FULL MOON IN CANCER – Balance is essential or things could go cattywampus (January 12, 2017)

by Anne Reith, Ph.D.

Astrology-New-Moon-Full-MoonIn the Pacific Time Zone, the Moon will be full at 3:33 a.m. on Thursday, January 12.  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 23° of Capricorn and 23° 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 challenge us to find a balance between the qualities of the two signs involved, and this balance is particularly “interactive” with the Cancer/Capricorn axis.  Cancer is about our home base and what we need in order to feel safe, whole, and alive.  Capricorn is about our public actions and what we need to do in order to contribute responsibly to the world around us.  Although these signs seem like exact opposites, they actually are very interrelated.  In order to effectively go out into the world, we need a home base that meets our needs and fills our proverbial “well.”  Without that, we have no energy to take action in the external world.  But there comes a time when we need to take action outside of our home base, because this is what often provides us with a sense of accomplishment and self-esteem.  However, after being out in the world for a while, we need to “go home” in order to process what has happened externally, cultivate the wisdom from what we have experienced, and recharge our batteries so we are ready to go out into the world again.  Therefore, both arenas are important and both need to be given our attention right now, especially if they have recently become out of balance.

However, this Cancer Full Moon is being powerfully activated by the position of several other planets.  The Sun is conjunct (0°) Pluto in Capricorn, and both are in opposition (180°) to the Moon in Cancer.  Additionally, the Moon, Sun, and Pluto are all squaring (90°) both Jupiter in Libra and Uranus in Aries, which are both in opposition (180°) to each other.  This means that there are 4 corners that are forming a cross with each other, and each of the 4 corners is forming a close square (90°) to the corner on either side of it.  This forms an astrological configuration called a grand cross.

All grand crosses require that we find balance between all 4 corners.  Much like a mobile over a baby’s crib, things will go cattywampus if one corner is not in balance with the other 3 corners.  Finding a balance, though, often requires a trial-and-error approach until we learn just how much attention should be given to each area.  We may miss the mark the first time, but we will learn from that error and come back the wiser for it.  And believe me, we will all be strongly motivated to find this balance because all 4 of the corners are in cardinal signs, and the cardinal energy tells us that action is needed.

So what does this all mean?  In addition to the balance required between Cancer and Capricorn, as described above, Uranus in Aries has us feeling assertive, desiring of independence, and even rebellious.  So part of the balance may be to think about how we may need to do things differently than we have done before.  And “different” is almost inevitable given part of the grand cross is the ongoing square between Uranus (change) and Pluto (transformation).  As mentioned during the last Moon Update,  in order to make any needed changes, we may need to go through a breakdown to get to the breakthrough.  This is particularly common when there is a square (90°) between the Sun and Uranus, as is true in this grand cross.

Jupiter in Libra brings an expansive but balanced energy to the mix.  However, because Jupiter is squaring (90°) the Sun, we need to be aware that objects in the mirror may appear larger than they are in real life.  We may feel discontent with life, which could fuel any felt need for change due to the powerful cardinal grand cross.  The Sun’s extra light can provide extra clarity, but we need to use our wisdom to solve long-standing problems.  And we do need to watch for signs of exaggeration, overestimation, or instability.  Keeping our objectivity will be important now.

Luckily, Pluto is in a sweet sextile (60°) to Mars.  Given Mars, the planet of action, is in peace-loving Pisces, this may help us see how we can take indicated actions in a compassionate way.  This is particularly true if our goals involve healing and/or spirituality.  Also, because Mars in Pisces isn’t comfortable making decisions, this may moderate the strong cardinal energy of the grand cross and reduce the tendency to make impulsive choices.

Additionally, Mercury is now moving direct again (as of Sunday, January 8), and the planet of communication and mental processes moves into Capricorn on the day of the Full Moon (Thursday, January 12).  It will remain there until February 8.  This will support the sextile (60°) between Mars and Pluto that is described above by providing us with a more detached and objective perspective about what is happening.  Mercury in Capricorn tends to be cautious, which also provides a helpful counterbalance to the impulsive feelings that may be present with this Full Moon and grand cross.

