July New Moon: All That Our Water Holds
by Sarah Gottesdiener·
July New Moon: All our water holds
The Moon is New on Thursday, July 12th. She shows up in the sky at the same time as sunrise, but we can’t actually see her, as a New Moon is technically invisible—hiding between the Earth and the Sun. Her potential is embedded in this glittery black, blank slate. Her power, in part, lies in the mystery of her magic.
This Moon is a Partial New Moon Solar Eclipse in Cancer. Next month, on the 11th, we’ll have a New Moon Eclipse in Leo. Themes in your life from the lunar eclipse in Leo this past January might already be surfacing in scenarios and shifts in your life. Think back six months, all the way back to January of this year—practically another lifetime. What has changed? What still needs attention or a different form of awareness?
Eclipses come in a series: either two or three eclipses take place in a time period of about one month. A solar eclipse will always be in the same sign that the Sun is in, while a lunar eclipse will almost always be in the opposite sign of the Sun. A family of signs will keep occurring in pairs, at the New and Full Moon, approximately every six months, for around 18 to 24 months. This series of Cancer/Capricorn eclipses starts this year, builds during 2019, and continues on into 2020. Thematically, we could be addressing concerns around how we mother and care for ourselves, and one another. We may be revising our definitions of power—it may be more nurturing, more collective-focused, more fluid, more horizontal. We could be exploring, personally and collectively, how our intuition and our emotional superpowers can positively affect our career, our ambitions, our relationships. Stalwart structures our egos may have depended on for safety may begin dissolving or evolving into more sustainable and flexible arms to hold us as we work. We may find that the more we connect to our intuition, the more we learn to accept the riches our own mysteries and magic offer up. The more we lean into our clearest instincts, the more safety we end up securing. The more we listen to our inner voice, the more our lives open up. Once we are more open, there is more dolphin laughter to enjoy. There are more rainbows after the rain.
A New Moon Partial Solar Eclipse is when the Sun and Moon conjunct one another and align with the Earth. The shadow of the Moon covers—eclipses—the Sun. The Moon is a metaphor for our subconscious, our intuition, our instincts, inner desires and safety, and our sometimes intangible cycles and waves. The Moon is the emotional power of our life force, the ways we mother ourselves and have been mothered. The Moon rules our emotional body— and so connects us to all other life, also alive in the lunar light. She is our acceptance and awareness that everything comes in cycles, externally and internally. She reminds us that paying attention to our intuition, our emotions, our physical state in the present is an altering of our future state. The Sun is a metaphor for our consciousness, our self-realization externally, and our growth (Liz Greene and Howard Sasportas, The Luminaries, York Beach: Weiser, 1992, p. 81). The Sun is also about rebirth, our search for meaning and happiness, and the continued development of our personality, our energy and life force. The Sun highlights intentions and external attention. When the Sun is shining brightly, it allows us to experience a life divinely lived. We need engagement and involvement with both Lunar and Solar qualities for our evolution. Integration and balance of our inner states and our external behaviors is what compels an opening seed to crack and unfurl. Reflection and action are needed in equal measures if we wish to grow and transform. The components of our soul’s mission are fertilized when we prioritize interior realizations with exterior pleasures.
The Moon is crossing in front of the Sun at a New Moon Eclipse. Our subconscious is maybe coming to the forefront. There is an opportunity to examine where our ego is helping us, and where it is constricting us. We can ask ourselves at this time: What has been failing to appear in our lives? Internally, how will we summon the permission to prioritize our needs? Can we accept certain needs as non-negotiable? Can we reframe our needs so as not to be burden, but as a way to experience a more authentic, compassionate life?
At this New Moon Partial Solar Eclipse, both the Sun and the Moon are in the astrological sign of Cancer. Cancer correlates with emotional mastery and psychic ability, with caring and creativity. The sign of Cancer correlates to the mother archetype, the home, and our homecomings: psychic, metaphorical, or literal. The archetype of Cancer is exalted when they are able to identify their emotions and work with them constructively. When their psychic abilities and sensitivities are able to be manifested in the spirit of service and healing, the archetype of the Cancer is empowered. Themes of this eclipse may be feelings and how we feel them, nurturing and how we allow ourselves to be nurtured. We may be rethinking our care, and the care of the collective.
Can we allow this eclipse to open us up to transforming our feelings into healings? Can we find ways to work more deftly with our emotions, not be flooded by them? Can we allow our emotions to give us more information about what to let go of and what to hold holy? Can we allow our intuition to discern what new riverbeds are safe to flow into?
