Wolves have howled at the Moon for centuries, yet it is still there.
— Old proverb
Tonight’s Full Moon is in the sign of Cancer, with the Moon opposite the Capricorn Sun. Cancer is ruled by the Moon, so this Full Moon is in the sign where it is happiest. Cancer is concerned with matters of nurturing, home and family. And Saturn (which rules Capricorn) is all about stability and structure. Although Saturn is often a tough task-master and teacher, it is currently in a more gentle and harmonious aspect to the Moon.
So, as astrologer Lynn Hayes observes, this Full Moon is an ideal time to “honor our responsibilities to our clan or our tribe, to create and enjoy a nurturing space within our home. Full Moons can be periods of emotional fullness, and this Full Moon will be a beautiful time to open our hearts.” And astrologer Madeline Hill has a number of delicious suggestions for nurturing ourselves during this magical time.
The January/Capricorn Full Moon is traditionally called the Wolf Moon. In our modern era, the idea of a pack of snarling wolves literally scratching at our door is far-fetched. But it has not been such a very long time that such terrors were well understood. Most of us reading this have never faced a time of epidemic, hard-core poverty and hunger. Stories from the Great Depression of family fortunes being wiped out, and entire towns out of work, or scrabbling for survival seem like ancient history. But truly, we are in extraordinary times, and the loss of our safety and security to “wolves” has become more than just a metaphor.
As April Elliott Kent of Big Sky Astrology writes, “Saturn’s wolves are howling in the distance. They howl warnings about the collapsing economy, the deteriorating climate, and the fearsome calamities that threaten us – joblessness, poverty, homelessness, starving, illness. Hard times can, in turn, make us hard, but caring for each other – though it breaks our hearts – is what keeps us from turning to stone.
“I don’t relish the hard times ahead, and yet I have a weird optimism about the potential for our shared difficulties to make us whole. Taking care of things – and people – binds us to them. And in hard times we’re called upon to comfort each other in our suffering, dry one another’s tears, feed each other’s hunger. My hope is that our Cancerian caring will bind us to one another with a force as strong as the earth’s gravity, in a loving embrace that can’t be broken – at least, not by anything from outside of us.
So tonight, let your rites be about opening your heart in love, particularly towards your family or domestic relationships. And may the loving light of Mother Moon in Cancer dissolve away the artificial barriers that prevent our understanding that we are a part of the greater family of all that lives.
ps: you might also want to prepare for the fact that tomorrow, Mercury turns retrograde.