The Complete Guide To 2023's Full Moons And How They'll Affect You

The moon's cultural and spiritual history is mangled into our energy during each lunar cycle. Historically, it's been referred to as a planet, a goddess to be worshiped (Selene, Greek for 'moon'), and we even see a 'man in the moon' (via Britannica). This illuminated mass in orbit has been gendered and revered. In Chinese culture, the moon symbolizes peace, prosperity, and family, says Museum of the Moon. Its glow is thought to be romantic, enigmatic, and spiritual, and every 29.5 days, we get to see all of it (via NASA). 


As the moon travels through the sky, it passes through each astrological sign in orbit. When it's full, its energy morphs and melts into different facets of our lives, asking us to take special care and encourage some behaviors over others, depending on the placement. And each sign is different. For a full calendar chronicling the course of the moon throughout 2023, see AstroSeek, TheSky, and Moon Calendar, among others.

The full moon

The full moon brings about new beginnings as well as conclusions, a duality represented in astrological interpretations of this celestial body. According to Cafe Astrology, the moon, with all its feminine warmth, encompasses both our inner child and inner mother. It's our emotional core in motion — an energetic collision of opposites — and when it's full, we experience what astrologer Frédérique Boele of Astro describes as "either a climax or an anti-climax." In an article detailing the progressed lunation cycle, Boele explores the significance of the full moon and its impact throughout history. Per Astro, the legendary Trojan Horse event supposedly occurred during a full moon, giving way to catastrophe for the Trojans and triumph for the Greeks. Medieval English poet Geoffrey Chaucer even mentions a full moon in Leo in his late 1300s epic poem, "Troilus and Criseyde," notes M. Stokes in the Penn State University Press article "The Moon in Leo in Book V of 'Troilus and Criseyde.'" The moon is always there, nudging the human psyche.


Most every civilization has a history of analyzing the full moon and absorbing its energy, and many of these influences are still relevant today. Native American tribes created the nomenclature for full moons published in the Old Farmer's Almanac still referenced in the current lunar calendar. The Sturgeon moon, for example, is named for a type of Great Lakes fish. From Greek mythology and epic poems of the Middle Ages to indigenous societies and modern-day astrology, the full moon has a powerful impact on our relationships, moods, family lives, careers, and personal growth.

January 6: Wolf Moon in Cancer

The first full moon of 2023 is a Wolf Moon in Cancer. Cancer is actually ruled by the moon already. An emotionally rich and sensitive sign, this placement is governed by the planet of our unconscious desires and instincts — our truest selves (via Cafe Astrology). A full moon here indicates a need to lean on family. 


Astrology suggests that this January 2023 full moon will impact most everything in our lives. You might find yourself weathering a wild relationship or intense romantic connection, as well as contemplating commitments. The pull between family life and careers/other relationships is at the forefront. You might feel a deep nostalgia during this time, in keeping with Cancer's introspective sensitivity (via Astrology). Try your best to balance these energies. Cafe Astrology warns of a reckoning with neglected emotional needs. Don't continue to put off what you know must be handled.

February 5: Snow Moon in Leo

According to USA Today, the February full moon was named the Snow Moon due to the month's statistically high snowfall, as recorded by the National Weather Service. Historically, several Native American tribes also coined this phase the Hunger Moon because the bitter cold left food scarce and tracking tedious (via USA Today).


In 2023, this frigid full moon lands in Leo, the placement of performance and craving attention. Leo's adventurous energy indicates a period of excitement. Tarot assures that this particular full moon is an opportunity to let others know how you feel, for better or for worse ... but mostly better. As the moon interacts with this insecure sign, engaging in serious arguments may mean irrevocably damaging friendships, so practice self-control and don't 'Leo out' in every situation (via Astrology). Think about it — If you need reassurance right now, others probably do too.

March 7: Worm Moon in Virgo

If the Leo moon's tendency to leave you insecure, excited, and hungry for a spotlight isn't exactly your cup of tea, then await the full moon in Virgo. Organized, real, and intent on explanation, these are the pillars of Virgo. And when the full moon rises here, activating the Virgo-Pisces axis, you'll see the world more clearly (via Cafe Astrology). Your goals will be illuminated, explains Astrology, allowing you to get things done, strengthen your sense of self, and seek true harmony. 


The juxtaposition of Virgo and Pisces during the full moon on March 7 will leave us teetering between the boundaries of organization and chaos. Today suggests using this time to replace any systems that you seem to have outgrown — very indicative of spring cleaning. Perfect for the Worm Moon, which got its name not from earthworms but actually from a type of beetle larvae that wriggle from tree bark as the plants begin to thaw (via Almanac). Follow that lunar desire to balance your spiritual and physical health during this time, and trust in Virgo's sensible nature.

