You've probably heard people talking about their Sun sign, and there's a good chance you know what your Sun sign is. Each of the twelve signs lends certain personality traits and characteristics to people born during that time of year. The Sun moves through all twelve signs every year, starting with Aries at the spring equinox. The other equinoxes and solstices not only mark the beginnings of the different seasons, but they are also times of year when the Sun moves into its next sign. On the calendar, Aries begins spring, Cancer begins summer, Libra begins autumn, and Capricorn begins winter.
But as well as having a Sun sign, you also have a Moon sign. In fact, every planet—as well as other asteroids, lights, and fixed points—in our solar system was in a particular sign of the zodiac when you were born. Examining their positions and their angles to each other is how astrologers interpret your birth chart. Your Sun sign is indicative of your personality traits, and your Moon sign—the sign the Moon was passing through when you were born—reveals a lot about your feelings and your emotional responses.
Finding your Moon sign means more than just picking up a book and looking at the calendar. Because the Moon takes less than a month to make a full cycle through the zodiac, it changes signs approximately every sixty hours. If you were born on a day when the Moon was changing signs, you need to know the time and place of your birth in order to accurately calculate your Moon sign.
Knowing your Moon sign is valuable because it helps you to understand yourself. We all do the best with what we know, but as Maya Angelou said, when we know better we can do better. When you have greater insight into your emotions, you can better understand what you need in order to feel whole and comfortable with your authentic self.
In this technological era it is easy to find your natal Moon sign. Look for free natal astrology sites online and type in your date, time, and place of birth. If you don't know the time, guesstimate. For example, perhaps you know you were born in the morning, or maybe someone remembers it happening between lunch and supper. Unless the Moon is very close to changing signs, a rough idea will work—but the precise time is better, and might be obtainable from your birth records. My favorite resources are alabe.com, which will calculate your natal birth chart, and lunarium.co.uk, which will reveal the Moon's sign (GMT) for any given date back to 1900.
As the Moon passes through the signs of the zodiac, it is also changing phases. You may share the same natal Moon sign as someone else, but the various phases will influence you in different ways. The Moon cycles through eight phases every lunar month, each one lasting just over three days.
The New Moon is when the Moon is dark, because it rises and sets with the Sun. It's a time to contemplate new beginnings. People born under this phase are filled with a childlike wonder about their lives and are naturally curious.
The first crescent Moon is a time of growth and seeking understanding. People born under this phase often need to seek new means of dealing with old issues. They frequently have to find a way to overcome opposition from others in order to achieve their goals.
The first quarter Moon brings both energy and concentration, often needed in order to get something accomplished. Those born under this Moon don't have any hesitation to tear down what is not working and rebuild it in a better way, but need to make sure they don't come across as argumentative or difficult in the process.
The gibbous Moon can often look full at this time, but that's just atmospherics. There's an urgency to get things completed here, and people born at this time may seem to be on a quest to better understand themselves. They might be gullible, but they're sincere enough, and with patience and time they will find their fulfillment and maturity.
The Full Moon is when everything comes to fruition. People often want to get together in a positive way at this time, seeking amiable conclusions to their goals. Those born during this phase will be intuitive and creative, and need to find a practical way to express themselves, lest they succumb to fears and insecurities.
The disseminating Moon is when energies may feel scattered. You could feel out of sorts, or find it hard to concentrate. People born at this time are the teachers and the revolutionaries, if they can just find a way to bring their desires into harmony with the needs of others.
The last quarter Moon is when the energy raised during the first quarter has reached fruition and is now abating. Those born under this Moon are usually sympathetic and understanding, although they may be prone to stubbornness. They need to guard against too much nostalgia, as it is easy for them to get melancholy and despondent.
The balsamic Moon is the perfect period for releasing what has not come to pass, in order to make room for new ideas and projects. People who are born at this time are introspective, perhaps reserved, with a strong intuition about their future. They are likely to see many changes in their lives, and need to develop the integrity to go with the natural flow of their evolution.
This completes the lunar month, and the cycle starts again with the next phase, the next New Moon. There are many online resources where you can calculate the Moon's phase; my favorites are stardate.org and—once again—lunarium.co.uk. Lunarium provides the phases of the New, first quarter, Full, and last quarter Moon, as well as the time that it enters the phases and when the Moon changes signs.
