cancer season & midsummer

today marks the beginning of cancer season and the longest day of the year here in the northern hemisphere, a time when we celebrate the beginning of summer. shifting from gemini to cancer can be an intense transition, as we move from buzzing, electric energy to a calmer, more slow-moving time of emotions, intuition, and protection. and while the lovers encouraged us to find balance within, to honor the various pieces of ourselves, to find freedom both within and in spite of relationships, the chariot pushes us to fly through the world, to show that confidence to others, to move with purpose and determination towards our most important goals and intentions. cancer is the first water sign of the zodiac, giving us a chance to spend time diving deep into our emotions and enabling us to envision a future that honors our most personal needs and desires. when we add the manifestation and brilliance of the summer solstice, it feels like anything is possible.

cancer is associated with the divine feminine and the moon, heavily influenced by her constantly shifting phases and ability to find comfort in shadows. and though for many of us this is the longest day and shortest night of the year, we can still honor those cycles of growth and retreat even as we celebrate the sun in all its brilliance and glory. this combination of energies is the perfect time for reflection on the year thus far, remembering our intentions and measuring our progress towards those bigger, broader goals. when we harness the power of the chariot towards those renewed visions and anchor them in cancer’s intuition, we find a season of intentionality, purpose, and depth.

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i created a spread for today’s solstice, focusing on fire and intention but still honoring the emotion and nurturing power of cancer. my cards for the full moon in sagittarius earlier this week brought some intense messages and rich lessons, inviting me to find deeper self confidence, take pride in the magic and rituals i’ve found for myself, and consider the transitions that are ahead. today’s cards continue that theme, reminding me of how i thrive and encouraging me to move with slow, beautiful intention.

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what is the source of your inner light and passion? two of swords: conflict, balance, blockages. i thrive under pressure, make magic out of struggles, am able to take my frustrations and confusion and channel it into art. when things are even and easy i get complacent, but i find passion in challenges, push against restrictions, and gain most of my inspiration from difficulties and obstacles. this may seem like an odd pairing, but it resonates for me, especially when i reflect on the pieces of writing and creativity that i’m most proud of. light can still come from darkness, and knowing how to utilize shadows can be a strength.

where do you shine the most brightly? seven of wands: courage, focus, independence. i shine the most brightly when i’m willing to stand up for my beliefs and my work, when i channel my efforts into activism, when i believe in myself and the things i’m creating. this is not necessarily a card of ease, instead representing the moment when a projects gets complicated, or when we have to defend our viewpoints and ideals. when i am wholeheartedly invested in my work, when i stop doubting my abilities and vision, that’s when my magic is at its peak.

where could you use more fire? nine of swords: mental illness, nightmares, fear. depression and insomnia will always be battles i’m fighting daily, and it may be useful for me to channel some of my passion and fire into keeping those particular demons at bay. it could also be that examining them more closely could inspire further creative work, that instead of fighting against them, i could reflect more deeply on the ways that these illnesses and disabilities have shaped me.

how can you find your deepest potential this season? two of pentacles: balance, focus, intention. instead of being so focused on production and output, this is a season for slow growth, moving with purpose, and laying a strong foundation for future work. it’s tempting for me to get lost in cancer’s water or the chariot’s powerful movement, but i can find deeper potential in gentle intention. and while i’m eager to work hard, to push myself, to see my dreams begin to manifest in front of me, i can find richer satisfaction in slow, intentional work, and in balancing my needs.

what message should you carry forward this summer? five of wands: needless conflict, loss of direction, disorganization. instead of trying to work on ten projects at once, with scattered focus and a loss of purpose, i need to put my energy into one project at a time. by remembering the beauty i can make out of pain and chaos, honoring my need for independence and channeling my intentions into slow, steady growth, i can build something lasting, and create magic that will continue to inspire. getting lost in unnecessary battles or focusing on pointless details will get me nowhere, but remembering the wisdom of the five of wands will help me stay moving and keep my goals in the front of my mind.

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as with my last spread, the cards aren’t pulling any punches. and in spite of my love of water and excitement for cancer season’s powerful reflections and rich emotional depths, no water cards appeared in this reading. instead, the cards focused on the creativity i harness through challenges, on maintaining balance and focus rather than trying to do too much. my messages for this summer are clear: believe in myself, harness the fire inside, and move forward with intention. this is a season to do a few things well, instead of doing so much that i get lost in it.

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my cancer tarotscopes are live on autostraddle, and geminis can get some extra insights from me over at radical tarot. my minor arcana study on instagram is wrapping up this month, so if you want to be the first to hear about the tools i’m building with all of those writings, please consider supporting my work on patreon. and finally, if you use this solstice spread please tag me - i’d love to see your cards and insights.

happy cancer season and blessed solstice!