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  • Writer's pictureLori Barnes

Cancer Full Moon

Cancer Full Moon Date and Time

Full Moon Date: Friday 6 January 3:08 PM, West Coast, USA 6:08 PM, East Coast, USA 11:52 PM, Rome, Italy  16 degrees Cancer

Cancer Full Moon Overview

The Cancer full moon is the first of the new year. This full moon phase has a harmonious tone to it and it calls for nurturing and self-care. The full moon is the culmination of the lunar phase that begins at the new moon. Our last new moon was Friday, December 23.

Think back to what was happening at the new moon and what is culminating for you right now. The end of this current cycle takes us up to January 21 when we have our next new moon. This is an interesting and introspective cycle for you to work with as we kick off the new year. Interesting because of the retrogrades and introspective as the retrogrades are active with the Cancer full moon.

The rush of the holiday season can put us in overdrive with our time, focus, and energy. Even with time off work, we often find ourselves more busy during the holidays. It’s important to be aware that we may be hyper-focused on moving forward, but it isn’t time just yet.

January is about wrapping up the retrogrades and looking backward to move forward. I recommend waiting at least until the new moon to charge forward. Late January and February are better times to launch your strategy toward your 2023 goals.

This Cancer full moon has primarily harmonious configurations with other planetary bodies, helping us to take a pause over the full moon weekend to catch our breaths, do some nurturing self-care, and relax.

A full moon always means that a pair of signs is active, Cancer and Capricorn for this full moon. Cancer is about nurturing, self-care, mothering, emotional well-being, tradition, family, and taking action in a gentle but leadership way. It calls for balance when it comes to career and home life, external status and internal emotional security.

Cancer the crab is known for its sideways movement and so is Cancer the astrological sign. While it isn’t direct, it is assertive and is concerned with emotional security. Cancer is the Moon’s sign and once a year we get a full moon in the sign of Cancer. This months full moon is shining light on how you manage your emotional well-being.

Capricorn the goat is known for its determination to climb at a steady pace to successfully reach the top of whatever metaphorical mountain you are climbing. Capricorns are known for their tenacity, practicality, and insistence to succeed. Capricorn wants to focus on your status, material wealth, and building external success.

The Cancer full moon will tug at you to consider how you take care of yourself, nurture yourself, and make time for your loved ones versus your focus on career, climbing to the top of something, and insistence on cold hard facts over your gut intuition.

With both the Sun and Mercury in Capricorn, you may find yourself gravitating toward racing out of the box to start working on your goals, returning to work after the holidays, or wanting to do too much in a day. The Cancer full moon cautions you to remember you need to take care of yourself first if you want to succeed.

This is the Moon’s full moon because Cancer is the Moon’s home zodiac sign. Considering we are coming out of a busy holiday season, and we have both Mars and Mercury retrograde and slowing things down, it is a time for pause, reflection, and self-nurturing. Time to evaluate your self-care and nurturing plan for well-being.

Mars has been retrograde since October 30 and is in the last few weeks before ending the retrograde motion of its cycle on January 12. Mercury went retrograde on December 29 and will end the retrograde motion of its cycle on January 18.

With both of these planets retrograde at the full moon, we will best flow in the rhythm of the full moon by slowing down, reflecting, reviewing, and realigning. With Mars, it relates to our action taking, the energy we put forth to achieve something, and our inner motivation and drive.

With Mercury, we want to watch our thoughts and how they drift to the past for clues of unfinished business that needs resolution. Mercury is about communication, our thought processes, how we learn, and commerce in general.

Since Mercury is the planet of commerce and communication, you want to be careful about miscommunications and try to hold off on any major purchases until late January if possible.

Full moons are about culminations, being full of something, and shining the light where something is dark and unseeable. Combining the Cancer full moon with the retrogrades sets up a wonderful time for reflecting, with a focus on self-nurturance and emotional well-being and encouraging you to find balance.

Being the beginning of 2023, you are also likely to be looking forward to the new year and what you would like to accomplish. Your best use of this time is not to charge forward on your new goals, but to focus on looking backwards to move forward.

