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What the Full Moon in Cancer Means for You


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The full Moon on December 26 is one of the most emotionally charged Moons of the year. The last full Moon of 2023, it is ruled by the energy of Cancer, which directs our attention inward toward our emotions and our intuition. Cancer, ruled by the Moon herself, Cancer reminds us to slow down and nurture ourselves. This full Moon in Cancer allows us to pause, reflect, and release as we prepare for a new year.

What the Full Moon in Cancer Means for You

Cancer is a water sign. Like all water signs, it heightens our emotions and asks us to become vulnerable enough to explore our deeper waters. Cancer is the sign of the crab and reminds us that we each have a unique shell. This shell protects us from the outside world while keeping our feelings close to our hearts. It serves the essential function of keeping our subjective world contained until we are ready to share it with others.

The water sign of Cancer has an intense and fluctuating emotional life beyond what you would imagine simply by observing them. (Illustration: ProVectors | Getty)

Without a shell, we spill our energy into the world without direction or meaning. Shells serve as boundaries but also restrict us. Every so often, we must break our old shell and grow into a new one. The full Moon in Cancer is the time to leave your old shell behind and form a new one capable of holding space to evolve into higher frequencies.

Throughout this full Moon in Cancer, give yourself space to feel. Take a break in your daily life and slow down to invite your feelings to the surface of your conscious mind. Full Moons provide time for reflection. With this one coming at the end of the year, it has an even more reflective tone. Look back on your journey this year. Give space to emotions you may have suppressed because you were too busy to deal with them or could not process them when they arrived. Allow the past twelve months to complete themselves on this day, energetically and emotionally, by holding space for unresolved feelings.

Give attention and compassion to unprocessed emotions and allow them to be felt and released. Hold space for it all, the higher frequency emotions and the lower ones. Remember to be aware of your joy, love, and gratitude, as these feelings also deserve acknowledgment. As you go through the emotions of the past year, say goodbye to the ones you no longer want. Thank them for teaching you, then decide how you will transform them.

Also, decide which emotions you will hold onto because they serve you well. Spend time journaling about how you feel, what your feelings are helping you understand about yourself, how you have grown this year, and what you are ready to release.

This honest look at your emotional body may feel uncomfortable and even scary. Raw emotions are not always easy to digest, but this full Moon is the time to hold space for them to be felt and given the nourishment of an open heart. It is a time to be kind to yourself as you explore your emotional body. You do not need to force emotions to come out or search for them.

If you notice feelings wanting to surface, though, give them your full attention. We often suppress our feelings or distract ourselves from them in some manner. Recognize the ways you might prevent your emotions from fully emerging, and instead soften your approach. Sit in the full presence of yourself as you go through the process of unraveling each layer. Listen to what your heart has to say without judgment, and let it show you the way to your healing.

You can also speak to your emotions, directly acknowledging them and letting them know they are heard. For instance, if you feel fear arise, have a conversation with it. Tell it you are aware of its presence, and thank it for showing up to teach you something. Then let it know you are shifting it into something else.

As you sit with some of your deepest feelings, know they are temporary. They will pass, even if they feel permanent in the moment. As you bring awareness to them, they will naturally shift, unburdening you and making you feel energetically lighter. They will also open the doorway to your intuition. To fully access our inner knowledge, we must be able to feel. If we suppress our feelings, we become unable to access our intuition. We then get lost in a sea of logic and practicalities, forgetting the answers we seek lie just beneath the emotions we are trying to avoid.

Our intuition is the prize for the uncomfortableness of feeling at our deepest level. Once we learn to be patient with our emotions and give them unrestricted space, we can feel our way through life, led by our highest intuitive guidance.

It’s important to remember that we feel our intuition. If we do not give ourselves space to feel, then our intuition becomes inaccessible. Or intuition is pivotal in creating the life we want to live. It gives us answers and helps direct the flow of our energy. It shows us where we need healing and guides us, calling in the energies we need to manifest the life of our intentions.

