You will hear from astrologers that moon signs (compared with sun signs) describe your feelings, emotions and instinctive behaviour. Actually, they are about emotional needs – the kinds of things you can’t live without if you’re going to feel inwardly secure. These needs, habits and conditioning started in your childhood, and the emotional environment created around you. Did you feel safe, and protected, or were you a fearful, vulnerable, oversensitive little thing? Did you grow up emotionally healthy, able to express your feelings, or defensive and uptight because of an unresponsive mother you felt never cared about you? Ah yes, moon signs signify the mother on your chart, or rather, the way in which you experienced her presence. Was she good at creating a supportive environment, or (for her own reasons) unable to express love and nurture? Moon signs (plus their all important aspects) are often a huge clue.
Often, the moon sign on a male chart shows the kind of women he is attracted to – but this is also derived from his experience of Mother. (On a female chart its about the woman’s sense of her own femininity – what women are supposed to behave like, as it were.) If you don’t know your moon sign, download an ephemeris here or get your chart calculated online. If you’re not sure what all the astrological sign glyphs mean, just check this page out and scroll down it. Better still, download the fully featured, free AstroCalc program (worth £150) Knowing your birth time would be a big help, too!
The following is an edited extract from my forthcoming book – Astro-Magic: Personal Success with the Magical Moon and Lucky Jupiter.
THE TWELVE MOON SIGNS
MOON IN ARIES
Like sun in Aries, people with this moon sign are highly energetic, enthusiastic and full of vigour. Planets in Aries tend to work faster and more urgently, hence your emotional responses are lightning quick, too. In particular, everything has to happen right now – you just cannot afford to wait. Having your emotional needs fulfilled must happen quickly, too!
At least Moon in Aries isn’t going to go to pieces if things go wrong, and your initial reaction is to confront things head-on whenever a problem surfaces. ‘Face it and overcome it,’ is your motto. Some of these very sterling qualities you’ve absorbed from your mother, or whoever played the maternal role in your upbringing. She it was who encouraged you not to be weak, not to be over sensitive to things and people. She it was who encouraged you to be independent and stand on your own two feet. And so it is.
Quite often, the toughness you carry within can be a result of actual emotional deprivation by the mother. For instance, Marlon Brando (moon in Aries) was brought up in an atmosphere of domestic violence due to an abusive father. Consequently, his mother was an alcoholic, and pretty much absent when it came to nurturing. The young Brando had to grow a thick skin very early on. Another case in point is the eccentric artist Andy Warhol, another Aries moon subject who seems to have blamed his mother for skin blotches he sustained as an adult. This was due to a case of ‘St. Vitus Dance’, an uncontrollable shaking that he’d suffered from as a child. According to a friend of Warhol’s, his mother Julia ‘made him feel that he was the ugliest creature that God put on this earth.’ Again, nurture issues!
Nevertheless, you are what we might call emotionally self-sufficient, and one of your attractive sides is your reluctance to go weighing others down with your problems. You tend not to have dependency issues like some moon signs (possibly Cancer and Pisces). In fact, you can be quite hard, and as a result, unsympathetic to others’ moaning and bleating. But remember, people will come to you for help since they perceive you to be a tower of strength. A hero! You are. So remember this, and how much you can be of help to others.
MOON IN TAURUS
Individuals with Moon in earthy Taurus have usually experienced a favourable early environment where the mother was involved. Your relationship to her was almost certainly very supportive and reassuring. Mostly, you felt you could always rely on her for help, and this arrived in common sense ways, such as the dependable Mom who takes care of day to day business – like ironing clothes, shopping and preparing meals when you were either too young or lazy to fend for yourself.
Moon signs are – as we’ve said elsewhere – about the kinds of things you need in life to feel comfortable. The things which comprise your comfort zone. As Taurus is an earthy, materialistic sign this means ‘things’. Having physical possessions – in short – calms you down. The sensuousness of Taurus is there too, of course, in fact it’s the key to your whole being: you like to touch. And be touched. Listen to Cameron Diaz, who has this moon :‘I’m primal on an animalistic level, kind of like, “Throw me over your shoulder. You man, me woman.” I love physical contact. I have to be touching my lover, like, always. It’s not optional.’
