Cancer is a water sign and old as the Moon is the ocean, earth’s watery womb and source of life. The Moon measures out the ebb and flow of the ocean’s tides. To move instinctively with the rise and fall—the emptiness and fullness—of life’s cycles is the basis of Feminine wisdom. The inner knowledge of nature’s rhythms is the key to life. Of course, the ocean’s tides are not observed in her depths—but at the coastal edge where land meets sea. Our own moods often rise and fall at the edge between our body’s experience and our psyche’s. Where these two meet we can observe the inner tides, also called forth by the pull of the Moon.
To experience the rhythms of the sea as they are shaped by the Moon, imagine that you are lying on a remote, sandy beach. It is dawn, and a silvery moon is descending into the horizon. The hushed roar of the ocean permeates the air, filling your ears with the sound of creation. The air is pungent with the smell of seaweed and saltwater. It is the gentle hour of the ebb tide, and as it seeps in beneath your body, you feel cradled in the loving arms of the ocean. Lifted up off the sand, your body rises and falls with the waves. Your breath becomes synchronized with the waves; you inhale and exhale in tune to the motion of the sea.
As the ebb tide recedes further and further from the periphery of land, you, too, are drawn away with it. Carried away from the coastline, you find that you have floated far into the trackless vastness of the ocean. Here, in contrast to the waves crashing on the beach, all is calm, still, and endlessly peaceful. For awhile, you float peacefully on the silver mirror of the sea. Imagine next that you are pulled down into the watery depths, where you become immersed in the ocean of life – the Mother of the Earthly world. Creatures teem about you in this aquamarine universe; fish of all shapes and sizes, plants and underwater mountain ranges. After your underwater sojourn, the ocean returns you to its surface, where the waves, pulled by an immense force, begin the long journey of returning you to land.
Now you find yourself riding the high tide towards the horizon. Above you, dusk has fallen, and the moon has risen above the horizon. On the fullness of the high tide, you are carried on the foamy, moonlit waves toward the beach. Thrown up on the sand like a shell or a piece of driftwood, you feel shaped smooth by the moon and ocean: made whole by the rhythms of the sea, and made wise by the knowledge that beneath the chaos and flux of everyday life, lies a deep, invisible intelligence.