As we work with the vibrations of the full Moon in Cancer, feel how they connect you to your inner guidance and how that connection comes from your willingness to feel. Also, allow your intuition to guide you in restoring your energy this day and even week. Instead of following your plan for the day, let your heart and intuition lead you in regenerating your spirit. Begin to feel your way through life. Be open to changes and let your intuition steer you instead of your to-do list.

The earth sign of Capricorn brings an emphasis on intuition and internal creativity. (Illustration: ProVectors | Getty)

What the Full Moon in Cancer Means with the Sun in Capricorn

As the full Moon lands in Cancer, the Sun lands directly opposite in Capricorn. We have the opportunity to work with both of these energies this day and shift them in our energetic bodies. Capricorn provides a container in which we work with the emotional waters stirred by Cancer. As a cardinal Earth sign, Capricorn generates Earth energy. It helps ground our vibration and creates a feeling of stability as we ride the waves of this full Moon in Cancer.

Capricorn and Cancer share many similarities that are illuminated by this Moon. They both help us form creative expressions of our inner worlds so that others can understand us. They both encourage us to spend time alone, honor our intuition, and listen to our inner guidance. They also both ask us to define how we want to feel and create a life that supports those feelings. With the combination of these signs, this full Moon is deeply introspective and provides insights to emotional wisdom that is otherwise unavailable.

As you journey through this full Moon in Cancer, lean into the energy of Capricorn to feel supported by the Earth element. Feel the focus and clarity this energy provides and harness it to understand your emotions and your power. Feel the soft container it provides for you to explore your depths. Capricorn teaches us to honor what is really worth our energy. Feel into what emotions are worth your attention this full Moon and which ones can teach you the most about yourself.

Over this full Moon, we can harness the higher sides of both Capricorn and Cancer to help us nourish ourselves and our home frequency for the coming year. We can also see clearly how we may align with the lower frequencies of these signs. In its highest form Cancer teaches us to hold space for our emotions and allow them to show us our intuition. When we align with this side, we give ourselves support to feel and connect with the element of water within us. We also find our way home to ourselves, where our intuition is the loudest and where we can cultivate any feeling we wish to experience.

The lower vibrations of Cancer occur when suppress our feelings or do not give them the attention they deserve. In this state, we distract ourselves with various methods that allow us to focus on anything but our emotions. We simply do not give ourselves permission to feel. Allow this may feel good in the moment, it does create long lasting positive vibrations. When we ignore our feelings, they manifest in ways we cannot control. They show up as different forms of illnesses, uncontrolled anxiety, and feelings of instability. We need to feel and when we do not give ourselves what we need, our feelings make themselves known in ways we cannot hide from.

If you find yourself aligning with this side of Cancer, give yourself permission to feel. Sit down with yourself and write the sentence, “I feel…” then allow yourself to write unrestrained. Be open to anything that comes up. If you need to cry, cry. If you need to scream, scream. There is no wrong way to feel, and all of your emotions are valid. No emotion is wrong, and you can feel anything you want. Through this allowance, you can ensure that your emotions don’t spill over into areas where they don’t belong.

The other lower vibration of Cancer occurs when emotions not tended to begin to interfere with other areas of your life. This lower side can look like oversharing to unsupportive people, overreacting emotionally in a professional situation, or depending on partners to process emotions for you.

If you find yourself sharing your emotions too often in spaces where it isn’t appropriate, take responsibility for them. Know that your emotions do not belong to anyone else and it’s ultimately up to you to process them and understand them. Through this awareness, you can gain their wisdom and open the doorway to your intuition. Emotions left unfelt or placed on others can cause disruptions and prevent you from growing.

Notice if you are aligning with any of these lower sides of Cancer, and first know that it’s okay. Accept that this energy is a part of you right now and that you can shift it. Sit with yourself, explore your emotions, and nourish your heart. Be your own mother and gently hold yourself as you soften, flow, and find your strength.

