This Full Moon falls less than 24 hours after the Winter Solstice, so this could be quite an intensely emotional time leading up to the Solstice! This is a time of turning within and facing the shadows; it is a time of silence and introspection, when we need to rest and lay in wait for the light to return. It is interesting that we also have Sagittarius season until the Solstice, which brings a tendency to over-extend ourselves and rush around, when really the most natural thing for us to be doing is resting, hibernating, slowing down and listening to our quiet inner voice. Traditionally, the Winter Solstice is considered to be the moment when the Moon gives birth to the Sun, which is such a beautiful thought! It is a time of hope and faith, when we welcome back the light and look backward over the year we have had and forward towards our vision of what is to come. This year, as it coincides with the Full Moon, it will very likely have some extra emotional weight to it. As the moon builds to its peak of fullness, so do our emotions. This is a very emotional time of year as it is, so it is important that we treat ourselves and others with compassion and kindness.
Astrologically, the Solstice represents the moment when the Sun move from Sagittarius into Capricorn, beginning a new cycle. The Solstice will occur at 22.23pm in England on 21 December. The Full Moon is occurring in the very first degree of Cancer, with the Sun directly opposite in the very first degree of Capricorn. This certainly feels like a time of transition; a turning point somehow. A Cancer Full Moon is very poignant indeed when it falls at this time of year, as Cancer represents our inner and outer home, our sense of belonging, our childhood, family and roots. It could bring some very strong emotions up around our sense of belonging, and could highlight any emotional patterns that were formed in childhood and which no longer serve us but rather go against us. Cancer represents the inner child – the vulnerable part of us that may be hurt, damaged or wounded by whatever happened in our childhood. Sometimes we allow that hurt little child to run the show, acting in ways that we are not proud of! So often we find ourselves projecting needs that were not met in childhood onto those close to us, such as our partners and children, subconsciously expecting them to make up for whatever our parents failed to give us.
While Cancer represents our inner child and emotional patterns, Capricorn represents our inner parent and the conditioning that we received from our parents, school and society. In an ideal world we would have a good balance between our inner child and inner parent, whereby we are able to be a kind parent to our inner child and recognise when we are over-reacting or sabotaging our relationships with our old script or story. However, often we find ourselves “acting out” our unmet childhood needs and conditioning and responding in a needy, insecure and childish way (Cancer) or going the other way and completely suppressing or controlling our emotions (Capricorn) so that they end up coming out in distorted ways. Capricorn is the king is the stiff upper lip and no stranger to guilt, which can cause us to judge ourselves severely. The key is to look back over our life and try to understand where this guilt might be coming from. What subtle messages were we given that might have indoctrinated us with a pervading sense of having done something wrong?
A positive manifestation of Cancer is for us to learn to meet our own emotional needs instead of being the eternal child that expects others to take care of us and solve our problems. Once we learn to nurture ourselves then we are better able to nurture others’ needs. A positive manifestation of Capricorn is to learn emotional maturity, being adult enough to take responsibility for ourselves and our actions, create healthy boundaries and take on our own authority rather than allowing others to have authority over our path. These are lessons we could be confronted with during this Full Moon. We are encouraged to openly express our feelings and allow ourselves to be vulnerable, while at the same time being grown up about it and taking responsibility for our own emotional landscape and needs.
Chiron the Wounded Healer is forming a challenging square aspect to the Sun and Moon during this Full Moon. Chiron will be exactly squaring the Sun on Wednesday 19 December, but the energy will linger for the Full Moon. This could very much highlight our old wounds and insecurities, and people’s words or actions may inadvertently hurt or trigger us as these old wounds could feel more like open sores during this time! This is especially so because Mars, the warrior planet, is moving towards a conjunction with Chiron (exact on 28 Dec), and both are in Pisces. This could cause people to act, react and possibly even attack quite strongly, forcefully and aggressively, from a wounded and potentially deluded place. It is important to be gentle with ourselves this week, and to be aware of the fact that we could be more sensitive and vulnerable than at other times, which could cause us to over-react or be a bit too emotional or defensive. Compassion and forgiveness are what are called for, both for ourselves and others. Chiron in Pisces promotes unconditional love and empathy for all living beings, as we all have our cross to bear, albeit in different shapes, forms and sizes.
