Illustration by Taylor Dow

Illustration by Taylor Dow

Indignation and Compassion

Cancer season, and summer, begin with choppy waters.

“One’s life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation, and compassion.” — Simone de Beauvoir

It’s overwhelming, the way feelings keep seeping in deeply, crashing like waves. Last week’s Neptune-heavy sky churned up emotions that were hard to filter. Out-of-bounds Mercury made for impulsive words and “Well, that escalated quickly” reactions. Although Mercury’s out-of-bounds orbit ends on the 24th, the communication planet’s placement in Cancer means finding the right words will still take effort. And what we want is rapidly changing. On the 21st, the Sun enters Cancer, marking the first day of summer (summer solstice) and the start of Cancer season. Gemini is such a mentally active time of year, but a Cancer Sun in the sky shifts focus to the heart and emotional intelligence.

Tenderness, fertility, and sensitivity define water sign Cancer. In John William Waterhouse’s 1908 oil painting The Soul of the Rose, a red-headed woman in a flowing robe inhales the fragrance of a rose with her eyes closed, her left hand pressed against the garden wall. There is something sensual yet bittersweet about the painting that matches the fleeting ripeness of summer solstice and the wistful longing of Cancer, a sign that despises goodbyes and holds tightly to memories. Summer solstice is a celebration, yet it’s also the point after which daylight slowly decreases each day until the fall equinox.

This week, the most decent days include Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Handle the rest with care. On Thursday, Mars and Venus oppose each other, which could heat up passions but also complicate negotiations. Then on Saturday, Mercury and Pluto have their own opposition, further straining interpersonal dynamics. Mars begins its summer-long retrograde on the 26th, but I’ll cover that next week. Just know that with Neptune’s continued influence, Mars’ direction switch, and now a Cancer Sun, it’s a tender time.


Safe, affordable housing is a human need. A caring support system—whether a biological or a chosen family—is a human need. Access to nutritious food and clean water is a human need. These are not radical opinions; they’re basic facts. Human beings need a place where they can sleep, bathe, and cook in comfort. We’re not robots. We are social animals who require emotional and physical connection. We long to love and to be loved. And Cancer, symbolized by a shelter-seeking crab, covers all this: home, family, food, and feelings. Oh, the feelings!

Though Geminis are known for being rather erratic, no one flips moods like a Cancer. That’s because the Moon is Cancer’s ruler, and the Moon is constantly changing costumes. A Cancer can be as soothing as a lullaby or as abrasive as a sandblaster. When Cancers feel secure, they believe in people’s goodness and rush in to comfort others with fresh banana bread or a sympathetic ear. But if threatened or betrayed, Cancers will shut off their trust and construct a thick wall of grudge. They protect themselves and their loved ones with fierce loyalty. Cancers never forget how you made them feel.


Wednesday the 20th may seem like a long day with an equally long to-do list. Today and tomorrow require compromise, but agreements won’t happen in a snap. If you’re into creative self-expression through art (hi, writers and musicians!) then use today’s Mercury/Neptune trine to your advantage. Create something fresh. The Sun enters Cancer on Thursday the 21st, which also marks summer solstice. Avoid making consequential decisions or big purchases after 6:30 p.m., as the Moon will be void. Relating to others is tricky today. Best-case scenario: Venus opposing Mars creates hot sexual chemistry. Worst case: This tension amplifies competition and stubbornness between people with conflicting views. Friday the 22nd should be positive. The Sun and Uranus present an opportunity that you must act on. A Scorpio Moon trines the Sun in Cancer, magnifying emotions—but in a good way. Venus and Neptune are acting romantic too. Saturday the 23rd looks rough. Mercury opposes Pluto, highlighting issues of control, trauma, and even obsession. The Sun also squares Chiron, which usually makes an old wound sting. It’s a good sky for examining relationship tensions to avoid past mistakes and form new patterns. On Sunday the 24th, Mercury leaves its out-of-bounds situation. The Moon is void until late evening, so take chill-out time and let your mind wander. The Sun and Mars provide motivation to plan for something you’ll get to later this summer. On Monday the 25th, Venus squares Jupiter, making for “too much of a good thing.” Careful what you commit to. You may have the enthusiasm, but not the budget or time. This aspect can also quicken budding love. On Tuesday the 26th, Mars goes retrograde and the Moon is, once again, void all day. Saturn is causing heavy pressure. It’s gonna be a weird one.


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