Compared to June’s, July’s New Moon in Cancer, occurring on Monday 20 (5:33 PM UTC), at 28°26, feels different. Not only because, this time around, we are not dealing with an Eclipse; but mostly because there is a clear, essential geometry to the chart of this lunation, along with an unsparing, Saturnine signature and sharp, slashing edges.
So, while in a way July’s New Moon in Cancer feels like the natural continuation of a previously explored narrative — re-creating an inner world that allows a clear view of what happens on the outside, redefining what feels home to us, deepening our ability for emotional self-regulation in order to hold space for the work of building a more equitable society, resetting the conditioning and ingrained patterns that keep us in a defensive or even apathetic state —, an exact opposition between the Sun and Moon in Cancer, and Retrograde Saturn in Capricorn makes us starkly aware of the harsh reality, the after-effects and the hardships that every soft, blooming thing must face in order to become perfectly integrated with its surroundings while maintaining a sense of personal space and preserving the tenderness within.
Retrograde Pluto in Capricorn, too, looms large with his towering stature, being within orb of opposition, but Saturn’s austere, melancholic fingerprints are all over this New Moon, and his skeletal fingers won’t let go. Exploring the introspective terrain disclosed by July’s New Moon in Cancer might feel like breaking into new emotional territory and discovering that old burdens preceded us, quite possibly because they weren’t properly dealt with in the first place. That there are rules. That consequences exist in that realm, too, and that they have a broader reach that extends beyond the intimate space we call our own. That we cannot fully mature into a being who can both melt and hold it together, until we sit with the abrasive discomfort of restraint — until we learn to work with it, rather than struggle against it. After all, water is formless and ineffective without a container of any kind.
Saturn is the container. The structure. The framework. The skeleton. Gravity keeping us anchored to the present moment even when the tides of the past threaten to sweep us away. We need our heart as much as we need bones. We need to feel as much as we need to hold ourselves accountable for what we’ve been, for what we can control, for the parts of us that are still in need of re-parenting. And we might need a shell to gently shelter them, but we also need to allow them to experience consequentiality, cause-effect, responsibility. And we might have needs — such a foundational concept to Cancer —, but we have duties, too.
An applying square between Mercury in Cancer and the Mars/Chiron conjunction in Aries will also be active during this New Moon, heightening our reactivity to stimuli and amplifying our desire to find verbal and intellectual outlets to the pressure within. Outlets that will hopefully be conductive to positive, long-term developments, and that will reflect who we strive to become, rather than what was done to us. As deep as the pain runs. As old as our scars are. Sometimes, the boundary must be drawn from within: wherever we come from, we deserve to move away from there, away from turmoil, towards safety.
Painting by Frances Macdonald MacNair.