After the Flood ~ Full Moon in Cancer ~ December 29th, 2020

On Tuesday, December 29th the Full Moon in the water sign of Cancer will arrive, the final dramatic gesture in this operatic year. 

Many will feel raw and vulnerable at the end of 2020.

This full moon will release the tensions that have been building up since the Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius a couple weeks ago—tensions that have been rising even more sharply since The Great Conjunction that took place on the Solstice last week.

In its sign of rulership, the emotional tides of the Moon are very powerful. And while the Moon in Cancer offers plenty of sweetness, this one arrives in a square to Chiron in Aries. Amidst the nurturing wisdom of Cancer, an ancient wound will be exposed. 

A sigh of sadness melts the ice of repressed feelings. And as deeply hidden wounds are exposed, a trickle becomes a river that rushes into a flood. Thus, the final days of this difficult year will be marked by a tempestuous mood that summons a purifying release. 

Dark thunder clouds will burst, pouring forth a deluge of pent up frustration and grief. And this storm will be electric, influenced by a trine between the Sun in Capricorn and Uranus in Taurus. 

The lightning bolts of Uranus may stir some emotional shocks. But a wild streak will arise, one that fights for freedom.

This Full Moon is intense. But it has the alchemical potential of the Great Flood, a cleansing and purifying process that invites much brighter days to return.

The Full Moon in Cancer reflects upon the Sun’s wintry light in Capricorn

Having recently crossed the threshold of the solstice, the Sun in Capricorn struggles to ascend. But the Moon in Cancer offers great comfort and encouragement, soothing the pain of current circumstances with the warmest memories of summer. 

The watery realm of Cancer offers a sanctuary, an oasis that nurtures and protects memory, the foundation of consciousness. Without memory, learning would cease and life would lose all its meaning. In memory your imagination comes alive, rippling through all time in the circular rhythm of the Moon.

The Moon in Cancer evokes the ancient name Mnemosyne Mater Musarem. (Memory, Mother of the Muses) Mnemosyne’s name derives from Mene, Moon, and mosune, ‘wooden house’, so literally translated her name means ‘the House of the Moon.’

In the House of the Moon, the great myths and stories of humanity are remembered in living color, making the garden of the mind rich and fertile for future growth.

In this long year that has been burdened by the looming fear of annihilation, ancient memories of the Great Flood emerge. This is a myth that is found all over the ancient world, including Sumeria. But the most famous and enduring version is the story of Noah’s Ark from the Book of Genesis.

The Book of Genesis describes how God decided to destroy the earth by flood, choosing one “just and perfect man” named Noah to preserve human culture and the animal kingdom.

The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.

And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

Before the flood comes, God instructs Noah to build a wooden ark big enough to hold his family and a pair of all the living creatures on earth—two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life.

On the seventeenth day of the second month in the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, the “fountains of the great deep” were broken up, the “windows of heaven” were opened and it rained for forty days and forty nights.

Water “prevailed exceedingly upon the earth,” submerging even the tallest mountains and killing all living creatures—but the ark was “lifted up above the surface of the earth.”

And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.

And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.

Floods are devastating and destructive, but also cleansing and purifying, offering the opportunity for rebirth and regeneration.

You can feel how a flood of tears dissolves the hardness in your heart. And once released, peace and clarity return. Alchemists believed tears to be the psychophysical manifestation of dissolution, the second phase of the alchemical process associated with the water sign Cancer. 

The Great Flood in Genesis was the alchemy of God, a great dissolution that cleansed all that was inferior upon the earth. And in this reflective moment at the end of 2020, consider how this year might also be akin to a mass dissolution. 

After the flood, humanity entered a new covenant with God—a new era of human consciousness had dawned.

To symbolize this, a rainbow appeared in the sky, a promise of a new world that would never again be destroyed by flood. And God said to Noah:

I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. . .

And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. 

The image of the rainbow evokes the alchemical symbol of the Peacock’s Tail, signaling initiation into the higher stages of alchemy. It is a symbol that refined states of consciousness are emerging from the dark mass of ignorance.

Thus the narrative of the Great Flood leaves much to reflect on at this Full Moon in Cancer.

The ark itself is like the womb, a vessel upon the water that protects and nurtures what is worth carrying into the future. 

Beyond being an historical account of a global catastrophe, the Great Flood from Genesis provides us with a mirror upon which we can reflect on the state of the world at the end of this most difficult and challenging of years.

The visionary artist Leigh J. McCloskey’s work has been in direct response to the modern flood of information that submerged the cultural narrative since the turn of the century. His installation piece The Hieroglyph of the Human Soul—a vast, interactive painted library depicting the story of creation and the evolution of human consciousness—was started on September 11th, 2001 after the planes hit the Twin Towers.

He describes it thus:

“The coming down of the Twin Towers is what triggered ‘The Hieroglyph of the Human Soul’… [It’s] the falling away of the old binary: the two brothers, the Piscean fish. One [is] the man of god, the [other is the] man of money.  The two kings who grow higher and higher like the Tower of Babel, only in jealousy to fall back to earth—and we are left in the rubble… The last flood was of water; this one was information.

In this time of the Great Flood of Information, 2020 has brought everyone to the brink. This year, you may have been thrown overboard and nearly drowned, the breath of life sucked right out of you. 

But at this Full Moon in Cancer, you can stop drowning and submit yourself to the wisdom of dissolution, knowing that you will emerge from the Great Flood with a revelation and the promise of renewed joy.

The wisdom of Cancer reminds you to honor Memory, preserving seeds of wisdom that will bloom in generations to come. This Full Moon invites you to be like Noah, sheltering whatever is worth saving from the deluge. What you choose to preserve and protect will become your gift to the future that is about to be born.

And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; 

bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.

[Featured Image: “Mothership” from The Hieroglyph of the Human Soul by Leigh J. McCloskey. Learn more:]