Expect Emotions to Run High During the First Full Moon of 2023

The year may kick off with a flood of tears — but it’s for the best.

January Full Moon

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A near blank slate full of potential, the beginning of a whole new year might feel all at once overwhelming and hopeful. But with two retrogrades in full swing (Mars, the planet of action, is moving backward until January 12, and Mercury, the planet of communication, is in a backspin until January 18), diving headfirst into your most ambition game plans might not only be more difficult than usual to do — but it simply might not feel right. And whether that has you feeling frustrated, stuck, sentimental, or just plain tired, emotions will be running high just days after we ring in 2023, thanks to the first full moon of the year.   

On Friday, January 6 at 6:08 p.m. ET/3:08 p.m. PT in Cancer, the cardinal water sign ruled by the intuitive moon itself, this lunation can offer valuable insights on your inner life and familial relationships. You could be empowered to shake up how you’re managing your work-life balance and to open up about deep-rooted emotions within your closest personal and professional relationships.

The full moon in Cancer is an invitation to swim in the deep end of your emotions.

Full moons — which happen when the confident sun exactly opposes the intuitive moon — always present a monthly opportunity to wrap up projects you started six months or even two weeks prior. They're culmination points, breaking points, and a chance to release anything that's no longer serving you. And with this month's full moon falling in intuitive, sentimental, family-oriented Cancer, you’ll do well to tune into your intuition, focus on your emotional needs, and explore how some of your closest and oldest attachments — especially to loved ones — are helping or hindering your growth and balance. Full moons are, by nature, a time when you’re bound to get swept up in intense emotions, and when the moon is full in the sign it rules, nurturing, compassionate, sensitive Cancer, you have the opportunity to get even more intimately in tune with your inner world.

Cancer full moons present a period in which we can take a step back and ensure that our heads are in sync with our hearts.

Falling in the midst of Capricorn season, a time of year in which we’re compelled to focus on facts over feelings and to put our noses to the grindstone to hit our goals, Cancer full moons present a period in which we can take a step back and ensure that our heads are in sync with our hearts. After all, both working in tandem is the ultimate key to making your way to the peak of whichever mountain you’ve chosen to climb.

The moon harmonizes with game-changer Uranus, allowing for innovation and breakthroughs.

The new moon falls at 16 degrees of Cancer, forming a very close sextile to Uranus, the planet of rebellion and electrifying change, which will be at 15 degrees of fellow earth sign Taurus. Uranus can bring sudden shifts out of the blue, which might sound jarring and a bit unnerving. But around January 6, its positive connection to the moon can offer up welcome shake-ups and innovative new ways of managing any ongoing situations that have reached a boiling point. You could feel more curious, adaptable, and open to embracing a different approach, especially in terms of how you’re relating to others — specifically, family members, given this full moon’s Cancerian themes. For instance, perhaps you’ve been working on setting healthy boundaries with an overbearing, even toxic relative or you’re struggling to heal a deep-seated wound from the past. The moon’s connection to Uranus could make for a lightbulb moment in which you can see the situation in an illuminating new way and may even be inspired to tackle it from a different direction.    

The sun will be meeting up with Mercury, currently retrograde, which could fuel an epiphany.

The full moon occurs hours before messenger Mercury, moving backward since December 29, joins the confident sun, in Capricorn. Even though Mercury is retrograde, this pairing can be truly eye-opening and make for productive self-reflection. Having acknowledged, processed, and worked through emotions that the full moon brought up for you, this meet-up might spur a pragmatic game plan — or, at the least, a surge of grounded, go-getter energy that you can channel into creating one. If you’re not feeling super-centered, though, Mercury’s retrograde movement in the cardinal earth sign presents a chance to keep your eyes on the rearview mirror for a bit longer. Bravely immersing yourself in self-work involving the past can set you up for an even brighter, more productive future.  

Here, how this Cancer full moon will affect you, based on your sign. (Pro-tip: Be sure to read both your sun and your rising sign, if you know it. If you don't, you can find it on your natal chart or via this CafeAstrology calculator.)


The full moon activates your fourth house of home life, so now’s the time to consider how family dynamics from the past are shaping your present challenges. Healing this area of your inner life benefits your emotional well-being — and in turn, your ability to turn your big picture vision into a reality. 


With the full moon illuminating your third house of communication, you could be pulled in a variety of directions now. A sextile to game-changer Uranus in your sign makes it possible to react differently than you have in the past — and in a way that’s truly empowering.  


The full moon in your second house of income might drudge up feelings of resentment that you’re putting in more than you’re getting back on the job. This could be a sign it’s time to prioritize self-care, which, in turn, boosts your inner peace and self-awareness. 


Falling in your sign, your emotions are sure to be more intense than usual, and your default reaction could be to shimmy into your shell. When you’re ready, opening up to a trusted loved one or two has you feeling supported and seen. 


The full moon in your twelfth house of spirituality is a chance to rest, reflect, and recharge. Sure, everyone else might be getting back to work and pushing ahead right out the gate of 2023, but taking this time to get centered bolsters your clarity and productivity in the coming weeks.


Falling in your eleventh house of networking, this full moon is all about connecting with others. Nurturing platonic and collegial bonds is deeply fulfilling now, and diving into a team project — ideally one that aligns with a long-term wish — helps you feel like a part of something big. 


Because this full moon falls in your tenth house of career, your work-life balance is a huge theme. What do you need to feel supported in a way that will make for smoother sailing in both areas of your life? Exploring that now can elevate your confidence moving into the new year.


With the full moon falling in your ninth house of adventure, you’re inspired to scrap your mundane routine and dive into learning opportunities. Trusting your gut leads to personal growth.


Because the full moon falls in your eighth house of intimacy, you’ll do well to embrace vulnerability with your S.O. or a loved one. A challenging but necessary heart-to-heart can lead to healing and strengthen mutual understanding. 


With the full moon in your seventh house of partnership, you’re driven to tackle an ongoing challenge alongside a dear friend, romantic partner, or colleague. Knowing what’s yours versus theirs to hold through the process is integral to making the most of the moment. 


Falling in your sixth house of wellness and daily routine, this full moon might offer an eye-opening epiphany around how you’re caring for your mind, body, and spirit. You’ll find that small, everyday changes can add up to a significant surge of vitality and inner chill. 


This month’s full moon falls in your fifth house of romance and self-expression, which motivates you to hit pause on grueling deadlines in order to be more present and playful. Letting your heart take the reins could make for a particularly joyful moment with loved ones or your S.O. 

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