Cancer Full Moon: The Mother You Never Had

by | Dec 21, 2018 | Cancer, Illuminated Lunations | 4 comments

I had a dream recently. I was in a room with a tiger. I felt threatened and quite terrified. I was crying and kept calling out for my mother. I knew she was nearby, but she didn’t come. When she finally arrived, angry and in tears I asked where she had been. She nonchalantly replied that she was “out to lunch” – apt for my real-life experience of my mother, and that my current tiger situation was “no big deal”.

As I awoke, I reflected on how my internal mother shaped how I have historically treated myself during both moments of distress, crisis and fear, and just generally. The tendency to diminish my sensitivity, my feelings, dismiss my needs, the tendency to neglect to value and attend to important information from the Soul. And the terrifying feeling that, no matter what, I am utterly, utterly alone in life.

My angular Aries Moon is conjunct Chiron, and my Moon and it’s ruler (Mars) is in difficult angles (squares, opposition) to almost every planet in my chart. It is, by all accounts, a stressed Moon, reflecting my early nurture conditioning. The birth chart accurately tells us what we’re up against. Yet just as a pearl is cultivated through the friction of sand, these same factors have made me:

Value my feeling life, listen to my Soul’s voice, become an expert in self-care and radical self-compassion, honor my big sensitivity, cultivate a relationship to Source (I AM never alone)

Mine is not a sob story. I’ve learned to see underneath the parental conditioning I received to what it’s honed in me. I am not a victim of their shortcomings. I would not be who I am without these traits – traits clearly so vital to my core that my family forced me to cultivate them more thoroughly, through their inability to do the same.

For me, the dream’s message was timely: It was time become the mother I never had.

In the birth chart, the Moon is the Mother. She rules the conditions of our early mothering/nurturing experience, as well as the one we endeavor to create for our self throughout life. A safe container and sanctuary from the rough and tumble dings and dents of the day-to-day world, she provides constancy, security, nurturing — reliably coming to our aid when we are distressed, picking up the pieces, soothing.

In a nutshell, the Moon soothes. She befriends. She empathizes. She tenderly holds. She accepts everything. She unconditionally loves. She rejects nothing – no feeling, no hurting self-part. It is all good.

Her consistent message: You are okay. It is okay.

Obviously, not everyone gets this ability to self-soothe from their childhood experience. Not everyone has a natal Moon that says, yes, being okay comes second nature to me, my feelings weren’t rejected, my needs were consistently met, I felt safe, responded to, loved, protected etc… All those good Moon things.

So, with the North Node transiting Cancer, the Moon’s sign, it is time to become the mother we never had. The North Node always reflects the evolutionary impulse to take a step forward in our evolution. It points the way, through the sign it transits, offering, “Here’s how to free your self from the soul cages of the hardships you’ve endured, and the sense of being alone (Capricorn South Node).”

It is time: To create sanctuary and safe harbor for our self, by deeply attending to our feeling life, what we most need. To cry. To allow our selves to melt into our own feelings, longings, and unattended to needs. Maybe that also means taking pause, at this solstice, to stop and reflect on how long we’ve expected our loved ones -spouses, parents, siblings- to do this for us. Can you let that go? It’s a tough one, but…

It is not their path to know how to best take care of, value, love, respond to and honor us.

It is not their role to be our parent– perhaps the one we never had. It is ours.

Saturday morning’s Cancer Full Moon peaks as the holiday season is already in full swing —a multiplex of feeling layers are playing out in many households, and it’s solstice, a time when our physical energetic resources are naturally at a low ebb. Translation: Big-ly feelings. All the feels. Vulnerability, sensitivity, fatigue. And we are likely needing far more alone time than we’re getting…

When it all feels too “big”, it’s a good time to become the mother you never had.

Here’s what I’ve been working with. The next time you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed, inconsolable, try this. Sit in a quiet space. Get still. Say (aloud or to yourself) It’s okay. Let the thoughts come up to refute this, about how okay it isn’t. To which you consistently reply: “It’s okay.” “It’s okay.” “It’s okay.” Slow down. It’s not a race. You’re not trying to convince yourself that it is okay, but to know that okay is actually your baseline, your natural state (and know that the other, the not okay, is a total fabrication).

The next step is to feel this in your energy body. This involves the practice of inviting and allowing. You say “It’s okay” (invite)  and then you pause and wait. The energy of feeling basically okay/good will expand inside you, as you allow it, maybe in your belly or your heart. You can’t force this, it needs to arise naturally. Do this a couple of times and you will build a new self-nurturing baseline for your self.

Finally, it’s easy to think about your family’s shortcomings during the holidays. Try considering how your nurturing (Moon/lunar) influences have shaped you, positively. Did you have a narcisisstic parent? I bet you’ve become an expert in empathy, caring and advocating for yourself. Angry parent? You’ve learned that not being an arguer doesn’t make you weak; you know blowing up in anger solves nothing. You’ve become an expert peacemaker with a PhD in kindness. Really, whatever your familial poison – and there are many- you can lemonade it. You can see how the sand they offered helped you cultivate your pearl.

If, by now, you have run to your chart to analyze your Moon might I suggest taking the above approach? Because if you’re looking for a reflection of a perfect nurturing (or anything- relationship, life purpose etc.), you’re barking up the wrong tree! Your Ego can have a field day looking at how “afflicted” your Moon is, which is so incredibly unhelpful. Know: the birth chart is an accurate reflection of conditions we encounter on our road to becoming whole, but interpreting those through the lens of strengths cultivated in you, seeing your inherent wholeness, is the gift of the wise perceiver. No chart can ever tell us that.

Why not give yourself the holiday gift of seeing yourself not as fractured, but as beautifully, perfectly whole?

It really is up to you. No one else can give this to you.

At this Full Moon, may we each be soothed.

To have that experience, during big feeling moments, that everything is okay.

It’s a time of radical self-compassion. For the feelings the season brings up. For oneself.

It’s a Me-Me-Me Merry Christmas (Tree Day)!

Because being radically compassionate toward oneself is the only way to be.









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  1. Jacqueline

    I hope Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez happens upon this post. She also has an Aries Moon (and Sun conjunct Mars in Libra) and has recently been reaching out for advice on how to nurture herself (which she says she does not know how do well or easily) after the wild burnout of a difficult campaign. Ironically with an Aries Moon wouldn’t one feel most nurtured by a challenge of some sort? I am assuming that each Moon sign/position might find comfort differently. Her Mercury in Libra opposing her Aries Moon might try to tell her she needs to cuddle up with a good book, but it probably isn’t what she really needs?

  2. Suzanne Miley

    I love, love, LOVE this so much! Thank you, as always, Jessica. Now I’m off to look at my natal chart 😉

  3. Elizabeth

    I once had a dream similar to yours – of a little girl, injured and crying inconsolably while mother talks on the phone on the other side of a glass wall. The little one was surrounded by angels but she just wanted her mummy (Moon in Gemini in the 12th sextile Saturn & square Uranus & Pluto in the 4th – yes, I do love my astrology!).

    The good news is – now she’s learning to feel the love that’s always and already there. And to understand that all she thought she did/said/was wrong was not about her at all – it was just the negative projections of another injured soul. As you eloquently expressed, all the hurt showed exactly where she needed to heal.

    Thank you for these wise words honouring this beautiful Cancer full moon.

  4. Dawn

    I can relate to all of this…with my fellow aries moon in 12th hse.
    Working on my co-dependency…your post was v helpful…thankyou.

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