The New Moon in Cancer is exact this morning at 11:32am PDT. Cancer is the mansion where we pull back from the demands of the outside world and attend to the needs of our inner life. We move toward rest and restoration in Cancer, as this is the sign of home, family, and the preparation needed to meet life in the outside world. This is that put-your-oxygen-mask-on-first lunation, where we must increase our inner resolve to know what we need, and then meet those needs for ourselves. The idea of family as a protective community was invented in Cancer. Since so many of our family of origin stories are filled with pain and wound, we must recreate our own sense of family and protection as we move through our lives. This is a New Moon designed to make sure that you are doing everything you can transcend deeply embedded patterns of undeserving, and nurture yourself fully and directly.

This New Moon comes on the precipice of tremendous change on the planet. At 1:00pm PDT today, the Nodes of the Moon will change signs, just 90 minutes after the Sun and Moon perfect the lunation. This is epic. It signals an incredibly powerful collective shift. The Nodes are the vectors of energy that shoot off of the Moon’s orbit where it crosses paths with the Earth’s orbit, and when the alignment is right every six months, we have our eclipses. The North Node moving into Aries signals starting things up, and a fiery willingness to generate movement toward what you want to create. The South Node in Libra says we move away from pleasing others, passivity, and a need to keep things peaceful at all costs, so that we can use that Aries forward-moving energy to light the world on fire. When these Nodes change signs, we move through some growing pains that might be hard to see/feel clearly, but this is a big gear shift, and on some level, we are all experiencing it, even if we are unconscious of it.

This New Moon Opposes Pluto, and when the Sun perfects this Opposition with the Lord of the Underworld this coming weekend, the resulting pattern with the Sun, Pluto, and the Nodes, is a Cardinal Grand Cross. This has our conscious awareness (Sun) facing off with power, authority, shadow, and death-rebirth level change (Pluto). By crossing hairs with the shift of the Nodes into the final degrees of Aries and Libra (the Nodes move backward) this conflict/obstacle geometry is complete. This is reflecting a truly enormous moment of conflict, obstacle, breakdown, and tremendous change and transformation that the entire collective is experiencing at the same time, and in the same way. In other words, the world is changing, and right now it feels a bit overwhelming, and this Grand Square is reflecting that. Cardinal energy is startup energy, and things on planet Earth are indeed accelerating mightily. The peak of this Square builds all week into the weekend, so the week ahead is likely to be pretty dicey both in the outer world, and close to home.

You cannot argue with life on life’s terms, and this huge pattern of conflict and change is one of those undeniable moments of breakdown in the collective. This New Moon is helping us make sure we have everything we need privately, in order to move forward publicly. This New Moon is like mom’s bottomless purse, where Mother has everything you could possibly need to feel cared for. And we must create this for ourselves at the personal level, so that we have the gusto we need to meet life on life’s terms on a planet that is being radically reborn right below our feet.

There are some important adjunct transits that color this New Moon that are worthy of mention. That the lunation Opposes Pluto makes the entire passage deeply intense. But a Trine to Neptune means our connection to Spirit, and the assistance that comes from our intuition and sense of flow, is also wide open in this lunar cycle. Mars pulling into an Opposition with Saturn will slow down our behavior mechanism such that if there are truly lessons around inserting more self-care into your actual behaviors, you will be able to take this guidance more seriously. But the most interesting element for me personally is the station of Venus.

Venus has reached 28-degrees of Leo, and as of today she officially stops moving. She will not actually turn around and begin moving backward for another six days, but as of today, she begins her station, which is astro-speak for the slow turnaround that sets us off into a process of working on becoming better givers and receivers of love. Leo is a boundless mansion for Venus, where love is lived out loud, and generosity toward others is favored. Cancer is the mansion where we focus in the direction of self-love, trusting that when we love ourselves fully, only then can love others fully. When a personal planet is stationed, it has much more power and objectivity with regard to the energy that we are working with. I think there is something elegant and beautiful about a New Moon in a sign that is all about taking care of our own needs when the planet of love is about to take us through a process designed to generate more love that we can share with others. Make sure that part of your Venus retro experience includes increasing the ways you love yourself.

Take that heartfelt energy and turn it toward your own needs and the needs of your family – whether it’s the one you came from, one that you are making with a spouse, or the chosen family we are charged with creating to share the journey of life with. Ask yourself what behaviors need to be added – or subtracted – to your routine that will reflect that changes you want; Mars and Saturn will help with that. Consider how you give and receive love and dial into intentions that will allow for more, and Venus and her upcoming retrograde will offer the unconscious processing needed to open your heart to more. The world is brutal, and there are no signs that that is diminishing for us. It has never been more important to know your needs, and find the safety and protection to meet them. Use this New Moon to shore up the ways in which you provide that care for yourself, and then bring your whole self to the world in service, for this is how we create Peace for Humanity at last.