Moon in Taurus is a ‘don’t worry, Mum’ll fix it’ type of Moon, and my researches show many celebrities whose early life and relationship with their mothers was based on this kind of dependency. Elton John has it, and enjoyed a lovely, close relationship with his mother Sheila – always there for him whenever he was depressed or having an emotional meltdown. Peter Sellers (another Taurus moon) had a mother who positively doted on him, even, when he was all grown up.
Sellers was famously possessive, jealous and insecure, too – unless he could control others, famously in love with gadgets and cars, and forever buying stuff. Elton, on the other hand, though a Sun Aries, admitted that during his often lonely childhood that material objects became a substitute for friendship. Not for Elton the rock-star wrecking of hotel rooms – he had too much respect for other people’s ‘things’, their property. The only thing that can really set your teeth on edge is the thought of losing those hard earned possessions – and this can (and does) include people. You don’t like to lose anyone. Ever. Stubborn and immovable you may be, but that’s just how a Rock behaves, right?
MOON IN GEMINI
Restless to a fault, you cannot focus attentions upon one area for long. Like sun Gemini, the moon here seeks an ever-widening range of experience – to feel comfortable you need mental stimulus like others need oxygen to breathe. Interesting conversation, a busy social life and frequent changes of location are all necessary. It’s as if you carry with you a mental drawer of dissociated facts, figures, trivia, gossip. Plus, your talent for communication is considerable and there is always someone around whose head you can talk off. People can never shut you up!
Of all the moon signs, this one can be a bit fickle and – perhaps unfairly so – you are indeed thought superficial by some. But it’s like this – you just need to cover the widest range of experience possible, and that need for intellectual intake, nay variety, cannot be honoured if you’re stuck with only one person all the time. If tied down in this way, boredom often surfaces. No single individual can provide the miscellany of experience you seek – don’t fence me in! This is why your acquaintances come from all different walks of life – you appeal to butchers, bakers and candlestick makers equally, plus the homeless guy around the corner, the traffic cop on his break, liberals and lefties, saints and sinners – you get on with them all. Why would you bother judging them? They’re just part of the fabric of everyday life and you manage, with that silver tongue, to offend none of them. You just adapt.
Moon signs show your domestic habits – the environment you want when you shut the door to the outside world. One male client of mine with moon in Gemini isn’t happy until the house is buzzing to the sound of casual callers bringing gossip, phones ringing, email alerts and 24 hour TV news on in the background, in case anything interesting just happened. This is likely to be a hangover from your childhood when you were brought up in an environment just like this – full of interesting gadgets, people calling 24/7, and – especially – the gossiping neighbours! Your mother could even have been like the Big Sister you never had, instead of the stereotyped, smothering, attentive figure we associate with moms and mums. Concerned more about educating you, she encouraged you to read and develop your intellect, instead of nagging you to eat all of your greens!
MOON IN CANCER
Like Sun in Cancer it must be said that you’re easily hurt and never forget a slight, never quite letting go of the past. There is a deep, nostalgic element to your psychological make-up, but maybe you’re just a little too insular. Privacy is a big thing for you – you have an invisible ‘keep out’ sign to guard against anything that might interfere with your personal world. Your early domestic environment taught the value of family and staying close to siblings and relatives.
Your mother was mostly protective and supportive at best; smothering and interfering at worst. But you always felt she would do anything for you, and the family would rally around if you were in trouble. Thus you feel most secure when the home environment and family unit is functioning well – the least hint of trouble here and you start worrying. The family comes first! Always. For some of you it’s a religion.
There are strong dependency issues here and you prefer to stay physically close to the family home, even when you’re a grown up with offspring of your own. You never know when you’ll need mum and dad. Inevitably, you transfer this neediness to a wife or husband. But be careful – other people can find this a little tiresome, no matter how much they love you.
Moon in Cancer, needless to say, likes its privacy, likes peace and quiet, likes to go within. Moon signs can also indicate your preferred living space, or home environment. Rock legend Jimmy Page, for all his Scorpio rising intensity and strut, is a sensitive moon in Cancer, a water sign, who not only once lived near water, but actually on it. (He owned a houseboat moored at Pangbourne, Berkshire in the UK.) Two of Rock’s most famous sibling rivals, Ray and Dave Davies of the Kinks also have the moon in moody Cancer. Ray, in particular, based an entire career on a kind of hankering for the past – and he’s a sun Gemini!