April 6: Pink Moon in Libra

Named for the seasonal North American wildflower Phlox Subulata, the full Pink Moon in Libra yields a time of plenty (via Calendarr). Ruled by Venus, Libra has a benevolent energy that, during the full moon, causes people to prioritize their interpersonal relationships. If you feel a bit 'off' with anyone in your life, a full moon in Libra is a great time to recalibrate that relationship and heal, writes The HoodWitch


According to Astrology, a full moon in Libra leaves people poised to communicate, so settling any outstanding issues may actually be easier during the Pink Moon. You may also find yourself and those around you to be more intuitive during this transit. Feel like you can predict the future? That's because the full moon in Libra makes us more sensitive, so be wary when capitalizing on that craving for communication (via Astrology). Babbling for too long could lead to further conflict instead of resolution.

May 5: Flower Moon in Scorpio

As flowers begin to color the landscape, May's full moon rises to signify a pleasant time free from negativity. Per TimeAndDate, other Native American names for this springtime transit include the Budding Moon, Egg Laying Moon, and Planting Moon. This is a period wherein you're more likely to believe in yourself, explains Astrology. The season of new beginnings mixes with the possibilities of a full moon to create an energetic concoction of positivity. 


In Scorpio, however, you may find yourself defying this lightness. Scorpio is an intense placement. It leads us to look inward and access pieces of our psyche with which we aren't usually confronted. According to Tarot, the full Flower Moon in Scorpio ignites passion and pushes us to extremes. You're likely to speak without your usual crowd-pleasing filter. But even though you might taste more venom during this full moon, Scorpio's energy also increases intuition and understanding of others, prompting metamorphic realizations.

June 4: Strawberry Moon in Sagittarius

Ruled by Jupiter — an abundant energy — Sagittarius brings about a Strawberry Moon full of adventurous energy eager to expand (via Cafe Astrology). The Sagittarian chases wisdom, never sitting still, always hungry to explore, says AstroStyle, uplifting this free-spirited fire sign as a mutable one with a positive open mind. Per AstroGraph, the archer brings a directness that demands freedom and doesn't shy away easily. 


In the context of the June 2023 full moon — as we are perched on the edge of either a new beginning or cathartic finale — Sagittarius shoots us out of the spring season with the vigor to push forward. This lunar transit lifts apprehension and imparts a feeling of readiness. Continue on in your endeavors with renewed vitality. But don't hesitate because this encouraging energy may be as brief as the strawberry season for which the June full moon is named (via TIME).

July 3: Buck Moon in Capricorn

As the male deer's antlers reach their growing peak, the full Buck Moon rises (via Farmer's Almanac). Sometimes called the Thunder Moon, this Capricorn transit emphasizes the pull between seen and hidden, collective and individual, dependence and responsibility (via Cafe Astrology). According to Cafe Astrology, this polarity highlights our beginning and end points, illuminated by the full moon. Capricorn leads us to ponder both where we've come from and where we're going. Thinking about the axis pinpointed during this lunar event, a full moon in Capricorn is a constant balancing act between Cancer's nurturing spirit and Capricorn's fierce independence. Embrace this mixture of warmth and steadiness.


AstroSeek indicates that this conflicted full moon manifests in our lives by making us more reserved than usual but with a seemingly unexplainable urge to act. You may find yourself feeling doubtful and stern, unsure if you can trust your internal direction. You can, and you should. That uneasiness is just a desire to reach your center — to figure out what it is you really want. And hopefully, you can figure it out because when the moon passes through this powerful earth sign, strength is there for the taking.

August 1: Sturgeon Moon in Aquarius

The first full moon of August 2023 is a supermoon. So is the second, but we're not there yet (via TheSky). A supermoon, according to CBS News, occurs when the moon falls within 90% of its closest orbital point to Earth (aka perigee). This basically just means that the moon looks a bit bigger, especially when near the horizon because its orbit is elliptical. This is a great time for staring up at the sky and contemplating the boundless universe, which makes perfect sense for a full moon in Aquarius. This quirky air sign craves freedom from stereotypes and assumptions. It's a radical energy interested in finding the edge and flying right past it.


According to Astrology.TV, the Aquarius full moon is an astrological opportunity to ponder our impact on the world around us, figure out what needs to change in our lives, and release whatever might be holding us back. AstroSeek warns that this may be easier said than done because our connection to our innermost feelings can be convoluted during this time. An Aquarius full moon has a tendency to turn our relationship to our emotions into a labyrinth in desperate need of solving.

