The maternal instinct is astounding. Recently, a British Columbian bald eagle took a young red-tailed hawk under her wing to raise as her own. Since bald eagles and red-tailed hawks are natural enemies, she could just as easily have ripped him apart and fed him to her eaglets. So why did she spare his life? According to raptor experts, when the hungry hawklet began squawking for food, most likely the eagle’s urge to kill him was overwhelmed by her instinct to feed him. This specific type of ‘adoption’ has rarely been documented, making it truly extraordinary.
But then, we live in extraordinary times. Times in which the instinct to preserve life can – and must – trump the desire to destroy it. Especially now, as the Sun slides into maternal Cancer at the Summer Solstice (June 20) and joins the Moon three days later at the Cancer New Moon (June 23, 7:31 p.m. PDT). This lunation features four planets in nurturing, life-giving Cancer – Moon, Sun, Mercury and Mars. Talk about fierce mama instincts! And, Mercury’s close conjunction to the Sun and Moon gives unusually strong access to the subconscious realm of memory and emotions, while it encourages us to bravely share what we’re feeling. Expansive Jupiter squares testy Mars within hours of the New Moon, not long before potent Pluto opposes Mars on July 2. So, we can definitely expect extra-strong emotions to be coming up from June 20 through early July.
What to do with these tempestuous feelings? They may be seeking an outlet in the world – such as a declaration of what’s really going on for you, or an emotional decision that must be made. Although this New Moon encourages us to become loving mothers to ourselves by honoring our emotions, think carefully before sharing them if they’re of the darker variety, like hate or revenge. It’s better to honor them in a ritual like the one described below.
Even if you don’t know what you’re feeling, or what it’s connected to, you can create a sacred container for your inner experience at the Cancer New Moon. Perform the following ritual somewhere you feel safe and won’t be interrupted. Put on a piece of music that mirrors your emotional state – I like Erik Satie’s intense piano solos. Then don a ritual garment like a black cape, and light a candle. State your intention to Spirit. It can be as simple as, “Please help me to accept/express/understand what I’m feeling.” Then drop inside and see what’s there. Spend the next 15 to 30 minutes breathing, weeping, raging, or dancing it out. You’ll know when you’re done – you’ll feel so much lighter. Then blow out the candle and thank Spirit for the cleansing and renewal you’ve received.
If you’re in the San Diego area, please join us the evening of June 23 a Birth Yourself Anew ritual for the Cancer New Moon. I’ll also be looking at each participant’s chart to see what you may be birthing at the New Moon.