Updated: Jul 13, 2022
A New Moon in Cancer Ritual with The Chariot and The Two of Wands
I hope that everyone had some fun over Pride weekend. After the devastating news last Friday, we all deserve to celebrate our, “Uniqueness, nerve, and talent,” as Ru Paul says.
While the decision to overturn Roe v Wade did not come as a surprise, I am still experiencing a state of shock. I am gobsmacked by the injustice of the court’s ruling and the lies of policymakers. When I heard the news on Friday morning, I felt a sense of helplessness at the scale of the defeat.
Before the news broke on Friday, I already had three readings scheduled. Miraculously, I received three more individual reading requests, which meant that I could stay in service instead of trying to process the information alone with NPR.
Whenever my clients are struggling to find meaning, I know I am not alone in that struggle.
I am the most grateful to the Tarot at times like this - when it feels so challenging to reside in peace and miracle-mindedness. I don’t turn to the Tarot to gain clarity on the future, because I need support in the present.
Today’s main topic is how the Two of Wands can support our intention setting at the New Moon in Cancer, whose card is The Chariot; however, given the impact of this new post-Roe reality, I want to spend a moment honoring the Justice card first.
The figure of Justice holds scales in one hand and a sword in the other. She is seated on a stone throne with a flimsy drape behind her.
The vertical sword represents truth, not punishment, and the balance scales represent equanimity, not fairness. As in The Wizard of Oz, if we pull on that flimsy curtain, we reveal how inadequate human delegation of justice is when it seeks fairness.
Instead of supporting or defying our sense of right and wrong, Justice shows up to empower us to deal with what is. Righteousness and vengeance obscure clarity, and we can only change what we see clearly. That is the medicine of Justice.
Because our mothers and grandmothers fought so hard for our rights, abortion wasn’t a dangerous criminal secret for us. And for anyone blessed with means, it will remain a safe part of women’s healthcare. As we well know, these laws don’t stop abortions, they stop safe and affordable abortions.
I have committed a monthly donation to the National Network of Abortion Funds, which divides our money across over 90 abortion funds to remove financial and logistical barriers to abortion. This fund seeks to connect people and providers and meets at the intersections of racial, economic, and reproductive justice.
Vote. March. Grieve. Donate. Whatever you are experiencing emotionally, honor what is. Together we will continue to awaken the collective to a more loving future.
Now with that said, I am excited to bring you today’s ritual for the New Moon in Cancer using the Two of Wands!
This is our first New Moon of the summer, and like a good day at the beach, I think that the fiery heat of the Two of Wands is the perfect complement to the cool sensitivity of Cancer’s cardinal water vibe.
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
In my own relationship with the cards, I have always seen an obvious connection between The Chariot and the Two of Wands, so I was surprised there weren’t other Tarot writings on this connection. Lucky me and lucky you!
Both of these cards represent a threshold. They each invite us to celebrate and honor what we have learned and acquired, while simultaneously inviting us to depart into the unknown.
The best example of a Chariot and Two of Wands moment in my life comes from the summer following my college graduation. I was living in Seattle. I knew I wanted to relocate, but that was all I knew. Chicago, Boston, and San Francisco all appealed to me. I felt confident in my achievements in school, but completely uncertain about what the future would hold.
Like the Crab that symbolizes the Zodiac sign Cancer, I had a strong exterior, ready to take on the world, and a sensitive interior, unsure of what the tides might bring.
On June 21st, we entered Cancer season, whose card is The Chariot. The Chariot is an exploration of the balance between external approval and internal vulnerability.
If you want to read my deep dive into all the symbolism (there is a lot!) of The Chariot, you can find it in my previous post here.
In short, as the final card in the first line of the Major Arcana, The Chariot represents the completed formation of the self. Every card in Line One is a building block to form the sentence, “I am”.
As the charioteer leaves the city in the safety and luxury of a chariot, drawn by two sphynx, you can almost hear the graduation song “Pomp and Circumstance” playing in the background.
