Lately, the waterworks are turned ON. Last weekend I found myself blubbering about the loss of traditional cooking skills, nostalgically yearning for a time when folks gathered together in the kitchen, made, and ate real food together, a time when women gathered, grandmothers, mothers and cooked toxin-free food…and the dam burst and the tears started rolling. My dear Cancer friend, a man, moved by my tears, replied with a story about a friend who brought home cooked food every day to the hospital bed of a sick friend. Touched by this rare compassion, then he started crying. Then I started laughing. At the ridiculous loony-ness (lunar) of it all, citing Jupiter’s entry into Cancer (6/25) to quickly trine Neptune and Jupiter – a tear-jerker of a transit.
What will Jupiter’s transit through Cancer bring? Astro-peeps have worried: with explosive Uranus-Pluto square nearby, what gives? Well, wherever Uranus-Pluto touches, things need to heal and right themselves, to evolve. Things like, entrenched problems with our food supply, undervaluation of the healing arts, personal healing, undervaluation of feminine arts, women, and a real big gaping hole where compassion should be. Jupiter always asks, What are you underestimating? Where could life be better? Cancer answers. We need to feel where we hurt. We need to heal our hearts and our health, nurture our relationship to our inner self, value our home, women, our family — or we lose energy and power. As Jupiter interacts with the Uranus-Pluto square: to experience the benefits of Jupiter, we need to right our relationship to all things, ideas, beings Cancerian. We need MORE self-care, self love. And because Jupiter is interacting with the Uranus-Pluto square –this revolutionary change of guard, the bumpy, and at times questionable, death of old entrenched ways of being aligning with bold new possibilities — Jupiter’s passage thru Cancer is pivotal. In a very real sense, the unconscious (Pluto in) Capricorn archetype needs to change. Capricorn is the patriarchy we live in; without a Cancerian infrastructure at center, we get sick, we fail.
Revival of The Feminine Arts
Cancer rules the traditional womanly arts of cooking, including but not limited to lacto-fermenting, cheese-making, sprouting, butchery… We all eat. So how many of you actually know how to make chicken or beef broth? Or raise a garden? It’s a soapbox of mine. No one has “time” to cook; in reality we no longer value cooking, its health benefits, the intimacy we foster when we’re all in the kitchen, gathered around the dinner table. I have had to learn how to cook healthy wholesome foods on my own. Why? We are no longer taught how to cook by our mothers or grandmothers. Due to the advent of industrialized food, we have been deskilled as a society. My grandmother knew how… but eventually even she relied on processed foods, like everyone else, so my mother didn’t cook, not really. We may be willing to pay a lot for delicious food, but we want someone else to cook it. We want our mom to do it.
Or our wife. How many husbands do you know who cook? Or asked in another way: how many husbands expect (after a hard day of work, and as the breadwinner), someone else to cook a meal for them? Women are socialized to accommodate men, to do the feminine work of cooking and cleaning since he’s the provider and she earns far less (because society pays women less), despite the fact she has worked a full day, too. That’s the way it’s been for thousands of years — except we used to have extended families & communities to help, and now we no longer do. For women, this affects our relationships with our male counterparts. This antiquated and unconscious mindset and use of patriarchal language is oppressive. We hear it all around us, and then we use it on our self when we don’t measure up to patriarchal standards, when we diminish our self and try to be more like our husbands, bosses or boyfriends. We are not men! It’s no wonder that we’re overextended, tired of being devalued, tired of not being respected.
Valuing the Feminine
So who wants to spend on this time on stuff, like cooking, healing, self-care, mothering– activities that enhance the quality of everyone’s life immensely, but will rarely earn a corner office? Who wants to devote the time and attention to cooking when we could be focusing on our career and “life purpose?” This is the question and the great paradox of the sexual revolution. We live in a society that rewards ambition and achievement and devalues the people and activities that hold it all together. I’m not just talking about women, though women are more aligned with the feminine, like motherhood and tending to the interior and natural worlds, and earn less money, value and respect so yes, I am talking about women. This isn’t exclusive to women, though. The feminine inside each of us yearns to tend to the soul, needs to nourish our inner world with inspired ideas, and she knows it’s not the structures and roles we inhabit in our world but the inner meaning we give them, the way we feel in them and soulfully embody them, that makes life meaningful and rich. And she wants to know how to make a good, healing soup the old-fashioned way.
