Somethings can only be seen in the shadows—Carlos Ruiz Zafon.
As the light-infused days of July stretch languidly towards the blue dome of the horizon, edges seem sharper, shadows bleached. We’re three weeks past the Solstice. As the Sun moves through Cancer the days here in the north are already growing imperceptibly shorter. This is a turning point in the solar/lunar cycle. We’ve entered the dark.
Cancer is a receptive water sign and where Cancer is in our birth chart we seek solace from life’s hard edges, we feel in our heart and body the searing heat of the wild fire and the wild winds that buffet the islands of the Caribbean. We are aware of our tender exposed places as nature signals her distress. Solastalgia, a word coined by Glenn Albrecht, carries a plaintive sigh of melancholy as we witness habitat corruption and feel the pain of loss.
The Sun serves the Moon when it moves through Cancer, heightening our intuition as we read the energy of emotions, sense what is there, hidden in the shadows.
Author and story-teller, Andrea Hoffman writes, “on a psychological level, the annual solar-lunar cycle makes us aware of the shadow.”
In the Grimm’s Fairy Tale, Little Brother and Little Sister, the disowned “evil step-mother’s” sticky residue coats the Midsummer wedding celebration with an ominous residue:
The king lifted the beautiful girl onto his horse and took her to his castle, where their wedding was held with great splendor. She was now the queen, and they lived happily together for a long time. The deer was cared for and cherished and ran about in the castle garden.
Andrea reminds us, “the brother is still a deer. The spell has been cast and is still at work here. In fairy tales and in life, we must look for clues, read between the lines, sharpen our peripheral vision in order to sense our personal and collective shadow.”
Mercury the celestial messenger is now in plain sight. Mercury slipped from the shadows on Wednesday, July 7th, and is now moving direct (since June 22nd). Yet the day after the New Moon, Mercury sinks into the soft comfort of Cancer, aiding tender conversations, gentle dialogue with our inner evil stepmother. New Moons carry the impetus for fresh starts, and Cancer’s domain is home and family. This New Moon opposes uncompromising Pluto, which signifies a wiping of the slate clean and beginning a-new, perhaps with realism and resilience as Venus opposes Saturn this week (July 7th) and then makes an uncomfortable square to Uranus which may bring a seismic shift to a relationship impasse, or bring us to the kind of breakthrough that John Welwood describes in his book, Journey of the Heart, that will “inevitably penetrate our usual shield of defences, exposing our most tender and sensitive spots, and leaving us feeling vulnerable—literally, able to be wounded.”
Cancer embodies the primal force of the Magna Mater, the Great Mother who at a whim, turns her head and exposes her dark face and eyes of burning coals. She is the One who gives and takes life in casual and constant cycles of destruction and rebirth. She is the wicked witch, the evil stepmother, the mother-devourer demonised by patriarchal religion, yet who initiates those who are willing to pay attention and walk carefully among the shadows. Cancer is a Cardinal sign that requires us to act, perhaps to protect any violation of our boundaries. Yet, as author Marion Woodman says, “there is no sense in talking about ‘being true to yourself’ until you are sure what voice you are being true to. It takes hard work to differentiate the voice of the unconscious”. Cancer is a water sign; its energy is fluid and receptive. Yet we may feel petrified, immobilised by the sharp scrape of the world. Like Snow White or Sleeping Beauty, we may have fallen asleep, cradled by the curse of the Dark Mother, drowsy with inertia. This is the spell of enchantment that traps us in a tangle of false beliefs. This is the long dark shadow that seeps from our unconscious and scatters clues of white breadcrumbs in our dreams as we follow the path that leads to something new. This New Moon, speak softly to the Dark Mother who feeds us poison apples. Pay attention to those judgements and beliefs that knock loudly at the door of our integrity.
All through this year, Saturn (the old order, rules and regulations) squares Uranus (idealism, freedom, revolution) and a tidal surge of a very different kind swirls across the skies as Jupiter, that planet associated with big dreams, grandiose visions and faith, encounters the ineffable Neptune in Pisces. Neptune spins backwards from June 25th-December 1st and Jupiter stalls our sense of expansion and growth from June 20th-October 18th amplifying perhaps the deep bruise of loss, a sinkhole of disappointment, or the dissolution of a high-flying dream. Both planets are moving Retrograde, drawing us into the undertow of delusion or ecstasy as we long to escape, to travel, to “get back to normal” while a virus shape-shifts and perplexed politicians throw the dice. Neptune and Jupiter will connect with other planets as they move in Retrograde through Pisces, offering us clues that emerge in plain sight now that Mercury has emerged from the shadow.
At the Sun’s zenith, may we remember that the light has already begun to wane and winter is coming. In the darkness of this New Moon, may we be prompted to look more closely, listen more carefully and trust that we can see in the dark.
For a personal astrology reading or for more information about the next webinar, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Love Apples—Fairy Tales and Sky Stories…
A virtual banquet.
Saturday, September 25th, 14.30 BST.
As the metamorphic colours of Autumn accompany the seasonal shift of the Equinox, we arrive at another threshold crossing in the heroine’s journey.
Join Swiss author and storyteller, Andrea Hofman and Ingrid Hoffman, a psychology-orientated astrologer based in Cornwall, as we explore the sumptuous symbolism of the Apple through fairy tale and astrology.
The wheel of the zodiac turns to Venus-ruled Libra on September 23rd. Libra is the quintessential sign of marriage and partnership.
Join us for an afternoon of juicy love lore as we meet ailing princesses and the red-lipped Snow White. We’ll discover more about Eris and the forgotten feminine, and marvel at the real beauty of the Golden Apple as the seasons change.
Our feast begins at 14.30 BST on Saturday, September 25th and, of course, if you can’t be with us on the day, we’ll send you a 90 minute recording. Cost is £40 via PayPal. Pop me an email to book your place on the day: email@example.com