Also on Thursday, January 12, supplemental help comes in the form of a conjunction (0°) between Venus and Neptune.  This adds a level of compassion and spirituality that will likely support us in “playing nice with others.”  This can also be a time when new beginnings have elements of creativity, imagination, gentleness, intuition, and even “magic.”  But we also need to be sure we are seeing things clearly and are not creating romantic illusions about situations or relationships.

On Monday, January 16, Mars will be conjunct (0°) Chiron.  Our fears may be very apparent to us right now, but this aspect gives us an opportunity to see them and take action toward healing.  Our insecurities may be particularly present regarding actions we have recently been thinking about taking.  Given Mars is in Pisces, it may not be time yet to take action; but if we do, our best chance at healing will likely come from compassionate action toward ourselves and others.

Mars is again in the spotlight on Thursday, January 19, when it forms a square (90°) to Saturn.  This is a powerful aspect, and we may feel its effects building the day before, and its impact may trail over into Friday.  Frustrations, irritations, and feelings of being blocked are common.  This aspect often serves as a powerful wake-up call that forces us to reconsider our goals.  If we are feeling thwarted, it may be because our projects require a change in direction, or we may need to winnow down the number of goals we are currently pursuing so we can be more effective.

Luckily, on the same day (Thursday, January 19), the Sun leaves the heavier energy of Capricorn and enters Aquarius.  This air sign often brings with it objectivity, as well as a thirst for knowledge and understanding.  Unlike the heavier Capricorn energy that prefers traditions and routine, the lighter Aquarian energy enjoys experiencing anything that is new, especially if it is unconventional or innovative.  Anything in our lives that feels outdated or restrictive will become increasingly apparent now, and we will feel driven to seek out new perspectives, new solutions, and new freedom, especially the freedom to be ourselves.  We may not feel as emotionally connected to others as we do at other times during the year, but we will want to find responsible ways to give back to society in our own unique way.

The next day (Friday, January 20), there is a nice sextile (60°) between Venus and Pluto.  As with all sextiles, this is an opportunity.  We need to consciously choose to use the supportive energy that sextiles provide.  With this one, it could be a great time for drawing to us what we need in our relationships and finances.  We might even discover a hidden talent or ability that we weren’t aware of, but we do have to go looking for it and recognize it when it appears.  Anything or anyone that we feel passionate about will be our focus and will likely bring us joy and possibly even healing.

Finally, on Monday, January 23, we experience another sextile (60°), but this time between Mercury and Neptune.  Our intuition and psychic abilities will be heightened, as well as our creativity.  We can use words to inspire others, or we may find that words are a catalyst for insights or leaps in our understanding.  This aspect also will help us see another point-of-view with compassion.

Overall, this Full Moon in Cancer can’t be interpreted without taking into consideration its powerful involvement in the cardinal grand cross.  The lower expression of this energy would be impatience for change that could cause us to make impulsive decisions . . . decisions that we may regret later.  The higher expression of this energy is to recognize the need for balance and consciously use the energies in a disciplined way, through being patient, creatively looking for new ways to approach problems, and working with others in a cooperative manner.  Yes, change is very likely needed in one or more areas of our lives, but this Full Moon and grand cross are telling us to think through these changes carefully before taking action.  And you don’t have to be patient much longer because Mars will be moving out of Pisces and into Aries on Friday, January 27, which I will discuss in the next Moon Update.  Until then remember, “No road is too long for him who advances slowly and does not hurry, and no attainment is beyond his reach who equips himself with patience to achieve it.” (Jean de La Bruyère)


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  • Anne Reith, Ph.D. (AnneReith.com)
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  • 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 23° of Cancer

  • Thursday, January 12, 2017, 3:33 a.m. PST
  • Thursday, January 12, 2017, 6:33 p.m. EST
  • Thursday, January 12, 2017, 11:33 a.m. GMT

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