Astrologer Laura Craig

The Natal Moon

Donato Creti “The Moon”

What feeds you? What nourishes both your body and your spirit? The placement of the Moon in your birth chart will tell you the story. Observation of the actual Moon itself can help us feel into its astrological symbolism. If the Sun in the chart represents our eternal self, then the Moon is our human self. As the Earth’s own personal satellite, it is the thing that describes our experience of being bound to the worldly plane, with a body and a family and a lineage, a relationship to the land and a need for survival. Though we call it a luminary, the Moon has no light of its own, only reflecting the light of the Sun. Thus, the Moon tells us of the experiential nature of our lives, and how our environment shapes who we are. Because of its relationship to the Sun, from our point of view, the Moon is constantly in flux, waxing and waning as it goes through its cycle. We, too, are subject to the fluctuations of moods and emotions, as we can’t help but react and respond to the cycles, events and people in our lives. 

In modern Western astrology, the natal moon sign describes our inner landscape, which is really how we perceive the world outside ourselves. It describes our emotional nature, our instinctual self. It is our subjectivity and our sensitivity. Also what we need to feel safe and protected. Moon in Sagittarius? Maybe that’s freedom. A sense of meaning and purpose to everything. Moon in Capricorn? Looks more like structure, material possessions and clear boundaries. The Moon feels most at home in Cancer and Taurus. Were you born at night? You may identify with your Moon sign more than your Sun sign. What phase of the Moon were you born under? That informs the personality as well. 

The Moon also symbolizes the Mother archetype in your life. How do you perceive your own mother? What is the story of motherhood that runs through your blood and your psyche, apart from the woman that gave birth to you? These can be very complex questions to answer, and understanding the Moon in your chart means recognizing the ways in which our mothers carry our projections. As our very first mirrors and containers in life, we imprint ourselves on them as they do on us. We don’t really know what causes labor to begin, but we do know it is instigated by the baby. In some mystical sense, we “know” when it is time to be born. The Moon in your birth chart not only describes your experience of Mother, but also your mother’s experience of childbirth. The same is true for her mother, and her mother before her. There is an umbilical link and an ancient reverberation at work in our Moons. 

The Moon, like childbirth, is both mysterious and mundane. It is as predictable and familiar as it is awe-inspiring and powerful. Astrologically, it is a reminder that we are part of the terrestrial story; that we are a part of nature, made of the same matter as everything else and subject to the same forces. But it also contains the story of the divine mystery of life on earth, encoded and remembered in our matrilineal DNA going back to our ur-mothers in the beginning of time. She goes by many names—Artemis, Selene, Hecate are some—but she is universally revered: the goddess that mirrors our cycles and presides over our lives, from birth until death. 

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