July 1 Solar Eclipse in Cancer: Expecting

Posted & filed under Cancer, Eclipses, New Moon, Pluto, Saturn, Uranus.

by April Elliott Kent

Painting "Potbelly" by Claudia Fernety www.claudiafernety.com

July is the height of summer in the hemisphere I call home, a time when by all rights I should be yearning to hit the beach or the open highway. Yet it’s precisely this time each year when I want nothing more than to take to my bed with a stack of books and a bag of Cheetos, to rest and daydream. I was born in early August; so this is the time of year when my poor mother, eight months pregnant in the torrid heat and humidity of a southern Indiana summer, must have been more than ready to kick this house guest out of her womb.

I imagine she spent a certain amount of time in a supine position that July, herself. Incubation, whether of a person or an idea, requires some down time. That’s precisely what’s been in short supply during the weeks leading up to this New Moon, as the Sun in Cancer engaged in difficult aspects with Uranus and Pluto. After all, it’s tough to hatch anything when you’re bouncing from crisis to crisis, occasionally ready to give up altogether. The Sun has finished navigating the bloody epicenter of that battlefield, and while we may still be a little bedraggled, the dust is settling a bit. But this New Moon is a solar eclipse, with the Sun and Moon now approaching a square to Saturn – physical and creative energy are still about a quart low.

Cancer is one of four cardinal signs (the others are Aries, Libra, and Capricorn); these are the zodiac’s instigators, proactive, happy to set circumstances in motion, but less concerned about keeping them going once they’re started. Cardinal signs initiate, then step away from the drawing board and trust that things will proceed as they should.

Yet astrology understands Cancer as a nurturing sign. Cancer is clucky, a bit smothering, a hands-on caretaker, we proclaim. However – and I say this as someone with Venus in Cancer, and as a rather clucky type myself – I suspect these are symptoms of insecurity rather than nurturing. Consider an expectant mother. Once pregnant, a woman’s role in the development of the fetus is primarily one of staying out of nature’s way. Yes, she needs to eat well and get rest, but other than that, gestating a human is a fairly hands-off affair. You don’t need to monitor the development of limbs and lungs and brain on an hour-by-hour basis; the baby’s DNA pretty much sorts that out on its own.

The wise Cancerian instinctively grasps that noninterference is usually the best kind of nurturing. To simply give something space to develop, in its own time and way, into whatever it’s intended to be, rather than hovering over it attentively. Just provide essential support – food, water, air, security detail, a womb – and it will eventually find its way to whatever form it was designed to take.

The last of the Capricorn/Cancer eclipses

This solar eclipse is the last in a series that have fallen in Capricorn and Cancer since July 2009, traveling alongside some difficult planetary configurations. Eclipses herald change, and many of us have found ourselves careening from crisis to crisis – insecure about access to life’s essentials, flapping our wings in perturbation, frantically looking for ways to make ourselves feel safe, and to bend the world to our will. Kicking back and letting nature take its course has not felt like an option.

But as with all eclipses, this one is part of a larger story. It’s as though you were born with 360 tiny seeds inside you, one for each degree of the zodiac, and throughout your life they incubate, periodically bearing fruit. All 30 Cancerian seeds come from the same packet, the one with the portrait of an expectant mother, sanguine and tranquil, on the front. The seeds from this packet don’t all produce identical fruit, but the ones next to each other tend to yield results that look very similar indeed. For instance, similar Cancerian seeds have previously born fruit in the summers of 1991, 1992, and 2000, and in December 2009 – when other eclipses fell very close to the degree of this one.

Each eclipse represents a turning point, where beginnings and endings merge. At this solar eclipse, seeds you planted long ago are bearing fruit. With this eclipse point square Saturn, be prepared to work hard for your harvest, but don’t overreach for what isn’t ripe. Bite into a piece of fruit and let the seeds fall into the rich loam of your heart, to incubate until the next Capricorn/Cancer harvest, nine years from now. And as the landscape of your life rushes by – like scenery from the window of a cross-country train – take time from your labors to sit and rest, and watch it go by for awhile. After all, it’s summer, and you’re expecting. Don’t move too quickly. Don’t interfere.

© 2011 April Elliott Kent. All rights reserved.