But his Cancerian moon inspires lyrics which look back to a kind a former golden age (in the recent past) that probably never existed. Many of them are dry-eyed vignettes about everyday life, local places and people dreaming big dreams. In Ray Davies’s wistful, nostalgic songs, home, family and the past are lifted to mythological levels. (Check out the words to ‘Waterloo Sunset’, ‘Dead End Street’ or ‘Shangri-La’. The line in ‘Autumn Almanac’ that goes: ‘This is my street and I’m never going to leave it,’ says it all!)
MOON IN LEO
Moon in Leo is never quite content unless the centre of attention – taking a supporting role, much less a back seat, is not for you. What truly makes you feel secure is having the affection and support from others that reminds you – continually – that you’re number One. Within, you feel instinctively that you’re essentially ‘special’ and ought to be treated as such. This can lead to quite a bit of pompous, haughty behaviour.
To return to that ‘child within’, this behaviour shows up when things go wrong and the chips are down. The Leo moon emotions kick in and suddenly the world is a cruel place populated with peasants and imbeciles standing in your way, and all you really want to do is scream! But you don’t, of course. Now that you’re a superior, dignified adult this doesn’t happen, but this dramatising of your setbacks and problems is typical Leo. All in all, though, ego notwithstanding, its one of the more ‘healthy’ moon signs: proud and self-possessed, magnanimous and generous in your emotional responses.
You were raised by a mother who thought you the most wonderful of creations, but maybe affection secretly came at a price – so long as you behaved like the darling angel she wanted you to be, everything was fine. Then there may have been some icy and haughty coldness. Many Leo Moons were short on both affection and attention when they were kids – their mothers were too interested in pampering themselves. David Bowie had Moon in Leo, and to this we can attribute his sense of the theatrical (which came in very handy career wise) . However, he was into dressing up from a very early age, and loved to see his reflection in a mirror when little. His mother Peggy once caught David wearing her make-up when a small child, and when told that little boys don’t use lipstick he answered: ‘But you do Mummy!
Though a sun Capricorn, his experience of Mother had a Leo theme, and Peggy certainly fitted the bill. Bowie biographers have referred to her as ‘imposing’ ‘fearless’ ‘wilful’ ‘independent’ and unsurprisingly – ‘regal’. Nor was she exactly shy about speaking her mind, and she managed to carry off this Queen Mother-like image for most of her life. That Bowie was ultimately seeking ‘Leo-type’ women became plain when he married his first wife Angela (a sun Leo). And is it any surprise that his model widow, Iman, is also a Leo? It shouldn’t be.
MOON IN VIRGO
Moon in Virgo derives its sense of security from knowing that everything is organised, ship-shape and in perfect working order. Then, life is sweet. But not for long – life has a tendency to go wrong, be messy and sprout leaks. It started in childhood. Your mother would hand out little tasks for you to fulfil, the better to prepare you for adult responsibilities. She expected you to grow up fast.
So many of the Virgo moon celebrities I’ve researched had mothers who worked hard to support the family, but often had to cope with illnesses of various kinds. The former Johnny Rotten, ‘punk’ legend John Lydon has moon in Virgo: ‘My mother was devoted to making me an intelligent human being. It was her who taught me to read and write at four. ’ In short, she was there to teach him to be rational, sensible and to think for himself.
The late Capricornian rocker Ian Kilmister or ‘Lemmy’ had moon in Virgo, and lived much of his life totally self-sufficient. Of his mother, he says she ‘did not have an easy life, trying to support our family alone. Her first job was as a nurse … After resigning, she worked as a librarian for a while … I did not really understand how stressed she was … Later, after getting married to my stepfather, she went back to work as a waitress this time.’ This seems to fit the theme of Virgo – the workhorse who continues working despite their own frailties. (Plus she had two ‘Virgoan careers’ – nurse and librarian!)
