The peak of this week’s astrology is the Cancer Full Moon, exact Wednesday at 11:52 pm EST. This Full Moon chart is a busy one, making it challenging to focus in on one layer of what’s going on and tell a coherent story. But prominent minor planets, asteroids and points named after goddesses inspired Eric to dub this Full Moon “Goddess Fest 2014” — with all the attendant light and dark embodied in these archetypes.
To set the stage, this Cancer Full Moon is the Moon at 26 degrees Cancer opposite the Sun at 26 degrees Capricorn. All Full Moons are Sun-Moon oppositions.
As such, the phenomena of the Sun’s light being reflected back to it from the surface of the Moon illustrates the common emotional and interpersonal situations that often heighten at this time each month: we project our inner dramas onto another person; if we’re lucky, we recognize that is what’s happening and can work with the insight constructively; we often feel pulled between two opposing emotional states or options.
Wednesday we’ll have our planet of consciousness (the Sun) shining its light from the sign of achievement, confidence and tradition onto our planet of subconscious and emotion (the Moon), which is in homey, sensitive, maternal Cancer. As those themes intensify, the Sun and Moon will be closely attended by four goddesses, making a grand cross.
Black Moon Lilith (the mean lunar apogee, a calculated point related to the Moon’s orbit) is conjunct the Moon in Cancer; Eris is in Aries, still square the Sun and Moon; Vesta and Ceres in Libra are opposite Eris and square the Sun and Moon.
In an email Eric wrote, “The thing about the Goddesses is that there is a mix of dark and light.”
For example, Eris shined a light on the petty jealousies of the goddesses of the Pantheon, but did so by baiting them — and inadvertently instigating the Trojan War. Vesta is associated with devotion to one’s inner creative flame and sacred sexuality, but is also associated with sacrifice (including self-sacrifice). Vesta is the influence that can lead us to seek work instead of intimacy or social contact; it can be about avoiding intimacy.
Ceres represents (among other things) the relationship between mothers and daughters, which can be fraught with peril and manipulation. She represents agriculture and nourishment — but she also caused the Earth to lie fallow, starving humankind, until her trip to the underworld returned her daughter to her for half the year. Lilith was willing to be cast out of Paradise rather than be subjugated, a form of integrity and power that threatens those who depend on hierarchies to go unquestioned.
Eric continued, “The Moon is conjunct Black Moon Lilith, so that taps us into what people fear about women — the dark side of mothering.” That is, the power to destroy as well as to create.
“Motherhood initiates women into their creator energy, and their destroyer energy,” said New York-based therapist Jerilyn Brownstein, quoted by Eric in an old issue of Planet Waves. “And unless they learn to work with their destroyer energy consciously, it can destroy a marriage, a partnership, a child’s life, a child’s self-esteem. It doesn’t have to look like murder.”
Even if you’re not a mother (or if you’re a man), this creator/destroyer polarity is one to track as we reach the Full Moon. How in touch are you with both sides of that coin? Are you willing to admit and embrace your own capability to embody either role? Or do you habitually project one of those roles onto other people (a partner, a parent, etc.) because you’re afraid to own both your light and your dark?
Power, and the responsibility it asks of us, can be terrifying — both the power to create, because it calls us to explore the unknown before we feel ‘ready’; and the power to destroy, because it forces us to see our own darkness within rather than ascribe it to someone or something outside ourselves.
And of course, you can’t talk of motherhood and power without acknowledging sex. Not only is sex the seed of motherhood, it’s an area of life fraught with power imbalances, unacknowledged games and abuses.
This theme brings in the Vesta-Eris opposition in the Full Moon chart. Regarding Vesta-Eris Eric remarked, “I would say the dichotomy that presents is sex for power versus sex for healing and service. One is rarely considered honestly; the other is rarely considered at all. I would cast the question as: if you had to choose one, what would you choose?”
Which one, indeed?
Intensifying the sexual and gender-related themes of the Full Moon configuration will be the simultaneous square between retrograde Venus in Capricorn and Mars in Libra. We’ll be investigating that square as the week progresses; Venus-Mars is exact Thursday but active now. Keep your feelers out for how those two planets in their respective positions are shaking loose traditional and conventional gender roles — especially if you find yourself in a position to choose sex for power or sex for healing.