Home & Heart Healing
Cancer is aligned with home, hearth and family. Cancer senses when a house lacks soul, or when a family lacks heart and compassion for its members. Cancer notices when a home lacks a hearth, the burning flame of love and care that should be the center of our life, has dimmed or gone out. Cancer knows that when one family member is sick, the entire family is sick, and Cancer knows that to truly heal the entire family needs to take responsibility for helping its members stand strong again. It is not a charity or sacrifice to do this, but arises naturally from being totally connected to and caring for each other. Yet, just like your mother who is open for business 24/7, Cancer is often under-appreciated, her healing work invisibly feeds and clothes people who do outer world work, but unlike those she cares for, she doesn’t collect awards, earn status or even receive pay checks for it.
But Cancer knows this is all talk. To truly value the feminine we need to stop thinking, open our heart and feel. It’s the wetness, the feelings that connect hearts and souls. Cancer is the sign of soul, and the soul speaks through feelings. Crying with a friend. Crying to let go of a hurt. Knowing when and where you hurt. That takes careful noticing. Cancer speaks in gestures of empathy, it listens in sensitive, active noticing. It gravitates towards the intimate nooks and crannies, the interiors of the heart and soul. Cancer hurts, so sensitive to pain. “To heal it you’ve got to feel it,” says Cancer. Cancer uses suffering as the pathway to healing. Appreciate the women in your life, the importance of good food, healing, self-care and we may get to experience Jupiter in Cancer’s bounty.
What Happened to Cosmic Santa?
Like you, I too want to believe in the cosmic Santa Claus, but my experience battling the cardinal square has freed me of many delusions, including this one. However, Jupiter is exalted in Cancer, so Jupiter has more power to carry out its noble motives and grant wishes than Gemini did (its sign of detriment). But there’s that darn cardinal square, and well, you can’t squeeze blood from a turnip. We can’t receive what we don’t value, and as the sign of Cancer takes the cosmic stage we’ll be learning about what and who we’ve been undervaluing in our lives. We need to practice compassion and loving-kindness to benefit from it. To experience true freedom, we need to “feel it to heal it”. We need to slow down enough to notice what we’re feeling. We need to be compassionate toward our self, women, children, creatures, Mother Earth to reap Jupiter’s golden bounty. With Uranus-Pluto near this won’t be a walk in the park, but Jupiter’s endpoint is always freedom…With Uranus-Pluto near this won’t be a walk in the park, but Jupiter’s endpoint is always freedom. Jupiter expands what it touches, exaggerates, blows things out of proportion because sometimes a problem needs to be made into a huge big deal (Jupiter’s specialty), to finally address and heal it.
For Cancer, this can only happen from the inside out. So whether to heal the planet, our marriage, our Self, we must always start with numero uno: You. Where could you use more kindness, self-care and compassion? Where are you feeling neglected? What area of your life is sorely aching for the compassionate ministrations of Cancer? Cancer work is often invisible work to the outer world, but to the Spirit it’s the holy work making what we do meaningful, soulful. Via Cancer, healing, cooking, caring, mothering, nurturing, imagining, midwifing life into form, leaning into the heart and feeling what we’re feeling, is made noble thru Jupiter. To heal our heart, we’ve got to know how and where to find it… and so this coming year may every heart find its way back home.
Jupiter will be in Cancer from 6/25/13 thru 7/16/14.
Jupiter in Cancer Resources I’m reading:
Fantastic article on feminine space: An Architecture of the Feminine by Marjory Mejia
Care of the Soul: A Guide For Creating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life by Thomas Moore
The Woman’s Comfort Book by Jennifer Louden
Women’s Reality: An Emerging Female System in a White Male Society by Anne Wilson Schaef