At the stage in our growth, our persona, our ego, has fully formed. We feel good about our worldly accomplishments.
Protected by armor, he is also limited in where he can travel. A Chariot is not a good off-road vehicle. If he is to continue his spiritual expansion and enter Line Two of the Majors, he must exit the vehicle and enter the unknown.
Similarly, in the Two of Wands, we see a wealthy individual atop a castle. He holds one wand in his hand while the second wand is tethered to the castle wall. Like a recent college graduate debating where to relocate, he looks above the village and out to the sea while holding a globe.
The Twos of the Minor Arcana are often described as representing duality, or a binary decision to be made, but I disagree. I understand the Twos to be explorations and instructions on how to co-create with Spirit, using the energy of that suit.
I’ve discussed how the earth energy of the Two of Pentacles can help us co-create our beliefs, how the air energy of the Two of Swords can support the co-creation of our thoughts through meditation, and how the water energy of the Two of Cups can help us receive and integrate into co-creation. I didn’t set out to do a series on the Twos, but here we are at the Two of Wands!
In the Wands, we learn how to work with the element of fire. This is the suit of passion and creativity. The Wands aren’t necessarily our job, but rather our work. They represent our hustle and our drive. In this suit, we must learn how to fuel our passion while not burning out.
When we accept that we are always moving forward, it becomes much easier to ask Divine for help in directing our growth and our passion. If we see the Two of Wands figure as standing alone, he must hold the world and live within it. When we recognize that it is Spirit that holds the world and we who get to experience it, we enter into co-creation with our passion.
June’s New Moon Ritual
It’s a happy coincidence that I get to discuss The Chariot and Cancer season right after graduation season! If you are a recent graduate, congratulations! If not, I want you to call on the memory of a celebratory threshold moment. Whether we're crossing over from Brownie to Girl Scout or retiring from a long career, leaving the comfort of the castle and the chariot is much easier if we take stock of all we’ve done. Then, we can offer our full faith that the future will bring expansion aligned with our purpose.
The New Moon cycle begins tonight at 7:52 pm PT, so you’ll want to wait until at least that time before you start. The New Moon and the Crescent Moon are the optimal phases for setting intentions, so feel free to practice this ritual any time between now and the 4th. You will need 2 candles (red if you have them), a pen, and paper. Give yourself a quiet space where you will not be interrupted and turn down the lights. Take a few breaths and experience the darkness. You can think of this new beginning as a rocket launch pad. Light your first candle and begin to reflect and record on the last six months. What achievements can you take credit for? What did the divine take care of for you? Using the metaphor of the crab and the chariot, What do you like about your shell and your vehicle? When you feel the warmth of your achievements and the support of the Divine, light your second candle. As you breathe with it, feel into your sensitive center. Where does your tender desire long to expand? If you knew and had faith that the Divine would take care of the quality of your outcomes, how would you increase the number of your efforts? Where would you direct them? The readiness feeling of becoming a recent graduate is almost never a feeling of rediness, but rather preparedness. What is it that you feel you may not be ready for, but that you have been preparing to become?
Next, write whatever it is you are calling in for the next six months on a slip of paper. You’re putting in your order for the next exciting chapter, so don’t be shy! This is your fire, your passion, your light. Then, on a separate slip of paper, write down what you are gratefully ready to release in order to move forward. The Divine will always welcome your release of fear, control, judgment, and doubt. Now, submit whatever you are releasing to the divine by lighting it with your first candle, and then extinguishing the flame. Then, you can either offer your intention up to the Divine by lighting it with your second candle, or you can choose to keep it and revisit it between now and the Full Moon. If you choose to keep it, place it and this second candle in a place that you will revisit. At the Full Moon, offer your intention to Spirit through this flame. To close, thank yourself for taking the time to honor your chariot and direct your fire. Thank Spirit for co-creating with you.