Tomorrow’s Full Moon (December 23 at 8:17 pm EST) is tightly connected to the Winter Solstice since the Sun has only advanced one degree since the Solstice point. These cardinal points mark a seasonal shift, but because of the sign change there is also an astrological shift that takes place on a deeper level.

Solstices and equinoxes, as we said the other day, are defined by the entry of the Sun into a Cardinal sign. Cardinal signs are signs of action and leadership – they initiate new beginnings and a new focus. After moving through the cardinal sign the Sun moves into the following fixed sign, where there is a gathering and organization of resources and planning, and then through the mutable sign where it adapts its goals to the energies that are available before moving into the next shift at the next Solstice/Equinox event. The Sun is in the Cardinal sign of Capricorn now, next month it will move into the fixed sign of Aquarius and then, finally, through Pisces before reaching the Spring Equinox at Aries.

The presence of the Full Moon at the time of the cardinal shift shows the importance of this event. There is a movement forward; yet Mars is retrograde and Saturn squares it which creates a need to hold back and not complete the action quite yet. With the Moon in Cancer and the Sun in Capricorn, this Full Moon is highlighting the need to nourish one’s inner life (Cancer) while balancing the needs of our worldly obligations (Capricorn). A struggle is indicated during this Full Moon with the Moon conjunct Mars in Cancer which is in opposition to the Sun conjunct Jupiter in Capricorn. Mars is approaching an opposition to Jupiter which is exact on December 26, and the rebellious urge is growing in resistance to the Saturn/Capricorn pressure for contraction.

Under the Full Moon, the solar light illuminates the lunar instincts, and the subconscious gains more power as it is exposed to the light. Here, the Moon is in the sign of Cancer of which it is the ruler, intensifying the Cancerian need for home, family, and emotional security. With all this Saturn/Capricorn pressure to live in the real world, buckle down to the hard work, focus on our goals and achieve success, a large part of us is longing for the simplicity of a good meal with our loved ones and connection to our family, whether our family of origin or our spiritual family. It is probably no accident that families gather during this time every year in December during the Cancer Full Moon to celebrate the holidays. Retreat into the comfort of the company of loved ones is an essential phase in the cycle of life.

Fortunately, a trine of Mercury in Capricorn to Saturn on the 25th will provide an opportunity to reconcile our inner goals (Saturn/Capricorn) with this need for comfort and connection in a way that can link our inner lives more successfully to our goals and our intentions.

The strong Mars influence that dominates the Full Moon can conflict with the Saturn/Capricorn restrictions and need to keep our noses to the grindstone, creating the potential for an inner rebellion and dissatisfaction which can lead to reckless behavior. But Mars and Saturn, when yoked together, provide the key to success as the energy of Mars is harnessed to the discipline and vision of Saturn. When Mars retrogrades back into Gemini on the 31st, the power of the mind (Mercury) is brought into the picture just in time for setting our intention for the New Year!

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