Follow the Sun
Cancer, the Moon and Internalizing our Spiritual Focus



by Jef Bartow

Utilizing the astrological mandala as our spiritual growth cycle, after Gemini we come to the fourth house where the "rubber meets the road" becomes the focus. Metaphysically, physical manifestation begins in Cancer, not Aries. This point of first physical manifestation is at the Nadir of our chart and its natural sign Cancer.

The bottom of our astrology chart is where the Nadir and the fourth house reside. Therefore, this naturally represents our inner foundations, our emotional structures and our sense of home. This is the natural place where we build our foundations of self independence from our early environment. Spiritually, it is where we take our new spiritual focus or practices and internalize them as part of our identity and self.

During the spring quarter of our spiritual cycle (Aries through Gemini), we initiate new spiritual practices, ideas or focus. Hopefully through these three months we have made some new habits and have begun to see how we need to make adjustments to ourselves and our immediate environment for our new spiritual focus to thrive. The newness of our spiritual impetus in this cycle is usually gone, but we're nowhere near done achieving our spiritual goal.

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Looking to Cancer, the Moon and your fourth house cusp Sign will all help in how you can create an inner stability based on the spiritual impetus begun at Aries. For example, let's say you began journaling as a new spiritual activity in the spring. By now, you need to be a place where it is a part of your daily life. Your journaling was probably sporadic for the first month or two until you made the adjustments in your attitude, your motivation and the circumstances around you that all inhibited you making journaling a daily routine.

Internalizing journaling as a spiritual practice can be greatly assisted by the Sign on your fourth house cusp. Let's say you have Scorpio on your fourth house cusp (usually a Leo ascendant person). Utilizing the positive characteristics of Scorpio, your journaling can become much more part of your inner sense of stability. Some of these positive Scorpio characteristics are being aspiring, devoted, determined, intense, regenerative and motivated. Simply, approaching your journaling with these characteristics will assist in unlocking your unconscious as a powerful spiritual part of the journaling process. The depths of your insights will help reveal how Scorpio is a part of your inner stability and identity.
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Beyond the fourth house, we next look to where Cancer is in our chart to find further ways in which we can enhance our journaling process. In our example, Scorpio on the fourth house usually means that Cancer is on the 12 house cusp. With Cancer on the 12 house, your orientation to overcoming past karma and your unconscious in general (12 house activities) tend to communicate to you through creative, intuitive, dramatic and nurturing ways (all characteristics of Cancer).

Taking advantage of this is to begin to see how the little things in each day are communicating insights to you dramatically, intuitively and nurturingly. This new internal attitude toward the events of the day will greatly enhance the success of your spiritual journaling. In addition, you'll probably begin to see how the natural nurturing of Cancer is a quality of your unconscious life.

Another positive way to gain assistance in internalizing your new spiritual practice or focus is to elicit the Moon in your chart as another spiritual tool. The Moon represents not only our instinctual nature and responses based on the past, but also our unconscious habit patterns and ability to adapt to life experiences. Transformed, it becomes the reflector of our true self in the outer world.

By applying the positive aspects of our Moon to the house activities where the Moon resides in our chart will further help us internalize our new spiritual practice as a part of our inner stability and nature. In our example, let's say the Moon is in Libra in the birth chart. This will normally put it in the third house, behind the Nadir of the fourth house we been discussing.

The Moon in Libra in the third house will make this individual flexible, magnetic, protective, creative and sociable (positive Moon qualities) in their thinking, communications, toward their immediate environment and brothers and sisters (all third house activities). Qualified by Libra, this individual will naturally tend to be sharing, thoughtful, pleasant and balanced in the way they communicate, think and relate in their immediate environment as they instinctively express (the Moon).

Therefore, to further internalize the new journaling spiritual practice, this individual can enhance their insights and spiritual transformation through sharing in a thoughtful and pleasant way what they learned about themselves to those in their immediate environment. By doing so, the response received will further enhance the potential for spiritual transformation through journaling.

For myself, I have Aquarius on my fourth house cusp with the Moon in Aquarius in the third house. This puts Cancer on my ninth house cusp. This means that internalizing my spiritual practices will most likely come from being original, inventive and individualistic in my process (all Aquarian characteristics).   With Cancer on my ninth house cusp, my internalization will be about making my spiritual focus my philosophy for life and/or my ongoing spiritualizing activities (9th house activities). Finally, with my Moon in the third house in Aquarius, internalizing my spiritual practices will involve being creative, sociable and flexible in how I relate my practices to my immediate environment, thinking and communications.

A good example of this is that my mentor initiated celebrating the 12 days of Christmas while I was living within her retreat environment. We made special meals each day as part of the celebration. After I left the retreat to pursue my independent living of a spiritual life, I continued celebrating 12 days of Christmas.

My inventive individualistic approach to the 12 days of Christmas became about qualifying each day with a different quality. One day became about joy, one day about love, one day by giving, etc. By also deciding to decorate my home over the 12 days of Christmas instead of before Christmas day, I further enhanced my unique individualistic approach to the spiritual practice of celebrating Christmas.

With my Moon in the third house in Aquarius, I enhanced my celebration by taking it to into my local environment through baking bread and goodies that I would give to my business clients during the 12 days. This reflects my Capricorn on the 3rd house cusp in that my
business clients were a major part of my local environment.

Later as I pondered making Spirit more tangible in my life, I intuited that Spirit expressed in 12 characteristics. I made the 12 characteristics my new qualification in celebrating the 12 days of Christmas. Christmas day became about Integrity, 26th of December became about Love, etc. etc. This is how I incorporated my spiritual practice into my philosophy for life and an ongoing spiritual focus.

Internalizing the spiritual practice of celebrating Christmas goes far beyond the normal way we approach Christmas in our society. It is the same for every spiritual practice in life. Making our spiritual focus an intrinsic internal part of our stability and existence requires some creativity and persistence. As we shall learn in future articles, the ultimate success and fulfillment of our spiritual practices becomes who we are, not just what we do.