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  • Writer's pictureTheeda

New Moon in Cancer: Motherless Children

Sometimes I feel like a motherless child

Sometimes I feel like a motherless child

Sometimes I feel like a motherless child

A long way from home

A long way from home

The energy of this New Moon has me thinking about Harlow's monkeys. Harry Harlow, a psychologist, was interested in studying the bond between mothers and children. Of course, he couldn't use humans. Instead, he did a series of experiments on rhesus monkeys. In one of his experiments, he separated the baby monkeys from the mothers and introduced inanimate surrogate "mothers". Some of the "mothers" were made of hard wire mesh. The others were made of wood covered with soft terry cloth. The "mothers" were capable of dispensing food and water. He conducted several experiments with differing combinations. In one, the infant monkeys could choose which "mother" they preferred but with the hard wire one offering the food and water. In others, he separated the infant monkeys into groups who had the hard wire surrogate as a "mother" or the terry cloth surrogate as a "mother". The conclusion may not be too hard to guess. The infant monkeys preferred the terry cloth "mother" and appeared to bond with it and adjust fairly well. The infant monkeys with the hard wire mother did not bond and appeared to be in severe psychological distress. They went into rages. They withdrew and rocked back and forth as if trying to comfort themselves.

When I first learned of these experiments, I thought they were a casually and profoundly cruel way to prove something we all already know. We bond with our mothers on every level. Not just because they are our first source of food but because they are our entire world.

The Cancer New Moon represents the essence of mothering energy. It comes at the height of summer in the Northern Hemisphere when the Earth is at its most nurturing. Food is abundant. This is the time when we can eat and play and enjoy life. Cancer is the Cardinal Water Sign. It represents Water Energy at its purest. But what happens when the summer is too hot and it doesn't rain? What happens if it rains too much? We lose that time when food should be abundant and it sets the stage for scarcity and lack the rest of the year.

This was the point Harlow was trying to make about our psyches and our spirits. When we are deprived of mother love, that deprivation creates an empty space which we spend the rest of our lives trying to fill. It is my belief that human beings, as a collective, have been deprived of healthy, consistent, soul-fulfilling mother love for generations. That deprivation is one of the core cruelties of patriarchy.

Our souls are crying out for the kind of nurturing only The Mother can give. We have tried to cover up our feelings of worthlessness by creating societies with strict hierarchies and rigid, oppressive rules that exert brutal control over women's bodies. We have tried to deny that we have a problem by extolling the virtues of motherhood on the one hand and taking away the agency of actual mothers to provide and care for their children with the other. We rape and pillage the Earth and trash our water in the name of progress, attempting to demonstrate that we are above and outside of Nature.

We realized during the last Full Moon that the center was not holding. Our current system is not sustainable. What has worked for us in the past really, really, really is not going to work anymore. We are long past the point of diminishing returns.

However, inexplicably, there is a real feeling of hope and optimism in the background, if we pay attention. The signs are there which will lead us in a new direction. On the day that Jupiter turned direct in Scorpio, all twelve of the stranded Thai boys, along with their coach, were rescued. There was just something so wonderfully Jupiter in Scorpio about that story. I feel it is representative of the rescue that comes to us at our darkest hour.

At this time of darkness, when The Mother feels so far away, let's choose to see and hold onto those glimmers of hope. Our Mother has never abandoned us and loves us with everlasting, unconditional love. We have only to turn to Her and She will welcome us with open arms.

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