The Full Moon in Cancer Asks Us All To Mine Our Past for Inspiration—Here’s What To Expect for Your Sign

Photo: Getty Images/Russell Monk
It's the season of transitions as the winter solstice ushers in a new chapter, and the year closes out with a full moon in Cancer on December 26 at 7:33 p.m. EST. It’s common for the year to end with a full moon in Cancer and, astrologically speaking, it makes sense. With the sun situated in future-oriented Capricorn and the moon moving through nostalgic Cancer, this is an aligned time for reflection on where you’ve been and where you hope to be in the future. Not to mention, Cancer is a zodiac sign that’s associated with your chosen family, comfort, and home. Many people spend extra time with their loved ones during the holiday season, and nostalgia is naturally in the air.

By the same token, a full moon in Cancer can also bring out family drama and reveal information about some of your closest connections. Being a cardinal water sign, Cancer is closely linked with our intuition, our ability to nurture ourselves and others, and our willingness to uncover buried emotions. And its ruling planet is the moon, which governs memories in astrology—hence the power of this lunation to dredge up the past.

This can be a healing, cathartic time to break free from anyone or anything in your past that no longer serves you or to reflect on what once was to find a new source of inspiration for your future.

This can be a healing, cathartic time to break free from anyone or anything in your past that no longer serves you or to reflect on what once was to find a new source of inspiration for your future. Just as the vibe of Capricorn season reminds you of where you’re headed, this lunation encourages you to recognize how far you’ve come, particularly in the past six months. After all, a dream, goal, or something you initiated under the new moon in Cancer on July 17 could be realized under these moonbeams.

What is a full moon, and what does it mean in astrology?

A full moon occurs when the sun and the moon align directly across from each other with the Earth between them, such that, from our perspective on Earth, the moon is fully illuminated. In turn, full moons are often associated with moments of illumination: The moon’s light is at its height, and what was once in the dark or unknown is revealed. To that end, full moons can coincide with the arrival of critical information, or the release of something old in favor of something new.

Full moons typically happen once a month, marking the halfway point of the lunar cycle. Many set intentions under the new moon (the beginning of the cycle), and by the full moon, we may see signs of progress, learn key information regarding our desires, or reach a turning point.

It is also possible to manifest, perform rituals, and set intentions under full moons. To understand what energy a full moon might carry involves considering what aspects it forms with other planets in the sky and the meaning of those planets. For example, if the full moon forms a potent aspect with Mars, Saturn, or Uranus, it can embody more disruptive or challenging energy. Whereas, if it connects with Venus or Jupiter, it may portend more auspicious energy for manifestation work.

Full moons also create an opposition in the sky, as the moon sits in one zodiac sign and the sun sits in that sign's opposite or sister sign. This can trigger a push-pull effect between two areas of our life, as we're tasked with finding the middle ground and learning how to integrate both of the opposing energies. As a result, these lunations can be dynamic and energetically draining. Tend to your nervous system, drink extra water, and carve out time for reflection and rest.

What can we expect from the full moon in Cancer in 2023?

This year’s full moon in Cancer can have us deep in our emotions—but it’s very possible you’ll be crying happy tears. That’s because the moon forms supportive connections with both Saturn in Pisces and Jupiter in Taurus.

As the full moon enters a positive trine aspect to taskmaster Saturn, the planet of responsibility, you could feel more willing to make emotional commitments that bring you a deeper sense of stability and security. Saturn’s practical nature also helps you gain some distance from your feelings and process them with a logical mind.

All the while, lucky Jupiter (the planet of expansion, hope, and optimism) will also be in a friendly sextile with the full moon, filling the air with generosity. You may feel overwhelmed with gratitude for the people who show up and support you in your life. This is an aligned time to take action on one of your dreams for the future. Revisiting the past can also lead to new growth, inspiration, and abundance as you move into the year ahead.

Revisiting the past can lead to new growth, inspiration, and abundance as you move into the year ahead.

All that said, there will also be some drama in the sky as the full moon arrives (naturally). The asteroid Chiron, which represents our deepest pain and past wounds, ends its retrograde in Aries, marking a turning point in our healing journey. Though you may have new clarity around how to resolve your wounds as the retrograde ends, the shift can still reignite triggers or cause you to feel more raw and vulnerable than usual.

At the same time, words can sting and conversations can grow tense as Mercury retrograde and fiery Mars, both in Sagittarius, inch closer to each other in the sky. Be mindful of your delivery and tone—misunderstandings and hurt feelings can abound.

