I’ve always found the Moon sign totally fascinating, for a while to a degree that eclipsed my interest in the other planets in a person’s birth chart. Each personal planet plays an important role in the individual’s character, of course. But, the Moon is the most intimate, complicated part of a person: their feelings, their emotional motivations, the things that they need in order to feel safe and secure. It’s no surprise that, with my probing Scorpio Moon, I would be so interested in this planet, as its sign, house placement, and aspects represent all of the emotional and psychological complexities that drive us as human beings and require some introspection for us to understand. Unlike the Sun sign, which operates on a straightforward, surface-level expression, the Moon runs deep.
Many like to say that the Moon is who we are in a past life but I feel like the South Node plays more of a part in determining who or what we’ve reincarnated from. I like to look at the Moon in a more grounded manner, especially since there are certain people who can’t get behind the idea of past lives and are entitled to that opinion. I personally don’t know if reincarnation exists. Some people think you only live once. However, I’d like to say that we do have multiple lives but all within this lifetime. I’m the sort of person who likes to believe that every life phase can be looked back on as a past life. And the Moon, which is driven by phases, definitely plays a role in this. It determines the ways in which we emotionally mature and/or the manner in which we fail to.
Our oldest past life, within this lifetime, is definitely the formative childhood years. The first seven years of life is when the Moon sign, for most people, is at its rawest and most undiluted. This is when we’re completely living on our instincts, often without any sort of conscious notion of who we are, which is defined by our Sun sign. Children are totally emotionally uninhibited and a child’s Moon is just about always apparent in their behavior. You can test this by not only observing small children that you know, while keeping their Moon sign in mind, but listening to other people describe what they were like as children.
Moon in Gemini people were hyperactive kids who loved to talk (maybe a bit too much for the grown-ups around them) and were obsessed with stories, word games, and anything else that stimulated their minds. Pisces Moons were the kids who were absolutely consumed by their imagination, living out the books that they read and the movies or shows they watched as if they were reality. Leo Moons totally lapped up attention as kids and loved to perform for their audience, whoever it may have been, while Moon in Scorpio people were uncannily perceptive kids who understood things at a level of emotional maturity that often startled adults around them.
The Moon sign energy of a child is blatant and out there. But, as time goes on, we become socialized to moderate our feelings and maybe, depending on the adult who raised us, to just hide them. The child is growing up and is weaning themselves from the dependency on the parent, whose job it is to provide them what they need, not only physically but emotionally, within these first several years. The child needs for the parent to meet the needs of their Moon sign, house, and aspects in the formative years. How well the parent, particularly the one playing more of a nurturing role, does this or not is crucial. It’s also often quite dependent on the parent’s own Moon sign. Even if it’s in a very different one than the child’s, one can hope that the nurturing parent is emotionally mature and available enough to respond properly to what their child needs. If not, then it weakens the child’s inner foundation.
This reflects yet another facet of the Moon, which is the way in which we were nurtured as children and how we come to nurture other people as adults. It’s just another emotional leftover from that “past life” called childhood. It’s what can make our Moon immediately respond with compassion or a helping hand, when faced with the pain of another person. It’s also what can make us respond with resentment, fear, anxiety, hostility, or inaccessibility when the issue of our emotional needs come up, if we’ve still got some unresolved “stuff” around that. To overcome these feelings, we have to reach back to memories (also symbolized by the Moon) of that past life and honestly ask ourselves how our emotional needs were met. This is often the most difficult step for people to take, without either retreating in fear from facing the harsh reality or getting stuck in a swamp of self-pity or anger over what they didn’t get as children. When you hear people constantly complaining about their childhood, their parents, and how unhappy they were growing up, you’re hearing their Moon sign crying out for some comfort.
In order to face these feelings constructively, we have to provide ourselves with that comfort. This is a crucial step for those who had particularly tough childhoods. It’s about learning how to nurture one self and provide yourself with what you need emotionally. Looking to your Moon is great evidence of how to make yourself feel emotionally content and secure. With an Aries Moon, you have to engage in competition and pursue challenging goals. With a 12th House Moon, you gain inner security from having a certain amount of solitude. In this way, we learn to parent ourselves, often in the way in which we weren’t parented as children. This resolves our debt from that past life, bringing us into the present with wholeness, emotional fulfillment, and understanding for others.
Some people aren’t comfortable expressing their Moon sign too openly, as our society still has some issues around raw emotion. Some love to gender stereotype and say that it’s harder for some men to own their Moon energy and I don’t believe that’s exactly true. I think, once you get to know someone well enough, you definitely feel their Moon, whether they’re male or female. It’s certainly there. It’s just a matter of how they express it. Both men and women can feel self-conscious about truly expressing their emotions and needs, without worrying about being labeled as weak or needy. But, we cannot afford to stifle and contain our Moon. This is a part of ourselves that we really have to “flow” with. We have to allow this energy to just be and to take us wherever it takes us.
Artistic people usually excel at fully expressing their Moon’s traits, without this kind of self-consciousness, since their lifestyles and careers are geared around free and honest emotional expression. The Moon is such an intuitive force and is the deepest source of our creativity, as it also rules dreams and the imagination. Artists understand that a certain amount of “lunacy” comes with being creative. It’s unfortunate that our logical society has so often labeled creative individuals as being crazy or unstable, throughout history. But, this is often the flip side of being highly creative. Living so much on instinct and emotion is bound to make you a bit loopy yet it also gives you the impetus to make highly inspired, moving work as an actor, writer, musician, or visual artist.
