Cast off your masks and reveal yourselves in this Cancer season, urges Orlando astrologer RJ Speiser

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ILLUSTRATION BY ANNA CRUZ
  • Illustration by Anna Cruz
I got a new tattoo last month (sorry mom and dad). The design idea was inspired by the drawing from my favorite Shel Silverstein poem, "Masks." The black and white image (sketched by the author) depicts a boy and a girl holding large masks over their face while walking past each other. The general moral of the poem is about the two children having blue faces and intentionally wearing masks to hide. In the poem, the children are actively searching for another with a blue face. However, since they’re both covering themselves, they ultimately end up passing each other by. Like most of Silverstein’s poems, the straightforward lesson is about presenting your authentic self to the world. Furthermore, in exposing yourself, you will find and attract others made just as special as you. In short, you are lovable and desirable exactly as you are.

I reinterpreted the tattoo to be a figure of a full-grown woman (with a blue face) still wearing the same mask. Essentially, if the sketch had matured and the girl grew up, but still refused to take off the mask. I feel like I have been wearing a mask for most of my life. I have curly hair but I straighten it. I have freckles but I wear bronzer. Even on a personality level; I am loud, wild, esoteric and intense. Yet, I try to present as light, happy, sweet and calm. For a long time, I have been afraid to show my true self. I have been told (through media, marketing, society and typical middle school bullying) to change. For so long, I have been ashamed of my “blue face.”

This brings me to the theme of Cancer season. The archetype of Cancer is the crab. In astrology, Cancers (and the crab) are masters of reclusion. Like their sisters Scorpio and Pisces, Cancers are also ruled by water, making them emotional and sensitive. Those with a sun, moon, or Venus in Cancer are some of the kindest, softest and most nurturing people. However, they can easily run for the hills when feeling threatened, hurt or unloved. Cancers can and will hide (alone) in their “shell” until it feels safe to come out. Those with a Venus or moon in Cancer will often have deep psychic insight and abilities. This is because Cancer is ruled by the moon and her beaming energy helps provide light for others who are in darkness.



My tattoo is a reflection of my journey in self-love. Learning how to strip away all the bullshit and show my real face to the world. In living my truth, I have found other “blue” faces who love me, or better, get me. In my opinion, it is better to be deeply understood than to be passionately loved. What I wish for this season is that whatever makes you feel unlovable or shameful, there is someone else out there who shares this in common. When you step into the light of truth, others will show themselves. People will be inspired by and connect to your authentic self.

So, when I realized that there are people who are attracted to curly hair, I put down the straightener. Did I hear freckles are back in style? Honey, they never went out! So, please, be fully yourself this month. Remember that right at this very moment, someone is out there searching for your weird, blue face. So, when you finally find that person through the act of being transparent (instead of blocked), this connection will be more meaningful and powerful than all the others. For nothing is more valuable in life than taking off the masks that shackle us and living free with people who get you.

July Horoscope for Sun Signs:

Aries (March 21-April 19)
My firey and leading rams, this month with a moon, sun and Venus in Cancer you may be feeling like it’s time to create space to know yourself better. You are the first sign in the Zodiac and being ruled by the number one, makes you incredibly independent by nature. Aries often enjoys their leisure time alone and with Venus in Cancer this month, you may at the very least, work on having better heart connections with others. Cancer rules the 4th house, which is our emotional heart. The placement of Venus in your chart represents how one gives and receives emotions in relationships. This month's alignment will definitely have you feeling independent in a whole new way of emotional connection. Additionally, with the full moon in Capricorn at the end of the month, you may find yourself feeling like it’s time to set long term goals and be firm with people. If boundaries are currently being crossed, this season sets you up to get really clear. Sometimes bottling up emotions can be seen as a form of protection. Showing your vulnerabilities will help you release tension and find strength you didn’t even know you had!

