Cancer Solstice, June 22, 2011: the return of the Cardinal Grand Cross

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Cancer was known to the ancients as the ‘Gate of Life’, that stage in the development of consciousness that has to do with protecting and nurturing life. The life that had its beginning in the crucible of Fiery Aries, became established in Earthy Taurus, began to analyze the external world in Airy Gemini, and now is ready to develop the feelings function, by establishing bonding relationships through family, tribe and national identity. Cancer is not only the Home Sign, but also the whole matrilineal descent, the sense of belonging to a clan or country, the whole idea of a Mother Land.

The Moon is closely associated with Cancer, in her role as nurturer, as Lady of the Waters, bringing moisture up from the depths of the Earth to nourish plants, animals and human beings living on the planet. Without the Moon there wouldn’t be life on Earth as we know it.

So what is the cosmic message every year as the Sun enters the Sign of Cancer? We could say: ‘nurture yourself and one another; take care of the Earth as your Mother and of other creatures like if they were your children’. How more livable a place would the Earth be if we could do that as a collective, dedicating this important time in the yearly cycle to acknowledge the sacredness of Life.

Every Solstice, or Equinox for that matter, is different from all others, due to the ever changing planetary patterns in the solar system. Thus every Cancer Solstice offers a unique opportunity to manifest the nurturing qualities of  this Cardinal Water Sign.

At this time some of the slow moving destiny-makers, namely Pluto, Uranus and Saturn, together with the swift moving Mercury, now transiting Cancer, are coming very close again to a Grand Cross formation that was first felt, well before becoming exact, in late 2008, with the ingress of Pluto in Capricorn, the Earth Cardinal Sign. The alignment of Pluto to the Sun has been in fact the leitmotif of the last three years Equinoxes (via square aspect) and Solstices (via conjunction and opposition). At the end of 2009 Saturn came into the equation by entering Libra, the Cardinal Air Sign, followed, in mid-2010, by Jupiter and Uranus’ combined ingress into Aries, the Fire Cardinal Sign.

During this Cancer Solstice the Sun and Mercury are filling in the empty leg of the original T Square, thus forming a Grand Cross, involving all four Cardinal Signs and all four Elements. Last year Cancer Solstice produced a similar configuration, with the difference that Saturn had temporarily moved back into Virgo then, still part of the grand Cross but not from a Cardinal Sign.

This special alignment of planetary energies is offering again a wealth of challenges to us earthlings. Judging from the eventful years we have had, since 2008, it is easy to predict some more of the same. In particular we are now having a taste of the mighty square connecting Uranus to Pluto, that, becoming exact only in 2012 and continuing until 2015, is however less than two degrees away from exactness at this crucial time of the year.

The energies involved are those of Pluto, the inside-out transformer, causing the death of the old in order to give life to the new; Uranus, the harbinger of radical and unexpected changes, and Saturn, the one who is supposed to keep the status quo, to uphold tradition, challenged indeed by the others’ iconoclastic natures. In a formation like this something has to give, because all the different energies involved, each with its own agenda, so to speak, have no choice but to work together.

Symbolically this Solstice could bring a season of significant changes, and even upheavals, for all Cardinal Signs, Cancer, Capricorn, Aries and Libra. In particular, though, for those individuals who were born within the first week of these Signs, dates more closely aligned to the Grand Cross. Also anyone with Moon, Ascendant or other Birth Chart’s Angle, and/or Planets between the naught and ten degrees of the same Signs.

The Solstice Chart however shows more than just the Cardinal alignments. The two planetary lovers, Venus and Mars, are now both transiting Gemini, Mars having entered this Sign less than fifteen hours before the actual ingress of the Sun in Cancer. The accent on Gemini seems positive to me, releasing some of the stress of the Cardinal Cross, with the gift of adaptability and lightness, especially as Mars will be soon in harmonious aspect (sextile) to Uranus in Aries. Via Gemini we may be better equipped to withstand the impact of the Cardinal Grand Cross, that is forcing many to take action in rather big ways.

Another factor to consider is Jupiter that left Cardinal Aries in early June and is now transiting fixed Taurus, promoting a greater sense of stability, curbing somewhat the restlessness and anxiety that are often the lot of the Cardinal Signs.

Here are the Horoscopes for this Cancer Solstice, calculated for the coordinates of Canberra, Australia’s national capital, and a double wheel Chart with the same Cancer Solstice over Australia’s National Chart (January 1, 1901).

Sun Ingress into Cancer in Canberra, Australia national capital

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Sun Ingress into Cancer and the Australian National Chart

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