The Way Through It


June 23, 2017 at 7:30pm PDT / 02:30am UT (24th)

Sun and Moon conjoined at 2°47' Cancer

picWe are swiftly approaching a New Moon, the genesis point in the monthly lunar cycle, seed planting time — an analogy we often use when referring to this monthly meetup of our two luminaries. At the New Moon we embark on a fresh round of growth, influenced heavily by the sign in which the conjunction falls and further shaped by any planets forming important connections.

Today's New Moon falls in sensitive, compassionate Cancer, our special guide for the month: a sign that can heighten moodiness, ruled as it is by that ever-changing nightlight of ours. With Cancer at the helm, we can be charming, sweet and considerate one moment, and cranky, out of sorts and irritable the next. This shifting, dual nature is a strong component of Cancer, represented by its "yin-yang" glyph.

glyphSensitive, at times too much so, to others' moods, Cancers can easily confuse what they are feeling with what others are feeling, which can make relating with them very tricky indeed. So when a New Moon falls this sign, we too can have more difficulties than usual distinguishing between the two. However, when Cancer sensitivity is working well, and we are surrounded by loving family and friends, a wonderful feeling of connectedness and sympatico can flow. It is much easier to feel at home somehow, and to know just the right way to make others feel at home too. Cancer is, after all, the archetypal Mother, symbolic of divine Mother Mary and her unceasing flow of unconditional love.

Overall, the lesson of Cancer — which becomes the cosmic assignment for all of us when a New Moon falls in this sign — is to learn how to better balance the emotions with the intellect, not confuse the two so much. For what is felt or intuited must not automatically be given relevance and power (nor dismissed out of hand either). Cancer individuals, along with the other sensitive water signs, Scorpio and Pisces, often have that difficulty because they are so powerfully intuitive and so often correct. Regardless though of one's psychic batting average, it is important to remember that feelings are sometimes picked up from who knows where and not necessarily connected with anything to do with us. With a New Moon in Cancer we will be challenged to harness our sensitivity without being at its mercy, and not as easily blown off-kilter by whatever storms may be brewing within OR around us.

And storms are definitely brewing....

* * *

"Happiness doesn't lie in conspicuous consumption and the relentless amassing of useless crap. Happiness lies in the person sitting beside you and your ability to talk to them. Happiness is clear-headed human interaction and empathy. Happiness is home."

— Dennis Lehane

Cancer New Moon Opposite Saturn and Square Chiron

Serious pressure is building right now, in particular with today's New Moon setting off the Chiron-Saturn square, a tense alignment with us now for the past six months. Two exact alignments have come and gone already (late December 2016 and late April just past) with a final exact square to come next November. And these hard aspects from the Cancer New Moon are "out of sign" or dissociate aspects that can operate on a much more personal or inner way than a perhaps more typically external or situational manner.

Astrologer Bil Tierney elaborates:

"... a dissociate aspect will still express itself according to the nature of the [aspect] formed between the planets. A dissociate square will attract the same situational challenges as a standard square. Yet on a psychological level, a dissociate aspect is apt to react quite differently, since the variation of the aspect’s sign relationship modifies attitude and motivation. Thus, out-of-sign aspects will have a greater impact upon the level of character rather than the level of circumstance."

ON THE CHALLENGING SIDE, SATURN AND CHIRON are both associated with pain and suffering. And triggered by a sensitive Cancer Moon conjunct Mercury, the lunar month ahead has more than just a little potential to bring painful issues to the forefront of our lives, particularly for those of us with important natal placements in the latter-degrees of the four mutable signs: Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces and/or the early-degrees of the cardinal signs (Cancer, Libra, Capricorn, Aries).

Chiron represents a crippled part of ourselves (physical, emotional and/or spiritual) in need of attention, healing. Through that grueling process of facing and dealing with our own Chiron pain (shown through its sign, house and aspects in our chart), we gradually, eventually gain wisdom, and often enough discover our own, innate healing capacities, such that the wounded becomes the healer with an ability to help people who are struggling with the same or similar issues in ways no one else can.