By the next new moon coming January 21, both Mars and Mercury will have gone direct. The new moon phase is a much better time to start working on your new year goals. For now, continue to reflect back and make adjustments to what you would like to do this year.

The full moon period is a great time to reflect on what worked, and what didn’t work, last year. Using these lessons learned, you can set accurate and realistic goals for the new year. The Cancer full moon asks you to include your emotional well-being into your 2023 goals.

There is likely to be exhaustion and fatigue happening for a large segment of people under the Cancer full moon. It shows up differently based on where the retrogrades and full moon are taking place in your chart.

We all have Gemini somewhere in our chart being activated by the Mars retrograde and Capricorn somewhere in our chart being activated by the Mercury retrograde. We all have Cancer and Capricorn somewhere in our charts being activated by the full moon in Cancer and Sun in Capricorn.

If you don’t have a copy of your chart, you can contact me and I will send it to you. Or use one of the free online astrology chart calculators like this one. You need your exact birth time, date, and city you were born in to get an accurate birth chart.

Both Mercury and the Sun are in Capricorn at the Cancer full moon making Mercury highly active in this lunation cycle. Not only is Mercury configured very close to the Sun at the full moon, but it is the ruling planet for Gemini. This flavors the full moon with a mental quality.

Taking the time for intentional reflection to learn from the past is a great way to work with the full moon this weekend. The caution is to be gentle with your internal thoughts and help your inner critic reframe negative thoughts into lessons learned. To do this, take any thought of failure and turn it into what you learned from it.

Mars retrograde can bring on physical exhaustion and fatigue. The Cancer full moon is sending a message to do self-care, self-nurturing, and connecting with a mother figure, your mom, or nurturing females. This is not about gender identity, but embracing your receptive and feminine archetypal side, and also of others.

The Cancer full moon combined with the retrograde energy brings to focus how well you nurture yourself, and highlights how in balance or out of balance you are between work and career, and your self-care, emotional needs, family, and emotional well-being.

Cancer Full Moon and Retrogrades

We have the first half of January to work with Mars and Mercury retrograde together. This opportunity to work with two retrogrades at the same time doesn’t happen very often. Both your mind and your actions will benefit from reflecting backwards, reviewing the past, and realigning what is needed to move forward with more strategy, preparation, and a more solid foundation.

Mars and Mercury will both go direct before the next new moon. It is time to wrap up your retrograde reflection work over the next few weeks and prepare for forward movement in late January, after the new moon, or in early February.

After the post-regrade shadow periods is when you are likely to start seeing things move at a faster pace and having more energy to apply to your goals and daily routine. The post-shadow dates are below. 

Mercury went retrograde in the sign of Capricorn. At the Cancer full moon, Mercury is very close to the Sun in Capricorn. The place in your chart where you find the sign Capricorn is highly activated by the Sun and Mercury. There is a pulse of vitality in this part of your chart, with a mental slant, and directionally focused on the past. 

Look at the astrological house for Capricorn to find the events, topics, and people associated with that house to learn more about what is activated in your life by the Mercury retrograde. Look to where the Gemini house is for what Mars retrograde is activating.

With two personal planets (Mars and Mercury) in retrograde cycles, the universe is signaling that it wants us to take some time to reflect on the past before charging forward. This can be a review of your goals, taking care of unfinished business with a project or person, or researching information needed for a project to move forward.

This weekend, the Sun and Mercury make contact with the planet Uranus as they travel through the zodiac. This can indicate that in some part of your life inspirational, brilliant, and unexpected ideas may arise for you.

This connection may indicate that you will experience something that feels destabilizing. This shake up will likely drudge up what needs to be reviewed and realigned. Rather than fight unexpected disruptions, follow where they take you, learn from them, and apply what you learned to your goals for 2023.

The Mars Retrograde started October 30 and is in its final stretch. If you have been working with this energy, or if you haven’t, now is the time to wrap up your reflections and start making a plan for what you want your forward motion to look like. 

