It’s a relief, in some ways, to have the last full moon of the year be a Cancer full moon. Cancer energy is, at its core, nourishing. It seeks out environments that foster restoration. The moon in the sign of Cancer is at home, is well cared for. While this full moon is not an eclipse, it’s not outside of the eclipse cycle. Working with the Solar eclipse of December 14 in Sagittarius, this full moon makes an opposition to Mercury in Capricorn — recognizing that the inventory is not the whole truth — that one must take emotional stock, as well as balance their accounts. This full moon is sextile Uranus in Taurus and it wants us to radically shift the way we approach our resources, to recognize what we've got before it’s gone — even though we’ve been singing a different tune for a long time. This Cancer full moon prepares us for the Capricorn new moon in January, which will meet Pluto in a transit of intense reckoning, and it prepares us for the year ahead.
What does it mean to take stock? If I may use a winter metaphor (perhaps if it is summer where you are, you can play along and imagine yourself in a wintry situation — the pandemic certainly has us “stocking-up” year-round), imagine your energies as preserves. In our spirits and our fragile fleshy bodies, imagine a storeroom of mysterious jars, once taken down from their shelves, revealing fall’s harvest. These peaches, these tomatoes, these buoyant life sources were contained and made to last through the fallow months. How many mysterious jars have you reached for without a second thought, beginning your day simply knowing you needed to re-up and get through? When nothing came from the government, when your relatives reached out, when neighbors suffered, how much of your stored energy were you called to share, to give away? And now, at our Gregorian year’s end, how many preserves remain?
There is a common understanding amongst witches and anarchists alike that what you give out you get back. There is a fierce belief in the reciprocity of the universe. I, too, am one of those. Yet, it’s also true that not all of us are lucky enough, or privileged enough, to wait for the universe to bring it on home to us — not with dependents, disabilities, and systemic racism. Living in a world in turmoil, in the throes grief and the clutches of capitalism, forces us to narrow our energies towards what we can save for ourselves and, if we’re lucky, our loved ones. While magic flows over everyone and everything, indiscriminate of our station, it’s difficult to feel abundance inside of institutionalized scarcity. So many of us work when our bodies ask us to rest, we say yes because we’re afraid our opportunities will dry up in this inclement economic weather, and — even if we are not the ones burning a candle down at both ends through endless capitalized labor — we are the ones tending to and caring for those who must.
So, when I write to you about the Cancer full moon, about taking stock, I write to you knowing that you or someone you love has given up a great deal this year in the hopes of protecting someone else. You or someone you love hasn’t been touched in months. You or someone you love hasn’t felt the communal energy of prayer and broken bread with kin in dozens of Sabbaths. You or someone you love had watched a family member pass from this world — isolated and surrounded by unfamiliar bodies shrouded in makeshift PPE, sometimes garbage bags. If this feels too heavy to read, too far from what you think about each day, too much to hold after holiday fatigue, it’s a good time to remember that you are a part of this universe. Whether you let your mind sit still enough to hear its stories or not, you are energetically subject to all of them. This reminder isn’t meant to be an admonishment, it’s meant to encourage self-forgiveness. Give yourself grace, give yourself the day off, give yourself time alone in the dark of the storeroom of your spirit. Remind yourself that what you’ve got is yours to give away or cherish — that it isn’t owed or indebted. Remind yourself that the pleasure you find in taking care of others is the same pleasure others find in taking care of you.