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Cancer New Moon 2023: Insights & Ritual

Deep water with light above, overlaid with a faint image of the galaxy. Reads: Cancer New Moon: Moon 101, Astral Insights, Eco-Somatic Ritual

The New Moon in CANCER will grace the sky on July 17th reaching peak illumination at 2:32pm EST.

This blog post covers all you need to know about the Cancer New Moon along with a simple eco-somatic ritual to support integration.

In this blog post you will find:

Introduction: Moon 101

The sun and moon are in a cyclical relationship as they weave through the seasons of the zodiac. This celestial dance provides us with an intuitive road map to explore our own inner/outer journey as we too make our way through the ebb and flow of nature's seasons and come into new and ever-changing dimensions of our lives.

While the sun is ruler of the day and influences our "outer" expression in the world, it is to no surprise that as ruler of the tides and queen of the night the moon is also ruler of our emotions and "inner" felt experience. Our emotions have long been associated with representations of water and the sea: fluid, ever-changing, ebbing and flowing. As the moon pulls at the tides, we also experience this influencing force on our emotions, desires, shadow realms, fears/worries, psyche, and dreams.

Self-knowledge arises through a process of uncovering hidden layers of self through revelation and integration. This process is mirrored in the ebb and flow of the moon which is why it's something we learn to observe and track. As the light of the moon waxes, more of what lies hidden becomes revealed - our deeper motivations, mechanisms, and feelings. As the light of the moon wanes, we are given time to integrate these new learnings and discoveries.

This New Moon falls within the sign of Cancer several days ahead of the Sun shifting into the sign of Leo. Keep reading to learn how you can use this moon portal to explore new dimensions of self seeking expression in the world.

Dark forest scene with overlaid words: "Join us in the Sacred Grove for new & full moon rituals every month"

Cancer Insights

Symbol: Crab

The CANCER NEW MOON supports you to nurture your soul's journey toward embodying love and authentic power in service to the conscious evolution of earth.

Here in the northern hemisphere, we are in the very early stages of the sun's descent as we move toward the middle of July. It's almost imperceptible but the days are already beginning to decrease. By the time we reach mid-August the sun will be setting a half an hour earlier than now. Two weeks ago, the Capricorn Full Moon was inviting us to contemplate and even disentangle from the cultural myths and stories we may have internalized about climbing mountains and "getting to the top" of whatever it is we're striving for externally. The deep strength and maturity of Capricorn is the courage it takes to slowly become ourselves by looking deeply into all the ways we have felt pressured to climb up mountains and pursue things that go against the grain of who we are. Ultimately it is not about the legacy we leave behind in the material world, but about finding our way back to the center of ourselves.

Now the sun and moon stand together (conjunct) in the sign of Cancer, the mother archetype of the zodiac, which is related to the way we feel at home within ourselves. The essential task of Cancer is to transform instinct into intuition so that your creative force can be brought into the realm of the sacred. This means cultivating discernment between voices of the heart, mind, society and soul. As we make space for, listen to and trust our deeper needs, longings and emotions, we will live more boldly and create more beautifully, sustainably, and in a way that showcases our unique way of moving through the world.

Practices to support integration: naming feelings or impulses as they arise without judgment.

New Moon Energy

The New Moon in Cancer marks the beginning of a new lunar cycle. The previous Gemini New Moon cycle ends and a Cancer New Moon cycle begins. Since the moon is the closest "planet" to Earth, this satellite zips around the zodiac very quickly, completing its round in less than a month. Actually, the entire trip takes 29.53 days, to be exact, and is measured from one “New Moon” to the next. We call this a lunation or lunar cycle.

During a New Moon, the moon is sitting between the Earth and the Sun, hence the Sun is shining on the side of the moon we never see. Both the Moon and Sun are in the same Zodiac sign during a New Moon forming a conjunction, which means that the influencing energies are united and enhance the other. In this case, both the sun and moon are conjunct in the sign of Gemini.


The New Moon is the beginning or conception stage in the lunar cycle. The darkness of the new moon represents fertile ground.

New moon energy is a time for introspection, heightened intuition, surrendering to the unknown, releasing what no longer serves you, opening to magic and conjuring visions.

It is the most potent time to plant your dream seeds or set intentions by consciously focusing on the "feeling' of your hearts' desires.

Whatever intentions you set for yourself now should be revisited 6 months from now on the Cancer Full Moon.

What you need to know about Gemini

Illustration of the zodiac wheel highlighting the cardinal cross in red and circling the symbol of Cancer




Initiatory energy, pushing forward, beginnings, equinoxes and solstices

Cardinal signs align with the seasonal cross points of light and dark. Aries aligns with Spring Equinox, Cancer with Summer Solstice, Libra with Fall Equinox and Capricorn with Winter solstice. The Cardinal Cross is considered a most important set of axis lines. It's the first sign of each element where things begin.

