Queer Tarotscopes for Cancer Season 2020: Make Way for Essential Healing and Deep Shifts

This season’s tarotscopes feature The Antique Anatomy Tarot and the Compendium of Constellations.

As I write this, the United States sits in the midst of not only a dangerous pandemic but a necessary, powerful uprising against police brutality and white supremacy. And in the midst of this revolution, we are also moving through three intense eclipses, which offer opportunities for evolution and revelation, helping us learn more about ourselves in ways that may surprise or challenge us. Today marks not only the start of Cancer season and summer but also includes a new moon and solar eclipse in Cancer, making way for essential healing and deep, personal shifts. If the energy swirling around has felt chaotic, confusing, and complex, it’s because we’re moving through some challenging astrological aspects and retrogrades. And while there are so many powerful ways to grow and evolve, to learn, to contribute, I hope that these tarotscopes offer you some more personal wisdom and insights for this shift into Cancer season. Take some deep breaths, unclench your jaw, loosen your shoulders, and let’s begin.

Cancer marks the first water season of this new astrological year, landing as always on the summer solstice. After endless collaboration and necessary communication during Gemini’s season of mutable air, we now move into a time of cardinal water, giving us an opportunity to slow down, check in with ourselves, and pay attention to the intense emotions that are moving within us. Cancer is known for boundaries and a need for security, but we also see within this sign a desire for success, a sense of determination and focus that encourages reaching for goals with power, courage, and intention. Cardinal water isn’t afraid to get things to started, to be bold and decisive, but when we combine that energy with the intuitive, heart-forward element of water, we find a time of awareness, purpose, and compassion. There’s a deep, sensitive flow to Cancer, an acknowledgement of how much is moving underneath the surface, and now is the time to dive deep into these waters and see what can be found through careful, intentional exploration.

When we look at Cancer’s birth card of the Chariot we see ambition, movement, a drive towards victory and success. But it’s important to note that this energy isn’t necessarily open to any and every possibility — instead this is an archetype that is moving towards a very specific goal. After finding personal freedom within the Lovers and Gemini, the Chariot knows what they want to pursue, and puts everything they have into making it a reality. And armed with this new self knowledge, it’s easier to set boundaries, to move with purpose, to prioritize what really matters. This archetype is able to move freely and joyfully because of the comfort and safety that they have already established. It’s so much easier to explore, to roam, to dream, when you know that you have a secure place to return to, somewhere to go when you’re tired and hungry and in need of rest. Cancer protects their home and life because that gives them the strength to push forward, allows them to focus completely on victory.

Cancer can help us find our home within communities, within chosen family, even within temporary created spaces that manifest as needed. Where do you feel safe, cared for, cherished? How can you protect yourself without limiting your own potential for growth? The Chariot can move with such speed and power because they know that they are moving towards something important, something necessary, something real. What are you pursuing? How have you been evolving, and how have those changes impacted your longer-term goals? In this season, we learn to open our hearts in specific, calculated, careful ways, allowing others to see our joy and our hope, our dreams, our ambitions. We begin putting our intuition and awareness into those objectives, taking calculated chances, weighing the risks. We balance stillness and movement, make space for growth as well as stability. And if we feel safe, if we can set boundaries and move with care and purpose, we can reach those goals with ease, can find the success that we’ve been craving and celebrate with the people that we’ve loved along the way. How open is your heart? How are you balancing vulnerability and determination?

Our cards for this season, unsurprisingly, hold an abundance of transitional energy. We see a lot of pages and fives and sixes, cards that speak of uncertainty and loss, shifts and necessary change. But we also see a few queens, cards indicating strength and boundaries, creativity and insight. There’s rich power and potential in this season, opportunities for growth and awareness, for learning more about ourselves through challenges and victories — but we must be brave enough to seek it. In this season of Cancer, remember to pay attention to your intuition, your emotions, the things that you might be extra sensitive to. Experienced tarot readers or astrologers can plug the cards I’ve drawn for their sun, moon, and rising signs into the spread below to create a custom reading for this season. Cancer is ruled by the moon, so pay particular attention to the card reading for your moon sign.

I recently published a piece on exploring eclipse season through the lens of tarot, and you can also hear my thoughts on tarot and astrology in an upcoming episode of Bad Astrologers. Check out my daily writing and card draws on Instagram, and get my latest tarot writings and exclusive spreads delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for my Substack. I also offer personal, custom readings through my website, along with larger spreads, writings, and two e-books for learning tarot.

As always with these tarot readings, take what you need and leave what you don’t. Have a safe and powerful Cancer season!


Page of cups

After the emotional beginning you were moving through last season, you may now find yourself experiencing a powerful new sense of your own intuition and creative expression. What have you been dreaming about? Where has your subconscious been leading you, and how have you been listening to those feelings, those ideas? You have a natural passion for movement, an ambitious drive that allows you to lead and inspire and motivate — but in this season of Cancer, make space for stillness and quiet too, for recognizing what your heart may be longing for underneath all of your personal fire. What is calling to you?

