Full Moon in Cancer, End of Mars Retrograde

Alex Stein
3 min readJan 6, 2023

This Full Moon in Cancer comes as Mars completes its retrograde (January 13), and a week into Mercury’s retrograde. Every successive inner planet retrograde I experience appears more and more as a gift. Like everything in life, retrogrades are here to teach us, if we will let them. I always become aware of some blindspot or some stuck part of the psyche, and a cosmic chiropractic adjustment takes place. I come out feeling lighter, clearer, and more aligned.
In spite of the hype, Mercury retrograde is relatively benign. It’s our quarterly mental house cleaning, affording us the opportunity to put our heads on straight (or run around like headless chickens, if that’s our preference). It’s the classic, “but I thought I was done with that!” transit. Try not to lament or resist. Just take the note.

Mars retrograde, on the other hand, is more challenging. Retrogrades always invite you to discover how you “do” a particular planet. In the case of Mars, how do you do desire, aggression, and action? How do you pursue goals? What happens when things don’t go your way? How do you react to threats? Irritation? Frustration? Where lurks your rage? During Mars retrograde, it all comes under review. You may have felt impotence, fear, and anger. You may have pushed hard, but made little progress. You may have found yourself embroiled in battles with an enemy — even though you’re the kind of person who doesn’t have enemies. During this final week of Mars retrograde, take some time to review and digest the last few months. This is some seriously potent medicine.

Today’s Cancer Full Moon, opposite retrograde Mercury, supports this. Cancer always puts us in touch with our conditioned patterns — all of those past stories that seem so fraught with life-defining intensity and meaning. Cancer also gives us the ability to feel whatever we need to feel and know we are lovable, no matter what. Mercury retrograde gives us the chance to uncover our mental distortions (e.g. limiting stories). With this alignment, we get some cosmic assistance at separating thought and emotion — a key to understanding and working with vibration.

As you let your inner stuff arise, you may notice how quickly stories attach to emotions. So quickly, in fact, that it can seem preposterous to imagine you could separate them. But try it. Invite your fears and frustrations to arise and notice what stories want to come along. Then tell the stories to get lost and let the wave of emotion pass through. It will pass. It is only energy moving. Keep doing it. You may be amazed at the peace and bliss that arises when you do this, and at what you learn about the nature of vibration.

Alchemical adept and archetypal astrologer Alex Stein helps people to discover just what their consciousness is capable of. Weaving together practices from ancient and modern traditions, both Eastern and Western, Alex helps people let go of their limitations, discover powers they did not know they had, and open up to whole new dimensions of experience and manifestation. Alex lives in Benicia, CA and is currently pursuing a PhD in East-West Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco.