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Planets in Astrology, Chapter 2. The Moon: your Emotional Self

moonThe Moon is one of the two Luminaries of the Birth Chart. Unlike the Sun, though, the Moon radiates no Light on her own, therefore she shines by the reflected Light of the Sun. The Moon is thus the ‘Unlit Self’,  but this doesn’t mean her importance is secondary.
She is the passive, receptive end of the Yin/Yang spectrum, the Feminine polarity, and as such, she is the astro-marker of our irrationality, intuition, most importantly our emotions and the way we deal with them.
Everything that makes us feel mothered, sheltered and nurtured is also associated with the Moon. In a man’s Chart, looking at the Moon’s placement and aspects can also give an idea of the extent to which he embraces his feminine side, and, therefore, also  the kind of feminine partner he finds more appealing and compatible, consciously or subconsciously. The Moon in the Chart of a Man speaks of his relationship with the Feminine, Sacred Feminine, his Yin side, his mother or caretaker, women in general. The relationship between a man and his inner Moon will go a long way in telling how the harmony (or lack thereof) between his inner polarities is projected onto the opposite sex (and mind you, this holds true for any kind of sexual preference, depending on what do you identify with and what polarity you’re attracted to 😉 ).
The Moon represents the ways in which we’re sensitive, prone towards being moved, touched by something, stirred emotionally. It symbolizes our moods, feelings and instincts, how we respond to our environment and our understanding of others’ emotions as well.  We can see this in both placements by Sign and House. The House where the Moon falls in our Chart is the kind of activity, environment, setting where we best express our Moon qualities and needs, and where they can truly be fulfilled. Placement by Sign indicates the type of Energy our Moon is imbued with, how we’re wired emotionally. It could be an Airy type of energy that processes emotions (Gemini, Aquarius) or understands them in an idealistic, almost archetypical way (Libra), a Fixed (i.e. Taurus) Moon with stable moods and fewer emotional fluctuations, and so on.
When we look at the Moon, we can also understand the individual’s relationship with his or her mother, and how this impacted the native. Since the Moon rules the sign of Cancer, anything pertaining to the individual’s childhood can also be noticed looking at the Moon in the Chart.
Mythologically speaking, the Moon was embodied by Goddesses such as the Thracian Bendis, and the Greek Artemis,
whose roman equivalent was Diana, Apollo (the Sun)’s Twin Sister. This coupling brings us back to the Yin/Yang, Male/Female polarity which is so important when discussing the two luminaries. Artemis was the Goddess of the Moon, hunt, childbirth and archery. Her cult (and this also sheds Light on the Astrdianaological connection between the Moon and childhood) was connected to rites of passage of young girls such as the Arkteia, which took place in the sacred site of Brauron, located in a liminal area not too distant from the city of Athens. The Goddess’ name itself might also be ethymologically connected to this very rite and derive from ‘árktos’, Greek for ‘bear’. In this sanctuary,  little girls between the ages of 5 and 10 served as attendants for a year while performing rituals that involved dancing and running. This stage of their lives prepared them for puberty and marriage.
Brauron sanctuary also hosted a number of typical household objects (mirrors, jewels, and the likes) as offerings to the Goddess; said items were connected to domestic economy and to archetypical female activities. As we said, the Moon also represents comfort, and Cancer/4th House stands for Home.
Aspects between the Sun and the Moon are of vital importance when deciphering the individual’s personality. If they’re in the same sign, the individual’s Ego/Higher Self and emotional expression/needs operate in synergy. When we find dissonant aspects, however, it means the individual struggles with integrating these two primal parts of him/herself, and inner conflicts can arise.
Moods ebb and flow in cycles, and the Moon’s phases are connected with tides. She moves fast, about 13 degrees per day, which makes the exact placement of the Moon extremely hard to pin down in a Chart without a precise Birth Time, as it’s not unusual for the Moon to change sign through the span of a single day.

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