Astrology operates on its own calendar system: it’s solar in nature, but distinct from the Gregorian or even Julian systems that have ruled recent history. This is why, sometimes, things don’t line up perfectly with our planners. Each calendar month usually comes with a single full and new moon, though every once in a while we get a proverbial Blue Moon, a second full moon. Most of the time these double moons are part of completely different lunations, each in a different sign--but what do we call it when these double moons bookend a solar season? What happens when a lunar cycle involves a duplicate moon phase?
Welcome to July’s Black Moon.
It’s quite rare that a major lunation occurs twice in a month, and even rarer that it occurs in the same solar season. But if ever there was a lunation to expound upon, it’s the New Moon in Cancer. The last several years have thrust normally-private Cancer into the spotlight, housing the North Node and directing the recent eclipse axis. We’ve been forced to reexamine family, emotions, and private life in ways we never considered--and at the time of the first Cancer Moon in June, many of us were still sheltered at home, unable to physically escape our domestic spheres. With the final Capricorn eclipse earlier this month, we were encouraged to wrap up as many of these lessons as possible to make way for the new cycles we’ve already begun. But how can we be expected to integrate this energy when there’s always something new coming our way? Saturn, Jupiter, and Pluto still occupy Capricorn’s mountainous terrain, feeling as insurmountable as the rocky cliffs they navigate. Capricorn’s ideals of accomplishment and status feel more inaccessible than ever and our access to wealth and power feels more restricted with each passing day. To say we’re done with the sign’s lessons is absurd: the eclipse exis may have shifted, but there’s still work to be done. It’s time to take what these lunations have revealed and put them into play.
This is the first New Moon of the rest of your life.
New Moons represent a chance to express our true feelings, to integrate all parts of ourselves to access our highest potential. It’s a time of relief and resolution, of clarity and cognizance. Here our inner universe is at its most fertile to receive new ideas, which grow stronger with each waxing moment. If ever there was a time to turn lessons into plans and plant the seeds of action, it’s the New Moon.
In its most literal expression, Cancer represents family, home, and the things that we nurture. It’s the security we require to develop, especially as the Moony ruler of our 4th Houses, but there’s more to Cancer than immediately meets the eye. Beneath its shell of security lies infinite mystery. It’s the subconscious, the magical potential of our inner universe, the private expanse of self. And this is the self we absolutely must bring forward. This Moon allows us a chance to shed the shell that’s become hard and restrictive and see what lies beneath.
Society strongly emphasizes output and productivity. A quick glance at the self development section of Amazon presents an endless list of titles promising highly-effective habits and communication persuasion with a healthy helping of expletives to toughen your skin and beat down the competition. This development from the outside in still emphasizes the structures we’ve failed to thrive within. And while navigating social contracts is an important part of human life, these contracts teach us little about ourselves. The truth is, we are more than our interactions, our occupations, our bank accounts or belongings. And after more than a decade of heavy Capricorn transits, this is the truth we’re finally starting to see.
A few weeks ago, we discussed the ongoing Jupiter Pluto conjunctions of 2020; it’s important to note that this energy is still thick in the air, strengthened by their applying aspect to Saturn, the Architect of Control. But on July 20th, just hours after the New Moon in Cancer perfects, Saturn turns his eye on the Sun. While this sounds like an obstacle to our personal expression, it could be our greatest blessing in disguise. Our ability to express outwardly may be restricted, but we’re still steeped in the New Moon, deeply in touch with our emotional core, our shells still soft from the shed. If we can assist Saturn’s construction, we may be able to build structures that support this budding self.
That’s not to say this is an easy process; it’s definitely easier said than done. But there’s plenty of help available to our freshly-acknowledged psyches: Neptune casts a thick fog over our interactions as he squares Venus, allowing us to take private refuge during this deeply transformational time and Mercury, now direct, finds inspiration in revolutionary Uranus in interpreting the information we uncover within ourselves. No matter how strange and ethereal, there’s a safety net laid out for us--an uncommon luxury in today’s precarious reality. These aspects all conspire to afford us the time and drive to integrate the lessons of the last few years, to finally drop the shell that we’ve clung to in spite of our discomfort. We are no longer the people we have been: we are not our past actions or relationships any more than we are the clothes we take off at the end of a day. If we do not allow ourselves to grow, to forgive ourselves the mistakes we’ve made or the steps we have not taken, no development book in the world will be able to help us reach our potential. Growth is a choice, and it may be the hardest we ever make. But every once in a while, the stars align and the universe conspires to help us make a lasting change--maybe only once in a black moon.
What drives paranoia?
We may think that it’s a fear of the new, an inability to quantify the changes on the horizon, to see where they may lead. Over the last few years, many have invoked visions of dystopia as a dark parallel of our rapidly changing society. Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, Terry Gilliam, and Margaret Atwood gave us some of the most enduring visions of a fear-based future, but these dystopian nightmares have something more than their fear in common, and it links them with this very moment in time: Saros Cycle 121.
The name sounds like yet another science-fiction reality, but Saros Cycles are part of an ancient tradition that maps the trajectory of eclipses and calculates exactly what type of eclipse will occur. By looking at these events, the Chaldeans were able to organize them into cycles known as Saros, “repetitions,” stretching over vast lengths of time. Each eclipse in a cycle occurred roughly 18 years apart, a variation on the eclipse preceding it. These cycles could be ...
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