With midsummer behind us, we’ve arrived at what most Americans consider the midpoint of the year. The Fourth of July weekend is around the corner. A new lunar month begins with the new moon in Cancer on Friday, June 23. And the first half of the solar year – from winter to summer solstice – completed on Wednesday, when the sun entered Cancer. Yup, the year-end holidays are six months away. But summer just began!
It’s fitting that Cancer, the sign of the crab, ushers in summer. Most of us instinctively look for a body of water around Independence Day. In late June, twilight lingers. Late sunsets are particularly beautiful when seen at the beach, or by the pool, and over lakes. At least imagine yourself in a comfy chair, maybe breathing in humid, salty air, toes burrowing in cool, fine sand. You’re chilling while watching the stars come out.
While the moon is dark (symbolically and actually in Cancer within a few days), this is an excellent time to explore the night sky, if you have a telescope and clear, dark skies. Or gaze up close to midnight and admire the glowing band of the Milky Way. However, most of us live with light pollution, can’t see the Milky Way, and do casual naked-eye skygazing at best. But we’ve still got the moon phases, planets, and bright stars to enjoy!
The skinny crescent moon returns to low western sunset skies perhaps on Sunday, June 25. By the middle of next week, see the waxing moon widen on clear afternoons. Reaching first quarter on Friday, June 30, the half-lit moon travels near bright Jupiter and Spica in Virgo and sets close to midnight.
The moon continues on its way to full – looking plump and juicy, like a lopsided honeydew melon – over the holiday weekend. Making an impressive double sky display, moonlight will accompany the fireworks. If you like fireworks, send out good thoughts for clear skies in your area! Look for the nearly full moon conjunct Saturn over the night of Thursday-Friday, July 6-7.
For North America, the latest sunsets follow the solstice and continue through the holiday weekend. In early July, the Earth is farthest from the sun. The Earth passes through the far end of its elliptical orbit. Afterward, we’ve turned round the bend. Our blue and green marble heads back the other way on its path. Daylight decreases, gradually at first, then more quickly around the autumn equinox and change to standard time. And we loop around the other side, closest to the sun again in early January.
Astrological Influences + Considerations
The first new moon of summer, the Cancer new moon is among the year’s most sensitive. Cancer is ruled by the moon of changeable phases and tidal emotions. Not only are the sun and moon in Cancer, but so are Mercury and Mars. The influence of this new moon is super lunar.
Therefore, if you feel weepy and moody, perhaps prickly and easily spooked (crabby!), you know why. The anxious crab hides within its shell, trying to insulate itself from harm. Or full of wide-eyed bluster, the crab vigorously protects its home and family. The crab attacks with claws outstretched, ready to give a mighty pinch . . . before skittishly taking off sideways, seeking shelter until the danger has passed. One of the zodiac’s softies and its homebody, Cancer prefers domestic quiet and believes that fences make good neighbors. Trespassers will be prosecuted!
The energies of Mercury and Mars in Cancer find indirect expression. Besides being conjunct the sun and moon, which dims its light, Mercury is uncomfortable in Cancer. Mercury prefers to be clear and analytical, not to be muddleheaded with pesky feelings. Nearby and even less comfortable in Cancer, which dampens its flame, Mars is in the sign of its fall. Mars prefers action and aggression, while Cancer is meek.
The Cancerian Mercury-Mars combination is passive-aggressive to the nth degree. So sarcastic. And likely to bicker. You better understand through my nonverbal signals. Because if you don’t get it, I’m not going to tell you. So there.
Shine Like the Moon over the Holiday Weekend
While the Cancerian new moon is strong, it helps that there is a long holiday weekend to soothe the nerves and emotions. Even if it’s only on the phone or online, spend time with family, giving and receiving love and nurturance. Recover from the stress and competition of everyday life. Find ways to lower your defenses. Spend time with children, maybe getting down on all fours and being silly.
Let your vulnerable little crustacean self relax. Get in touch with your emotions, using Mercury and Mars to help you figure out how you feel, and what can be done about it. Listen to your inner voice. Do what the moon does best – reflection.
Watch out, however, for overreaction, particularly on July 4 (really, July 2-5), while the moon is in Scorpio, Mars opposes Pluto, and the sun squares Jupiter. For several days in early July, there is a wide, volatile, grand water trine involving the sun, moon, Mars, and Neptune. Those are some potentially stormy seas.
Don’t jump to conclusions. Not everything you may intuit or suspect is true. Consider different scenarios before striking out. Don’t do anything rash, or swim, under the influence of controlled substances. Don’t grab the wrong foods for comfort. Don’t impulsively hit send on angry messages. Hit pause and reset instead. Things may look different tomorrow.
Before the holiday is an easier time. Venus is strong in its sign of Taurus, as is Neptune in its sign of Pisces. The moon too is in its sign of Cancer for the new moon during the last weekend of June. That’s a lot of grounded, empathetic, loving – but introverted – energy.
Restore, renew, rejuvenate, recharge your batteries. A spa weekend would be perfect. Or at least take a nice, long, luxuriating, fragrant bath with soothing music. Do yoga and meditate near a body of water. Take a long quiet walk on the beach. Or bike or hike to somewhere that opens to a majestic view with a big sky. Breathe deeply. Fill your soul.
It’s the year’s midpoint. What do you have planned for the rest of the summer and maybe the rest of 2017? Let your thoughts swirl, lodging where they will, free associating, taking it all in, and see what comes to mind. If you just let it happen, insights may flow like waves on the ocean. That’s lunar magic.
On Wonderful Moon
For a longer, more detailed version of this post, see last week’s Moonday. For the next Wonderful Moon, Moon Wisdom, which posts in approximately two weeks, the full moon in Capricorn will be discussed. The “buck moon” is the first full moon of summer.
Canines to deer, it was six months ago that Wonderful Moon launched on Wise + Well with the full moon in Cancer, the wolf moon. Thank you, lovely W+W readers! Remember that we always love to hear from you. What can we do to make Wonderful Moon better?
The Yoga Wellness section of Wonderful Moon is taking a brief summer vacation, but will be back for Guru Purnima with the July full moon. See my new weekly Moon Memes, posted on Instagram before the moon phases with a suggestion on yoga practice, coordinated with the lunar influence. The next Moon Meme posts for the new moon this Friday, June 23.
Wonderful Moon is published in two parts before the new and full moons. The focus is on viewing and experiencing the moon with lore, advice, and yoga-oriented body awareness that meshes with the phase, season, and astrological influences. The complementary bimonthly posts are separated into Moon Wisdom and Yoga Wellness.
Photography: “Tropical Moon Delight” (Jan. 26, 2014) is by noted lunar and landscape photographer Greg Diesel Walck, from his Facebook album Fine Art Photography. The photo of the near full moonset with palm trees and the Gulf of Mexico was taken on the balmy Florida Keys in mid-January, while many of us were shivering up north. Have a happy and relaxing 4th of July weekend!