Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Full Moon in Cancer: How to Survive Overwhelm

Intense, sensitive, and challenging. Three words describing Thursday’s Full Moon in the water sign of Cancer. This lunation sets off a cardinal grand cross in the cosmos – Jupiter in Libra opposing Uranus in Aries, and Sun with Pluto in Capricorn opposing the Moon in Cancer. Think crossroads, culminations. Hard choices and potential sacrifices. Especially for those with planets or points in one of the cardinal signs – Aries, Libra, Capricorn, or Cancer – it can feel like we’re a canvas being stretched out a frame. Let’s just call it… tight.

Hardly a barrel of lighthearted laughs. Except for enlightened folks who can see the cosmic joke permeating the whole enchilada, I suppose those who will enjoy this week’s lunation are the adrenaline junkies and drama queens. Those who don’t feel truly alive unless their nervous systems are jacked up to the hilt. Control freaks, perfectionists should have plenty to chew on. As well as those who thrive in a crisis because they were conditioned to do so back in the good old family of origin days.

But for some folks, especially highly sensitive people, this week’s lunation ushers in a flood of potential emotional overwhelm. With a cardinal grand cross, and such heavy-hitting planets calling the shots, one may hardly know where to turn, what to do next. It might feel like drinking with a fire hose.

Cancer the Crab is noted for its hard shell, protecting the soft underbelly, the sensitive parts of our hearts and minds and bodies. Right now, we may need a tougher outer casing to get us through. Hunker down, hide out, and make tiny, microscopic moves - even sidestep like a crab - to get relief.

Cancer rules boats, buildings and homes, plumbing, ponds, lakes and rivers. When so much is gushing in, we cannot take on the whole ocean at once. How do we survive the deluge, the troublesome undercurrents, the riptides? Check the storm drains, gear up the sump pump, batten down the hatches. There is bound to be plenty of emotional runoff.

“Water, water everywhere,

And all the boards did shrink;

Water, water everywhere,

Nor any drop to drink.”

~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge,
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Somehow, over the next weeks, we need to transform overwhelm into emotional stability. The cardinal cross is here not to make us miserable, to hang us out to dry. We are meant to use the tension of this time. This Full Moon whirlpool highlights that which needs changing in our lives, and may reveal truths concerning one or more of the following:

  • Your home 
  • Your digestion 
  • Your financial security 
  • Your family
  • Your mother 
  • Your intuition (are you listening?)

It’s a challenging time, and made more difficult by the fact that the cardinal cross doesn’t give us an easy way out. Still, we are forced to act, even while overwhelmed. How do we deal? Here are a few helpful hints:
  • Remember, it’s only temporary. This will also change.
  • Rest when you can! Can’t get a day off? Try a few hours, fifteen minutes, even five minutes can be helpful. Lie down, rest your neck, close your eyes. Learn to hide out, like a Cancer Crab, on the spot. Master the art of incubating. Power nap. It really helps.
  • Break off the “must dos” into tinier chunks. Do the needful, the next right thing. Remember the phrase, “First things first.” This is the time for adjustments at the micro-levels. You can’t push it, so don’t waste precious life force energy trying.
  • Stay in the Now. This is not the time for future-tripping. If you’re overwhelmed, lay off on the ruminating about the state of the nation, the home, the family, the relationship, the body. Make the best choice you can, just for today.
  • It’s OK and helpful to cry. Go soft, sob or sniffle in the presence of a trusted friend, counselor, your own self. Offload the stress through weeping. It heals! Let the body relax. Pull the blanket up, hide for a while.
  • Keep it simple. Try not to add more on the plate. Do the bare minimum. You’ll get there. Remember wise old Lao Tzu: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Remember, all Full Moons shed light on that which needs to be seen. Hard truths are being revealed. Adjust and change what you can, and make yourself as comfortable as possible to live with the tough stuff. One breath at a time. You’ll get through.

Erin Reese is an author, spiritual guide, astrologer, and modern psychic reader based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She works with clients all over the world. For readings and spiritual counseling by Skype, phone or email, contact her directly. She can be reached at