New Moon in Cancer: Your Primal Instincts Are Calling
With Luna exactly conjunct Lilith at this New Moon, all sorts of repressed urges and fears and desires and needs may surface. Are you listening?
Tomorrow, we have a New Moon in the cardinal water sign of Cancer, the highly-sensitive Crab. The same day, Neptune stations in Pisces and gives a particularly ample watery boost to a cluster of planetary aspects that virtually guarantee, if you are human and at all in touch with your inner life, that you will be feeling extra emotional.
The key factor to this New Moon is the exact conjunction of the Moon with the astrological point in space known as Black Moon Lilith. Black Moon Lilith is not literally a moon; she is rather the point along the Moon’s orbit furthest from the Sun. Black Moon Lilith has a story to tell in all our charts, in all our lives, and for the collective. In Judaic mythopoetry, Lilith was Adam’s first wife. His primordial wife. His equal, not his servant. She refused to “lie beneath” Adam, the story goes, and was thus kicked out of Eden. Yahweh followed up by creating Eve from Adam’s rib – fashioned as a more subservient feminine and rooted in the masculine.
But what about Lilith? Yes, what about Lilith.
Lilith, the dark and exiled feminine, lives on in our psyches, buried deep in the unconscious and epigenetic DNA. Stories describe her as vengeful for her banishment, eating her own children. Other tales represent Lilith as The Very Serpent who tempted Eve. Lilith represents our most primitive impulses and behavior. She also points us to our repressed shadow and sexuality. Just because Lilith was kicked out of the Garden does not mean those drives and instincts disappeared; no, they remain with us, buried until something awakens them. The serpent whispers in our ear, Come away with me. And we bite into the red apple of knowledge. Our fate is sealed, but is it really the horrific damnation tale we have been fed?
Man or Woman, you know when you’ve been tempted by the apple, or flat-out bitten by the snake. You won’t be able to resist. Around my first Saturn return, I faced Lilith in myself when events completely unforeseen and out of my control beckoned me to leave my brand-new first marriage. Lilith is chaotic. She doesn’t give a flying fig leaf what society might think, what the family says, what the culture grooms us for. Lilith will have her way, or there will be sheer hell to pay.
So how do we honor this primordial urge? First, we must become aware of it. Often, the world happens to us, something is unpredictable and like a raw force of nature, blows into our lives to change us completely, forever. Dreamtime, analytic psychotherapy, art and creative expression and time in Nature all have the possibility of awakening the serpent in a gentler, more gradual fashion.
Don’t forget, the serpent is associated with the Kundalini Shakti energy coiled at the very base of the spine, the root chakra. This evolutionary power is awaiting ignition and if triggered without doing the conscious work of embodiment and integration, we may find Her unleashing all sorts of crises, good, bad and everything in between. Again, Lilith and Shakti do not work according to human timing, or when it’s convenient for you; the wild feminine – Nature Herself – arrives on Her own time. It’s always right on time evolutionarily, if deeply uncomfortable.
The Wounded Inner Child
Cancer is the sign of mothering and women, babyhood and pregnancy and gestation, safety and caregiving. At this New Moon in Cancer, with Luna exactly conjunct Lilith, we can prepare for all sorts of repressed urges and fears and desires and needs that may surface. People are likely going to be extremely sensitive around issues involving nurturing, security, and skipped steps around mothering. With Lilith whispering in the Moon’s ear, waking us up to unmet needs, it is likely we will see a heavy helping of acting out. Think, tantrums on the supermarket floor. Passive-aggressive comments inadvertently flying out the side of the mouth – yours or theirs. Perhaps even bullying, in the news or in the neighborhood, from those begging for attention – even if negative attention.
Early childhood wounding requires a delicate attendant, and no one better to give care than the very Self. Tender Cancer Moon is asking you to give yourself more self-love, more tenderness, and more easy-does-it. Keep it simple. Remove things from your to-do list. Now, go cross more off your list (or burn it altogether). Lilith works in the unconscious, remember. You are going to need more spaciousness than usual to process feelings that might be bubbling up from the unconscious.
