Cancer: The Great Embrace

by christina rai

Related imageSummer Solstice, and the beginning of the Zodiac energy—Cancer—is a time of the ‘great light’ here in the northern hemisphere. This is the ‘Full Moon’ point of the yearly cycle. At Winter Solstice, we were at the point of ‘least light’, with the days short and the nights long. This point can be co-related to the New Moon. If you go outside at New Moon and look into the sky, you will see stars but no trace of Luna. It appears that the sky is moonless! New Moon time is the seeding time, a time of gestation, womblike, mysterious and fertile. On the other hand, Full Moon is a time of revelation, fruition and manifestation. This is a natural cycle of becoming and does not alter in its flow. First we are born—the seeding and birth, the beginning. Then begins the unfolding, the growth. And then comes that point of full manifestation where much, if not all of the potential of that original seed is revealed. The Moon’s ongoing immutable cycle in the celestial sphere is a mirror of this organic process of which we are all a part. This serves as a reminder to us to pay attention to the natural cycles and meditate on what they can teach us.

In the northern hemisphere, winter drives most of us inward. We slow down and even, for some, hibernate, metaphorically speaking. This meditative state can facilitate the birth of new projects, new mind sets, new protocols. After the gestation period, we start to implement until finally, we see the results of all of our dreaming and activity. So, if you follow the flow of energy mindfully, you can take a moment now, as we approach the Summer Solstice, and review for yourself, how you have worked with your own cycle of growth. Did you set any specific goals at the Winter Solstice? (New Year’s resolutions could substitute for this purpose.) How have those goals or resolutions formed so far? Are there aspects of your own unfolding reality that need adjustment and refinement? If you are a journal keeper, you can look back at your December and January entries and note how you have evolved over the months following, how initial ideas have changed, how your perspective of situations has shifted. Summer Solstice is a good time to make some evaluations and necessary adjustments!

And, as the Sun enters Cancer the natural cycle shifts into waning of light. The days will begin to shorten and slowly we will move into the dark. But, at that point of 0* Cancer, we still have glorious sun filled days. We are bathed in the light and warmth of summer.

Cancer is one of the Water signs, flowing, emotional and sensitive. It is also a cardinal energy, keyed to movement, relatively swift in its reactions and attuned to growth. The element of Water is usually associated with the emotional body and Cancer does indeed correlate to the breast area of the physical body as well as the stomach. The breasts are the outer layer of the heart area, suggesting a connection here with love and nurturing. The stomach, of course, is critical to our well-being, since we need nourishment in order to live and Cancer is the nourisher. In fact, it is ‘the gut’ that often serves as a danger signal on a variety of levels. Instinct helps us to stay safe. Stomach aches often indicate a need to adjust ourselves physically. It is no accident that in this day and age of stress and trauma that there are so many ‘cleanses’ that address stomach and gut problems.

The celestial object associated with Cancer is the Moon. Constantly shifting above us in the sky, the Moon is the least constant heavenly body except for, perhaps, the comets and meteors. At any given moment, we can look up and see a transforming Moon, first a little sliver, then a delicate crescent, then a whole half pie, then a humped back old woman, reversed, and finally, the full fat globe that rivals the sun—sort of…☺ The Moon’s changeable nature lends insight into something important about Cancer. This is an energy that is constantly flowing from form to form. On an ego level, this could manifest as a certain moodiness, a restlessness that could externalize as irritation. If you have an accentuated Cancer energy in your psyche, you must honour your very real need to follow your feeling nature and if you feel grumpy, it might be that you just need some down time to unwind and re-integrate. Or, check in with yourself—when was the last time you ate? Blood sugar, don’t you know! Experientially, Cancer types are absorbent, like a sponge and as a result, must take the time to sort through the wide array of emotions that they take in through their skin. Once this is understood, both by the Cancer types and their loved  ones, life gets much easier to bear. The old scripture that tells us about there being a “season for everything under the sun” is particularly true about the Cancerian experiential process. Laughter is often followed by tears and sorrow leads to peace.

