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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