2018 begins with a Full Moon, offering illumination right at the start: In the evening of January 1, the Full Moon in Cancer arrives.
In that curious way the universe has, the patterns of this Moon speak directly to key issues of our time: How do we care for ourselves and each other when times are hard? What does it mean to offer good care?
This is the Full Moon in Cancer, the sign the Moon herself rules. This is her refuge, her castle, her safe place. This is where the Moon likes to gather all those dear to her (which is all of us, really) and keep us safe from harm.
Rising Moon Astrology is now a PODCAST on iTunes. Please listen, subscribe, and leave a review.
In this very maternal place, the Moon does not ask a lot of questions. Just what do we need: Are you hungry? Are you thirsty? Are you cold? Sick? Lonely? Are you safe? I am reminded of a beautiful, haunting song by Sweet Honey in the Rock called Would You Harbor Me?
The Full Moon falls at 11 Cancer. Here is a place where we express our caring, where we feel drawn to harbor those we care about. Where is this in your birth chart? In which House? Do you have anything located at or around 11 Cancer? The Full Moon will illuminate that point.
Or perhaps you have other planets or points at or around 11 degrees in some other sign. These points too will receive the light of this Full Moon.
But of course this is not only about the Moon. A Full Moon is created by the opposition between the Moon and Sun that allows the Sun to shine fully onto the face of the Moon who reflects that light back to us.
At this Full Moon, the Sun is in Capricorn. We’ve already been hearing about the energy of Capricorn, and feeling it too, as Saturn made his entry into this sign of his rulership just before the Solstice. We may already be wary of this combination that signals contraction, discipline, consequences, and the possibility of doing without.
The Sun is not alone. Venus and Pluto flank the Sun, both conjunct with Venus at 9 Capricorn and Pluto at 18. Saturn sits at 1 Capricorn and Black Moon Lilith at 6 Capricorn. This is a very pragmatic place. Capricorn sets goals and works toward them. This is a sign of hard, steady work but also one that wants results.
The Moon in Cancer may provide care without question but Capricorn has plenty. The first one is “What’s in it for me?” This need not be selfishness but practicality. Will this work? What are the benefits and drawbacks? Where is the evidence of effectiveness?
Neither evidence nor consequences are bad things. Consider that “evidence-based” was just banned by the Trump administration from use by the Centers for Disease Control in their budget planning. What basis do we use, then, Capricorn would ask. Ideology? Lobbyists’ preferences?
But this opposition from so many Capricornian voices is not comfortable for the Moon in Cancer. Imagine you are the lady in charge of the castle when an opposing lord arrays his knights at your door demanding entry. It’s tempting to raise the drawbridge, drop the portcullis, and hide.
Yet in shutting them out, we lose a valuable opportunity. Every planet facing the Moon has something to say, something to offer. The fact is that resources, including our own time, energy, money, and health, are limited. Choices must be made.
Asking for evidence that a program or strategy is effective is good science and good policy, as long as compassion is also present. Balancing the goals of Cancer and Capricorn could transform how we offer care and help us sustain it. This is vital in times when the demands on our ability to help seem infinite.
And the Moon is not really alone. Neptune at 11 Pisces trines the Moon, offering a strong connection. The shadow side of this connection is a seductive invitation to zone out. Neptune can help us lose ourselves in whatever addiction appeals, from drugs and alcohol, to spiritual bypassing.
The illuminated side of Neptune offers the deepest source of compassion: The realization that we are all one, all connected, all members of a great order of being. What affects one of us, affects us all.
Jupiter and Mars, conjunct in Scorpio, also trine the Moon. This connection too offers shadow and light possibilities. The shadow here is anger, the manipulative kind that works behind the scenes to sabotage our best efforts. The illumination Mars and Jupiter offer is the ability to see that kind manipulation, which always works best when it is hidden.
Notice how these trines connect powerful planets in the Water signs. These are the signs of emotion but also of intuition and our connection to ways of knowing that go beyond our ordinary senses.
This is the turning of the year. We are looking ahead and behind right now, considering where we’ve been and where we want to go. Capricorn comes in with New Years resolutions, those commitments we make to work steadily toward practical goals.
This is also a time of divination, of peering through the veils to understand the meanings of the past and illuminate the future. A Full Moon in Cancer connected to Neptune in Pisces and Mars and Jupiter in Scorpio brings a powerful focus to our abilities to discern what is hidden and see patterns.
This is especially true because this is a Supermoon. The Moon remains closer than usual to the Earth, appearing larger in the sky. She make it easier for us to connect, through her, to the rest of the cosmos.
Any practices you use for divination are likely to be powerful at this time.
We will experience a lot of Capricorn energy in the coming year. For the next several years, in fact. Perhaps the special gift of this Full Moon in Cancer is to remind us that caring for each other and our world is the point of all our work, the only real point of life.
In the context of compassionate care, weighing evidence of effectiveness makes good sense. Without it, we are bean counters focused on ultimately useless stuff.
In the light of this Full Moon, let us choose the best ways to take good care of others, and of ourselves.
I use Unsplash for almost all my photo illustrations. All astrological charts are my own. The images in this post include the title, created from the tea and books photo by Saz B, the photo Intertwined by Alexander Radelich, and the baby by Chiến Phạm.