FULL MOON IN CANCER – An opportunity for emotional healing and a time to catch our breath before 2019 arrives (December 22, 2018)

by Anne Reith, Ph.D.

Astrology-New-Moon-Full-MoonIn the Pacific Time Zone, the Moon will be full at 9:48 a.m. on Saturday, December 22.  With this Full Moon, the Sun in Capricorn will be in opposition (180°) to the Moon in Cancer.  To further clarify how this Full Moon will impact you on a personal level, locate 1° of Capricorn and 1° of Cancer in your birth/natal chart.  The issues associated with those two houses are going to be most impacted by this Full Moon’s presence.

All Full Moons provide extra light so we can explore whether we have good balance between two seemingly opposite areas of our lives.  This Full Moon is asking us to question if we need to make any adjustments related to Cancer and Capricorn.  Cancer’s focus is on our family, home, emotions, and internal/private world.  Capricorn is about our responsibilities, recognition, rational thought, and external/public world.  I believe that these two houses feed each other in important ways.  By having an internal life that nourishes us, we have the energy to out into the world and do good works.  And after accomplishing something, it’s time to go back inside to process and integrate what we have learned and refuel before going outside again.  Although it is possible to be too internally focused, in today’s active society, we often over-emphasize the external and forget to fill our internal wells.  This is especially true during the holiday season when we have social events and responsibilities.  This Cancer Full Moon is encouraging us to take some time to assess the balance between these two dynamic, interacting areas of our lives.

This Full Moon is especially powerful.  The signs Cancer and Capricorn are both in the cardinal modality, meaning action, initiation, and movement.  Although I’ve said above that the Sun and Moon are located at 1° of Cancer and Capricorn, the Sun and Moon are actually located at 0°49’ (i.e., 0 degrees, 49 minutes) of each sign.  Astrologer’s commonly round up when working with degrees in order to simplify things.  But whenever a planet is located at 0° of sign, as is the case with both the Sun and Moon, it really shouldn’t be rounded up.

This 0° point in a cardinal sign is referred to as the Aries Point.  Aries Points tend to put an extra bright spotlight on any issue that is out of alignment related to the cardinal sign involved.  This light is sometimes so bright that it brings the issue into public view.  This increased visibility makes it hard to ignore our problems.  This can be a painful process, but that spotlight provides the illumination we need in order to face our issues and move toward healing and growth.  Everyone will be experiencing this influence, so those of us who are familiar with astrology can use our awareness to serve as role models for facing our problems head on and dealing with them in healthy ways.

In many ways, the time of this Cancer Full Moon could be an important and powerful time for healing important emotional issues, especially those related to family (i.e., the Moon is in its home sign of Cancer which relates to family).  The catalyst for this healing is a t-square (right triangle).  The Sun and Moon are both in squares (90°) to a conjunction (0°) between Mars and Chiron in Pisces.  I often describe t-squares as a “burr underneath the blanket on a saddled horse which will cause that horse to buck.”  It will be hard to ignore this t-square!  Squares represent turning points and choices; Pisces reinforces emotional issues; Mars says “take action”; and Chiron brings the element of healing vulnerable issues.  Add in the opposition between the Sun in public Capricorn and the Moon in private, family-oriented Cancer, it is likely that the healing may focus on attaining a better balance between these two areas and the impact that any imbalance may have caused in our family (however we define family).

The only caution:  Mars is in in Pisces, and this can cause people, including ourselves, to use manipulative or passive aggressive tactics to express their needs.  However, the higher expression of Mars in Pisces includes selfless, compassionate action.  If we make the right choices regarding the use of this energy, this could be a time when tears will flow, but these tears will likely lead to healing.  As Shrek says, “Better out than in!”  And it should be noted that Mars is in a sextile (60°) to Pluto, which means it may be easier now to talk about issues that have been hidden or suppressed, which can lead to amazing transformations.

