Call Your Mother: The Moon in Astrology
Over the last year, DMM has been keeping you up to date on what the stars (and your inner life) are up to with our astrology playlist series. This October marks one full year of DMM giving you the knowledge and music you need to cope with a year of planetary influence! Happy anniversary, congratulations to both of us! Now that we’ve given you the rundown of sign archetypes and the artists that power each season, we’d like to change things up by giving you some more hands-on-help surviving the seasons. This will include updates on planetary goings on, more in-depth information on the Planets and the Houses, as well as Planetary Rulers, Nativity, and all the other astro-facets you have always been too intimidated to ask your hot friend who’s into that sort of thing about. Have no fear, DMM is here!
In the birth chart, the biggest pie slice of personal identity is occupied by the Sun and the Sun sign. If you ask someone what their sign is, they will say “Leo” or “Cancer.” The season you were born in, however much it informs your internality and identity, is only a part of the whole equation of your astrological self. The rest of the aspects of your character are sourced out to the different planets (and some minor moons and asteroids) in our solar system that have a gravitational relationship with Earth. Some people say they do not relate with their Sun sign or it does not describe them. Oftentimes this leads people to disbelieve the entire field of study. There can be a lot hidden with a single person. If you’re not sure where the Moon is in your chart or want to see your full birth chart, there are lots of great resources for finding your full chart, including my favorite right HERE.
While the sun is the biggest plot on the pie-chart, the second biggest is the area ruled by The Moon. The Moon in the birth chart relates to a person's emotional and inner life. It is how they perceive themselves from the inside of their vessel. It also rules personal comfort, how we identify safety and home and how we receive nurture from the world around us.
The relationship that the Earth has to the Moon as opposed to the Sun is unsurprising when you consider their orbital patterns. The Moon orbits the Earth, and therefore has a closer intimacy with the Earth than the other planets, which similarly orbit the sun. They each have their own set of satellites, we just have our Moon. The Sun’s far off power and control are sometimes literally eclipsed by the closer, more supportive, more intimate relationship between Gaia and Luna. The Moon is the femme foil to the masculine Sun’s powerhouse of energy. Her energy is motherly, and indicative of emotionality, comfort and how best we can be cared for. The Moon also can directly indicate important female figures in our lives. Your moon sign will make your emotionality and internals function in the manner of the energy pattern of that sign.
The moon is also representative of personal history and the visible effects of such. Comfort is birthed more times than not from familiarity, and familiarity is bred from personal history. Many times what makes people most comfy also happens to be what they grew up with, like a baby blanket, a familiar family recipe, or having woods or water or whatever environment you grew up with close to you. This comfort can also be motivated by lack, like not growing up with cool shoes and compensating later in life. The hereditary nature also makes the moon a tie to our family and heritage, primarily through our mothers. When interpreting the Moon it is best not to confuse your biological family with the true people and places you have found to be home and family.
The Moon has a powerful connective relationship with women, and their natural biological cycles, but the fell moon affects everyone. Nights when the full moon are out are different, the energy is more palpable, aggression is more easily accessible, people are thirsting for something to happen and more babies are definitely getting conceived.
The moon in relation to creature comfort has an even deeper gnostic significance according to the theory of evolution. Charles Darwin was an advocate of the idea that humans feel a deep connection to the moon and Lunar cycles because of our evolutionary history. If life itself began in the water and later moved to land, life itself was created by and completely surrounded by the rhythms of tides, and the Lunar energies remind us of our first biological home. You can even see that relationship (not literally but kind of literally) taking place in The Moon’s tarot card, which sees a lil' lobster scamper up the beach from out of the water.
The Moon is the eighteenth of the major Arcana in the Tarot. The water and sky are emotion, the lobster climbing from the water represents the transformation of death into life, the dog and wolf represent both the wilding and domestication of nature. The path and the two towers represent what Christians would call the valley of the shadow of death. Lunacy: the idea that the moon could unmoor you from reason to float in the ultimate subconscious state: madness. There is a myth held by the early settlers in Greenland that the moon made women want to wreck themselves to Orgies in the forest, and Greenland law forbade women from contemplating the moon for too long. How’s that for proof? In Tarot, the moon is not a good indicator. It represents periods where reason and the subconscious both need to be considered, and more often than not reason will be put to the test.
The flip side of all the positive life-supporting aspects of the moon has just as much cultural weight. Where motherhood is implicit in the femme archetype, along with love and birth and nurture, these qualities are salted with ambivalence to life, subjection to natural processes, blood, pain in childbirth, menstruation and the second womb of death. The moon watches as things chase other things through the night, but the moon also gives them the power to run and the magic to divine. Also the magic to have an orgy in the woods so wild that whatever was chasing you has an identity crisis and scampers home.
The Moon's’ phases have been used by many different cultures as a way of understanding the different stages of aging and death. The Moon was also believed to be the place souls go when they die to be kept safe before they are reassigned and sent back to Earth to find new life. As she is understood through the Tarot, the moons light illuminates the dark side: the underworld, magic, ambiguity, dual natures and the subconscious. All things that escape in the same breath as femme-ness. It was once widely believed that the moon was where dead souls went before they were sent back to Earth. When the full moon was out, there was all the support of the ancestors, but even more leering eyes of unfriendly ghosts.
Hopefully this has demystified (as if it were possible) the Moon for you as it relates to your life. What has the moon always meant to you? Has it meant anything? What do you expect from the moon, and from your own emotionality? When you try to know yourself, do you account for a little mystery and a little magic? Think about it in your next tarot spread.
Until next time,