Capricorn also hold lower vibrations. This full Moon is a time to uncover any of them in your energetic field and shift them as well. Capricorn helps us gain clarity and focus our attention on what matters most. It helps us uncover our life’s work and commit to the soul. The lower vibrations of this sign forget the higher meaning of life and instead focus on activities that gain superficial success or power. They are overly concerned with career gain and advancement, even if it means self-betrayal. The soul is forgotten and its mission is ignored. When we align with the lower vibrations of Capricorn, we become unaligned with our life’s work.

If you find yourself becoming more concerned with accumulating wealth, recognition, or unhealthy standards of success, know you have fallen into the low side of Capricorn. Also know that it’s okay. Remember, these low sides are impersonal. They can happen to anyone and are universal energies. Simply recognize that these energies have stated to take over, then make a commitment to shift them.

Find ways this full Moon to return home to yourself. What does your heart want? What does your soul want? Acknowledge places in your life where you are simply showing up to be seen or to gain praise or power. Ask yourself what your real motives are for doing something. If they don’t align with your soul’s values, make a change.

The low side of Capricorn can also cause us to become hyper-focused on work for the all the wrong reasons. This side is the epitome of the workaholic type who spends hours on the computer forgoing basic nourishment like food or self-care. Become aware if you are embodying this side and lean into Cancer’s energy to balance it. Give yourself a vacation full of self-care and soul nourishment. Get in touch with how you really feel and ask yourself if you are overworking yourself to avoid these emotions. Allow yourself to feel, and through these feelings gain the wisdom needed to create a life that aligns with your soul and feels good to your heart.

As we shift the lower vibrations of Cancer and Capricorn, we give space for their higher vibrations to integrate in our energy. These signs complement each other and teach us how to achieve a true work-life balance in which we are fulfilled by our life’s mission, are guided by our intuition, and give ourselves the self-care needed to replenish the spirit. In working with these energies, we can return home to ourselves as we decide how we want to feel and what kind of life supports these feelings.

We also teach ourselves that we can have it all. We can have life filled with love, family, and self-care while still sharing our brilliance with the world through our life’s work. Feel the possibility of creating a life full of the highest side of these powerful energies this full Moon and know it all starts with the willingness to feel.

Ancient illustration of phases of the Moon relative to position to the Sun and Earth. Includes the full Moon in Pisces.
Vintage French engraving depicting the phases of the Moon. Note the straight line of the Sun (Soleil), Earth (Terre), and Full Moon (“Pleine Lune”). (Photo: duncan1890 | Getty)

Other Astrological Influences on the Full Moon in Cancer

The full Moon in Cancer takes place while Mercury is stationed retrograde. While this may bring up some concerns, it is actually a good thing. Mercury is the planet of communication. When retrograde, it spins the energy or communication inward, making it easier to feel, process, and observe. Lean into this energy when journaling or observing your feelings.

Mercury retrograde also helps you re-process events from the past. Although we can never change what has occurred, we can view it from a different lens. Mercury retrograde allows us to see events from a different angle, which can be healing. We can release the attachments from the past by seeing it differently. What once caused us suffering can be viewed as something that occurred and we experienced. We do not have to suffer from events of the past, nor do they need to contain us.

Use this opportunity at the end of the year to review what events need a different perspective to heal, shift, and release. How can you re-process events so they no longer distract, drain, or contain you?

This full Moon in Cancer also creates a few aspects with other planets. The Sun trines Jupiter retrograde in Taurus, while the Moon forms a sextile aspect with it. Both of these aspects are harmonious and amplifying. Jupiter is the planet of expansion. Retrograde Jupiter reminds us that our expansion is an inside job. If we want to manifest energy or materialize a vision, then we need to look within. Does our self-worth match this vision? Are we sabotaging ourselves or keeping ourselves small? Jupiter retrograde asks us to look at our growth from an internal view and ensure that the energy we project each moment matches the depth of our visions.

