Cancer New Moon : Reflections on Ancestors, Family and the 12th House

I am entering a kind of inward dreaming of hosts of associations and tendrils at the moment as the Sun and Moon approach a conjunction in the 12th house of my chart ruled by the sign of the Great Mother, home, family, roots and maternal ancestral connections, Cancer.  Mercury and Mars are following close behind, as is usual with these transits I want to write, dream, eat soup, get cosy, read poetry, write blogs and explore the entire cycle of my life, drawing the whole host of interconnected resonances through my maternal history and DNA.  With Saturn Moon I have always felt a deep connection with the past on my mother’s side.

At age 31 when I entered recovery for addiction it slowly became clear to me that there was a deep wound to the feminine and to the family I was born into.  There had been a lot of separations over generations, stories of ancestors leaving their homeland to settle or pioneer in foreign lands far from family. Lots of father absence and father loss too.  Just recently after connecting with some relatives of my ancestral Great, Great, Grandmother I was shown a letter my Great, Great, Great Grandfather wrote to this son.  It was heartbreaking and sad, sent all the way to New Zealand from Cornwall in the midst of a harsh and bitter winter spent in poverty he was missing his son and knowing he would not see him again.

My maternal Great Grandmother left her own father behind in New Zealand to come to Australia early in the 20th century, he was suffering from addiction problems himself.  She was one of 18 children two of which also called Eliza Jane had died in childbirth.  Two other brothers came here too but I did not know that until this year, however they settled in the north while my Great Grandmother settled in Victoria.

She gave birth to three children and it was my Grandmother who moved to the town where I now live, alone with her husband who had suffered during the First World War.  He came here to build houses, but was also a bookmaker.  He died when my own mother was seven from war injuries, he had been gassed.  My second sister carries a congenital lung weakness.

The ancestral pattern repeated in that when my mother married she remained in the place of her birth but met and married my father who was from Holland. He left his homeland finally for the Dutch East Indies just on the eve of the Second World War prior to German invasion. He met my mother while seconded to Australia by the Air Force to collect B52 bombers which did not show up on time.  They married and after some years in Indonesia following the ending of World War Two decided to settle here.  They gave birth two four children.

The second child was my sister Judith a Sun sign Capricorn who had Mars and Saturn in Cancer very close to today’s New Moon in Cancer at 23 degrees.  My sister died on 20 April last year after a long and tragic life that was mired by a cerebral bleed, abandonment and betrayal, just as Pluto was transiting her Sun.

It was Jude whose chart interconnected so strongly to our maternal Great, Great, Grandfather Thomas Watts Trudgeon, (my mother’s Great Grandfather) and it was Jude who met and married a New Zealander and returned to live there two times, the first when I was only three.  The second time she was taken there by her husband following the cerebral bleed after which she developed psychotic symptoms together with her four children, so far from us. About a year later though the details are sketchy (it was an experience too painful fr her to talk of) he had her committed to an institution he had been having an affair with a woman who had gone over earlier to set up, they needed my sister out of the way.  She was very unwell, that is true, but no contact was made with my family and that family perhaps would have been of little help.  Two years later my sister was sent back to Australia with a one way ticket while her then husband disappeared abandoning her without telling her it was only a one way ticket.

In 1982 on hearing the news she tried to take her life.  She did not see her two youngest children for over 10 years they were 2 and 4 at the time her husband returned her to us. I, the youngest was back at home and I witnessed her attempt.  A bottle of pills downed and after which she lay down clutching a photograph of them to her chest.  I cannot remember what time of year this occurred but I do have a strong feeling it was winter.  I remember it being cold and such a very dark, dark, dark time.

I was 20 at the time and had began to drink a lot.  My father had forced me to give up uni studies and undertake a secretarial diploma.  I was also taking drugs and acting out within a silent internal rebellion.  Just a few days ago I woke up after a dream in which I was singing Billy Idol’s song Rebel Yell feeling deep in my psyche the rumbling giant of feeling that got buried for so many years, of thwarted development without masculine guidance.  Within three years my father was dead from stomach cancer and I like a lost boat was cast adrift overseas and into a succession of painful relationships driven by a deep father hunger but also a magnetic lure to those who could not truly appreciate my soul suffering but wanted to smelt it under the fire of their rigid imposed judgements.  While writing this I also cannot fall into the narcissistic trap of not admitting how hard it would have been for others to deal with someone suffering so many silent wounds that were carried deep within.  I had a way further to go along the unconscious pathway.

