Remember the last time you looked up at a full Moon? Did it do what it usually does (at least for me) and fill you with a flash of mystery? At the same time a sense of comfort? Maybe a small strange feeling of yearning?
The Moon is forever elusive, always changing, yet oh so soothing. Moonlight feels like magic does it not? It produces a PULL within us, similar to the influence it has on the tides. It awakens the dreamer in us. We become more inward and reflective. The Moon itself reflects the Sun and is also reflected in the many lakes and puddles of our world. It’s a two way reflection. Very Orson Welles…
The question is, what does the Moon represent in our psyches? As I said before, I am HIGHLY influenced by my favorite astrologer, Alice O. Howell. She speaks of the Moon as the “matrix of consciousness” having the capacity to “give birth to those limitless little or big attacks of insight through which we turn experience into empiric knowledge”.
She draws symbolic parallels between the stories of “the virgin births” and an inner psychological process of uniting our egos to our Selves (capital S as Jung speaks of the Self). The “Self” is the “divine guest” within us. From this union of ego and Self comes the “spiritus renatus” or the “twice born Self”. It is a virgin birth because it all happens within you. The “ego” is how we attempt to live in our worlds, feel comfortable and make sense out of it. Over identifying with the ego cuts us off from our divinity, but ignoring the ego cuts us off from our world. We need both.
O. Howell sees this concept symbolically represented by the inner marriage of the Sun and Moon. She puts the Moon more on the frequency of the ego and the Sun more on the frequency of the Self, although she says the Self is so vast it is really more the unfolding of the entire chart over a lifetime.
On a more immediate level, the Moon represents our emotional nature, and the emotional current that really drives us in life. Is it along the lines of going forward towards new experience (Aries Moon)? Or maybe to feel safe and secure emotionally (Cancer Moon)? Or to feel that you are efficient and useful in the world somewhere (Virgo Moon)?
By the same token these signs will flavor our natural REACTIONS to what life throws at us. The Moon is connected to the stomach in the body (as well as the breasts and womb). Those knots in our stomach when we are stressed our the butterflies when we are elated put us in touch with this fact. If we are not conscious of how our Moons operate we may become a slave to our emotions, letting them run wild and boss us around! On the flip side if we cut ourselves off from our Moon entirely our emotions grow hungry. We are like an undernourished child inside in desperate need of comfort and cut off from the beautiful mysteries of life. We need to give ourselves permission to retreat to an inward HOME where we are safe and secure.
The sign of Cancer is the sign related to the Moon. Cancer is represented by the crab. This creature more than any other that I can think of embodies the concept of HOME. It IS it’s own home in a sense. The hermit crab literally carries it’s home on it’s back. But all crabs have that hard exoskeleton, which serves as a strong barrier, a “shelter from the storm” of life. They also need to always be near water (another home) because the breath through gills on their legs. Their little leg gills must always be kept moist. The hermit crab even carries back up water in his shell! Crabs can be solitary creatures (Cancer is also related to privacy) or they can live in groups. When they are in groups they work hard to provide food and protection for their families (a very Cancerian way of life!).
The ancient Glastonbury Zodiac that stretches over miles of land depicts the sign of Cancer as a dog instead of a crab! It’s ear is illustrated by a lake, and for years people around the area never knew why it was called “Ear Lake”. I remember being stupefied by a move my dog pulled one Christmas eve. My sister and I had bought my mother a concertina as a gift. She pulled it out and my little dog came running in and began howling to the music. He had never howled before that! Concertinas, at least to me evoke a stroll along a Moonlit road in some romantic place, there is a connection there..
Are you at home in your own matrix?