Cancer New Moon: Sensitive Strength

This July 4th, we have a new moon in Cancer next to Mercury and Venus. Cancer is traditionally the sign of home, family, and women, and motherhood. It's no mistake that America's national holiday is often celebrated as a family holiday. It's in the season of Cancer, when people pack up their children and travel to the beach, the park, or the homes of relatives to enjoy the beautiful summer weather.

Cancer is an emotional water sign, and it's also a cardinal sign: Cancer leads and initiates action. This is the archetype of the mother who can suddenly lift a car to save her kids and the small business owner who treats employees like family. Cancer reminds us that sensitivity can be a strength. For that reason, I thought it was appropriate that I began today by reading an article about Liita Iyaloo Cairney, a woman who has created an innovative "period shell" to make menstruation easier for women and girls around the world.

Globally, a persistent taboo around menstruation combined with limited access to feminine hygiene products leaves girls with few options when they get their periods. They're forced to miss school, or even to sell their bodies for access to sanitary pads. And even women with more economic power find that the available solutions -- tampons, pads, cups -- leave more to be desired. Cairney imagines a walk-in shop with a wide range of menstrual products to choose from, and points out that it's silly that it doesn't exist already. But now at least, there are more NGOs working on this cause, and more researchers like Cairney trying to find a solution. And globally marginalized women and girls are speaking out more often about their need for better education and resources.

What does any of this have to do with astrology? In many ways, Cairney's story fits the Cancer archetype. She was inspired to design the shell for girls after visiting Namibia - one of her homes, in that it's the country where she was born. Cancer is the sign of the moon and therefore of menstrual cycles, of women, protection, and what is kept secret inside. Most importantly, Cairney's story is one of leading by caring, which is the kind of story I think we need after so much recent news about leading with ignorance and hate.

This new moon trines Neptune in Pisces, another caring, feeling water sign. All of this water energy gives us some cool, healing balm to put on our wounds. Mars is direct, so it's a time when we can begin to lead, to initiate what we have been reflecting on, and take more action. Consider who or what you care about. At this moment, what you might need most is self-care, or it might be to show a family member that you care by really listening to what they have to say. Small actions are just as important as big ones. If world events have left you feeling powerless, if your family is driving you a little nuts, remember that sensitivity is a strength too. Lead by caring, and others are likely to follow.