Sun in Cancer I

The horoscopes of Decan I of any sign are free to everyone, but Decans II and III are available to supporters of my Patreon account at the $3 or greater tiers. Scott R’s generosity in mid-May (a tip for a story about winning the lottery) will open Gemini II to everyone. Your generosity opens the column to any potential readers. You can also schedule an appointment with me using Accuity Scheduling, for a natal or solar return consultation. My Almanac is also available! It’s for sale through my Etsy website as a PDF.

Entering into Cancer I at the moment of the Summer Solstice, the Sun arrives in The Mother and Child, Austin Coppock‘s name for the first decan of cancer at 11:32 pm EDT on 20 June 2021. This puts the Ascendant in Aquarius III, The Knot, a placement that suggests the undoing or unraveling of many things that might otherwise be considered normal or essential to our concept of self — but also the tying up of many loose ends. Saturn, Jupiter, and Mercury are all in the signs of their rulership in this night chart — yet the reigning luminary the Moon is in Scorpio the sign of her fall, while Jupiter and Mercury are both retrograde. This leaves overall command to Saturn, who is angular and ascendant. The outermost, slowest, and most tradition-bound of the visible planets, Saturn shines the cold, hard light of facts and truth on the overall situation, and brings messages of warning about the relative inflexibility of stale air.

Astro chart for 20 June 2021, over western Massachusetts at 11:32 pm EDT (Lat 42° N 26' Ing 72° W 47', showing sun in Cancer 0°, Moon 9°, Asc at Aqu 25°.

The Sun in Cancer is the generator of light in the house of the Moon, which is a place of mirrors and reflection. Nowhere is this more evident than in the first decan of Cancer, The Mother and Child, as Austin Coppock calls it. A brilliant light shining in a place of mirrors flies blind — and so is it for the Sun, who is peregrine and largely unable to see the truth for all the light he sends forth and takes back in. What is it to be the light inside a disco ball turned inside out? Unable to see for all the glory reflected back at you.

Cancer I’s planetary ruler is Venus, the young and radiant mother showing off her child to the world. We have all seen pictures of royal princesses, from Diana Spencer a few decades ago, to more recently Kate and Meghan, radiant with babes in arms. This is not the exhausted Madonna by the creche, Joseph looking on in concern — this is the Tempi Madonna by the painter Raphael: well-rested and radiant, a fat and happy baby in her arms, a luminousness surrounding them.

In contrast to Gemini III ruled by the chthonic Praxidike, Cancer I is ruled by celestial Nike — not the shoe company, but the divinity of triumph and victory. The Winged Victory of Samothrace is probably her most famous representation — although armless today, reconstructions of the statue show her with a long spear in one hand, and the other holding a wreath of victory aloft. The Executioner’s Sword of Gemini III poured the blood of the Sun’s summer solstice light and heat into the ground; the sacrifice of that light and heat is now returned in the wreathed laurels of triumph, and the olive branches of peace and success.

The traditional associations with the Tarot align this decan with the two of cups — in Pamela Colman Smith’s version, a male lover in yellow and a female lover in blue and white exchanging cups, and bringing forth the alchemist’s red lion in the air above them, mediated by the Hermetic caduceus. Some say that this lion is an emblem of Mars — the red-hot desire, the ambition of the search for sensation and experience. It’s possible that this couple shown here, afterward, will engage in … ahem… baby-making pastimes. Yet the other side of that coin is also shown in this image — the desires of the body mastered and set in order by society: even today, we have a strange double standard about sex inside and outside of marriage. The Red Lion is an image of the natural desire focused and directed toward a specific subject to the exclusion of others; through magic rituals, overweening lust and envy are regulated and transformed into love and mutual admiration.

The dodecatemoria of Cancer I tell this same story, in the form of recapitulations of the energies of Cancer, Leo, Virgo, and Libra. Each 2.5° slice of the sky mediates the story of mother and child in a slightly different way — first, in the way that mother usually places a bubble or shell around the child, and excludes others from her attention, followed by lionizing the child and celebrating their achievements (and roaring in anger at all and any threats), seeking to reap or harvest the benefits of children in the form of the joys of grandchildren and care in old age, and finally the balancing and re-balancing of the relationship between adult child and elderly parent — the young becoming the caretaker of the old.

It is one of astrology’s weird coincidences that, as I started writing this column a few days ago, I found myself the caretaker of my own mother for a few days while my father carried out some long-distance/long-absence errands he’d been putting off. I tend to be quite private about such things, but my mother is not entirely in the workaday world of socks and the 8:15 train any more. There’s not much to be done about it but enjoy her company. She was my shelter and my rock when I was small, and has been my biggest cheerleader for five decades now. I’m having my own Virgo-Libra transition with her, and some days that’s easier than others — which is a way of saying that some days are quite hard indeed. It’s a very human experience, even if it isn’t one that we all have in the same way.

