On June 21, 2023 the solstice arrives, heralding the beginning of Cancer season. In the northern hemisphere, the Sun has reached its apex in the heavens, followed by its slow descent into the ripening beauty of summertime.
Mother and Child by Frederic Leighton (1895)
If Gemini expands your mind by gathering information, then Cancer deepens the mind by inspiring your capacity to reflect.
And the solstice offers a key moment for reflection, making this one of the most sacred times of year. With a long sigh, you realize that this year is halfway over and the days aren’t getting any longer. Now that the Sun has reached the heights, a great longing to know the depths is awakened. And these depths are discovered through reflection and remembrance, an aspect of consciousness symbolized by the Moon.
In the heavens above, the Moon reflects the light of the Sun. And within your own psyche, the Moon is your capacity to reflect upon what’s come to light in your experience. In other words, the Moon represents your memory, a fluid and living realm that inspires all learning, healing, and creativity.
The Moon’s rulership in Cancer season illuminates your memory, inspiring a mood of nostalgia, reminiscence, and ancestral communion. The playwright Tennessee Williams once observed:
“Has it ever struck you that life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by you so quick you hardly catch it going?”
The Garden of the Hesperides by Frederic Leighton (1892)
Waters of Memory
The wisdom of Cancer reveals that memories and dreams emerge from the same source. These waters bubble up from the earth’s deepest mineral wells, enriched by the bones of the past. Fossils and footprints scatter the shorelines, luring you to drift into the living realm of memory, where your voice joins an ancestral chorus.
The soil of all future growth is made much richer by digging into the past, unearthing its secrets and treasures. This is why the sign of Cancer is so gifted in the reflective art of history.
In Cancer season, history is not written in stone, but in the waters of Memory. The life of the dead is in the memory of the living.
Daphnephoria by Frederic Leighton (1876)
The most common descriptions of Cancer center upon the archetype of the Divine Mother. The nurturing and nourishing maternal wisdom is deeply woven into this sign. But the mythic archetype of the mother that corresponds with Cancer best is Mnemosyne Mater Musarem (Memory, Mother of the Muses).
Mnemosyne, Mother of the Muses by Frederic Leighton
Mnemosyne’s name derives from Mene, Moon, and mosune, “wooden house,” so her name means “the House of the Moon.” According to the wisdom of the ancient Greeks, Memory was the wellspring from which creativity was born.
2023 Cancer Season Forecast
The season of Cancer will unfold in three acts, beginning with the solstice, evolving through some harsh squares with Uranus, and concluding with Venus stationing retrograde in Leo.
Passion will drive you. Love will inspire you. And seeds that were planted long ago will be nurtured into full bloom!
Actaea, the Nymph of the Shore by Frederic Leighton (1868)
I. June 21 – July 2: Sun in the 1st Decan of Cancer
The season of Cancer begins on the solstice with the Sun and Moon in mutual reception, creating a beautiful harmony between solar and lunar energies. Your outward vision (Sun) and internal beliefs (Moon) are aligned to create graceful progress towards fulfilling your dreams. You can drift into your own world of muses and memory.
The mood is hopelessly romantic, calling you to devote yourself to nurturing what you truly love: loyal friends, family, and your deepest passions.
Mars in Leo square Uranus in Taurus at 21°
A few days into the new season, Mars square Uranus will stir an unexpected event or conflict that drastically alters your goals. It’s natural to fear sudden changes. But ultimately, the tension between Mars and Uranus is about evolving your courage and confidence so that you can prosper. A restless urgency may push you to make an important decision. And this will light a fire in you to become a creator of circumstance.
Don’t be afraid to make a bold move, take a risk, and push yourself into the wild unknown. But beware of the tendency for self-sabotage that emerges whenever you exceed your own expectations. This transit isn’t about staying in your comfort zone, so plan accordingly.
Sun in Cancer trine Saturn in Pisces retrograde at 7°
A feeling of stability will return by the end of the month. You’ve made a breakthrough, and now a trine between the Sun and Saturn inspires commitment and devotion. You’ll also find rewards for all your hard work and devotion flowing back to you now, with interest. Remember that whatever praise, affection, or appreciation you receive today is well deserved.
Sun in Cancer sextile Jupiter in Taurus at 9°
The last day of June is a beautiful day, nurturing to your soul and expansive to your heart. In the morning, the waxing Moon will move into Sagittarius, brightening the mood toward faith and optimism. The Sun sextile Jupiter will amplify the spirit of reciprocity. This is a time to open your heart to life’s abundant blessings, enjoying the smallest pleasures and the grandest gestures with equal attention.
Superior Conjunction of Mercury and Sun in Cancer 9°
The month of July kicks off with the superior conjunction between Mercury and the Sun at 9° Cancer. A feeling of culmination or success will be in the air.
When Mercury enters the heart of the Sun, your mind will become cleansed of clouds of oblivion that have obscured your memory. You’ll be able to recall something very important with clarity.
Cymon and Iphigenia by Frederic Leighton (1884)
II. July 2 – July 11: Sun in the 2nd Decan of Cancer
As the Sun heads into the middle of Cancer, you’ll feel like withdrawing into an inner sanctuary where your soul finds a comfortable place to rest. But the middle of Cancer season won’t be as tranquil as you might like. In the days ahead, you’ll be pulled from your bliss in order to grow!
