Lead with your heart! Tonight's new moon (July 15) in sentimental Cancer kicks off a compassionate and nurturing six-month cycle. Cancer is a touchy-feely water sign, ruler of the fourth house — the most personal and domestic zone on the zodiac wheel. The fourth house sits at the very bottom of the chart, representing foundations. This new moon prompts us to weigh anchor and make sure we are on terra firma.

At this year's new moon, there will be six planets in water signs — the Sun, the moon, Mercury, Mars, Saturn and Neptune. So grab a surfboard (and a life preserver) because you could be navigating the emotion ocean. It's also a powerful day to surrender, letting down those fortress walls and allowing feelings to flow through you.

However, we may do so reluctantly, because at the new moon, Mercury and Mars will be opposing intense Pluto, guardian of transformation and the unconscious. As much as our feelings are flowing, some things might need to be kept secret. Otherwise we could really struggle with whether to let it all hang out, or to keep some things under shadowy wraps.

Speaking of Pluto, it's fitting that NASA would do its historic flyby right at the Cancer new moon, unraveling some mystery around the so-called "dwarf planet." The first photographs revealed that Pluto is red like Mars, has snow and even has a heart shape on its surface!

So thanks, Cancer new moon, for being part of outer space history. And here are seven more earthbound ways to make the most of the day’s powerful lunar energies:

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1. Touch up your roots.

Family-focused Cancer loves to connect to kin. This is the perfect week to spark a renewed relationship with a relative, like your cousin living in that chic Parisian flat, or your bro who’s been busy since he and his wife had the kids. For bonus points, set up a regular tradition like a monthly Sunday dinner with la familia, or an annual summer vacation. If you’re gathering ‘round the family table this week, try your hand at a recipe that’s been handed down for generations. Decorate your home with familiar symbols: Place your grandmother’s silver candlesticks on your dining table or frame childhood photos and put them on display.

Or maybe you want to learn more about your ancestral heritage. You might select a cultural object or artifact that reflects your roots to display as artwork in your home. That Viking spear or West African mask will surely spark some interesting conversations with your houseguests.

2. Rock that retirement fund.

Financial security is a big deal to the zodiac’s Crab, whose energy never feels settled without a rainy day or a retirement fund. Whether you’re 25 or 55, it’s never too early (or too late) to start socking away money for the future. Changing times demand new strategies. For the more seasoned saver, schedule a meeting with a financial planner to explore new options for growing your wealth. Retooling your approach under the light of this new moon can help you get back in the driver’s seat of your financial future … even if that means clutching the wheel of a giant, snowbird-style, four-door Lincoln Town Car for this ride.

3. Connect with water.

Cancer is a water sign, and this new moon reminds us of the soothing and regenerative power of H2O. Take a ritual bath to cleanse your energy near this new moon. Pour in the Epsom salt, which is high in energizing, detoxifying magnesium (which most people are deficient in nowadays). Bring a crystal or two to the tub to “charge” your bath with healing energy. We suggest moonstone, which embodies the feminine vibration and is said to enhance intuitive powers. Add a generous sprinkling of rose petals and a drop of pure essential rose oil. This gorgeous flower is known to have a soothing effect on the mind, and can ease depression. Given the moodiness associated with Cancer, a little boost goes a long way.

4. Think before you drink.

Cancer rules the digestive system, so try some tummy-soothing tricks as well. Infuse your drinking water with herbs that are known to aid digestion. Try fresh mint, lemon, even a few leaves of basil. Experiment with the work of Dr. Masuro Emoto, whose studies reveal that words and thoughts can change the shape of water molecules. Print an inspiring phrase or mantra onto a sticker and affix it to your refillable water bottle. You might just lift your spirits with every swig.

5. Tune into your feelings.

As the ruler of the heart, Cancer is all about trusting and respecting our feelings. Unfortunately, we still live in a culture that dismisses emotional people as “weak.” Pure insanity! Today, suspend your focus on practical matters and instead tune into that inner voice. Can’t find it? Put your hands on your belly — the area ruled by Cancer — close your eyes, and breathe. Within a few minutes, your emotional truth will have its say. Grab a pen and free-write whatever comes up.

6. Honor thy mother.

Cancer rules motherhood, and this new moon is a powerful day to connect with your mama (or your children). On this family-focused day, you might also want to explore patterns in your ancestral lineage. Are there rifts among your relatives that seem to keep repeating themselves? Check out Family Constellation Therapy, a healing modality that helps break generations-long family patterns … in a downright fascinating way. We like the book Health, Happiness and the Family Constellation: How Ancestors, Family Systems, and Hidden Loyalties Shape Your Life.

7. Have a good cry.

When all else fails, let those tears flow. There's nothing more cleansing — or Cancerian — than the soothing power of an emotional release. It turns out that tears also have surprising medical benefits. They release toxins — namely, the chemicals that raises cortisol, the stress hormone. Who knew? You can read about the science behind it here. In the meantime, enjoy the Cancer new moon's healing vibes — and pass the tissues!

AstroTwins fans! We're launching an Astrology 101 video course with the Twins later this month. To celebrate the launch we're co-hosting a Twitter chat on 7/30 at 1:30pm. Don't miss out on getting the inside scoop on all things Astrology! To join us on July 30th, just follow the hashtag #mbgastro

Graphic by mbg creative