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The January Cancer Full Moon Has an Emotional Message for Every Sign

On January 6, the first full moon of 2023 glows in warm, caring Cancer. Tap into your sentimental side and let your feelings flow.

What the Cancer full moon means, seven ways to embrace its energy, and your horoscope for this full moon. Read on!

What is the date of the 2023 Cancer full moon?

The Cancer full moon is on Wednesday, January 6, at 6:07 PM EST.

The Cancer full moon is a Wolf Moon

The Algonquin tribes and early colonial Americans dubbed January’s lunation the Full Wolf Moon. It’s called this because it falls during the darkest part of winter when hungry wolves could be heard howling outside of villages. In other cultures, this full moon is also known as the Old Moon, Ice Moon, Snow Moon, and the Moon that follows Yule.

2023 is actually bookended by a pair of full moons in this family-focused zodiac sign. The January 6 Cancer full moon and second one on December 26 put cherished bonds in the spotlight and invite us to be more emotionally expressive this year.

What is the meaning of the Cancer full moon?

Sensitive Cancer is the nurturer of the zodiac. The sign of the crab reminds us that the wisdom of our hearts is far more potent than any games of the ego. As women’s rights activists have long said, “The personal is the political.” Don’t underestimate the power of making changes in your home, family, workplace—or even your corner of the world.

Under these nurturing beams, you’ll be closely connected to your emotions—good reason to keep the tissue box handy to dab any tears. Should a dear friend cross your mind, don’t let it be a passing thought. With Mercury retrograde opposing this full moon, that pull to reach out could be a near-psychic one. A cathartic coffee date could get you both back to center after the buzz (and stress) of the holidays. Under Cancer’s domestic influence, home life is equally top of mind.

First project of the New Year? Rearranging your living room, updating your bedroom furniture—or changing your address entirely! But ease in since Mercury is retrograde until January 18. Use the first three weeks of 2023 to research and start mood boards.

What does a Cancer full moon mean for love?

In love, this lunar light softens hearts and draws out everyone’s sentimental side. Cozy up under the cashmere throw with your favorite plus-one (or just by yourself). Binge a new series, cook something simple and nourishing, and talk about your feelings. Yes, really!

Where will your sign be lucky in 2023?

Find out in The AstroTwins 2023 Horoscope — and plan it by the planets all year long!

Cancer full moon astrology facts

The Cancer full moon appears during Capricorn season every year

Cancer is ruled by the moon (which rules our moods!)

Cancer is a water sign (along with Scorpio and Pisces)

Cancer is a cardinal sign quality (along with Aries, Libra and Capricorn)

The full moon is a good time for getting in touch with your thoughts and feelings through ritual. Try ours: Cancer Full Moon Ritual Idea: Bathing Beauty

Try also a meditation that encourages heart opening during Cancer Season or one that invokes the water element for Cancer season

How does the Cancer full moon affect me?

Here are seven ways to tap into the penetrating power of the Cancer full moon on January 6

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 first full moon of 2023, messages clamor to be revealed. Find a quiet place where you can drop a bucket into the deep well of feeling that’s been locked inside you. (And then, have any subsequent emotional reaction 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.

Since triggering emotions may emerge, keep compassionate friends and trusted sounding boards close by. The world “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.

2. Strengthen your roots

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.”

Under the light of this full moon, 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!

The Cancer full moon spotlights financial security and a need to be prudent with your funds. It’s not only how much you make; it’s what you do with it. This lunation could inspire pleasurable lifestyle ideas that don’t break the bank. Pool your resources with friends around Cancerian needs, like potluck meals, vacation home swaps and co-op childcare.

On that note, are you nurturing relationships with people who have your back? How well are you nourishing yourself—with food, hydration, ample sleep? During the first full moon of 2023 in Cancer, it might feel like an archetypal mother hen is squawking in your ear. Listen up, she knows what’s best for you!

3. Call your mother (or a mother figure)

When was the last time you called home? The Cancer full moon is an optimal moment each year for honoring your primary nurturer.

We all lead busy lives, full of demands, distractions and devices that beep at us constantly. It might feel like we have less time for our loved ones than we did in the pre-smartphone era, but it’s all about choices. Set up a dinner date or a weekend visit—and when you’re together, plan to leave your phone on the charging station and enjoy some uninterrupted conversation. There’s no replacing the intimacy of a human interaction.

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.” Write a letter to your mom or 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

Think of the first full moon of 2023 in Cancer as the 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

A Cancer full moon unblocks dammed-up emotions. There could be an outpouring of grievances like unspoken hurt or lingering resentments. Open your heart to other people as best as you can. As the saying goes, “you can get bitter or you can get better.”

Interesting fact: Research shows that bad moods are actually contagious! Psychologists have identified a three-step process called “emotional contagion” whereby a person’s mood is transferred to someone else. So dodge the Debbie Downers. And make sure you’re not spreading the grouchy 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! 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 homey Cancer, how about a decor refresh? Do a walkthrough of your home and consider every corner. We become accustomed to the piled-up second bedrooms, cluttered shelves and knick-knack overload. The visual cues we take in cause our brains 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 cheery 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.

Learn Feng Shui

Home Reset

Welcome love, prosperity and happiness through your front door and into every room. In this comprehensive signature course, you’ll learn the principles of Feng Shui and 5-Element Astrology from The AstroTwins and resident expert Kate MacKinnon.

7. Role play at the first full moon of 2023 in Cancer

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 part. 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 the over-functioners out there, 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.
  • For the slackers out there, 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!

