New Moons are potent times to forge alliances with the gods. Visit the invisible world. Bow and open yourself to their touch. Make an offering. Humans have been rendezvousing with these archetypes for thousands of years. When you call out to the zodiac, the gods do respond!
Water was Cancer’s first language. As a child, she babbled like a brook, thundered like a waterfall, and sank deep into thought like a well. Speaking this way, she learned how to feel all of her feelings completely. When somebody vulnerable is in danger, her heart can storm like the ocean. But most days she flows like a cool mountain stream, soothing harsh edges, blessing the roots, and finding out everyone’s secrets. She’s the Moon’s own daughter. When Cancer smiles her Moon-face smile, you can’t help but feel loved and safe. Into summer’s landscape, she carries safety pins, a damp cloth for soothing brows, colorful band-aids, and a miracle tea that makes you feel like you’ve enjoyed a peaceful sleep with happy dreams.
Visit Cancer and she’ll watch you like a pot that might boil over. “Here, you look like you need this,” she’ll say, handing you something home-baked and delicious. She knows what the birds are thinking. She can cry at the drop of a hat. Her sensitivity used to make me wonder about the durability of her blessings. But over time I learned that she’s nobody’s fool. She has a genuine talent for making things grow. Just look at her garden! When she sits so calmly next to you, she’s steady as a mother watching a sleeping infant. She’ll feed you with quiet spoons of strength, protection, and the knowledge that wherever you are is your home. If you accept what she offers this cycle, her blessings can nurture you for months to come.
It’s easy to call in Cancer. Just find a safe place and come to stillness. Let your weary mind go, as if you were dropping into a cool bath on a hot summer day. Sink into the good that sustains you. Cancer is a water sign—its energy is fluid, cleansing, and receptive. Water sign cycles are particularly sweet for making tender connections with loved ones. They’re auspicious for spiritual practice too; whatever you sit with now can be more deeply absorbed. Listen to your intuition. Follow the intricate paths of your imagination. Commit to your creativity.
Each Moon cycle brings new energy for growth. But what specifically should you grow now? Astrology typically answers “what” questions by looking at houses. Look to the house of your birth chart with Cancer on the cusp: here’s your personal seed bed this month. This is the place where you usually “do” this sign, where the Moon is most at home, and the dance of her phases is most relevant. The New Moon may bring a unique opportunity here… but you must tune in.
Waiting for Cancer to show up is the fun part. No way can I predict it for you. You may get a brilliant new idea for a creative project—or a sudden urge to really clean your house. It’s amazing what clearing and organizing your space can do. It’s like birds building the nest before the eggs appear. Or perhaps you’ll be asked to act as Cancer’s agent. You might bake a cake for a friend who’s in the doldrums. A child or lost cat might need your help. Cancer’s message? Notice how much you receive whenever you selflessly give.
But what if nothing wonderful happens? What if you simply feel stuck? That’s a sign that you’re under the spell of the Dark Mother, the one who resists your growth. She’s the one who always keeps you from the party because something bad could happen. On the first day of your diet, she likes to surprise you with your favorite dessert. According to Jungian analyst Marion Woodman, the Dark Mother is like “a great lizard lounging in the depths of the unconscious.” She is threatened by change. She wants you mired in inertia, feeling so incapable, that you can’t aspire to anything new. In the old days, knights took swords to the dark-mother dragons hiding in their caves. But now, with an open heart and courageous awareness, you can simply relax and coax your inner dragon into the light. There you can see how fearful she is. Speak softly, stroke her brow, and tell her everything is going to be all right. Once you gain her trust, the old dragon will change before your eyes into a willing and magical partner.
If you’d like to explore the archetypes in even greater depth, if you like to journal and/or muse on the positions of the Sun and Moon, you may enjoy my enrolling in my Moon Workshop (by snail-mail or email). It’s designed to deepen your relationship with the guardians of natural time, the Sun, the Moon, and the zodiac.
Another amazing column, Dana; thanks for your insight!!
Danine Cozzens says
Thanks for your insightful columns and for this well-presented website. I found you six months ago searching for info on moon phases, which I felt affected my energy in ways I did not understand. Your Cancer New Moon essay is lovely, so reminding me of my own mom who embodied both the nurturing and the dark mother. (Yes, she was a Cancer, and lived to be 93.)