The thing is, though, that artistic people are often more sane than the rest of the world, as well. Instead of pretending like their sensitivities and vulnerabilities aren’t there, they totally embrace them, as this is what makes them human, as well as what allows them to create affecting creative work. The rest of the world could learn a thing or two from them. The most brilliant creative types retain a childlike quality, even if they are also very mature in many ways, because of their visceral connection to their Moon sign, house, and aspects. Being so imaginative and so emotionally expressive is what allows artists to remain children on a beautiful level, not completely leaving that uninhibited life phase, as well as what makes their Moon energy rise to the surface easier.
The other kinds of people who remain readily tapped into their Moon sign’s flow are the Water Moons: those with their Moon in Cancer, Scorpio (like me), or Pisces. (And many of these people, also including myself, happen to be very artistic because of the sheer emotional power of their Moon placement) This is due to the Moon being naturally at home in the Water element, as it’s ruled by Cancer. Therefore, with a Water Moon, you’re getting a double whammy of intuition, emotional depth, mystery, and complexity. These individuals often report feeling more like their Moon than their Sun. They just can’t get too far away from this energy. They’re very instinctive creatures and have an ability to really rely on their gut responses, for better or for worse. Being a Water Moon also guarantees being emotionally convoluted in some way, with so many intense moods and reactions and motives that they often struggle to navigate their way through this labyrinth of feeling. But, it’s this complexity that also gives them the potential for enormous empathy and to just innately understand exactly what someone’s feeling and why.
But, everyone has a chance to hone and express their Moon sign. The key is simply listening to it. You must set aside the distractions of your intellect and/or of cultural conditioning and develop the ability to truly go with your feelings. Going back to the past life metaphor, the Moon sign is the mode of being that you’re most experienced in. It’s been with you throughout all of your life phases, in some incarnation or another, to the point where you believe it to just be a very natural part of life. Many people don’t realize when they’re in Moon sign mode because it’s so automatic. But, developing the ability to trust this ancient inner wisdom is what gets you more in touch with it. And as the Moon rules moods, you must ride its ups and downs (though some Moons definitely have more mood swings than others). You can’t control them. It’s like trying to control the ocean’s tides. You just have to let them happen.
Another interesting attribute of the Moon is that it rules how we eat, as well. After all, food is definitely a need and a way of taking care of ourselves, as well as others. It’s my experience that the less someone is in touch with their emotional needs, via their Moon, the more erratic or sparse their eating habits will be. This is the kind of person who regularly loses their appetite and skips meals on too frequent of a basis. The basis of this is usually an inability to honestly confront their feelings, which are often the reason behind that loss of appetite, and to admit to their needs. People who are very attuned to their Moon’s needs, on the other hand, typically have very healthy appetites. They consistently eat their required amount of meals a day and truly love food, probably even cooking, as well. The one thing these people might need to watch for, though, is overindulgence in the eating department, since they might be just as equally apt to indulge too much in their feelings.
As I’ve said before, the Moon rules the caretaking of others, so it definitely comes into play once someone becomes a parent. In spite of all those baby books and self-help parenting clichés, no one can really tell you how to be a parent. It’s instinctive, intuitive, learned as you go. This is what makes it represented by the Moon, as well as the fact that you’re now fully responsible for gauging someone else’s needs and helping them deal with their feelings. No one will be a perfect parent but you must look to the nurturing abilities and instincts of your Moon to be the best parent you can be, which will help ease your stress when you’re suddenly dealing with that crying newborn.
The particular Moon sign will show the ways a person can best comfort and emotionally support their children. Libra Moon parents will be good at calming their kids down, though on a more rational level, while parents with their Moon in Cancer are naturally skilled at figuring out what their child is feeling at any given moment and responding to it. The house placement of the Moon will show the area of life where you’re most supportive of your children and their efforts. 10th House Moon parents are cheerleaders for all of their kid’s achievements, while parents with a 1st House Moon will help the child develop the confidence to assert themselves in the world. Aspects show the style of the support and the way it's expressed. A Moon-Mercury parent, for instance, will be supportive in very communicative ways and a Moon-Pluto parent can be an empowering, insightful source of support in the child's life.
However, there’s always positive and negative potential to every Moon. That 10th House Moon can become a real “pusher” parent, if unbalanced, the Libra Moon mom or dad might become too fixated on keeping peace at the expense of feelings, and the Moon-Pluto parent can become too controlling or obsessive-compulsive with the child. Again, this is usually the expression of an unhealed Moon, with the adult having a needy inner child of its own that’s being expressed vicariously through the child. So, healing your inner child allows you to heal your literal child. Also, of course, it is definitely advised to know what your child’s Moon is and to provide the kind of home environment and activities he or she needs to meet the specific needs of that sign and house placement.
Clearly, the Moon is beyond complex. It’s so many things rolled up in one: inner child, inner nurturer, outer nurturer, outer child, the artist, the intimate, the lunatic. Your Moon is constantly going through phases, not just throughout your life but throughout your day. You must become well-acquainted with and accepting of all of the facets of this mysterious planet in order to achieve true emotional well-being, as well as to help others do the same.