When the Moon is in Cancer

See the column to the right for today’s Moon sign. This text is for days when the Moon is in Cancer.

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  • Today’s Question: “What is home?”
  • Today’s Gods: The Moon, earth’s distant and compelling sister, mysterious beacon on which we project our longings. Also, perhaps, Demeter, goddess of grain and fertility, who worked tirelessly to free her daughter Persephone from the clutches of Pluto.
  • Today’s Guides: Women, especially mothers; bakers and cooks; crabs; domestic workers; caretakers; lunatics, nightbirds, security officers.
  • Celebrity Docents: Meryl Streep, Harrison Ford, Prince William, Nelson Mandela, Tom Hanks, Robin Williams, Linda Ronstadt, Chris Isaak, Nanci Griffith.
  • Today’s assignments: Nourish yourself and others with food for the mind, body, and spirit.

I have this car. I bought it new in 1985; I’ve owned it half my life. It just failed its second smog test in a row, belches fumes, and hasn’t had a working air conditioner in about 15 years. It’s time to let it go. But everytime I think I’m resigned to sending it to its final resting place, my husband will say something like, “Okay, let’s find the pink slip and I’ll get everything going…” – and well, I start to cry. I cry helplessly and at length, great, jagged tears, apologizing the whole time for being such a sentimental dope.

It’s the Cancerian part of me, I guess. Cancer doesn’t let go of things easily; just look at those claws. And inside each of us there’s a little Cancer-shaped box with a secret cache of beloved objects, people, and memories that we treasure and hold onto for dear life. Like my sad old car, they make us feel a connection with the person we used to be, or someplace we used to live, or the loved ones who are gone. Part of a glowing, lacquered shell of familiarity and warmth, they feel like home.

Each month when the Moon moves through this tender sign, we pull our little Cancerian box of treasures from our hearts, let our fingers graze them and our memories skip over them like a stone across gentle waves. And every now and then, we’ll add another treasure before we close the box. How often? As Cancerian Nanci Griffith might sing, “Once in a very blue moon.”