If you’re new to astrology, then you might be learning just how important the moon sign is. The “big three” are known as the sun, the moon, and the ascendant (or rising sign), so the moon clearly shows a huge part of someone’s personality.
We typically say that the moon showcases our emotions or inner thoughts and reactions. I find that the moon is also your unconscious reactions and habits that were developed by the way you interpreted your caregiver’s actions as a child.
This means that even in a family of 4 children, each child could have a different moon sign because each child interpreted the mother’s actions slightly differently. Usually, the moon represents the mother, although it can represent whoever would have been in the position of fulfilling your emotional needs.
Learning about your moon sign gives you the power to transcend these more difficult habits into something wonderful that you can use in your everyday life. I certainly believe that it’s one of the most useful planets to learn about!
What is the Moon Sign?
The moon sign represents the position the moon was in when you were born. It changes signs every two and a half days, so it’s an aspect that’s pretty unique to you (unlike the sun sign, which will stay in the same position for about a month).
To calculate your moon sign, you’ll need to know your exact time of birth. This is pretty important, because while the moon will probably be in the same sign for most of your birthday, it won’t stay in the same exact degrees in that sign, so the aspects will change.
The moon is the ruler of Cancer. This means that it has qualities that are similar to Cancer, except it’s a planet. The moon represents our deep personal needs that are usually developed in childhood. These are the reactions that we carry with us (due to the emotions we experienced when we were children) that we will have to consciously work through. The moon is a reactionary planet: instead of making a choice to logically act, the moon is what will cause you to react due to the methods of feeling and relating that you learned as a kid.
What Qualities Does the Moon Sign Show?
There are a few different qualities that the moon sign represents. The moon is primarily known to show deep emotions. I interpret deep emotions to mean our unconscious reactions and habits, or the emotions that we have learned to feel over time. These are things that are so ingrained in us, we may not even realize they’re there.
Our moon shows how we react when something happens that triggers us, and why we react a certain way. Different events will trigger different people depending on where their moon is placed and if it has any aspects.
The moon also shows our less-than-optimal habits that we have to work to overcome. Our moon will point us towards our base emotions that need to be worked through for us to live a happier and more peaceful life.
The moon refers to where you retreat when you feel threatened, and what will help you feel more emotionally secure. A Leo needs praise and adoration, while an Aquarius will need to talk their feelings out in a logical way until they can access their emotional side. It will showcase a calming behavior that can help anyone feel more secure during a time of crisis.
The moon sign can actually influenced how strongly the sun sign is expressed. If they’re in the same sign, the qualities are likely to be stronger, but if the moon and sun sign are opposites, you may see a type of push-pull where each sign only shows up half of the time. While the moon is generally more emotional, having to do with unconscious reactions, and the sun is the more outward essence of who you are, they are very closely linked and each have the ability to influence the expression of the other.
Lastly, and maybe most importantly, the moon sign can represent your mother or primary caregiver. This will be the person who changed your diapers, who was supposed to be there for you when you got hurt and sad (whether or not they were).
To be more specific, the moon sign shows how you interpreted your mother’s treatment of you as a child. Whether or not it was accurate, the moon will show your experience of your mother throughout your childhood and how that impacts your emotions now.
The moon sign is all about childhood Our unconscious reactions are formed there, and our methods of expressing our emotions are ingrained habits that we have to really examine if we want to change them.
Interested in learning more about your chart?
The 12 Moon Signs
We’ll write deeper articles on each moon sign in the near future, but if you’re curious now, here are the general ways that each moon sign expresses itself.
Keep in mind that although each moon sign has a typical childhood pattern, it will be influenced heavily by aspects. If you have a Virgo moon with wonderful aspects, then your mother may have been organized but not critical, and instead taught you valuable lessons about how to use organization in other areas of your life.
However, if you have a Gemini moon with a square to Pluto, then the normally erratic and absent Gemini mother may have instead been controlling in an crazy, up-and-down way.
All of these definitions will be heavily influenced by the rest of your chart. Your Pisces moon sign may say that you dream a lot and have trouble taking action, but if the rest of your chart is composed of fire signs, then that part of the definition won’t be true for you. You’ll need a deep understanding of aspects to fully get your moon sign, but learning each of them is a great place to start!
