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Cancer Full Moon: Coming Home

What can you do to promote world peace?

Go home and love your family.

St. Theresa of Calcutta

Full Moons are a time of culmination, crisis and breakthrough; tides run high as do our feelings.

The Cancer Full Moon on December 29, 2020 stirs deep feelings linked to emotional security, our sense of belonging and the need for nurturance. It is beneficial to ponder the question, "Do I feel loved, do I feel safe and and do I feel at home?" Memories may surface of when we felt most at home accompanied by illumination of steps we may take to feel better at home in life now.

We may find ourselves reflecting on the past and indulging in a dose of nostalgia. With the holiday season, we may be recollecting holiday traditions of our childhood or early adult years. Early childhood memories may the subject of conversations. We may find ourselves thinking about our Mothers and their presence in our lives, both past and present. Cancer is the sign of Mother and a longing for Mother, mothering. The primal need to be mothered may be at the root of the thoughts and feelings at this time and will fertilize the action we will take in the coming weeks.

For those of us who enjoy strong family bonds and the support of our family, this is a time of deepening connection where the love that binds us is reinforced and strengthened. Yet for others of us, we will feel something is missing because the wounds that have cut the deepest are the usually connected with family and home.

Old wounds, related to feeling nurturance, connection and loved, may be freshly opened ( Chiron, the wounded healer, forms a T-square with the Full Moon). There is potential to experiencing a healing with issues surrounding home, family and emotional security. It is beneficial to feel our tenderness and vulnerability around what these themes stir in us. We may feel a wave of grief for a loss of something that once was or never was.

The opening quote and image of Mother and child at the ocean’s edge may evoke deep feelings. For some of us, there may be a nostalgia for elements of our early family life. For others, there is a longing for a nurturance and feeling of family that was never present.

The distance between us and family members can be very real. The pandemic has prohibited travel or hugs for many of us. We may live far away, feel estranged from one or more family members, or feel that we are growing apart from those with whom we share a home. The divides may seem too wide to bridge. Yet there is an opportunity to shift from reinforcing a belief around family that may go something like “We may be related, but that doesn’t mean we relate,” and finding a way to reach for love and let this love forge an opening.

There is a sacredness in tears.

They are not a mark of weakness, but of power.

They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues.

They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition

and of unspeakable love.

Washington Irving.

We can more readily step out of the box and out of confining patterns and to blaze a new trail to feeling at home in this world (Uranus sextile the Moon and trine the Sun). Inhibitions are lowered and we are open to shifting daily routines and interactions allowing us to feel greater personal freedom to be who we are and less who we are supposed to be. There may be enlivening and surprising interactions at this time to support this movement which can bring in new relationships or renew current old old ones.

The heavy emphasis on Capricorn of 2020 is still present. Sun, Mercury and Pluto are in Capricorn reflecting a seriousness around how we hold and meet our responsibilities. The pull of the Cancer Moon, aspected by Uranus and Chiron, offers new insight for how to meet these responsibilities without sacrificing or minimizing our need for connection, feeling, and nurturance. We can discover a new approach for creating a balance between work life and home life, between fulfilling obligations to those we love and discovering new ways to enjoy those we love, and between taking care of our home and being at home. It begins by letting go of the form, the expectation of how we think its supposed to look. By feeling the essence of the experience we wish to have in our family and homes, we loosen the grip on how we think nurturance is supposed to show up.

Caring For versus Taking Care of

The breakthrough may be found in the quality of how we care. The preponderance of planets in Capricorn in 2020 compelled us to take care of business, take care of ourselves, take care of our families. The Cancer Moon is asking that we care for ourselves, care for our homes, and care for those we love.

The Full Moon evokes a maternal instinct prompting us to mother ourselves, each other and what matters most to us. The Full Moon reminds us that in this time of great change if we 'mother' what is nearest to us, we will provide the very thing that will bring well-being to our planet and have it be a harmonious home home that can hold and keep us for generations to come.

