The Sun has entered Cancer, ‘birth’ sign of tempestuous America, a sign which beyond this is archetypally connected to family, the people and nation state. One of the more pronounced ways Mercury conjunct Mars in Cancer opposite Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn has shown up on the world stage the past few days: Headlines about New York perhaps becoming the first state to ban private prisons.
Quite the picture: Mercury (communication, print, broadcast) joined with Mars (aggression, division, an assortment of primal urges) in Cancer, a sign related to home, roots, continuity, lunar psyche. The Moon is traditionally associated with ‘the People’ as well, and so with Mercury and Mars inhabiting her sign we have those torn from home, from the mother, from society itself.
These planets sit across Saturn and Pluto’s riches in shadow, murky depths, subterranean truths, power structures built on crime - criminal or not - drug empires, sex work, the reaching down into transmutative dark, sickened psychopomps and divine harlots in Capricorn… sign of societal skeleton and slow-changing containers. And even riches of the psyche, and of healing, that can come from being locked away for bursting forth with your truth.
At present Jupiter is retrograde in Sagittarius, re-engaging its square with Neptune in Pisces by degree atop the natural square-by-sign had with their jovian journeys. The increasingly nationwide push for decriminalization of psychedelics in the U.S. seems to mirror the revisionary capacity of retrogrades and this square — between growth and ‘yes’-oriented Jupiter, and mystic, altered state type Neptune. This aspect can also prompt the plummet of high fantasies and idealism in the wake of harsh realities, even simply experiencing something one did not envision.
As this summer solstice marks the entrance of the Sun into Cancer, our instinctual needs bend toward the question of continuity, its fading and flux, the holding of light as it wanes, the moving back and forth over themes of the cosmic mother, of family, roots, tribe and state. The ways in which we fold caring wings ‘round our own, ways we might simultaneously receive and shun the unknown, the Other, in a mix of protectiveness and paranoia. These tendencies are expressed in everything from border patrol to bulldogging those outside one’s clique.
With the fervent closeness of Mercury moving past Mars in Cancer, the sign of the red planet’s fall, there is no doubt we will encounter situations where fire is used when water is needed. We must be direct without abrasion, receptive and gentle without divisive walls.