Meanwhile, Pluto (the planet of power, fear, and transformation) will also sit at 29 degrees of Capricorn, known as the anaretic degree, or the last degree of a sign, which is associated with tension. This can stir up long-buried feelings of jealousy, fixation, and a desire to control every situation. There is an urge to keep things as they are, but resisting change is a fool’s errand. The best way to work with Pluto’s energy is to surrender to the unknown, and remember that some of the best gifts life has to offer wait on the other side of your fears and what you’ve been avoiding.

To get a better picture of how this emotional full moon in Cancer will affect you, read on for your sun, moon, and rising signs. Then, pick up a unique self-care practice to help you move through this lunation with a little more calmness and balance.

How the 2023 full moon in Cancer may affect your zodiac sign


Your life path is taking new shape, Aries. The full moon in Cancer activates your fourth house of home, family, and the past, bringing change to both your personal and public lives. You could be moving, experiencing a shift in your personal relationships, or taking on a promotion or new role at work. It’s also possible that this moon brings you a deeper sense of security and stability in some way, leaving you feeling cared for and safe.

Given that the fourth house is a very private sector of your chart, you could also feel a few pangs of nostalgia. You may be breaking free from the past and reclaiming a newfound sense of confidence in the process.

Your full moon self-care practice: Now is an aligned time to declutter your home. Dive into that junk drawer, and toss what you haven’t touched in months. If you are holding onto any gifts from people who are no longer in your life, donate or remove those items from your space. They hold energetic connections, and getting rid of them will help create space for new opportunities and people to find you.


You have some encouraging news to share, Taurus. The full moon highlights your third house of communication, education, and your mind. Important conversations could reach a turning point, and information you’ve been waiting for could arrive—particularly when you choose to self-express and share your thoughts and feelings with others.

You may also start to see the materialization of one of your ideas or be ready to act on an inspiring thought. If you’ve been studying a new skill, this can also mark a moment of self-mastery.

Your full moon self-care practice: Make a list of your limiting beliefs. Cross them out one by one, and rewrite them in the form of positive affirmations. Record and replay these affirmations to yourself via voice notes, or speak them aloud two to three times a day. This will help reprogram your mindset and shift your thoughts to bring your desires into your current reality.


A financial matter reaches a turning point for you, Gemini, as the full moon in Cancer moves through your second house of income, livelihood, and comfort. You could be taking on a new role at work, receiving a raise, or even making a major investment or purchase. This is an aligned time to get back on track with your budget.

You’re also reconsidering your energetic investments and into whom and what you’re pouring your effort. As you reflect on the balance in some of your relationships, you may find yourself feeling more confident. Separately, this lunation can also bring a moment of culmination to any new skills you’ve been developing and recognition for some of your talents and gifts.

Your full moon self-care practice: Practice gratitude for the ways in which your life is already abundant, but don’t focus on anything money-related. When you see a full fridge, feel warmth in your heart center. When you fill up your gas tank, express thanks to the universe. Find the existing bounty in your everyday life.


You’re making exciting plans and commitments in your relationships, Cancer. The full moon lands in your sign (aka your first house of self, identity, and new beginnings), which can bring a turning point to any of your important relationships or contracts. Perhaps you’re signing a new agreement or wrapping up a collaborative project.

If you’re single, you could meet a romantic partner, and if you’re partnered, you could reach new heights within your union. This is your invitation to be upfront about your needs and desires. It’s also your yearly reset that encourages you to step deeper into your authenticity and redefine how you’d like to show up in the world.

Your full moon self-care practice: If you have a dream collaboration or opportunity in mind, reach out to your network for support. Someone you know may be able to help bring some of your personal goals into fruition.


You’re learning a lesson about self care, Leo. The full moon in Cancer moves through your 12th house of closure, healing, and solitude, turning your attention toward your intuition. You may be moving through a cycle of grief or a period of endings. Nourish your body as necessary as you experience any emotional waves.

It’s also possible that an accomplishment you’ve been working toward for some time is making some progress behind the scenes. Unexpected support or assistance may be on its way to you soon.

Your full moon self-care practice: Find a guided meditation that works for you, and commit to incorporating it into your nightly routine. This may enhance some of your dreams, filling them with messages that can assist you in your waking life.


You’re full of gratitude, Virgo. The full moon activates your 11th house of support, friendship, and hopes and dreams for the future. This can bring good news regarding a personal goal; or perhaps you’re finally seeing some of your desires manifest in real life.