Uranus is forming a harmonious and helpful trine aspect to the Sun and Moon, and Uranus and the Sun will exactly trine one another on Thursday 20 December, but the energy will still be strong for the Full Moon. This could be very helpful in terms of breaking unhealthy or detrimental habits and patterns, and releasing us from the past so that we can move forward with a renewed sense of purpose. It is important to be open to whatever changes might come our way, and to keep an eye out for synchronicities and anything unusual that could be prodding us in a different direction to what we might be used to. This is an exciting and enlivening aspect that could help us to break out of the mould and recreate ourselves somehow. This could represent a much needed “reset button”, liberating us from the old story so that we can recreate a new one.
Mercury and Jupiter and joining forces in Sagittarius this week, exact on Fri 21 December, which could have both positive and challenging implications! On the one hand this could help us to see the big picture, trusting our hunches and intuition. This is quite a philosophical combination that could help us to be quite forward thinking and optimistic. However, it also has the potential for us to experience a bit of Sagittarian foot in mouth syndrome as we speak our truth, regardless of how hurtful it might be for other people to hear it. It is important to remember that the truth is relative, and that what is true for us may not be for another. It is also important to remember that this Moon, and this time of year, can make people especially sensitive and reactive, and may blurt things out that they don’t really mean.
Another thing to be aware of is that Neptune, the planet of illusion and delusion, is forming a challenging square aspect to this Mercury/Jupiter conjunction. As such, all may not be entirely as it seems and our powers of discrimination and discernment may be a bit skewed and unreliable. Religious and spiritual delusions are possible when Neptune and Jupiter are involved, so we must be careful in terms of what we accept as the “truth” from other people. We may be more susceptible than usual to indoctrination, as people could be very convincing, overzealous and dogmatic in putting forward their beliefs and version of the truth. We must try not to make any concrete decisions about anything we hear or think during this time, because deception, delusion, glamour, smoke screens and illusion are all possible and may cloud our perception of reality. Our imaginations could run wild in completely the wrong direction! Someone could try and convince us of something that is in fact not true at all! We could even find ourselves questioning our own sanity, as we are unsure of what is real or unreal, true or false. The Mercury Neptune square will be exact on 25 December, while the Neptune Jupiter square will be exact on 13 January.
Neptune is also forming a beautiful trine aspect with Venus during this Moon which will be very helpful indeed. Venus represents love, while Neptune represents unconditional love. This lovely, heart-opening combination can help us to recognise one another’s divine potential; to see past the masks and walls and relate to each other’s true spirit and essence. We may be better able than at other times to see past one another’s flaws and idiosyncrasies and accept each other exactly as we are, warts and all. We all have our wounds, insecurities and shadows, and this combo could help us to have more compassion and empathy for our loved ones and, indeed, humanity as a whole. We are all beautiful souls doing the best we can with whatever we have been given. And for some of us, what we have been given is more difficult to bear than others.
The Sabian symbol for this Moon, in the very first degree of Cancer, is: “On a ship the sailors lower an old flag and raise a new one.” Which Dane Rudyar describes as “A radical change of allegiance exteriorised in a symbolical act: a point of no return.” This brings the sense of a turning point; some kind of act of free will that changes things significantly. We could be giving up an old way of being, or shedding old habits, or ending something significant in our lives. It does seem, however, that there will be no going back.
It is important, during this Moon, to be aware of the potential for over-sensitivity and over-reaction. This is an emotional Moon at an emotional time of year that has the potential to bring up our sore spots and make us quite irrational! This is a good opportunity to recognise how some of our emotional patterns formed in childhood might still be running the show and to practice putting our inner parent to work. This Moon could bring up a lot around our sense of belonging, and make us all too aware of what we are missing, whether that be someone we have lost or the family we wish we had. It is so important to be gentle with ourselves and others during this time, as behind someone’s harsh words or overreactions could be a little child who feels terribly hurt, alone and misunderstood. All is not as it seems, and appearances can be deceiving. It would be good to take a leaf out of Cancer’s book and really nurture our inner child and those of others during this time when we are waiting for the light to return.
Picture: Sculpture : “Love” by Alexander Milov
My website: www.amybirdartandastrology.com