Planetary Placements

At 11:32 pm EDT, we’re looking at a Night Chart, giving the Moon, Venus, and Mars a natural prominence in our interpretation. When we study a day chart, the natural forces of the higher mind (in the form of the Sun), and the powers of expansion (Jupiter) and contraction (Saturn) come into play. In a chart constructed between sundown and sunrise, the intuition and gut reactions of the Moon take priority in balancing the potential for connection (Venus) with the opportunity for conflict (Mars).

In our current chart, these forces of connection and conflict are in relative balance, and relatively subdued: Mars in Leo has no particular dignity other than sitting in the angular seventh house; while Venus in Cancer in the sixth house has slightly greater dignity by triplicity but sits cadent to the principal action. Both share the Sun’s half of the sky, diminishing their effects further — though there is a slight advantage to Mars’ argument-seeking nature by virtue of the square to the Moon.

The Moon, meanwhile, is found at 9° Scorpio, in the sign of her fall — opposite Taurus where she’s an honored guest, here she is a homeless pensioner or a prisoner, or a bag lady robbed of easy friends or good allies. Her dignity, such as it is, comes from her triplicity in water signs, and her presence in the Eighteenth Mansion of the Moon, “the Heart of Scorpio”. In this placement she brings protection against inimical forces, but this doesn’t prevent us from having encounters with upsetting realities. Awareness of mortality is one of the ‘gifts’ she brings us in this position.

The Ascendant is in Aquarius, with Saturn retrograde above the horizon. Angular and in his rulership, and settled in the decan called Heaven and Earth until early August, the ringed planet is the strongest force of the next ten days — drying and cooling, contracting and limiting. In this role, he serves as the lord of limits and endings, closing us off from friends and relations, and helping us notice which connections no longer serve us well. Saturn is mindful of the divine order, but recognizes that it plays out in real-world way — in a perfect world, your ill-tempered neighbor would move away, but in a more practical mien you just have to accept Robert Frost’s neighbor’s adage, “good fences make good neighbors” even if it isn’t true. One way or another, define your ideal personal boundaries, and then figure out the practical reality.

Jupiter and Neptune bookend Pisces between them, in the second house. This is the model of the K-shaped recovery, as US Presidential candidate called it in his stump speeches and debate appearances: Jupiter promises expansion and growth of our fiscal well-being within traditional and retrograde investments. However, Neptune promises a variety of pump-and-dump schemes to transfer wealth from poor to rich, and from the cowboy economy (innovators and risk-takers) to the lawyer economy (conservative and rules-bound). Both planets are moving away from one another, creating a strained environment for those caught in the net of regular economic behavior.

Uranus in Taurus is in the fourth house, bringing upset and revolution to relations between the sexes, and between gender roles and the household. This sounds big and momentous, of course, as though I had just announced that we were going to behead the patriarchy by lunch on Thursday. It’s not anywhere near as momentous as that — but it does means that you should find ways to transgress your gender roles in the next ten days. If you’re classically male, I’m not saying that you should wear a dress; there are clear habits you can adopt (not one-time things, but habits) that will help even the household load. If you’re classically female, put self-actualizing behaviors (like making art) first on your list. If you’re already in an identity that seems transgressive in some fashion, push the boundaries of what’s considered ‘normal’ out a little farther this Pride month.

Mercury the herald is in the fifth house in Gemini, in conjugal relationship with the North Node and Imum Coeli. This middle decan of Gemini, administered by Mars, is called the Hermaphrodite — the being or entity that is both male and female, fully human and fully divine. Hermes themselves falls into this category or frame of reference, suggesting that an important communication or point of view about non-binary persons may emerge into the world this month. June is obviously becoming a Mercury month (among their symbols from ancient times are the rainbow, a mixture of colors, a mixture of metals or unusual alloys, and persons who don’t conform to social rules about male and female clothing) — but this year Mercury is retrograde: a review and reconsideration of the gains of LGBTQ+ persons is likely to occur in the next ten days, not always for the better. Be hopeful, be watchful, be joyful.

In the same way that Jupiter and Neptune bookend Pisces, Venus and the Sun bookend Cancer functioning as the sixth house. Creative opportunities abound at work, but there’s a likelihood that all the projects look very similar to one another, while few options arise for something genuinely new and different. The Sun proposes an alternative — a project that transforms you as much as you are transformed by it. Or perhaps by them; a new colleague may catch your eye or your ear as someone whose skills complement your own in ways that both of you will rise higher than either could go alone.

