(Astrologers refer to the sun and moon as planets and also luminaries.)
Where the sun in the horoscope is the essence of life itself with the moon we see the essence of cycles and rhythms. The ebb and tide of life, the fluctuations daily and throughout our life. We’re reminded how nothing actually is constant. Life is always evolving and changing, ebbing and flowing. Our emotions transform our experiences into memories and wisdom. Through repeated cycles of life that is ever changing we learn to go with the flow of life.
The moon takes just 28.5 days to complete a cycle of the entire zodiac. It orbits around the earth and is unique in astrology as it the only celestial body used in astrology that does; all other planets orbit the sun and while harnessed to the earth, so does the moon from our viewpoint. As the astrological object in the sky closest to the earth we have a more intimate relationship with the moon, or should have if we don’t currently. The moon represents our emotions which are vital to a healthy life and all our lives on this planet as we interact with one another as emotional and spiritual beings.
The moon has fascinated humanity for millennia. The nearest celestial object to us, the moon has an intimate relationship with the earth that is also mysterious as scientists can’t agree on which three versions of the moon’s formation is correct.
Human emotions are as unfathomable as any mystery at times and the moon has often been used to explain our emotions and mental state. Lunatic (from Luna), moonstruck and swelter (from Selene) are just three words derived from the moon that describe a feeling, mood or emotional state. As depicted in the 1987 film Moonstruck la Luna has been used to explain or excuse people’s emotional outbursts of all sorts both good and bad.
Luna to the ancient Romans was a feminine version or sister of Sol the sun god. As the divine embodiment of the moon, Luna was not always considered a goddess in her own right and both Diana and Juno were considered moon goddesses. Selene is the ancient Greek version of Luna and as they did for many of their deities, the Romans just took some of the stories of Selene and changed the name to Luna to explain most of her mythology. Both goddesses were depicted with or by a crescent moon, often resting on the head.
The moon held special significance as the greatest light of the night and she was often invoked during childbirth. It is an odd coincidence that a woman’s menstrual cycle is very close to the moon’s orbit around the earth. The moon is in synchronous rotation with the earth because it takes 27.3 days to orbit the earth, but also nearly the same amount of time for the moon to rotate on its own axis. Therefore we always see the same face of the moon with about 50% of it remaining unseen.
In astrology the moon represents the emotions and emotional expression. Whereas the energy of the sun is constant, the moon’s influence fluctuates and in any sign or house has many moods. Emotions are how human feelings may be expressed, but many emotions are reactions. We respond emotionally to nearly everything. How we respond emotionally can be determined by the sign and house placement of the moon as well as aspects to and from the moon.
But some use emotions to tear down others or themselves or both. Negative emotions create distance between others through fear and avoidance or aggressive tendencies. Judgment creates adversaries, anger creates dissension, and fear is used to control. Our deepest negative and our most positive emotions are found in our moon position.
The moon’s placement and relationships will show how we express our emotions and what will cause us to feel good and bad emotions—and maybe all else in between. It can also indicate what can hurt us or help us grow.
Deepest Emotions & Reactions
Our emotions are what we express back to the universe and the outer world in reaction for the most part to what is thrown at us. We learn to or should learn to temper our emotions to work with the flow of life to benefit ourselves and others. Through interaction with our own kind we feel alive and complete. Through an exchange of emotion we connect to one another and share feelings building community.
The moon represents how we may respond to others and life itself. If our own emotions are healthy, we tend to respond to others in a healthy way. If we are attacked emotionally by another, it usually resonates with a past hurt or pain to the disrespect shown and can create negative emotions within ourselves. Emotional self-control is or should be learned through the emotional conflicts we have with others.
Our emotions drive us to change and become better at expressing more positive emotions. When we show positive emotion to another, say give them a compliment it makes the other person smile and feel other good emotions. In this way we see our contagious emotions can be. We require self-control for the general benefit of ourselves and others.
Needs & Desires
The moon represents our needs, wants and desires and they may all be very different things. It is our deepest feelings and reactions that erupt when or when not obtaining our desires. It is emotional reaction and response in every way. Emotions can drive thoughts or feelings or actions that create need, desire, experience and reactions within ourselves and in others.
