by Nan DeGrove

Summer Solstice June 20th
New moon in Cancer June 23rd.
Capricorn Full Moon July 8th, 10:07 P. M. MDT

With the the new moon we pass through the sacred portal of the solstice into summer, which carries us to the dog days of July, with a potent full moon on the 8th. Eclipses of the moon and Sun are coming in August, making this is a time of swiftly moving tides and undercurrents. Cancer, the moon’s sign, was in ancient times considered a portal through which souls passed as they entered and departed life. Thresholds, gates and doorways are liminal zones of transition that express this theme. In Egyptian mythology Cancer was symbolized by the scarab beetle, symbol of immortality. Be aware of thresholds this month—some are invisible. Place flowers and tokens (horseshoes, seashells, wreaths) at your door to invite good fortune.

Home, family and emotional states are emphasized. There may be a need to retreat from the streams of information that bombard us—to be discerning about what we take in, as well as what we send out. Subtle vibrations affect us more in this sensitive time, like pebbles thrown into a pool. The overwhelm of national and world events can flood our minds, leading to confusion and burnout. This is a time to cultivate positive means of emotional refreshment—love, friendship, solitude, nature, art.

Full Moon

The full moon in Capricorn on July eighth is like a seed that breaks the
ground, grows quickly and spreads in many directions. The moon is conjunct Pluto and opposite the Sun and Mars in Cancer. In this combination there is power, aggression, and an intensity that can blow things out of proportion, but also provides motivation for overcoming obstacles. This moon comes just after the Fourth of July holiday, and signifies a critical time in relation to national and global politics. This full moon leads into and foreshadows the August lunar and solar eclipses. Eclipses encompass a period weeks before and after the actual phenomena—a period in which change accelerates, some things come to an end ,and surprising new possibilities arise.

The World

In the Tarot there is a card called The World. In the Waite-Smith deck it shows a goddess figure dancing within a wreath of laurel leaves. with the symbols for Taurus, Scorpio, Leo, and Aquarius in each corner. These signs represent different forms of power—physical, mental, emotional and spiritual This is the last of the 21 major Arcana, the cards that portray archetypes or universal experiences, in a sequence that relates to the soul’s journey through life.

The card speaks of a summation, a gathering in of energy and experience, a completion or ending, but also a new beginning, continuity. The movement of the energy is a spiral, the most basic form in nature, from DNA to seashells to nebulae. I feel the archetype this card represents is a central theme for the times we are in, a great turning, on a global level. How do we find our place in the world, respond to massive global issues and upheavals, and how do we create the future? The “world” is a seething mass of culture, nature, politics, migrations, war, calamities of all sorts, broadcast through media. Yet, there are the inner worlds we create through mind and imagination, art, poetry music, as well as the small intimate worlds of loved ones, home, gardens, and personal sanctuaries. The dancer in the cards is the eternal self in the midst of swirling temporal forces, the dance of life. As we come through the month of Cancer, the Solstice and the full moon, balance between the world of collective forces and the personal worlds we nurture is our mission.

In the Garden

In the Northern Hemisphere the days are longest now as the Sun seems to stand still at the Tropic of Cancer, before traveling back to the Tropic of Capricorn. This is high summer, the time of fairies and nature spirits, midsummer night’s dreams that call us to abandon overly serious concerns of life and appreciate beauty.

Water lilies (nymphaea, water spirits) seem to me the quintessential Cancer flower, as they float serenely over dark water. They close at night and open to the morning sun. They are little cousins to the lotus, a flower sacred in ancient Egypt, India, and Buddhism; a symbol of peace.

“Even amidst fierce flames the golden lotus can be planted.” –Bhagavad Gita

The magical datura, also known by the less grand name of jimson weed, blooms in the dog days of July, when the dog star, Sirius
rises with the sun. The luminous blooms open at dusk, sending their intoxicating scent into the garden and attracting the fairy-like sphinx moth.

My poppies have lingered longer this year, in spite of hot weather. They have established themselves in sandy cracks between flagstones, refusing to grow in proper beds. in some versions of the myth it was the poppy that lured the maiden Persephone, rather than the narcissus.They have an association with graves and death, but I love them for their wild ways and color.

Love and Summer Blessings,