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
My strong and loyal bulls, Cancer is in full swing this month and ready to make waves. Cancer is the polar energy of capricorn and teaches this cold, Saturn-dominant sign how to express emotions. Cancer teaches compassion. Since Cappys are good, old friends to Taurus, this month's energy will also hold important lessons in self-expression. Taurus is known to be stubborn and routine. Cancers help you to achieve a whole new perspective on your beliefs. The end of the month may be a great time to analyze your emotions and see if you can find compassion for others in areas of conflict. Likewise, this month expect to receive a heightened sense of psychic awareness. The Capricorn full moon and new moon in Cancer early this month will keep your mind in both the physical earth plane and the spiritual reality.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
My cute and flirty twins, Cancer season is finally here to pour some cooling waters over you! You guys sit next to each other in the Zodiac but are completely different emotional beings. Cancers are sensitive but with class and sophistication. Geminis are charming but with class and sophistication. The energy of the new moon and sun this month may have you feeling charged with emotional psychic awareness. Being ruled by Mercury (which is retrograde in Leo this month), you are already a high energy level person with a gift for gab. Cancer will bring in that psychic element, helping you either read people well or feel like you can actually FEEL them. Let yourself go there. Geminis can come out of the heavens and into the pools of emotion in order to expand their energetic boundaries in the Zodiac. In short, Cancer will teach you how to feel into your heart space and make lasting connections with others.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
To my sweet and beautiful crabs, welcome home! Take a deep breath and dive deep once again. This month you return your solar cycle with a new moon, sun and venus in Cancer. You may be feeling a heightened wave of energy around you at this time. Emerging from Gemini season, I would expect people had been pushing your emotional boundaries and sensitivities last month. In short, you may be feeling like others are wearing on you and picking away at that thick shell to get inside your most vulnerable places. Do not fear! You are packed full of all the necessary skills to emerge stronger! Your psychic gifts are heightened this month. It would be a great time to sit out near water and meditate under the moonlight. You are a guiding light and a beacon of hope for those in darkness or murky waters. Just be sure not to avoid your own self work by getting caught up in others' emotional needs. This month is all about literally putting yourself first, tuning into the divine and sending only love from your heart space. Thanks for all you do.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
To my ferocious and fearless lions, Cancer season is here to start bringing in some compassion to help you connect. Mars is transiting Leo this month and it will bring with it an intense amount of passion. If you are feeling ready to jump into the sheets, well, that’s Mars knocking on your bed frame. However, Mars energy (especially in Leo) can make a relationship feel very one sided. Once the intensity fades, lions get bored and move on. A new moon in Cancer this month will teach you the importance of give-and-take. Use the energy of the sun (your dominating planet) to see how your strength and tenacity actually helps others. Venus in Cancer will teach you how to express from an authentic place and release your big fireball of love radiating from you!

