The moon is new at 2.47 degrees of Cancer at 10:31 PM EST on Friday, June 23rd.
I've been thinking about what it means for Cancer to be both a water sign and a Cardinal sign. Cardinal Signs are typically thought of as Yang; they initiate action. Water is typically considered Yin, it receives and reflects instead of initiating. This makes Cancer both yin and yang, active and reflective, outward and inward.
In the Tarot, the Chariot is considered the card corresponding to the sign of Cancer. It is, briefly, a card of assertion, control, the power of the will. The charioteer sits below a canopy of stars, with crescent moons on the shoulders of his armor. The sphinxes and the Hindu symbol represent the union of opposites. Behind him is a body of water and a city, perhaps a home.
Like the sign of Cancer, the Chariot is complex. On the surface it appears to be a card of yang: action, victory, the start of a journey. Look deeper, and you find that there are many symbols representing both yin and yang. This card is about balance. The Charioteer seeks control through balancing emotion and action, positive and negative.
We celebrated the Summer Solstice this year at the time of the dark moon -- when the moon is waning to its disappearance, just before the complete darkness that we call the New Moon. The Summer Solstice is a day of the Sun at its highest power, bringing us the longest period of light we have all year. But it was hard for me to feel sunny yesterday, pulled as I was into the undertow of the dark moon, which asks us to rest and reflect before each new moon cycle.
Cancer is sunlit, summertime, nurturing warmth, and moody, secretive, wild lunacy. Mars is in Cancer now, challenging us to merge yang with yin. We defend the home territory. We attend actively to our roots. We assert ourselves with emotional understanding and maturity. We're here, making peace with opposites, in the time of the Chariot. Your Chariot may be a place of security -- the armored lookout from which you defend your home. Your Chariot may be a vehicle of safety as you journey outward into the world. In the tarot card, the Charioteer doesn't look like he's moving. He has prepared for his journey. He is about to set out. He is still close to home. This is where you will be at the time of the new moon tomorrow: preparing your chariot.
Though we have the promising light of the solstice to guide us, all new beginnings happen first in the darkness. The seed is planted beneath the earth. At first, growth is invisible. New Moons are for the invisible beginning. You can set an intention, do a ritual, or take a moment of rest. You can take action as the moon waxes to fullness in Capricorn on July 9th. For now, nurture what needs nurturing. Prepare the chariot you need.