It is (finally) unmistakably summer here in Montana. After a long, cold, snowy winter and cold, wet spring, we are in that period when the days are still long and bright, the flood waters have receded, and Nature seems unstoppable and inexhaustible.
As we approach the Caner New Moon and Solar Eclipse on Thursday, the natural world around us seems nourishing in every respect.
Cancer, signified in the zodiac wheel by the crab, represents the Great Mother, She who gives Life. Ruled by the Moon, Cancer and the fourth house of the astrological chart point to our own mothers, our ancestors, and what nourishes us.
Nourishment begins in the heart
Traditional wisdom tells us that we digest everything we take in through all of our senses. The food we eat is the most obvious example, but we also digest emotions, thoughts, what we see, what we hear, even what we sense on a subconscious level. Many empathic or sensitive people can tell you we need extra time and space after being with a crowd or a particularly intense individual to process (ie. digest) the energy we pick up.
The concept applies to all of us, though. Most people have the experience of noticing some strong emotion disrupting their physical digestion, and vice versa. Perhaps we are sad or grieving and simply lose our appetite. Or, we are so angry about something our digestive systems become unsettled as well. Anxiety and stress can lead to all sorts of troubles with the physical digestion.
We digest energetically as well as physically. In fact, according to Ayurveda, the traditional medical system of India, digestion starts in the heart. When we take something in that the heart cannot process, the next step is in the mind, where we find ways to not feel, disconnecting from our body and our experience. This leads to digestive trouble, creating toxins that form the basis of disease.
Nourishment or poison?
This New Moon in Cancer presents a good time to notice what nourishes us. With underworld God(dess) Pluto exactly across from the Moon and Sun, and the added intensity of the Eclipse, however, we are likely to find we have been ingesting poison.
It’s not so hard to imagine, given the content of the news and social media these days.
The fact is, we often proceed unconsciously to “feed” ourselves and our friends poison. What I notice is that even well-meaning friends frequently share pictures and stories ranging from unpleasant to sad to outright devastating. Once we see the image, or read the words, it becomes something we need to digest. For those of us who feel acutely, just the first quick glance can be like a needle – or poison arrow – to the heart.
The truth is everyone feels the impact of what they see, hear, read. But not everyone notices until the undigested emotions and thoughts accumulate and show up as dis-ease of some sort on the mental, emotional, or physical (or even spiritual) plane.
In addition to noticing what we are feeding ourselves – war, strife, the horrors of the world; or love, beauty, and the unselfish acts of love that occur every day – we can also see what we are feeding the world. If what we put our attention on grows, then what are we building with our attention, our Facebook shares, our daily conversation?
The fact is that our Plutonian power lies in our attention and intention; what we share or don’t share.
This Cancer New Moon is the first of three eclipses over the coming weeks. Each eclipse is a potent time of transformation, giving us the opportunity to see what might need to change and the help to make that change. Eclipses herald several different cycles: the lunar cycle of approximately one month; the 18 month cycle of eclipses within the same Zodiac sign; and the 19 year return to the same sign of the Zodiac wheel.
Look back 19 years as well as 18 months to see what might be coming to a close. Set intentions with love and care for the coming month, months, and years.
What nourishes you?
To what do you give your attention?
What are you feeding your community?