With a typical Aries moon, the mother was probably dominant. She most likely gave attention to the child, but could be demanding, tactless, and unpredictably angry.
Look to the aspects to see exactly how this may have played out. Negative aspects will indicate difficulty with the mother in that area (e.g. moon square Neptune might indicate erratic anger due to addiction or mental illness with the moon in Aries).
Regardless of aspects, there was probably some unexpected anger from time to time between the child and mother. Generally, the Aries moon mother did value individuality and encouraged it in the child, but could become suddenly enraged if the child does not conform with what she believed was right in other areas.
The individual with the Aries moon sign will be quick to react but also to forget (assuming that no fixed signs are incredibly prominent). The person may also feel a need to push forward when they’re experiencing strong emotions. They feel the safest when they’re acting – stillness is not a good idea for the Aries moon sign.
As a child, the individual was taught to react quickly, and that continues to be the primary defense mechanism. Exactly how the person reacts depends on their aspects, but the lesson is almost always to slow down and see the situation through the lens of others rather than through his/her own unconscious reactions.
The Taurus moon sign can sometimes be confusing, because there are a few different qualities the mother can take on.
One type of Taurus moon mother was extremely structured and stable. She probably never let the child want for anything material (such as food, clothes, etc.) but was very strict and rigid.
In this scenario, the child has been taught to control their emotions through structure, so the adult needs structure (a schedule, a certain type of home-life, etc.) to process and regulate their feelings, and sometimes even to avoid them. The lesson here will be to actually feel emotions rather than just breaking them down into structure and rules.
Alternatively, the parent may have been too focused on material things such as looks, status, money, etc. They may have showed the child that no one is worth anything without these things, so now the adult feels that they must succeed in these areas to matter.
In this scenario, emotions are not well processed by the adult. Instead, they are stuffed down in the pursuit of possessions, and the person tells themselves that they can process those emotions when they achieve some sort of success. Of course, this is untrue; the way forward is to see emotions as separate from material things and work to process them now.
The Gemini moon signs is generally one of the tougher placements. The mother was not necessarily stable, and may have been a sibling in the past life. The mother was probably moody or emotional, or deeply sad. These mothers or parents are usually paying off a huge amount of karma in this lifetime, making it difficult for them to be accessible to the child.
There was usually a good amount of change and ups-and-downs with the Gemini moon parent. Whether the parent was one-and-off absent, had an addiction, a mental illness, or was just somehow erratic in a different way, this is the hallmark of the Gemini moon sign.
Now, the adult will have difficulty truly feeling their own emotions. They thrive on change and live in their minds; they feel extremely uncomfortable with stillness. The lesson is to go deeper into their bodies and really process their feelings with more than just their minds.
Cancer moon sign children are usually very sensitive and in-tune with their mothers. This might be a karmic bond from a past life, but it can either give them a safe base to explore from or cause some type of enmeshment with the mother (look to the aspects).
Perhaps the Cancer child was overly babied (this is often the case in some form) or the Cancer child for some reason takes on the mother’s emotions as their own.
What is absolute is that the Cancer moon sign will experience emotions extremely deeply (in both childhood and adulthood) and will value having a home where they feel safe.
The mother played a huge role in shaping this person’s habit patterns, and this is not necessarily bad, but at some point, the Cancer will have to break away and learn how to process emotions on their own. They will also need to learn to process more difficult emotions, as they tend to have immense trouble dealing with all of the cruelty in the world.
The Cancer moon sign is extremely intuitive and sensitive, qualities that can be used for wonderful purposes here on Earth.
The Leo moon sign is an easy one to spot. The person’s mother generally showed love through praise, so the Leo moon sign now believes that they are only acceptable as souls when they receive continuous affection and praise.
When the Leo moon sign feels threatened, they need to hear compliments from an outside source to make it right. While praise is not necessarily a bad thing for children, too much of it (in place of actual love and care) can hinder the child from developing internal self-esteem.
These mothers may have also been impressive within some type of community such as politics, the town, a church group, academia, etc., and inadvertently taught the child that it isn’t okay to be a normal person.
Lastly, these mothers could have distracted the child with toys, shows, etc., until the child felt that entertainment was a sign of love. They now want others to entertain them to prove love, because they have a false association that was learned in childhood.
Leo moon signs need to learn that it’s okay to be wrong or vulnerable, and that the only way to truly grow is to love all parts of themselves.