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
To my precious and coy Virgos, Cancer season is here to take some weight off your back! As Cancer season rolls in full swing with a new moon, sun and Venus in this sensitive water sign, you will learn the lesson of being easy on yourself. With such high moral standards (you are the pure virgin of the Zodiac), Virgos often tend to be their own worst critics, being unnecessarily harsh on themselves when they make a mistake. Feeling like they're not “enough,” Cancer energy helps Virgos learn to love themselves! Cancer is like that soft couch blanket. You just want to cuddle up in it, dump off all of life’s stress, turn on an episode of Queer Eye (okay maybe just me) and serve up full-on sensitive realness. In short, put yourself first queen. With a full moon in Capricorn at the end of the month, you will also start to feel more in line with your future goals. Just be sure not to take things too personally at work.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
To my lovable and creative Libras, Cancer is here to help you get in touch with your emotions. Libras are ruled by the planet Venus and with air as your dominating element, y’all can spend a lot of time inside your head tossing around romantic fantasies without ever taking action. Cancer is ruled by water and, with a new moon in this sign, it brings a heightened sense of psychic awareness. Since Libra also rules over relationships, it is probably easy for you to “feel” your partner's emotions and also (as easily) distance yourself from them. Libra is all about choices, relationships and often, indecision. Libra craves relationships but is also super careful because it rules justice. You probably think long and hard before committing in order to make the most fair and just decision. However, Cancer isn’t about being “fair,” it’s about being honest and authentic to oneself. A Venus in Cancer wants to help support you this month by providing the awareness that once you are secure in your own emotions — meaning you are comfortable and in love with yourself, you won’t face confusion because you’ll attract relationships and people that meet your needs.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
My mysterious and sexy scorpions, your favorite sister Cancer is finally here to help pull you back into your safe zone. You and Cancer share similar energies. You are both water signs, making you deep, emotional and insightful. Likewise, you’re both psychically tuned in and also both enjoy hiding. However, Cancer only hides when they need time to process their deep well of emotions — for protection. Whereas Scorpio will hide due to anxiety and fear that others will abuse their vulnerabilities, causing manipulative behavior in the long run. Simply, Scorpios don’t want you to know they’re sensitive, while Cancers wear it on their sleeves. Cancer makes it safe to show your depth because they go there with you. Cancer is the fourth sign and rules the 4th house in a birth chart, representing your home life, domesticity, and, in Vedic astrology, it is considered your roots. Scorpios are consistently digging deep in themselves to be reborn again and again. This month's lesson for you is all about being okay with being exposed. Allow the ego to dissolve in front of you as you face your fears and walk through to the other side even stronger than before.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
My blazing and intellectual archers, this season's energies are building you up to believe in yourself. You are a fire sign, which means the new moon, sun and Venus in watery Cancer is a relaxing, peaceful time for you. It provides a time of deep connection with not only others but also, most importantly, yourself. Cancer helps your radiant, positive spirit feel fulfilled. With Mars in Leo and the sun transiting Leo at the end of this month, you will find yourself reemerging through the process of self-esteem. You are ruled by the benevolent Jupiter, which represents optimism and hope. In Cancer season, you are learning how to accept and love yourself as you are. Simply, you don’t have to put on a happy smile if you don’t feel it and if you do, smile big and bold — regardless of how others display their emotions around you! So, with fire (your ruling element) moving in slowly by August, expect to feel like authentically true to your nature.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
My obedient and tenacious goats, your better half Cancer season is here to hold you closely. Capricorn is the polar sign to Cancer and these opposites both love and need each other in order to learn their karmic lessons. Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, which can often influence a native to be especially hard-working and goal-oriented. Saturn is a cold, hard planet that wants you to grow up early, work hard and eventually, reap all the benefits from never giving up. Although Capricorns tend to become workaholics, they are also some of the wisest, most mature people even in their childhood! However, they eventually struggle with relationships. This is because they have difficulty understanding their own emotional needs. Capricorns are logical, which means they see emotions as a necessity only during crisis or sudden events (ruled by the 8th house). However, Cancers see the world totally opposite. They ask you to take the day off, stretch your legs and feel into another. Cancers teach Capricorns to stop seeing the world so single handedly (as the 10th sign, you can often get caught up in seeing yourself as number 1) and becoming egocentric by default. With that additional zero in your astrological number, it brings in wholeness, completion and spiritual insight. Expect this month to find resonance and peace in universal love. Cancer Venus this month says to a Capricorn sun, “Work hard but only for the right reasons!” You are sensitive (even if you can’t show it as easily) and cCncer season says it’s okay to be emotional and show your nurturing side!

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
To my free-spirited water bearers, Cancer season is here to push you into a flow state of mind. Cancer and Aquarius are ruled by different elements (water and air), yet Aquarius' laid-back and “free-flowing” lifestyle is a great fit for Cancer season. This month may be all about hitting the road for you, maybe making some new tunes on your guitar or even swimming across the English Channel. Cancer season with a new moon, sun and Venus influences you to take deeper risks in yourself. Although you represent a carefree, social energy, Cancer will bring with it the desire to go deep within and challenge yourself to believe in doing all those things you may have never thought possible before.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Dear compassionate fishes, Cancer season is upon you to heighten your energy levels. Expect to be renewed this month under a beautiful new moon, sun and Venus. Perhaps you are already radiating as your water-sister Cancer is making waves in the astro-world. Pisces rules compassion, kindness and mercy. Cancer holds a piece of that as well, but is far more ruled by internal depths and less of a social savior mentality. Cancer brings you back into the self (or the shell) to access deeper emotions in order to make peace with others. This new moon in Cancer may have you feeling more psychic than normal, but make sure to keep this energy at bay. The lesson for you this month is in understanding the reasons why you are always feeling the need to save others. Where within you still needs to be saved? Find that place this month, wash it and clear it.