18-MoonThe southern and northernmost latitudes of the sky, Cancer-Capricorn contains our innermost soul seed (Cancer) as well as our need to be recognized in the world, for being our self (Capricorn). Cancer at the roots of the tree, and Capricorn the flowering leaves, these signs comprise an integral structure of the zodiacal wheel. This, the meridian of Cancer-Capricorn, together with the horizon line (Aries and Libra) form the great cross of our sky on which the entire zodiac hangs. In many traditions these comprise the four directions.

In astrology, the cardinal signs represent the alpha and the omega events in life, and the photo album in between – complete with pictures of births, weddings, professional accomplishments and deaths. It’s the cardinal energies that bring us into this world, nurture us, partner us with a mate who will help us become whole, lead us to take a role in society and then to our final resting place. These are almighty powers and also difficult ones, for the great cross presents us with the most demanding paradoxes we face in life, personal freedom versus togetherness, family versus career ambitions, compromise versus choices, pleasure versus responsibility… and more.

Capricorn Full Moon Lunar Eclipse, Saturday June 26, 2010, 4:30 AM PDT

Cardinal signs bring self-directed choices, the kind which once taken make it hard to look back. But if we’re honest we will recognize that in making one choice, we’ve also given up something else. Thus are the dilemmas of life. We take the day off and play, and miss out on work hours we could have been putting in furthering our ambitions at the office. Questions form, and those questions can haunt us. We commit to a relationship, and with that precious union we promise to forego that heady rush of a first kiss with a total stranger. Will we never experience the shocking aliveness a first kiss brings, again? We raise a family and yet by devoting time and love to our family, we’re asked to sacrifice some of our professional ambitions and monetary rewards of that. Can we accept having less money and status, and be happy? We may need to leave the place we call home (or our dysfunctional family) and yet we still miss home… and what our family never was. Is giving up our roots the true cost of claiming a future?

A path is chosen. And sometimes…the other still tugs at our soul, aching with a longing so sweet we wonder if we can ever truly be at peace with what we’ve forgone in the bargain. Like an aching phantom limb, we may hurt for what’s lost, missing or yet to be experienced. The ultimate question: a fulfilling and flowering career, a flourishing home, personal freedom and being beholden to others – is it really possible to have it all? The soul stretches to answer that… to realize that’s a price we may be unwilling or unable to pay. That’s the ‘crucifying’ power of the great cross.

So it goes with life.

There is a price for every gain. No sign is more aware of this than Capricorn. This is the wise accountant in our heart, that part of our self which knows the taste of truth is bittersweet. Capricorn also knows the price of becoming a whole human being is facing our personal inadequacies, the dark shadows that haunt us, the choices sacrificed in order to make good on the commitments we have made. Softly, in the shadows of this full moon lunar eclipse, the soul whispers secrets about the nature of our commitments to our self, and to one another. The integrity of those commitments help us to melt any resistance to the present moment. But also, like a lone coyote howling at the Moon, the wild soul feels any solitary longings of an unfulfilled heart.

As this full moon rises, and with it our self-doubt and fears, Pluto looms near the moon. If we’re willing to be ruthlessly honest and compassionate with our self, we can unmask the demon masquerading in the road not taken, or of anything we’ve been holding onto that’s also been keeping our heart from happiness. This moon is configured tightly with Pluto, suggesting there’s uncomfortable reckoning to be done with our innermost truths. Cancer is the child inside of us, and Capricorn, the maturation process of leaving childhood behind and meeting life as it is. We can’t move forward without putting the past, a past self, choices made and taken, behind us. Unconscious longings may rise to the surface of our awareness with this full moon, as the soul speaks.We need to listen to the inner child of our heart, but we must also stay clear, focused, realistic. We are growing up, and it’s a painful process. Midwife-goddess she is, the Moon’s earthy sign suggests how we can gently hold the space for soul speak. Get close to nature. Take some time to be a hermit. Climb a mountain. Return to the earth. We can make peace with opposing parts of our self.

Some might say that the great cross isn’t in full swing yet; some of us are experiencing otherwise! Saturn remains in Virgo until July 21 (when Saturn enters Libra), but Saturn is within ‘orb’ of a t-square between Sun-Mercury in Cancer, Uranus-Jupiter in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn. Some of what we see today may begin the cross conundrum of 2012 – the mundane effects of which astrologers have likened to the trauma of giving birth, and tense, difficult times.

Those of us in the throes of the great cross see that it has a very personal and sometimes terrible face – pulling and tugging at the different corners of our lives, demanding more energy spent here and more time spent there. There’s not one area of life that’s not set at odds with another, and the counterbalancing pulls and stretches hard. We are in the birth canal of change. For now, and for awhile, our cosmic job is to hold the tension.