Astrologer Laura Craig

New Moon & Solar Eclipse in Cancer

Paul Klee, “Strong Dream”

Tonight, on the day of the year when the light is longest and brightest, the Sun will, for a moment, be blocked out and the Moon will be dark. The location of this convergence is 0° Cancer, the so-called critical degree of the cardinal water sign. Even if you’re no omenologist, the symbolism is enough to raise an eyebrow at. Maybe even two. 

In the Vedic tradition, they tell the story of the Sun being swallowed by the hungry dragon. You could say that this eclipse on Rahu, the Dragon’s Head, is a call to feed the Feminine, lest she start devouring her own tail. You could also say it’s the call of the ancestors, a last word from them before the Cancer-Capricorn portal closes up for another 18 years. 

The constellation which plays host to this event is Auriga, the Charioteer. In his traditional depiction, he sits at ease, only loosely holding the reins. I immediately think of the Chariot card of the tarot, replete with both solar and lunar symbolism, and which happens to correspond to Cancer. That charioteer is a princely figure, a symbol of channeled energy, focused willpower, perseverance and triumph. He too stands still, holding no reins, at the intersection of the past and future, order and chaos, the masculine and the feminine. Perhaps if the Chariot holds a lesson for us at this time, it is a reminder of the human ability to overcome difficulty and to persist through hard times. But it may also be a warning to those who would try to dominate through their will, to control opposing forces from the top down rather than integrate them from the inside out; a caution against too much rigidity or stasis. Consider too that “solstice” comes from the Latin for “Sun standing still.” A station of any planet, and especially the Sun, is a powerful concentration of energy and a pivotal time. 

A Jungian might say that the King is in the alchemical bath: while the Dragon swallows the Moon swallowing the Sun, the conscious is entering the unconscious realm. Everything is in shadow. This may be the stage-setting of a story about power that must be earned by periodic descents into the belly of the beast, or redefined altogether. 

And so during this reset, what can we do but sit in the liminal space, and wait patiently in the dark? What transpires in the radio silence is probably not for us to know, or to comprehend, and so we’d be wise to leave well enough alone. We should have reverence for these mysterious events. They sow seeds in our world and in our lives that lie dormant until, by transit, they are activated, sending their roots back through history to recall previous eclipses and sending their tendrils forward, bringing new events and lessons to the ever-unfolding human story. See y’all on the other side.

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