The Gateway: Cancer Birthdays for 2008

Dear Friend and Reader:

CANCER is considered the archetype of the mother, home of the Moon, home of the home. In Esoteric Astrology, the Tibetan writing through Alice Bailey tells us that Cancer is the gateway into incarnation and one of the signs of esoteric initiation. In the Thema Mundi, it is the ascendant of the world. In other words, according to the Hellenistic astrologers, who drew their wisdom from Hermes himself, our civilization has Cancer rising. The United States chart, by one rendering (the Sibley Chart), has its Sun in Cancer, and one country has dominated world history for well over two centuries.

Mother and Child (Nancy and Olivia): 1967. Painting by Alice Neel.

So I feel that this is an especially significant lifetime to have a strong Cancer chart, particularly to have the Sun in this sign. It’s a lifetime of initiation, that is, of embarking on aspects of your soul’s journey that are new to you and new to most of the people around you. You could say you live in a lifetime of honoring the gateway to existence, or perhaps occupying that gateway. You may be in a long journey to the conscious experience of life, or you may, through whatever means, assist others in finding their way to awareness.

This is a lifetime of shifting levels; of facing tests and challenges that push you deep into your awareness; and of course, it is a lifetime of feeling, but not in the passive way. Cancer feels, but asserts itself doing so. That is a mother’s love: feeling that is connected to action; action that is the result of feeling.

And you are obviously feeling so much. The current New Moon in your sign is nothing short of profound. Ceres, one of the most emotional points currently known to be traveling the zodiac, is presently in your birth sign, as is Venus. This week the Moon sweeps through Cancer, making a series of conjunctions to these planets, creating the event that is the centerpiece of your Solar Return, the Cancer New Moon.

Here are some of the stories the chart tells. For one thing, I see you working to balance your life. You have become aware that certain elements of your existence are distinctly out of balance: they are likely to include various aspects of nutrition, and the way you give and receive emotions. There is also a light and dark issue as well. It seems you need daylight and may dread a time when there is barely enough of the stuff to go around.

At the moment, at least, you can see what you need to see. A particularly demanding situation that came into its full strength earlier in the year has called your attention to the issue of emotional imbalance. You have certainly gone to some great depths attempting to sort out what, exactly, the issue is; what, exactly, needs to be put into balance. I am fairly sure you have all the data you need. You know the salient facts. You understand yourself well enough. The key now is embracing the truth; that is, feeling the truth and taking action. Your awareness will present the solution set to the question: what do you want to give, and what you need to receive?

You would be wise to admit that no emotional situation is ever really in balance, but that there are kinds of imbalances we can live with comfortably enough. There are zones where the situation may be satisfactory or where tension is productive, helpful or playful. Typically, the thing that distinguishes these possibilities is awareness. Speaking of, I would call your attention to the recent Mercury retrograde in your 12th solar house. Mercury is still in the 12th and still working its way out of the degrees where it was retrograde. A long process of sorting out is not quite complete, but almost. The 12th is by far the most complex house, and it would seem the more you thought you found out, the less you actually knew. However, it’s not quite as bad as all this. You actually learned a few substantial things, and have a few more to go.

I would say that the chances are that you fairly well tortured yourself with a search or perhaps full-on quest for your inner truth. You may be wondering what you learned; but just the gesture of doing so speaks to your willingness to discover and behold your truth, and this is the truly important thing. Regardless of what results your search has produced, I suggest you hold that space of willingness to know yourself wide open. Let it become your purpose. Remember the inscription above Delphi: Know Thyself. This begins with sincere willingness. You would be stunned how few people possess it, or care to.

One thing to be aware of is your digestive tract. The presence of Ceres so prominently in your solar return chart suggests that you need to work for a balance at the nexus of emotion and nourishment. The two form a nexus. Your attitudes toward food will reflect your attitudes toward emotional nourishment. So too will those of your partner, if you have one; and if you don’t, food may hold one key to developing a relationship. In any event, notice the food patterns in your relationships. You may not be able to change them immediately, but the observing the patterns will teach you what you need to do in order to take action.

