I always forget how difficult Saturn’s transits are, until I find myself pinned under one. This week, transiting Saturn has been exactly opposed my natal Sun, and it’s a transit with the flinty shape of loneliness. Saturn shows you how alone you can feel with someone who says they love you, how hard you can be when you’re scared and tired, or how sorrowful when you’ve let someone down, let yourself down.
My astrology teacher used to say about tough times, “It’s a transit, it will pass.” Worthy of needle-pointing on a pillow. And it’s a comforting thought … but is that the point of a transit, to just endure it until it moves on? Presumably we’re meant to learn from them – though it’s next to impossible to that do in the moment.
I’m sixty years old, reasonably resilient, and I’ve seen far worse weeks than this one come and go. But today, contemplating Saturn on one hand and the tender, maternal, Cancer Full Moon on the other, I realized that I wasn’t in the mood for personal growth. Really, I just wanted my mom.
I was lucky to have a nice mother, and I’ve missed her every day in the quarter century since she died. And part of what I miss is that she was as a soft place to fall when things get rough; being able to call her, or go for a visit, and have her tell me everything’s going to be all right. Have her remind me of my best self, and love me even when I fall short of that.
This Full Moon shines its vivid light across the horoscopic wheel at hard, pitiless Pluto in Capricorn. For such a small planet, Pluto can feel huge, scary, unmanageable. Ask any astrologer which planet our clients fear the most, and it’s Pluto, hands-down. Pluto transits will bring us cancer and death and tax audits, we think, and perhaps some variation on Chernobyl. But more often than not, Pluto isn’t the nuclear reactor meltdown, the IRS agent, or the deranged gunman holding us hostage; usually, Pluto is simply the self-doubt that creeps into our heads and pushes us toward a self-destructive path.
Mind you, this is a Full Moon, and unless it connects with something in your chart near 28 degrees of a cardinal sign, its influence is relatively transitory. A Full Moon reverberates for a week, maybe, until the Last Quarter Moon, or perhaps for the two weeks until the next New Moon. At most, the shock waves continue for nine months, until the Last Quarter Moon near 28 degrees Cancer.
When it’s happening, though, a Full Moon looks so big, so bright and exaggerated in the night sky, back-lighting every corner of our nighttime terrors. In a lunar-lit nightscape, there’s no place to hide – from Pluto, from Saturn, from our own natures.
But this particular Full Moon, is in Cancer, the mothering sign. So maybe there’s no need to hide. Maybe this Full Moon is a little love letter to all motherless children, a lunar declaration that her children are safe, that a kindly universe will catch us, that we’re surrounded by love. That – for a moment – it’s all right to stop being strong and fall into the Moon’s embrace.
A Cancer Full Moon is the next best thing to a mother. It’s a soft place to fall.