Luckily, there is wonderful support for all this healing.  The Sun is conjunct (0°) Saturn in Capricorn, which may seem like a downer because Saturn brings responsibility and seriousness to the party.  However, whenever the Moon in is in Cancer, we can be overly emotional.  The presence of Saturn may counteract this tendency by helping us be more realistic and grounded.  Additional support is provided by Uranus.  The Sun/Saturn conjunct is in a very supportive trine (120°) to Uranus; and because the Moon is in opposition (180°) to Sun/Saturn, this means Uranus is in a sweet sextile (60°) to the Moon.  Saturn brings a focus on the past and traditions, but Uranus brings an emphasis on the future and trying new things.  This very positive astrological configuration means that we may experience some unexpected surprises, but they should be positive ones.  We also should be able to adjust easily to any changes, both mentally (Sun) and emotionally (Moon).  Combined with the emphasis on emotional healing discussed above, any healing of past issues could open the door to new future possibilities.

However, there is a little bit of caution warranted in our interpersonal communication.  Mercury, which is now in Sagittarius, is in a very tight conjunct (0°) to Jupiter.  Additionally, both Mercury and Jupiter are squaring (90°) Neptune, which is currently in its ruling sign of Pisces making it extra powerful.  Mercury is about communication; but when in Sag, it can result in some of us speaking without thinking.  Additionally, when Mercury in a conjunction with Jupiter, which is the planet associated with excess, we could talk too much.  Add to that mix Neptune, which often is like a fog that cause result in confusion or illusions, and conversations could potentially be out of control and motivated by unconscious issues (Neptune in Pisces).  But again, as informed astrologers, we can choose to be aware of this potentiality and, instead, use the benevolent, happy, optimistic energy of Jupiter to make sure we spend time listening and only speak with integrity.  Luckily, Mercury/Jupiter conjunctions are often times when we can see possibilities, so we might want to dream a little.  We can also choose to use the compassionate energy of Neptune in Pisces to speak from our heart and let our intuition guide important conversations because logic may not be very effective right now.

Overall, this Cancer Full Moon holds great potential for emotional and relationship healing, which is well-timed given it is occurring during the height of the holiday season when we are often with family and friends.  Interpersonal issues may emerge in powerful ways, but there’s support for dealing with the past, which will better enable us to move forward into the future.  It’s also worth noting that there is only one planet currently in retrograde (we will discuss that during the next Moon Update), so this means most issues will be relatively straightforward.  We do need to consciously choose to “watch our words,” listen with compassion, and use our intuition.  We also need to avoid using manipulation or passive aggressive tactics to get our needs met.  But all of that is very do-able due to the supportive aspects present at the time of the Cancer Full Moon!  After the influence of this Moon phase wanes, we have about a 10-day period that is relatively astrological quiet.  There are no planets changing direction, and most aspects are very short-lived and mild.  Consequently, we are all being given a period of time when we can catch our breath and prepare for the new year.  However, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security.  2019 starts off with a bang because we will have our first eclipses occurring right off the bat with the New Moon in Capricorn on January 5.  The entire year is going to be a very busy year!  But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.  The upcoming year will be the focus of my next Moon Update, which will be published (appropriately) on New Year’s Day.

Until then . . . Happy Holidays to one and all!  Thanks for reading!!


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  • Anne Reith, Ph.D. (AnneReith.com)
  • For information about Dr. Reith’s downloadable ebooks and meditations, feel free to visit her online Store


  • The Mountain Astrologer (magazine)
  • Various online sources (e.g., www.cafeastrology.com)


  • New Moons and Full Moons often influence us for the 3 days before and 3 days after the actual event.


Full Moon at 1° of Cancer

  • Saturday, December 22, 2018, 9:48 a.m. PST
  • Saturday, December 22, 2018, 12:48 p.m. EST
  • Saturday, December 22, 2018, 5:48 p.m. GMT

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