Full Moon 17° Cancer – 6th January 2023


Full Moon in the 17th degree of Cancer-middle decan.

January 6th 2023

Nurture Your Potentials

“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.”

~ Marcus Aurelius

Dane Rudhyar speaks of the 17th degree of Cancer as THE UNFOLDING OF MULTILEVEL POTENTIALITIES ISSUING FROM AN ORIGINAL GERM. Here we get the sense of the natural Cancerian desire to protect, nurture, grow, and protect, expressed through this degree as “the urge to actualise one’s birth potential.”

The Picatrix is a 400-page book of magic and astrology dated to the middle of the 11th century. The original Arabic title is interpreted as The Aim of the Sage or The Goal of The Wise and was translated into Spanish and Latin during the 13th century, at which time it got the Latin title Picatrix. Within the pages lie some very erudite descriptions of the zodiac’s 36 decans (10-degree partitions), which I like to refer to when interpreting the lunar cycles.

It is written that “in the second face of Cancer ascends a woman with a beautiful face, and a crown of green myrtle on her head and the stem of a plant that is called the water lily in her hand, singing songs of love and joy.” Whilst in the second face of Capricorn “ascends a man with a typical monkey before him. This is the face for seeking impossibilities or things that nobody has prevailed in achieving. This is its form.”

The descriptions from the pages of Picatrix of the two decans occupied by the approaching Full Moon give a clear and very descriptive picture of the dynamics in action at the culminating point of this particular lunar cycle.

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Considering the two images occupied by the Moon and the Sun, we see both joy and frustration and perhaps recognise that we may have been trying to attempt the impossible. At this Full Moon, we might be drawn to consider how much time we could be wasting trying to achieve or materialise results with little emotional value. How are we “making monkeys of ourselves” at the expense of what nurtures us, feeds us, and gives us true joy?

The woman with a beautiful face is crowned with Green Myrtle, a plant native to the Mediterranean and sacred to the goddess of love, Aphrodite. This beautifully scented shrub was introduced into English gardens during Elizabethan times and is common in old gardens, especially in the more sheltered locations. It thrives in the mild, damp and temperate climates of the southwest and is common where I live in the west of Ireland, often covered in blossoms at Beltane, or May Day, connecting it back to its ancient associations with Venus, the planet of love, and with its use in wedding garlands and bouquets. A cutting of the Myrtle used in Queen Victoria’s wedding bouquet was cultivated, and every royal wedding bouquet since that time has contained a piece from the resulting tree.

The woman in the image also holds a lily, associated in mythology with love, purity and fertility. The combination of these two flowers underlines this decan’s connection with nurturing, growth, love and care. This Full Moon is an opportunity to concentrate on what we already have, the seedlings that can be nurtured and cherished, growing the potential we already contain, rather than hungering after desired results outside of ourselves which have no foundation within our souls.

The Cancer Full Moon is a time of heightened sensitivity, imagination and intuition, and it is natural to seek emotional security during this period, and the instinct now is to hibernate and withdraw, to protect the self from the harshness of the outside world. Whatever the source of your emotional security, the important thing is to gain a sense of belonging rather than to get involved in destructive relationships or to indulge in food and/or alcohol as a way to fill yourself up. Destructive emotional patterns can occur when we fall into cycles of not caring for ourselves, and separation anxiety could be triggered during this time, particularly if you have felt rejected by others. If this is a theme, it will be essential to recognise any attraction to coping mechanisms from childhood, such as seeking out a “parent” to take care of you. Remembering to nurture yourself and honour your needs will help restore and strengthen your emotional core, which will be all-important during this time.

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Because the Full Moon is involved with Mercury, life may become confusing over the next few weeks and so busy that things get out of hand. Sudden outbursts within the family or your circle of close friends are likely, with erratic behaviour and mood swings commonplace. In addition, the square to Chiron will bring feelings of isolation and loneliness to the fore for a few days, and this period may trigger feelings from childhood where you felt different from others and perhaps experienced a sense of isolation, loneliness or lack of support.

