Tree City Witch: Soul Retrieval & The Search for Home

Tree City Witch: Soul Retrieval & The Search for Home June 25, 2017

I write for the orphans, by choice or not. Those who have been left or those who had to leave. I write to help you live your life now because as I write now, the Sun is in Cancer, and the New Moon in Cancer was last night, and Mercury is in Cancer, and so is Mars.

Home, family, mother, memory, milk, belly: these are the words of Cancer.

Cancer: Signs of the Zodiac, from WikiMedia via Welcome Images.
Cancer: Signs of the Zodiac, from WikiMedia via Welcome Images.


In astrology, the transits are where the planets are now and how they affecting us.

Our natal charts, our birth charts, do not change, but the planets keep on moving. The moon moves fast, changing sign every couple of days. Compare this with Saturn who takes 29 years or so to return to the sign it was in at your birth. That’s what the Saturn Return is, a rite of passage, from childhood to adulthood (maybe) and it can take a couple years to complete.

Saturn is currently in the sign of teacher-preacher Sagittarius (Saturn stays in a sign about two and half years) and is transiting, moving through my 4th House.

Every astrological house (there are 12) is associated with at least one sign and, the 4th House is associated with the sign of Cancer and its ruler, the moon.

It is no surprise then that these days I am mostly living in the past. If you were to ask me how I am, I may respond with a story (Sagittarius) or a memory (Cancer) and how it makes me feel (Cancer). I may tell (Sagittarius) you about my mother (Cancer) and how I miss her, recalling out loud when her yartzeit is. The yartzeit (a Yiddish word) is the anniversary of a death. Saturn “rules” death, among other things. But as someone once said to me, all the planets do.


Did you set a New Moon intention?

This is something we astrologers and astrology lovers tend to talk about at New Moon time.

It can be magick lite or it can be a full on elaborate ritual as we often see for Full Moons. I keep it in my head mostly, lately, but sometimes it falls out of my head, and I am inspired to action or to creating a new Tarot spread, like this one which I shared with my students:

Card One: last summer
Card Two: right now
Card three: this summer
Card four: set this intention
Card five: do this to nurture yourself
Card six: your helping spirit at this time

Cancer Season is particularly intense this year because we have slow moving, outer planets in the other cardinal signs, Libra, Aries, and Capricorn. This means that the Sun in Cancer and Mercury and Mars (and Venus, later) will make hard “aspects” to those planets. This causes tension, crisis. This is part of our summer backdrop, summer landscape (I am writing to you from the Northern hemisphere).

Thing is this though: the body and spirit like tension. It’s creative. Without tension, without creation, we die. Every story is a creation story.

Cancer Illustration from 1320, via WikiMedia.
Cancer Illustration from 1320, via WikiMedia.


Cancer keyword: home. There really is no other, no better keyword. Those four letters. That’s it.

In Hebrew, the word for home or house is “bayit” or “bet” which is the 2nd letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

The letter “bet” is also the first letter of the first word in the Torah. You can imagine the holy Sages having endless conversations about this, about why not begin with aleph, the first letter.

In the Tarot, the High Priestess is “bet,” is two, is the second Major Arcana card. The Magician is One and the Fool is Zero (and placed at the beginning, middle, or end, depending on the deck).

When I think of the High Priestess, I think of mystery and secrets and trusting intuition, and because the High Priestess is a TWO, she is a “bet” a “bayit” and thus she is a home for those who seek her.

The High Priestess is your mother, some would say, but if your mother died or abandoned you, then what? Then what? Do you ignore her? Do you connect to some general “divine feminine.” These are questions for you to answer. This is your homework. I”m here to help you live.

If I were to ask you, what does home mean to you, what would you say? If I were to ask you where it is, could you find it? Is it on a map? Do you need a map to find the map?

If I were to ask you to go back in time and retrieve that one split second childhood moment that was not full of terror, but soaked in undifferentiated joy, could you do it? Could you bring her or him back? This is witchcraft too.


My best advice for when the Sun is in Cancer is to go with the flow.

I do believe that we tend to take on the qualities of the current sky, and thus at this time we will be more emotional, more moody, more psychic, more deep, more mothering, more hungry, more creative, more living in the past, more concerned with food and home and privacy and safety. We may retreat to the crab shell. We may not emerge until the Sun enters Leo in late July.

Honey, there’s no point in trying to dam up the feelings and the flow. It will burst through anyway. Try swimming in the springs instead. In the words of poet Stevie Smith, waving not drowning. Do not die. Do not die for the water is the water of life, and there’s fish and plants and hell I’m a city girl so I don’t know what else is going on in there, but I do know this: you didn’t come all this way through ALL the wildernesses and ALL the incarnations, and ALL the bad transits, to not find your home in this life. If you are here, reading this letter, then know it is your task too, and the Sun in Cancer will help you find it.

Come hang out with me on my Facebook! We talk astrology, tarot, and other fun stuff 🙂

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