I’m just gonna show you my birth chart for this:
Does My Chart Make Me a Lunar Type?
Am I a lunar type, even if I don’t fit the lunar archetype with that Moon in Aries? I have a lot of lunar action going on in my chart. It’s activated, but is it prominent?
The ascendant is the first thing we see and the way we receive world. It’s the way the world reacts to us and how we learn to navigate the world based on that reaction. The moon isn’t necessarily receptive; it’s reactive. So, when the moon is in the first house, a person’s reactions are part of how they’re received. Think of actors like Charlie Chaplin, whose Little Tramp character was known for his reactions to the world (just watch The Kid) and his constant reacting in a childlike, emotional manner (Moon). Chaplin (likely) had the Moon conjunct the ascendant. How the person reacts depends on the sign and the aspects to that Moon.
I also have some lunar features, particular the “lunar” hooded/protected water-colored (less ocean, more river and lake) eyes and soft, straight hair [I highly suggest Judith A. Hill’s Astrological Body Types.] I’m short – shortest in my family, and my face looks like a face that cares. I don’t have any sharp or prominent features, I look young for my age, and I tend toward a larger chest. Overall though, I look more Jupiter/Neptune, actually. But…
I am changeable, moody, reactive, sensitive, and psychic, if the psychics are right (or instinctive?) I work with/for children. I like to bake. I am not much of a family person, but I love genealogy and can be very sentimental and nostalgic. I am imaginative and protective. I don’t like loud, crowded places, I love stories, I love food, small animals, water…but that could have something to do with being a claustrophobic Sagittarius and environmental-sensitive Pisces Rising.
So am I lunar, in the traditional sense, as in, am I Cancerian? After all, a sign and a luminary are not the same, so why do we think of being lunar as being Cancerian? We do. We conflate the Sun with Leo and the Moon with Cancer, when in reality, the Sun is more than Leo, and the Moon is actually less than Cancer.
I’m starting to think there is no such thing as actual lunar qualities because the Moon changes and reacts. It’s instinct. It’s emotion. It reflects what light shines upon it, and it pulls and pushes what is already in existence. The moon does not create or act. The Moon is our needs, fears, and emotions. There is nothing inherently un-Lunar about the needs, fears, and emotions of an Aries Moon as there is nothing inherently lunar about the needs, fears, and emotions of a Cancer Moon. In fact, I don’t even think the Moon is actually debilitated in Capricorn, because there’s nothing inherently un-Lunar about the needs, fears, and emotions of a Capricorn Moon, nor is there anything particularly worthy of exaltation in the needs, fears, and emotions of a Taurus Moon.
To Gaze at the Moon
But moreover, as astrologers, do we spend time with the planets and luminaries? Do we bask in the sunshine and embrace the moonlight? Do we ever go out to see the stars at night? Can we even see the stars at night? Did you recognize Saturn conjunct the Moon in the night sky recently? Do you ever see a little red dot in the sky or a bright yellow dot and know those are Mars and Venus?
Because there is nothing quite like staring up at the night sky and beholding infinity. The Moon is the one heavenly body we can stare at. We can’t stare at the sun because it will hurt us. We can’t look up every night and stare at the little specks of light that are Venus, Mars, Mercury, Saturn, etc. We can gaze at the Moon, and we can watch her changing face and believe that she is looking back at us, gazing down from her place up there in this celestial embrace with our planet that can feel as if she is embracing and beholding us.
I like to watch the Moon. The moon has been a comfort and a reassurance, kind of like a mother, a stable thing that will be there before me and after me, twirling and swirling in orbit with this planet that I will never leave (which is kind of claustrophobic for me). However, I wasn’t a lifelong prolific moon-watcher like my younger brother, the one who was born when the Aries Point was on the horizon. His Moon is in Capricorn, but it’s also his only oriental (Eastern hemisphere) planet, and the only planet in an Earth sign. My brother would go outside specifically to stare at the moon at any lunar phase. He would even go out in the winter, so long as it was a clear night. I could watch from a window, but now, I like to go outside and look up at her when I can. Sometimes, I would wake up and look out the window from whichever bedroom I was sleeping in at the time and see him on the sidewalk, or in the driveway, or the yard, silently staring up at the moon.
And he was in peace. If you knew him, you would know that this is not his natural state. Peace was a hard-won thing.
I believe he still does this. I believe he has always done this because of his primal nature with his ascendant at 00 Aries, and I figured we both may have remembered a more primal lifetime when we looked up at night to know when to hunt, when to gather, when to move, when women would be fertile, and when the tide would change. He’s autistic though, and the Moon is one of his obsessions, along with Star Trek and Star Wars, and things that spin, like Ferris Wheels and fans, and things that float, like balloons.
And my brother’s is very masculine. If the autistic mind is the extreme male mind, his manners and interests, although augmented by his various neurological differences and his mental disability, then my brother is definitely rather masculine. Maybe I am to some extent, too. An astrologer told me that there is both extreme female and extreme male energy in my natal chart, but I’ll leave it up to you to figure out why.
What is Aries Moon then, if it is not naturally lunar? Aries is primal; he is the god of war. The moon, however, is gentle, right? Motherly, reactive, nurturing? Tits, milk, babies, pregnancy, seashells, home decor?
Maybe under patriarchy, maybe in our weakest and most watered-down New Age fantasies: Diana/Artemis is the goddess of the Moon and of the hunt, wild animals, and the forest. The moon is reactive, not passive. Diana/Artemis is not Vesta/Hestia, nor is she Juno/Hera, and even these women we should not take for the doormats they have been mistaken for. The divine feminine is much more than what it can do for men or the highest bidder.
And it’s more likely that the reason we have a Moon is because it’s the debris left over from a major impact from a giant asteroid. What’s so kind and gentle about that? Moreover, what’s so receptive about that? It’s not: it’s totally fucking reactive, and kind of bad ass.