As mentioned earlier, Mars is in Leo in the seventh house, in the decan called The Spotlight. Only nominally ruled by the inconjunct Sun, Mars stirs up trouble between people over the question of expertise — who is an expert, who is an educated layperson, and who is making stuff up on the fly to look cool. It will be easy to mistake one for another in the days ahead; and questions of who studied for the test and who is just blowing smoke are likely to lead to disagreement and discord.

The Lot of Fortune is in the ninth house, Libra, approaching an exact trine with Mercury in only a short while. Travel and learning opportunities are likely to open up, and there may be significant options for new investigations into the events of January in Washington DC. However, expect a particular point of view to be the source of axe-grinding.

South Node and Midheaven sit in Sagittarius’ middle decan in the eleventh house, The Bridle. Operationally, tactically, and ethically, you’re likely to be quite public about finding time to hang out with friends… but you may find that there are parts of your friends skills that are broken or compromised in some fashion; either they spent a year in isolation and you didn’t, or you all spent so much time isolated that you have nothing to talk about with each other, or you never went into isolation but you now have common cause against the people that caused you all this trouble.

Pluto in Capricorn’s last decan The Throne is in the eleventh house — promising a slow accumulation of power by the robber barons, the super-merchants, the gatherers of wealth in the form of information. Opposing Venus, there’s a sense of creative projects being undertaken at the disjointed behest of billionaires, who think they know what they want but are operating from misguided institutional perspectives. You may feel alienated from your stuff in these next ten days, and realize again that money does not buy happiness, though it does buy the self-sufficiency that happiness can be built on.

Horoscopes by Rising Sign

Aquarius: Ruling Saturn is present and angular but retrograde. Your phrase for the next week might be “That won’t work” — or it might be “In an ideal world that might be possible, but in ours… give me a week, let me think about it.” In areas where you have either authority or expertise, use delay, review and thoughtful consideration as tools to get the other; on issues where you have neither, advise caution and risk-management; where you have both power and knowledge, seek boldness. Communicate your wishes for ‘free time activities’ clearly, but in financial matters prefer traditional strategies rather than get-rich-quick schemes.

Pisces: Ruling Jupiter is present and succedent but retrograde — and affected by Neptunian dissipation. It will be easy to get tangled up in your own money-drawing tentacles these next ten days; balancing your checkbook or reviewing your financial statements will be useful grounding exercise. Do it with a well-trusted friend or family member, but prepare for a few shock waves that may reset some bad habits around home, hobbies or child-care. A partner may experience unexpected challenges to their abilities in the workplace; you may be asked to help bring people back together in your own job environment: ask for a budget and go for abundance, and diversity of possible experiences — too much of one thing is dull.

Aries: Ruling Mars is trine and angular but peregrine. Some small squabbles in your family or neighborhood arise over who knows the best course of action — a seat on the sidelines with popcorn (and wallet firmly closed) is your best bet. Trust an older friend to offer divine insight and loosen a too-tight concern with what other people think. A boss or supervisor has a laundry list of past troubles on your team; ferry your way through the mire with a solo review rather than a group meeting. Working on your home environment brings delight; expect trouble to arise if you’re only making household into a place of leisure.

Taurus: Ruling Venus is sextile and dignified by water triplicity, but cadent — and thus affected by Uranian disruptions. You would like your home to be a place of deep and satisfying sensuality in the next ten days, but a partner’s professional obligations and duties bring crowded chatter. Communicate clearly about your financial needs, but know that you may be drawing down a non-renewable resource among friends. Connection to your intimate friends refills your cup, though a partner may wrestle with house and home while you’re drinking deep.

Gemini: Ruling Mercury is present and succedent but retrograde, and further dignified by triplicity. Finding solo time in your abode will be difficult, as minor crisis-prevention issues keep arising in your daily life. Solve the problems as they arise or face larger troubles later. Conversations with the children you know about shared hobbies bring deep satisfaction. A financial windfall may come your way but expect a family member or intimate friend to want a “finder’s fee” or a consultant’s compensation. Be wary of those who take credit for your efforts in the workplace, but give credit freely to enhance your own reputation and leadership.

Cancer: Ruling Moon is trine but in fall, in the 18th Mansion; but dignified by triplicity. Your heart will want one grand solution to the range of issues confronting you. It’s better to treat them as discrete concerns to be resolved like several shots of whiskey, though: specific, distinctive, individually appreciated, and finished before going on to the next. Where financial concerns drag, avoidance is a poor policy — rigorous math will herd and constrain your anxieties. A crazy friend provides useful advice on home decoration. A partner needs more alone-time than usual.

Leo: Ruling Sun is inconjunct, cadent and peregrine — leaving stressful Mars in charge. The state of your partnerships, particularly romantic ones, may leave you feeling embattled and surrounded. See if you can shift the conversation from confrontation to competition: a side-by-side race to a common goal forms a better future than the thrust and parry of a dueling ground. You may be in need of an artistic retreat to get your creative labors completed, or to give birth to this overdue child. Home doesn’t provide as much shelter as you like, and your workplace and social relationships may intrude on on your inner sanctums — cover discomfort with your gift for gab, though, and you may find a satisfactory medium between extremes of loneliness and crowd control.

