Posted Under Astrology

The Moon and Other Planets

Astrological Image

The moon in astrology represents the instinct to fulfill our emotional needs. What we need to feel happy, what makes us feel sad, what comforts us and what makes us feel vulnerable can all be understood by the sign and house placement of the Moon in our own natal chart. Understanding our Moon sign provides a wealth of personal understanding and validation, both for our own selves and those we know and love.

Yet, a thorough understanding of our Moon in a sign and house is not complete without the context of its relationship to the rest of our natal chart and the other planets. This is especially true if one or more planets is directly involved with our Moon through a planetary aspect.

A planetary aspect is a relationship between two (or more) planets due to their specific locations in the sky at the same moment. One easy example is a conjunction—if two planets are in the same line of sight in the sky, they are said to be in conjunction with each other. Obviously they are not colliding with each other! But they appear to be almost on top of each other against the backdrop of the starry heavens.

Aspects to the Moon
When a planet aspects the Moon in your natal chart, it will have something to say about the way you express your feelings and get your emotional needs fulfilled. An aspecting planet may feed and support your Moon in its efforts or it may seem to interfere or even compete for your attention as you try to understand and express your heart.

Planets in harmonious aspects such as the sextile (planets two signs apart) and the trine (planets four signs apart) are generally supportive of each other and have compatible agendas. Planets in a challenging aspect such as the square (planets three signs apart) or the opposition (planets six signs apart) are generally awkward with each other and tend to have competing agendas. The conjunction (planets in the same sign) is sometimes thought to be an agent of either camp, depending on the planets involved and their individual placements and how difficult or easy it is to integrate the two planetary agendas in the context of the moon's sign and house as well as the rest of the chart.

Even though some aspects have an easier flow of energy between each other than some, there are no aspects that are all good or all bad; in fact, the most productive way to think of aspects is whether they are easy or difficult to work with and how you can get the best out of their partnership. Planets in aspect represent parts of you working together, and there is always potential for positive and negative outcomes from that union. But whether it's an instinctive harmony or a constant negotiation can determine how easy or difficult it is to bring out the best potential of that relationship.

An aspect between a planet and the Moon can have a pronounced effect. Even two people who have the same Moon sign and house will feel significant differences in their emotional needs and the way they fulfill them if the planet aspecting them is different. For example, one way a Gemini 11th house Moon person may fulfill their instinctual need to learn and communicate might be to engage with a lot of different people, seeking out dynamic discourse and debate to get lots of different viewpoints from the big, wide world. Add a dose of Jupiter to that and it can increase the tendency toward confident, spontaneous, and off-the-cuff expressions of one's opinions and feelings, right or wrong. However, add a dose of Saturn instead and you may get someone who is likely to engage in a more rational, conservative, and careful way, with a tendency to avoid expressing anything that may have them looking the fool if it hasn't been thoroughly researched or proven.

Here is some of what you'll see when a planet aligns with your moon in your natal chart:

Sun and Moon
The Sun represents our central sense of self, not only as we are, but as we are developing. The sign and house in which the Sun resides in your natal chart can tell you the traits, pursuits, and values that you are likely to deeply identify with. When the Sun and Moon aspect each other, your identity is strongly influenced and informed by your emotional needs and nurturing instincts.

With these two powerhouses aligned, you may have a strong, singularity of focus and perspective, and your compassionate and intuitive instincts are apparent and present in everything you are. If the Sun and Moon are in a challenging aspect, you may constantly feel as though there is a negotiation or internal conflict going on inside of you, almost as if you are two people sometimes! The inner dialogue this generates can be powerful for growth and self-awareness.

Mercury and the Moon
Mercury represents our mind and voice. How we take in and make sense of information, how we learn, and how we communicate as well as areas of interest and more are Mercury's domain. The way to your heart is through your brain! Whether your mode of choice is stimulating conversation, curling up with a good book, a romp through an internet research rabbit hole, or an impromptu game of truth or dare, your mind and heart are forever joined.

The benefits of a Moon–Mercury union can include the ability to put your feelings into words and intuitively knowing what to say to make a loved one laugh at just the right moment. A challenging Moon–Mercury alignment can make it difficult or frustrating for you to communicate what's in your heart, especially when strong emotions are involved, and impatience may sometimes get the better of you.

Moon and Venus
Venus represents the desire for connection: to the world around us and most often to another person. It is how we relate to those around us and the things we do to enhance harmony and connection with others, as well as what we need from others to feel friendly toward them. The moon's influence on Venus increases your empathy and instinctual responses in your relationships and you have strong tendencies to protect and take care of everyone in your life.

You are always aware of others' needs and tend to anticipate them even before they've become obvious and may be a little too good at adapting to others in some situations. Depending on the signs in which they are placed in your natal chart, you may avoid conflict because your need for harmony is inherent to your emotional wellbeing; yet, you can excel in handling your own conflicts and mediate others' with grace and understanding because of your ability to navigate the emotional space between people.

Moon and Mars
Mars symbolizes our will and from it stems our drive, desires, and passion. Aligned with the Moon, your heart, the red planet lends its heat, warming your heart but sometimes making your blood boil! At its best, you have a constant supply of passion that can be converted to motivation and to action to pursue what your heart longs for. One of your primary emotional needs is to be free to act, which could reveal itself in ambition, restlessness, or both.