The Undercurrent

Oh, what we could be

If we stopped carrying

The remains

Of who we were.

Tylor Knott Gregson

The Full Moon marks a time of culmination and endings. This has added significance with the Cancer Full Moon falling at the end of a year. It gives us an opportunity to integrate the big shifts of 2020 and ready for what is around the next bend. Our thoughts turn to the past as we look to reconcile what took place so that, as we venture forward, the past doesn’t unnecessarily tie and drag us backward.

The Great Conjunction of Jupiter/Saturn on December 21 marked a profound shift. It opened a portal that illuminated a new way forward. Yet as soon as these two planets entered the sign of Aquarius, they squared Uranus, and a new tension to resolve emerged. It is not that the issues of 2020 can be put to rest and left behind. It is more that the issues and breakdown of 2020 will be carried forward as the raw material that will be worked with to bring about deep and lasting change in the way society functions.

The Saturn and Uranus is the signature energy of 2021. There will be considerable tension, surprises and shifts that will take place as we continue to move through the changes initiated in the last decade (with the 2012-2015 Pluto/Uranus Square up to the 2020 Saturn/Jupiter/Pluto conjunction). The new vision for how we can organize runs up against the entrenchment of the status quo and dependence on ways of living that do not serve us.

The key differences between this year and last year is that

  • there will be radical innovation, inspiration and vision.

  • we are entering a decade of expansion and reform

  • The preponderance of planets in air signs will be faster moving, with events, circumstances and changes happening more rapidly.

Mars will continue to play a key role in the coming weeks and months, stirring the desire to rebel against, march in protest, or strike out in a different direction in response to restriction and oppressive power structures.

The Full Moon happens within the context of these larger movements to remind us of what is essential: to love and be loved. We may want the world to change, and this change begins at home in how we care for each day, each other and what is in front of us. It reminds us not to lose sight of our humanness and the meaningful place home, family, and nurturance have in our lives.

Love is not an emotion.

It is your very existence.


Alhena, The Foot of the The One Who Marches

Let us recognize ourselves in the spirit of the The Fixed Star Alhena illuminated by the Full Moon. Ancient peoples saw this star as the heel of an immortal or sacred one who touches the earth with great pride. And when this immortal touches their foot upon the earth, thus connecting him with the physical world, their heel is wounded.

This star has been called The Proudly Marching One, representing a person who carries a wound but has a mission, a vocation that has them rise above their wound to dedicate themselves to something larger than themselves.

We each have an immortal soul that through the process of incarnating in physical form endured a wounding. Alhena’s presence acknowledges both our woundedness and our soul purpose. We can honor and tend to our wounds but not have them divert us from a task that is larger than ourselves. We can see how the wound and the purpose are intrinsically interwoven and not working at cross purposes.

Many of us are on a healing journey to recover well-being and authenticity. Alhena would suggest that the healing is the means, not the end, to something. Carry a wound is part of being human. Perhaps suffering comes from wishing this were different.

We are invited to honor and tend to our wound as we ‘proudly march’ to the beat of the drum we inwardly hear that has us dedicate our days and time to something that calls us forth to be more than we thought we could be. In giving ourselves to a vocation, a calling, we rise above adversity. Simultaneously, the vulnerability and weakness surrounding our wound comes into perspective.

Alhena invites us to honor our humanity and in being a full human being. We are all wounded and heroic, vulnerable and courageous. And when we are 'The Proudly Marching One', the nobleness of our march comes from embracing our full humanity that compels us to love against all odds. We are inspired by the miracle of life and the gloriously beautiful and bountiful planet that nurtures and gives us a home.

This post closes with Wild Geese, a beloved poem of Mary Oliver's, that speaks to the essence of this Full Moon. Whether you have never read it before or have read it 25 times, it bears reading aloud in honor of the Cancer Full Moon

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain

are moving across the landscapes,

over the prairies and the deep trees,

the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,

are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.

– Mary Oliver


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