Though you are the most logical of the moon signs, perhaps you are the least well equipped to cope in an emotional or relationship crisis. All of that nervous energy goes to waste when you don’t have the necessary control. A practical crisis or problem, something that needs organising, or the details sussing out, then this is genuine moon in Virgo territory. Now you can roll up your sleeves and get busy. Virgo moons have what I call the DIY ethic, and I’m not simply on about repairs and improvements around the home (which they also specialise in, naturally!). I mean that, if a goal or ambition is to be accomplished and one possesses the necessary skills (or only the basic skills), then one might as well do it oneself. If there is one thing they really need it is to be busy!
MOON IN LIBRA
Since moon signs are what you can’t do without, and Libra is all about relationships, then these guys are pretty easy to understand. They really don’t like to go it alone too often and put their considerable social skills to work ensuring they don’t have to. The point is that they’re diplomats, above all else. You won’t find them loudly demanding their own way (like Aries) or having secretive plans and schemes (like Scorpio). They rely on their own smooth talking, a careful reading of a situation and the ‘right’ reactions to curry favour.
Moon in Libra hates unpleasantness of any kind and they don’t rule out the little white lie to spare someone’s feelings. This is what happened in childhood – your mother had a kind of cossetting effect on you, but deep, inner stuff and raw emotion were discouraged. You were never allowed to really discover your own feelings. Here is that Libran avoidance of the nasty and unpleasant once again – they just don’t want to go there. At least, in childhood, you learned early on how to charm or coerce others to get your own way.
Henry Kissinger is often cited as an example of moon in Libra when astrologers are discussing this position. Whilst much of what we see in Kissinger is a result of his Gemini (12th house) sun, there is no denying his persuasive skills at the negotiating table, his tact and discretion. Like a good Libra moon, he knows when to keep his mouth shut.
This avoidance of the difficult, dark or unpleasant can be carried too far, however. There is also an inner wall that prevents moon in Libra admitting any culpability for others’ pain – to do so would mean having to deal with negative emotions (like a relationship break-up). Take Abba’s Bjorn Ulvaeus (moon in Libra) and the writing of ‘Winner Takes It All’ – its heartbreaking lyrics are about the death of a marriage, his marriage and the ‘loser’ in the song is clearly his ex-wife, Agnetha. So who does he get to sing it? Right, Agnetha! (That the words referred to their painful break up was barely acknowledged when Ulvaeus was later interviewed.) Anyhow, one must wonder at the sensitivity of someone putting an ex-lover through the emotional wringer in order to have a hit single!
MOON IN SCORPIO
Of all the moon signs this one thrives on intensity and passion. It’s a highly purposeful moon – you want to focus on what truly matters, such is your need for authenticity, to point to the truth of things, we might say. And you’re excellent at this, too, being able to spot a phoney a mile off. What makes you feel secure is the emotional anchor of the promise of loving support in a relationship. Having this ‘rock’ in your life is something you cannot do without, even if you hate to admit to any neediness.
Actually, moon in Scorpio is usually making up for some kind of deficiency in childhood, when maternal affection and reassurance could have been in short supply. Frequently, the personal mother had ‘issues’ with being a mother or was absent, and you never quite got over this, never quite learned to trust and to leave your emotional welfare, when appropriate, in the hands of someone else. Like a wife or husband. Opening up, for you, is a little … difficult, let’s say.
The actor-comedian-writer Ricky Gervais (a sun Cancerian) has this moon and one always gets the impression from his live appearances that he’s always trying to parade his dark, cynical – even cruel – side before the public. In his stand-up comedy, he’s made almost a career of daring the audience to laugh at his borderline-offensive, borderline-tasteless, borderline-outrageous jokes (especially ones aimed at the disabled). Cynicism and ‘hardness’ is a way of saying to the world: ‘Look, I’m just being realistic about things.’ (Yet we do see the Cancerian soft-centre in his other work – recall the happily-ever-after ending of The Office.)
Certainly, this moon has a powerful independent streak, and you prefer to stay clear of dependency on others. You’d rather have it the other way around – vulnerability is not your thing, at all. You stay in control that way. And you insist on doing things your way, too, even if it’s to your detriment. It’s called cutting off your nose to spite your face. One Moon in Scorpio friend would rather lop off his own head with an axe than admit to being in the wrong in personal disputes. Being wrong is uncomfortable! Bad for the ego.
