Chart for Full Moon in Cancer

Planting Seeds for 2023

As you enter the new year, the Full Moon in Cancer encourages you to wrap your arms around a goal of where you want to be a year from now. The planetary weather is a bit stormy this month, so stay flexible, lighten up, and take good care of your Inner Child.



Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Jan. 6, 2023, 6:07 PM EST

London, UK:

Jan. 6, 2023, 11:07 PM GMT

Sydney, AU:

Jan. 7, 2023, 10:07 AM AEDT

Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.
~ Robert Louis Stevenson

Full Moon Impressions

The zodiac sign of Cancer embraces our feelings, intuition, empathy and sensitivity. It is our innate need to belong and feel ourselves to be a part of something that surrounds us, almost as if we instinctively reach out for a substitute womb after we emerge into the outside world.

At a deep level, Cancer holds the Little Kid in you – the part that may still long for the connection, security, love and approval that you felt you didn't get enough of when you were young. Cancer is also the Inner Adult that instinctively extends your empathy and nurturing towards others, which might be your children or other loved ones, or the creative projects that you accomplish in your life.

The Full Moon in Cancer is the first lunation in 2023. Since the Moon is the ruler of Cancer, the atmosphere is bound to be especially tender, sensitive, emotional and creative. Encircling this tender energy, January brings some rather wild planetary weather! There are 3 planets turning from retrograde to direct – Mars, Mercury and Uranus.

Although Mars turns direct less than a week after the Full Moon, he remains Out-of-Bounds by declination until May, which may extend the impulse to extreme independence, self-reliance, and perhaps unleashing your emotions and impulses instead of containing them within proper civility.

Mercury and Uranus form a long-term creative trine aspect that can put some sizzle into your imagination and your perceptions. In addition, Chiron forms a stressful yet dynamic T-square aspect pattern with the Sun-Mercury conjunction and the Moon. Chiron shows you that nurturing and self-care can be a bit complicated but also helps you find the courage to be ourselves.

This Full Moon is a time to check in with how you feel – about yourself, about others you're close to, about life in general, and about what you hope to look back on at the end of this year.

The only people who see the whole picture are the ones who step outside the frame.
~ Salman Rushdie, The Ground Beneath Her Feet

Mercury & Uranus ~ Edge of the Wedge

Mercury is currently retrograde, from Dec. 29 to Jan. 18 (from 08:08 to 23:21 of Capricorn). In fact, right now Mercury is tightly conjunct the Sun and opposite the Moon (1:21 orb), and makes the exact conjunction to the Sun just 14 hours after the Full Moon peaks.

Being in analytical Capricorn, Mercury Rx could be a time when your plans seem to unravel or your intentions might get a bit scrambled. However, this can actually be beneficial since you get to reconstruct them in a new, better way, particularly after Mercury goes direct.

All of this brings out the intuitive, introspective and introverted qualities of the Cancer Moon, since logic and analysis might not be the most effective way to approach a challenge right now. Let's just say that intuition and "how it feels" to you probably need to at least be taken into account when making a decision, and it may take some time to clearly hear what your intuition is whispering to you. So take your time; don't push the river.

Mercury Trine UranusMercury is also trine Uranus which suggests you might get intuitive flashes of insight, ideas or impressions. Try writing them down because they might be helpful later on, especially after Mercury goes direct. These two planets do a jazzy little dance together. They have 3 passes of the trine during Mercury's retrograde cycle: Dec. 17, Jan. 8 and Jan. 29.

The Mercury-Uranus trine is expanded and intensified throughout January by multiple factors. This extends your ability to come up with some brilliant, inventive and insightful ideas. Being a trine aspect, this usually works best if you make an effort to stretch your imagination to reach for this potential – it's not as likely to simply fall into your lap. But be careful – a little will go a long way, so it might be wise to run those spontaneous words and impulses through your civil-society filters before you unleash them onto an unsuspecting world.

  • The trine remains within a 7° orb from Jan. 3 to Feb. 5, encompassing the 2nd and final passes (Jan. 8 and 29).
  • Mercury stations direct on Jan. 18 (08:08 Capricorn), remaining stationary from Jan. 14-22 (within 1 degree of the station position).
  • Uranus stations direct on Jan. 22 (14:56 Taurus), just 4 days after Mercury, staying stationary from Jan. 16-28 (within 1 minute of its stationary position).
  • The stationary energies overlap from Jan 16-22, generating an extra bright trine effect for at least a week in mid-January.