Aries Moon: Aries is a cardinal fire sign. These people are enthusiastic and passionate about what interests them. They're fairly fearless when it comes to trying something new, but they can't stand indecision in any form. Their no-nonsense approach is often tactless, and they need to remember to consider the feelings of others. They should strive to keep their minds busy, for they have a tendency to become rather unpleasant when they get bored!
They have a lot of energy to start things, but they’re easily distracted by what could be happening next. Delegating the more mundane tasks will help them to get things finished. They do best in managerial roles, often preferring to work alone rather than as part of a team. They're quite competitive, with the potential to excel in everything they attempt. They're not afraid to take calculated risks, which will help them lay the foundation for an exciting and successful life.
Taurus Moon: Taurus is a fixed earth sign. They're reliable and have a strong sense of responsibility. Practical and pragmatic, but maybe a bit lazy at times, they have no hesitation to pursue their desires with the focus of the proverbial bull in a china shop! Security is important to them, and that includes feeling comfortable and confident in their relationships as well as their environment.
They're very sensual, experiencing life through the five senses, and would rather be doing than thinking. They appreciate the finer things and have an eye for beauty. They don't adapt easily to change, and need to adjust to any transformation in a slow and methodical manner. They must ensure they don't hang onto things from the past that need to be laid to rest. Their natural charm will draw people toward them and help them to make the connections needed for them to feel self-assured about their lives.
Gemini Moon: Gemini is a mutable air sign. These folks are moody and changeable and cannot stand to be bored. While this can be confounding for their loved ones, they're never down in the dumps for long—and that's a good thing! They know just how to work an audience to get what they need from those around them, but need to be careful that this does not turn into a manipulative tactic. No one likes to think that they're being used.
Gemini Moons have a keen intellect that needs constant stimulation, or it might turn into nervous energy and anxiety. They're witty and intelligent and amusing, and people enjoy their company. They're naturally curious about life and all it has to offer, eagerly moving on from one event to the next, but effort is needed when it comes to getting them to fulfill their obligations and commitments. Remaining adaptable and versatile will get them where they want to go.
Cancer Moon: Cancer is a cardinal water sign. They're naturally nurturing and sensitive to the needs of others, but perhaps over-sensitive when things don't go the way they'd planned. It's important that insecurities are faced so they don't become defensive when met with challenges. They need to work on not taking what everyone else says or thinks quite so much to heart. For the opinions of other people are just that; they are not facts.
For Cancer Moons, home really is where the heart is, and it is important that there's a safe haven to retreat to at the end of the day. They treasure their loved ones and will go out of their way to ensure that their needs are met, but they may overlook their own needs in the process. They're intuitive and insightful, and the Moon is this sign's astrological ruler. They'll learn a lot about themselves by tapping into the natural ebb and flow of the lunar energy.
Leo Moon: Leo is a fixed fire sign. They do nothing by halves and their emotional response is to go big, with grandiose expressions of love and devotion. They're generous to a fault, but need to make sure they’re being generous and kind because it is the right thing to do, and not because they're seeking some kind of recognition or reward for their actions. They love to be the center of attention, and most people don't mind giving it to them, since they're so gregarious and amiable.
It takes a lot to bring them down, for their mood is naturally sunny. They've got natural leadership skills and the ambition to be successful in whatever they attempt. They might struggle to share the spotlight with others at times, but can learn to overcome this when they understand that letting others have the recognition is also a gift that can be given. Leo Moons are most happy when they're throwing themselves into something new and living life to the fullest.
Virgo Moon: Virgo is a mutable earth sign. They keep their emotions quite cool on the whole, and tend to feel things by thinking them through as opposed to just having a gut reaction. They worry more than is good for them, and should find a creative outlet to help them escape this habit of overthinking things. Very often the things worrying them are the things that don't manifest in the end, and then they've spent all that time and energy working themselves up over nothing!
Virgo Moons have a strong mind and a quick wit, but in their endeavor to help people there's a tendency to perhaps come off as bossy or critical, which is usually not the case. It's hard for others to fool them, for they have a knack for seeing through the fluff and getting right to the heart of the matter. Keeping things orderly and settling into some kind of a routine will help them to take control of that nervous energy and channel it in a positive and constructive manner.
Libra Moon: Libra is a cardinal air sign. They're so charming, and it's easy to enjoy their company. They're a natural mediator, making sure everyone is included and treated fairly, and when this doesn't happen they then become the diplomat, trying to understand both sides of the story and heal any rift that has been created. They need beauty in their lives and will make a conscious effort to seek it out and draw it close.