Horoscopes for the January Cancer full moon for all 12 zodiac signs

You might also like our article about the New Year Mercury retrograde that occurs during the Cancer full moon, A New Year’s Mercury Retrograde Puts the Cork on Party Plans and Stalls Resolutions

In this Article

Aries (March 21-April 19)

Normally you—the trailblazer of the zodiac—don’t miss a chance to try something new, exciting and different. But the January 6 Cancer full moon illuminates your foundational fourth house, and you’ll be happiest operating from base camp. With Mercury retrograde opposing the full moon, it wouldn’t hurt to do an inventory of your nest. Have you been putting off repairs for an almost-dangerously long time? Whether it’s the leaky faucet or a key family relationship that needs a fix, it’s time to turn the wrenches in a corrective direction. 

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

The Cancer full moon on January 6 powers up your third house of community. Whether you’re feeling it (yet) or not, you’re being lured out from under your snuggly blanket and invited to come out and play! Gulp down a shot of courage and put yourself out there. Visit galleries and boutiques; chat up servers at neighborhood venues. (Or revisit them, since Mercury retrograde is facing off with la luna.) Not only could you make new friends, but you might discover your winter crew during the next two “peak manifesting” weeks.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

Money matters are tops on your mind when the January 6 Cancer full moon—the first one of 2023—hits your second house of finances and security. Your normally active Gemini brain may shift into overdrive, teaming with ideas for raising your bottom line. But to get “ahead,” you need to know your current status. During the coming two weeks, get a solid handle your net worth as well as your total income and expenditures. If you need professional help, poll your friends for recommendations.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

Happy personal New Year, Crab! January 6 features the first of 2023’s two full moons in Cancer. This can bring all your efforts of the past six months together into one impressive success story. It’s not the time to be modest or slink into the shadows. Take center stage, Cancer, and let the world see what you’re all about. Full moons are a time of culmination, so pluck the fruits of your labors. But even as you do, start planting the seeds for your next big harvest!

Leo (July 23-August 22)

Let. It. Go! Have you been clinging to a past-its-prime relationship, limiting belief or self-defeating behavior? And have you been talking a good game about moving on for once and for all? If so, then welcome news arrives with January 6’s Cancer full moon, which powers up your twelfth house of closure, transitions and healing. Be brave, Leo, and take a bold step toward ripping that emotional Band-Aid off. Yes, it’s going to hurt—a little—but it’s also the first step in a direction that supports your highest vision for your life.  

Virgo (August 23-September 22)

Go ahead and toot your own horn, Virgo! At least give it a little breath and see how it WOULD sound if you could overcome that haunting humility. As the Cancer full moon on January 6 lands in and your eleventh house of teamwork and technology, you’ll see that your influence is more powerful than you realize. Check out what happens when you speak up in meetings or post inspirational videos on social.  PS: It doesn’t have to be about YOU. You can be a mighty mouthpiece for a cause you believe in.

Libra (September 23-October 22)

Ready, set, GOALS! January 6’s skies feature the first of 2023’s two Cancer full moons, which lights a fire in your professional tenth house. If you’ve been on your grind, you could finally receive the recognition or rewards for your sustained efforts. Something should materialize in the two weeks following this lunar lift, but even if it doesn’t, stay the course. You may not see the finish line until Mercury wraps up its retrograde on January 18, but it’s this-close!

Scorpio (October 23-November 21)

Having familiar and efficient routines gives you the sense of security you crave, but are you stuck in a rut? January 6’s galvanizing Cancer full moon, beams into your ninth house of adventure and expansion. You’re hereby invited to step outside your temperature-controlled comfort zone and explore new turf. Don’t worry: Since Mercury retrograde opposes this full moon, you don’t have to move ahead with wild abandon. But if you can approach new situations with a truly open mind, you might be treated to a veritable epiphany over the next two weeks.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)

Casual feelings could soar to near-obsessive levels as the January 6 Cancer full moon plunges into your intimate, erotic eighth house. But should you reveal your feelings? This realm is also your “chamber of secrets,” which can be unfamiliar turf for many an open-book Archer. Since Mercury retrograde is opposing the full moon what you do and don’t share counts. Look at where you may be hiding information at your own peril or spilling WAY to much to people who haven’t earned your trust. A moderate approach is advised.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)

Should you move ahead…or just move on? The year’s only Cancer full moon lands in your seventh house of committed relationship on January 6, triggering a make-or-break moment over the next two weeks. If you’ve been uncertain about a union, stop equivocating and take a look at the data. With Mercury retrograde opposing the full moon, you may need to dig deeper for facts, but the results can be illuminating. 

Aquarius (January 20-February 18)

With the holidays officially in the rearview, it’s time to get serious once again about your overall health and well-being. Don’t “punish” yourself for prior indulgences. You enjoyed yourself, didn’t you, Aquarius? Just pivot into the direction of green, clean living. The year’s only Cancer full moon illuminates your sixth house of wellness, self-care and stress reduction. This is like a cosmic tailwind in your sails, but it’s up to you to keep it going. Make one significant move on January 6, then keep putting one sneakered foot in front of the other!

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

January 6’s skies feature the year’s only full moon in Cancer and your amorous, passionate fifth house. Where have you been holding back, Pisces—and doing yourself no favors in the process? This bright beam flashes the signal that it’s time to move the needle in the name of love or at least getting to know someone better. Since Mercury retrograde is opposite the full moon, it’s wise to move slowly and deliberately rather than your usual speed of “swept away.” 

Feature art by Rosie Dienhart


The AstroTwins

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.