With Jupiter retrograde adding its energy to this full Moon, you are encouraged to look at emotions that may be blocking your growth or expansion. Emotional attachments can prevent us from stepping into our power or hold us back from the life we are trying to manifest. They link us to the past and keep us there, preventing us from moving forward. These attachments can show up as energetic resistance to your dreams. Most of these emotions are subconscious but sabotage us every time we try to break free of old patterns.

Turn inward this full Moon and notice emotions that surface when you are on the brink of a breakthrough. Reflect on times when you were within inches of your vision, and something prevented it from happening. Did that something come from within you?

There are many reasons we prevent our dreams from manifesting. We may fear the unknown. We may fear success. We may fear losing people as we grow. We may even fear losing ourselves. Our comfort zones are comfortable. They feel good and leaving them brings up many emotions.

We also prevent our growth when we can’t heal from the past. Our wounds can hold us back. If we are still investing energy in the past, then we don’t have that energy for the future, or even the present. Become aware of how much energy you spend on the past. This can look like dwelling on past pain, holding onto anger or resentment, or not detaching from people who are no longer available.

The full Moon also forms an aspect with Saturn in Pisces. The Sun sextiles the ringed planet, and the Moon trines it. Saturn is the planet of responsibility and commitment. In Pisces, it softens. It helps us form boundaries around our emotions and direct them. Saturn’s involvement in this full Moon acts like a life raft in the sea of emotions.

Saturn is also Capricorn’s ruling planet, helping to amplify this energy. With the help of this energy, create containers in your life for your emotions. Have some boundaries with yourself. If you feel yourself getting lost in your feelings, take a break. Connect with nature, practice some yoga, or spend time with some friends. It’s important to hold space for your emotions, but it’s also important not to get so lost in them that you can’t find your way out.

Quote about your emotions and feelings
(Illustration: Unknown)

Align with Saturn this full Moon in Cancer to create some healthy containers for your emotional processing. Set aside time to feel, nourish, and replenish. And set aside time for other things, like enjoying life with friends or attending some holiday parties. During times of joy, don’t let in emotions that feel heavy. Stay with your joy and let your other emotions they will have your attention at a later time.

Saturn’s involvement can also help you commit to your intuition. When you follow your intuition, you reclaim your power. Your intuition is your inner authority. It prevents you from looking outside of yourself for the answers you already know. Feel into why you don’t trust your intuition this full Moon. Notice times it pulls you towards something, and you refuse to listen. What feelings come up when you hear your intuition? What feelings come up when you don’t listen to it? What comes up when you do? As you work with the energy of release this full Moon, ask your intuition what you need to release. It may have some answers you haven’t thought of yet. Then make a commitment to listen to your intuition today and as we make our way into a new year.

Your Invitation

This full Moon in Cancer is a time to recharge your energy and bring you home to yourself. This kind of work doesn’t come from the logical mind. It comes from feeling. Allow yourself to feel. Give yourself what you need to restore your spirit and heal your soul as you prepare for another year.

The full Moon in Cancer is a time to settle into yourself and allow your body to unravel. You may hold suppressed emotions in your muscles and connective tissues, which contributes to your feelings of emotional attachment. To allow your emotions to flow freely, you need to release your body and the energy it holds.

Practicing yin yoga poses, which rely on longer holds than a typical yoga practice, can help you release into the pose fully and allow the body to unwind completely. In each pose, focus on your breath and use it to keep your mind clear as your body lets go of tension. Also, have support ready in the form of a blanket, bolster, or blocks. When we have physical or mental support, we are more likely to release and let go of tension.

RELATED: 5 Rituals for the Full Moon in Cancer That Aren’t (Too) Woo-Woo

Learn more about the full Moon in Cancer, including additional astrological insights and journaling prompts, in the Cancer Full Moon Workbook, from which the above is excerpted. 

About Our Contributor

Jill Wintersteen is the founder of Spirit Daughter, a lifestyle brand devoted to helping you live your best life through understanding the energy of the Universe. She also writes workbooks on each full Moon as well as other astrological events. Follow her on Instagram @spiritdaughter.





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