It’s also possible you have reason to celebrate or receive some news that feels encouraging and inspiring. Your creativity is on display, and romance is in the air. Reconnect to the present moment, and work to prioritize your joy—however foreign that may feel for you.

Your full moon self-care practice: Surround yourself with community. Pour energy into relationships and connections that leave you feeling nourished, seen, and appreciated. Investing in your sense of belonging can feel restorative and also lead to some surprising collaborations or opportunities along the way.


You’re receiving recognition, Libra. The full moon illuminates your 10th house of career, public reputation, and awards. You could be moving through a major life milestone, like getting engaged, expanding your family, or achieving a personal goal.

If you’re career-focused, this marks an aligned time to ask for a raise, accept a promotion, or even leave your current position for another. Unexpected support could show up today, which also leaves you feeling validated and appreciated.

Your full moon self-care practice: Take the time to reflect on your accomplishments. Think back to one year ago today: Where were you, and what were you hoping to achieve? How much closer are you to your goals now? Sit in this gratitude for how far you’ve come before chasing after your next goal.


Critical information that will inform your next decision could arrive under these moonbeams, Scorpio. The full moon moves through your ninth house of knowledge, wisdom, expansion, and perspective. Ongoing conversations could reach a turning point, and the answers you’ve been seeking may be revealed.

You may also be signing a new contract or receiving news that feels supportive and encouraging for your future goals. This is an aligned time to use your voice and share your expertise with the world—whether that’s through writing, podcasting, broadcasting, or some other medium. Your ideas can inspire others and shift perspectives.

Your full moon self-care practice: Write a list of what you desire to achieve or have one year from now. State these desires to your reflection in the mirror using the present tense, as if you’ve already achieved them. After each phrase, focus on creating a physical feeling within your body that you can associate with that dream or intention.


You’re settling debt—both of the emotional and financial sort, Sagittarius. The full moon lands in your eighth house of shared resources, investments, fears, and your psyche. Emotionally, this can be a sensitive time as you process grievances and break free from the obligations or entanglements that have been holding you back.

You may also reach a turning point in an ongoing contract, or feel called to make an important investment. At the same time, you’re reflecting on who and what is worth your energy. By acknowledging what’s been left unsaid, you can deepen certain relationships and bonds.

Your full moon self-care practice: Take an energetic inventory of your five closest relationships—whether romantic, platonic, or familial. Which connections feed and inspire you, and where are you noticing a one-sided partnership? Choose to invest your energy accordingly, or have conversations addressing any inequitable dynamics.


Sparks are flying for you, Capricorn, as the full moon activates your seventh house of one-on-one partnerships. If you’re single, you may meet someone with lasting potential, and if you’re partnered, you could take your union to the next level (whatever that might look like for you) or infuse it with new pleasure and playfulness.

Separately, if you’re interested in collaborative projects or contract work, this lunation could bring opportunities your way that require the creative side of your brain. You may also be ending a major project on a high note and have something worth celebrating.

Your full moon self-care practice: If you’re seeking love or want to reignite the spark in your relationship, try out some self-love first. Make a list of affirmations that define who you are as a partner and the qualities you seek in someone else. State them to yourself in the mirror morning and night each day for the next month.


Your everyday life is about to change, Aquarius. The full moon activates your sixth house of daily routines, habits, and well-being. This could mark the end of a major project or obligation that’s taken a great deal of your time and effort.

If you’ve been hoping to kick a certain habit or behavior, the energy of this lunation could also help you commit to a new routine that brings you deeper into alignment with your purpose. You’re feeling a stronger sense of security and could experience a drastic (yet exciting) change in your day-to-day work, as well.

Your full moon self-care practice: Integrate one new habit into your life (yes, the one you’ve been thinking about but avoiding). Making changes today can lead to lasting results and bring you closer to your goals.


You could be feeling overwhelmed with joy, Pisces. The full moon lands in your fifth house of pleasure, play, romance, and creativity. It’s possible that lucky news or an enchanting opportunity finds you on this day, or you’re sharing the results of an exciting creative pursuit with the world.

You’re also feeling more connected to the present moment and feel a deeper sense of gratitude for even the smallest of good things in your life. A romance may also be blossoming or, if you’re coupled up, you could be putting more effort into exploring your and a partner’s shared desires and pleasures.

Your full moon self-care practice: Pick a hobby from your childhood or teenage years, and test it out again. Lean into what it felt like as a child to explore, experiment, mess up, and try again. Diving into the process of creation without judgment could lead to newfound inspiration on your current path.

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