Moonrise Over Lake Michigan II (detail)

Living in Harmony

An ANB Communications Publication

Cancer 2012

Sun into Cancer: Time to Feel, and Time to Change

Vol. 2, No. 5

Cancer watercolor by Anne Nordhaus-Bike
Welcome to Cancer time. The Sun leaves Gemini and enters Cancer on Wednesday, June 20, at 6:10 p.m. CDT (11:10 p.m. GMT). It will remain in Cancer until July 22.

This shift brings the Solstice and a new season (summer in the northern hemisphere and winter in the southern). By taking us from air to water, from our heads to our hearts, it offers new opportunities to honor our feelings and create greater emotional security. In the process, we can unite Gemini's logic with Cancer's caring to give our most beautiful thoughts the motivation they need to manifest.

About Cancer: Feel and remember

When the Sun travels through Cancer each year, it brings a tender, watery energy that invites us to feel deeply, use our imagination, enjoy memories, and nurture ourselves and others so we feel safe, connected, and cared for. Like the zodiac's other cardinal signs—Libra, Capricorn, and Aries—Cancer asks us to take action, often by exhibiting leadership or by starting something new. As with astrology's other water signs—Scorpio and Pisces—Cancer insists that we tap our emotions so we understand what we truly need and feel motivated to take care of ourselves properly.

After the experience of airy, lively Gemini, this energy can feel weepy, needy, or even weak. Ultimately, however, it supports all the curiosity and new information we experienced during the Sun's time in Gemini, as  Cancer's receptive, emotional intelligence helps us humanize our ideas and harness our intellect to serve the greater good in a kind and loving way.

This sign's powerful intuition allows Cancer to sense the truth and gives rise to mothers' legendary ability to know what their children feel and need even when they do not express it. Cancer's remarkable memory gives this sign a love of tradition, history, and antiques. Although these traits help us open our hearts and value the past, if taken to excess they can cause challenges. Mothering may morph to smothering and attempting to control others, and sensing what others need may lead us to do for others what they can and must do for themselves. Also, a strong memory can cause us to wallow in nostalgia or to remember every slight and snub and hurt, refusing to forgive as we hold a lifetime's worth of grudges. At its best, though, Cancer enriches our lives by helping us feel and remember so we can learn from history, assist society's weak and wounded, and show others how much we care.

Cancer symbolism

Cancer is ruled by the Moon, the ancient symbol of the mother, which gives rise to Cancer's association with mothers and children as well as nurturing, food, and security. Besides inspiring poets and lovers with its mysterious light and constantly changing appearance, the Moon affects Earth's tides and women's monthly cycles.

The Moon's movement around the Earth and its rotation on its axis are synchronized so closely that those of us on Earth always see the same side of the Moon. Paradoxically, this unchanging face changes constantly in appearance because of the Moon's phases, a physical fact that calls to mind Cancer's often shifting moods. Regardless of its phase, the Moon reflects light from the Sun, and except for the new or "dark" moon at the beginning of each monthly lunar cycle, the Moon appears in the sky as the brightest object we see besides the Sun.

Cancer's symbol, the Crab, has a soft body encased in a hard shell, and those born under the sign of Cancer generally are highly sensitive and tend to retreat into their safe shells when vulnerable or hurt. This image reminds us that everyone needs a home that feels safe and allows for emotional healing and growth. At its best, Cancer energy encourages us to mother ourselves well so we can be tender and risk caring for others despite past hurts. When out of balance, however, the Crab may use its big claws to hang on to what it has outgrown or to hoard money or food; it also may retreat permanently to its shell and refuse to risk change while it laments losing the past.