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17 Responses to “July 1 Solar Eclipse in Cancer: Expecting”

  1. Deb Allen

    How extraordinary. I had the most vivid, detailed dream about having a baby last night. Haven’t had one of those in years. It wasn’t an anxiety dream where the baby cries and I don’t know what to do with it, it was quite enjoyable and joyous. You’re so right about flitting from crisis to crisis since 2009. Hopefully that will settle down.

    • April

      What a lovely and auspicious-sounding dream, Deb! I think the combination of the infamous transiting cardinal t-square of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto last year – along with the eclipses cycling through cardinal signs as well – really sums up the seismic shocks (literal and emotional) of the last two years. The world’s been poised on the precipice of something very startling, and very new, and humanity hasn’t exactly done a great job of keeping our wits about us, overall. We still have to get through all the exact aspects between Uranus and Pluto, which should keep us busy for a few more years, but at least we’ve probably developed our emergency response reflexes!

  2. Marsha

    Love this column and your insights into Cancer. I too am a Leo and I have a Cancer moon at 11 degrees, and this was exactly my way as a mother. I raised my sons without much interference, feeling that it was my responsibility to provide guidance, and what they did with it was up to them. The result? They are handsome, respectful and responsible young men.

    My youngest is about to have his first child in early August. I can’t wait!

    • April

      I love hearing that, Marsha, about your Cancer Moon and child-rearing philosophy! It’s always troubled me, that seeming contradiction between Cancer’s nurturing side and its cardinal sign, start-it-and-step-back nature. Writing this essay helped me reconcile the contradiction, at least to my own satisfaction, and I’m happy it rang true for you. Warmest congratulations on the impending arrival of your grandchild – another Leo in the family!

  3. Tom Jacobsen

    Interesting that I have felt a “pregnancy” for the last few months and I was just telling my wife I think something big is going to happen this weekend on some level. Perchance it will be a time to pass out some cigars – provided it’s a happy birth. Could be the quaking labor pains of Mama Earth will birth a new coastline or two. I guess just like a child you never know what you will get, but you’ll love it just the same.
    Great article!

    • April

      Here’s to cigars and champagne all around, Tom, and a joyful birth for your enterprise! But oh please, no more earthquakes for awhile! 🙂

  4. kate

    lovely article, i love what you said about sitting back and non-hovering. i never thought about the cancer/mother archetype that way, but it really does make sense. my sun is at 10 aries, so i will be curious to see what happens, though i’d be lying if i didn’t say i am dreading it a bit!

  5. Lisa

    Thanks, what a great article 🙂 So hard to find really in-depth, quality astrology 🙂 Love to hear about the previous cycles–all periods of great change in my life! 1991 graduated high school and started college. 2000 was fired from a crappy job. Both times I felt and was pretty lost and meandering…

  6. pdw

    Hi, April, love the word “Expecting” heralding Cancer’s eclipse! Your piece made me think that tending our Cancer comfort zone (house) might be akin to tending a garden: All the “staking, weeding, and pruning” we do in that house activity is connected, fundamentally, to expecting – and creating – personal satisfaction.

    Also, I’m a bit late but must add: Kudos on the new site!! Loved the old one and the trend continues. 🙂

    • April

      Glad you like the new site, pdw! I’m pretty thrilled with it. 🙂

      I like your gardening analogy. I always think of Taurus and Cancer as the great gardeners. With this eclipse in my 8th, I’ll spend part of this weekend weeding and pruning my way through Quicken, updating our household books!

  7. Maria Alexander

    None of the things I was “expecting” to give birth to at the eclipse came to pass, alas. One publisher told me they’d have a decision on my first novel by that day absolutely for sure because they were reopening to submissions that day. Never heard anything. (These are people I’ve done business with before; we are a well-known quantity to one another.) With the eclipse in my 9th, completing a grand square with t. Saturn in the 12th, n. Saturn/Moon in the 6th, and Pluto in the 3rd, I was at least prepared for a “no.” Solar eclipse in Cancer, why you gotta be like that?

    • April

      Damn, Maria. That sucks! On the other hand, we expect delays when Saturn is involved, right?… not to mention pre-4th of July mass workplace defections. Perhaps the stalemate will be broken around the 6th (Mars trine Saturn), 8th (Moon square the eclipse point), the 12th (Venus conjunct the eclipse point)?

  8. Leslie

    Hello April, I love the new sight! I too had a dream recently about giving birth. Although biologically that is impossible, I am expecting some new things to occur in my life. I have a 8 degree Cancer Moon, located in the 7th house, is intercepted there and out of bounds.


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