The Virgo moon sign’s parent was typically (not always) very critical of the child’s behavior. The child might have tried a variety of pursuits (schoolwork, sports, work, etc.) but nothing pleased the parent. The parent might have scrutinized the child’s appearance, tendencies, intellectual abilities, athleticism, or virtually any other trait. The child was always sized up and found lacking.
The child’s parents might have also had really high expectations that the child was unable to meet. He or she may have felt like he/she was always letting them down.
Now, the adult might be very self-critical. Funny enough, the adult can also be extremely critical of others, because they’ve learned that judgement is acceptable and in fact necessary.
The lesson is to learn that mistakes are good, for they help us grow. From a Universal point of view, there is no such thing as a mistake, only a lesson. The Virgo moon sign will want to practice acceptance, non-judgement, and self-love.
Those with the moon in Libra were most likely born to mothers who did not correctly attend to their child’s emotional needs. When something happened to the child, the parent either “comforted” them with some meaningless colloquial term (everything works out in the end), or brushed off their hurt as inconsequential. Neither way felt like real comfort and nurture to the Libra moon sign.
This is not to say that it was the mother’s fault (she probably had her own chart to deal with and we all do our best with our own placements!) but the way that the child perceive these interactions tremendously affects the adult now.
Those with the moon in Libra learned that their own needs and emotions aren’t important and that they need to put other’s emotions first. They began to do this, and now have a hard time recognizing when they themselves need something emotionally, because they were told that their own needs didn’t matter.
The lesson for those with the moon in Libra is to connect to the inner child and to be there for themselves. They need to learn how to distinguish what they want versus what other people want, when to say no, and how to take care of their emotional needs first.
Those with the moon in Scorpio have a tough time of it. These people were usually born into some type of severely difficult situation. Either the mother was not present (due to abandonment, death, imprisionment, etc.) or she was technically present but couldn’t be trusted. Maybe the mother had a secret life of her own, or she was erratic and unable to be confided in.
Because these individuals cannot connect with their mothers for whatever reason, they learn to hold their emotions deep inside. Unlike other moon signs, Scorpio moon signs are unable to just get rid of their emotions – they have to go somewhere. However, they can only hold so much inside, so they eventually get to the point where they burst.
It’s very difficult for Scorpio moon signs to experience true emotional intimacy with other people, but this is ultimately what they want to work on. They’ll want to learn that it’s okay to be emotionally intimate with someone even if the relationship can’t last forever.
Scorpio moon signs can alternatively become extremely possessive once they’ve committed to someone due to their fear of loss, but they will need to learn that they need to allow things to unfold as they are meant to instead of trying to control the Universe. They will want to recognize that their emotions are okay, and that there’s a healthy way of expressing them without either bottling them up or exploding.
The Sagittarius moon person’s relationship with their mother was usually pretty independent. The person may have had a lot of time to explore as a child, or they may have traveled and given the child lots of leeway. Even in their own home, they may have felt that they had the freedom to do what they liked. This can be a difficult or positive moon sign depending on the aspects that show up.
Alternatively, the mother may have been someone extremely eccentric on the outskirts (or even outside of) civilized society. The mother might have been a hippie, or a devoutly religious person (to the extreme), or a chronic wanderer. This would have taught the child the same lesson.
Now, the adult might seek out excitement to feel emotionally safe. When the adult feels threatened, the knee-jerk reaction is to do something exciting, travel, or learn something new. While this isn’t necessarily bad, always needing excitement will hinder the adult from learning deeper truths about himself/herself that can only be gained through stillness.
The lesson for the Sagittarius moon sign is to learn to put down roots without feeling stifled. The mind is an infinitely vast place, and the spiritual world even more-so. The person does not need to be out physically exploring, but can instead explore his/her own emotions and can come to feel just as (if not more) satisfied. They may also develop a sense of belonging that they didn’t have in childhood, and this can be incredibly fulfilling once they break through the fear of stillness.
Those with the moon in Capricorn have another challenging placement. This child may have needed to protect themselves as a young age and learned to only display emotions that were politically correct.
The child’s environment might have been unstable, or the mother may have been extremely strict and unloving. With especially bad aspects, this moon may signify some kind of abuse. The mother may have guilted the child into behaving a certain way. Positive aspects will point to a generally uptight mother who was not very open emotionally.