And like all the other fixed signs, habits are formed and kept to and no one – no one – is about to change you and your stubborn views. You like it that way. But sometimes it can be impossible to actually live with someone like that! Ask their partners!
MOON IN SAGITTARIUS
Among the twelve moon signs this is the most optimistic – nothing can get you down for very long, and whilst sun in Sagittarius also has its sunny, sanguine side, you exude happy-go-lucky with every breath you take. The moon is our emotions and since Sagittarius is a fire sign, the emotions here are ebullience, exuberance and high spirits. Your emotional nature means you can bounce back from hard times and disappointment. Donald Trump has this moon sign, and whatever your opinion of him, you can’t say he’s not an optimist, enthusiast and risk taker. (And someone who bounces back – he’s been bankrupt twice).
The relentlessly optimistic politician Nigel Farage (a sun Aries) is also a good example of this moon sign. His German wife has noted that ‘he doesn’t get much sleep or rest, he lives on adrenalin a lot, he doesn’t eat regular meals – and he smokes and he drinks too much.’ This is the indulgent, even reckless side of moon Sagittarius – the moon is about how we nurture ourselves too, how we find a quiet ‘inner’ place of retreat, how we eat or comfort ourselves. Moon in Sagittarius cannot be bothered with this: much of everyday life is too slow and boring. As a financial trader he once lost a seven-figure sum in a single morning, commenting “I love a gamble. I am at my best when my back is against the wall and the odds are stacked against me.” (In fact, he’s cheated death at least three times, even been diagnosed with testicular cancer, thinking he would die!)
There are drawbacks of course: they can be a wee bit irresponsible The moon shows your instinctive reactions to stress or bad news – and moon in Sagittarius just doesn’t want to know. Pondering over inconvenient practical detail is not your thing, you prefer to ignore or dismiss such things. Let others figure it out! You need your head in the clouds. You need optimism. Hope. Faith. Freedom. This attitude was formed in childhood and Mother was an independent, someone who loved their freedom and couldn’t be tied down to a kitchen sink. She may have seemed somewhat less than maternal, to put it bluntly. More interested in expanding her horizons she avoided too much of that mumsiness – feeling somehow above it, or just not into it.
MOON IN CAPRICORN
The moon is – traditionally – badly placed in Capricorn, a bit like Scorpio. But where the Scorpio moon is driven by intense-feeling and emotional issues, with Capricorn it’s more about security in general – especially of the financial variety. And so you get a grip on life and play safe. But what did it take to make you this way? In a word, Mother. Childhood conditioning was such that you were expected to grow up too soon, be responsible and realistic – especially about your own limitations.
There were plenty of folks around you who never thought you’d amount to much, and your reaction was: ‘I’ll show you one day!’ There may have been times when your mother urged you to do better, work harder, put money in the bank and accept your responsibilities (because you can’t rely on dreams and ambition) whilst at the same time undermining your self confidence. Unconditional loving support wasn’t in abundance as a child, and even though Mum meant well, she was thinking more about your practical needs.
Emotional needs are likely to be neglected, and consequentially you’d rather be strict on yourself, working to accomplish goals, no matter how much you may be dropping or starved of affection. Instead, you have a good moan about how hard life is, how you work so hard with so little appreciation from others, and how everything conspires against you. What lies behind this patterning is moon in Capricorn’s deep fear of failure, poverty, and being dependent on others. But they shouldn’t be so hard on themselves. No other moon sign takes failure quite so badly.
The flamboyant, gay front-man of Queen, Farrokh Bulsara, had moon in Capricorn. Born into the strict Parsee faith in Zanzibar, much of his childhood was spent away from his parents in a boarding school in India, ‘for his own good’ (a phrase moon in Capricorn has heard many times.) A timid, shy boy, painfully conscious of his ‘buck’ teeth, he later spoke of ‘loneliness’ and ‘rejection’ at the school. But like a typical, self- reliant little Capricorn moon he made the best of it, for ‘you had to do what you were told …One thing boarding school taught me was to fend for myself.’ The later Freddie Mercury became quite defensive about his family roots, as if it were an embarrassment not in keeping with a Rock god. He’d snap at reporters: ‘Don’t ask me about it!’