"Cardinal signs are the initiating aspects of whichever element they represent. Like fire, they reach out and make direct contact with reality. They know where they are going. Geometrically, they correspond to straight line." - Vicki Noble, Motherpeace

Cancer is the cardinal water sign (circled in the diagram), opposing it is the cardinal earth sign of Capricorn which creates one axis of the Cardinal Cross. The two feminine elements (Water and Earth) always create an axis and the two masculine elements (Air and Fire) create the other axis. Each cross contains each of the four elements. In this case the cardinal signs are represented by: Capricorn (Earth), Cancer (Water), Aries (Fire), Libra (Air).




Water is the element of emotions, instinct and the mysterious realm of the psyche. It is the element of the dream world, adaptability, fertility, receiving, healing, fluidity and change.

"We can see water’s unique ability to change form as it ranges from liquid to ice to gas. Water flows and adapts to the space it’s in. Water is also the element of cleansing and purification, and is often used for spiritual purposes to cleanse the soul and other spaces —physical or otherwise. The ‘wave of emotions’ reminds us of the watery realms of our emotions that can transform and change like the element of water." - Kayla White

Water signs feel at home in depths of emotion and have a strong connection to the unseen. They are highly intuitive and have strong ties to the lunar currents, thus dreamscapes may be particularly vivid. As deep feelers they are emotionally moved to action.


Qualities: instincts, survival, subconscious, emotion, fluctuation, feeling, protection, motherhood, moods, reflection, receptivity, cycles, security, home, intuition

"The Moon is the largest satellite in the solar system. The Earth and Moon are gravitationally bound to each other, the period of rotation of the Moon around its axis coincides with its orbital period around the Earth (27.32 days). This means that we always see the same face of the Moon and its opposite side is out of our field of view from Earth.” (source:


Cancer the Crab is a constellation of the zodiac, which means that it lies on the ecliptic, or path of the sun and planets through our sky. In the Northern Hemisphere, Cancer is best seen in the evening sky in late winter and early spring.

Simple illustration of the constellation cancer which looks like a line with two paths forking from the bottom

According to EarthSky:

"It’s the faintest of the 12 constellations of the zodiac. To see Cancer, you need to look between Gemini's two brightest stars Castor and Pollux , and Leo the Lion’s brightest star Regulus. Once you’ve found Cancer – if your sky is dark – you can see the wonderful open star cluster called the Beehive. It contains some 1,000 stars."(Source)

Ritual Elements

A chart offering elements for the sign of Cancer to be incorporated into the ritual

Cancer New Moon Ritual

What You'll Need

1. Elements for your altar. Drawing on the ritual elements above, consider what you might want to bring to your altar. Start simple. There is absolutely no need to go out and "buy" altar items. This is something that we encourage you to unlearn. Everything we need is within us and can be found around us. A simple candle will do, or a yellow flower for example.

2. Journal & something to write with for the journaling portion.

Important Considerations & Prep

1. RIGHT RELATIONSHIP: being in right relationship with your spiritual practice means approaching each aspect with humility, curiosity and reverence. This includes checking yourself on the nature of how you relate to "objects" as things and the process itself.

  • For example, if you feel called to stones as part of your ritual, consider WHY first. Then contemplate the impact of whatever action comes next. For example, instead of mindlessly purchasing cheap precious stones from somewhere like amazon (which have more than likely been harmfully mined/extracted and then shipped across the world as part of the consumer machine that's destroying our planet), perhaps part of your spiritual practice is to resist such a prompting and instead take the time to go for a mindful walk in your backyard, or a nearby stream and see if the right stone presents itself to you.

2. CLEANSE & PURIFY YOUR SPACE: Cleansing, also known as purification, is the practice of clearing out and releasing negative energy from your space, as well as energy that’s just old, stale, stagnant, or no longer serving you. Here are a few different methods:

  • Physical cleaning: dusting, vacuuming, opening windows for fresh air

  • Salt: a common element used for purification and protection in many different cultures. To use, simply sprinkle salt along doorways and windowsills to protect them from negative energy entering or just keep a small bowl of salt on your altar or nearby surface.

  • Smoke cleansing: light incense or burn a bundle of dried herbs such as rosemary, cedar, or mugwort. Choose plants that you have grown yourself or that grow abundantly wild nearby, plants that you have ancestral tied to or just those that have been grown and harvested ethically.