Emotions can be nearly alchemical in how they can transmute needs, desires, feelings and actions at times. The power of our emotions is seen in our emotional responses which can change our lives at the drop of a hat. We may need to be quiet, but we desire to be heard. We may need to be with people, but we want to be left alone. All these emotions whether conflicting or not are the changing moods and emotions all indicated by the moon and its relationships.
The moon has many faces and phases as do most humans’ emotions. The moon rules every one of them. The perception or reality of having our needs and desires met is extremely important to human beings. When feeling that we are lacking in something, we have missed out or lost and we put ourselves through an emotional grief. But the moon can also be blessings and when we count all of the needs in our life which are being taken care of we should have much for which to be grateful.
The moon indicates our mother and mother figures in our lifetime. We are all born of a mother and she is our first emotional attachment. The relationship with our mother can have a great bearing on how we turn out as an adult and what we expect in having emotional needs and desires met. A lack of the right amount of care growing up can create a more intense need for emotional fulfillment as an adult, even to the point of breaking criminal or moral laws to feed out emotions. Some emotional needs are not positive.
If we grow up with a balanced, not even perfect, amount of care most of us would turn out to be healthy adults with good emotional self-expression. In just this one but our first emotional relationship we have with mother we see how our attachments are so important to emotional well-being throughout our lives. We need to have our wants and desires fulfilled or we respond emotionally with unhappiness. If we could remove most desires or wants in our lives (and that are often creative manipulations by marketing and business) and focus more on our needs we would likely feel more happy.
Wherever the moon is in the horoscope is where we are most attached emotionally by sign and house placement. The activities of the sign and house will make us feel very good or bad depending on relationships to other planets in the native’s horoscope.
Cycles & Rhythms
In general, we are all intended to grow through all stages of life eventually and to be a self-sustaining adult while also contributing to the needs of others or society. This is the never-ending rhythm and cycle of life. A woman’s monthly cycle is an excellent symbol for how the moon works as a cycle. In the former a woman will go through several hormonal and bodily changes designed to make her more receptive to impregnate by a male. For many women, this cycle is as rigid as clockwork; for others not so much. The moon is inconstant and unpredictable which is seen in the behaviour of most men and women.
Emotional fulfillment is the fuel that drives our ambitions to obtain what we want and desire. The moon also indicates what we may need although we may not be aware of it. Very often life will give us what we need and not what we want and that is most often seen by us and certain aspects between the planets and the moon as negative. Today’s prevailing theory with astrologers is that the cycles that were once thought to be negative and destructive are now understood to be possibilities for positive change but sometimes a mess needs to be cleaned up first.
The moon rules the water sign of Cancer and emotions tend to be very watery for some, and not meaning just when we tear up. Both crying and sweating are associated with sudden surges of emotion and contribute to the healthy maintenance of the body. Listening to the rhythm of music, sounds of nature and more can relax our emotions and bring great emotional fulfillment during the cycle of our lifetime.
Expressing feelings of love, laughter, joy, kindness, compassion nurtures; all these emotions expressed by a mother should be the light that leads us as spiritual beings. The highest expression of our moon is to be in touch with our feelings and express them in a healthy way to benefit ourselves and others.
The lowest expression of our moon is selfish disregard for the emotions and feelings of others. Like crying babies concerned only with their own needs many people tap into the more negative side of needs and desires. Unfortunately, poor mothering or a lack of a strong mother figure for human being is often extremely deleterious to our emotional health.
The role of the moon in our lives is as important as our relationship with our mother. A difficult relationship or if it’s non-existent can have serious consequences to not just our own emotional health but when emotional needs are not met nearly everything else will suffer. Unless we learn to not let our emotions control our lives. Mothers should also not control our lives even though it may fulfill her emotional needs it isn’t good for ours. The role of the mother is similar to the moon; through our emotional experiences we need to be sustained and nurtured until emotionally independent from mother. Otherwise we transfer the need for mother into emotional attachments that nurture us negatively such as bad habits and addictions. At worse, the moon can be obsessive which is where we lose our self-control.
Our negative emotional reactions are coloured by the moon’s sign and house placement as much as the positive emotions. Planetary afflictions to the moon indicate our greatest hurts and disappointments over not having needs and desires met. For some the negative emotions are self-destructive or destructive to others when expressed as fear, insecurity, anger, violence, dominance, control, oppression, prejudice and hatred. All of these are learned behaviours rooted in our emotions but they can be unlearned and corrected. Aspects to the moon may indicate the best times and ways to achieve healing or expression of our emotions.