Cancer is found in the 4th house of the natural wheel of the Zodiac. This 4th house is all about the deep things of the personal, where we come from; where we are, in theory, most comfortable or, at the very least, where we better come to some sort of terms of agreement; our deepest emotions and our impulse to nest, to build home and family; to be ultimately who we truly are. It is the ego in search of its roots. No wonder that Cancer is attuned to caregiving and nurturing. One of the archetypes that comes to mind when talking about this energy is The Mother. Of course, just what kind of a mother springs forth from the Cancer soul is quite another matter. We can witness the inspirational mother, the loving mother, the mother as teacher, the ultimate nurturer mother, the mother as friend, the critical mother, the ineffective mother, the forgiving mother, the controlling mother, the absent-minded mother, the oppressive mother, the mother as manager, the detached mother, the monster mother, and so forth. The maternal demonstration is entirely dependent on other factors in the natal structure! However, with mindfulness and intention, the strongly cancer type can find her way into the arms of the ‘Model Mother’ who nurtures just enough to give support without eating her young one up or infusing the fear of failure into that young one!

The symbol for Cancer is The Crab. Here is the little creature who, basically, carries his house around with him. Think about this for a moment. What is a home, really? Is it a place or is it a feeling? For Cancer, it is the feeling of Home that is of paramount importance, thus the image of the little crab, trucking around all that is familiar and secure wherever he goes. And, as long as there is a sense of security, then the Cancer type can really step out and shine. It is only when she does not feel safe that she recedes into her ‘shell’ to hide away from the world.

The Cancer Lover is caring, kind and full of warmth—when she loves you! But watch out if you break her heart. She just might make a few nips at you with her claws. The forgiving side of Cancer, the soft side gives way, under stress, to ultimate pay back. Attack her in her security or her comfort zone and she will muster all of her resources to withstand you and bring you down.

The shadow side of Cancer is moodiness. Ruled by the Moon, that changeable trollop who loathes to spend too long in any one energy, Cancer types must monitor all of their body systems, from the physical to the emotional, to the mental and the spiritual. The strategy to deal with that changeable temperament, that tendency to fall deeply into the ‘dumps’, is to be strict about routines that build you up, habitual rituals that provide you with structure. Remember, Cancer is a water sign. Water flows and changes and is difficult to contain unless that container is rigid, not porous, fixed. With good support systems in place, cancer can moderate the changeable nature of its cycle and diminish any tendencies to fall into funks. If you have a prominent Cancerian signature—personals in this energy, angles in this energy—find something that you can nurture. If you can express that inner need to ‘take care of’ then you will be less focused on any lack in your life that may cause you to get depressed.

The Partner sign to Cancer is Capricorn. Winter solstice occurs when the Sun moves into Capricorn, exactly 6 months after Summer Solstice. Where Cancer is soft and emotional, Capricorn is all business. Where Cancer can typify the feminine side of parental care, Capricorn is the disciplinarian, the task master. While we recede into the security of our own space in Cancer, we face the external world in Capricorn and carve out a place for ourselves in society under the auspices of that energy! Together, working in harmony, we see a complete picture of the self, both private and public, in here and out there. Cancer is, as I mentioned, a water sign. Capricorn is an earth sign. When you mix water and earth, you get mud which, with some expertise, can be made into bricks and bricks, after all, are what make up a building, a home, a structure to be safe in and for all the world to see. What a fitting metaphor for the energy of Cancer/Capricorn!









Gemini: An Elegance of Mind

by christina rai


As the Sun apparently moves through that part of the heavens that we can see with our physical eyes, students of astrology can locate the zodiac sign through which it is ‘transiting’ (seemingly moving). So, at various times of the year, we can say, “Oh, the Sun is moving through Aries, or Taurus or, as in the case of this commentary, Gemini…” May 21 ish-June 20 ish.

Of course, the Sun does not move around the Earth; rather, the Earth and other planets revolve around the Sun, creating a Solar System which itself marks an orbital path, but this time on a much larger scale, around the galactic center. This galactic center is merely the heart of one of many such systems that comprise the universe. Yes, we live in a physical reality that seems, to us mere mortals, to be an infinite place of unending possibilities. It is up to us to perceive this potential and then to explore the possibilities and turn them into probabilities and realities as and how we are able to.