It might feel like your emotions have been out of control lately, like you don’t know what to do with all of the feelings and desire that have been welling up within you. But rather than trying to ignore them or push them to the side, be intentional about making space for whatever is expanding. Allow yourself to experience moments of creativity, joy, connection, and wonder, without putting pressure on yourself to turn them into a new goal or objective or dream. What comes forward when you simply let yourself be? Where are you being asked to take a chance?


Five of swords

For you, Gemini season had you working through some powerful new emotions and connections, listening to your heart in ways that may not always feel instinctive or comfortable. But as you shift into sensitive Cancer season, you may find yourself a bit restless, a bit frustrated, pushing against the boundaries and restrictions that have defined the last few months for so many of us. You may even feel tempted to create a conflict, arguing just for the sake of it when you can’t find a way forward that gives you everything you want. If you feel yourself slipping into a place of anger or frustration, find emotions welling up within you without an outlet, take a step back and give yourself some space to breathe and process. What feels cathartic in the moment could end up causing more harm than you realize, and chances are that there’s no real way to win this particular battle anyway. What are you trying to prove? What are you working to accomplish? Instead of focusing on winning or on getting your own way, instead try to get out of sticky situations with the minimum of damage. How can you be sensitive to not only your own shifting emotions but also the needs and limits of others? What are you really fighting for?


Page of coins

As we shift out of your season, you may feel yourself still on a bit of a high from all the fire and air energy that you’ve been exploring. But this season asks you to slow down and focus on grounding yourself, on thinking more long-term, on being able to listen to your heart and body instead of just letting your mind and soul call all of the shots. What work has been deeply resonating with you, inspiring you to push harder and go further? How do you see the projects that you’ve been beginning contributing to your longer term goals and dreams? What kind of life have you been building for yourself, and what next steps need more time and consideration to fully realize?

You’re always brimming with ideas, but this is the time to begin bringing them into the physical world. Choose something to focus on and take those first big steps towards creation, establishing a path forward. What have you been learning about yourself? What new discoveries are shaping your personal plans? How can you be intentional with your growth, and where do you need to be more patient with yourself?


Five of cups

Happy birthday, Cancer! This season may feel heavier than normal as you process your own intense emotions as well as the transformational, sensitive feelings of everyone around you. After moving through a season of loss and release during the time of Gemini, you may still find yourself in a place of grief or sorrow, not quite ready to move forward just yet. Honor those emotions and give yourself space for healing and rest, resisting any temptation to push yourself before you’re ready. You know your heart and your limits, so set boundaries as needed and prioritize comfort, pleasure, and safety.

You may discover that as your season continues, you find yourself beginning to feel a bit more empowered, ready to start reaching for goals again, eager for connections and community support. Move slowly through this shift, and give yourself permission to rediscover pleasure, intuition, dreams. What has been waiting patiently for your attention while you’ve been healing? What relationships and communities are ready to welcome you with open arms? Don’t let those boundaries you’re so good at upholding keep you too distanced from the people that you love, that love you. Allow others to support and care for you, and you may find new ways of healing and restoration in the company of those you trust.



After two back to back seasons with the same card, you may feel ready to leave heavy emotions behind and instead surge forward with passion, power, and adventure. Instead, for you Cancer season will be a time of release and transformation, a period of saying goodbye and moving forward into a new phase. Whether this shift brings a powerful sense of relief or a sweeping feeling of grief and loss, give yourself the space and time to process, to let go. This is not an undertaking that can be rushed, so remember the lessons of Cancer and lean on those that you trust, those that care for you. How can you continue to find community even through times of loss or sorrow? What connections have meant the most to you, and how can you allow them to continue to expand?

Trust your intuition when it comes to healing, and pay attention to any impulses demanding movement. You may find that throwing yourself into a new project or goal helps you move forward, but don’t let your natural fire smother any emotions or needs that bubble to the surface. How could the lessons that you’ve been learning over the past few seasons help you move through this important shift? What have you learned about your own needs and desires? How can you put that new knowledge into practice?


Six of wands

The work that you’ve been focused on for the last season or two is continuing to build and grow, and you may find yourself celebrating a few important successes this season. There’s a sense of building momentum for you, with new opportunities emerging and a confidence in your vision that may feel exciting and powerful. Be proud of how far you’ve come, of the achievements and accomplishments that you’ve worked for — this is no time to feel guilty for your success. But in your joy, remember that your work is not yet finished, and that you may need to be intentional about setting boundaries, clarifying details, and conserving your energy over the course of this season. This will be an important time to check in with your heart, to make sure that you still feel whole and present and connected to these goals that you’re pursing. Are you still excited about what you’re creating? Or is the momentum itself becoming your main focus? Don’t lose sight of those longer-term goals in your enthusiasm for progress. How are you transforming through this work? Who are you becoming?


