July's New Moon In Cancer Is A Great Time To Do Some Transformative Work

After the intensity of last month's Full Buck Moon (and the nose-to-the-grindstone influence of Saturn going retrograde), we're feeling a little ragged and raw. The good news is that the new moon on July 17 offers some reprieve. Happening in its home sign of Cancer, this start of a new lunar cycle is an opportunity to tend to our emotional needs. We are urged to turn our focus inward to our soft "underbellies," the emotions and dreams we hide behind a protective façade. As beneficial as it is to pay attention to the lessons the heavenly bodies are teaching us, we're only human. We need a break to check if the humbling our egos have taken recently has also left cracks in our hearts.

According to Cafe Astrology, July's Cancer new moon allows us to ask for and receive support so we can feel emotionally safe and more secure. It also inspires us to set goals involving the improvement of our homes — both the literal and figurative ones — and domestic life. Think of the people and places that serve as our sanctuary whenever the outside world becomes too harsh. What can we do to nurture them the way they have nurtured us? 

Conversely, if our interpersonal connections have grown codependent, the new moon is the perfect time for establishing healthier boundaries. To borrow AstroStyle's Cancer-themed metaphor, our "shells" keep us from toxic enmeshment. Re-learning how to say "no" and respecting when others tell us the same are in order.  

A deep dive into the unknown

It won't be super smooth sailing, however. With Pluto in retrograde and wielding its destructive yet transformative powers in Cancer's opposing sign Capricorn, tending to our emotions can feel like plunging into the ocean without a life jacket. Our need for emotional safety can easily mutate into paranoia whenever our relationships show signs of power play. The thing, though, is that all of our connections are a constant dance of give and take. It just feels scarier during this new moon because we're entering a new territory while still reeling from the changes we've gone through. 

Because Cancer is an emotional sign, we'll be more in tune with our fear, sadness, and anger. On the flip side, we'll also experience the full depths of happiness and gratitude whenever these emotions arise. It might sound like taking a ride on a rollercoaster, but the upcoming lunar event is simply encouraging us to feel whatever we feel without getting fixated on it. Just as panicking in the water is dangerous, magnifying uncomfortable emotions can overwhelm us, thus keeping us from processing them properly — and we know how impossible it is to take a step forward when we're feeling paranoid. 

Astrologer Narayana Montúfar recommended getting plenty of rest during the days before and immediately after the new moon to help cope with our feelings. "Big changes are on the horizon and to move towards the future, we must first process the past," she told Refinery 29

Lunar nodes usher a new eclipse season

Another major astrology shift coinciding with the Cancer new moon is the entry of the North and South Nodes into Aries and Libra, respectively. According to Outside's Yoga Journal, the lunar nodes hold clues to both our individual and collective purposes. Rather than planetary bodies, they are opposing points in the sky that are based on the positions of the Sun, Moon, and Earth at a given moment. "The theory behind the Nodes of the Moon ... suggests that we all come into this world with some underdeveloped and overdeveloped aspects of our character," Cafe Astrology further explained. The North Node signifies the traits we need to develop to balance the ones we have already mastered and may rely on too much. These latter traits are the South Node's domain.

With the lunar nodes changing signs right after the peak of the new moon, the 17th also ushers a new eclipse season. Look forward to a series of eclipses occurring on the Aries-Libra axis. That means an 18-month period of learning how to balance the ram's drive for self-expression with the scales' need for diplomacy and smooth relationships. The North Node in Aries will push us to learn how to be more authentic and have courage in our convictions despite the South Node's pull to rely on the Libran tendency to keep the peace at any cost. Tending to our inner selves during the Cancer new moon helps us prepare for that lesson.