For exclusive access to all our stories, including sequences, teacher tips, video classes, and more,
join Outside+ today.
Welcome to the first full moon of 2022! The gorgeous Wolf Moon. so named because in Native traditions, it was said that wolves were heard howling more frequently at this time of year. It seems fitting, actually, since the upcoming full moon takes place in the sign of Cancer and will be full of “the feels.”
See also: What the Full Moon Means in Astrology
What does a full moon in Cancer mean?
Expect to find yourself feeling more sensitive to events and interactions, experiencing heightened intuition, even finding yourself a little moodier. The major theme to take away is that this full moon is all about taking care of yourself. This is not a time to exert yourself, but rather to create space to support the immense subtleties of your inner workings that will be illuminated by this lunar phase. The full awareness and aftereffects might come weeks or even months later. At the moment, you are simply allowing and listening.
What to do on the full moon in Cancer
Don’t consider yourself to be “woo-woo?” You will still be feeling the effects the full moon. It helps to have an awareness of why this is happening so you know you’re not going crazy or the only person experiencing this. When you know what’s happening in the lunar cycle, you can make adjustments to modulate how you’re feeling. This can happen through a simple shift in the things you’re already doing. Each act you do is an offering, how you live is a ritual, and there is deep magic even in the seemingly mundane.
So with this full moon happening in Cancer on January 17 at 6:48 p.m. ET, here are five themes and rituals that are relatively accessible and aligned. You get to determine just how far you take things.
1. Be in nature
This is such an easy and important act. Our bodies have lived in sync with the cycles of nature for thousands of years. Even contemporary science reiterates, again and again, the calming benefits of being outside of your usual four walls. Unfortunately, modern times have disrupted that relationship.
In the days leading up to, on the day of, and after the full moon, be in nature. Whatever that looks like for you. Walk. Hike. Run. Cycle. Sit around a fire. Drag your yoga mat outside. Even if you live in a city, step outside, breathe deeply, take time to notice the sensations, sounds, smells, and sights—see if you can identify one thing you might not have noticed or appreciated before.
2. Connect to your body
This full moon in Cancer is deeply spiritual and likely to bring up a lot of emotions, so you might be feeling a lot. Embrace slower and more subtle practices including Yin Yoga, Restorative Yoga, and breathwork. Schedule a massage, get that Reiki session, lay on those bolsters, and make some quiet time. Since we are swimming in the emotions of a cardinal water sign, a soothing bath would be ideal. Your body is a vessel. Something significant happens when you shift your relationship with your body from seeing it as something you use and govern to honoring it as a treasure you have been gifted. Appreciate it and give it a rest.
3. Clear and clean your space
You probably have loads of hidden and not-so-hidden clutter in life that sucks up your physical and mental space and blocks your energy. There are so many things you can do, but let’s start with some less common ones that are easy to overlook. Close those unread browser tabs, empty your email box, clean out the fridge, donate anything in your closet you no longer wear, and remove any other seemingly small distractions in your physical and visual surroundings.
Clutter also comes in the form of multitasking, which distracts us from truly being in the moment. That can include listening to music while doing something else. Focus on one thing at a time. Turn off the TV if you are trying to concentrate. If you prefer to have something playing in the background while you work, switch from pop to something more soothing.
4. Nourish and savor
Eating and drinking are such a part of our routine that we often do them mindlessly. Slow down. Nourish yourself. Take the time to bring ritual into this part of your day around the full moon.
Consider switching out coffee for green tea or cacao to minimize caffeine intake. Rose is an herbal tea that is a heart medicine and a stunning ally in love and simplicity. It helps us embrace our shadows and our emotional nature. Savor a cup of it nightly during a quiet and meditative space. If you want a little more woo-woo, perhaps picture the love you have for all of you.
5. Appreciate—or at least accept—everything
It’s usually easy to be grateful for the things we find pleasure in, but what about the things that have brought us uncertainty and sorrow? The full moon in Cancer brings those experiences to the surface and invites us to sit with, rather than reject, everything that has shaped us. This is an inspired time to reflect on some unresolved situations—within yourself, as well as with others—and start the process of healing through acceptance. It might help to create a list of those who have wronged you and remind yourself that they are human. Someone who is simply trying their best yet still faltering. Just like you. Can you work through any judgment you might still be feeling?
Don’t forget to revel in the company of those who do make you feel happy. Reach out to someone you love spending time with and indulge in a night of laughter and meaningful connection to celebrate all the abundance in your life, even as you ask for more.
See also: Try Gratitude Journaling