Full Moon in Cancer
The Full Moon in Cancer on 12 January 2017 has a forceful intensity capable of dislodging us from wherever we have been stuck within rapid currents of release. The first lunation of 2017, the Full Moon unleashes the tension between Jupiter in Libra and Uranus in Aries that will dominate the coming year. The year ahead will bear the scars of Uranian lightning strikes as well as the enlivening heat stirred up from within that heals old wounds and liberates us from our past. Collectively it’s a pivotal time in which the freedom granted by the Internet and it’s potential of freely flowing knowledge has been corrupted by mass manipulation of messages at levels previously unimagined by those with a thirst for power and influence. Yet the vibration of Uranus can also disengage us from external conditioning influences, taking us within to discover our voice drawn from our deep well of soul.
Jupiter in Libra facing off with Uranus brings inspiring catalysts through relationships, but simultaneously asks us to own how we project into them, integrating the gifts stimulated through merging with others without losing sense of our center and core. A back and forth can develop bridging vivifying relational experiences with space allowing the inner freedom able to receive what we need and release the rest. However, because the Cancer Full Moon creates a cardinal cross, meaning that the polarity between the Sun and Moon forms a square to the polarity between Uranus and Jupiter, the volatile mix between all four cardinal signs can create disorientation over multiple paths of interest to follow at the same time. As a result discernment is needed in terms of the next step to take in every moment, losing attachment to whatever we had convinced ourselves the subsequent step would be.
Cardinal signs initiate and instigate to create change and movement. While cardinal signs set things in motions, they also involve a curious component of control. Perhaps it is the cardinal capacity to create change which leads each sign to want to compensate by attempting to control the outcome. Change is difficult for many as it brings the unexpected, yet the year 2017 the Cancer Full Moon heralds will encourage releasing attachment to expectations in order to flow with the fiery twists and turns eluding control. Creating a blueprint of goals while clarifying priorities will be important, but plans need to be written in pencil and open to continual modification. Each step taken requires the presence of mind to receive and allow for the next step to take shape beyond preconceived notions of what that step would be. Through openness to what we discover in each moment, allowing for the unexpected discharges of Uranus, we can free ourselves from both external and internal conditioning.
The shadows of control within the cardinal signs can be found in the modus operandi of each sign. In Aries where Uranus is holding space, we claim our needs through selfish assertion of our desires. In Libra where Jupiter resides, we manipulate relationships through attuning to the needs of others in a way that ensures, or so we think, they will correspondingly do what we want them to do for us. In Capricorn holding both Pluto and the Sun, the control is around claiming power in time and space so we can make sure we are responsible for what is happening rather than surrendering to someone else. In Cancer where the Full Moon falls, control comes from the ability to draw on emotional intelligence to manipulate outcomes. Trying to exert control in these ways will lead into a spinning out of distracted fragmentation within the Full Moon’s torrential force.
The cardinal cross is the interface between self and other and how we navigate and utilize form. Primarily, all four of the cardinal signs possess profound gifts for finding one’s path and creating the forms necessary to fertilize and nurture essential growth. Releasing control opens the lunar capacity of Cancer to receive subconscious content that will replenish and clarify conscious choices.
The Cancer Full Moon not only creates a grand square with Jupiter and Uranus, it also re-activates the square between Pluto and Uranus that dominated astrology between 2011 and 2015. Primal feelings that feel overwhelming under the light of the Full Moon also carry a valuable message buried under their density like hidden treasure. There is support to dig deeper and receive a more penetrating perception of underlying unconscious dynamics than previously realized. In other cases the electrical charge of the Full Moon catalyzing Jupiter and Uranus can allow for a purging of toxic feelings that need release. To paraphrase the harmonizing of Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris in “Return of the Grievous Angel,” you will see your devil and you will see your deep blue sea. Subconscious contents unearthed will become a resource helping to balance and center within the dissolution and shattering of surrounding collective structures.
Joining Uranus through conjunction are the dwarf planets Eris and Ceres, with Ceres finally beginning to separate after stationing direct in conjunction with Uranus last month. Ceres invites us into the abyss of surrender that ultimately leads to greater understanding and regenerated strength. When Ceres in her story of losing her daughter was paralyzed in mourning, at the crossroads of her struggle appeared Hekate from the void to offer counsel that eventually led to her resolution. Similarly the Cancer Full Moon will serve as a guiding torch directed by Hekate for those willing to listen to inner guidance. Ceres in Aries offers active, loving care that fosters mutual independence and empowerment in outer relations.
Another guiding light within the Full Moon is Mercury, now direct as a Morning Star and arising at dawn to herald the rising of the Sun and our awakening from sleep. Mercury is at the threshold between Sagittarius and Capricorn at the peak of the Full Moon, and as the lunar cycle wanes Mercury will move forward through Capricorn. Like the colorful cock celebrating the return of solar heat, Mercury will be up at the crack of dawn, alert to daily priorities and curious to discover the path that will lead to desired goals. Due to the recent Mercury retrograde in Capricorn, this will be the third time that Mercury has crossed over the first fifteen degrees of Capricorn since the beginning of December 2016. Replenished from its time in the retrograde underworld, Mercury has freed the space needed for revitalized authority in navigating life as it approaches a conjunction with Pluto during the waning Moon cycle.
