An auspicious full moon graces us on New Year’s Day with encouragement to start 2018 in alignment with your highest ideals. The Cancer full moon’s energy increases our unconscious and emotional activity, putting our hearts in touch with our minds. The past year (2017) as been rife with imbalances between masculine and feminine.

Whether it be global imbalances of women’s rights and equality, national imbalances of the increased awareness around sexual assault, or earthly imbalances of natural disasters and global warming, or any other personal imbalances you encountered…it is clear that a shift and a focus on the feminine is necessary now.

The zodiac sign of cancer is ruled by the moon, so to find our New Year’s moon in the sign it rules bodes well for the feminine, especially as Cancer is the “mother” symbol of the zodiac. The moon itself finds close alignment with the great goddess of the sky, Venus, improving our odds of a close alignment with feminine forces inside and outside of us. There is also a powerful relationship with Pluto, suggesting a powerful transformation in our perceptions of balance between masculine and feminine.

Perhaps most significantly is the soft relationship between the moon, Mars, Jupiter and Neptune. Mars, as the powerful masculine force of the planets is being asked to soften, and cherish the moon and Venus. It’s will serves the feminine through spiritual practice and soul connection, as well as a recognition of the joy of partnership.

The partnership here is between the universal forces of masculine and feminine — which exist within all of us. Regardless of gender or orientation, take this opportunity to notice how these forces manifest within you. Have you repressed the feminine? Chosen aggression, strategy, willfulness, might, or rational thinking over relaxation, receptivity, flow, and acceptance? Have you pushed down the urge to slow down, say no, or speak up for your deepest needs? If you have, then the primary way to restore balance to the external world is to begin within.

Let this new year’s day be a chance to reset and recalibrate your own internal masculine and feminine. Use this full moon energy as a chance to enhance feminine qualities and step into the flow of grace. When you feel deeply connected to your soul’s desires, you then have the means to manifest them in the world – representing the perfect balance between feminine and masculine within.

Alchemical Ritual for the Cancer Full Moon

As a water sign, Cancer is immersed in the watery world of the emotions and our unconscious drives. On the low side, this fluid sign becomes moody and overly sensitive, seeking self-protection at all costs. This full moon ritual for Cancer accentuates the high side of sign so we express our emotions in a healthy way, allowing for receptivity, acceptance, nurturing, growth and self-care along the way.

Cancer’s ruler is the moon, the luminescent body that shines light on our dark areas, namely, the unconscious. While Cancer sometimes falls prey to the shadow with emotional instability, it also has the opportunity to heal any wounds left untended, and brings awareness to our own darkness, ultimately revealing its light. To keep Cancer’s energy elevated in this ritual, try donning white clothing and gather white stones such as moonstone and place them in the center of your ritual space. You may also place your sacred items in a silver bowl or chalice, as silver compliments the moon.

Bring in the water element in some way, perhaps by placing a few drops of essential oils in water in the silver vessel, if you have it (jasmine, lemon or sandalwood oils work well with Cancer). These essential oils can be used to anoint your third eye chakra before and after your ceremony. Use sage, sweet grass or palo santo to cleanse yourself and the space by casting the smoke over yourself and encircling your own body three times. Light a few candles and dim the lights. Sit in the center of your space and bring the hands together at the heart center. Connect to the third eye, the location of intuition and our internal moon and say the following invocation aloud:

Moon, keep my eyes open to the messages that come from within me so that I may heed their lessons in my life.

Sit quietly as you call forth a dream image. Ask the unconscious to deliver  an image that you need at this moment. Be patient and pay attention. Do not force or manipulate this process in any way. Rather, stay attuned to your breath. When you receive your dream image, simply observe it. Watch it move, hear it speak, or feel its presence. Rather than impart your own meaning to it, allow it to bring meaning to you. Let it express to you what it needs.

When complete, turn the internal gaze to the third eye and chant Om three times. Place the moonstone (or other white stone) in your hand and hold it to your third eye. This is now charged with the energy of your intuition and helps to connect you to it when needed. Snuff the candles and place the stone somewhere prominently enough that you are reminded daily of the power of your intuition. This ritual allows you to find the meaning in your life, knowing that the meaning always comes from within you