“Mama don't go
Daddy come home”
~ John Lennon, “Mother” (1970)
Why is all this necessary, you ask? Well, Lilith contains incredible raw power. The mysteries of the dark feminine have been repressed for thousands of years; keeping Her down has been a way of maintaining control, out of fear. Yet, what the wounded masculine and the wounded feminine alike need to come to understand is this: It is not doing anyone any good to hold her down, to lock her in a cage, to string her up on the gallows – no matter our gender. If we continue to ignore that primal part of us – the part that does not follow rules, does not adhere to authority, does not try to be a good girl or good little boy – we assure ourselves illness, whether mental or physical or societal. See any hints of that in the current age collectively, anyone?
To add fuel to the fire, making the waters of emotion boil over, we have inflammatory Jupiter in Aries in a challenging exact square to Sun, Moon, and Lilith in Cancer. Even the most chillaxed, Zen individuals are bound to have feathers ruffled, egos poked, reactionary selves tested. My advice for this time is to make self-care the #1 priority, as mentioned above. If possible, put off highly emotional or activating visits with certain family members or difficult people for a couple weeks. With this caveat: If you are feeling courageous, walk right in there. Lilith will be by your side, whispering in your ear. She will help you find the strength, the might, the primal, earth-based wisdom to not only face your demon, but to have compassion for the hurt and upset inner child you are encountering, in self or other.
Remember, in the Lilith story, Adam’s first wife was banished for exclaiming she would not be beneath her husband. The intuition and right brain element – woman – insisted on being equal to the left brain, the rational and logical mind. We can celebrate this return of the wild feminine, and if things get a little chaotic, a little messy and garbled while we are reintegrating these two aspects of our psyche, it’s totally okay! Allow it all. Allow the tears. Allow the rage. There’s a lot of energy in there that has been stuffed for most of the life, and even longer when we look at ancestry and epigenetics. The energy has to be felt and allowed to move through in order to heal and integrate.
“Have you seen your mother, baby, standing in the shadow?”
~ Jagger and Richards, The Rolling Stones (1966)
Healing Agent: Doing the Inner Work
Lilith is Nature Herself. And, she is Our Nature – personally and collectively. Bodily – not disconnected from our root. Lived experience, not imagined or projected, neither anticipated or mourned. It is the Here and Now – the Present – the place where depression and anxiety and judgment dissolve into a moment of Time that arises and passes away, without stickiness, without suffering.
We are in the real swing of summer now, and the Natural World has many blatant signs and moments of insight to share with us. A colorful, new-to-you bird comes into your yard, chirping an unfamiliar call to get your attention and reminding you to keep your ears and eyes open to wonder. Your kitty cat takes to hunting snakes (Lilith!) and swings the serpent about, like a lariat, on your front porch. A humid sky belts out a thunderstorm and the gods are bowling in a celestial tournament of pins blasting every few minutes of thunder and wonder…
Lilith, when ignored, becomes vehement in her outward expression. The hard part is doing the honest digging to see what she is requiring of you and what she is asking you to change in your life, to become more closely aligned with Nature, your true essence. Don’t worry about admitting the verboten to anyone else right now, let it be between yourself and soul, psyche, right now. Questions you might ask of yourself:
- If no one were looking, and no one cared or judged you, what might you be doing more of? What might you be doing less of?
- Even if it might seem incredulous or selfish or impossible or irresponsible or immoral or disrespectful or downright “stupid” to go for or allow into your life, your beingness: what does your body-mind-spirit crave, ache for?
- If no one knew, if no one ever found out, what might you admit to yourself? Try this prompt, “The truth is. . .” (The truth is, I feel, I want, I need)
It’s important to keep in mind that we are not necessarily going to enact or attract any of these admissions, cravings, needs, desires. By bringing this into conscious awareness without judgment or resistance, we can trust the Self to orchestrate the unfolding in a way that is truly beneficial for all of Life. By examining our psyche in this free fashion, we are making room for a release of heavy suffering caused by repression of the instincts.
At this time of the New Moon in Cancer, we are faced with the task of addressing our discarded and rejected parts of self, especially the wounded inner child. By honoring our primal selves, our raw urges, through witnessing them, we release great energy locked up in the shadowy dungeons. This is the reason we do shadow work, so that true power and potential creative force can be freed to move, evolve, transmute, heal. Lilith will surely be a lot less cranky, vengeful, agitated, upset when She has been truly and duly heard, seen, respected. By no one other than your very Self.
She is like a cat in the dark
And then she is to darkness
She rules her life like a fine skylark
And when the sky is starless
~ Stevie Nicks, “Rhiannon” (1975)
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