Full Moon in Cancer ~ The Culling Moon

Christmas Morning Moon
2010 Christmas Moon, photographed by Clare Goodwin

Full Moons are the bringers of light. They are that small but powerful voice in our head that asks us what we’re going to do with our lives. If they could speak, we’d hear things like “Cut your losses,” “It’s now or never,” or “Failure is not an option.” They test our resolve.

This Full Moon puts us in a particularly potent scenario because it asks us to choose between or balance two very strong archetypes ~ The Moon in Cancer as Mother and the Sun in Capricorn as Father. The Sun has a powerful alliance with Saturn in this scenario, but the Moon holds royal dominion in her native sign of Cancer.

A Little Background ~ The Cancer and Capricorn Solar Eclipses 

The Mother Archetype ~ The July 2010 Solar Eclipse in Cancer threw a spotlight on all the mother, home, nurturing issues in our lives. We were urged to fulfill the role of the mother ~ to give birth to and nurture something.

Six months have now passed. It’s time for review. How is the health of our young charge? We hear, “Honey, I’m home!,” and Dad is at the door.

The Father Archetype ~ Dad arrived with the January 4th New Moon and Solar Eclipse in Capricorn asking, What is the return on my investment so far? Have we put more into a project or relationship than we’ve received, or have our efforts been bountiful? Is our young charge healthy, glowing, and fit, or is it a runt? It’s time for an objective evaluation, and the future of our young charge is based on a performance review.

On one hand, this strong Full Moon has placed us squarely in the world of hearth and home. On the other hand, we must be highly functional and profitable in what we’ve come to know as a man’s world.  Holding our balance between the two extremes will require ambidextrous skill.


Eclipse issues are big. We can plan on spending a year working on them. New Moon issues are short-term projects and we can devote about a month to working on those.

As the six-month marker of the Cancer Eclipse and the two-week marker of the Capricorn New Moon, this is the make-it or break-it point. We have to make a decision on what to do next based on whether we’ve done well or floundered so far. Success or failure is yet to come.

It’s Time to Cull the Herd

This Full Moon asks us to rid ourselves of the inferior and rejected charges in our life so that the stronger can survive.

How tender is your heart?

Are you able to toss the runt in the river and move on, or are you the type that spends the extra time and effort to nourish that little runt no matter how heavily the odds are stacked against survival? You just know you can save it.

Only you know the nurturing issues strong in your life at this time. You may have actively worked on them and given them priority in your life.  They are strong and fit, able to survive in “a man’s world.”

There is also the possibility that you haven’t spoken about them to anyone, still holding them in the womb. If that’s the case, you still have some HomeWork to do. (What a great Cancer/Capricorn word.) It’s time to bring your charges up to snuff and whip them into shape.

Those old voices whisper again ~ 

Cut your losses.
It’s now or never.
Failure is not an option.

The Wolf Moon

Jim Dutcher

The Full Moon of January is known as the Wolf Moon, the Old Moon, and the Moon after Yule. Old Moon certainly fits the Capricorn symbol of The Elder. Moon after Yule still has that holiday ring to it and I’d venture to say that most of us are out of the holiday mood by now. The Wolf Moon is especially poignant, however, and is sure to shed some light on the nurturing and culling issues we have to consider.

The Wolf Moon is a hungry Moon. It is the deepest point of winter, snows are heavy, and food is likely to be scarce. As a hunter, the wolf has been known to take the weak or older member from a herd of prey, essentially culling the herd and aiding survival of the fittest.

The pack is led by an alpha pair ~ the equivalent of our Mother/Father archetypes ~ which rule the pack at all times. Wolves will also cull their own pack, if necessary, for the survival of the pack, but have also been known to grieve when a pack member ~ even the omega wolf ~ has died.

It’s a very structured society in a harsh environment and some obviously “inhuman” choices are made for the health of the pack at large. Choices must be made, however, and there’s no better time than now. Full Moons are made for letting go. Grieve for what you cut loose. If you can’t let go, recommit. It really is now or never. Make a healthy choice and a strong investment in going forward because from now on failure really isn’t an option.

Related Post: Full Moon in Cancer ~ Go Ask Your Mom / Go Ask Your Dad

To learn more about wolves, you can do no better than Jim and Jamie Dutcher’s work with wolves. Please visit them online at LivingWithWolves.org. My husband had the honor of working with Jim and Jamie on the production of their book, The Sawtooth Wolves, a magnificent study of the Sawtooth pack.

A huge thanks to Clare Goodwin of abgoodwin.com for her beautiful photo of the Full Moon over Cape Cod.

8 thoughts on “Full Moon in Cancer ~ The Culling Moon

  1. Well CJ, I fit the eclipse and the new Moon very well. During the Eclipse in July I went home to visit my Mother who has finished cancer treatments, and also went to a family reunion. Then yesterday I heard from my Mother who now wants to come visit me. So we have the full circle going on.

    I have also decided earlier in the year that things in my relationship have to change. I will no longer be the Mother in the relationship. Now I want to an equal part of the Alpha Pair as you mentioned with the wolves. 🙂 Yes, it is now or never.

    My theme for the year is follow my intuition and be determined!

    1. I wish you tons of Full Moon blessings on bringing your relationship issues to where you want them to be, Susie. It’s hard to stop playing roles in relationships, but every “mother” has to push her little one out of the “nest.” Your second Saturn return is there to help. 😉

  2. Beautifully explained, cj. In July I decided time to put personal boundaries in place to ensure my own survival as a woman alone..all children safely flown the nest and I now had a new place all my own..first time for many decades! Set about putting decent fencing round my gardens to protect my faithful hound and then set about the personal boundaries..I was no longer a Mother..I was me with my needs, my interests..been a long haul since then, but I have not waivered..conflicts? oh yes, but I stood firm 99.9% of the time! Lost a few fairweather friends when I at last voiced what I would and would not tolerate, but the ones I build my shell around now to protect are worth every monent of my time.

    Oh..Moon in Cancer in 7th House btw..LOL

    1. You’ve done a bit of culling since the eclipse, Penny, and your Cancer Moon is all the stronger for it. Coming in the 1st/7th house axis, the eclipse was especially eventful for you, as it is for anyone with these signs on the angles of the chart. Congratulations on your fine herding instincts.

  3. Well I have to say the eclipse was not good for me. A budding love relationship that started mid-June went down hill by August and was over the first week of September.

    1. Hi, Beatrice. I’m sorry to hear about your disappointment in love. Did you notice any home/nurturing issues with the Cancer eclipse that are continuing to unfold?

      1. Yes I had nurturing issue with my mother that started around the time of the eclipse but have pretty much resolved to a low simmer.

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