Remember that the best time to actually take action toward new goals is after the new moon and after Mars and Mercury are moving direct. This is the time for planning and finalizing what you have learned and what you have been working on during the retrograde cycles.

Here are the dates of the full cycles for Mars and Mercury retrograde:

Mars Retrograde

  1. Pre-shadow: Sunday 4 September 2022

  2. Retrograde: Sunday 30 October 2022

  3. Direct: Thursday 12 January 2023

  4. Post-Shadow: Thursday 16 March 2023

  5. Sign of Retrograde: Gemini

  6. Degrees of Retrograde: 25 to 8 Gemini

Mercury Retrograde

  1. Pre-shadow Begins: 12 December 2022

  2. Retrograde Begins: 29 December 2022

  3. Retrograde Ends: 18 January 2023

  4. Post-shadow Ends: 7 February 2023

  5. Sign of Retrograde: Capricorn

  6. Degrees of Retrograde: 26 Capricorn back to 11 Capricorn

Venus and Mars are Trine

There is another configuration in the sky between Venus and Mars happening at the time of the Cancer full moon. Even though neither of these planets is making contact with the Moon or Sun, they are making their own connection in the sky.

These two planets are in a configuration called a trine in astrology. This type of connection is smooth and easily exchanged energy. This is a very nice and easy going configuration that complements the energetics of the full moon.

Venus is about our relating style with others. It speaks to our needs in relationships and how we go about relating to others. When Venus and Mars are in a harmonious relationship, things tend to go smoothly, everyone gets along, and it’s easy to find compromise and common ground.

Air (Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius) and Fire (Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius) will especially enjoy this configuration at the full moon.

I like how this compliments and supports the work you may be doing in other parts of your chart as you work with the full moon sign Cancer and the Sun and Mercury Capricorn placements.

Full Moon Inspirational Quote

‘Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.’ – Coco Chanel
‘My goal is no longer to get more done, but rather to have less to do.’ — Francine Jay
‘Sometimes exhaustion is not a result of too much time spent on something, but of knowing that in its place, no time is spent on something else.’ ― Joyce Rachelle

Cancer Full Moon Ritual

  1. Do the Full Moon ritual for the water element.

  2. We have a harmonious vibe to the full moon that seems to come at just the right time to support the exhaustion that comes after the holidays and with a Mars retrograde. For your full moon ritual, take it easy with a nurturing bath. Embellish it with things that comfort you like candles, essential oils, calm music, chocolate, or a glass of wine.

  3. If you don’t have a tub, try a massage, spa visit, or steam shower. A walk by the ocean, sea, lake or pond may be the preference for you. Anything by water that promotes feelings of emotional well-being for you is ideal.

  4. The full moon culminates on Friday. Take the weekend to focus on yourself. The holidays may bring time off your day job, but it usually doesn’t mean lots of down time. Rather, your social calendar picks up. Take this weekend to nurture yourself to make up for the business of the holiday season. Make this weekend all about you.

  5. If you have a family, do something that nurtures all of you. Be sure it isn’t you doing the nurturing but not getting nurtured. This is especially important if you are a parent who is often putting yourself last on the list of getting cared for. The Cancer full moon wants you to be pampered too, not just the pamperer.

  6. Eat nutritious, comforting, and healthy meals this weekend. Order out if you are too tired to cook. It’s a weekend for pampering you.

  7. While the Sun, Mercury, and Pluto in Capricorn may be calling you to work, plan, and produce, try to direct this energy toward pampering yourself in order to prepare for a strong launch of your 2023 plans after Mars and Mercury go direct. By the new moon later in January, both planets will be direct and you can launch off your goals with more energy.

Activity Ideas to do during the Cancer Full Moon Phase

  1. On January 12 Mars goes direct and on January 18 Mercury goes direct. The moon will be waning away from the light of the full moon as it closes out the cycle and becomes dark at the new moon on January 21. During this time period between the full moon and new moon is best for looking backward to move forward as the retrogrades complete the retrograde part of their cycles.

