Full Moon in Cancer: Focus on the Feeling

Full Moon in Cancer: Focus on the Feeling

The Full Moon in Cancer occurs the 12th of January, 2017 at 22°27’’ of Cancer.

Try checking what area of your birth chart is ruled by Cancer, or the house where your natal Moon is found for more insight.

If you are new or new-ish to astrology, this post is a good place to start for generating your birth chart and checking out which part of your chart is being touched by this lunation.

You can also find out more about how to work with Full Moons here.

Full Moon in Cancer

…For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.

What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make and end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from.

We die with the dying:
See, they depart, and we go with them.
We are born with the dead:
See, they return, and bring us with them.

– From T.S. Eliot’s ‘Little Gidding’


Focus on the Feeling

In the beginning, we are all in water, held in the somnolent space of our mother’s wombs.

And then, in the end – or is it the beginning? – the water must break so we can become part of this dry, cold world. There should be no surprises that the first thing we do is cry.

This is Cancer: it is the beginning and the end, the remembered past and the palpable present, our treasured memories and our future intuitions…and all of the emotions felt in between.

Since ancient times, the space in the sky we call Cancer has always held a connection to births of one kind or another.

In ancient Babylonia, Cancer was known as the gates of the underworld; in ancient Mesopotamia souls were thought to enter and exit our world via the solstices (Cancer is in charge of the Summer Solstice); and in ancient Rome, Cancer’s domain was known as ‘the Gates of Men’ where newborn souls would enter the world.

In our modern understanding of Cancer as a cardinal water sign, it still acts as the gateway to life as the zodiacal placenta, the watery place from where the body begins.

Although in the water, there are no definitive ends or beginnings, just movement; energy never dies, it just changes form.

The Full Moon in Cancer is a reminder that with every death there is a subsequent birth. Every time we leave a space, we enter a new one, and just like the water, we never really end.

Ultimately, death occurs when we leave our bodies for good, but the non-orgasmic version of la petit mort many of us indulge in is more commonly known as getting stuck in our heads.

All too often, we retreat from our bodies and its intuitive impulses in favour of the almighty mind, swapping the infinite wisdom of our hearts for lesser grey matter diversions. Rather than enjoy the present, the only moment available, we endlessly time travel between future fears and past remembered guilts.

Leaving our bodies for any amount of time disconnects us from the deepest part of ourselves; our bodies are our wisdom. As the seat of our emotions, our bodies are the first line of feedback. The grip of anxiety, tumble of our guts and clench in our throats are meant to grab our attention and highlight what we may otherwise wish to ignore.

Though there is much we could say about what is happening in this lunation – squares from Uranus and Jupiter, an Opposition from Pluto – it is more interesting to consider what may not be front and center at this Full Moon.

Notably, Mercury (the mental capacity, communication) is slow-moving, in a weak sign and degree, and makes no aspects within the chart; asteroid Goddess Pallas-Athena (the creative intellectual capacity) is being depleted by her conjunction to the South Node and also makes no aspects within the chart.

Our minds are being pushed to the side, so the focus (Vesta, conjunct the Moon) can be on our feelings.

There may be a sense of an ending, but the only real limit right now is your mind.

Trust what your body has to say and give your internal narrator the day off.

As Nietzsche said:

“There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophy.”


Current Events + Other Bits

This lunation contains a “Cardinal Grand Cross”, which is an aspect pattern made of two t-squares. Grand cross patterns are known for being challenging; like a t-square on steroids, this aspect pattern can describe situations where we feel boxed in and frustrated.

This grand cross is a little bit like getting stuck inside a rank sauna: with 3 planets in Fire signs (Uranus, Saturn and Mercury – only just) and 4 planets in Water signs (Moon, Mars, Neptune, Venus), the combination of these elements creates a whole lot of steam. There may still be action since we are in a cardinal cross, but the field of play looks a bit misty.

Much has been written about this lunation, and I know just from the incoming searches hitting my site that some folks may be nervous about what this Moon portends. In all honesty, I can’t say that I definitely see this as a ‘tough’ or ‘bad’ Moon. The thing that gives me hope is two-fold: both Chiron (wounds) and Mars (drive, passion) are in fantastic relationship to this Full Moon.

Chiron is always touchy, whether he’s in good or bad aspect to a planet, but my assumption here is this might be a big release of stuff we’ve been holding on to in the parts of our charts ruled by Cancer, and possibly Pisces, too. Mars can give us the gumption to move forward fearlessly, if but a little less aggressively than normal, when in Pisces.

Cancer does feel all the feels, so there may be a glut of emotion, nonetheless.

The only cause for pause might be for Mercury, who is in very late, and therefore ‘anaretic’, or debilitated, degrees of an already weak place for Mercury. Generally, the recipe is to ‘do the thing that cannot be done’ in terms of the planet found in the anaretic degrees – and in Sagittarius, that thing is to focus and choose your words carefully. With the Full Moon occurring in a ‘mute’ sign, there may also be issues around not voicing our feelings. For some, it may be wise to save tough conversations for calmer astro-weather.

Asteroid-wise, the Full Moon in Cancer is quiet. The only asteroid near the Moon, other than Vesta, is asteroid Lutetia (21), which was the old Latin name for Paris; near the Sun we have asteroids Universitas (905), Chimaera (623) and Eleutheria (567). Notwithstanding the fact that the Chimaera was a wildebeest Lion-Goat-Snake hybrid that was meant to be incarnate evil, Eleutheria is an ancient Greek term meant to personify Liberty.

With the Moon in hard aspect to rule-breaking, glass-ceiling-cracking Uranus, there’ll be no lack of liberty around; whether we want to be cut loose or not may be the question.

This month’s words were taken from master wordsmith T.S. Eliot. It’s touching that his own natal planets aspect this chart: His natal Venus is conjunct this chart’s Jupiter, and his natal North Node is conjunct this chart’s Moon. No surprises that he had a way with words, given he had Venus (beauty) conjunct Mercury (communication).

Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning, 
Every poem an epitaph. And any action
Is a step to the block, to the fire, down the sea’s throat 
Or to an illegible stone: and that is where we start.

Welcome to 2017: an end and a beginning.


January 12th, 2017, Cancer 22°27”

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