Current astrology: challenging configurations launch era of intensity, potential for positive changes

Besides ushering in a new season, the Solstice on June 20 launches a time of increasing intensity and tremendous opportunity for constructive change:

  1. As Cancer time begins this year, the Sun joins Mercury, already in the sign of the Crab. This day also brings the Solstice, giving us the year's longest day in the northern hemisphere and its longest night in the southern. By bringing us to the extremes of light and darkness while the Sun occupies a highly emotional sign, this Solstice can cause feelings to run high; this is a good time to take good care of ourselves, notice what we feel, and take time to reflect before taking action.

  2. On June 24, Uranus in Aries will reach a difficult angle (called a square) to Pluto in Capricorn, causing turmoil, disruption, and clashes around freedom (Uranus) and identity (Aries) versus power (Pluto) and structure (Capricorn). This square configuration echoes the energies of the mid-1960s, when Uranus and Pluto launched a new cycle by coming together in Virgo; it is one of the factors making 2012 a pivotal year. This June 24 configuration is the first of seven squares Uranus and Pluto will make between now and spring 2015, indicating a time of significant change is at hand. This pairing offers an opportunity to renew the idealism and urge toward improvement and better health that these two planets seeded in the mid-1960s.

  3. Relationships, justice, peace, and the arts take center stage again when Saturn ends its retrograde in Libra on June 25. Since early February, when Saturn turned retrograde, we have had opportunities to re-think relationships and consider Libra's love of fairness; now we can act on what we've learned and benefit from Saturn's gift of maturity and restraint.

  4. On June 25 or 26 (depending on your location), Mercury leaves watery Cancer for fiery Leo, boosting our creativity and turning our thoughts to playful self-expression.

  5. On June 27, Libra's ruler, Venus, turns direct. During its retrograde, which began in mid-May, Venus's gifts of pleasure, beauty, and socializing have been muted or even absent because we have been called to turn inward (retrograde) to re-think (Gemini) our values, relationships, and creative expression (Venus). Now we can move forward, using what we've learned over the past six weeks to make positive changes.

  6. On June 30, the Sun amplifies the Uranus-Pluto square's themes when it reaches its own square to Uranus and sits exactly opposite Pluto in a challenging configuration called a t-square. With all three planets in cardinal signs, the urge to take action will rise, and the Sun's placement in Cancer will spotlight emotions. Notice what you feel, especially about your unique gifts and your personal power; if your life lacks zest or empowerment, consider how you can make constructive changes.

  7. On July 3, relationships take on even greater emphasis when assertive, masculine Mars enters peace-loving Libra, where he will stay until late August. The warrior's sojourn here will bring opportunities to focus our drive, energy, and passion on relationships, the arts, equality, and justice. Mars also will help us carry out changes we realized must be made in relationships during Saturn's retrograde in Libra.

  8. On July 13, Uranus goes retrograde in Aries, giving us until mid-December to re-think what constitutes personal freedom and how to express our unique genius for the greater good.

  9. From July 14 through August 8, Mercury will be retrograde. Prepare now by setting a regular schedule to back up your computer and planning for life to slow down a bit. During the retrograde, take extra time to check details and review any aspects of your life and work that experience snags or obstacles. Put off starting anything new, if possible; instead, spend extra time in reflection and meditation and take note of new information that surfaces. Once the retrograde lifts, you can move forward with whatever you learned and will find that waiting has served you well.

What do I feel?

During this Cancer time, we experience strong impulses to open our hearts and take emotional risks. In northern areas, the shift to Cancer is associated with the Sun's zenith, its annual glory, as the daily amount of sunlight reaches its longest duration. From a spiritual perspective, this climax of light corresponds to the potential for inner awakening or illumination, which can serve as inner light over the next six months while outer, solar light diminishes steadily until the next Solstice in December.

