Leah Wellbaum is a musician, artist, and writer living in Los Angeles, CA. She is the principal songwriter, guitar player, and unrepentant aesthete of the band Slothrust, and also has a side project called ANMLPLNET. On the upcoming Slothrust album, Parallel Timeline, Wellbaum constructs a luscious, ethereal cosmos perforated with wormy portals and unexpected magical iconography. She is a lover of all things mystical and absurd. When she isn’t on the road, she offers lessons in music and creativity. You can find her art at www.leahwellbaum.com.
Hello again! It’s me, Leah. It’s been about a month since my last piece, and now I’m back to talk about Cancer season, fruit, the ocean, and your spiritual well-being. My story has not changed much since I last wrote. Sometimes I feel like a fragment of a lost soul floating inside of a balloon body, but when I think about fruit, the void fills in and I am like, Yes! I belong. We all belong. Great!
Last month we talked about passion fruit and the ever-multifaceted Gemini. I’ve had passionfruit exactly once since then, and it was in a Greek yogurt I got from Vons. It looked weird as hell but it was honestly super tasty and I have been thinking about it pretty much everyday since. The Gemini energy prevails.
Now it’s time to snack on something else this season for the Cancer: blueberries. Any blueberries will do. It’s Cancer season, let’s do this. May the sky open up, may we stand in the rain. If you’re not crying already, hopefully you will be by the time you’re done reading. Here’s a Cancerian feeling song that once caused me to have a (manageable) meltdown in Bagelsmith back when I lived in Brooklyn in 2013. You probably have heard it before in every gas station in America, or on TikTok. What’s the difference these days? Here is “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac, lyrics included.
Here is another you might know. Also with lyrics. Welcome to “Come Clean” by Hilary Duff:
For me, Cancer is the color blue. Not sad blue, but blue like the water. Like oceans, lakes, ponds etc. Natural bodies of water that reflect our sky. Just like the ocean, Cancer is a very deep and emotive sign. Blueberries have a thin dusty blue skin; They are tranquil and magnetic. It is tempting to consume a bunch of them at once. You could snack on Cancer friends all day. But beware that, just like the blueberry, the Cancer can be crushed quite easily, oftentimes without your awareness. It is a sign that occasionally ends up with hurt (or spicy) feelings without others necessarily being aware they’ve made that type of impact. Like a plastic bag of blueberries you tossed in your backpack to take on a picnic, you need to be mindful when handling relationships with Cancers. The picnic payoff is absolutely worth it.
Cancers listen deeply and bring a sense of humor to situations that others might perceive as being purely morbid. Some of my best friends in the world are Cancers. It’s a sign I have been drawn to my entire life.
The Cancer is both the crab and the ocean. Occasionally cranky to the point of no return, but constantly flowing and changing, the inner-landscape of Cancers is full of movement and mystery. One of my best friends and collaborators (a Gemini, cool callback) suggested that in times of anxiety, stare at the water and watch how it moves. What you find is that waves crashing on the shore move in many directions at once. It is impossible to truly follow them, and in this untraceability, there are glimmers of freedom. Freedom to change, freedom to grow, freedom to feel one way one moment and a totally different way the next.
Like the crab, Cancers often sport a tough-guy exterior. But beneath the shell is some soft, sweet, delicious flesh, easily consumed. A Cancer friend of mine suggested never calling a Cancer defensive because they will simply defend themselves. In my experience, I have found great creative success when I lean into Cancer energies and allow myself to feel deeply, as initially horrifying as it may be. Cancer makes me think of the ocean and, and what separates one drop of it from the rest of it. My feelings for the ocean are vast and feel very tied to this sign. I have written many songs during Cancer season while staring at the ocean. “Travel Bug” is one, and “Once More For The Ocean” (the title says it all) is another.
This song in particular felt like it was handed to me by the ocean. It came to me when I was sitting on some rocks and staring at one of my favorite oceans in the world, on Star Island off the coast of Rye, New Hampshire. The bass line arrived first, and then the melody and the lyrics came at the same time. I didn’t have an instrument with me that week so I sang what I had into my phone notes and carried on with my day, almost forgetting about it entirely. I have a unique relationship with this song because it felt like it came through me more than from me, though I recognize that really there is no difference. It is not the easiest song to sing or explain. At times I even wondered if it might be suited for a different artist. However after sitting with it for a while I came to the conclusion that this song was meant for me and it is about the search for a greater consciousness in times of chaos. For me that feeling of oneness often shows up when I am spending time in nature.
The video we made for “Once More For The Ocean” is about an epic search. So many times when we are searching we are looking outside of ourselves because it is the only way we know. But the truth is, what we are really looking for lives within. It is ourselves that we are looking for. Sometimes we just aren’t quite sure which self it is, or how to get there. The Cancer knows this all too well.
We only see and experience things as they relate to ourselves and our own personal histories, despite it feeling like so much of the time, life is happening to us instead of through us. The universe is a mirror and if you learn how to hold it up and look right at it, it is possible to free yourself from that which you don’t even realize is binding you. It can be an exhausting experience at first moving from the role of “the observed” to “the observer,” but you begin to develop a sense of agency over your unique psychology and that can be incredibly empowering.
There are many things we can learn from the Cancer. They have mastered the ebb and flow of the inevitable emotional tide. They encourage you to feel your feelings. And I mean fully. You know who has always leaned into that? One of my favorite Cancer musicians, the one and only Lana Del Rey. Here is my side-project Anmlplnet covering one of my favorite Lana songs, “Ride.” Needless to say, Lana’s music leans in.
Does being encouraged to experience your rocky feelings in totality exhaust you immediately? As someone who has a ton of Virgo in their chart, the thought of feeling my emotions completely does in fact make me want to crawl inside of a hermit crab’s shell and stay there indefinitely. When a sharp undesirable feeling arises, our bodies often try to keep us safe by preventing us from experiencing the sensation completely. This seems like a good idea at the time, but the buttface feelings store themselves in the cells of your body and… they can cause problems in the future! And then somatic work will be required to transmute the feelings. They may not be quiet about it, but Cancers will indeed move through these feelings and it’s a good reminder to be honest with ourselves for the sake of lighter baggage in the future. Your future-self can thank Cancers for this hot and deeply uncomfortable tip.
Here is a Cancer-themed playlist to lean into this season:
Perhaps you’re still trying to suss out your vibe today. Check out the Slothrust Mind Your Mood astrology-themed playlist-horoscope generator to take a short quiz which creates a custom playlist just for you, based on where you’re at in this very moment.
Until we meet again — which we will in a month, to dig into my astrological sign, the Leo! Anything is possible.
Your freaky fruity friend,