8 Heart-Centered Cancer Full Moon Rituals to Wind Down the Year

Tap into your sentimental side! Try one of these Cancer full moon rituals to benefit from the last full moon of the year, on December 26.

As the holiday season starts to wind down, the quiet and comfort of the year’s second Cancer full moon brings a much-need moment to chill. The Cancer full moon arrives the day after Christmas, at 7:33 PM EST, on Tuesday, December 26, 2023.

Astro facts: The first full moon in Cancer was on January 6, 2023. There are no Cancer full moons in 2024!

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8 Cancer Full Moon Rituals To Try

1. Let your heart wants what it wants

Cancer Selena Gomez wrote the ultimate anthem for this full moon: The Heart Wants What It Wants. But when was the last time you stopped long enough to listen to the wisdom of your ol’ ticker?

Under the high beams of the last full moon of 2023, messages clamor to be revealed. For this Cancer full moon ritual, find a quiet place where you can drop into the deep well of feeling that’s been locked inside you. (And ideally, release the subsequent emotions without worrying about “bothering” other people.) Crying, screaming, pounding a pillow, laughing uncontrollably—it’s all up for grabs.

If you’ve been in denial about your truth, you won’t be able to dodge the issue any longer. But that doesn’t mean you have to rush out to scratch every itch that emerges. Just allow yourself to WANT the thing. It may or may not be right for your current lifestyle. But admitting to the urge—at least to yourself—can be oh-so liberating.

2. Fortify your foundation

How secure do you feel in the world? Cancer is connected to the fourth house of home, family and foundations, and is anchored at the very bottom of the zodiac wheel. As one of the three water signs (along with Scorpio and Pisces), the zodiac’s Crab is responsible for hydrating our “root systems.” 

For this Cancer full moon ritual, take stock: Are you tending to the things that stabilize you in the material world? For example: Are you setting aside enough money for your nest egg? The Crab’s steely claws have quite a grip. Why not hang on to a little more of your money? Even if you’re just putting $20 a week in savings, that can add up over the months. The point is to start the habit now! 

3. Call your mama (or mama figure) 

When was the last time you called home? Since Cancer is associated with mother figures in astrology, this full moon provides an optimal for honoring your primary nurturer(s). 

Out of the blue you might start thinking about a relative or role model who’s been off your radar for a while. Don’t brush this off as a passing thought. Reach out! This person might be struggling with something that you can support them through. Or they may have the very nugget of wisdom that you need to hear.

If an actual get-together isn’t possible, you can still “connect” for this Cancer full moon ritual. Write a letter to a mother figure and place it on your altar. Set out a photo of a special female ancestor and light a candle to channel her divine wisdom. Post a picture and tribute to a special woman in your life.

If you’re a mother, do something to honor yourself!

Bonus Cancer full moon ritual for moms: It’s your astrological Mother’s Day!

Spend extra time with kids who look up to you, or with the people you call family—whether the bond is based on biology or chemistry.

Sidenote: Although traditional astrology casts Cancer as a female archetype, the “mom” in your life could be any gender. Maybe your big brother practically raised you, for example, or a non-binary relative. This is a day to honor them!

4. Monitor your moods at this Cancer full moon

The word “lunacy” shares the same root with “luna.” A Cancer full moon could find people acting wildly out of character. A situation could present itself that forces you to examine a repressed desire. You may get swept away temporarily, only to look back and wonder how your judgment could lapse so profoundly. Reading this STILL may not stop you from tumbling down the rabbit hole, but it might prevent you from putting important aspects of your life in jeopardy in the heat of the moment.

Interesting fact: Research shows that bad moods are actually contagious! Psychologists have identified a process called “emotional contagion” whereby a person’s mood (and/or stress) is transferred to someone else. So dodge the Debbie Downers. And make sure you’re not spreading the negative vibes yourself!

5. Pay attention to your plate

How can you enjoy delicious meals without falling into addictive eating patterns? After the stress of holiday season, it’s not uncommon to numb feelings with food or just keep nibbling mindlessly on the leftover sweets and treats. If energy has been sluggish, consider a short-term cleanse or detox.

The two weeks following a full moon are major manifesting time. What if you cut out a vice for 14 days? No, you might not live a lifetime without your coffee, cupcakes or fried chicken…but then again, you might lose your taste for them when you start integrating healthier, more natural options into your palette.

