Full Moon in Cancer – Bear Magic

My daughter is now six and a half years old, and we have recently discovered the Disney/Pixar movie, Brave.  I encourage everyone, whether you have seen it already or not, to seek this movie out to watch during the Full Moon in Cancer.   It is a stunning meditation on boundaries, Bear Magic, mothers, heritage and fate.  Truly I was surprised to find such a resonant depiction of Bear Medicine working to heal crippled yin and deranged yang in an animated children’s film.   These themes cut straight to the heart of the Cancer Full Moon.

Another recent discovery I have made is that for the past several years, asteroid Juno has played a pivotal role in every Cancer Full Moon.  As the Moon in Cancer evokes mother issues, and the Sun in Capricorn evokes issues of ancestors and lineage, Juno is always present as the ruler of boundaries.

A quick review:

Cancer Full Moon December 2012: Juno in Capricorn, conjunct the Sun (and Pluto) opposite the full moon.

Cancer Full Moon January 2014: Juno trine the north node, sextile the south node.

Cancer full moon January 2015: Juno in Leo, quincunx the Sun, semisextile the Moon.   and Juno trine Uranus.

Cancer full moon December 2015: Juno trine the full moon, sextile the Sun.

Which brings us to the Cancer Full Moon of January 2017: Juno in Sagittarius, quincunx the full moon, semisextile the Sun.  and Juno trine Uranus.

Take a minute to let that pattern sink in before we move on.

The Cancer Full Moon of January 2017 takes place in a grand cardinal square with Jupiter in Libra opposite Eris, Ceres and Uranus in Aries.  The Moon is trine Chiron in Pisces, who is locked into a long term square with Saturn in Sagittarius.  During the full moon, Juno is exact conjunct Saturn.  The quincunx between Juno/Saturn and the full moon is joined by a quincunx from Vesta to Mercury stationed direct in Sagittarius.



So let’s talk about Brave, and Juno, and Bear Magic.

Juno(Hera) turned Callisto into a Bear as a punishment for having sex with Zeus.  Of course, Zeus had tricked Callisto with a disguise, so Juno’s revenge against her was just to protect her own ego. Callisto was then hunted by her own son, who did not recognize her as a Bear.  Callisto then became the constellation Ursa Major.  One of Jupiter’s four main moons is also named after Callisto.

In the movie Brave, the princess rebels against her mother, the queen, for attempting to force her into a marriage betrothal. She acquires a spell from a witch that transforms her mother into a Bear.  The queen was then hunted by her husband, the king, who was blinded by his hatred for bears after losing his leg defending his family from a bear years earlier.

Both stories share the concept of a woman being transformed into a bear against her will- a violation of bodily integrity- as a punishment for being on the wrong side of a boundary dispute, despite having no intentions of wrongdoing- and then being turned on by their loved ones. They both struggled with life as an animal in the wild, after repressing their own wildness when they lived as women. 

Asteroid Kallisto (204), representing our outcast Bear-Mother archetype is currently the companion of Psyche, retrograde in Virgo.  At 16 degrees, she is trine Pluto in Capricorn.  I don’t know what could better depict this theme of unwilling transformation than a trine to Pluto.


The mythological foundation of the outcast Bear-Mother stories shows that this unwilling transformation gives them the opportunity to heal their crippled yin.  

Bear is the animal totem which represents the pure balance of yin and yang- cycling between the yin state of hibernation(the embodiment of meditation), and the yang state of awakening(the embodiment of fierce protection). When the Bear is hibernating, boundaries are defined and enforced by yin.  When the Bear is awake, boundaries are defined and enforced by yang.  Bear is our guide back to wholeness when yin and yang are afflicted and out of balance.  Juno rules themes of boundaries, which connects her to Bear Magic.

Deranged yin is so very easily recognizable for those of us who have struggled and suffered to exist under the wings of a smothering, controlling, demanding, emotionally unavailable parent.  Sometimes the people who birth us into the world, actively stand in the way of our becoming who we are meant to be.

A must read:

The Rupture of the Mother Line and The Cost of Becoming Real by Bethany Webster

The bear that took the king’s leg at the beginning of Brave represents deranged yang- violent and aggressive, seeking to dominate through brute force and terror.   Perhaps this is a spoiler(not really)… but the depiction of healing at the end is so REAL… it shows that the yin must be healed and matured first, if deranged yang is to be corrected and soothed.

The final scene shows the princess and the once-again-human queen weaving this tapestry depicting estranged mother and daughter healing together through Bear Magic.


Which brings us back to the chart.  The Moon in Cancer opposite the Sun in Capricorn, bringing up issues of mothers and parenting.  Locked into a grand square with Jupiter in Libra opposite Ceres/Eris/Uranus, blowing the lid off of our stuck patterns that stand in the way of sustainable wholeness as individuals and in relationships, self-care, caring for others, and creating an authentic identity.  Juno conjunct Saturn, demanding that boundaries are strong and enforced.  And Saturn square Chiron, which is guiding us all to the places where our integrity needs work.

It is highly, highly unlikely that those of us (of any gender) who were birthed by mothers with crippled yin have our own healthy sense of yin.   It is likely that we have carried our own crippled yin and attracted partners with deranged yang, creating a vicious cycle where we continue to shrink further and further away from our true selves.

I am here in the crucible of this grand cardinal cross full moon, acknowledging the roots of conflict at the foundation of my most treasured bonds- my daughter, my mother, my partner.  I accept my place in the beginningless flow of mothers and daughters, and I receive the burden of poisoned yin as mine to transform.  So I look to the sky for guidance.  The Full Moon in Cancer, and Juno, are guiding me towards Bear Medicine.  In the dark cold winter, the Bear hibernates in meditation.  The days are starting to get longer.




2 thoughts on “Full Moon in Cancer – Bear Magic

  1. Pingback: Full Moon in Virgo – Growing Pains | Planetary Clarity

  2. Pingback: New Moon in Cancer: The Hibernaculum | Planetary Clarity

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