Powerfully Vulnerable : The New Moon in Cancer
Faith is small movement
slow but steady and sure,
holding all experience
in a clear circle
of compassionate light.
- Kaveri Patel -
The New Moon in Cancer asks one thing of us - to access our power through vulnerability. I know, not everyone’s most favorite way to be powerful in the world. While vulnerability is often associated with weakness and victimhood, when we choose to be vulnerable as an act of trust and magick it's a truly powerful thing. When I think about accessing power through vulnerability I am drawn to those moments of being held by someone I love (whether a parent, lover, friend or even the branches of my favorite childhood tree), I think about how safe and expansive I have felt. It’s like being in a cocoon of protection where inside I’m able to be soft and free. That is a powerfully Cancerian way of being - a hard outer shell which protects the softness within. The work of Cancer is to not get too stuck in either way of being where one ends up too hardened or too lost within.
While we might have been telling stories under a New Moon in Gemini, we are re-living and reminiscing them under a New Moon in Cancer. It’s a good time to feel the feels while traveling the edges between what was and what is. Spend time reflecting on your path and how far you’ve come. It’s less about your eye on the horizon and more about your eye on your own inner world. And that’s vulnerable work, too, in our culture of continuous growth and movement. Choose to not fill every moment of every day with measurable "purpose" but instead to allow times to just play or sit or stare out the window at the rain. To recognize that our being here and breathing is an achievement and to take pleasure in that.
With the New Moon in Cancer we have an opportunity to take it slow. Take a long bath or a luxurious walk through summer fields. Smell those flowers instead of trying to identify them, name them, study them, tincture them, sell them… Find a safe space to get soft in, whether that’s making a pillow fort in front of your altar or spending time snoring next to your dog. Remember, the guardian planet of Cancer is the Moon so whenever the Moon is in the sign of the Crab things feel extra lunar. Thoughts and feelings will bubble to the surface, drawn upwards by the watery New Moon as you are drawn inwards by the same force.
Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata)
New Moon in Cancer Plant Ally
Passionflower is a plant with many Moon-like qualities. Cooling and sedating, Passionflower is an excellent remedy for overworked nervous systems needing genuine rest. If you tend towards spasmodic conditions from muscle twitches to restlessness to hiccoughs, Passionflower’s anti-spasmodic effects might be the friend you need. It’s a great herb for tension headaches or headaches due to nervous exhaustion. As a plant of Cancer, Passionflower helps us to step out of a feeling of being caught up in our head when it comes to reliving memories again and again. It's also good for a busy mind in general. For those with a natal Moon in Cancer, the herb helps to invoke the inner peace and quiet needed for wellbeing while at the same time gently encouraging the ability to accept change as it arises (something many Cancer Moonfolk struggle with).
Magickally, Passionflower helps us to remember what we love most. Dress your altar with a Passionflower vine to invite peace and harmony into your home. Passionflower is useful during times of examining trauma or experiencing a healing crisis, acting as an initiatory herb that assists us in reconnecting to our spiritual purpose.
Flower + Gem Essences for the New Moon in Cancer: Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata), Sturt Desert Pea (Swainsona formosa), Centaury (Centaurium umbellatum), Honeysuckle (Lonicera caprifolium), Pink Yarrow (Alchillea millefolium), Moonstone, Amethyst, Chalcedony.
Essential Oils of Cancer: Blue Chamomile (Matricaria recutita), Bergamot (Citrus bergamia), Orange (Citrus sinensis).
Stones Throw Ritual
As healers we ask our clients to get vulnerable with us whether they are sharing their health story with us or letting us feel their wrists for pulses or even ask them the simple but revealing questions such as “When did the pain start for you?” I believe that our ability to hold space for the vulnerability of another is only as sturdy as our ability to be vulnerable with ourselves. Vulnerability is powerful because it helps us to realize our limitations (i.e. recognizing when the needs of your clients is beyond the scope of your care), our boundaries of protection, and the experiences which have powerfully shaped us - no matter how imperfect or difficult they may have been.
Begin in a sacred way (read the New Moon in Aquarius post for further inspiration). This ritual is best performed at a liminal place such as the shoreline or at the crossroads. Gather a small handful of stones - garden stone or gemstone, it doesn't matter which. Holding them in your hands think of times when you have felt most vulnerable in your life. Begin to jumble the stones together so that they make some noise. Consider how your points of vulnerability have shaped who you are today. How has your vulnerability revealed your strength? Feel the sturdiness of the stones in your hands as well as their smallness.
Begin to walk and toss the stones behind one-by-one as you say:
Stones of Shell
Stones of Bone
Memory is the shaper
The present is my home
When all of the stones but one have all been tossed, begin speaking power to your vulnerability. For example say:
I walk away from my fear of making mistakes.
I walk towards towards the success that taking risks brings.
Keep the one stone with you as a reminder that you carry the power of vulnerability with you always.
With a divinatory tool of your choosing ask the following question. You can also ponder it during meditation or through journaling.
What in my past draws me away from my future?
Additional queries to consider:
- When I think of my identity as a healer, what memories arise?
- How do I want to be remembered?
Tarot Cards of Cancer
Every card within the tarot deck has an astrological association. The following correspondences follow the system laid out by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. You can add these cards to your altar as part of your New Moon in Cancer magick or use them in readings to help with determining celestial influence or timing (i.e. this will come to pass at when the Moon is in Cancer).
- The Sign of Cancer: The Chariot
- Venus in Cancer: 2 of Cups
- Mercury in Cancer: 3 of Cups
- The Moon in Cancer: 4 of Cups
- The Water Signs of Cancer, Scorpio, + Pisces: Ace of Cups
Need more astroherbology in your life? You can learn more about the astroherbology of Cancer by reading my in-depth profile on the sign. Check out the magick of each phase of the Moon. For those of you ready to learn how to live your magick and create your herbal remedies by the cycle of Moon and star, you're invited to join the The Lunar Apothecary.
Blessed New Moon, wise healers.
May your healing be healing to us all.
May our healing be healing to you.
Blessed be! Blessed be! Blessed be!