NOTE: If you do not have meaningful/authentic relationships to Indigenous culture and customs, "smudging" with white sage cultural appropriation and is dishonoring to Indigenous nations across Turtle island. It is important to understand that smudging is not just about burning sage to purify the negative energy from your space but is a sacred ritual that is culturally specific to tribes such as the Lakota Sioux, Comanche, Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Navajo. If you have been gifted sage by an Indigenous friend, use to your discretion in how to engage with this medicine. This sacred plant is being abused, exploited and mass-harvested for commercial and consumer use which perpetuates the violence of white supremacy and settler colonialism. Take some time to locate yourself within a settler-colonial context interwoven with the land you currently occupy. Check out Native Land to learn the name and more about the territories you occupy.


  • Take a shower our bath; visualize any negative energy that has accumulated in your auric field to be washed away as the water goes down the drain.

  • Meditate, center and take some time to ground in stillness and embodied presence.

  • Write or speak your intentions for your ritual out loud


Altar Creation

Creating an altar is optional. Altar tending is a beautiful practice, especially if you have a designated area in your home that you can tend to over the course of each moon and seasonal cycle.

Tending to an altar is an intentional practice that supports your exploration of nature spirituality and carries the potential to deepen your relationship to the energetic archetypes of the unfolding seasonal & moon cycles.

To set up your altar, simply play with any number of the ritual elements offered above in the chart by using symbols, colors, precious gemstones, symbolism, etc.

There is no right or wrong way to go about creating, tending or being with your altar, however we do not condone cultural appropriation or theft of any kind.

Eco-Somatic Practice: Nesting

Cancer’s essence is about nurturing the mother within, creating a structure of safety to feel secure, held, and loved. For this eco-somatic practice, we draw upon one of nature’s embodiments of a home - the nest.


  1. Sticks, logs, branches, etc

  2. Bowl of water

  3. blanket

  4. Phone with headphones or speaker (optional)


  1. To begin, find a place tucked in a grove of trees where you will feel undisturbed - as secluded as possible. This can be in a forest, or in your yard near a tree, off trail at a park, or somewhere in nature you like to be. Try to choose a place that has branches or sticks nearby. If nature is not available to you, get creative by replacing sticks with blankets and pillows.

  2. Once you have chosen a location and place, begin to imagine the shape, size and depth of the nest you want to build. This can be as simple or elaborate as you wish.

  3. Then start to gather sticks from around you to create your nest, starting to assemble your shape. You might choose varying sizes, thicknesses of sticks, mossy sticks, or rocks - using any materials that you feel drawn to. And being mindful of your pace and approach as you gather your materials for your nest. You can add nearby foliage, leaves, flowers, ferns or anything else you’d like to decorate your home with to feel nurtured and cared for.

  4. Next, clear out or tend to the inside of your nest in any way that will feel most comfortable for you to be able to sit, stretch, lie down and be. If you brought a blanket, chair, etc you may place that out.

  5. Take a moment to just notice, making any other adjustment before blessing your nest.

  6. Now, reach for your bowl of water and hold it near your heart as you stand or sit in the center of your nest. Begin to inwardly or outwardly reflect and connect to your sense of home - when do you feel most at home in yourself? What practices and ways of being, nurture this inner place of home? What do you need to lean into, let go of to rest more deeply in this place? Begin to set intentions, speaking inwardly or outwardly into the bowl of water.

  7. When you feel complete, take your bowl of water and sprinkle water all along the perimeter of your nest with your fingertips, all the way around, moving slowly, intentionally and with a sense of a bowing.

  8. Then find a comfortable position laying down or sitting and rest in your nest. Here you may want to just soak in the safety of your nest; you might place your hand on your heart and connect to your inner home; you might decide to just notice the dabbling light of the leaves, or the passing clouds, or listen to the birds and take in the nurturing presence of your nest. If you want, listen to this song as you rest: Mother I feel You by Ajeet Kaur

  9. When you feel complete, take a moment to kneel in your nest, thanking this place of rest and home and know that you can return to this place anytime.


Deep water with light above, overlaid with a faint image of the galaxy. Reads: Cancer New Moon: Moon 101, Astral Insights, Eco-Somatic Ritual

What came up for you during the eco-somatic practice? Take some time to reflect on anything you'd like to hold onto.

Additional journal prompts for the new moon:

  • What dreams are guiding me right now?

  • In what moments do I feel most at home within myself and the world?

  • What does water teach me about what I need?

You may also feel called to finishing the following sentences:

  • A habits of thought or behavior that I am releasing is....

  • A new practice that I would like to incorporate into my routine is...

  • Something that I am letting go of is...

  • Something I am welcoming in is...

Did you find this post helpful?

We'd love to hear from you! Leave a comment below :)

Want more? You might enjoy reading...

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