But there’s no need to deprive yourself for this Cancer full moon ritual! Find a healthy comfort food recipe or treat yourself to a great cookbook and indulge. If you’re kitchen-averse, have a friend come over and teach you how to whip up a simple recipe. Or, barter for their gourmet skills—if you’re great at crunching numbers, trade tax planning tips for a delicious demo on braising or blanching veggies that keeps the flavor in.

6. Reset your home, clear your mind

With the full moon in domestic Cancer, there’s no ignoring the piled-up second bedrooms, cluttered shelves and knick-knack overload. Do a walkthrough of your home and consider every corner for this Cancer full moon ritual. The visual cues you take in cause your brain to fire off signals. They can trigger memories, which then trigger thoughts and feelings, which in turn trigger our brains to flood our bodies with chemicals.

This domestic goddess of a full moon reminds us that cleaning our homes can clear our minds. Start with one area and give it an extreme makeover. Clear everything away then reset it with curated care. Less is more, so be selective about the “collection” you display. Leave some white space on those walls to give your brain a chance to breathe.

On the flip side, if your energy is lagging, how about painting a wall a eye-popping hue, adding oxygenating plants or hanging new art? Whatever makes YOU feel good and happy is great, so long as you don’t overload your senses.

7. Role play 

We easily fall into patterns with the ones we love: The Responsible One, The Wild One, The Chauffeur, The Couch Potato. And once those patterns are in place, they can be hard to break! But who wants to be pigeonholed in such a limiting way? Granted, there can be benefits to playing these parts, especially if it means our families have given up on trying to force us to do the dishes or clean up after ourselves.

But the Cancer full moon wants us to shake it up! For this Cancer full moon ritual:

If you’re an over-functioner: set some boundaries. Even go on strike! The other people living under your roof or benefitting from your kindness need to step up. They probably won’t if you’ve spoiled them into submission. Start making unapologetic and direct requests for support.

If you’re a bit of a slacker!: stop letting others pull your weight. Being a slug in one area of life does not happen in a vacuum (or a Roomba); it affects every area of your life. Energy is kinetic, after all: the more you put in, the more you gain. Rise up off the sofa and get your whole life moving again!

8. Bathing Beauty (with step-by-step instructions!

The Cancer full moon is a watery lunar event that can arouse powerful emotions, helping us feel and heal our way into a new year. As you set off on a fresh path, you can wash away anything that is making you feel insecure or imbalanced.

How to do this Cancer full moon ritual:

Draw a bath and fill it with salts (Epsom or sea salt) to clear your energetic field.

Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil and flower petals. Light candles and keep your fluffiest towel handy. Soak in the tub while listening to soft music for at least 10 minutes.

Then—in or out of the tub— journal answers to the following questions:

  • Where have I felt most at home over the last six months?
  • What made me feel most at home and relaxed in my friendships, relationship, and career?
  • Which friendships and bonds do I want to cultivate more in the coming year?
  • Are there any situations or relationships I might need to release in order to feel more at home?
  • Is there anything in my home or personal space that doesn’t match the role I’m stepping into this year?
  • Are there any emotions I still need to express to feel closure from last year?

Use the 2-4 weeks following the full moon to make any adjustments in your life so you can create that sense of comfort and security you desire.

Other Cancer full moon rituals you can try

  • Get vulnerable. Write the people you appreciate most a sentimental letter telling them how you feel about them for a Cancer full moon ritual idea.
  • Honor bonds. Whether it’s your chosen family or your blood relatives, find a way to visually extol the people who nurture you the most. For this Cancer full moon ritual, frame photos, make a scrapbook, or put together an online album of favorite memories from the year.
  • Make a contribution—to yourself. Cancer rules security, and that includes financial stability. Put a lump sum in savings, an IRA or an investment that will grow. If you’re in the position, make a tax-deductible gift or start a college fund for a young relative—even if you just begin with a small deposit. Bottom line: invest in yourself!

Photo by Dollar Gill via Unsplash


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Identical twin sisters Ophira and Tali Edut, known as The AstroTwins, are the founders of Astrostyle.com and the authors of multiple bestselling astrology books. Their horoscopes reach millions here and through their resident astrologer column at ELLE Magazine.