The summer solstice last weekend ushered us into Cancer season. Cancer is a water sign. On the wheel of the zodiac it sits directly opposite Capricorn. Yesterday’s full moon illuminated the polarity between the two signs.
Capricorn is an earth sign, known for persistence, and patience. It is ruled by Saturn, the planet of structure and rules. Like its ruler, Capricorn is cold and dry.
Cancer is water sign, ruled by the moon, our night light, which represents the body and the emotions and our soul. Water wants to be free. It wants to flow.
The two signs teach us about the eternal tension between structure and flow, and that we find resolution by seeing them as two parts of a whole.
Structure Creates Power
If you’ve ever been kept up at night by a leaky faucet, you know the power of constantly dripping water.
A slow, steady drip of water can, over time, hollow a stone. Waves lapping on the shore smooth shells into stones, and stones into sand.
Water is no stranger to persistence and patience. To harness this power, however, it requires structure.
The dripping water that hollows the stone is contained by something.
Imagine trying to take a shower without the most rudimentary of plumbing devices to pump the water overhead and direct it out of a nozzle. If you want to capture water for drinking, you need a bucket or a faucet.
Without the banks of the river there is no flow. Even the ocean is a container. The waves that lap upon the shore have a structure.
Without a structure to contain it, water becomes a flood and destroys. Without buckets to carry it, we can’t capture the rain.
Strength in Adaptability
On the other hand, without water, earth becomes parched, cracked. Skin dehydrates and bones become brittle. A structure that is too cold and rigid has no flexibility, no resilience. It will break in harsh storms.
A structure that is too rigid is weak and unstable; it leaves no space for flow.
Water’s ability to be adaptable and yielding, to shape-shift to fit the moment, is a strength in its own right.
As in nature, so too in our lives. If our structure is too rigid, we don’t leave room for flow and spontaneity. But too much open space leaves us without the constraints required to generate creative solutions and flow.
Imagine trying to take a bath in a bucket of water. It would be highly uncomfortable. And imagine trying to carry a bathtub of water from a well. That wouldn’t work either. The right container is everything.
What’s the right amount of structure vs flow?
This is the dance.
water yearns to be free
but structure gives it power
directing its flow