Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible—Dalai Lama
Within the constellation of Cancer is a delicate brush stroke of stars in the sky called Praesepe, the Latin word for “manger”. Cancer is associated with wombs, and cradles, with nourishment and containment. And during these long months of confinement, with the importance of home.
Qualities like vulnerability, creativity, sensitivity, and nurturing relate to Moon-ruled Cancer. As we enter a world demarcated by Perspex, muted by face coverings, we may feel tender, sensitive to noise, wary of crowds. We may be struggling with “comparative suffering”, as our longing to hug someone we love is diminished by the collective suffering of millions who face unemployment. By the pain of so many who grieve.
Lock down has been an alchemical process of confinement, symbolised by Saturn. As our lives have become more curtailed, our movements more constricted; as our personal choices and freedoms compressed, we experience the best and the worst of our humanness.
Yet, stories of kindness and compassion have emerged from the pandemic as we have stepped over our shyness, our indifference—as our hearts have opened wider than we ever thought was possible.
The word kind has its roots in cynn, “family” and the Old English, “gecynd”, for nature and race, which imply belonging and community. The essence of Cancer is kindness and compassion, qualities that are inherent in human nature as endorsed by Dutch historian, Rutger Bregman in his hopeful book, Humankind.
In an article in The Correspondent, he writes, “If there was one dogma that defined neoliberalism, it’s that most people are selfish. And it’s from that cynical view of human nature that all the rest followed—the privatisation, the growing inequality, and the erosion of the public sphere.
Now a space has opened for a different, more realistic view of human nature: that humankind has evolved to cooperate. It’s from that conviction that all the rest can follow—a government based on trust, a tax system rooted in solidarity, and the sustainable investments needed to secure our future. This pandemic could send us down a path of new values.
And all this just in time to be prepared for the biggest test of this century, our pandemic in slow motion—climate change.”
George Monbiot points out in his book, Out of the Wreckage, that humans are unique, spectacularly unusual, when it comes our sensitivity to the needs of others. We have an innate altruism, an inborn sense of community. Neuroscience, evolutionary biology and psychology all conclude that we have evolved to care, to cooperate with one another. “By the age of fourteen months, children begin to help each other, attempting to hand over objects another child cannot reach. By the time they are two, they start sharing some of the things they value. By the age of three, they start to protest against other people’s violation of moral norms—we are also, among mammals, with the possible exception of the naked mole rat, the supreme co-operators,” Monbiot writes.
We may feel bone weary after months of adrenaline-charged coping, of being our best and bravest, kindest selves, yet the sky-story this month depicts a sequence of events that will marshal kindness and co-operation as our plans are eclipsed, our options disappear.
Mercury goes Retrograde in Cancer from June 18th to July 12th. Mercury in sensitive Cancer collides with what is harsh or resistant and symbolises an uneasiness in an unsteady, confusing world.
Jupiter and Pluto make a second cathartic conjunction (June 22nd – June 30th) reminiscent of that fated conjunction on April 4th when flights were grounded, and city streets fell silent. This could mark a resurgence of the contagion as many countries open non-essential shops and restaurants, as borders cautiously reopen. New developments will emerge around the pandemic that has brought our lives to a standstill. As air travel resumes, the astrology suggests we may be flying too high, too soon.
It is likely that public health and a jittery economy reminiscent of early 2020 will resurface amidst confusion, deception, blind spots and more uncertainty as Neptune begins a Retrograde cycle (June 22nd.)
Venus moves direct on June 25th, and a frisson of tension will course through financial markets as the grim reality of unemployment and economic depression frustrate any hope of a quick recovery.
Mars, god of war, moves into hot-headed Aries (June 28th —January 7th 2021) making a volatile, perhaps violent, square to Pluto (irrevocable endings, power, enormous wealth, plutocracy,) and Saturn (confinement, restrictions, borders and barriers.)
Eclipses act as tipping points between June 5th June 21st, and July 5th.
They signify relationship triangles that are eclipsed by circumstance or choice, second chances and fated encounters. This eclipse lands on the power point of 0 degrees Cancer, and although the effects of an eclipse may be felt most powerfully on the day, events may unfold over two weeks, so static situations or relationship dynamics may unlock quite suddenly between now and the Full Moon Eclipse on July 5th.
I wrote in early January 2018, “the astrology of these next five years (as Saturn moves through Capricorn and then through Aquarius) eloquently portrays the flavour of fin de siècle: a closing of an era exemplified by the events of the 1980s. Saturn’s co-presence with Pluto in the sign of Capricorn—December 20th 2017—December 2020—mines Collective and personal trauma that may offer, for some of us, a creative impetus to work through noxious legacies, to stoically endure a world that is falling apart as we love with all our hearts. As we live our lives kindly.”
This Solstice, as the Sun stands still, we arrive at a place of re-entering, a pause before we re-enter a changed world. The tide is turning. May we be brave enough to fully extend ourselves. May we be kind and generous even when it’s burdensome and painful. May we deepen our connection with all living things. May we find our place of calm.
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