Enjoying Silence


By many reports (mine included), last week was an intense one.

Among the personal-planet influences were both (1) a super-verbose, quick-on-his-feet Mercury in Gemini, stationing direct, and (2) a hardly-timid, quite-proud-of-himself Mars in Leo. Gemini and Leo: Not exactly a combination that fosters quiet contemplation.

But in the midst of all that externalized hullabaloo, last week also brought the entry of both the Sun and Venus into the watery sign of Cancer… placements with the promise of providing us an internal recharge, if, that is, we shut up long enough to listen to our emotional cries for nurture.

Cancer is one of the least verbal signs of the zodiac, mainly because it doesn't require language to communicate. (That's not to imply all sun-sign Cancerians are quiet people.) The Cancer energy has a wonderful way of transmitting its care and concern along invisible psychic strings, projecting more through emphatic eyes and an open heart than meager words could possibly contain.

Cancer is, after all, the sign of the mother… and the archetypal loving-mom (who may or may not bear any resemblance to our actual parentage) always senses when her offspring is in need, knowing just how to comfort her colicky baby so the crying will stop.

As adults, we take over the charge of caring for ourselves—and others—in this way. This entails learning to respect those silent yearnings for tender love we all experience, though external events might not bear any conspicuous connection to what's going on inside us. It links us to the primal maternal instinct (whether or not we're a mother, or even a woman)… an immediacy of reacting with kind coddling support upon discovering somebody who's in need.

In this day and age, alas, we often hurry past those needy faces, antsy to get on the freeway before rush hour so we'll have more time to knock out another seven to-dos (after a full workday, no less) before collapsing into bed to do it all over again tomorrow. We already have too much to do to worry about them, right?

Sad but true, it's our own needy face we're likeliest to ignore, convinced that a fragile mood or inexplicable sensitivity on our part doesn't warrant granting ourselves a break from the grind. (They don't call it a 'grind' for nothing.) How many of us will push right through a headcold, a sprained ankle or an aching back because there's just no time to stop? Yet, those physical manifestations are the very symptoms telling us to slow the hell down… or risk a more comprehensive breakdown.

Beneath this recent bout of especially frantic modern life rests a call to nourishing silence, if we choose to acknowledge this Cancer influence. From last Wednesday (Jun 18) through July 12, Venus moves through the motherly sign, showing us the beauty and pleasure in emotional self-care… ready to embrace us as soon as we park the car, shut off the engines, peel off our intelligible egos, and sit in her soothing waters.

She will not, however, tackle you to the ground or pull you out of your very important meeting, just to remind you to utilize her loving-kindness. Keep on buzzing and grinding, and you probably won't even notice her—except in those momentary pauses between thinking business, which end as quickly as you realize you're not 'doing' anything and thus have become 'lazy'. (I hurt, simply considering this version of self-treatment.)

If you were your own sobbing child, scared or overtired and in need of some mommying, how would you treat yourself? Hopefully with more compassionate patience than the aforementioned example of refusing to stop, with some name-calling for good measure.

Cook yourself a favorite meal. Book a massage. Rent that silly movie you've been dying to see, or dive into a juicy read. And shut the friggin' door already. For a short while each day, you can go without the phone, the Internet, the piles of papers and scrolling task-lists. It's for a good cause: Your own emotional well-being. That is a worthwhile goal, isn't it?