Philosophical Nativities, A Prelude

The Polarity: Capricorn–Cancer

Sceen capture from Tarkovsky's Stalker (1979)

There's a cold Capricorn Moon dominating the sky tonight. In the traditional system of dignities, the Moon is at detriment in Capricorn, and if truth be told, it's my least favourite sign. Two weeks ago, the New Moon in Cancer, of which tonight's moon is the fulfilment, saw my world strewn with catharsis and suicide. So I'm curious to see what the full moon brings. 

The polarity: Cancer–Capricorn may be defined in terms of emotional versus material security; softness versus hardness; ocean versus mountain. Stretched between the crab's delicate centre and Saturn's leaden skeleton, the impulse is to dissolve or coagulate. We may become incredibly over-sensitive, or intractably in-sensitive. Engulfed by the primal pull of our unconscious, we may melt into a reactive mess of vulnerability, or we may withdraw into rigid, inflexible stubbornness. The question faces us: will we shed the crab-like exoskeleton that protects our centre, and, facing our deepest insecurities, become supple and grow? Or will we counsel ourselves with harsh words like Nietzsche's Zarathustra, and tell ourselves to "become hard!" Perhaps the key lies in Zarathustra's own realisation that the mountains themselves, with their great cliff-faces, arise from the ocean. For as the alchemists have always known—from the Taoists to Paracelsus—"that which is softest in the world gives rise to that which is hardest".