The late degrees of Capricorn are starting to feel like a cosmic cul de sac that we keep having to stop and turn around in, or the setting of a recurring anxiety dream. Why am I back in high school and how am I supposed to take this exam? How can I go on stage in a few hours, I haven’t memorized any of my lines? Why is that faceless man following me and why won’t he go away?? With Venus and Mercury currently retrograding there, and the Sun now passing through, it’s a busy thoroughfare, that patch of sky, but it might not be quite such an albatross were it not for that small but intransigent planet of “transformation”—Pluto—who has been lording over, and under, that territory for the past two years, influencing all planets that pass through, and inching closer and closer to that 27° home plate in the birth chart of America. In many ways, it’s 1776 all over again.
On Tuesday, the Moon, that devoted dreamweaver, arrives at 27° Cancer, opposite the Sun, Pluto, and the Empress Juno, and surveys us all—our history and our humanity, our empires, great and small—from her lofty perch. Ceres, the goddess of both blight and boon, feeds her, as do Neptune and the south node. There’s something tidal about this lunation, that echoes the rising crescendo of this entire decade, as well as the need for release. A much-needed softening amidst the hardscape of Capricorn, like the thawing of frozen pipes, or the melting of snow-capped mountains, that allows for the life-giving waters to flow again.
This pair of cardinal signs, that pledge to have and to hold each of us in some way, speak to me of foundations. Working together, they show us how to be strong for each other, how to sacrifice for each other, and how to make the world safe. Whether it’s the Saturnian backbone or the lunar womb, they hold us up and hold us in. But under the Sun-Moon opposition, they become polarized. It’s like Mom and Dad are fighting and we are caught in the middle. Where do we find sanctuary in a house divided?
The Cancer-Capricorn axis exerts its influence over so much of my own chart it feels like a familiar, if beleaguered, place. This Full Moon falls across my 2nd and 8th houses, and I find myself thinking about heritage and inheritance once again. I remember an old friend of mine (who is a Cancer) once cleverly quipped “you can’t swim out of your gene pool.” I’ve always loved that image. Whether that tide pool is a warm and comfortable retreat, or an inundating, overwhelming force, is a question of fate and fortune, perhaps invoked by this lunation. I suppose, while we’re being clever, you can’t climb out of your family tree either (a more Capricornian image). And maybe you don’t want to—maybe it’s peaceful, and fruitful there, with nests and hideaways and strategic vantage points, and a well-loved swing hanging from one limb. Or, maybe that tree had nooses and dead wood, rotten roots or invasive parasites. Maybe it was cut down in the prime of its life, and is still trying to regrow.
There is much healing, and repair, to be done, in the coming days and years, not by denying our history, but by facing and accepting it, as an inextricable, inalienable part of what makes us us—whether we are a nation or an individual. As we in the US dive deeper into this Plutonian crucible, let us balance the axis of power by aiming towards the highest expressions of Cancer: to feel deeply, listen actively, trust bravely, protect the vulnerable, and hold each other close.