  2. Once Mars and Mercury go direct, they move into their post-shadow periods, which will be during the next new moon. At the new moon, plan to start launching into forward motion on the goals you have set for 2023.

  3. Continue to pamper and nurture yourself as much as possible. Starting off the new year tired can be a drag on your immune system and your motivation. Use this time period to strengthen your body and immune system by taking good care of your physical body and your inner emotional and nervous system.

  4. For socializing, try to do things that support your immune system. Rather than hitting happy hour for drinks, have herbal tea with friends, take a walk by water, or meet at someone’s house for a healthy meal as an alternative.

  5. Make a healthy meal planner that is nutritious, nurturing, and good for your body.

  6. Do something sentimental like put photos in a photo book and/or clippings in a scrapbook.

  7. Collect things you no longer need and give it to charity.

  8. Work on your positive mindset with some positive statements about yourself. The Moon is one of the parts of your chart that represents your body. Do something that promotes a positive body image, nurtures your physical body, and embraces your beauty. Focus on what you love about yourself and send away any negative thoughts that come in by replacing them with something positive.

  9. The Moon is also about the feminine and receptive nature of humans regardless of your gender identification. We all have the ability to tap into our receptive nature. Cancer is the sign most associated with our receptive, nurturing, and mothering nature. Tap into this energy as a caretaker of what is important to you. At the same time, watch for over giving so that you do not feel exhausted.

  10. The Moon can represent your mother, or mother figures in your life. Spend time with those you love who are mothers, your mother, or someone who is a mother figure for you. This can be a man, woman, binary, or another other person. It’s not about body parts, but the nurturing part of a person’s soul.

Cancer Full Moon Journaling Prompts

  1. Consider where you are dreading returning to after the holidays. This will shine light on what Mars retrograde is indicating for where you want to cut back in life. What do you wish you didn’t have to return to in 2023 after the holiday season?

  2. Have you written your 2023 goals yet? Since we have both Mercury and Mars retrograde, you can get a boost on setting goals for 2023 by looking back at 2022. By looking back and evaluating what you achieved and what didn’t manifest (reframe as lessons learned), it will help you write realistic goals for 2023. It’s better to write accurate goals than unrealistic goals when you want to achieve something.

  3. Who are the people in your life that nurture you? What do they do that makes you feel nurtured and cared for? How can you bring more of this energy in your life either through yourself or others?

  4. What is your nurturing style? 

  5. How do you balance self-care, focus on family, and your emotional well-being, and the need to be out in the world being productive, working hard, achieving, and succeeding? 

  6. Write about your self-care and emotional well-being plan for 2023.

Essential Oils

  1. Wild Orange is my pick for the Mars retrograde to help uplift, renew, and boost your energy from the fatigue that comes when the planet of action goes retrograde.

  2. Lavender and Clary Sage to promote peace, calm, and harmony. They blend very well together in your diffuser or dilute to wear as a fragrance.

Astrology Events

  1. Moon 16 Cancer opposite Sun 16 Capricorn and Mercury Retrograde 17 Capricorn

  2. Sun 16 Capricorn conjunct Mercury 17 Capricorn

  3. Moon 16 Cancer sextile Uranus Retrograde 16 Taurus

  4. Venus 4 Aquarius trine Mars Retrograde 8 Gemini

  5. Mars and Mercury retrograde 

Wrap Up

The Cancer full moon has harmonious qualities which is helpful as we are likely experiencing exhaustion and fatigue in our bodies. In addition to the retrogrades slowing us down, we are coming out of the holidays, which seems to always be busy and rarely relaxing.

Both Mars and Mercury will end their retrograde cycles before the next new moon. During the two week full moon phase is a great time to wrap up working with the retrogrades and to finalize your 2023 goals. Wait to take action on your goals until later in January.

Astrology Coaching

As an Astrology Coach I help motivated and growth oriented people work with their personal astrology chart, seasonal cycles, and retrograde cycles to improve outcomes and find their life purpose. If you would like to work with me, please contact me or learn more here.


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