Each astrological sign is associated with a phrase, and for Cancer that phrase is "I feel." This feeling can be expressed negatively by blaming others when we feel anger, hurt, or other strong emotions or by using guilt and other emotional weapons to harm or control others. At its best, though, this urge becomes a loving commitment to experience emotions, learn from them, and use their energy for spiritual purposes:

Celestial Crescent photograph by Anne Nordhaus-Bike
Imagine that you are water. Oxygen and hydrogen unite to create your molecules, and your liquid nature causes you to move freely, penetrating everything, everywhere. You flow over hard objects like boulders, around large objects like cliffs, and into receptive materials like soil. In the sky, you mass until clouds become heavy and you fall upon Earth, bringing fertility and new life. Underground, you flow unseen until emerging in healing springs or being tapped for wells. In the highest mountains, you become snow and ice, and in the spring, your power manifests when sunshine and warmer temperatures release the cold and liquify you into a powerful force of nature that rushes downward, swelling rivers and streams as you race to the oceans. In your humility you seek the lowest places, and as you move, you purify.
Blue Moonrise painting by Anne Nordhaus-Bike
In your patience, you dissolve the seemingly solid and wash away the apparently immovable. You are the power that carves canyons, you are the salt tears of sadness, you are the life-giving water of deserts.

Now is the time to accept your emotional power. You have gifts of a human heart that can feel deeply and human intelligence that can help you ride waves of feeling without being pulled under by them. If you will take up the task of acknowledging your true feelings and aspiring to use them consciously to help create emotional beauty and caring, you will come to understand why the Moon, who lights the night with ever changing mystery, has been called the Divine Mother.…

Wishing you a life lived in harmony,


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Vol. 2, No. 5

Sun into Gemini: Time to be Curious and Think Higher Thoughts

Blue Moonrise painting now available

Celestial Crescent photograph now available

Join us: Follow the Sun book signing in Chicago

Visit Anne’s Blog

Subscribe to Living in Harmony

Blue Moonrise painting now available

Choose from cards in two sizes, posters in several sizes

Blue Moonrise painting by Anne Nordhaus-Bike
This painting grew out of my memories of childhood camping trips to Wisconsin. Leaving the Chicago area for remote corners and rural areas took us to campsites on lakes good for fishing. At night, dark skies sparkled with stars, and the ground and trees appeared nearly black. If the Moon was full, its light. . .

Find out more

Celestial Crescent photograph now available

Choose from cards in two sizes, posters in several sizes

Celestial Crescent photograph by Anne Nordhaus-Bike
This brilliant crescent Moon inspired a photo shoot to capture its shape against an early evening sky. High winds and partly cloudy skies brought challenges, as the clouds moved quickly and frequently covered the Moon. Captured during a few moments when a break in the clouds allowed lunar light to shine through. . .

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Join us: Follow the Sun book signing in Chicago

August 5 from 2 - 4 p.m.

Follow the Sun astrology book
Award-winning astrology author Anne Nordhaus-Bike will have a Follow the Sun book signing party at Delux Bar and Grill, 669 N. Milwaukee Ave., in Chicago, on Sunday, August 5, from 2 to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

Hear Anne and mystery writer Jennie Spallone talk about their books. Get your copy of Follow the Sun (and copies of Jennie's books), meet Anne and Jennie, and get your books signed.

Afterward, enjoy socializing with both authors For more information, call (312) 622-6029.

Visit Anne's Blog

Check out Anne's Living in Harmony blog for writing, art, and photos…inspired by nature, astrology, art, and mysticism.

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To see previous astrology articles from our Living in Harmony newsletter, visit our astrology archives.

For more astrology articles, visit our Living in Harmony blog.

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The arts provide a powerful way to connect with our inner selves because—at their best—they communicate in the symbolic language of the soul.

Journey Within’s haunting arrangement consists of variations on a 17th century French melody called Picardy, which later was used in the hymn Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent. Let this music draw you in to enter the gate of your heart. Let the paintings help you make the Journey Within.

Music created and produced by Anne Nordhaus-Bike. Paintings by Anne Nordhaus-Bike: Sophie's Rose, oil on canvas; Heart, watercolor on paper.

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Living in Harmony Newsletter Archives - Cancer

Vol. 2, No. 5: Cancer 2012

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