I am not biologically or psychologically equipped to believe in the presence of divine beings of any sort of personhood that can be related to as we relate to living beings. But I can believe in nature. It was while staring up at the Moon on my walk home one day back in 2005 or 2006 that I realized she was beautiful and made me happy, and it was okay that there was nothing that had anything to do with that other than nature, because at one time, this Moon was our goddess and celestial Mother, and while she is not any of those things, I don’t need her to be. She can be a big beautiful rock, and that’s wonderful as it is, because if all that’s going on is that I’m having a spiritual experience completely manufactured by own mind, that’s okay too, it still feels good, and I still feel like I may belong on this planet after all.
We can rarely see other planets, and when we do, they’re specks of light, sometimes brighter than the rest amongst the rest. But we can see the Moon, her valleys and contours, in different phases depending on where she is in relation to our planet. We can even see faces in this Moon.
And we can see it during the day sometimes, too: a big distant, glowing rock that controls oceans, fertility, seasons, and foretells the passage of time. And everyone can see the Moon if they can see and if it’s there to be seen. It tells animals and people what to do even if we don’t listen.
When I was a child, I asked my mother why animals don’t go to Hell when they hurt each other or engaged in pre-marital sex (yes, I literally asked that). She said it was because they were acting as God made them, who put in them only instinct, and that they were not made in His Image, like us. They couldn’t go to Heaven either. They just lived and died, and could never be truly good or truly bad.
Granted at the time, my mother had never had pets before, and we didn’t know fun facts, like that Chimpanzees will rip the shit out of a baboon just to do it, that dolphins will gang up on and attack porpoises just because they’re different, and that honey badgers even exist. We did know that house cats catch animals just to bat them around until they lose their will, but that was okay, because God did that to humans all the time, like Job.
So why were people (and more specifically, Catholics) burdened without their permission with knowing right from wrong, when so much of what is supposed to be right and wrong is always still subject to debate depending on the circumstances? Why can’t we howl at the Moon and honor our primal selves?
The Moon’s connection to babies and children is more than its control over fertility. It’s the primal human, the one utterly dependent on the mother, the one that exists in all it’s selfish glory before it has to learn to compromise with others in order to both separate from others (the 10th through 3rd houses) and contribute to the human group (4th through 9th houses). The thing is that whatever those things are tend to vary so much from person to person that I don’t think the Moon has “lunar qualities” but that the astrological moon represents a very wide of set of things: feelings, changes, fears, needs, and whatever these things are depend so greatly on the landscape, the society, the timing, the circumstance (house), and nature (sign) that there can’t really be any lunar qualities the way there are Jupiterian and Venusian and Saturnian qualities and rulerships because the Moon is reactive, because humans are primarily reactive.
What Does the Moon Rule?
And what is lunar? Who is lunar? At birth, humans need all of the same basic things, and it’s only until circumstance (house) and personality (sign) cause events in which the needs will be specialized. A Sagittarius Moon needs a lot more freedom than a Virgo Moon, which needs much more routine than an Aries Moon, which needs to focus much more on itself than a Libra Moon, which needs to get along with others much more than a Capricorn Moon, which needs to feel worthy much more than an Aquarius Moon, which needs levity much more than a Scorpio Moon, which needs intimacy much more than a Gemini Moon, which needs intellectual discourse much more than a Taurus Moon, which needs comfort much more than Leo Moon, which needs more praise and admiration than a Pisces Moon, which needs to transcend more than a Cancer Moon, which needs to be a part of a tribe more than the rest of these Moon signs. These needs are very different from each other to the point where I wouldn’t call one or the other more lunar than the next.
Likewise a Sagittarius Moon actually fears being trapped more than an Aries Moon, which fears not being able to be itself whatever that is in the immediate more than a Virgo Moon, which fears not being needed or necessary more than a Capricorn Moon which actually fears never being able to earn the love it so desperately wants more than Aquarius Moon, which fears being enslaved to someone else’s emotions much than Scorpio Moon, which fears being vulnerable and abandoned much more than Gemini Moon, which fears being left out of the loop much more than Taurus Moon, which fears all work and no play for some lofty ideal much more than Leo Moon, which fears invisibility and mediocrity much more than Pisces Moon, which fears harsh realities that can’t be negotiated much more than Cancer Moon, which fears being unloved much more than Libra Moon, which fears being alone much more than all of these other Moons. Very different situations. Some of these things I would personally not have an issue with. I could die alone, and that’s okay, so long as I did it my way. In fact, lately, my favorite thing is simply being home alone so I can cook and write in peace and quiet.
The Moon could be how we nurture and need nurturing, right? Actually, I think that’s the asteroid Ceres, specifically, but one’s needs when they’re vulnerable could be related to nurturing and raising one’s self or another to independence (which isn’t actually Cancerian, because Cancer would keep babies as babies forever). The Moon isn’t really how we show love either, because that’s what Venus does. The Moon isn’t even how we attract love or sex either, even though sex is about tension, and we need sex. Mars, Pluto, and Lilith cover those areas.
The Moon, however, is indicative of your ability to attract people to some extent, because it can indicate your popularity or what you offer the collective, but what you actually offer the collective depends on the sign, house, and aspects to the Moon, and those things can vary pretty widely. However, people with prominent Moons understand what the collective wants, so I have read, and how to reflect back what they want.
But what do they want?
What to Do with the Moon?
The Moon is reflective of other energies. Lunar qualities are actually instinctive, reactive, and reflective of some other light. That’s really what it is. Some people are more instinctive, reactive, and reflective than others. This is what I’ve learned as an astrologer of nearly 20 years, and I’m busy undoing all the knots I’ve done for two decades.