The light increases the week after the solstice and illuminates the moon fully in the sign of Cancer, the soft and vulnerable crab, welcoming a restful pause before the new year begins.
Cancer is the part of the zodiac that presides over our home, body, lineage, mother, nurturance, comfort and catharsis. It highlights the potential for us to acknowledge our emotions, reflect on our needs, and discover the heart's true refuge by softening to what's here.
“Learning to listen intelligently to your body and your emotions will identify life imbalances.” ~ Robin Connelley
This is a time to inquire what a "safe and comfortable home" means to us. Does it require four walls, a floor and ceiling? Is it a person or group of people? A job? A place? Our past? An emotional identity? Or are its boundaries less rigid in terms of time and space?
Perhaps it is a mixture of one or more of the above, and that is legitimate. But the highest expression of Cancer is that any home truly worth investing is the one we cannot take with us in the end; rather, it's the spacious and loving awareness that exists within our very own hearts.
In seeking to satisfy a social narrative, many of us search for a home outside of ourselves that promises happiness and the freedom to finally "let go." But the key is to remember that no thing is permanent—every thing is temporary!
As President Barack Obama stated at the Tucson Memorial Service in 2011:
"What matters is not wealth or status or power or fame, but rather how well we have loved."
If we can learn to open our heart to ourselves, be it judgement, fear, fault finding, grief, joy, or peace—we can discover a home inside loving presence itself. And we can cultivate and strengthen that ever-present relationship over time, with practice.
Like the yogi who turns her practice from purely anatomical to divinely alchemical by becoming soft and vulnerable within the yoga pose, we have the potential to deepen and strengthen our relationships to ourselves and others through the practice of emotional release.
As you prepare your intentions for the new year, you might ask yourself in your own life how strength can come from surrender, and start by letting things be just as they are. Here are a few inquires you might find helpful for a journaling and reflection ritual:
1. What are three ways in which I practice self-care?
2. What are three reasons it is important for me to practice self-care?
3. How can I relate to others (spouse, partner, job, child, emotional state, etc.) while maintaining a sense of autonomy?