Sagittarius Full Moon: Mon. Jun 20, 2016, 7:02 am EDT/
4:02 am PDT Moon at 29.33 Sagittarius, Sun at 29.33 Gemini


The Wheel Turns: Solstice Full Moon

On this Full Moon, summer–and the longest day of the year–arrives in the Northern Hemisphere. During the past few months, the Sun has been marching toward its northernmost limit on the horizon. It now lingers there awhile. That’s what “solstice” means—to stand still. It’s winter in the Southern Hemisphere; the days are short, as the Sun stands at the southernmost limit of the horizon. North or South, it’s a significant turning point in the wheel of the year.

Recognition of the Solstice is in our genetic code. Deep in our cells we know what to do. In the North, all that is nurtured by the Sun is energized. It’s time to bang the pots and celebrate the King, our Sun. Our bodies want to dance. Our arms want to open and receive its power. In the South, we’re turning inward, preparing to conserve faith and spirit for the cold days ahead.

North or South,  during the days before, after, or on the Solstice, we need to connect with the Sun. Let a part of yourself drift out of your routine and into the archetypal realm. You don’t have to be at Stonehenge to have a mystical experience. You may be surprised; at a random hour, while sitting at your desk, walking on the street, or sipping an espresso, the Sun will find you. It will wink at you from a knothole on the fence. Or beam through a window and touch your arm. Like an old friend. Stay awhile. Just let the Sun touch you and give thanks. Expressing your gratitude for the Sun is not a fancy Solstice ritual—but it’s potent nonetheless.

At Solstice, Father Sun enters Cancer, the Mother’s sign. We become more motivated to secure our foundations, to root ourselves, to connect with intuition, our deeper way of knowing. What are you nurturing now? Perhaps there’s an acorn in your hand that’s hoping you’ll commit to the oak it can become. Cancer is the season to commit more deeply to yourself and important projects!

At this time, I often think of P.D. Eastman’s children’s book Are You My Mother?  In the story, while a mother is hunting worms, her baby bird hatches—alone. It falls from its nest and wanders through the town confused, asking every creature it meets—a dog, a cow, an airplane, even a steam shovel—“Are you my mother?” Something like that happens with us now too. What’s confused and needy cracks out of its shell and goes looking (quite naturally) for comfort and safety.

Just when we want to commit to something, we notice a rising insecurity, a certain clingy-ness, fear of rejection, or timidity about acting on our goals.  This happens because whatever part of us is growing—whether we’re launching a new habit or an ambitious project—always begins as something soft and vulnerable. It can’t feed itself. It needs a mommy. We search—sometimes in the wrong places—looking in the snack section of the grocery store or to our mates. But what we really need, we can only find within.

In Eastman’s story, the baby bird finds its mother and his happy childhood begins. Our projects will also start their happy childhood when we make Cancer’s necessary discovery: We are the baby and the mother we’ve been seeking. New strength pours in during Cancer’s season whenever we approach ourselves as a mother would her child: tenderly, cautiously, protectively, full of sensitivity and commitment. How we treat our feelings can become the model for how we treat our goals. Cancer’s journey from insecurity to strength is something we do every year. We go from lost child to confident mother again and again.  In summer or winter, it’s how we grow.

About Dana Gerhardt

A popular columnist with The Mountain Astrologer since 1991, Dana Gerhardt is an internationally respected astrologer. She has lectured extensively and written for astrology publications on several continents. Her ongoing passions are the moon and living the intuitive life. Dana worked for many years in the corporate sector, where she observed the undeniable influence of natural cycles. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude from Occidental College in Los Angeles and did graduate work in literature at Columbia University and CSULA. Dana can be contacted by email.


  1. Love this article Dana!

  2. “We go from lost child to confident mother again and again. In summer or winter, it’s how we grow.”. Thank you!! )0(

  3. Excellent article. I find your writings very helpful.
    a year and a half ago, I published my newest book, Lighten Up, Seven Ways to Kick the Suffering Habit. I was on a mission to help folks get back their joy and have the tools to do that. I spent thousands of dollars going to a national publicity summit in New York to meet national media to get the word out about suffering as an addiction and ways to heal. I wasn’t too well when I went to New York and by the time I got home, was in terrible shape .. Peripheral Artery Disease, mild COPD, Sleep Apnea…may past caught up with me and was generally a mess. I lost confidence in myself and put the book and my mission on a back burner. Before being readi to move to stage center again, I needed to walk my talk and heal my body. Both are mending. This Friday, though, I committed to giving a talk to the Kauai Interfaith Roundtable where I live. So, it’s a beginning of reaching out and continuing what is mine to do. Your article was a perfect reminder that Cancer is about committing to self and your important projects. Yes. Thank you. See book on Amazon.

  4. I agree with Yaiza, that line about being mother and child resonates with me. Like a lifelong challenge, it’s a lesson I have to learn and re-learn. Hmm, fortunately, and thanks to you, I can use the solstice as a twice yearly reminder to honor both inner mother and inner child.

  5. Edye Allen says:

    Beautiful! Thank you!

  6. Flor Estrella says:

    It really resonate with me. I just published an ebook -Augustus Benedignus-by Flor Estrella at the Smashwords publisher The book is part of an spiritual journey and what it means for the planet;but I need to learn to use the media to be able to marketing and I feel so frustrated and my health has not been that well either that I just leave the project aside and not been able to get the stamina to re start my study and work. I know this writings are part of my mission in life. Your article give me the inspiration to continue.. you can find the ebook in several places amazon,apple etc. Thank you

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