I suggest you think of everything and everyone as a form of either nourishment or toxicity. Pay attention. Read packages and read people. Remember the details. Nothing is neutral, and nobody is neutral. What you put into your mouth will either nourish or deplete you. Who you give to, and who you take into your heart, will either nourish or deplete you.

You have a lot to offer, but the best of who you are is not the sweet part of you — it is the clear, watery aspect. This is true whether you’re cooking or loving, and the two are nearly inseparable. You may have a tendency toward what is overly rich, both emotionally and nutritionally — give yourself a break. Emphasize cleansing and balance. Less is more, except where water is concerned. Remember that there is no substitute for actual water: iced tea or Nutrasweet-flavored “Smart” water does not count.

The New Moon this week is probably imparting the feeling that you’re at a new beginning, but it’s not telling the whole story. You are at a profound moment initiation in your life. Much of this is told in the story of Pluto in Capricorn, which is currently taking a break in the late degrees of Sagittarius. Yet Pluto is getting ready for a journey that will take us across Capricorn into 2024. We are not accustomed to thinking of our lives in such long stretches, but ask any astrologer how fast Pluto in Sagittarius went by.

Pluto in Capricorn raises the emphasis on your relationships. It portends a time of endings and beginnings, but mainly a time of considering how you structure your life, and your thoughts, around your relationships. We all know that society very nearly dictates a one-size-fits-all, bricks and mortar model of relating that makes little room for individual variations in balance.

It is my belief that the structure of society and its values will come under profound changes in the Pluto in Capricorn phase, and I suggest that you take up the project while the transit is still in its infancy. This is a direct invitation to know and be intimate with your most deeply personal needs, preferences and desires, whether you feel that you or anyone else would count them as right or wrong. These are arbitrary judgments, and what is arbitrary is about to fall down like a house of cards in an earthquake.

If you are feeling like the structure and rules of your relationships must change, you’re not alone, and this is not something you’re going to go through alone — but you are very likely to be ahead of the curve, and you need to be ahead of it. This is true in your household, your community and in the world at large. This puts you in pioneering territory, and to be there you need to be brave and summon your enduring spirit.

During this time you will need to watch the balances in your relationships carefully. Some will seem to meet you with undue impact; others will seem impersonal, though you may be bringing enormous passion. It would seem that rather few of your encounters from this point forward will be inherently equal (if ever any of them were, but now this one fact will become so obvious you will need to address it on a more or less continuous basis).

What, exactly, is underneath the surface of a relationship? I suggest that you stay close to the core at all times, which is another way of saying stay close to your intentions. From this point forward, intentions don’t just count for everything; they are absolutely everything. We all know how the road to hell was paved with the good ones, but I don’t think that most of them pass muster as carrying actual intent. Yours simply must do so; if you are to have a primary relationship, this is the one: the relationship to what you want to happen.

You need to work closely with anyone you consider a partner, close friend, colleague or loved one and get on the same page regarding your intentions — or get out of the book altogether. You need to be deeply sensitive to when your intentions do not match or align harmoniously, which in many cases will mean looking directly at the obvious rather than denying it.

Your current solar return is a vitally important time for ensuring that the balances of your life are correct, as you prepare to embark on a whole new phase of your journey. I will repeat that the most simple balances are the most important, all of them involving matters of nutrition (emotional or otherwise).

One of the attributes of being a Cancerian is that you have a strong tendency to go in cycles, and typically they are short ones. The astrology of your current solar year, and for many years into the future, is promising you that some of the great cycles of evolution have come to their time of turning. You are being called upon to live your life more boldly, on a higher level of awareness, and with greater power in your hands: however you perceive the word power.

But I do suggest you perceive, and I do suggest you think it over, because the beginning is at hand.

Yours and truly,
Eric Francis

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