For our simple human purposes, we can happily spend a whole lifetime just focusing on the here and now of this Solar System and our place in it. Maybe one day, we will once again be able to call ourselves true citizens of the universe or even whatever lies beyond what we designate the universe to be, but for now, the solar system feels big enough for search and exploration. The signs that make up what we call the Zodiac, are representative of what we see from our vantage point on Gaia. Over many centuries of observation, our foremothers came to designate the twelve signs that we can recognize by name teo8uws. Myths grew out of an experiential process and attached themselves to individual ‘signs’ and these myths gave insight into the nature of the energy of a given zodiac sign. We are, after all, the sum of our stories. Observers co-related celestial events to events on earth, further fleshing out our understanding of the various signs and planets. Everyone has heard of the heightened emotions that can manifest at the time of the Full Moon. This is merely one example of how observation and co-relation works. We experience something specific and even measurable, we pause and take note of our environment and over time we observe a certain consistency between what we experience and the environment that exists at the time of that particular experience. Thus, using the example of the Full Moon, centuries of data supports the idea that when the Moon is at this point in its cycle, there appears to be an increase of emotional charge in the minds and hearts of collective humanity here on Earth. As an Evolutionary Astrologer, I understand that this is the ‘mirroring’ effect described centuries ago in the expression, “as above, so below”. We are all a part of a unified field; a reality that is interconnected and interdependent. Nothing stands alone in this web of existence. As we turn our eyes to the sky, we are looking into a reflection of ourselves. Whatever we observe in the heavens above is merely a concrete representation of what is at work within our singular body systems. How simple! How complex!

And now, back to the light and lovely energy that we call Gemini! As I have mentioned in the commentaries on Aries & Taurus, the flow of energy follows an unchangeable pattern, moving from Fire, into Earth, and then on through Air. Gemini is the Air sign that comes after Taurus. The impulse that was born in Aries, and began to take form and consolidate in Taurus, now is ready to take flight and conceptualize in Gemini. This is the stage where that forming impulse begins to be intellectualized, verbalized, communicated and through the dialogue involved, adjusted. If we do not understand what we are creating, it will never come to a full fruition, no matter the scope of the energy or the shape of its form. We exist to interact for the most part, to share and to exchange with each other. For most humans, community is a centralizing force for the developing self. It is through networking that we expand ourselves, adapt ourselves and stretch beyond whatever limitations we may think that we have. Dialogue, at its most productive level, sheds light on otherwise foggy thinking. Who has not had the experience of suddenly having that ‘aha’ moment of understanding because of a comment that someone else makes? Through posing the question, through expressing doubt we find our way into knowledge and eventually, maybe, even faith. This is Gemini.

It is the mind that seeks understanding of whatever is taking form. It is through the intellectual process that we begin to formulate the parameters of our world. Gemini is that energy that reflects the thirsty mind.

This is a mutable energy indicating fluidity and malleability. It can bend itself into whatever shape is available to it and it is exactly through this process that it actually seeks its own form. The planet associated with Gemini is Mercury, designated in myth to be ‘the messenger’. Again, just this little piece of data increases our understanding of this energy. Messengers carry information. Information can greatly illuminate and enhance and even change perception. The more pieces of information that we get and integrate, the greater our fundamental understanding of whatever it is that we are exploring.

Gemini is the energy of investigation and it has a hunger for unending bits and pieces of data. No one conclusion satisfies the Gemini need to expand its perceptions. Sometimes designated as being curious, the real motivation for this curiosity is not merely growth but metamorphosis. As the Gemini persona explores, investigates, samples, tastes and discards, the very nature of its reality organically changes. Think of a butterfly that has a garden of delights to explore. There is a beauty and elegance in the intricacies of the butterfly’s flight from flower to flower. There is no partiality. Each flower is, in itself, beautiful, not lesser than or greater than any other flower. In Nature, the butterfly is one of the most delicate and adored of creatures. We never denigrate the butterfly’s need to flit from bloom to bloom. Rather, we revel in watching its progress as it samples the nectar of every blossom it can. So, if you have someone in your life with a focus of Gemini in their psyche, support their desire to embrace a multitude of experiences, honour their need to move into change and shift on every level. Keep in mind that they are acting from a deep inner need to move beyond all limitations and restrictions.

Astrologically, we understand that all energy is connected in some manner. One of the primary connections within the wheel of the zodiac is the polarity relationship defined by the 180* aspect. To understand any of the 12 energies, we must also integrate the nature of whatever energy stands across from it within the wheel. Gemini’s partner is Sagittarius. Just as Gemini has the need to search and explore in what may appear to be a random manner, when we dig into Sag, we see this very same impulse at work. But in Sag, there is a certainty as opposed to the ambivalence and skepticism of Gemini. And the balance between certainty and skepticism lies in a goodly amount of challenge and questioning.

“You can be certain of what you think you know, Sag,” says Gemini, “but I intend to keep on looking!”

So, the faith of Sag is balanced by the doubt of Gemini. It is doubt that propels the soul to seek the truth and to find the faith and so the circle is completed over and over again. And really, what is life without the adventure of the quest that we see woven into the fabric of both of these energies. Essentially, there is no destination, only a never ending journey of discovery which, on the one hand reinforces (Sag) and on the other, creates further questions (Gemini). Remember, without doubt, there can never be an experience of inner faith. It is the question that finds an answer. If we never question, we will never find.

