A lot of people know that your Moon sign, house placement, and aspects represent your mother figure. As I always say, just which parent it is depends on the household and the parents raising the child. But, for many of us, the mother figure is the female parent. And because of the yin element of the Moon, I’ll be using the pronouns “she” and “her” to describe the mother figure. The Moon is feminine yet is embodied and expressed by both women and men. But, enough of all of that. I don’t like gender stereotypes; that should be noted by now.
Your Moon will tell you something about your mother’s nature. Sometimes, it’s wonderful and sometimes, it’s not. It’s what you responded to within her, whether it was her light or her shadow material. There is a darkness and a depth to the Moon, after all. But, I think the power of the lunar goddess’ dark side can really terrify or bother people. It’s why there are so many fairy tales with wicked witches, evil stepmothers, and jealous hags. And this can be a particular issue that your Moon harbors. Our culture’s ideals say that the Mother is supposed to take good care of us. Figuring out the ways in which she might not always have can be really distressing.
I’m not saying that you need to all of a sudden hate your mother. But, there’s a fear I see in some astrology teachers or followers in fully confronting the shadow side of their Moon and, in return, all of their true feelings about their mother figure. One thing I cannot stand is hearing “Your Moon is just your perception of your mother. It’s not actually your mother.” I can confidently tell you that’s this is nonsense. Children probably know their mothers better than anyone (especially once they reach adulthood); better even than their mother’s spouse. So, you’re saying that I don’t actually know the person I’ve known my entire life? Yeah, right.
My first reason for not believing this is, virtually without fail, a person’s Moon always reflects something in their mother’s chart. It’s really freaky and I’ve never seen it not be true. Now, it might not be your Moon sign. It might be your Moon’s house placement or a couple of aspects. Sometimes, there’s just one thing about your Moon that speaks volumes about your Mom. Sometimes, it’s two or three things or all of them combined.
Either way, your Moon, in some way, symbolizes the traits that you’ve always been highly receptive or sensitive to about your mother. Take someone with a Libra Moon, for example. Their mother will probably have some Libra planets or an occupied 7th House that gives her strong Libra energy. So, from the beginning, you reacted to this energy within her. It’s something you honed in on, often times more than other people would. That’s where I think that nonsense about “it’s just your perception” comes in. Your Moon defines the things you can see in your mother better than anyone. It’s a big part of her, even though it’s not entirely her. So, it can sometimes just look like your irrational, biased perception but it’s really your gut talking.
A person with a 5th House Moon may have a mother with significant Leo energy and someone with a Moon-Neptune aspect can have a mother who’s very influenced by Pisces or Neptune. And this, in turn, affects how the mother deals with her child. It is said, and accurately so, that a parent just can’t help but deal with their children differently. Different relationships are established, not only based on various personality differences or similarities but also the buttons that one can push in the other. So, your Moon defines the emotional buttons that you end up pushing in your mother figure.
Mothers with children who have Libra Moons will feel the need to keep the peace when their harmony-seeking child is around because they sense how easily rattled they are and this brings out their easily rattled side. A mom with a Gemini Moon or Moon-Mercury child, on the other hand, will be very talkative with her children because her children talk so much and are so smart and interesting. And this brings out the very curious, witty nature within the mother.
So, where does one end and the other begin? How a mother and child are constantly reacting off of one another is symbolized by the Moon. And this, of course, is a deep, instinctive part of your nature; a way you’ve emotionally responded to things since birth. It’s just that, through the rapport with your mother figure, it becomes more and more reinforced, until you’re so used to it that it feels completely natural. It turns into the most automatic part of you.
Another thing that astrologers seem to use to reinforce their idea that your Moon-mother image is “just your perception” is the fact that siblings will usually have different Moon signs. But, to isolate the signs is a mistake, as I’ve found that there is always some common thread between siblings and their Moon signs. A brother can have a Virgo Moon and a sister can have an Aries Moon. But, the sister’s Aries Moon can be in the 6th House (Virgo’s house) and the brother’s Virgo Moon can be conjunct Mars (Aries’ ruler). You can also see one sibling with the Moon in Taurus and another sibling with the Moon trine Venus, which rules Taurus. And so on.
Something like that is always happening. There will virtually always be similarities between siblings’ Moons. And then you often get siblings with Moon signs in the same element and even the same sign. So, that makes their interactions with mother even more similar. Even though they will have different relationships and experiences with their Mom, it would be unrealistic to think that they will all see her as a completely different person. She’s still the same person and siblings will still have shared experiences, which are symbolized by the echoing aspects and house placements.
Now, how many resentments, fond memories, horror stories, and heartwarming moments are surrounding your Moon does truly depend on your mother’s personal growth and maturity. Anybody can have an exceptional mother and anyone can have one who leaves a lot of scars. Traditionally, we’ve been told that the “worst” mother figures have children with the Moon in Scorpio or Capricorn. Is this always true? Of course not. These mothers can just be seen as passionate, deep, insightful, and complex (Scorpio) as well as ambitious, reliable, respectable, and in charge (Capricorn). This can set the stage for a really beautiful, solid relationship between mom and child.
Yet, unfortunately, it is quite common to see people with these Moon signs have very unhealthy relationships with their mothers: dysfunctional, controlling, very conditional, deeply manipulative. And since these unhealthy mothers can often be narcissistic, on a clinical level, it definitely doesn’t help to tell someone that their discomfort with them is only a perception. Because these moms can be so skilled at using mind games (Scorpio) or their public image (Capricorn) in a controlling way that they can deceive people into thinking highly of them, including their own children.
It’s not a pretty picture but it’s important to realize. However, again, narcissistic or sociopathic mothers can have children of any Moon sign and it often comes from some sort of difficult aspect (a square or an opposition). Whatever the case may be, you have to be open to whatever issues your Moon might have. It can be a painful process but it’s necessary. It doesn’t mean that you have to stop loving your mother or something. But, this kind of self-therapy needs to be done, no matter how ideal you believe your childhood was. None of us are faultless and the flaws you see in your mother, via your Moon, may not have been selfish, cruel or uncaring. Maybe they were really accidental or unintentional. Either way, those explorations need to be made to heal yourself.
If not, they will become your issues. Because, after all, your Moon is still your Moon and not anyone else’s. As an adult, you have to take full responsibility for it. So, it describes your inner nature in ways that you have to own up to. If you don’t, the things your mother did wrong will be the things you do wrong. That’s why Scorpio Moons with toxic mother relationships who don’t heal will end up becoming controlling emotional vampires, as she was, and why Moon-Neptune people who don’t confront these mommy issues will display the same complete delusion, boundary issues, and run-from-my-feelings attitude that she had.
The cycle has to break somehow. And if you don’t deal with the less than pleasant side of your Moon, you’ll never rise above those generation-to-generation issues and experience the amazing aspects of your Moon as fully as you can. I don’t mean to be harsh but I don’t totally believe in the phrase that “everyone does the best they can with what they have”. I don’t think that’s true. I believe it’s just a way for some people to find comfort. I do think a lot of people do their best but many people don’t. Trying your best, to me, comes from doing the work on yourself to recognize your issues and become a better person. Some are scared to do this and some are not. If you really go deep with your Moon, you can do just that.