Updated: Oct 9, 2020
Tarot deck art credit: The Afro Goddess Connection
This Cancer season finds us in a moment of much-needed transformation. Beginning with a solar eclipse at zero degrees of the sign—a potent point of the zodiac, that demarcates the solstice, a moment of intense energetic shift—this season promises to offer us opportunities for evolution that, though painful, offer us the potential to create a world founded on principles of equity, justice, and love.
One of the significations of Cancer that feels most important in this moment is its association with the planet Jupiter. Jupiter rules Cancer by exaltation. If you read a lot about astrology on the Internet, you’ve probably heard the buzzwords “expansion” and “growth” and “adventure associated with Jupiter—and not so much with the sign of Cancer. The Jupiterian significations of the sign of the crab, I think, are often overlooked.
While sometimes the expansion we associate with Jupiter is cast as happy-go-lucky, free-spirited traveling, I think that this expansion has a much more soul-centered meaning. Jupiter likes to expand into discomfort so that we can grow. It wants us to challenge our perceptions of what’s possible by moving into the unknown. Like the animal that the sign is named after, the crab, Jupiter in the sign of Cancer recognizes when it has outgrown its shell, and can discern when it’s time to do the vulnerable work of shedding it and beginning to grow a new one.
Cancer is an evolutionary sign. This is an evolutionary moment.
And here is where the tarot card associated with Cancer, the Chariot, comes in. The seventh card of the major arcana, the Chariot transitions us from line one to line two of the majors. This is the only card that literally features a vehicle, which emphasizes that the Chariot is a card about transition. It’s a card about movement. Often, the Chariot card in decks features a person with their heart forward, and sometimes, there is a moon in the card, symbolizing intuition. Both of these pieces of imagery have to do with leading from the heart, leading from our inner knowing.
Large evolutionary moments require a lot of faith. They require us to move into what is unfamiliar. They require us to trust that although we don’t know what the results of right action will be, we will take right action anyway because the opposite of right action and the absence of it, leads to unspeakable violence. Cancer season has come along to emphasize to us that we need to trust—and participate in—this movement.