Meanwhile back at the Full Moon, the Mercury-Uranus trine is part of a Wedge aspect pattern. This includes Mercury conjunct the Sun, opposed by the Moon, and the apex is Uranus in trine to Mercury-Sun and sextile to the Moon.

Wedge aspect patternThis aspect figure starts with the tense, stressful dynamic of the opposition: Moon opposite Mercury Rx and the Sun. This sets our intuition, feelings and personal needs to be at odds with the priority to think clearly, logically and pragmatically.

Uranus at the apex of this wedge-shaped triangle can provide an outlet for that tension, or a creative alternative that can help balance the conflicting energies. In this case, Uranus says: Lighten up! Don't get stuck in a tug of war between the needs of the Inner Child and the objectivity of the Inner Adult. Think outside the box and find a greater context that encompasses both sides. Think in terms of alternatives and creative resources that can soften the tension and focus on what feels good to both sides.

I stumble on this path
with an open wound
but I am not
my woundedness.
~ Sheniz Janmohamed, Reminders on the Path

Chiron T-square

Meanwhile, Chiron is in an argument with Mercury, Sun and the Moon, and acting as the apex of a T-square aspect pattern. Chiron squares the Moon and Sun, as well as Mercury. This figure holds a lot of tension, struggle and stress, but the energy generated by the friction also can provide fuel and courage for positive action.

Chiron is associated with the idea of "the Wounded Healer," a cryptic concept that merges weakness with strength, vulnerability with ability, and the skill of making lemonade out of lemons. We all experience vulnerability and woundedness. No one gets a pass – it's part of being human; part of living in the physical world. It's in the fine print on the ticket that we buy in order to come here and live a life.

So, what is this paradox called the Wounded Healer? How does that work? Well, two ways.

One: As you work through your own woundedness and have made some progress with it, you come to understand the similar struggles of others. You know the territory and can offer guidance and insight to help others along the healing path. Been there, done that, burned the t-shirt.

Two: Some wounds cannot simply be erased. They're like the bell that cannot be un-rung, even after it stops ringing. The memory of what caused the wound may continue to be a tender area that stirs up old feelings, even though it doesn't totally derail your life anymore. Or, the way you've learned to cope with that wound may keep it from disrupt your life, but it may continue to influence the decisions you make – for instance, you might avoid certain situations or people in order to prevent stirring up old feelings that are uncomfortable.

T-square to ChironOne side effect of working through woundedness is that you can develop empathy and sensitivity toward others who remind you of either the original wound or as struggling with a similar one. Your intuition begins to twitch, and depending which way your inner magnet is pointed, you may either feel drawn to them or repelled by them.

This is part of how we instinctively manage our boundaries – we pick up on our intuitive "read" on a person or situation, and tend to respond in a way that maintains our safety. The Cancer side of us (which includes the Moon part of us) seeks ways to protect us, our loved ones, and others that matter to us. Our empathy doesn't want to see those we care about suffer, so we act in a way that keeps them close under our umbrella of protection.

When Chiron steps into this dynamic – like through the current T-square – we might find old memories and feelings come up. This might be a positive experience, where we remember help we received, recall the support that kept us going, or realize how far we've come in our healing process. Alternatively, it might be a difficult experience where flashbacks of painful moments rise up, or we're discouraged by how far we still have to go in our healing, or we might even question whether we deserve healing, support, love and caring.

Right now, Chiron is in a stressful, conflicting square aspect to the Sun, Moon and Mercury, so it might be more likely to be an uncomfortable experience, at least initially. Regardless, this is an opportunity to explore the unfinished business you still carry around. Your challenge may be to nudge yourself into recognizing how much progress you've made already, and not to dismiss it or downplay it. Or, you might be able to move further along the healing path by letting yourself be receptive to what triggers you into that unfinished business. With Mercury being retrograde, internal awareness is a big part of the key.

Chiron is at the apex of the T-square, playing the adversarial mediator between Mercury-Sun and the Moon, and knocking the heads together to get them to behave. The sensitive Moon in Cancer is at odds with the hard-nosed Sun-Mercury in Capricorn. Chiron therefore might remind them that their disagreements may well be less about the here-and-now problems and more about old unfinished grievances from the past. In other words, events and experiences in the present can resonate with past wounds, and our current reactions then get mixed up with our feelings about those ghosts from the past.

It may help to meditate on this a bit, and separate the two contexts (past and present) so that you can avoid overreacting in the present, as well as missing an opportunity to gain some valuable awareness and insight about the past.