The moon is a symbol of our nonverbal communication through emotions. Facial expressions, actions, and the sounds we make can all indicate how one is feeling. Extrasensory perceptions are also the domain of the moon. The moon is often strongly aspected with people with psychic abilities or champion athletic ability. Some athletes almost seem to react intuitively while playing sports they are so good. Or is it practice makes habit?
The moon has also been symbolic of psychic abilities or intuition perhaps due to a relationship to memory. Some psychics have reported they’ve been able to describe information about a person’s past, present or future as if retrieving one of their own memories; the information is just “there”. In the same way that one doesn’t have to think too hard or deeply to answer, “What is your address?” as the information comes to mind quickly, some psychics have described their abilities in that way; they just “know” the answer without having to think about it as if retrieving it from memory.
The moon is all about intuition, memories, the past, habits, attachments, obsessions, compulsions, and brainwashing—nearly all manifesting due to past conditioning. We all learn to express conditioned emotions, coping mechanisms and behaviours but these can be unlearned and corrected when needed to create more positive conditioned responses.
The absence of feeling or sincerity when expressing emotions is considered to be fake at best and sociopathic at worst. The real world will demand emotional response at times and faking it only helps in the short term. A lack of proper emotional response to life is not considered healthy and may indicate deeper personal issues such as depression that need to be addressed to be happy. Afflictions to the moon can indicate deep-seated emotional wounds that may manifest into antisocial or self-harming behaviour.
Emotional responses can be developed as coping mechanisms to stress and become subconscious in expression leading to habitual reactions. The moon represents the subconscious, where memories and information are always lurking just below the surface and connected to the collective conscious and unconscious. Everything we think and feel is recorded in the Akasha or Collective Unconscious as described by Dr. Carl Jung.
Although it is important that emotions are expressed, it is considered to be emotionally intelligent to exert control over our emotions as adults and delay expressing negative emotions in a healthy way and place. Our emotional conflicts can teach us how to cope with life better but often through first making mistakes with improper emotional responses and repercussions that slip out due to emotional conditioning.
We see the light of the moon (reflected from the sun) but the unseen shadow side is always there too. As a symbol of our subconscious and conscious emotions the moon is traditionally a feminine form of energy in astrology. Mother is the first feminine energy we interact with and this relationship is very important to our emotional satisfaction. Many people become the “mother” in personal and work relationships nurturing and helping others; just as many grow up to be a child seeking to be nurtured by mother in their relationships. Mutual emotional nurturing where one is not dominating the other is the hallmark of a healthy relationship.
Physiologically, the moon rules the ductless glands, involuntary nervous system, menstrual cycle and hormones. It is associated with the breasts and stomach through its rulership of Cancer. A positively aspected moon and house placement can indicate relatively good digestion and assimilation. Planetary afflictions and some house placements may indicate digestive difficulties or in the areas noted above.
The moon also shares rulership of the eyes with Aries. The moon is often implicated when visual difficulties or illness occur, and some say the eyes are the window to the soul. How we express our emotions for good or for bad will have a lot to do with karmic outcome and eye to eye contact is a form of deeper connection with a person. The longer the eye contact is will often indicate a relationship is of deeper or longer duration.
The moon rules the 4th house of home and family and the 4th sign of the zodiac Cancer the Crab. As a symbol of mother the duration of the moon’s orbit is strikingly similar to a woman’s monthly cycle of menstruation at 28 to 29 days. The hormonal changes occurring during a woman’s cycle and at menopause are related to the fluctuations of the moon and a source of changing moods. Men also experience cyclical hormonal changes and in fact go through a life change called andropause due to reduced hormone production.
The moon is a symbol for mother and in the home with others is the best place for its energy to be released. Our family is the first people we share emotional ties to and where most of us can always go when the outer world is stressful.
The moon is the secondary light compared to the sun but it is of great importance in the zodiac. It is the life giving energy of mother; the emotions we nurture and sustain or that mutually sustain us. Our emotions can be calm and peaceful, or rage as a storm and perhaps both will be experienced by everyone. Deep in our moon placement is where all of our emotions can be experienced, with a great diversity of power, or softer warm expressions to calm and soothe . Great storms of emotional conflict has the power to enforce change.
The moon is emotional self-expression described by its sign, house placement and the planetary relationships it has in the horoscope. The moon is the deeper, emotional you.