Neptune stations retrograde at 27° Pisces & Venus in Leo squares Uranus in Taurus at 21°
While the Sun seeks a warm place of comfort to enjoy the ripening summer, Neptune will station retrograde in Pisces. Some illusion will be unveiled. And it might be a bit rough upon your heart, with Venus in Leo squaring Uranus in Taurus. Venus’s square to Uranus will add to the restless energy built up by Mars last week.
This is an influence that reveals who your true friends are and what really turns you on in this life. There’s a taste for novelty in the air. The wild streak of Venus square Uranus might inspire you to experiment with new flavors, textures, or genres.
This influence may disrupt the status quo in your social life and romantic relationships. Some of your romantic delusions could suddenly evaporate. Weak and insincere attachments might break apart. But committed love will adapt and evolve, finding a path to deeper truth and greater intimacy.
Full Moon in Capricorn 11º
The season of Cancer comes to a climax at the Full Moon in Capricorn, but it doesn’t bring the most blissful mood. Emotionally speaking, there is a special kind of agony when the Moon journeys through the sign of Capricorn, for this is where she feels most exiled and alone.
In this Saturnian terrain, the Moon discovers its most tenacious survival instincts. The soft warmth of the Cancer Sun feels far away, but the Moon in Capricorn digs deep, tapping into the molten heat of the earth’s core.
Loosely sextiled to its ruler, Saturn retrograde in Pisces, you’ll tap into your ancestral roots for strength. And trine to Jupiter in Taurus, the Moon summons a mood of practical optimism, giving you reason to believe that success is inevitable.
This is a time to commit to the climb, knowing that nothing can stop you from reaching the peak of your ambitions if you’re willing to sacrifice and evolve.
Mercury enters Leo and Mars enters Virgo
On July 11, Mercury will enter Leo and Mars will move into Virgo. Mercury will add a spark of charisma where you most need it, a performative flair that’s been missing. And Mars in Virgo will inspire you to refine an essential skill that will separate you from the crowd.
Idyll by Frederic Leighton (1880)
III. July 12 – July 22: Sun in the 3rd Decan of Cancer
The third act of Cancer season begins under the waning Moon in Taurus, crossing through the volatile sparks of Uranus. The Sun in the final degrees of Cancer overflows with fructifying warmth, bringing everything into bloom. Nurture the relationships that you care most about. And cultivate your talents.
New Moon in Cancer 24º & Mercury in Leo square Jupiter in Taurus 11º
The New Moon in Cancer gives birth to a seed of light. In the final decan of Cancer, this contains the desire for luxury of time to bring something into fruition. You’ll be inspired to nurture something into maturity. Your studies, your arts, or your relationships can benefit from this mood.
But this New Moon isn’t without tension. A test of your strength is also present in the applying opposition to Pluto retrograde in Capricorn. This will cast a shadow of fear upon your heart. The past might haunt you, tempting you to give up on believing in a brighter future.
Fortunately, a square between Mercury and Jupiter brings a silver lining to Pluto’s dark cloud. With optimistic Jupiter shaping Mercury’s thoughts, you’ll be able to tap into many reasons to have faith. Where there is now only a seed, envision a vast orchard.
Mars in Virgo opposite Saturn in Pisces 6°
The final days of Cancer season will give you tunnel vision. The opposition between Mars and Saturn will restrict your time and energy, dedicating your full attention to something important. The gift here is hyper-focus, almost obsession with pushing towards a goal. The labor can be quite productive, though slow. You probably won’t feel like you’re making fast progress. But your intensity can bring things into finer form.
Sun in Cancer opposite Pluto in Capricorn 29°
The shadow that began to fall at the New Moon darkens further as the Sun perfects its opposition with Pluto. The soft heart of the Sun in Cancer will feel raw and vulnerable, overexposed to a dangerous or caustic element. It’s important to remember that Pluto is alchemical, transmuting repression into self-knowledge. You may finally purge the poison of dark secrets so you can heal.
Venus stations retrograde in Leo 28°
On the last day of Cancer season, Venus stations retrograde at 28° Leo. This begins a 40-day process of soul-searching to re-discover your deepest desires for love and beauty.
Between July 22 and September 3, Venus’s retrograde in Leo will cause her to switch skies, going from dreamy evening star to sparkling morning star. Her transformation into morning star foretells of a great renaissance happening in the sign of Leo. New light, life, and confidence will be born within you.
But this renaissance begins with a quiet inward gaze, letting your heart be still. By this time in life, what you need has evolved. And what you desire has also changed.
The Venus retrograde in Leo offers a golden opportunity to discover what sparks your desire, to tap into what really turns you on, and to resurrect your spirits. Like the morning star, you’ll rise like the Sun.
Wishing you all the best!
Rachel is the creator of Aeolian Heart Astrology, a voice that speaks to free spirits and free minds. She illuminates the timeless wisdom of Hermetic philosophy with a unique blend of pop culture, history and art. She believes that astrology is magic because following the rhythm of the planets reveals life as a graceful dance. Her natal chart readings awaken the soul, reigniting one’s passion, purpose, and flow. Since 2015, she’s been sharing the light of the stars through her writing and teaching. And she has inspired thousands of clients and students to get back into alignment with who they were born to be. Click here to sign up for the Aeolian Heart Astrology newsletter!