Virgo: Ruling Mercury is square but in rulership; succedent but retrograde. A private review of your work portfolio and areas of responsibility may help you dream your next career steps and promotions into existence. At the least it will give you justification for your next raise. Look to ‘fill your cup’ with new and old connections to friends, but don’t plan too many of the same kinds of activity: coffee with one, a dog-walk with another, dinner with a third. Block out solo time in your calendar too, and not just at home: it’s easy to let yourself get stretched thin. Surprise yourself and treat your body to a workshop or sense-stimulating experience that helps you get you back in your skin.

Libra: Ruling Venus is square and cadent, but dignified by triplicity, giving favor to the Lot of Fortune — a bonus or a leg up is in the offering in your workplace, as long as you’re prepared to take on the extra duties. Your finances may get a boost but home life may suck for a while as you get used to the new responsibilities. Pastimes and hobbies? Seeing your kids? Yeah, you’ll look at your crafts with longing, and maybe get a video call or two from the children, but the new rat-race may take a period of reflection and adjustment to get used to. Expect that work-home rebalancing brings upheaval in how you and a partner have managed your responsibilities to one another this past year; planning a short but exciting getaway may be valuable… but keep it domestic… a grand adventure overseas may not work in your favor.

Scorpio: Ruling Mars is square and angular, but peregrine. A partner must be the spotlighted expert at work for a bit, which reshapes your own professional identity. A friend comes looking for money — be less generous than you might otherwise choose; try not to draw attention to the stinginess or it will sting you back. A family issue has been building for some time, and may break to new mutiny these next ten days. Clear the air in your household — this is not just about talking things out with housemates, but literally opening the windows. Stick to familiar forms of entertainment, even if you find them dull — new pleasure-seeking adventures may pop your bubble. At the same time, let your partner choose the revolution you both need, whether in business or the bedroom — their ambition should lead, while you assemble the favorable following.

Sagittarius: Ruling Jupiter is square and succedent, but retrograde. A partner is going to pursue a necessary dream and desire this week; bridle your own worries and make useful the solitude awhile. Let them do their work and assist with communications. It may be useful to help them plan. Provide nurturing support, and make sure they drink enough water. Family considerations are temporarily constrained. Make progress on building connections this week, but leaven disputes with impersonal, reasoned expertise. While the tide is out at home, survey the landscape and make necessary changes.

Capricorn: Ruling Saturn is angular and dignified by triplicity, but inconjunct — and thus affected by Plutonian accretions. Although you have a back-log of personal duties to yourself, work responsibilities put your partner in the position of refilling their career cups; your accumulated time off might be an easy reserve to draw on. Yet don’t spend all you have — or blow your reserve cash on something exciting and new. It’s a time for tending gardens and planting trees as best you can, recognizing that these kinds of investments take long to mature. Pay attention to the happy uncle who lives on produce from his garden, and be wary of the shifty cousin with the get-rich-quick scheme.


I have a Patreon account for those who want to support this column as it approaches the end of its second year (I began with Leo I in 2019 )We’re currently doing a decan walk through some Tarot, astrology, mythology, and magic. If you don’t want to become a regular patron, you can also buy me a Ko-fi in $3 increments, and any column I write after receiving a Ko-Fi donation will be open to the public.  You can also schedule an appointment with me using Accuity Scheduling, for a natal or solar return consultation.

I use iPhemeris for my charting software, and screenshot it to make charts. I want to thank the team that develops iPhemeris for the addition of Terms and Decans to their charts, appearing here for the first time! I use Hugh Tran‘s Physis typeface to craft logos for this blog, as well.

I use Christopher Warnock‘s The Mansions of the Moon as the basis of my Moon placement delineations, and Austin Coppock‘s 36 Faces as the basis of much of my planetary delineations. Neither gentleman endorses me. My own book, A Full Volume of Splendour and Starlight, is now available as PDF download from my Etsy website, as is my Almanac for 2021. Any errors in these columns are my own.

If you’d like to schedule a consultation with me, you can find additional information on the Services and Classes page.

If you want to read some of my other astrologically-oriented poetry, To the Mansions of the Moon is a collection of hymns to the angels of the Mansions mentioned in these columns. For the Behenian Stars is a collection of hymns to the first/brightest sixteen stars. The Sun’s Paces are hymns to the thirty-six Hellenistic-era deities and ascended souls of the Greco-Egyptian Decans-calendar. While not astrological, Festae contains hymns to some of the older Roman gods and spirits from the calendar created by Numa Pompilius, the second ancient King of Rome.

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