Today marks the beginning of Cancer season, the beginning of the season of summer. We leave the yang, explosive information transmission that is Gemini and enter a yin period of inward reflection on emotions.
Nature around us is lush and green, and the increasing temperatures and sustained periods of light require plants and animals to seek shelter and water. And at this time let us not forget about those in the west and Midwest of the United States who are experiencing record high temperatures, drought conditions, and wildfires. We pray that the waters reach you soon!
Cancer is ruled by the moon, our closest celestial friend. The moon is so close, in fact, that it actually influences our oceans and tides. I imagine that since we are made up of mostly water, it is not a long shot to suggest that the moon affects us as well. I admit that I am only starting my journey with working with the moon so I can’t speak a lot about that here. But I do know that the moon is connected to our ability to feel. Just as the moon moves quickly through the zodiac (completing a cycle in roughly 28 days as opposed to the sun’s 365 days), our emotions quickly move, change, and morph, never quite looking exactly as they did a moment ago.
The sign corresponding to Cancer is the crab, and here we get to the heart of the matter (that was a Cancer pun, but you may not get it for a moment). The crab has a shell that protects it from predators and other outside forces. For us, we feel our emotions in our hearts (there it is!), and when we get hurt emotionally we build up our own defenses. It may be hard to trust a potential partner if we have been hurt by a partner in the past. We may think twice about telling a friend a story that leaves us vulnerable if that backfired on us in the past. For every hurt, another brick is built into the wall of our defenses. Our job is to try not to build the walls too high. We do this by becoming aware of the emotions we are feeling and allowing ourselves to not only feel them, but process them by walking ourselves through what happened and how our emotions changed during the experience. How did our emotions change? Did the other person actually do anything wrong or are we reliving an emotional script from the past that got triggered during this experience? While we want to keep ourselves protected from hurt, we don’t want to completely alienate ourselves from others, either. Cancer asks that we look inward at our emotional terrain and see if we have a healthy balance between protection and vulnerability.
Cancer and the Tarot
Cancer corresponds with the Chariot card, number VII in the Major Arcana. The Chariot is the thing that moves us. Think about it as the shell of the crab. The crab carries its shell everywhere with it, just as the Chariot carries us. There are so many things that can carry – pieces of our societal culture, our public persona, what we do for a living. But when you think about the crab and how it moves with its shell, pretty soon that crab grows too big for that shell. It grows out of that shell and it has to find a new shell. It’s just part of the growth process of the crab.
The same is true for us. Look closer at the picture of the Chariot from the Smith-Rider-Waite deck, as Jeff Hinshaw of Cosmic Cousins podcast implored his audience to do as he pointed out that the Chariot has no wheels! It might be the finest Chariot around with all of the fanciest accommodations, but if it has no wheels you aren’t going to get very far. Maybe what has been moving you is not built for growth. Or maybe it has carried you so far but now the wheels have worn or fallen off. You will not be able to continue the journey unless you find something new to move you. Much like the crab who can’t continue healthy growth unless he finds a shell that fits.
Cancer season asks us to examine what is moving us, to feel into all aspects surrounding that, and to let go of what needs to be left behind, if need be. Feeling into life and where your life is going is vital Cancer work.