2023 Cancer Full Moon

dark sky with large full moon overhanding a dark wooden house with orange lighting striking the left gable and continuing to the ground

January 6, 2023
3:07 PM PST / 6:07 EST PM / 11:07 PM GMT
16 Cancer 21 / 16 Capricorn 21

The year’s first Full Moon is a paradox. Emotional yet objective, nurturing yet independent, it breaks from the Cancerian norm – which makes it an absolutely appropriate lead-in to the new expressions of energy coming in 2023.

Cancer is the Moon’s home and a sign of tender, sensitive, free-flowing emotions. The Moon may be at her greatest place of comfort here, but we humans aren’t always. Feelings have a way of going overboard at a Cancer Full Moon, like waves cresting and crashing, especially if we have been rationalizing situations and not respecting what they’re doing to us emotionally.

Core issues are swirling that settled in before our brains were fully formed. They involve nurturing, family, Mommy, how we experience and express love, emotional safety, traditions, hot button items all. The Cancer Full Moon stirs inner children, sublingual reactions, and non-rational behavior. This can result in an upsurge of warmth, affection, and caretaking on the home front. The overflow of emotion makes it easy to take things personally, to be touchy or grouchy, to tear up, to smother or feel smothered, and to gravitate as if to a homing device to the comfort of food.

All that is possible now, but with a twist, a release valve, or an escape hatch. They’re built into this Moon via a sextile to Uranus, quick-change artist, awakener, liberator and advocate of alternate viewpoints. This day is, after all, Epiphany on the Christian calendar, and so it is appropriate that the skies are delivering exactly that. Predicting a specific playing out is risky (or futile) when Uranus is in the mix. The one certainty is that your emotional experience will change. (Not necessarily in a bad way! Put that cookie down!)

You may unleash (or receive) a sudden tsunami of emotion that leads to relief (and possibly uncharted territory). You may get insight out of the blue that changes your relationship to home / family / Mom / food as currency for love. You might pull off being in the family but not of it. You may get an emotional Get Out of Jail Free card. You might redefine or reframe security or family. You might claim breathing room in your home life. You might, of course, bolt – and other features of this Moon suggest that might be just fine.

Much of this happens without rational discussion. Or any. Explaining the emotional machinations will not flow easily. Retrograde Mercury’s opposition to the Moon sets up an inherent tension between brass tacks conversations (What has been built? Where is this going?) and emotional expression or security. Mercury’s journey is directing attention to facts, unfinished matters, and cold calculations that challenge the emotional end. They flow into the built-in plot twists and surprises, greased by Mercury’s trine to Uranus.

The emotional waves, Uranian breaks, and communication standstills have a propulsive impact that spurs action. Chiron in Aries is receiving pressure from the Moon as well as Mercury and the Sun. The lineup creates a wide t-square that requires standing up for ourselves and interjects some hotheadedness and feistiness into the emotional waves.

Yet this is not a recipe for unhappiness and trauma. The Cancer Moon’s emotional waves teem with kindness, gentleness, and compassion. A trine from Neptune in Pisces softens and romanticizes our experience and fills it, and us, with higher guidance, inspiration, and – what’s this? – love. And matters of home, family, and emotional sanctuary are definitely the beneficiaries. Not coincidentally, Vesta, guardian of home and hearth, is also adding her protection; she is not only conjunct Neptune, but also exactly trine the Moon

Relationships are on board with all of this, and happily so. With Venus trining Mars, the social mode is friendly, and conversations breezy and light. The pair’s compatibility ensures that we’re not at war within ourselves, either. Our desires are in sync with how we’re pushing ourselves forward (even if our words become forceful).

So there’s the paradox: We’re riding waves of emotion while gaining objectivity and breathing room, experiencing compassion and understanding (and maybe a little blurred vision), and getting along with fellow humans in the process. And thus begin the remarkable shifts of 2023.