January 6, 2023 at 5:07 pm Central—I’ve written about the word querencia before. It comes from the Spanish verb querer, which means to desire and to want. It refers to a place that has completely captured you, becoming a part of your bones and interior landscape. You might have been there during your childhood, for decades, or even just a short time. It never left you. It’s as though you left a piece of your truest self there, and that piece haunts you to come back. Querencia refers to wanting to go back to this place once you’ve grown old and death is near. It is here you remember who you are.
Friday’s Full Moon in Cancer feels like it contains this word querencia and all the layers that create it: instinctual sentimentality, kinship and nostalgia for the deep past. Querencia presupposes we are whole because within this place, we radiate our inviolable self integrity.
What does it feel like to be this whole? This complete? Well, on the most basic level, it’s to meet the mammalian requirements we find along the Cancer/Capricorn axis. This feeling of wholeness and the requirements to meet it are fleshed out and highlighted by Friday’s Full Moon in Cancer which reminds us there is such a querencia within all of us: we don’t need to go someplace, be with someone or do something to find it. We are it.
But to back it up for a second… when we think of Cancer, it’s important to remember its origin story. Carcinus the crab fought valiantly to help the Hydra of Lerna in her death fight against Heracles. Heracles had provoked the serpentine water monster (Hydra) by throwing flaming arrows into her cave where she was peacefully minding her own business. In the end, Heracles prevailed and killed the Hydra and Carcinus. In gratitude for its heroic service, Hera swung the crab up into the heavens and there it shines as the constellation Cancer with Hydra to its south. Thus, Cancer is associated with protection of home and hearth, and restoration of equanimity.
All this to say, an important part of reveling in querencia is to know protection: that a Heracles equivalent isn’t going to come and take it all away. In the Cancer-Capricorn axis, we safeguard against illness, poverty and old age. We keep ourselves healthy. We set ourselves up financially. We make plans for the last third of our lives where we can live comfortably. We gather kin or people that feel like family around us so that we are not alone. We fortify ourselves so that when the vicissitudes of life take a turn for the worse, we are protected. Most of all, we tend to the inner flame of querencia, knowing that we are whole, worthy and enough.
Mercury plays an important role in Friday’s lunation. A few hours after the Full Moon, Mercury begins his purification process where he passes through the fiery furnace of the Sun. Called Cazimi, this is a significant time where Mercury is said to have the ear of the Sun. How does this translate for us? We’re open to receiving messages now, whether from the outside, our own internal wisdom, or our ancestors. For those of us who have been struggling either financially, with illness, with loneliness and feeling orphaned, I kindly suggest using this time to connect with an ally—ancestor, nature ally like a mountain or tree, an old friend or even your future self—who can reflect your radiance back to you. With Mercury regenerating our perceptions and then trining Uranus on Saturday, this is a time to break through something that has kept you in its clutches for too long.
Finally, this beautiful, bright moon has all the feels. It also wants us to take action, like Carcinus the crab coming to protect the Hydra. So do something for your well being this month. Cultivate protection and care for your “soft animal body”… and like poet extraordinaire Mary Oliver so eloquently penned, you can remember:
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
You belong. Happy Full Moon and best wishes for 2023.