“this air sign hits Cancer season like Hurricane. the tropical depression sets in.”
I wrote that line shortly after I posted the last Ritual Guide, soaring into Cancer season just as the sun reached its apex. And then it fell. Or I did.
In fact, it was sitting here alone in this Pages document. I went to delete it, but then I read it again. We’re still in the first stirrings of Cancer, still getting our footing, and, while I won’t say it still applies fully, it echoes my sentiment most years. After the highs of the Solstice, my birthday, and Pride, Cancer season comes rushing in like a fast tide and can often seem to suck the lofty Gemini air from my lungs. But I’m a Cancer rising. I’m prone to melancholy when the winds change.
This year it came on slowly, and then all at once. Gemini lent so much power to the collective uprising, spreading the message that Black Lives Matter further and with more transformative influence and heart-changing fervor than ever before. And just as many thought we might burn out, despite trying to take the steps to save us that fall (Gemini is not exactly great as slowing down and shoring up, try as we might), Cancer covers us in a blanket of safety and reminds us that we can, indeed must, fight from within as well. The crab guides us to make those changes that are slower, quieter, deeper; those that we can sustain for longer.
But it doesn’t take away our voice, our anger, our drive. Mars returned to its home of Aries, keeping our flames tall. We still burn, just more balanced and much safer. Our torches are shielded against the gusts, no longer dancing in the winds of Gemini but burning sure and steady and very very hot.
The Full Moon in Capricorn comes to us as an opportunity to utilize this Cancerian shield, our indispensable molluscular armor, to provide a critical distance through which we can more effectively examine our current state. This may mean different things for some of us than others.
If you’ve been focusing on attending protests, spreading the word, using your voice and/or your privilege (if you have it) to fight, this moon will be a fantastic time to begin the inward work of dismantling white supremacy (if you’re not Black), rewiring carceral logic, and/or deeply returning to yourself and determining what you need to get resourced (especially if you are Black).
If you have already been on the quieter, more introspective side of things (not all of us are equipped to be boots on the ground!), you can double down of course, but you can also begin sharing this work with your communities and others in your lives, as well as building a plan of how to truly integrate this work into the fabric of our lives long term.
“Lunar Capricorn guards these moments of transition and fall, of steadfast determination to shakedown societal assumptions, cultural norms, and oppressive expectations. The goatfish aids us in reweaving the fabric of society into a more just one. Under the light of the Full Moon in Capricorn it is auspicious to study power dynamics, privilege, and the -isms we throw around and are thrown at us including racism, classism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, and more. “
And of course, it gives us all a chance to get our ducks in a row. Whether you’ve been pounding the pavement, screaming yourself hoarse, madly sharing every piece of info you can, donating every extra penny you have, any way you may have been burning your activist candle at both ends, we’ve all been at the very least feeling the extremes, if not pushing ourselves right to them. And for many of us, that means neglecting our lives.
One of the reasons this uprising can happen right now like no other time before is that, thanks to COVID, our lives are pretty small on average. And now, they’re expanding again, for better or worse. No, definitely for worse. But even if those in power take the advice of scientists for fucking once and delay the reopening efforts, even if our lives do indeed stay small for a while longer, they are still our lives!
Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, the planet of the mundane (in many ways). We still have to pay our rent (or at least keep track of it if you can’t or are rent-striking), we still have to feed ourselves, get gas, call our parents, zoom with our therapists, take a fucking shower, get tested…the list goes on. We are very fragile little beings living in a very precarious society at the moment and it takes a lot of work to keep ourselves alive and relatively healthy to the best of our abilities.
Saturn has often been referred to as a Malefic planet/deity, having “unfavorable influence” (in the words of the google dictionary). Which, honestly, is so immature. Sure, it’s not fun or glamorous, but it represents the parts of our lives that keep us grounded on this plane, rooted in Malkuth while we travel up the Tree of Life. No matter how lofty our goals, how truly etherial our practices, all of it is moot if we let our bodies shrivel and our lives implode. What’s the use of crossing the veil if you have nothing to come back to? That’s literally just called dying.
“Capricorn and its ruling planet, Saturn, govern time, bones, structures, and the steep decline that comes with age. This coupling constricts, brings downturns, and is more than willing to deny pleasure but in exchange, it’s more than willing to provide wisdom….
The wear and tear of the world is more than likely taking its toll on us. This is a moment to refuse anything but the truth, part of which is remembering that to run a marathon we must take incredibly good and kind care of ourselves. There are future generations depending on it.”
So if we think of Saturn as not only the “Keep Yourself Alive and Well” planet, but also the “Get Shit Done” planet, I’d say that’s pretty beneficial. Ever heard of a Saturn Return? More so than any other planetary return, Saturn’s gives us the space to truly hone our deepest life’s purpose and alter our lives in service of that path, if we commit to it. And I don’t know how much more beneficial you can get than fulfilling your true purpose.
And would you ever tell a Capricorn their ruling planet is bad luck? I sure wouldn’t, if I wasn’t looking to get a lecture or lose a friend.
I’m just kidding with that last one, I like Capricorns just fine, they just tend not to like me. Well, I never think they like me, and I have a sneaking suspicion that’s just how they like it.
All of that said, I’ll admit this Saturn-ruled moon is coming with a bit more intensity than might be comfortable. Why? It’s another eclipse! Because of course it is.
Every full moon is an opportunity for release, and every Lunar eclipse maximizes that energy. The last eclipse in a cycle means that we are ready release something on a Grand Scale.
White supremacy, perhaps? Capitalism?? A witch can dream.
