The Second and Third of July mark the new lunar cycle, with both the Sun & the Moon shifting into the sign of Cancer. With thenew moon paired with a solar eclipse we have an opportunity to do an emotional check in & some deep release work. With Cancer ruling over the watery realms of feeling, intuition, home, comfort, our need for self- care & our desires to care for others, it’s a perfect time to take a look at all of your commitments in your home sphere to see where you are at.
Cancer is symbolized by the watery crab, the creature that has a tough exterior that allows it to take loads of thumps and bumps, but within there is a soft centre that needs to be protected. This soft core of internal vulnerability needs to be cared for so we don’t find ourselves getting snippy with those we love or getting out the claws to fend off those who encroach on our territory.
Checking in with the balance of care for self & care for others can be as simple as doing a quick inventory of how you spend your time. There’s 24 hours in everyday with a good third of that spent sleeping. How much time do you devote to yourself for those basic self-care tasks of good food, deep rest, regular exercise & time for relaxation? These are basics that ensure we are taking care of our bodies & have the resources to tend to our emotional needs without getting triggered into flight, fight or freeze modes. Do a quick list, how many of these activities do you get to do well over the course of average week?
In addition to basic self-care time for creativity, time for play, time for self-reflection & time for physical/ emotional intimacy with people we love are ways that we can nurture ourselves. Take a look & see if your average week includes any of these too. After you have done your checklist you can then weigh this up against another quick list of the things that you do for other people. Include on this list your practical tasks of household duties, cleaning, caring for children or loved ones, talking with & supporting friends or family.
Your next step is to compare these two lists. Have you ended up with a long list of tasks you do to help care for others with little time for yourself? Or perhaps you are in a place where you manage to sneak in a few scraps of nourishment for yourself but find you’re needing a little more.
How do these lists make you feel? Are you overwhelmed by the number of tasks you have on your plate or are you managing OK. Do feelings of fulfillment arise or is there resentment, anger, exhaustion, feeling overstretched, overworked or overdone. Just notice any feelings without judgment or suppressing whatever arises for you.
For me time for self- reflection, creativity & intimacy come high on my personal priorities to ensure my emotional needs are met. I work with Tarot along with journalling & meditation to uncover where I am at emotionally on a regular basis throughout the month. Here is a Tarot process you can use once you have stirred up the waters a bit with this emotional check in process.
Grab your Tarot deck, tune in with your feelings and ask,
How am I….
Place the card in front of you and just gaze into it, allowing emotions to float to the surface. Take a breath, allowing that emotion to pass.
Ask yourself again
How am I really…….
Draw another card and place it below the first one
Again take some time to gaze into this card, noticing an emotions that arise to the surface, allowing them to gently drift away.
Keep this process going until you hit the bottom. Just keep pulling cards, placing them below asking How am I really until you get that feeling that this is it, this is how I really feel. You might feel it in your belly or your heart space, or even a sense of heaviness in your body. Alternatively you might hear a phrase cross through that affirms that this is what’s underneath it all.
This process allows us to get through the tough exterior that we put on for the world and the people around us. It also gives us a chance to practice being mindful with our feelings, cultivating emotional sensitivity & making space for subtle emotional release to flow over us.
Now that you have an emotional understanding of where you are give yourself some self nurturing time. To align with the element of Water that Cancer is related take a ritual bath. For a nurturing soothing bath add oils of lavender, sandalwood and rose. For a clearing soak add some salt to the tub. As you lay in the waters allow any negative emotions to be drawn out through the pores of your skin. As you let the water out of the tub imagine any negative energies being drawn away from you.
To round up this whole process get yourself dry, warm and dressed. Take your time, be gentle with yourself. Sit in your bed or some other comfy place with your Tarot cards and pull out the Empress, the Great Mother archetype of the Tarot. Gaze into the card and ask her;
What do I need to do to nourish myself, nurture myself and protect myself?
How can I balance care for myself & care for others?
You might hear her speaking to you, offering her gentle motherly advice or perhaps you freewrite, let her messages flow onto paper. You might also like to draw with soft pastels or water colors or maybe even write poetry. Allow her guidance to help you create a simple commitment list of self-care intentions for the coming lunar cycle.
The really powerful thing about doing this work right now is that with the eclipse energies allowing deep emotional release you have the potential to create a whole new way of being in your life. The cardinal sign of Cancer known for its powers to help support the initiation of new projects can help you develop the foundations of a personal practice of deep kindness, self- love & emotional sensitivity.
As a final reflection I would add here that self care in our capitalist society is often equated with spending money on massages, manicures, pedicures, juice detoxes and personal trainers. Self care is sold to us as yet another product, just another way our society turns us into consumers. When we take it out of the capitalist context self-care is simple acts of kindness toward ourselves. Sometimes self-care can also involve us reaching out to others & actively asking for help, allowing people to offer assistance on difficult or demanding tasks or setting a goal to really put our own needs first. If we lived in a world where everyone truly cared for themselves imagine how deeply we could care for each other.
If you would like to use explore ways that you can integrate the energies of this lunar cycle into your life to develop emotional sensitivity to your own needs I offer Tarot readings, Guided Meditations and Sacred rituals to help support you. To book in a session visit www.seekingspirit.com.au