Cosmically, and elementally, we enjoy a dose of double water, as both the Moon and Sun are in Cancer, a water sign. Magically, the element of water corresponds with the direction of West. It has to do with emotions, intuition, psychic abilities, spirituality, nurturing, and is introspective. Water is also a symbol of fertility and renewal, whether it be be in a womb state or by tears—cleansing drops of release. Water is fluid, receptive, and changing. When we work with water, we are invoking the unknown, our intuition, our mysteries, the lotus, the eel, the dove, the serpent, the succulent, the tides, the ocean, pearls, our blood, our sweat, the Moon.
Water has been used in ritual since ancient times. Many early ritual sites have been found in estuaries; where the river meets the sea is where Indigenous/Pagan peoples would make magic. It is healing and cleansing: a way to access our intuition and wash unwanted energy away. Some ancient practitioners believed that the spirit of the Moon goddess was strongest in caves and caverns near the ocean, and so would gather there. We pour out libations to honor the dead and to connect with Spirit. We dunk in bodies of water to celebrate baptisms, we immerse ourselves in mikvah baths for many different reasons, we luxuriate in a salt bath before a spell to relax and reconnect, we release our tears into bowls of water to be held and reflected. Holy Water. Florida Water. Moon Water. Our Body’s Water.
From a Jungian standpoint, water is feeling. Water correlates to the subconscious and unconscious. Our subconscious (or pre-conscious, as Freud called it), and unconscious make up between 80-90 percent of our brain. This is where much of our power resides, so deep and so vast. Our subconscious is our own personal ocean of mystery and intuition. How will you access your subconscious at this New Moon Eclipse? What does it wish to communicate? How is it turning up by way of themes, symbols, or reoccurring dreams?
In the Tarot, the suit that correlates with water is the suit of Cups. The realms that Cups correlate with are emotions, intuition, instincts, spirituality, intimacy and relationships, emotional patterns and behaviors, service, reflection, joy, contentment, happiness, and love. Many of these themes rely on our ability to blossom. Our care, compassion, our ability to be in flow and to let things flow with us and around us. As we gain versatility in the ways that we process our emotions and connect with our intuition, we enact a homecoming to ourselves. Our magic increases. Our appreciation of the many mysteries in our lives opens portals.
Part of what makes our magic so intriguing is precisely because it is unknown. It will always have aspects of intangibility, of indescribable sensations and breathtaking mystery. Part of what makes our magic so powerful is that, like water, it is so fluid, so shape-shifting, and it shows up in so many states and in so many ways. It is changeable, and in that change lies the hope, the faith, and the possibilities that move us forward and connect us all.
When water is in its fluid state, it is so versatile that it moves ships along, caresses seahorses in its navy depths, and travels down through the soil to offer sustenance to emerald green roots that weave their way through the fabric of this Earth. When it gets too cold, it freezes: it becomes almost impenetrable. It gets too hot, it scalds. When our emotions, our subconscious, or intuition are ignored or imbalanced, our life can become dangerous. The sweet sprinkles become a thunderstorm; a warm spring becomes a boiling cavern.
Some people try to act like everything is rigid, static, unchanging. That the rules are the rules and this way is the only way. No waves allowed. Water teaches us that we are fluid. In fact, we are mirrors of the ocean, of the rivers, of the rain. We hold this very dynamic fluidity inside of our own bodies. Our identities, our feelings, our intuition. This Moon can teach us to embrace our own fluidity. In embracing our own fluidity, we are open to more change. We can see others as changing as well. This Moon can prompt us to embrace changing forces in our lives, to turn into any natural cycles we have previously been resisting.
Some people try to act like water is free, but it is in fact priceless. Water is life. Water covers 71% percent of the Earth’s surface, and our bodies contain around that much water as well. We came out of the water, billions of years ago, little life forms, looking to evolve into another incarnation. Keeping our water with us as we grew to stand and evolve on land. Protecting water, being mindful of how we use water and what we do to it is protecting our own life. Protecting that water is to honor all kinds of sacred stories. Protecting water is to honor all kinds of sacred life.
Some people try to act like femme, feminine, and emotional labor is free, but it is in fact priceless. This work makes the world go round. This work literally saves lives. The work of patient caregiving, caretaking, of explaining. The work of processing and presence. The work of fierce, hard, and soft determination. The work of hair brushing, bottom wiping, hand holding, sweeping, and dinner cooking. The work of surviving being screamed at, ridiculed, cat-called and gaslit. The work of support and sweetness, softness and story telling. The work of teaching, empathizing, channeling, and sharing. The work of the truth. The work of organizing, making phone calls, offering up resources, checking in about dietary restrictions, asking preferred pronouns, and finding everyone rides. The work of tending to the hearth, bringing forth the ritual, conjuring the circle. The work of shielding others from the pain we carry in a disturbing world, as well as the work of rebuilding it. The work of comforting, providing solace, the work of carrying on. This is all work that must be acknowledged more, valued more. Can you take the time to acknowledge all the work you have done and continue to do? Can you promise to celebrate this work, as well as celebrate this work that other women, femmes, feminine folks, and queers do? Will you promise to protect your intuition, your work, your water? Will you promise to see it for what it is: a magical superpower, a gift to the community, a shining chalice of success?