MOON IN AQUARIUS
Your abiding image of Mother was that of a free, even rebellious, spirit, not exactly ‘mother material’ when it comes to nurture, nappies and feeding times. This is heaven for Cancerians, but not an ‘Aquarian mother’. She probably didn’t want to be tied down with the domestic responsibilities this would entail. In later years, you may have felt she was more like a Big Sister than a mother. This is more or less what happened with John Lennon, who had moon in Aquarius. His mother Julia, that rebellious, wilful and carefree spirit, was the wild card in the Lennon family. John adored her precisely because, as a mother, she was unconventional, funny, and never bothered disciplining him.
Moon in Aquarius thinks differently, and sees society’s Big Picture. They want to make the world a better place and concern themselves with things like civil liberties and freedom of speech. The French intellect Voltaire (1694 –1778) went to jail for speaking out against hypocrisies and state tyranny. More recently, many revolutionaries and political radicals have moon in Aquarius – hard-left hippie Jerry Rubin and black civil rights activist Angela Davis. Their ideas are either off the wall, or plain provocative, like hypnotist Franz Mesmer, LSD advocate Timothy Leary, or the radical psychiatrists R. D. Laing and Jacques Lacan (“the most controversial psycho-analyst since Freud”).
What unites these diverse people is that, in one way or another, they are Mavericks. They set themselves apart from the Establishment and put forth their own wacky solutions to society’s ills. Then there are those from the entertainment world who, let’s say, have enjoyed flaunting their individuality a little! Take a bow Eminen, Muhammad Ali, Kate Bush, the eccentric actor Bill Murray and 60’s acid casualty Syd Barrett. They have all striven to be … different in their own way.
Men are seeking nurture and support from women of intellect, the more liberated and crazy their ideas, the better. Lennon always said that Yoko brought out the ‘real’ him, that she was nothing more than himself ‘in drag’. He meant that she embodied his anima, his Ideal Woman: in Aquarius this means someone freethinking, liberal, progressive, outspoken. It’s no surprise she’s a sun Aquarian. Likewise, women with moon in Aquarius are gifted with high intelligence and realise that being a woman can be a struggle in modern society, because men make most of the rules. They’re having none of this, and refuse to conform to the usual stereotypes – valuing their self sufficiency and intellect more than anything else. In the end, this is what makes moon in Aquarius feel most secure – freedom and independence. They’re weird like that.
MOON IN PISCES
These super-sensitive people live in a shell for most of the time; no, all of the time. The simple reason is that the moon here is so very porous, there is no other way of putting it. They absorb everything in their environment and need ‘protection’. Other, normal, people filter most things out; poor old, super-sensitive Moon in Pisces doesn’t have a choice. Plus, they just don’t react ‘normally’.
I have at least three Pisces Moon friends (males) who are typically bad with anger. They’re not wimps, either (one is, in fact, a Martial Arts expert) They just don’t feel that surge of self-defensive, righteous emotion that normally occurs when offended or accosted by an aggressor. Where an Aries moon would be in there, fists at the ready, moon in Pisces probably feels sorry for their opponent.
And did I mention you have an imagination so fertile that sci-fi authors would kill for it? Then again, organising yourself into an efficient, practical routine may not be your strong point. Dealing with too much everyday reality – generally – may prove a challenge! One way out is through drugs and alcohol, of course – the wise ones opt for yoga, meditation, chakra balancing and The Power of Now.
They are good at self pity, though. It has something to do with early upbringing, where you experienced mother as a suffering, overprotected, little thing. This is a weakness you seem to have inherited – this ‘woe is me’ attitude, as your misfortunes were the fault of God. But self pity is an indulgence too, and so is self-imposed guilt (which you also inherited from mother). You are essentially an addictive personality.
What they really need to feel secure is some mystical connection to the world beyond. But this need to connect to the Infinite can just as easily be expressed through fantasy and illness. Some illnesses are psychosomatic – it’s their way of getting some shut down, to escape somewhere and remove oneself from the world. The Catholic theologian and mathematician Blaise Pascal had this moon, and wrote:
‘For after all what is man in nature? A nothing in relation to infinity, all in relation to nothing, a central point between nothing and all and infinitely far from understanding either. The ends of things and their beginnings are impregnably concealed from him in an impenetrable secret. He is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness out of which he was drawn and the infinite in which he is engulfed.’