Reactively, Gemini must mind its physical house. A very real consequence of not doing so could be nervous exhaustion. This is a highly charged energy and the electrical body can run fast and furious. People with a lot of this energy in their psyches, absolutely must drink lots of water, integrate regular exercise into their daily routine and preferably something that involves the feet and hands moving. Mostly, (and this is a general statement), Gemini is kinetic energy that constantly builds upon its own movement.

Another reactive manifestation of this energy could be a lack of focus resulting in unfinished projects and incomplete undertakings. Gemini has to develop protocols for itself that keep it engaged and interested. A simple technique to address this could be just keeping all projects short term. This is the sprinter, not the long distance runner! And really, who says that a 5 year project is somehow better than a 2 month project? For Gemini, it is the short term project that can keep it interested and fully engaged. Multi-tasking can also facilitate engagement. For a Gemini persona, it is absolutely appropriate to have several intricate and complex activities on the go at the same time. Thus, as soon as the boredom starts to nibble at the corners of the mind, off you go to another project! Because Gemini has such a nimble intellect, it can hold a multitude of concepts in its mind at the same time, jumping from one to another easily and happily. In fact, creativity is enhanced in this way. As an example, let’s say the Gemini soul is a writer. It would be appropriate to have several stories on the go, a variety of research projects on the side. While paying attention to one, ideas for the other can be left to percolate happily in another part of the mind. Suddenly, the outline comes through, full blown and ready to be written!

The Gemini Lover is an adept. Quick and nimble in her responses. Technique is constantly sought and explored so that being loved by a Gemini Lover can be a VERY satisfying experience. Lots of tricks up her sleeve to keep you totally engaged. Just don’t expect a marathon of love-making. Remember, this is the sprinter. Reactively, Gemini can get lost in her own mind while in the midst of the intimate moment. Detachment can take over and finally, if she gets bored with you, she just might spend most of her time in fantasy where the titillation is at its max. But if you like phone sex, this is your partner in crime. No touching to drive you crazy!

Everyone has this energy wired into their psyches somewhere. Even if you have no planets located in this energy, it will be found in one of the ‘houses’ of the horoscope. It will colour that part of your life and overlay it with a mental energy, a connective energy, possibly even a somewhat nervous energy. Intuitively, you can review your own reality and try to determine when the intellect likes to take over. Do you like to analyze your relationships? (7th house) Is conversation critical to connection for you? (8th house) Do you want others to see you as a mentally adroit person? (10th house) Do you have so many friends and associates that their names fill up several notebooks? (11th house) What are your nerves like? (6th house) Are you a prolific dreamer? (12th house) These are just some of the questions that, if answered in the affirmative, could indicate that Gemini energy is wired into that part of your persona.

At the highest level, this is an energy of elegance, adroit and fluid, kinetic and carefree. If you have a focus of this energy in your psyche, embrace your butterfly self, dance through the garden of life sampling the beautiful blooms therein. You have come to this plane to grow your perceptions, to open the doors of your reality into realms yet unexplored. Drink up and enjoy, thirsty soul! If you have Gemini prominently situated in your psyche, we are so glad you are here with us! You make us laugh, you keep us engaged, you challenge us with your endless questions and we love your wit!

Lunar Eclipse in Leo

by christina rai


The February 10, 2017 Full Moon


This is the Full Moon that we all love! The exuberance and joy of Leo balances out the detachment and objectivity of Aquarius, the energy that the Sun is currently transiting.

In the Northern Hemisphere, this is the very ‘heart’ of winter & our thoughts inevitably wind their way into the possibility of SPRING just around the corner. Even though the snow may blanket the earth, we remember…

This Full Moon adds to the energy and richness of our dreams. Incidentally, ancient peoples commemorated this time period—early February—as one of their yearly festivals. Though those rituals belong to the past, the concept is still timely. At its root this festival was all about fertility and purification, a nod to the advancing spring which would bring growth and the reappearance of potential food. For us ‘moderns’ this time period can give us a time to both acknowledge the turning of the wheel of the year and get ready for the work ahead. Even though most of us do not ‘toil’ in conjunction with the earth, we can still honour the very real fact that our sustenance does not come fully formed in plastic packages; that someone had to plant it, nurture it and reap it. And we can apply this concept to the ‘garden within’; make resolutions to carry on with any intentions that were set at Winter Solstice.

With this Full Moon falling so closely to the ancient festival of fertility and purification, we can incorporate those themes as we meditate on it.