Saturn also signifies, on the challenging side, pain and suffering, but in a different way from Chiron. Often through difficult tests with power and authority, and that lifelong task of growing up and accepting full adult responsibility. Saturn can also bring fear and anxiety. Not enough Saturn and we never fully grow up, never fully reach our full potential. Too much Saturn and we hide behind strong defenses, shutting out the world. Rigidity can set in and we adopt an unforgiving, judgemental manner, driving the joy, love and deep connection from our lives. Saturn's lead invades our hearts, its grey clouds follow us wherever we go and make the world seem bleak and cold. When Saturn is an active influence, as it is now, things often seem worse than they really are. A good thing to remember over this next month.

Melanie Reinhart, in her book, Chiron and the Healing Journey, noted that Chiron/Saturn contacts often indicate a "strong super-ego which criticizes and belittles, heaping scorn on everything we try to do." This voice, she adds, is "often unconscious and projected on to partners, parents, society or any other suitable hook." — we then do battle with this external authority" instead of facing and resolving our own faulty way of viewing these emotional triggers. We neglect to take responsibility for our role in the problem. The effect of "super-ego" Chiron-Saturn can be paralyzing, leaving us depressed, unable to enjoy life, unable to foresee anything better.

Because this New Moon involves Cancer, a parental sign, and Saturn as well, a parental planet, the problems and struggles that may arise now could have something to do with your own parents or your role as a parent yourself, your relationship with your children. Power struggles, issues with authority, hurt feelings, resentments, possibly very old ones, and other recurring, unresolved problems are all challenges that may indeed arise this month, if they haven't cropped up already. Related to this, Reinhart points out that Chiron/Saturn "often involves our psychological inheritance over several generations." If you have Saturn and Chiron in aspect, she advises, it may be helpful to examine your family-tree to discover the life-patterns and psychological characteristics of your father's side of the family:

You might discover, for example, that you are blindly following an inherited ancestral path which could lead to disaster and failure; you could be creating life-structures based on choices made generations ago, thus unwittingly following in your father's footsteps. With Chiron/Saturn aspects some people feel that their purpose is to redeem a negative inheritance from the father's side of the family: there could be burdens, responsibilities or family skeletons in the cupboard which do not go away. Some people will struggle with these all their lives; others will have the opportunity (usually a transit involving Saturn or Chiron) to let go and recognize that the past cannot be undone.

TO LET GO AND RECOGNIZE that the past cannot be undone, is to detach and forgive; to understand, with an open heart, that all humans make mistakes; and many are unable to make amends: to forgive themselves or ask forgiveness of those they have hurt. The problem for us is we tend to hang on to these past hurts, and the extent to which we do this is the extent to which these old hurts, injustices, betrayals continue to bleed the life juice out of us. Part of growing up (a Saturn lesson) is to not hang on with a childish, stubborn insistence that people should be anything other than who they are. Accepting others' frailties and limitations (which in some cases necessitates steering clear of them and forgiving from a distance) is the first step on the path of resolution and moving on.

"To err is human; to forgive, divine."

Forgiveness is a terribly misunderstood concept, and in light of this important theme in today's Cancer New Moon, I'd like to close this post by sharing what Carolyn Myss wrote on the topic. Her insights have helped, very stubborn me (natal grand cross in tenacious, fixed signs) place this important mutable process (Chiron squares Saturn in mutable signs) into the proper perspective. Myss's insights are also, in my opinion, a bloody perfect summation of the cosmic patterns highlighted so profoundly right now:

As appealing as forgiveness is in theory, it is an extremely unattractive personal action for most people, mainly because the true nature of forgiveness remains misunderstood. Forgiveness is not the same as telling the person who harmed you, 'It's okay,' which is more of less the way most people view it. Rather, forgiveness is a complex act of consciousness, one that liberates the psyche and soul from the need for personal vengeance and the perception of oneself as a victim. More than releasing from blame the people who caused our wounds, forgiveness means releasing the control that the perception of victimhood has over our psyches. The liberation that forgiveness generates comes in the transition to a higher state of consciousness — not just in theory, but energetically and biologically. In fact, the consequence of a genuine act of forgiveness borders on the miraculous. It may, in my view, contain the energy that generates miracles themselves.

— Carolyn Myss, Anatomy of the Spirit



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The illustration of the woman above is by the French artist, Thomas Danthony.

Bil Tierney's discussion on dissociate aspects, shared in this post, is from his book, Planets in Aspect, a valuable, astrological resource.

Reinhart, Melanie. Chiron and the Healing Journey. London: Penguin, 1989.