Venus in Pisces is closely applying to a conjunction with Neptune while separating from her previous union with the South Node of the Moon. Venus in her exaltation of Pisces may express the full range of her boundless sensuality, a euphoria heightened through her union with Neptune that can elicit feelings of unconditional love and acceptance for loved ones. With the South Node of the Moon having passed over both Venus and Neptune, there has been a purifying release of old relationship desires and patterns possible. Signs and symbols illustrative of the love story we have been living for what feels like ages may have appeared, giving us the gift of being able to create a new story through our deepened awareness. Recent experiences of disillusionment in relationship can serve as a necessary awakening to what we need to cultivate for ourselves in relationship and nurture from within ourselves to avoid external dependencies.
Both Venus and Mars in Pisces are Evening Stars who can be seen together in the transfiguration of twilight, distilling insight into our past relational desires through their balsamic relationship. Mars in Pisces is applying to a conjunction with Chiron at the Cancer Full Moon as it also begins to form a square to Saturn in Sagittarius. Last year brought a series of eclipses aligned with Chiron as well as a pivotal Mars retrograde that was bound with Saturn, and so Mars is in position to dredge up whatever remains unresolved from key 2016 storylines. Mars will form an exact square with Saturn as the lunar cycle wanes into its last quarter square on January 19, an important phase of initiation connected back to the conjunction of Mars and Saturn in Sagittarius that occurred on 24 August 2016.
Whatever was torn down last year has cleared the space for new forms to be built and fortified now. Saturn demands accountability and discipline but not limited thinking. In fact, the aspects surrounding Saturn in Sagittarius will support manifestation for those with far reaching vision and passion who are also willing to put in the hard work and effort necessary to bring immaterial ideas and plans into material form. These are not transits that support playing it safe or doing things the way they’ve always been done. This is a time to risk working and living for the animating aspirations, hopes, and dreams you may have previously held back from pursuing with full force for one reason or another.
Cancer 3 Decan
The Full Moon falls in the third face of Cancer, associated with the Four of Cups card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The Moon rules the third decan of Cancer, bringing added potency to the lunation. In the image of the Four of Cups illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith above, we see someone sitting on the roots of a tree with three golden cups ready to be filled in the foreground, with a fourth cup being magically offered by an otherworldly hand. The recipient of this magical offering appears to be engrossed in contemplative thought, allowing inner exploration to guide subsequent choice.
Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces gave the image of “The Overflowing Cup” to the third face of Cancer, declaring that it reveals the conflict of choosing “luxurious excess” within “a world of limited material resources” in which “the attainment of luxury for one entails deprivation for others,” leading to a “hidden violence and secret competition entailed within the quest for luxury” (p. 115-6). Coppock noted this seems to be the perspective of the young man seated in the Four of Cups with an ascetic air of refusing to accept more than he needs, and therefore bringing up questions around choosing the extra cup of luxury. Significantly, Coppock additionally noted the spiritual dimension of luxury:
While this face has much to teach about the material dynamics of scarcity and excess, not all matters relevant to it can be confined to matters of food, wealth and shelter. Our world also provides gifts not so easily exhausted. The ever present energy of the natural world- the chi which emanates from all living things- is an ocean even a thirsty god could not drain. Likewise, the spirit offers cups ever-refilled. This decan thus offers a vision not only of hoarding the finite, but the endless luxury of the limitless. (p. 117)
Resonant with cycles of creation and destruction that bring limitless luxury and spiritual gifts, Coppock also noted that the Hellenistic text The 36 Airs of the Zodiac connected the goddess Hekate with the third face of Cancer. Hekate rules over the phases of the Moon, all realms of the upper world and the underworld, crossroads, magical craft, midwifery, and prophetic mediation among many other significations. For ages Hekate has been available to call for regenerative power, as described in the following excerpt from “The One Who Waits at the Crossroads” by Soror Basilisk:
When one is at a crossroads, Hekate is there to show the options. The crossroads is also an initiatory ground zero . . . one disposes of unwanted remnants there and this can apply to the unwanted remnants of the Self. With that in mind, attitudes, beliefs, outworn and outgrown patterns of behavior and thought can be shed. The whole of the Self can be completely destroyed and rebuilt anew. Hekate, mad as she is, wise as she is, can be trusted to guide and clear the mind.
The Cancer Full Moon brings a revelatory clearing, a release which will open space and freedom for the unknown to arrive in the next two lunar cycles involving eclipses tightly connected to the opposition between Jupiter and Uranus. In the shedding of the past an intensification of our essence will be felt and able to be transmitted with love into our personal works of passion as well as our relationships and greater community.
Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.
Hekate: Her Sacred Fires. (2010). Compiled and edited by Sorita D’Este. Avalonia.