The full moon in Cancer, happening at 0 degrees at 12:48 pm ET on December 22, 2018, asks us to take some time at home, tend to our bodies and emotions while prioritizing our families (in true Cancer style, of course). However, before I go into that, I’d like to share the backstory of this full moon.
This year on Thanksgiving, I sat at my father-in-law’s dining room table surrounded by a tight-knit crew of family consisting of siblings, cousins, and my niece and nephew. As a ritual, every year we go around the table and speak from the heart, naming our gratitude. This year when my turn came, I didn’t have it in me to speak vulnerably. Instead, I said something like, “my health and my family,” and passed the proverbial mic.
I held back and glazed over my truest sense of gratitude: that my husband and I indeed worked through unexpected hairpin turns that made me seriously doubt if our marriage would even survive.
How I Recommitted to Long-Term Love in 2018 During Mars + Venus Retrogrades
With so many ways love can be expressed and maintained, traditional marriage may or may not appeal. I totally get it. Monogamy is hard, and gender is fluid. Yet for me, my marriage remains the most important commitment I’ve made to date. In late October, my husband and I celebrated nine years of marriage, and on Halloween, we celebrated fourteen years together in a committed partnership. Even astrology couldn’t predict where this commitment would take us. After all, he’s a Pisces and I am a Gemini, so, you know!
Like any couple, though, we have our ups and downs. And during the of 2018 summer, I not only had serious doubts, but I also had to surrender certainty that we’d carry on at all.
Reviewing 2018’s Key Transits: Cosmic Re-Balancing Of Masculine and Feminine Energy
Mars, the planet traditionally associated with masculine energy, turned retrograde from June 26th until August 27th, 2018. During this period, the cosmos asked my husband and me to re-establish routines and fortify the essential bonds of our life.
I’ll be honest—this was hard as hell for me. Mars retrograde felt like a train pulling an emergency brake, the sound of metal on metal blazed so loudly that I wondered if an imminent wreck wouldn’t bulldoze me. Completely.
Independence vs. Interconnection
Sticking things out when the going gets tough isn’t an issue for me, yet this summer, I wanted to burn it all down. Light the match and run.
A thriving partnership includes both push and pull, hustle and heart. Mars’ retrograde helped me to recognize I’d long over-prioritized my autonomy over deeper interconnection in my marriage. This was an interesting realization for someone in a relationship as long as I’ve been with Doug. And if my marriage would survive, we both needed to make significant changes with how we related to one another.
I’ve always been a fiercely independent person. I know how to slay goals and make magic happen. Sitting back and receiving in my relationship? So. Much. Harder. Couple that with the hardship and failure of trying to adopt, and without realizing it, I’d become less available in my marriage. Our shadows are the parts of our self that we can’t see. In retrospect, I can see that my shadow put up an emotional wall with my husband as I reconciled my infertility grief over the years prior.
And ya know what? In the midst of this relationship turmoil, I didn’t exactly handle everything to the absolute best of my ability. As a matter of fact, as the proverbial marital boat rocked, I found my hand in a bag of chips. Hello, emotional eating. (Why are chips so damn good?!) Yes, I took care of myself and my relationship, but I also just wanted to check out. I wanted to wipe the slate clean and run, as opposed to dig in and go deeper.
Reassessing The Relationship With Myself First
As I worked through the blind spots in my marriage this summer, Nancy Levin’s The New Relationship Blueprint: 10 Steps to Reframe the Way You Love helped me to remember that the relationship I have with myself is critical to healing my marriage. And, most importantly working on my relationship is as vital to my spiritual path as my new moon ritual commitment. (Obvious, but after having my relationship in cruise control, I forgot what it meant to really “work” on it. For more years than not, it just hummed along with little effort!)
In a lot of ways, long-lasting love is less about roses and more about resilience. It’s lovingly recommitting to this path, this relationship, again and again, even when you think life might take an entirely different course. It’s coming back to one another over and over and over.
Resilience As The Path To Rising
While the summer of retrogrades was tough, it ultimately helped me to recommit to the path I’ve chosen in this life: longevity and monogamy. Mars retrograde brought forth for me a lesson reestablishing true partnership and intimacy.
