New Moon in Cancer :: Fierce protection

June 28, 2022 at 9:52pm Central—It’s hard not to write about the New Moon in Cancer without addressing the upheaval occurring in the US at the moment.  Tuesday’s New Moon precedes the second installment of the US Pluto Return on July 11th. The first conjunction occurred on February 22nd of this year and the final hit will be on December 28th. When the Declaration of Independence was signed, Pluto was at 27°33′ Capricorn. And now, 248 years later—a full Pluto cycle—Pluto returns to the same degree.


All planets have a cycle. The moon returns to its natal position once a month. Every year near our birthday, the Sun returns to the same degree it was when we were born. The further a planet orbits from the Sun, the longer its cycle. Around 28-29 years, we experience our Saturn Return and its lessons on responsibility and maturation, often through challenging circumstances. As individuals, we’ll never experience a Pluto Return. We’d have to live 248 years to do so. But a country can. During that time, plutonian themes become part of the Zeitgeist.

At 248 years old, the civil unrest, fight for sovereignty and control, violence and power issues currently center stage in the United States are all themes related to Pluto. The Pluto Return represents a time where a country takes its dirty laundry in for washing, exposing all its stains and stink. The toxicity we’re witnessing in the ever-increasing trauma that is the United States news reflects the transformative unraveling that happens during a transit from Pluto.

Cancer New Moon

It is within this context that we find our New Moon in the tender underbelly of Cancer. The astrology suggests that July, accompanied by the second touchdown of a retrograde Pluto to the US Sibly Chart on the 11th, will be tumultuous. At the moment, I can’t help but notice Mars and his sister Eris conjunct in the sign of Aries applying in a square to Pluto. If you remember your mythology, the Goddess Eris felt slighted when she wasn’t invited to a royal wedding because of her reputation for causing chaos wherever she went. She showed up anyway with a golden apple that was instrumental in starting the Trojan War.

When Eris appears in a tense configuration such as the one we’re currently experiencing, there’s a storm brewing that’s rising from the voices of the disregarded, passed over, suppressed and denied. Eris is the archetype of the ostracized rebel and in her square to Pluto with her warrior-brother Mars, she’s intent on taking down the power structures that have rotted from the inside out. Eris demands truth, accountability, and asks us to look at how our systems continually disenfranchise some while perpetuating privilege for others. At the heart of this square is a warrior’s demand for evolutionary change in an outdated structure.

Our most tender

The New Moon in Cancer seeds an area where we are our most tender. The themes we find here include home, family, roots, caretaking, nourishment and intimacy. Coincidentally, esteemed astrologer Austin Coppock calls this decan “Mother and Child”. He shares that originally, the personal image he envisioned for this decan to include in 36 Faces was of a pregnant woman whose unborn child had a baby inside it, and on and on creating a sort of nesting doll of babies inside of abdomens for generations.  This image speaks to the interdependence and connections we have with those we care for and with those who care for us in the circle of life. 

Further, the tarot card associated with the first ten degrees (decan) of Cancer where this lunation occurs is The Two of Cups. Called the “Lord of Love”, it can herald finding emotional resonance in a beloved. This first decan is also ruled by Venus which further underscores the connection to love, belonging and intimacy. When we pull this card, our hearts are hopeful in finding someone who truly sees us and reflects back to us the love we carry inside.

The New Moon in Cancer suggests this tender, intimate and caretaking part of our chart is being activated now.  It squares Jupiter in Aries (ruled by Mars which squares Pluto). The significations of Jupiter include the legal system, establishing order and dispensing justice. In Aries, this Jupiter is rash, reactive and somewhat reckless. We can see these signatures playing out in the United States as the Supreme court has overturned the constitutional right to legal abortion and a woman’s prerogative to make decisions concerning her own body. And if the comments by Justice Clarence Thomas to reconsider same-sex marriage and contraception comes to pass, we can see how this New Moon chart is quite a literal representation of personal intimate freedoms currently under threat.

A formidable seed sprouting in Cancer

We began with Pluto and we’ll end with it. 2022 marks a transformative year for the United States as it grapples with power issues and upholding sovereign rights of all its citizens. This New Moon highlights the arena where much of the civil unrest and appropriate rage is taking place: the right to decide for oneself if and when to bear children, whom to wed and love and finally the structure and timing of one’s own family. Although this is the most tender part of the chart, if provoked, there is no rage more formidable than Cancer’s when it is protecting itself and those that it loves.

Photo by Dima Pechurin on Unsplash