Tuesday, 14 July 2020

transition from cancer to leo (water to fire)

in my last post i talked about how cancer energy is a kind of holding space for possibility
a nurturance of possibility.

leos, i think, embody that creative potential that comes from emotional security. a core tenet of attachment theory is that once a child has a secure enough bond, they feel more free to take risks, to explore, to try out different things. knowing you have a safe base to return to, it's easier to draw on courage.

brene brown talks a lot about courage, and its root in the heart (coeur). i think for people to be courageous, and take risks, there needs to be something there -- like heart fuel (?). juice. trust in something, somewhere.

other transitions from water to fire tell similar stories: from universal love (pisces) grows a spark of life (aries). pisces is the nebula, old dust, old wisdom, the ocean, primordial soup, and aries is the rebirth of that into a kind of singular being. whatever it is that created the first bacteria, whatever is behind the cambrian explosion, is that kind of aries energy, moving with full intention towards aliveness.

(pisces mum is goddess of the sea ; aries daughter is wilful sea baby)

from the dark night of the soul, emotional difficulty, intimacy and transformation (scorpio), comes renewed hope, self-expansion, spiritual trust and optimism (sagittarius). etc!

creativity, warmth, excitement, energy = built from bonds and connection. and i think that undermines the individualism that can be swept up with the ideals that fire signs represent, especially in capitalist patriarchal colonial whatevers. the ideal of the singular "hero", neglecting how they have been made, fed, clothed, held by connection.

part of how i like to orient myself to astrology is thinking about how the signs are relational. none are completely distinct -- they are formed through contradiction (oppositions), friction (squares), flow (trines) and resonance (sextiles). so much influences a particular expression of a sign -- it could be histories, transits, context, movement. there are so many stories! and so many ways of understanding. if you use astrology, what about it helps you? what is fun about it? what about it is soothing, or energising, or grounding? sometimes it's nice to keep that in mind.

Monday, 6 July 2020

cancer, intuition, the birth of feeling, water is life

i know it
i can feel it
well i know it, enough
to believe it
i know it
i can't see it
but i know it enough
to believe it

i was listening to the podcast for this cancer season by embodied astrology (i really love their podcasts and their understanding of astrology)

the podcast talked a lot about the beginnings of life, in the womb. and those first few cells that collect together, filled with promise. cancer is a cardinal water sign, and in its place in the zodiac, represents the beginning of emotion.

bill tierney talks about the transition between gemini and cancer as the point where you "catch feelings". gemini is a bit repulsed by this -- the distant intimacy is part of what ensures ongoing dynamics, new information, unpredictability, fun. the movement to cancer is that point where we realise that we like someone and want to see them more, that maybe we care about them beyond the novelty they bring us. they're not "interesting" anymore, but you seek their comfort. it's the sign that rules attachment, bonds, especially early caregiving bonds.

cancer rules the beginning of feeling. it rules our instinctual emotional responses. there is an association with the body and physiology -- cancer and the moon can both tell us things about our digestive system, but also our "gut" feelings, our intuition. they decenter the mind as the place of information and wisdom (gemini) and take it deeper, to knowledge that we may have received in the womb, or may have unconsciously soaked up from our early caregivers. people with a lot of cancer energy can sometimes have very strong emotional responses that seem "irrational", because of that gut knowledge. something is not right ... something is quite wrong.

because of these associations with emotion, attachment, care, cancer is also associated with the home and the domestic space. i wonder sometimes if this association is secondary, and how much patriarchal public/private dichotomies influence this in the western world. i think the moon finds a way to express itself, whether it's consciously encouraged or not. the moon and cancer i believe is fundamentally at odds with patriarchy (in my semi utopian vision of what those archetypes mean to me -- secure attachment, free emotional expression, respect for fluctuation) but the moon and cancer can be co-opted into patriarchy through seeking security externally. one big example is nationalism and patriotism, and how emotional belonging and security can be sought through ideological belief and exclusionary kinship. instead of the mother, the "motherland".

but i think patriotism, nationalism, ethnobiology, all of these ideas that have an implicit belief that we should only care about people who are similar to us, and that we should forget about those very first cells that we come from, and how these cells contain so much possibility to be. to me, rather than bounded kinship, cancer represents that kind of unconditional care for possibility. i haven't had a baby (yet?) (care for the possibility?) but i can imagine pregnancy to be this kind of holding space, in a way. you don't know who or what your baby is going to be like.

i feel like collective, cultural discomfort with emotion influences people's perception of cancer energy. like all water and earth signs, they're perceived as "downers". and it's true that people with water emphasis need a lot of rest. but that movement from gemini to cancer, "catching feelings", can be so exciting! it can wake our body up. and i think cancers can be so crushy, in a way that is very present. while infatuation and love is more associated with pisces (illusion, dreams, wistfulness, fantasy), cancer's crushiness is more of a drive, a new emotional impulse, and it is very located in the moment. it's the urge to confess, to make things happen, to get closer! cancers want to get closer! of course they are not always so direct about it. crabs move sideways.

this makes me think of how jupiter, planet of exuberance, growth thru expansion, is exalted in cancer. the wisdom, hope, dreams that jupiter rules, is elevated in the place of present emotion, caregiving, and the very first emotional lessons we learn. again, nurturing possibility. water can move in so many directions. but also, moving from the mutable (sagittarius and pisces) to the cardinal sign of cancer. from diffuse receptivity to possibility, to enacting, setting intention, loving and caring on purpose. jupiter is spiritual trust, cancer directs that trust to relationship.

cancer wisdom, in some ways, is a return. like the river that floods where it used to flow, it's about following the flows of your body. going deep. soulfulness as falling in line with a feeling, rather than going against its grain (zadie smith, talking about zora neale hurston, their eyes were watching god).

though a lot of modern, western psychology emphasises regulation of emotion, resisting impulse, there is also something in getting to know your impulses, knowing which directions you (through your body) want to go. i think sometimes there's an assumption that if you tend to your emotions, they'll become unruly, hard to deal with. but true emotional equilibrium can't exist in a traumatic world. soulfulness can come in the form of emotional antagonism to this world. it can come in the form of refusal. and it can be unruly. instead of regulating our feelings, how do we care for our feelings? how do we respect all our feelings and their spiritual wisdoms? how do we honour our rage, our protective spirit, while being gentle with others? i believe cancer energy can help us, by helping us remember the ancient, ancestral love underlining our existence here. the instinct to care is strong.