August 31: Blue Moon in Pisces

A Blue Moon simply refers to the second full moon to appear in a single month, states InTheSky. The term, in this context, was coined accidentally by "Sky & Telescope" magazine in March of 1946 (via Smithsonian). According to the Smithsonian, The Farmers' Almanac had already defined the event to mean four full moons rising in one season, but an astronomer named James High Pruett mistook this information, published it, and the article became so widely quoted that Blue Moon just kind of stuck.


In 2023, the August Blue Moon — also a supermoon — is ruled by Pisces, the last sign in the zodiac, which strengthens the full moon's already powerful sense of closure and/or building up to something (via Moon Omens). Esoteric Astrologer Ron Thurlow, Ph.D., of Meditation Mount upholds a Pisces full moon as a time of enlightenment, describing this lunar transit as one with increased access to a higher consciousness. And with Virgo as its opposite, the Pisces full moon will also allow you to be more attuned to the balance between anarchy and structure (via Astrology.TV). Use the increased intuition of Pisces to unpack the ways in which you regulate your life. Are you setting too many rules for yourself? This is a time to take a look at what you can and cannot control, somehow still take a deep calming breath, and admire the supermoon.


September 29: Harvest Moon in Aries

September 29th's Harvest Moon signals the autumnal equinox. Not beholden to the same month every year, this full moon was named for the farmers whose summer crop yields benefited from its radiant lunar light (via Almanac). In astrology, the full moon in Aries is associated with heightened emotional reflexes and risk-taking, says Tarot. This is not a time to focus on difficult relationships or have conversations about commitment, the site adds, because Aries' fiery energy can exacerbate existing conflicts when left unchecked. 


AstroSeek suggests slowing down to avoid too much turmoil. Focus on the balance between Aries and Libra. Libra vies for common ground, while Aries has a tendency to be selfish or impulsive (via Cafe Astrology). It's important to prioritize yourself as the Aries transit stimulates, but during the 2023 Harvest Moon, be sure to take the time to consider how your personal desires extend out into the world around you. Embrace this time of vitality, act with care, and enjoy a period of balanced freedom.

October 28: Hunter's Moon in Taurus

Following the Harvest Moon, the Hunter's moon shines to signify an optimal hunting period, writes Almanac. Its bright light illuminates a population of hearty deer to provide sustenance throughout the colder months. A full moon in Taurus is a search for stability (via AstroSeek). 


Per AstroStyle, if you're feeling uneasy or more anxious than usual, use this October full moon's grounded strength as a comfort. Taurus craves that coziness and security, so a full moon in this earthy sign causes us to want safety over adventure. Use this time to revel in the things you find calming and reassuring. According to Tarot, the 2023 Hunter's Moon is a great opportunity to bring something you've coveted into your life, to make wishes come true. But be warned, stubbornness is a quintessentially Taurus trait. The full moon can highlight that faulty steadfastness in ways you might not like. Understand that others are feeling stubborn too, and sometimes you'll have to budge.

November 27: Beaver Moon in Gemini

Named by Native Americans for hyperactive beavers during the late fall season, the November full moon marks the beginning of frost and the foreboding of winter (via Farmers' Almanac). The Beaver Moon in Gemini may spark an interest in spending time with friends. According to Astrology.TV, this lunar transit makes us a bit restless and spontaneous — the perfect time to make plans with friends instead of pursuing romantic interests. Dates take too much of your attention, and you can't have that right now. 


When the moon travels through Gemini, your emotional equilibrium is rattled. Apt to be uncharacteristically distracted and a bit spacey, the Gemini full moon puts our subconscious on shaky ground (via Tarot). But this nebulous feeling can be used for good. Are you on the fence about anything? Use this period to contemplate your opinions. You might even see things differently.

December 27: Cold Moon in Cancer

Another full moon in Cancer to end the year as we started it. December's Cold Moon signals the winter solstice and provides the perfect dark place for reflection (via BetterSleep). With 2023's bitter cold comes vulnerability. As in January, according to Tarot, this final full moon in Cancer places an emphasis on family. When we're feeling uneasy and unsure, those we love can provide comfort, especially when we're tempted to hide or keep ourselves guarded. That's what this Cold Moon in Cancer has a tendency to do — make us wary of our surroundings.


You may find yourself wanting to both assure yourself and care for those around you, feeling childish but also motherly (via Tarot). Think of it as Cancer's endearing energy mixed with the heightened sense of beginning and end found at the conclusion of a calendar year. What comes next? Did we finish what we started? These core questions can make us sensitive, especially during a full moon. The moon accesses our unconscious selves, so use this time of vulnerability to actually listen to what your emotions are trying to tell you. You probably don't want to go out anyway.