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This black moon – the second of two new moons in the same zodiac sign – arrives at a time of immense change and uncertainty the world over. In Cancer, the sign of true family, it reminds us that we cannot and do not live apart from others, no matter how isolated our existence may at first appear.
In the past few months we’ve been taught to fear each other, to withdraw into our homes, behind masks, two metres apart. To abandon the everyday expressions of intimacy and affection that affirm our humanity: a handshake, a hug, a smile to a stranger, an arm around the shoulder in a time of distress or a hand held in moments of intimacy. For some, even sexual intimacy – the most private and personal expression of openness and trust – has been denied by governmental sanctions on who’s allowed to commune with who, how and when.
What is health anyway?
The assumption that this is all in the interests of our health raises important questions about what health actually is and what really compromises it. Do we truly stay healthy by avoiding each other, fearing each other, dehumanising each other into disease vectors? Or do we remain healthy by freely expressing love and affection, by socialising and sharing intimacies. By enjoying the freedom to live a positive and creative life right now, not one diminished by dread of the present and fear of the future.
Do we, in fact, remain healthy by embracing life, including its risks and challenges, knowing that in doing so we are telling our bodies, minds and spirits that life is not to be feared but to be lived, experienced and savoured? That even those things that we fear have wisdom to share if we let them.
When triggered by fear, Cancer retreats into ‘us and them’ mentality. Suspicion grows, self-preservation takes over. We withdraw from relationship with all but those we deem ‘safe’: our closest circle of trusted people who we cherish absolutely and without hesitation.
Don’t get me wrong, Cancerian cherishing is a beautiful thing. It feeds and nourishes us at all levels. Expressed as a lovingly cooked meal as much as a heartfelt declaration of love and support, it helps us feel safe when we’re under attack and protected when we feel vulnerable. It is the overwhelming love of a mother for her new-born child or the cosiness of a crackling fire and a steaming bowl of soup when it’s icy cold outside. We all need some of this nurturing, even (and especially!) as adults. But it’s diminished when our love for those around us is defined by our fear of those outside that circle of trust.
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This fear of the ‘other’ is being vigorously stoked by mainstream narratives in the media and political discourse these days, which is why this black moon feels so important. Because it reminds us that these narratives only take a hold when we let them. They only become ‘true’ when we act them out and propagate unhealthy suspicion rather than nurture a healing sense of community.
Hold fast to inner wisdom
Saturn opposes this Moon, suppressing our sensitivity, intuition and relationships if we let it. But we don’t have to! The ‘expert’ pronouncements – new ones every day it seems – are rarely, if ever, incontrovertible fact, despite their representation as such.
For every voice saying one thing there’s another saying something else. But that second one is likely being silenced, ridiculed, censored or banned. This is Saturn in Capricorn opposing a black moon in Cancer: the authorities (Saturn) decide the narrative and shape it accordingly. As a result, we become increasingly estranged from our inner knowing and wisdom (Moon in Cancer) about what’s truly best for us in the unique circumstances of our life. This is how we lose our instinctive relationship with a higher truth, rendering us ever more vulnerable to the ‘truths’ of those who many would not trust on any other matter! Truths designed to spread the virus of fear.
Introducing my mum!
I’ve thought about my own mother many times in recent months. She died five years ago and I’m glad she’s not alive to witness the world we’re living in today.
In her twilight years little was more important to her than her freedom to ‘pop to the shops’ as she put it. This was her community. She would chat to the people at the bus stop, in the checkout queue, behind the till, and was always ready to smile and exchange kind words with a stranger or reach out a steadying hand to help someone more frail off the bus.
When I was a child my mum taught by example the value of reaching out to those around us in the course of our every day. I can’t begin to imagine how deeply being confined to her home for months on end would have rapidly eroded her well-being.
This black moon exhorts us to remember those the world over, hidden from view, who don’t grab the headlines every day; whose lives, livelihoods, physical and mental health, relationships and aspirations have been decimated, not by a virus but by lockdown and its many consequences. Because they matter too. They’re not just ‘collateral damage’ in a war against an unseen enemy to whom we’re all expected to defer.
The two faces of the 2020 Saturn/Pluto conjunction
This all began with the Saturn/Pluto conjunction in January. This was not an augur of disease but a symbol of totalitarian power imposed from above. In my January 2020 update I wrote ‘Relying on those in power to take action for our collective wellbeing may be the biggest mistake we could make this year! And being the change we want to see in the world, our greatest act of power’.
And I meant it!
Since then, we’ve been experiencing the most life-denying, oppressive face of these energies, echoed in the opposition from Saturn to this black moon. But that’s not their only face.
Saturn aligned with Pluto also reflects immense healing potential: the wise manifestation (Saturn) of personal sovereignty and inside out change (Pluto) which realigns power and authority (Capricorn) to serve a higher and more liberating agenda (conjunction). This agenda, which will begin to take greater shape in December of this year when Jupiter and Saturn are conjunct in the first degree of Aquarius, is ours to shape.
We’re not beholden to the grinding, dense energy of our current Saturn/Pluto world: the least creative, most oppressive expression of the conjunction energies. We can choose to lift them to a new level and express them in more constructive and life-affirming ways. This new black moon cycle will help us do exactly that.
Between now and November 2024 when Pluto completes its journey through Capricorn, we will be tested for sure. But we don’t have to be broken. Absolutely not! These years are the crucible in which immense alchemy can occur, alchemy potentised by our refusal to be divided.
There will always be different perspectives and priorities, beliefs and opinions. There’s over seven billion of us after all! But a world in which only those who agree with the ‘official narrative’ are given credence or respect and everyone else is fair game for ridicule at best and more often vilification, censorship and abuse, is not a world in which love, respect and companionship can win the day. And all of these are vital to health and well-being, whoever and wherever you are.
So let’s welcome this black moon and embrace the new cycle it begins: a cycle of love and compassion, intimacy, nurturing and affection. We can only be divided if we choose to be and, as with all things Cancerian, this moon exhorts us to embrace each other with affection, not reject the ‘outsider’ in fear.
©2020. Reprinted with permission of the author.
About the Author
Sarah Varcas is an intuitive astrologer with a passion for applying planetary messages to the ups and downs of everyday life. In doing so she aims to support people in their personal and spiritual development, making available celestial wisdom which may otherwise be inaccessible for those without astrological expertise. Sarah has studied astrology for over thirty years alongside an eclectic spiritual path spanning Buddhism, contemplative Christianity and many other diverse teachings and practices. She also offers an online (via email) Self-Study Astrology Course. You can find out more about Sarah and her work at www.astro-awakenings.co.uk.