Full Moon in Cancer: Shedding Our Shell for the New Year

The Moon illuminates a new path as we progress through the holiday season and into a new year. It’s such a beautiful time for this particular lunation as Cancer is known for its nurturing, caring and sentimental energy, and is associated with the 4th House - the ideal energy for family, friend-group and community gatherings. Cancer is ruled by the Moon, and it feels truly at home here making this Full Moon a more comforting albeit an emotional one.

You’ll often see Cancer depicted as a Crab, and sometimes a Lobster, or Crayfish, all of which have a tough exoskeleton. Many Lobsters and Crabs shed their exoskeletons once a year (of course this varies based on other facts such as species and age). We will touch more on this later in this post as the symbolism and energy surrounding this shedding is very relevant to our spiritual journey!


An image of the profile of a blue crayfish

Those with planets or angles in the first degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn will be deeply impacted by this lunation. A transformation is coming for these cardinal signs. Cardinal signs symbolize the beginning of a season, which feels right as we move into a new year.

The themes of this Full Moon will vary based on each chart and individual, of course. 


Celestial Overview

Under the Full Moon in Cancer we are being shown areas of our life that relate to home, childhood experiences, and previously established ideas, emotions and responses. The Sun in Capricorn is encouraging the need to create a structure or system that helps us care for ourselves, our home, and our emotions. Harmony with Saturn in Pisces and Jupiter in Taurus lends support as it shows us how to observe, embrace, approach and respond to our feelings. Be mindful of confusion, emotional intensity, and communication with retrograde Mercury conjunct Mars and Square Neptune.


A blue and white toned image of the full moon



The Energy of the Crab

As a Crab grows the shell no longer fits, this can be likened to our beliefs, emotions, habits, or even our physical form and surroundings.

The interesting thing about crabs is that as it approaches molting time it will begin to reabsorb some of the calcium carbonate from its old exoskeleton. Taking a look at this from a metaphorical and metaphysical perspective, one could view us upgrading our own form or experience through the knowledge and beliefs we once held. The energy from our past will be carried into a new season, as the lessons have served us well, and will help us to build a new, more fitting shell.

The shedding of the old shell not only allows for us to expand and to grow, but (much like the crab) it allows us to release parasites, and barnacles or points of energetic stagnation and drain. 

An image of a blue crab resting

As we move into a new year or season in our lives we will expand, grow, and change much like the Crab. A natural part of this are periods of softness or vulnerability, as our new shell hardens and takes its form. 

As you connect with the Full Moon energy and the energy of the Crab, consider what you are shedding and leaving behind, and what you will be taking with you. 


Ritual Suggestion:

• Cleanse your space and self with the smoke of herbs like Rosemary.
• Run a warm bath, you can include healing herbs in this such as Rose.
• Envision yourself connecting with the energy of this Full Moon and the Crab.
• See the shell that has been built around you over the last year as you step into the water.
• As you sit in the warm water, allow the events, and emotions of the past year play through your mind.
• Allow and embrace the energy of the experiences.
• Picture your own shell (or the things you need to release) slowly breaking apart in the water.
• Thank the water for healing you and helping you to release. You are now absorbing what is needed and what has been learned.
• Step out when you're ready.

Be gentle and kind with yourself over the next few days, and leading into the New Year as your shell hardens and you step into a new period and energy.

Consider carrying protective crystals such as Obsidian, and Black Tourmaline. And, healing or energizing crystals such as Chrysocolla and Bloodstone.


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