Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you’ll reach out and take it. Maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift, too.
As our skies go dark beneath a second New Moon in the sign of Cancer this week, a rather frequent visitor comes calling once again. Welcome back to the Four of Cups.
The Tarot Cups have to do with our emotions, and center on love, dreams, healing, and intuition. And Fours relate to stability, durability, and groundedness.
So if you think about it, this can be problematic. That is, when we seek to make any single emotional state permanent, attempting, for instance, to cling to a particular pleasure, or even holding ourselves static in grief or unhappiness, we lose the flowing, cleansing spontaneity that is the sacred gift of human emotion.
The young man in the card is turned towards the three cups on the ground. But does he really see them? What do they hold? Are they past times, or current circumstances? Perhaps they are various desires or loves, among which he believes he must choose.
Certainly, he is not aware of the fourth cup. Notice the resemblance of it to the Ace of Cups, which has often been compared to the Holy Grail, and which is the gift of Grace from God, representing Her unconditional love, which is freely given to us.
The young man’s clothing incorporates the colors of Earth (green), Fire (red), and Water (blue). Missing is the (yellow) of Air, which indicates the ways we are perceptive, understanding, and inspired.
Thus, his attitude may be preventing him from seeing the cup being offered. We can only hope that his apathy will eventually become uncomfortable enough that he will turn away from staring at the cups before him.
For, judging by his defensively crossed arms protecting his heart and his slight frown, it would appear that the figure sitting cross-legged is flat, annoyed, discouraged, or stagnant. After the excitement of last week’s Magician, he may be feeling disappointed or even jaded.
New Moon, New Beginnings
A second New Moon in a month or a zodiac sign is often referred to as a “Black Moon,” in the way that two Full Moons in a month or a sign are “Blue Moons.”
My brilliant friend and exceptional astrologer Elisabeth Grace sums up this Black Moon of Cancer (July 20, 1:33p.m. EDT), including an emphasis on the chart of Washington DC:
Sun-Moon at 28 Cancer are at the top of the chart, square to the 28 Libra Ascendant. Sun-Moon is at the end of Cancer; Ascendant is at the end of Libra. If this chart were a horary question (explained on this page as the Quick Question), we’d say that events are flowing to their inevitable conclusion.
The person asking may already know the answer and there’s nothing left to be done — or the matter has already been decided and the person has simply yet to discover it. Les jeux sont faits — a play by Jean-Paul Sartre — has been on my mind all weekend. I studied it in high school.
The fated quality of this New Moon is Saturn at 28 Capricorn, exactly opposing the Sun-Moon and also squaring the Ascendant. We’ve been feeling the cuts and controls of Sun opposing Saturn over the past few days, adding further weight to the power plays of last week’s Jupiter-Pluto opposition to the Cancer Sun.
Warning: Saturn headlines can be depressing and defeating, but this is the reality we’re in right now — and since you’ve been reading this forecast, hopefully you are prepared:
Depressing and defeating, in the short-term perhaps, but the Tarot is reminding us that we should not get stuck there, lest we miss a powerful opportunity for healing and hope.
Annie Heese of Cafe Astrology writes:
This is the first New Moon in Cancer that hasn’t been an eclipse since 2017. While this means it is a more “regular” New Moon, it does pack a punch with its tight opposition to Saturn. It’s also the second New Moon in Cancer in 2020. We can feel blocked and throttled, and this can fuel our desire/need to start fresh.
The New Moon in Cancer is a good time to commit to personal goals that express the positive energies of the sign of the Crab. These include honoring our deepest, most irrational and intimate, feelings; recognizing the sense of security and safety we derive from whatever it is we call home; allowing ourselves to accept support [emphasis is mine – B.] and offering support to others, and starting a project aimed at improving our domestic lives or a major long-term venture.
With this potent Cancer energy, we have the chance to make important changes in our lives that will benefit us well beyond this Moon cycle.
What if this young gentleman was to break from his torpor, and acknowledge the support being offered from Elsewhere? What if we did?
Simone Butler of Astro-Alchemy adds:
This New Moon favors making commitments and setting hard boundaries. Some of us may need to cut our losses and choose a different path. What do you do when you’re struggling to stay afloat and your business gets shut down once again? Or, you have to decide whether or not it’s safe to send your kids back to school?
Saturn can be a tough taskmaster. And with that old devil retrograde right now, we’re apt to be dealing with backward officials, policies and attitudes that have been in place for a long time. Rather than tackling such things head-on and risking a collision, it might be wiser to think things through, seek workarounds and measure our actions carefully.
Saturn is hanging with Jupiter and Pluto all year, so those two planets will also oppose the New Moon. When in Saturn’s sign, Jupiter teaches that growth and wisdom can come from restraint and caution. And Pluto’s presence in Capricorn says that old systems are dying to make way for new ones – and we have little control over the process.
If you’re planning to initiate something new at this New Moon, make sure it’s solid and a wise use of your energy, and you’re prepared to see it through. Be as patient as possible with the inevitable shifts, re-dos and delays you’re likely to face through the end of the year.
The Four of Cups points to past disappointments, and so prompts us to cut our losses. But once decided, there is tremendous potential for an unexpected, unsought blessing. Just know that patience and perseverance are required.
An Unexpected Blessing
As we approach the celebration of the first harvest next week, many of us are discovering that we may need to go back and hit “Pause.” Again.
We who are sensitives often need to retreat from the world, allowing fallow time before the creative juices can flow once more.
However, as you contemplate the choices before you, perhaps hesitating to select one at the expense of the others, a fourth possibility is being offered from Mystery. This could be unexpected news, or simply an opportunity.
Now, in the powerful climax of High Summer, when all the world (above the Equator) is buzzing with fertility and activity, beware of indifference, depression, or self-absorption. It is true that these sometimes exhausting Dog Days can wear us down, but do not ignore a subtle, surprising call that may be coming from Spirit.
The sign you have been asking for does not always arrive with a blast of trumpets and fireworks. Perhaps it comes to you like a Faery gift — quiet as a cloud, gentle as a hand holding a cup.
At those times when we have trouble finding the way forward, it may help to recall that, like the cup held by the Hand of Grace, your heart’s longing is also seeking you.
Beware of letting your hurt, fear, or pride stop you from reaching out, although, yes, it is a tender act of trust to do so.
Nevertheless, open your arms and welcome this gift that comes from straight from Love.