If you’re feeling a lightness today that you didn’t feel last week, it’s not just post-holiday glow. You may not have known it, but when you were watching bombs bursting in air on July 4, we entered a new moon in Cancer—and its effect is something like a powerful cosmic wind at your back, according to astrologers.
In general, a new moon in Cancer is all about forward motion, says Lennon Mara of Moon+Quartz. And this new moon in Cancer is particularly powerful because it’s the first new moon following two-plus months of Mars retrograde, Mara explains, saying that this alignment only comes around once every two years.
During Mars retrograde, things have a way of slowing down and forcing you to go inward (your computer may crash or you may blow out a tire, for example). With the new moon in Cancer, though, Mara says we’ve got the astrological all-clear to make real progress toward what we desire. (Woohoo!)
Read on as she explains how to make the most of the new moon in Cancer, which began July 4 and ends July 26.
1. Let loose your pent-up ambitions
“As the first new moon following [Mars in retrograde], the Cancer new moon is your first real opportunity to put what you’ve learned over the last two and a half months [of stagnation and introspection] into practice,” says Mara, who says that setting intentions at this time is a particularly powerful practice.
2. Make time for home improvements
The old “change your environment, change your life” adage is even more true than usual this month—small changes at home will translate into big changes in life. “With Cancer ruling house and home, this new moon presents an opportunity to make shifts in your home environment to bring what surrounds you into alignment with your own inner evolution,” Mara says. So, clear out what’s not necessary, and make room for the new. (And maybe give your home a gut-health upgrade—or get some Zen-chic inspiration from Gwyneth Paltrow’s amazing digs.)
3. Listen to your intuition
“The moon is at home in Cancer, its native sign. Pay attention to where in your life you experience a sense of flow and fluidity of movement, how you feel in a given moment; these are the forms intuition will take this month,” Mara says. “Follow what feels good, and create intentions that focus not only on what you desire, but how you want to feel when you achieve it.”
4. Choose love over fear
This is always good advice, of course. But the Cancer new moon will have our emotions running high this month, “bringing us into closer relationship both with what we fear, and what we hope for,” Mara says. “Hope is love projected into the future. In every peak emotional experience you encounter this month, make a conscious effort to always choose love. Or, at the very least, don’t move the way fear makes you move.”
5. Make “nurture” your mantra for the month
As things get unstuck and long-held patterns begin to shift, step up your self-care to process all of the changes, Mara says: “Nurture yourself. Nurture others. Create the circumstances within that will allow you to stay centered and ride any incoming emotional waves with grace and ease.”