* Cancer is the sign of the Moon, and the Moon is the great reflector in the sky. Memory is also a form of reflecting upon past experiences. It is never the experience of the past itself. And so the past is something we relive as we recall it from multiple perspectives which are themselves moving, never static. This fluid recalling…this living reliving, is the foundation of memory. One of the reasons Cancer is related to home and family is therefore because home is the place we most frequently remember, in one form or another…before it is a literal place or time…it is the most apparently static “feeling” of the past, an ocean from which we come and toward which all our memories flow backward in time. It is also, paradoxically, the emotional vision of the future toward which we strive. A yearning to return somewhere, finally, and sometime soon.
* As a nation here in the US we are Cancerian in identity or purpose (Sun in Cancer). A huge part of our national identity retains the legacy of where we came from, why we left our home lands, and what we were hoping for in this new world. A huge part of our national identity also has to do with cultural, racial, sexual, ethnic, national, and religious “pride.” We tend to identify very intensely with the tribes, groups, or identity “factions” that most closely represent us as individuals. This tribal consciousness can’t help but also identify with the particular struggles, battles, and “blood baths” that live at the dark roots of the group or tribe we most closely identify with.
* Often in my feed I see people saying that our current struggles in the USA are due to Pluto in Capricorn…as though Pluto in Capricorn is inherently to blame for everything happening politically or economically or culturally. But the other thing we have to remember is that Pluto is opposing our national Sun in Cancer right now, and Pluto is frequently a positive agent of change and transformation. Insofar as we tend to be emotionally identified with particular “tribes of identity,” or the “struggles of the past,” Pluto in Capricorn is also moving us toward a more mature and less emotionally divisive sense of who we are. This transformation is taking place as we reach a kind of fever pitch of intertribal warfare. In some ways Pluto in Capricorn’s simplest, most healing statement is, “Grow beyond all of this bickering. You are more than what group you feel most emotionally resonant with, what past you feel most connected to, what wounds or blood baths have been most painful in your past, or what vision of the future most clearly represents your personal/tribal utopia.”
* Last but not least, Cancer is a sign that reflects the fragility of life and the basic need for kindness, sensitivity, and understanding. Empathy is an activity of the heart and memory working together at once. We relive the pain and stories of others in order to join with them in the suffering. When we join with each other’s suffering, we move past whether or not the suffering was justified or whether or not someone was a victim. We simply suffer along with, and we remember and memorialize the unique way in which pain defines each of us from the moment we are born helpless into this world. Most of the time empathy is enough. By simply suffering along with each other, the burden of the past and the burden of our pain diminishes. As a result we can lift the sigels of our campaigns and causes, our homes and histories, without vitriol or anger or manipulation…without perpetuating more bitter rivalries.
Prayer: Help us reach deeply into the past as we simultaneously live beyond any of its bitterness.