This week both Sun and Mars enter the sign of Cancer. When the Sun makes this transition, in the Northern Hemisphere we call it Summer Solstice; and in the Southern Hemisphere, the Winter Solstice.
In the North, the transition of the Sun into Cancer, marks a distinctive energies of culmination, growth, and transition to the next cycle.
Western Astrology was used most prominently, and thus developed most in the context to help understand the growing cycle so to gain enough food sources over the year.
I offer this modern take on a classic example to help understand the nuances of Cancer:
I notice the farmers vending at my weekly Farmer’s Market progressively get more and more tired in this month.
By now, the crops of food and flowers have grown (or not), and they need to be tended and weeded to yield the best harvest constantly, which has a direct effect on how farmers sustain themselves, their families, and their workers by this prime selling season.
Amongst the exhaustion of keeping up to the constant shifts and needs of the crops, it can be difficult to note it for later.
All that could make the process more efficient, joyful, and helpful is noticed – often critical or hypersensitive – and is easier to process emotionally by letting it run it course internally (although a peaceful facade might mask it) or channeling it out in short bursts that allow work to continue.
When the moment of reciprocating appreciation for all their labors is felt emotionally and realized monetarily, smiles emerge behind tired eyes. It’s all worth it, and they’ll do anything to receive that love again.
More on the Sign of Cancer
All the archetypes of Cancer can fit into the characteristics of the metaphor that I used above, including: home, food, mother, family, heritage, growth, seeds, and emotions.
Planets in the sign of Cancer constantly answer to the fastest moving “planet” in our solar system from the Earth-centric perspective, the Moon. The Moon only takes approximately 28 days to make a complete revolution around the zodiac, so it absorbs experiences and cycles much quicker than any other planet. It takes in the energy of every planet and then tries to channel it into something – whether productive or counter-productive is a matter of level of consciousness you have.
What does this mean?
Like the tides the Moon creates in our bodies of Earth water, our own human bodies’ of water are making shifts between very different archetypes and quickly.
We experience our water element as emotions, and not just tears. Emotions can be positive too.
Each of the zodiac is situated to respond and “improve” on the seeming faults of the previous sign, to evolve into a sense of merging and wholeness with the All.
S every day or two, the Moon shifts signs, and we consequently shift into a new emotional perspective and evolution in relation to whatever aspects the Moon makes to the other planets. One moment might be manageable than others to you.
Often, though, it’s not so dramatic. If you can tune into the subtle shifts, they are very useful for personal perspective and also being in the flow of what is happening naturally.
Summer Solstice energetically is similar to a Full Moon, but in a year’s cycle.
The Full Moon occurs when the Moon is directly opposite the Sun, or halfway through the zodiac of where Sun and Moon were conjunct (New Moon). Summer Solstice is exactly halfway through the zodiac from where it began on Winter Solstice, December 21st.
In the 2014 Winter Solstice, Saturn was finishing his journey through Scorpio, to begin the adventure of Sagittarius just a couple days later. Similarly, just a week ago, Saturn retrograded back to the same position where he was last Winter Solstice.
In the U.S. chart Winter Solstice / Capricorn Ingress, there was a heavy 6th house (or Virgo/Mercury) emphasis, encouraging us to be conscious of what knowledge we have accumulated and find the best pathways to create meaningful change in service to a greater karmic cause.
In the U.S. chart Summer Solstice, Mercury governs the rising sign (or face of the chart) and half of the planets answer to Mercury. This indicates a strong Mercurial emphasis in this chart as well.
Post-retrograde Mercury in Gemini, we now are in the limelight of options, that remain possibilities until we decide to create something with them. On a collective 9th house level, the consideration is what beliefs, rules, or philosophies are going to govern our positioning in those possibilities.
In consideration to what was conceived as the goal and achievement from winter solstice (Dec. 21, 2014), what will you choose?
The other half of the planets in the Summer Solstice chart answer to the Sun, which is governed by Moon.
The Moon in the Summer Solstice chart is void of course, meaning it has completed making aspects to all the other planets for that sign.
To me, it is like apnea – that pause between breaths – where stillness seems to float. Void courses of moons are great for reflection, de-cluttering mentally and physically, and getting clearer. It’s meant to be a period of rest.
The Summer Solstice is a culmination of what fruits have come from our set goals in the Winter Solstice. And from now on, the days get shorter and shorter. So the cycle has begun to wrap up to set a new goal Dec. 21, 2015.
In this stillness, we have a duty to see if what we expressed outwardly matched what we thought we’d do (Moon square Mercury in 9th house). And we need to see if our actions matched the higher cause and service we said we’d employ (Moon sextile Mars in Gemini).
This reflects nicely back to story of Saturn returning to Scorpio, planting better roots for the new Sagittarius (9th house) vision of what we explore as our inner truth. See last week’s Astrological Consideration for more.
We still have some inner work on our psyches – our limiting beliefs, the roles we buy into, the subconscious fears, our karmic repeating themes, our inherited concepts of reality.
Both Saturn in Scorpio and the Summer Solstice’s Moon/Venus/Jupiter trine Uranus in the 8th house give us the opportunity to have that breath in between breaths to see the inner truth and remove negative limits suddenly and permanently.
How to Work with Summer Solstice 2015 in 3 Steps
1) Weigh what you’ve done vs. what you said you’d do.
For the next month, do the inner work to see how you measured against what you set for yourself last December. Meditate, look at your action plans, compare it to your calendar.
2) What did you “grow?” What will your “grow” next time?
Regardless of what actually happened, it is a response to what you conceived in December.
Whatever reasons inhibited you from accomplishing your goal, figure out what might lead to a different outcome.
Whatever reasons encouraged you to accomplish your goal, determine what worked and how you can repeat or improve it even more.
Write these down, and place them in your calendar for Dec. 21, 2015 as seeds to help you grow a better crop with your 2015 goals.
3) Feel. Create a healthy relationship to your emotions.
Let yourself go through the emotional breadth of experience this month. But try to do it as an observer, allowing space for them to exist and also space for them to move on.
By not holding onto it, you let the past have value to learn from and you create space for a new experience to be possible.
Your life has a lot at stake, this inner work and reflection is worthwhile to harvest meaning from that past 6 months so you can move forward with your life with even greater purpose and experience.
(More on Mars in Cancer next week)