In an earlier poem posted here Emerging Through the Dark Night which was a piece of  stream of consciousness writing when I was deep in 12th house retreat (Saturn in transiting the 12th and 1st) I wrote the lines :

somewhere from deep with your belly

I hear a child is crying

longing for her pain and loneliness to be heard

After the suicide attempt the pain of that child within my sister got buried and she struggled with it for the rest of her life and with the separation from her children and the man she had loved with all her being.  All deeply Mars Saturn Cancerian experiences and Pluto in Libra was transiting over important planets in her chart too.

Blogs tend to assume a life of their own and so it is with this one.  But it is no surprise to me that today deep in dark moon time prior to this new one which  squares Uranus (planet of awakening and separation) and opposes Pluto (ruler of the subterranean wells of feeling carried over generations, buried, repressed or burning for liberation and transformation) consideration of these experiences is with me and I am feeling drawn to bring them out of darkness into the light.

Tomorrow, at midday after over more than a year, we will finally be laying my sister’s ashes to rest.  Is this writing for you, my beautiful sister Jude both memorial and remembrance?  You are not forgotten.  If it is true that her soul lives on most especially in all of these memories and associations so the transits to her chart are still in place as Pluto passes over her Venus and as Mars and Mercury oppose it.

Somewhere deep within I feel the need to give this a voice, today.  I think also of my own deep connection to  own mother and her repressed psychic life which became such an important preoccupation after I got sober over 20 years ago  I think of my own tangled journey with love, intimacy and relationships and of the twin pulls of both the call to individuation (my North Node in Leo in the first house widely conjunct Uranus) and of familial inter-relationship or the longing for such (a tight stellium of Sun, Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, South Node in the seventh) both square Neptune in Scorpio on the third.

And I see that the journey of the Nodes is not an either/or dichotomy but more in the nature of a infinity symbol, figure 8 pattern of journeying between the opposites in a circuitous and meandering way.  It takes an enlarged consciousness to see this and a long journey wandering or pulled backwards and forwards between both polarities that then perform an alchemy on the soul.

Last night after an inward day of blogging it occurred to me that in esoteric rulership the sign Cancer is ruled not by the Moon but by Neptune.   I was blogging about Orpheus and the relationship of this myth to Neptune.  There was a deeper issue or subtext to that blog around the issue of letting go of and making peace with the past, of the need to regress to move forward but also I guess of loss and longing and their impact upon us.

The Crab which symbolises Cancer has a soft inward centre protected by a hard shell.  The mother must be intensely protective and the Crab claws can grab on and have a difficult time letting go but surely the square to Uranus of this New Moon and its opposition to Pluto demands it of us, either a letting go or a transformation of the ways in which we hold onto relationships through memory, thoughts and perceptions and our tangled association to past connections, pains, wounding and intimacies.

It seems to me that as I write ideas or intimations from my soul emerge in a way that would not have occurred had I not set fingers dancing on the key of my lap top keyboard.  Deep within the 12th house I find my home at present and wait patiently for Mercury and Mars to enter.  It seems that it may be even more difficult to get out my PJ’s for the next four weeks or so.

At this moment glint of sunlight peeping out from behind stormy clouds that have gathered on this cold winter day.  I feel the pull to get out of my PJ’s and walk lovely Jasper along the bush pathway by the lake.  To feel the buffeting wind and bracing cold, to know that I have the precious gift of life, despite and even within all the painful memories of Cancer time.  I remember the saying : light is never more visible than in darkness.

(Note: sadly my technical ability on WordPress and recent upgrades to my computer have made it hard to load up from my picture library so I am sorely limited so at this stage and unable to link to images or images of charts on my blog which would make this much clearer)