Five of wands

For you, Gemini season may have brought out some complex or frustrating emotions, possibly causing you to distance yourself from the communities and relationships that are usually an important part of your life. As you shift into this new time of Cancer, it may feel that your instincts and your intuition are at odds, pulling you in different directions and leaving you frazzled or confused. You may be craving movement, eager to leave hurt feelings or a sense of isolation behind — but which way to go? If you’re pushing yourself past your limits, trying to force progress even if you don’t have a clear sense of what you’re doing, you may find yourself even more confused. Release any irritation with yourself or others, any petty bullshit that you’ve been clinging to, and instead resolve to move with a clear head and an open heart. You may find that if you can stop taking things quite so seriously, you can find the balance and direction that you’re craving. Where do you want to go? And is there really anything standing in your way?


The Hermit

As you move out of Gemini’s free-moving air and into a more familiar intensity with Cancer, you may feel yourself needing more space to process your emotions, craving privacy. You’re a sign known for their intensity, for their desire to keep dreams and desires and longings close, and this season you may find it even easier than usual to move into a space of solitude and retreat. But don’t use this as an excuse to hide — instead, this is an opportunity for reflection and personal exploration, to consider what you’ve been moving towards and how your dreams or goals may have shifted in all the upheaval of the last few months. What have you learned about yourself, and what are you still discovering? How can you take a step back from chaos and drive, and give yourself space for contemplation and awareness? What shadows have you been avoiding, and how could taking time for understanding help you find renewed confidence? Some truths can only become clear when we are intentional about looking for them. What will you allow to reveal itself?


Seven of coins

Last season brought some powerful and intense truths, causing you to look at the world through fresh eyes and new perspectives. And as you move into sensitive, intuitive Cancer season, you may find yourself slowing down, feeling a desire to be more present and thoughtful. You have an opportunity now to evaluate how you’ve been growing and changing, the progress that you’ve been making towards your long-term goals, the things that you’ve been learning about yourself and your world. Do the ambitions that you’ve been chasing still feel right? Or have you felt a sense of evolution, a desire to move in another direction? There’s no shame in changing your mind, in adapting or adjusting, but make sure that you take your time in this choice rather than just moving to something that feels more exciting or inspiring.

This card can also indicate a need for rest and evaluation, for finding little ways to treat yourself and find pleasure. How can you care for yourself? What might allow you to catch your breath, honor your needs, and reconnect with the fire and passion that drives you?


Queen of swords

Gemini season may have brought some important emotional realizations and revelations, forcing you to slow down, make space for healing, and reevaluate your options. Cancer season will help you find a sense of strength and truth, encouraging you to set important and necessary new boundaries for yourself as you begin to move forward in pursuit of your goals. Approach any conflicts or decisions with an eye for truth, giving that sharp mind of yours a chance to weigh in.

While you tend to find comfort in structure and limits, try not to completely abandon the sensitivity and empathy that can be so beautifully heightened during this season of cardinal water. There is so much that you can learn about yourself when you allow your heart to speak freely, so in your desire to make progress towards your goals and clarify your ambitions, make sure you also pay attention to your intuition. Work to balance the needs of your head and your heart this season, as you’ll find that both clarity and compassion are needed for true success.


King of coins

You may find your energy stabilizing a bit this season, with a new sense of patience, responsibility, and abundance manifesting. Take some time to celebrate your achievements, the hard work that you’ve been doing, and remember to share your success with those around you. There is value in being generous, especially if you are in a position of leadership, to make a point of sharing what you have and encouraging others to do the same. After the rush of ideas and the powerful new beginning that you started last season, give yourself permission to enjoy where you are, to honor the connections you’ve created and the community that you’ve built. This is a time to be present and aware, to connect with your physical self instead of letting your mind wander and soar. You’re so good at looking forward, but how often do you take time for conscious, intentional awareness, of fully enjoying the moment? How can checking in with your physical self, with your surroundings, help you gain a better understanding of your goals and wishes for the future you’re building?


Queen of coins

Last season’s rapid pace and powerful, fiery inspiration may have energized and motivated you, but as you shift into another season of water, allow yourself to slow down and reconnect with your heart and body. You have a gift for compassion and intuition, for dreaming and exploring the subconscious, but this season you’re being called to be powerfully present, to move with purpose, to weigh decisions carefully and focus on slow, purposeful growth. What is manifesting within you? How can you keep yourself safe as you explore and expand? What wisdom can you offer to those around you, and how can you share kindness and resources with those that are in need?

If you find yourself feeling particularly drained, make sure you take space to rest and heal, to honor those physical needs. Emotional work can be exhausting, and someone with your sensitivity may find themselves drowning a bit during this heavy time of year. Stay connected with your body, and take care that you are showing yourself the same compassion that you give so freely to others.

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Meg is a freelance photographer, writer, and tarot reader living in New York City.

Meg has written 103 articles for us.


    • i always put the deck info right at the top – this is the antique anatomy tarot by claire goodchild!

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