by Boots Hart, CAP

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Mercury in Cancer

Landscape with Apollo and Mercury by Claude Lorrain

Mercury entering Cancer on Thursday June 7th at 11:15 a.m. (UT/+0) time is the first part of our yearly migration through Cancer. This year, Mercury is first to Cancer’s shores…to be followed by the Sun (late on June 20th)…and eventually, Venus.

Venus isn’t entering Cancer until August, and Mercury and the Sun will be long gone by then. From Cancer, I mean – not the solar system!

Oh yes – and Mars? With its almost two-year long orbit, Mars only sashays through Cancer about once every two years. Considering it’s currently in Virgo, we’re not thinking Mars will double back for any 2012 Cancer traipse.

Cancer represents many things: family, nationality, cultural heritage, home-hearth-real estate and base-of-operations stuff, dreams, habits, memory, childhood…all that.

But at the moment, I’m thinking the more important thing to consider is that Cancer is the first of the zodiacal water signs. Each of the first four signs…Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer…represents basic learning processes. Aries is about learning to be who you are – and learning that you even exist. Taurus is about recognizing how to get hold of things, and what it means to have things, and that the most basic thing we have (or should have) is some regard for who we are. Our Self. You know – that Aries thing.

Each sign builds on what’s just been learned. The zodiac is a process.

Gemini is the first of the airy, theoretical signs. So it’s all about thinking and our mentality – and learning how to use, harness and stuff that mentality full of nifty facts. (Yes, you get to define ‘nifty’ here.)

I’m always saying how Gemini is about ‘choice.’ That’s because it’s through doing that Gemini thinking thing that we decide what to do with that Self we’ve just learned to value (or hopefully learned to value) in Taurus.

Then we come to Cancer. First of the water signs, it’s ruled by the Moon and associated with tides and the surf zone. And since water is emotion, thus Cancer is moody.

 photo credit: Kahuroa (December 2002)

Oh gee – that’s what we need: moody (Cancer) thinking (Mercury) while our dear, sulfuric Venus is still staggering backwards through Gemini like some mentally bedeviled would-be-beautiful maiden disheveled beyond any useful conscious of consequence.

I’m so over this Venus retrograde – can you tell?

Probably lucky for us, Mercury won’t be in Cancer all that long. Only until the 26th, which means Mercury will be reaching 29 urgent degrees of Cancer…uh, yes – just when Saturn goes direct.

(A brief pause here while I contemplate the possibilities.)

That could be good. Then again, it could be tumultuous. It depends on what kind of basic shape your life – and maybe more importantly your life direction is in.

The overlap of Sun and Mercury is something shy of a week: starting on the 20th and for all intents and purposes ending on the 25th. Those days for some will feel very cozy. For others that’s when the salt water will hit the crabby fan.

Meanwhile, we can expect a lot of folks to ‘cocoon’ with Mercury in Cancer, though probably half of them will do their lounging around the homestead while complaining about things at work, things out in the world, things they wish they were doing….

You know…things.

A fair number of people will trade the fun of bitching and complaining for thinking over how to reach their desired goals.

Then again, there are those who will actually be working on what they want to achieve…which has pluses and minuses, I should think.

If you’re not into ‘sign theory’ (which sounds very official) looking at a chart like this is rather interesting as it shows the zodiac’s patterns. The elements have an order: fire, earth, air, water. That pattern repeats three times. The modalities (the ‘mode’ of activity for each sign) also repeats, but it repeats per quarter: the first sign in any quarter is cardinal, the middle sign is fixed and the final sign is mutable.

The way this works out is that we end up with one sign of each element falling in each of the modalities. Cancer is cardinal water: Cancers are never shy about their feelings, right? And they’d like you to know about them, which is where Mercury comes in.

Mercury = communication. Do you think you’re going to hear about it? (Don’t ask me what…fill in your own “it”!)

If you have something feeling to say, you’ll want to say it under Mercury in Cancer. And plenty gets said with a lot of feeling (cold, heated, otherwise) under Mercury in Cancer.

Mercury also equals thinking. Anything which evokes emotionality will be on the thinking list in these next few weeks.

Have I ever told you that the water sign houses (and signs) are considered the signs of wealth? Not “having money in the bank” – real wealth… as in, how you get real wealth. (Or what you do with it, yes.)

Cancer is real estate. Scorpio is investments and inheritances. Pisces covers all the forms of “passive” income: royalties, mineral rights, annuities, pensions – all that.

So if you’re a purist-theorist-eventualist, this would be a good time to be figuring out where you stand in terms of all those ‘wealth’ things. In fact, with Venus in retrograde, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if something caused you to need to think about such things. Or you could just be hearing others discussing such things.

But going back to that chart…if you’ll note please, Cancer is the only one of the first four signs to be on the right side of the ‘natural’ horoscope (the wheel of a chart set up to start ‘naturally’ with Aries). My point here is that the left hemisphere is all proactive. The right hemisphere is responsive, reactive…it’s where we respond based on what we’ve already learned (Cancer = memory).

So is it illogical that emotional motivation would underlie everything we do? Or that it's really those things we learn early in life which tend to (at least habitually) motivate us? No. And that 'what to do with my life' is a primal Cancer issue - as is the feeling that the very earth (the bottom of the chart wheel) is shaking when our home life or ability to have a home gets shaken.

The zodiac is an endlessly elegant thing. I particularly like (intellectually, that is) how Cancer, as the first 'receptive-responsive' sign indeed represents the family. And how clearly it's position as the first sign on the responsive side says that emotionality, while native to all of us is learned. We learn it in response to others. We learn it early on.

Of course we can also change it - if we are willing to go back through our system and figure it out. The emotional inability to cope is very Pisces - deep water. Scorpio is the sign of psychology: plumbing our watery, emotional depths.

In the end, it all comes back to the Cancer surf zone and lessons about how our mentality (Gemini, previous sign to cancer) works.  

So when we want to figure out ‘foundational’ issues, we look at the sign on the 4th house of a natal chart...then add in the thematic 'house factors' of whatever house Cancer is on...and check out a person's natal Moon.

Voila! Instant picture. It's sort of the digital snapshot of the chart (for you older folks, the Polaroid).

Those combined factors - separately and as a melange will be something we keep ‘dealing with.’ Why? Not so much to cope with life directly, but in order to understand our Self. Through sorting through what really works and is intrinsic to our nature and tossing out (or modifying) those unworkable molds we somehow came to think we need to fit into early all leads us to being able to build a more stable, solid life.

I guess that's something to think about with Mercury in Cancer. At least for me. And while I do that, I'm going to watch the waves rolling in...and the waves rolling out. There’s a rhythm to life. While Mercury traverses Cancer is a great time to think things through, figure things out and tell someone that you really love them.

Yes, even if Venus is still in retrograde.

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