The war planet is sometimes too good at protecting and coming to the defense of your heart and you may see or create conflict where none is intended if you feel vulnerable or threatened. When emotions run high, you can act impulsively, but you certainly have strong instincts to act when you see something you want!

Moon and Jupiter
Jupiter's status as the biggest planet reveals itself in your big and generous heart when Jupiter and the Moon align in your natal chart. You thrive emotionally on loving and living large. A sense of optimism and possibility is a large part of the fuel you need for happiness and a sense of freedom of spirit is inherent to your emotional makeup. You tend to spontaneously throw your heart into whatever you love, even risking disappointment or exposing your vulnerable side.

You can feel low just like anyone when life deals you a blow but you instinctually bounce back as soon as you can. It's important for your emotional wellbeing for you to be able to see the bright side of a situation and keep a positive attitude, but you may instinctively avoid acknowledging or dealing with the difficult things in life for too long as a result, especially things that make you feel sad or heavy.

Moon and Saturn
Saturn's rings rein in the heart when Saturn and the Moon are in aspect. You may prefer to express your feelings more subtly or even downplay them, tending toward emotional expression that is more restrained, dignified, and doesn't expose your vulnerability unnecessarily. You have a primary need for a sense of security which can come from self-reliance and stability. Your emotional resilience makes for a strong heart but can also create a sense of loneliness or isolation if you demand too much of yourself and are too rigid with your heart and don't allow yourself to have and fulfill emotional needs that seem too impractical or risky.

You don't commit yourself easily or quickly but when you do, you take those commitments seriously and are inclined to see them through with patience and continued effort, although they may feel like crushing burdens more than commitments and goals if they are undertaken against your heart's desires. It may be more difficult for you to act in a way that seems impulsive or reckless, even when the situation calls for such rapid response.

Moon and Uranus
Like Uranus rolls to its own rhythm in space (unlike the other planets in our solar system, Uranus is tilted so far on its side that it appears to roll, rather than spin, on its axis), you have an independent heart (with a mind of its own!). It is important for you to feel like you are free to express yourself authentically, without catering to archaic or restrictive social norms or fake niceties. Depending on the rest of your chart, you may even get a little wicked glee from provoking others if it forces them to think outside of "autopilot" responses to everyday life.

Your moods tend to be quite mercurial (pun intended!) and you have a restless heart. You need a great deal of emotional freedom; while you enjoy relationships, you can feel boxed in quickly if there are too many "rules" to follow in the unspoken agreement between you and another person.

In challenging aspects between Uranus and the Moon, you may feel inner conflict between a desire for emotional security and a need for change which can disrupt that stability. You may sometimes sabotage otherwise stable situations or relationships if you feel too stagnant.

Moon and Neptune
With Neptune and the Moon aligned in your natal chart, you've got a heart that's out of this world! You are drawn to things, people, and aspects of life that speak of the fantastical, the creative, the mystical, or even the metaphysical—things that take you out of the sometimes harsh or mundane realities of this world and into the larger view. Inspiration, creativity, and imagination fuel your happiness; negativity, discord, and worry can make you retreat and want to emotionally check out.

You are tender-hearted and react to life with exceptional sensitivity because your heart is always engaged. You are highly empathetic, both in the sense that you are compassionate to the plight of others but also intuitive. This doesn't mean you can read minds but you can sometimes read hearts, and even if you don't know the language, you are drawn in by what others are feeling. However, hearts are changeable and you may sometimes be taken in by what you want to be true or intend to be true, rather than seeing what is realistically happening.

Moon and Pluto
You have the heart of a phoenix—you long to experience the depth and intensity of life and your own heart and this need takes you to your edges, sometimes burning you (and others) up in the process. Your emotional resilience and depth knows no bounds; you may struggle with deep fears or anxiety because there is something in you that always senses the frightening and precarious nature of life but you also have the heart of a survivor. When you summon courage to go through the fire you are stronger on the other side. "The only way out is through" is a good motto for Moon–Pluto people.

You tend to be impatient with insincerity, lies, or posturing—you long for the kind of authenticity that comes from boldness and bareness and sometimes can come across as emotionally harsh because you don't like to sacrifice truth even when it's hard to hear.

You don't reveal yourself easily and tend to keep your heart well-hidden but you delight in knowing the hearts and secrets of others. You pick up on the hidden emotional undercurrents of others and can sometimes sense their needs, fears, and the motivations behind their behaviors. You have an instinctual understanding of human nature which is why some people often feel they can share their most taboo secrets with you—which can make you a trusted confidante or a deadly enemy!

No Aspects?
Although somewhat uncommon, it is possible to have no aspects to the Moon whatsoever. In cases like this, the Moon may be more free to act on her agenda without hindrance (or help) from the agendas of the other planets. Because planetary aspects are relationships, an unaspected planet doesn't have anyone to answer to immediately. This, like aspects, can produce positive or negative results! A runaway train can do some damage but a planet unrestrained can have an easier time fulfilling its potential.

About Amy Herring

Amy Herring (Shoreline, Washington) has been a consultant and teacher of astrology since 1995. A graduate of Steven Forrest's Evolutionary Astrology Apprenticeship program, her articles have appeared in various astrology ...

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