Happy Birthday Cancer, I’m one of you, so to me too!!
Tarotscopes for this Month
It’s Cancer season, and an intense one at that, with eclipses and retrogrades all joining the party. Even in more benign times Cancer time is the time when even the baddest, moss-free rock will catch some feels. And with a Full Moon that conjoined a retrograde Saturn close to the start of the month (28 June), we might just be making our way out of quite a bit of melancholy.
Saturn in astrology is melancholy himself. Wherever he sits, he plonks beside him a bit of a damp squib. As a rather melancholic person with a strong Saturnine cloud containing extremely sensitive watery energies in my natal chart, only recently, on the Full Moon in fact, did I start to take some interest in Saturn and melancholia as such. I was trying to find a cure when I started out. But the very interesting literature out there on Marsilio Ficino’s humanistic view of astrology in 15th Century Italy, composer John Dowland’s part in the ‘School of the Night’ in 16th Century England, and their connection to Hermeticism has given me a rather glittering perspective on my “condition”.
If one views the Universe as one of divine purpose, and our existence here on Earth as the learning experience of recovering from a fall from heavenly grace to find a path back to our blissful abode, then the planets, arranged in almost concentric orbits, symbolise the levels and expressions we must graduate through in order to go back home. From that point of view, Saturnine natives can be said to be “blessed” with a life of looking inward, cosseted by deprivation of social fulfilment, which ultimately opens them to the most fulfilling interaction of all — of formlessness through sublime spiritual union, of losing oneself in the flow of everything, of no longer being confined in 3D but getting swept away atom by atom into the universal consciousness that contains us and fills us.
Melancholy is good for the soul. It takes us away from that hamster-wheel of physical desire into a far more exciting chase and adventure of self-discovery. It is so easy for us currently to stay trapped in the “social” sphere through our phones and laptops, to buy into a version of reality that is entirely and exclusively made by the input-constrained perceptions of the human mind. When your heart breaks watching children being caged at the US border it might be good to remember that borders and countries and their resultant problems are all human-made in the first place. If there were no demarcations claiming ownership of space that frankly, belongs to no one, most of the problems we face today, of rising extremist nationalist sentiments, terrorism, and even environmental abuse wouldn’t exist. If we all shared this planet as a border-less home, common to a joint family, we would all perhaps treat it with the love and respect we give to the place we rest our head on every night. With national and personal property divisions also comes alienation and transference — everything is someone else’s problem. Everyone has facts to quote from history to pass on the buck to someone else for the present state of the world. (How boringly Cancerian of me to want the entire world to be a home to everyone equally!)
But I’m digressing (and ranting!). Of the “melancholy of a soul trapped in a material world, exalting the veiled mysteries and inward truths of the night over the rational clarity of day”*, late English Renaissance composer Dowland had this to celebrate in Flow My Tears:
Flow, my tears, fall from your springs!
Exiled for ever, let me mourn;
Where night’s black bird her sad infamy sings,
There let me live forlorn.
Down vain lights, shine you no more!
No nights are dark enough for those
That in despair their lost fortunes deplore.
Light doth but shame disclose.
Since pity is fled, and tears and sighs and groans
My weary days of all joys have deprived.
My fortune is thrown;
And fear and grief and pain
For my deserts are my hopes, since hope is gone.
Hark! you shadows that in darkness dwell,
Learn to condemn light
Happy, happy they that in hell
Feel not the world’s despite.
Healthy detachment from emotions is important for humans to survive, but the occasional trip to the ocean of emotions, for those unaccustomed to living by its shores, is necessary for catharsis and liberation too.
*Angela Voss. The Power of a Melancholy Humour. Source: https://themathesontrust.org/library/voss-power-of-melancholy