And so, it begins.  Today’s New Moon in Cancer is the first eclipse of this year.  This total solar eclipse takes place at 12:16pm PDT this afternoon, and we are officially off to a pretty wild ride.  This lunar cycle includes the Sun in the Cancer mansion, two eclipses, and a Mercury retrograde in Cancer.  As you can see, we are deeply engaged with the Cancer mansion, so it’s time to fasten your seatbelt, and more importantly, make sure that you fasten your own seatbelt before attempting to help someone else with theirs.  This may seem like a cute throwaway of an old, tired out adage, but is it a fundamental truth of our existence that if we do not take care of ourselves, we have nothing to offer the world in service.  And the world needs all of us to be operating at our very highest level of consciousness, or we’re simply not going to make it.

With things being so complex right now, it may be helpful to go to very fundamental basics to understand the season.  Cancer is the womb, the mother energy, the place where we return for rest and rejuvenation.  It’s Opposite polarity, Capricorn, is where we move out into the world with definitive purpose and clarity of vision.  Cancer the crab invented home and hearth.  Capricorn the goat invented the social structures that are the opposite of home (like community, government, financial institutions, etc.)  The goat that is this sign’s avatar climbs to the top of the mountains we have built in our outer consciousness, and then he returns to the Cancer womb-like energy to gather resources to begin the climb once again.

The challenge with now is that for this entire year – and all of next year – the Capricorn mansion has Pluto and Saturn in it, so that the structures that we typically rely on for security and foundation, are all crumbling around us.  We can truly expand into whatever our dreams have for us, but remember the two things we can always count on?  Death and Taxes.  That’s Pluto and Saturn.  We must allow for the absolute death of the old ways so that we might bring about some new miracles (Death – Pluto).  All the while, we are going to be held responsible for the way we construct the new world (Taxes – Saturn).

No one is getting out of this month without having to do a tremendous amount of inner excavation.  The Cancer mansion also invented full-on retreat, but make sure you aren’t using the protective sensation of this archetype to hide out from the work at hand.  Cancer is where we keep hidden the stuff that we feel shame around, so understand that some of what we go through in this lunar cycle may take you to some territory that you may have been unwilling to investigate in the past.  In the background of this eclipse season is the Mercury retrograde, and Mercury’s dance with Mars that is part of that.  Mercury and Mars cycles are all about our talk and our walk, respectively.  Right now, they are hanging around together in Leo, but Mercury will turn around in less than a week and head back toward the Cancer mansion for another visit to the self-care rehab.

Mars in Leo is taking our walk to new heights of prowess, and that will take care of itself as he move forward.  But Mercury retrograding back into Cancer is going to assist us in diving into deep areas that we might otherwise skirt around.  This is our opportunity to pause in our outer movement to turn within and see what threads of undeserving, shame, fear, doubt, or any of the other low vibrational experiences, might still be there, holding us back.  This entire movement through the Cancer mansion is likely to include lots of feelings, as the deeper emotional threads to the stuff that’s coming up to be healed right now will be intensified by the eclipse energy.  If there is a wound in there that hasn’t seen the light of day, this month is likely to bring it out in the open.  Since this is practically an inevitability, it may be helpful to include some willingness to dive into the depths of your emotional landscape, even if that process seems frightening or overwhelming.

There is a prayer I have invoked for myself over the years and it seems to apply now.  It goes something like this:  “I am now willing to have anything and everything that needs to come up to be healed, to come into my conscious attention in order to facilitate that healing.”  The lynch pin in this prayer is willingness first and foremost, to face anything that needs your attention.  In this way, it is a very powerful prayer, because it informs your unconscious that you mean business, because everything means everything.  But perhaps more important is the declaration that you don’t necessarily need to know what needs your attention.  Part of you does know, and you call upon that part of you with such a prayer.  And if that does indeed seem scary and off-putting, remember the comfort that is available in the Feminine aspect of God.  Cancer invented this for us as well, so as we move through what promises to be a wildly transformative passage up ahead, I encourage you to deepen your connection to the still, small, voice that is in there, telling you that no matter how difficult something may feel to move through, in your heart you know, that All Is Well.  That’s the voice of the Great Mother.