And a witch’s dreams have been known to bleed into the material, don’t you know ;)
Sign up on the Empress Tier over on my Patreon to learn more about this wacky nutritive herb, Horsetail!
Since we are in the midst of watery wet Cancer season, it’s also a fantastic time for another ritual bath!
Full Moon’s in general and Lunar Eclipses in particular are really powerful moments of release, and there are few better ways to jump start and super charge that release than with an alchemical bath. You can find details on how to perform one here.
Alternatively, you can create a simpler, more grounding bath tea with a base of Horsetail and epsom salt and any other herbs or essential oils feel right to you.
Another ritual banishing practice that I would love to introduce to you is the Deepest Fear Inventory, as illustrated by Bad Witches’ Carolyn Elliott.
Now this simple method is an action you ideally perform every day for at least a week or two as a means to get very honest about our deeply held beliefs that might be holding us back, and then provides a way to directly destroy them! It’s quite similar to the 4th step in most 12 step programs, with a addition of magick to amplify and accelerate change.
Click through to the link above for more information in the practice (and while you’re there, look at some of Carolyn’s other essays, she’s my most consistent teacher!), but the basic premise is this.
“To do Deepest Fear Inventory, you take a sheet of paper (and yes, it has to be paper and not a computer document because you'll need to rip it up later)...
... at the top of the sheet of paper you write,‘Dear God [or Universe, or Hecate, or Hermes - however you like to address divinity],I hate and resent _________ [fill in the blank with something you think you really want]....
... because I have deep fear that I _____________ [fill in the blank]
... because I have deep fear that I ______________
... because I have deep fear that I _______________’
(write at least 20 deep fears, quick as you can)
At the bottom of the sheet of paper, write the following prayer:
‘God, I ask that you remove these fears. I pray only for knowledge of your will for me and the power to carry it out. Amen.’
Next, find a trusted person to read your Deepest Fear Inventory aloud to. The person should just hear your Deepest Fear Inventory and say ‘thank you for your honesty’ with no further discussion.
Then, you rip up your Deepest Fear Inventory sheet and say to your listener, ‘Thank you for listening,’ then you throw away your little shreds of paper.”
Now, you can personalize the end message if words like “pray” and “amen” are not part of your practice (I like to change that bit up every time to keep things Fresh). Ditto with the beginning, but one of the more important parts is acknowledging that for every desire you have consciously, there is a part of you that desires the opposite, often for our own protection. There are many many reasons to fear success and this practice helps brings those to light. As Carl Jung said, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
Another very important aspect of this ritual is involving another person. I am lucky to have at least two people in my life that are willing listen without comment each night I do this, even if I have to send them voice memos to do it. Regardless of who you are able to rope into listening, it is paramount that you have a Witness.
One of the most powerfully vulnerable experiences we can have is to be Witnessed, and that is the most direct and effective way to make something conscious. Ever noticed how much better you feel when you say those scary thoughts aloud to your therapist, or your friend? What a profound moment of exhale it can feel like? It is very scary to voice your deepest fears, especially those that sound silly or even shameful, to another person. And guess what! That’s the point! All good magic requires an offering, a price, an exchange, and in this case, the price might be Doing the Scary Thing. Being vulnerable and trusting that the other party can listen without judgement and commit to saying only those words, it’s hard! But so is growth and honestly, this is already quite the short cut ;)
Also, you can even tell your witness they don’t have to listen, just respond with those important words. Low effort as incentive! They may find they’re listening closer than expected; vulnerability is deeply alluring and often contagious. Maybe they’ll even follow suit and you can exchange roles!
And then of course, burn the shit out of those fears. Or tear them up and bury them, or toss them down the garbage disposal, or eat them (maybe not if they’re written in sharpie). Up to you however you want to destroy them, but make sure they are GONE.
This practice is best done, as with all banishing rituals, as the moon wanes. 10 days in a row is a great place to start; you may find there’s a day that feels like you’re done or you may end up needing to do it for the whole moon cycle!
I find the practice fits best right before bed, but make sure your witness is available as this definitely works best without lingering on the page. As a life-long solo-practitioner (until very recently), it can be difficult to have to plan your magick around anyone else’s schedule, but the reward is worth it. Once you’ve done a cycle of DFI a handful of times, you might find your divinity listening directly and you can cut out the middle man. Just be careful not to “decide” that that’s true simply out of convenience. Magick is rarely convenient.
If you click through to Carolyn’s website, there’s a great example if you’re not sure where to begin with what you’re fearing. But I promise, it gets pretty obvious and no fear is too small or silly to mention.
Empowerment can come from many places, but one unexpected source is often owning aspects of ourselves that we deem shameful or embarrassing. And I have often found the idea that I am afraid of Success because I’m afraid my (lovely, gregarious, wildly supportive) friends will judge me or be jealous. Or because I’m afraid I won’t even like it. Or I’m afraid that I won’t have anything to complain about. Or I’m afraid my cats will be mad.
Truly, our fears are just as often petty as they are profound but they all have an equal pull on us back down into complacency. So yes, banish the cat one just as hard as the “I wouldn’t recognize myself” one. And honestly? They all look pretty petty written out in a list like that. So freeing to realize how small and commonplace your fears are as compared to your dreams.
Let your dreams utterly dwarf them.
Alright my lovelies, I’ll leave you with that! Don't forget, if you want more herbal info and a special Tarot Spread for this moon, sign up for my Patreon at the Empress Tier or above!
Be kind to yourself this weekend, and if you can, lend your voice and/or your body or platform to fight against the blind patriotism and disregard for the safety of others we might encounter this weekend! Be gentle with yourselves and each other, but be hard on the injustices that built our toxic country.
In love and magick!