Certainly, any Full Moon gives us the opportunity to ‘see’ the wholeness of what we are doing, adding perspective into our subjective realities—if we permit it. Think about the resolutions that you may have made over the past 6 weeks and then honestly assess whether you have personally (Leo) stepped up to the challenge that those resolutions posed. We all know that the only thing over which we have any control is that thing called SELF. Stop trying to change others and inspect yourself. Jesus said it pretty bluntly when he urged his listeners to remove the rafters from their own eyes before they started removing specks from their neighbours’ eyes.

What he meant was—WORK ON YOURSELF, DUDE and never mind what Joe Blo is doing over there where you can’t see it all that clearly anyway. Let’s all of us take the lead to raise our own moral compass without becoming overly self-righteous or pompous about others.

The energy of this Full Moon gives us the steam to get under way. Most of the celestial objects are moving forward, considered, in Astrological terms to be a license for flow. The ‘force’ is with us. Venus & Mars are both impulsively placed in Aries, the energy of full-on initiation. Do you have some work to do in regards to basic values? Can you make some changes when it comes to implementation—the way you actually do things on a day to day basis? With these two celestial objects charging ahead in Aries, you have the capacity to be an agent of change in the areas of your life that involve what you most want, love and even need. There is just a little bit of extra fuel in the tank this month.

There is a super charged Fire Grand Trine that involves the Lovely Leo Full Moon, Saturn in Sag & Uranus in Aries. Trine configurations can lead to incredible flow and in this case, the core energy of the personal, the ME, is supported nicely by a renewed sense of purpose (Saturn) and invention (Uranus).

With the Moon located in the 12th house for the central time zone, the focus is on the dream that we all dream. What is your dream? How can you align it more closely to practical application in your own life? Conversely, what can you do in concrete terms to support that ‘big dream’? As seekers of knowledge we all have heard that form follows thought. In fact, we have witnessed the truth of this in both our personal lives and our community lives. When we think in terms of love, houses are built, the disenfranchised are supported, animals are protected and communities are healed. When hate is the thought-form, we see war, poverty, prejudice and discord. This Full Moon urges us to Dream the ‘dream of love’ that, if enough of us do so, can absolutely change the status quo. It starts in the heart (Leo) and moves to the head (Aquarius) and filters out into the collective (Aquarius) via the action of the individual (Leo).

The Sabian Symbol for the Full Moon is (Leo) A BAREBACK RIDER & (Aquarius) A BIG BEAR SITTING DOWN AND WAVING ALL ITS PAWS.

The theme of power is well illustrated. We must connect to the sheer force of raw power while being absolutely mindful about how we use it. Power for good is a wonderful thing. Let us all remember how easily it can shift into a power for evil. Always align the use of power to the highest of moral perspectives. Never allow power to infuse you with pomposity and pride. So, understand your world, both its boundaries and its horizons.

The ascendant energy for this Full Moon, occurring @ 6:33 pm CST, is 4* Virgo, the energy of selection, application and perfection. We are all urged to choose wisely, to work in putting that choice into practice and to do so diligently.

The Sabian Symbol is A BLACK CHILD PLAYING WITH WHITE CHILDREN, suggesting that only if we seek and choose INTEGRATION on every level, will we be able to right the wrongs and heal the past. This instruction is directed not only to the greater community but to the internal self. How in sync with yourself are you? Do you feel chaotic and harmonious internally or is the reflection cracked? When the self is in conflict, actions seldom reach their intended goals.

This is a hopeful Full Moon despite any nay-saying to the contrary. The hope, dear friend, must start with YOU.

“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools…”Martin Luther King


For those of you who are students of astrology, place the planetary points of this Full Moon around the wheel of your natal chart just as you would with any transit chart and determine which, if any of your personal points & houses are triggered by this energy.  Some questions to consider are:

What part of myself is being illuminated by this energy?

How can I access the enthusiasm of this energy and use it in my life?

In what area of my life can I make the most of this energy?


The Full Moon points are as follows:

Sun/Moon @ 22*Leo 28’

Mercury @ 5*Aquarius 27’

Venus @ 5* Aries 20’

Mars @ 10*Aries 15’

Jupiter @ 23*Libra 6’ RX

Saturn @ 25* Sag 28’

Uranus @ 21* Aries 21’

Neptune @ 10*Pisces 59’

Pluto @ 18* Capricorn 17’

Chiron @ 22* Pisces 50’

Nodes @ 3* Pisces/Virgo 20’