January 2022's Full Moon In Cancer Is an Invite to Swim In All Your Feels

With an opposition to powerful Pluto, this lunar event could be an emotionally heavy one.

Full Moon
Photo: Alex Sandoval

If you've felt like the start to the new year has been particularly sleepy, you're not alone. With Venus retrograde from December 19 to January 29 and Mercury retrograde from January 14 to February 3, the stars would clearly prefer we all take this month to slow down and look backward before plowing ahead into 2022. And when you're standing still or actively reminiscing about the past, it's easy to find yourself feeling all the feels.

On Monday, January 17 at 6:48 p.m. ET/3:48 p.m. PT, a full moon in sentimental, heartfelt, water sign Cancer — aka the Wolf Moon, according to the Farmer's Almanac — will crank up the volume on any feelings that have been surfacing for you lately.

Here are all the details and how you can best navigate January 2022's Cancer full moon.

What Full Moons Mean

First, some basics on the astrological significance of a full moon: Because the moon acts as your emotional compass, ruling over your intuition and sense of security, it tends to amplify all of those themes when it's at its most full and luminous.

Whether you're encountering ragey drivers, noisy neighbors, or simply finding yourself in the midst of a total WTF moment, full moon energy can spur lots of wacky behavior. But the real dilemma here is that full moons turn up the volume on your emotions — especially the kind that have been neglected and require addressing, stat. For that reason, full moon drama often stems from people projecting — or, more healthfully, opening up about — their pent-up pain, stress, or trauma.

Full moons are also culmination points of regular astrological cycles. Just like your fave Netflix binge, you have various "plots" going on in your life at any given moment, and whichever story began around the corresponding new moon (the opposite of a full moon, when the celestial body isn't illuminated by the sun from our vantage point and appears completely dark) in the same sign might reach its natural conclusion. For instance, this January 17 full moon in Cancer is linked to the July 9, 2021 new moon.

Full moons tend to be intense — especially so if they're hitting your natal chart in a significant way — but they often serve as valuable checkpoints for looking at deeply-felt emotions and putting the finishing touches on one story before you begin another.

Themes of the January 2022 Cancer Full Moon

Cardinal water sign Cancer, symbolized by the Crab, is ruled by the moon itself, which, in astrology, oversees intuition, security, and our feelings. Given that Cancers are best known for being innately nurturing, sensitive, and spending time in their emotions, this full moon could be particularly intense as you grapple with what's in your heart.

The sign also serves as the ruler of the fourth house of home life, so Cancers are incredibly emotionally attuned to their VIPs, family-oriented, and deeply invested in the bonds that are intertwined with their sense of inner peace. Given how closely the moon is connected to your feelings, and how adept Crabs are with tuning into the energy of any moment, a negative turn of events could result in them acting quite touchy — some may say crabby, ha — and retreating into their shells for some self-care time.

That said, regardless of how it is interacting with other planets, Cancer full moons require you to recognize and work through your deepest feelings. The good news is that because Cancer is the cardinal water sign, their lunar events aren't only about sitting in your emotions. Instead, they offer up an innate go-getter energy that makes it possible to actually do something with how you feel.

What you might do — and how you might do it — could be colored by the aspects this full moon makes to other planets. Its closest aspect is an opposition to powerful Pluto, the planet of death, rebirth, regeneration, control, and the underworld. It sounds heavy because it is. This moon asks you to not only get real with yourself about how you feel but also to be open to ending bonds, patterns, or behaviors that are only working against your sense of centeredness. And because Pluto spurs obsessive thoughts and power struggles, you could encounter those along the way to transformation. (Related: What Is Self-Awareness — and How to Tell If You Have It)

The moon also forms a sweet trine to Neptune in Pisces, amplifying creative energy and an appreciation for everything ethereal, romantic, spiritual, and beautiful. It'll offer you a pair of rose-colored glasses to wear that'll make it easier to face the darkness presented by Pluto — perhaps by pouring hard-to-hold feelings into an artistic project or spiritually fulfilling activity (like meditation, journaling, charging crystals, etc.).

It also bears noting that because relationship-ruler Venus is still retrograde in Capricorn, slowing down matters related to romance, money, and beauty, and Mercury is now retrograde in Aquarius, requiring us to reflect on and edit our platonic and collegial bonds and long-term wishes, self-reflection around these subjects could be at the crux of what you're coping with in the days around this full moon.

Who the Cancer Full Moon Will Affect the Most

If you were born under the sign of the Crab — approximately June 21 to July 22 — or with your personal planets (sun, moon, Mercury, Venus, or Mars) in Cancer (something you can learn from your natal chart), you'll feel this full moon more than most. More specifically, if you have a personal planet that falls within five degrees of the full moon (27 degrees Cancer), you'll be especially reflective and fired up to harness its assiduous energy.

Similarly, if you were born in a fellow cardinal sign — Aries (cardinal fire), Libra (cardinal air), Capricorn (cardinal earth) — you could feel the heartfelt power of this full moon in your tenth house of career (Libra), seventh house of partnership (Capricorn), or fourth house of home life (Aries).

The Self-Nurturing Takeaway

Every month, no matter what sign a full moon falls in, they're fertile ground for dramatic outbursts. But when the transit occurs in Cancer, the sign the moon itself rules and one that only serves to underline its intuitive, emotional vibes, getting swept up in your feelings is only to be expected. The good news is that given Cancer's ability to take the initiative, you'll know exactly what you need to do to care not only for others — something the Crab cannot help but do, perpetually — but to nurture yourself.

Thanks to not one but two retrogrades happening at the moment, 2022 has felt seriously sleepy so far. This full moon is one more reminder to rest, recharge, and give your inner voice — and your heart — the mic for once.

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