Chiron also has a receptive sextile with Mars, who is very strong at the moment (being stationary). This could make it easier to meet the challenge of those triggers with courage and conviction. Alternatively, it might also make it harder to know the best way to respond to those triggers, since Mars' stationary condition could make anger, defensiveness or blame easier to grab than a more balanced response.

You can shout through your art, through your clothes, through your ideas, through your silence, through your stance! Instead of shouting through your mouth, choose the above elegant ways of shouting!
~ Mehmet Murat ildan

Stationary Mars ~ How (Not?) To Say...

As already mentioned, Mars is stationary. Mars officially turns direct in just 6 days (Jan. 12/13) and is currently travelling at only 15% of his average speed. In fact, Mars remains within just 1° of his stationary position from Dec. 31 to Jan. 25. So, our speed-loving Mars is moving at a snail's pace—and you can just imagine how much he loves that! And Mars makes a third stationary planet in January – just what we needed!

With stationary Mars in communicative Gemini, you might find your mind and your mouth are out of sync sometimes, flowing at a different rate and therefore making it harder to find the right words to express what you're thinking or feeling in the moment—assuming your awareness can catch up to that whirlpool of ideas, thoughts, feelings and impulses.

For example, you might blurt out things before you've had a chance to run it through your civil-society filters. ("Oops, did I say that out loud?") On the other hand, you could be unsure what to say or how to say it, so you could get tongue-tied and wind up not saying much at all.

Either way, the month of January may well be a time when conversations are complicated, and perceptions and observations feel barbed with unexpected intensity. Mars stationary-direct is also likely to amplify your emotions, feelings, urges and motivations, making them especially loud.

However, even though Mars is turning direct on the 12th, he continues to get his marching orders from Mercury who is still retrograde for another week (until Jan. 18). And of course, stationary Uranus is also setting off fireworks on Jan. 22, adding more sizzle to the already concentrated energy.

Suffice to say that January may have a parade of wobbly, weird and/or wild energy, especially in terms of expressing one's thoughts, hearing others clearly, voicing emotions, and taking action.

Luckily, Venus greets Mars through a trine aspect (exact Jan. 9), and hangs out with him for almost 2 weeks (Jan. 4-15). Being in Aquarius, Venus understands that interactions often work best when there's some breathing room between people, giving space for each person to be themselves more freely. Venus' influence may help Mars to detach and cool off when the friction and passion get too hot to handle.

You and I both know being conventional is overrated.
~ Rebekah Crane, The Upside of Falling Down

Out of Bounds and Around the Bend

Look up. Waaaay up! Look toward the North and South poles and you're likely to see the Moon and Mars far into the northern sky. The Sun and Pluto in parallel (red circle in declination graph) can be seen far into the southern sky (the former only in the daytime, and the latter only with a powerful telescope, of course). Also in the southern sky, although they're too close to the Sun to see them, Mercury and Venus are also close-by and parallel (blue circle in decliation graph).

Mars and the Moon are currently Out-of-Bounds by declination (gold circle in declination graph). OOB planets tend to walk their own direction, often away from the standard beaten path. No longer under the jurisdiction of the Sun, since they exceed the maximum declination of the Sun, they tend to push the envelope and explore beyond familiar, consensual norms.

Declination graphThe OOB Moon gives an opportunity to check in with your autonomous inner self, the part of you that isn't strictly tethered the need to belong to the usual societal structures of family, friends, loved ones, home, etc. It might be a bit of a lonely time when you feel a bit disconnected or detached, but it can also be a good time to discover who you are at your centre that is independent of those we are bonded with. The OOB period of the Moon only lasts for a few days – in this case, the Moon is OOB from Jan. 3 to 8.

Out-of-Bounds Mars usually lasts much longer, and this is an unusually long time – just over 6 months – from Oct. 30, 2022, to May 5, 2023! When Mars decides to venture off the main trail, his normally-fiery nature can become passionately ready to defend (what is believed to be) a worthy cause at best, or could turn volatile or violent at worst.

However, much can depend on how comfortable you are with Mars energy to begin with. If you embrace the constructive side of Mars energy (healthy anger, assertiveness, taking action, taking a stand) then OOB Mars may inspire you to take that to a new level or to find a new direction to take it in.

On the other hand, if you tend to get caught up in a more destructive, negative or unstable side of Mars, this too could become triggered or amplified. When faced with the difficult aspect of Mars, you might feel easily triggered into rage or defensiveness, or it might become suppressed in the form of depression or lack of energy. That said, melancholy or lethargy might also be a way of taking a break from having to constantly be on guard and defensive, so it could be just what you need for a while. Awareness of what's underneath your feelings can point to what that is for you.