My husband and I did a lot of heavy lifting—just in time to take a breath before Venus, the planet of love and values, began her backspin on October 5th. Since then, we’ve deepened our commitment to our relationship and got even more real about our expectations. Venus retrograde (a transit that lasted from October 5th until November 16th) brought a reminder of what I value most of all: resilience as the path to rising.
After all, not only did we stick with it, we continued to look at the ways our relationship needed us—both of us—to prioritize it. I learned a new level of emotional vulnerability that allowed me to let even more love in. I didn’t give up or walk away, but rather I prioritized doing the work that meant becoming more available and falling even more deeply in love.
Thankfully, we pulled through and have landed at a really kind, gentle, intimate and connected way of being together again. Not easy, (not even kinda) but so powerful.
Full Moon In Cancer: Looking Back On What You’ve Learned
As we approach the full moon in Cancer, the last full moon of 2018, and the winter solstice, I invite you to reflect on the year that passed. How did you grow? What did you learn? How did you soften and become more of who you really are? This moment in the cosmic calendar asks you to reflect, discern and claim your wisdom. Do let it pass you bye!
The Winter Solstice: An Initiation
The solstice, marked by the Sun moving into Capricorn, happens this year on December 21st. In initiating the winter season, Capricorn—a cardinal sign—brings with it assertive (and ambitious) energy. It’s the perfect influence for a time of year when we consciously call in the light! Yet, before we start calling in the light, and our 2019 goals, it’s so important to honor our growth, too. Take time to fully digest the lessons you just learned before you set your sights on what’s next!
The full moon in Cancer happens with Venus—who’s no longer in her retrograde shadow—making a luscious trine to Neptune, the planet of dreams. This combination helps us to access our intuitive and empathetic capacities. Adding to the already intuitive planetary lineup, Mercury (the planet of communication) conjoins Jupiter (the planet of good luck), too!
This astrological forecast makes for a potent full moon solstice experience.
Use it to your advantage.
Cancer, after all, connects us to our emotions. It also represents our need for safety and security. In my Well+Good column, I also talk about how it calls us home to our body, too. Read about it here.
Yet, with no major planets in air signs, please be aware that this full moon might feel impassioned, and not that articulate. We are primarily dealing with a lot of earth—the sun is in Capricorn, along with Saturn, and Pluto—and a heavy dose of water. While there’s ample fire to offset all of this water and earth, this full moon could feel a bit muddy—heavy, soothing, and rich in minerals.
To learn more, tune into my Facebook Live with my dear colleague Grace Smith which we are hosting together in my private Facebook group at the time of the solstice at 5:30 pm ET on December 21, 2018. You can join us here! We’ll be talking about the power of reaching your subconscious, and how to change the patterns that haunt you and hold you back. I’ll be dishing everything you need to know about the solstice, and we’ll ceremoniously call in the light together. You don’t want to miss this!
Full Moon in Cancer: Embrace Your Feminine Strength
As I mentioned earlier, the full moon happens at 12:48 pm ET on December 22, 2018, at 0 degrees of Cancer, and it asks us—in true Cancer style—to return home. So be sure to spruce up your altar and prepare your full moon ritual. Envision what you wish to create in the year ahead, and commit to releasing the things that stand in your way, or that no longer serve you.
Spend time going over 2018 and truly digest the lessons you learned.
How did 2018 grow you?
With this in mind, how you wish to mature over the next 12 months?
How do you want to grow?
What is holding you back from achieving the success you desire?
Are you ready to banish blocks from the past along with 2018?
New Year, New Chapter, New Lessons
As we enter this year, we enter an entirely new chapter of our lives. January packs a serious punch. I’ll tell you all about it next year! But for now, don’t forget to join my full moon solstice interview with Grace Smith, the author of Close Your Eyes, Get Free.
Now over to you. What touched you from this blog? I’d love to hear your biggest takeaway. What lessons did you learn in 2018? What was your primary, game-changing, learning of 2018? What challenges did you show up for that made you a better person? How was your heart stretched and shadow revealed? We all have shadows, every last one of us! Share with us below.
As always, I send you all of my love and wish you an abundant and successful New Year!