Those with the moon in Capricorn are scared of vulnerability. They will try to never display an emotion that is not acceptable to society, for they learned that showing emotions was simply an embarrassment. Unlike the Aquarius moon sign, the Capricorn moon does have plenty of strong emotions on the inside, but they have learned to corral them and control them in an extreme way. It’s really rare for a Capricorn moon sign to crack open!
The lesson is to accept that they, along with the rest of humanity, are vulnerable, and this is not a bad thing.
The mother of the Aquarius moon sign is usually detached when it comes to emotions. This is not to say that the mother can’t be very attached to other areas of the child’s life, but generally the mother figure is not very good at dealing with actual emotional outbursts.
Because of this, the child learns to think about love rather than feel it. The person as an adult will be compassionate yet distant, and is more likely to feel for society as a whole than any one person. They learned during childhood to react this way and that individual, one-on-one emotions are not optimal.
The mother may have also paid quite a bit of attention to larger groups (groups of friends, philanthropy, etc.) instead of the child’s emotions and needs. The relationship with the mother may have been more like a friendship, where the child could speak about emotions but did not have a secure shoulder to actually cry on.
Whichever of these paths was shown by the mother in childhood, the result is that the person has trouble talking about or even finding his/her own emotions. They almost feel as though they don’t exist, and that logic is all they have in their mind.
Being unable to truly love others means that these individuals are often unable to love themselves, too. The wound that exists is a lot bigger than it appears on first glance.
The lesson is to learn to identify emotions, bring them down in the body, and actually feel them. It is also to learn that emotions exist for a reason (they’ve helped us survive!) and they are not useless. This is the first step to healing the Aquarius moon sign and developing self love and care.
The Pisces moon mother was, on the positive side, extremely psychic, sensitive, and sensing of her child’s needs. She may have been quite the dreamer if not a little flighty, and this could have felt happy and safe for the child, or she might have gone too far and seemed out of balance. She may have been too emotional, lost in her own world, or had some type of addiction that kept her separate from the child.
Typically, negative aspects to the moon show a mother with some type of addiction (whether chemical or mental). The child would have heard dreams being talked about but never carried out. Nothing was solid or absolute and the child always felt like he/she was on unstable group. Alternatively, the relationship simply felt distant, and the mother always seemed far away from the child.
Those with the Pisces moon sign are usually psychic extremely psychic and intuitive. On the positive side, they can have quite a lot of insight into the spirit world and be incredibly connected. If they’re having difficulties, they can easily become deluded about other people’s intentions and get lost in illusion.
With any difficult aspects, the Pisces moon probably feels an emptiness inside that they are constantly trying to escape. The typical Pisces methods of escapism include addictions, fantasies, food, writing, and anything else that allows the person to simply get away.
Those with the moon in Pisces need to learn that escaping one’s reality is not true happiness. Instead, they will need to gather the courage to face their reality and find a way to create the reality that they desire. They are extremely sensitive and kind, and they have quite a lot to offer the world!
Interested in learning about relationship astrology?
Aspects to the Moon
The aspects to the moon deserve at least another blog post on their own, but because the way that your moon manifests is so dependent on aspects, I want to give you something to start with.
These are generally what each of the planets will mean in aspect with the moon. Positive aspects (trine, sextile, and sometimes conjunction) will speak to the positive traits of these planets, while the negative aspects (square, opposition, sometimes conjunction) will speak to the more difficult traits of these planets.
Sun: How well does your mother understand how to give you what you need, personally, and who you are? How well does she see you?
Mercury: How well does your mother speak to you? How well do you understand each other’s minds?
Venus: How well does your mother instill confidence in you (if at all, or in spite of her)?
Mars: How patient or angry tempered is your mother?
Saturn: How stable, structured, and supportive is your mother? How much of this relationship is karmic?
Jupiter: How much does your mother help or hinder you in your endeavors?
Uranus: How present is your mother in your life? Is she too rebellious against motherhood? How much does she encourage you to be different?
Neptune: How manipulative, psychic, or dreamy is your mother? Does she have any addictions or obsessions?
Pluto: How controlling, chaotic, or depressed is your mother?
Is your moon sign accurate when you take aspects into consideration? Let us know in the comments!