In the outer world, the aspects around this lunation will bring a different expression to that of the inner world. Perfecting with the Sun in conjunction with a retrograde, combust and peregrine Mercury, this Full Moon illuminates issues concerning communications, connections, networks and service sectors of all kinds, the same which have been sorely tested through Mars’s long retrograde transit through Gemini. The difficulties which have beset the smooth running of communities and disrupted communication, travel and power networks of all kinds could come to the notice of government bodies in some way. However, satisfactory resolutions will probably only be forthcoming after an extended period; a rapid solution is unlikely. The subsequent Venus-Mars trine in air signs does give some indication that negotiations could be forthcoming, but with Venus in the Saturn-ruled sign of Aquarius and closing into a conjunction with Saturn, it could be that Venus will have to do all the work, with Mars, still retrograde, not being of much help at all.

The key to this Full Moon cycle seems to be to try to release any attachment you may have to performance, or manifestation of results as defined by others, or the demands of society, and instead to foster what is inherrant within your soul. Communication with your souls purpose is essential to aligning yourself with the right path for YOU; one which answers your needs rather than the obligations of the world around you. 

I leave you with a prayer to focus the energy of this lunation and to wish you a blessed Full Moon. 

In Cancer-I Feel: With every atom of my being, my tides turning with the wisdom of the moon. I nurture and care, my home is my castle, and I protect all that reside there with fierceness and devotion. I am mother, seductress, queen of the sea, from limpid calm to savage storm I can turn, in the break of a wave. Fear not my soul, I listen to your command, I am the carer, I follow the source divine. 

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“By the end of January as the Sun gets closer to Saturn, we see Saturn begin to disappear in the evening sky as Venus takes off. A conjunction of Venus, a crescent Moon and Saturn on January 23rd. With Venus and Saturn in the same parallel this will be a delight to observe. This also heralds the 1st Moon Gate over 7 months, as a waning Moon escorts her out of the underworld, to return to be crowned the Queen of the Heavens in July 2023, this time in Leo.”

From SKY SPY – issue 5 – NOV 2021

Agent 41 – Joanna Grant, D.F.Astrol.S

Joanna Grant is an astrologer of some 30 years and was awarded the Diploma at the Faculty of Astrological Studies in 2012. Weaving her knowledge of the stars together with intuitive tarot techniques, she crafts highly personalised guidance for clients who are often navigating difficult life transitions. She has lately been very excited to breathe new life into her astrological practice through her study of Horary.

Joanna holds the STA’s Practitioners Level Certification in Horary and is currently completing the STA’s Advanced Level Horary Diploma. In 2019 she published her first book, Thoth Journey-The Oracle of Change, with an accompanying Tarot deck, 79 original works by the artist Aia Leu. More details of Joanna’s work in both Astrology and Tarot can be found at www.joannakategrant.com


View all Articles by Joanna

Agent 41 – Joanna Grant, D.F.Astrol.S

Joanna is an Astrologer, Tarot Reader and Writer, who lives on the beautiful Beara Peninsula in the South West of Ireland. She can often be found at home, deep in arcane research, or practicing some new form of divination, usually whilst burning the dinner! Her children probably wish that she was “normal” but may well remember her eccentricities fondly when they come to face the challenges of their own paths. Her love affair with the stars has been life-long, and she sees one of her greatest achievements as gaining her diploma with distinctions, at the Faculty of Astrological Studies in London. She specialises in teaching and one to one mentoring, using a combination of Astrology, Tarot and Shamanic techniques. Her long knowledge of Astrology leads and informs her practice in offering guidance across the thresholds of life experiences as defined by the outer planet transits. In this way, she offers the gift of empowerment and healing, helping others to lead a more authentic and magical life.


View all Articles by Joanna

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