Declination Graph - Jupiter crossing equator

Since May 25, 2022, Jupiter has been straddling the Celestial Equator by declination (graph above). When a planet crosses the equator, there's a kind of reset in how that planet's energy is directed, expressed and experienced. It starts from zero again, something new is beginning, a new destination is forming, and/or a change of perspective in the areas ruled by that planet.

Jupiter does this on average only twice in 12 years, once moving south and the other going north (as is the case now). Jupiter areas that can be affected include changes around legal issues, governments, royalty, higher education, religious or philosophical perspectives, international relations, changing one's mind about something, and asserting what one believes is right (which may be controversial).

Jupiter dances back and forth across the equator 3 times, creating a threefold process of examining different viewpoints, considering implications, and deciding on a direction, before committing to a northerly direction: May 25, 2022, Sep. 26, 2022, and Jan. 13, 2023.

Sabian Symbol

Sabian Symbol for Cancer 17: The germ grows into knowledge and life.Sabian Symbol for Cancer 17: The germ (or the seed) grows into knowledge and life, OR The unfoldment of multilevel potentialities issuing from an original germ.

Regardless of the wording, this symbol signifies the idea of something greater coming from something smaller, and the growth of increased potential. (Above is a combination of wording from Marc Edmund Jones and Elsie Wheeler, Lynda Hill, and Dane Rudhyar.)

Like a mother giving birth to a new child, this is a time when something fragile, raw, unknown, unconventional or untested could emerge. And like that baby, in order for it to fulfill its full potential, it needs to be nurtured, protected and supported. At its best, it has the capacity to grow into something greater than itself, perhaps touching a Universal level of wisdom.

This is an auspicious symbol to appear at the start of a new year, and suggests that a seed planted now can hold the promise of being harvested later as something that exceeds your expectations. But be careful – if you plant poison ivy, it's not going to develop into a rose garden, so choose your seeds well and plant with care.

Everything must break open in order to live. The seed must break open in order for the tree to grow. The egg must break open in order for life to emerge. The Earth must be turned and the cloud must burst. You were never meant to stay in your shell.
~ Thomas Lloyd Qualls, Painted Oxen

Nurturing Your Vision

When you start something new, it's important to ensure it's nurtured, cared for, and protected from harsh elements as much as is needed. This is Cancer's job, aided by its ruler, the Moon. Cancer is a Water sign – it's rooted in the emotions, feelings and sensitivity. These are the tools in Cancer's toolbox, which we all have access to through the Moon.

Right now, with 3 planets stationing direct in January, the environment may be a bit unsettled, unpredictable or unstable. Too hot or too cold. The soil too loose or too firm. Too web or too dry. A stable beginning can help your vision take hold. So, when something new is initiated in your life, it helps to construct a solid foundation that will support and stabilize your goal, dream, or change you're trying to make.

The ability to nurture your seeds so they will sprout and grow means keeping watch over them and adapting to changing situations as necessary. This month, with all that fluctuating energy, you may have to make a lot of adjustments, yet you will probably find that it helps shape a better vision of where you're going.

This Full Moon is about looking to the future for a vision to follow, and then bringing yourself back to the present to see how to get from here to there. The Cancer Moon calls on you to be like a mother bear who will fight fiercely to protect her young, yet Uranus warns that it's not wise to be so overprotective that the little one won't learn to survive on its own.

Amid the swirling undercurrents of 3 planets turning direct in January, it might seem like you're stuck for a while or you might have some difficulty getting started, but this will pass. In fact, this month is filled with forces of nature that can break open the shell of your seed so that growth can occur. Mind you, those disruptive forces might initially seem more like threats to fend off. But keep coming back to your centre and remind yourself what you need—emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially and socially—in order to keep moving forward through it all. Remember – it's okay not to be perfect.

Ultimately this is about trust. Trust the process. Trust yourself to get through it one dance step at a time. Keep doing what you need to do, to foster growth, strength and healing. It's a new year. Give yourself a hug – you made it through 2022 and now a new road lies ahead.

The next update will be for the New Moon in Aquarius on January 21, 2023. In the meantime, keep staying safe. Stay sane. Stay awesome. The world needs you. ❤️

We nurture our creativity when we release our inner child. Let it run and roam free. It will take you on a brighter journey.
~ Serina Hartwell


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