Like the scales that represent Libra, they're always weighing their feelings, trying to determine what is best or where they belong, and this has a tendency to make them indecisive. They want the best for everyone concerned, and frequently struggle with that resolution. Discord of any kind upsets them, and it is vital that they find a way of learning how to take the rough with the smooth so they can achieve internal harmony no matter what is happening around them.
Scorpio Moon: Scorpio is a fixed water sign. They love a mystery, and need to sense at least a little bit of excitement in all areas of life to feel truly alive. They don't do anything by halves, and while they may not reveal their emotions immediately, they're the proverbial still waters that run deep. If they've been bottling things up, they take others by surprise when all those emotions suddenly burst forth.
Scorpio Moons' need to control their emotional responses is a reflection of them needing to feel in control of any situation, and when they don't, they start to feel uncomfortable and anxious. Focusing on one thing at a time rather than trying to cope with the entire issue will help them. They have tremendous integrity, and their mystery and charm will carry them toward the best life has to offer if they can just learn to lighten up a bit.
Sagittarius Moon: Sagittarius is a mutable fire sign. They're warm and open and friendly, but they do have a knack for saying exactly how they feel, and that bluntness may not always go down well. They see the bigger picture rather than getting bogged down by minutiae, and have a zest for life and an optimistic outlook. They do tend to act on their gut feelings rather than thinking things through at times, and capriciousness isn't always a good thing!
This Moon is independent and fun-loving, but woe betide anyone who tries to make them conform or tries to tame their spirit. They love to learn and have a childlike wonder about life that is endearing and infectious. Adaptability is one of their main strengths, but if left undisciplined, this can turn into restlessness. A philosophical angle is the best approach for dealing with their ever-changing feelings.
Capricorn Moon: Capricorn is a cardinal earth sign. They're naturally cautious and reserved and keep a close guard on their feelings. They have a strong sense of responsibility and when they say they'll do something, they do their very best to keep their word. It takes them a long time to make up their mind about something—or someone—not because they're indecisive, but because they hate to be wrong.
Those who don't know them well might accuse them of being cold or distant, which they're not; they just don't have any use for superficial relationships. They want sincerity and maturity, and when they get it, they'll go the distance and be completely devoted to those in their inner circle. They simply want to be appreciated, and one of their lessons in life is to learn to appreciate themselves and love themselves, for others might not always be there.
Aquarius Moon: Aquarius is a fixed air sign. They're humanitarian and sincere, but they frequently struggle to get in touch with their true feelings. They spend a lot of time in their heads, seeking new solutions to old problems and contemplating better ways of doing things. They need a purpose in order to feel whole; when they don't have a goal they tend to drift, and that may get them into some sticky situations.
They're original and maybe even a bit eccentric, and even when they go out of their way not to be the center of attention, somehow there they are! It's because no matter how they try to disguise it, there's something unique and enticing about them that people want to get to know. Their successes come not in spite of their intense feelings, but because of them. Their challenge is to learn to get in touch with and express their emotions.
Pisces Moon: Pisces is a mutable water sign. Gentle and sympathetic by nature, this Moon sign abhors aggression of any kind, and finds the world can sometimes be too harsh for their delicate souls. They have a natural and strong sense of empathy, but have to learn to distinguish their own feelings from what they are picking up from others. Romantic and dreamy, they are often intuitive and more than a bit psychic.
Their strength lies in being able to take whatever they're feeling at the moment and channel it into something creative. This is a healthy means of escape for it helps them to purge their feelings away from their own energy and into something tangible. They may even find they touch other people who relate to this self-expression because they are going through something similar themselves.
Learning your natal Moon sign, and how that sign expresses itself through the phase of the Moon when you were born, is a great start when it comes to getting to know yourself better. An astrologer will take this even further, looking at the way the Moon interacts with the other planets through the aspect ratios and midpoints. The one thing to remember, though, is whatever your Moon sign and whatever the stars advise, this is only a map, a blueprint, a guide. You are the architect of your life, and you alone are in control of manifesting your destiny and creating the reality in which you want to live. May it be a long and happy one!
References Angelo, Megan. "16 Unforgettable Things Maya Angelou Wrote and Said." Glamour. Condé Nast. May 28, 2014. https://www .glamour.com/story/maya-angelou-quotes
Excerpted from Llewellyn's 2021 Moon Sign Book.