met. It's the Cancer hunger for love and security that can never be satiated. Or, the compassionate flood of nurturing, like an endless supply of mother's milk.”
The word “consider” derives from a Latin word meaning “with the stars.” It seems an appropriate term for the other celestial alignments coinciding with the New Moon.
Lunar Orbital Mechanics
Planetary orbits are described by two features: the planet's nodes (where their orbital path crosses the Sun's apparent path), and the planet's apsides (the point in its orbit where it's closest to, or furthest from, the body it orbits.)
Both the Moon's nodes and its apsides, are spotlighted during this New Moon, intensifying the lunation.
“This New Moon is connected to the Moon’s Nodes, trining the South Node of the past and sextiling the North Node of the future. There is a real sense of history being made now, a feeling (that word again) that how current crises are handled will determine our future for some time to come.”
Like the Moon in Cancer, Mars, which has just ended is 2-1/2 month retrograde, is strongly placed in his own sign Scorpio. He turned direct on the lunar line of apsides, conjunct the lunar apogee, which astrologers often call Black Moon Lilith.
“Lilith-Mars aspects are about the conscious will and desire of a person being in contact with his or her inner wild. Mars is pretty instinctive without Lilith and so the task is to make sure Mars's reactivity is informed not by knee-jerk or rote but in line with what is best for the person going forward. Lilith offers Mars the wisdom of the natural world to go with its get-up-and-go energy.”
New Moon conjunct Sirius
This New Moon is also aligned with the star Sirius, the brightest star in our night sky. Sirius is in the constellation Canus Major, or the Greater Dog. (This is where we get the phrase the “Dog days of summer” — The Sun is with the Dog-star Sirius.)
“When Sirius heats up, it’s a searing white heat that causes a very premenstrual-type temper. In ancient times Sirius was associated with feverish temperatures, which brought pestilence; the star was not regarded as a good omen at all.
“Sirius is Isis the beloved wife of Osiris (Orion). This Goddess is the devoted, nurturing moon. This association gives Cancer decan 2 the ability to resurrect and breathe life into the dead.”
The Sabian degree meaning for the 13th Degree of Cancer is “A Hand with a prominent thumb is held out for study.”
According to Lynda Hill, Sabian Symbol expert:
“A hand extended receptively implies reaching out to others. The ‘Prominent Thumb’ implies a strong will. This image infers a “handshake” of some kind. A “handshake” can bridge differences and gaps between people, bring them closer together and also show that one doesn’t have (or shouldn’t have!) a hidden agenda. The person reaches out to others showing their strong ‘Character.’
“Although a degree of flexibility needs to exist in this situation, it will, inevitably, be strength of ‘Character’ and a willingness to extend one’s self to others that will enable you to succeed. Being in control of oneself and one’s environment is an effective and lasting expression of power. It is also important to note that this Symbol is about strength of will and character, and that being receptive does not weaken this. In fact, it is by being receptive that we can truly be powerful and have a positive influence on those around us.”
The Moon has its own 28-sign zodiac, which was called the Lunar Mansions in Western astrology. The mansions describe how to apply the Moon's energy. Each day she moves from one mansion to the next.
The Cancer New Moon has just crossed into Lunar Mansion 9 Al Tarf, called the “glance” or the “eye.” This is a mansion for letting go. Pull back and conserve your energy. Release what no longer serves you. Forgive.
Summing it Up
The Cancer New Moon urges us all to embrace our emotional nature, yet not be consumed by it. The only way to process our deepest emotions is to allow ourselves to feel, no matter how uncomfortable or frightening. Have patience and compassion for yourself; healing is an inside job.
Last Moon Phase: Full Moon in Sagittarius
Next Moon Phase: Full Moon in Capricorn
New Moon July 2016 Dates and Times
San Francisco: Monday, July 4, 4:01 a.m. PDT
New York: Monday, July 4, 7:01 a.m. EDT
São Paulo Paulo: Monday, July 4, 8:01 a.m. BRST
London: Monday, July 4, 12:01 p.m. GDT
Istanbul: Monday, July 4, 2:01 p.m. EEDT
Mumbai: Monday, July 4, 4:31 p.m. IST
Tokyo: Monday, July 4, 8:01 p.m. JST
Sydney: Monday, July 4, 9:01 p.m. AEST