This is the collective web of water that we are all in, together and individually. May we hold ourselves more lovingly so that we can hold one another—securely yet fluidly. Allowing for collaboration, missteps, apologies, conversation, engagement, listening, laughter, understandings and misunderstandings and acceptance and evolution, ebbs and flows, deep wells of sustenance, and knowing and patience and space. Because one person’s needs are different than our own: our Black Trans sisters have much different needs from our white cis sisters; our Korean-American sex worker sisters have much different needs from our bisexual undocumented coven members; our Queer disabled Latinx sisters have much different needs from our Filipina Intersex community; as do our Gay Russian witch sisters. What we all have in common is that we all need one another. We can acknowledge our differences, hold space for one another while simultaneously holding space for ourselves.
When we are full of sorrow, let us be reminded that we can still hold ourselves. Let us be reminded that we can still hold one another both while our eyes are dripping tears and when our arms are strongly outstretched. Let us be reminded that our suffering is not ours to carry alone. We can find new ways to help ourselves and ask for help. We must look for an abundant array of healing modalities and methods that include connecting, sharing, reaching out, ice cream, dancing, laughing, and taking care not to overburden ourselves.
When we are overjoyed, let us rejoice. Let us use the stardust of our energy to inspire others. When our chalices are overflowing, Ace of Cups style, let us not feel guilty. Let us enjoy and take more time to relax into the inspiration and feelings of flow. Let those of us with abundant resources—time, energy, ideas, money—help those who need them. Let those who need help be brave enough to ask.
Consider The High Priestess card, the card of the Moon. When she is in tune, she is an embodiment of the divine. The witch. The herbalist, the scholar, the channeler, the inspiration. The cosmic mother, the gatekeeper of the underworld, the safe keeper of the subconscious. When she is misunderstood, when her knowledge is degraded, she is withholding, withdrawn, has no sense of herself, may even harm other women. Considering all the violence enacted on women, on femmes, on witches, on empaths, on mothers, on daughters, all the shame and violence and blame, can you now understand her shadow?
Consider the Queen of Cups, the Tarot card of double water. The Queen of mothers, the psychic songstress. She holds the standards of her heart, and the hearts of those around her so high that she runs the risk of dissolving altogether. When she is balanced, her psychic abilities help her make decisions, access Spirit, and care for all. When she is imbalanced, when her water levels are too dry, she’s the mean mommy. The abuser and enforcer. The codependent, emotionally manipulative, overly concerned parent.
Knowing all that she was up against, the many times her water was polluted carelessly, her invisible labor unappreciated, how many times she was taken for granted, for generations upon generations, can you soften into more empathy for her pain? And for your own?
Because your mother birthed YOU. And YOU are rebirthing yourself. Consider your mother, your intuition, your most holding patterns, your most holding self. The holding that is positive and the holding that hurts. Try to give yourself more compassion, more space, to heal as you must.
At this New Moon Eclipse, let’s practice enacting even more space, more holding for our healing, individually and collectively. Our power, our work, our worth. Know that the water goddesses and water gods of the world are living through you, as you exist via your grandmother’s grandmother’s womb. Sedna, Venus, Oshun, Neptune, Poseidon. Know that the water bearers, the well diggers, the deep sea divers, the dowsers, the mermaids in their oyster shells, are supporting you. We can hold ourselves with more sweetness, even if at first it tastes like too many tears. The tears are the salt washing our sorrow away. We are allowed to redefine healing and holding for ourselves and for the oceans of people who swim alongside us. We are allowed to let the ocean of creativity, of wonder, of miracles that we hold inside ourselves out.
We can do this with our healing processes and work. We can do this with our vulnerabilities and our fierceness. We know that healing is not linear. It comes in as you float on lapping waves, get refreshed at the base of a waterfall, or when you are down at the bottom of a deep sea floor. It comes as you reconnect with your own mysteries. It comes as we allow co-creation with the elements, the universe, our communities, and our own water.
Remember, the Moon is New; it is a blank slate to be used however you’d like in the spirit of fresh starts and seedlings. Happy New Moon!
Suggested Affirmation: “I allow my intuition to guide my healing. My healing is fluid, and allows for others to be healed in the ocean of our collective.”