Someone once said that we are not really able to heal another person, but we can support them in healing themselves. Just as a nurse might sew up a wound to help our body heal, so can a friend provide a listening ear and open arms to help our heart heal itself. Whether it's our turn to carry the stretcher or lie down on it, we often call on the Moon when it's time for healing.
No matter what hurts, healing requires vulnerability; if we do not expose the wound, we will never be able to apply the healing salve where it's actually needed. The Moon represents the most vulnerable part of us. It is our heart and hearth fire; it is stronger than it seems but also most susceptible to wounding. The Moon in our natal chart is the vulnerable part of us that we often protect from harm, and it is this part of ourselves that we draw from when caring for another. When we heal with the Moon, we instinctively offer our own brand of care through nurturing and empathizing in our own style.
One of the most universal archetypes linked to the Moon is the image of the mother. No matter what our personal experience with our mother has been, the universal symbol of mother or mothering is associated with loving attention, protection, and nurturing: to protect someone or something that is vulnerable and encourage growth.
Whether we have children of our own or not, and whether we are male or female, when we give heart-centered shelter and care to a creature—two-legged, four-legged, or root-legged—we are engaging the "Mother Moon" archetype. The way we choose to show this nurturing instinct will shine through the sign in which the Moon lies in our natal chart.
It's from our lunar instinct that we draw an innate sense of empathy. How we express that empathy, how quick we are to surrender to it, and the ways we try to give comfort draw from our Moon sign. When we empathize with someone, we are engaging with them on a heart-centered level. A compassionate response to another's suffering in general or the suffering of people in the world at large is often (though not exclusively) governed by Neptune—where Neptune lies in our natal chart describes the ways that our spiritual empathy is most easily invoked. But there's a difference between open-hearted sympathy for human plight and the very personal, irrational, and often primal empathy that is invoked when someone we care for is in pain. Of course, when Neptune is linked with the Moon or any of the personal planets in our chart—Mars, Venus, the Sun, or the Moon—the range and intensity of our empathetic response doubles!
When we need healing, we may seek out the help of someone we deem qualified: a friend, parent, lover, therapist, physician, shaman—the list can go on. However, we are always ultimately in charge of our own healing, and we can look to our natal charts for clues about how to fulfill our needs and heal our wounds. In most cases, the Moon will not only tell us about our emotional needs and the nature of the wounds we acquire but also how we seek out comfort. Not all wounds are deep—sometimes all we need is a little retreat so we can regroup. Our Moon sign can indicate what feels most comforting to us—for some, it might be a fun night out with friends; for others, it might be a quiet evening and a bubble bath.
Too Much of a Good Thing
Although the Moon sign can reveal one's healing tools, everyone will use them differently and not always to their best ends. Additionally, one person's healing tonic is another's poison. When a Sagittarius Moon makes a joke to lift spirits, a Cancer Moon might feel ridiculed, like their feelings aren't being taken seriously. When a Capricorn Moon calmly offers practical suggestions, it may have an Aries Moon feeling anything but calm. Sometimes we comfort others the way we would want to be comforted; other times, our own discomfort at another's pain can bring out our defense mechanisms. One size does not fit all, so when in doubt, read the warning label and use as directed!
You have an innate gift to rouse and rile others, a tonic that can be very healing when someone is hurting because they've let themselves be mistreated, abused, or overlooked. You foster an attitude of empowerment over the defeatist attitudes or martyrdom, so you aren't likely to throw anyone a pity party. You encourage others to get back in the game.
- Self-Healing: Find something to fight or something to do. You don't do well feeling weak or defeated; remind yourself of your strength in some way to feel better.
- Warning Label: Be patient if someone doesn't bounce back as quickly as you or if they're not ready to take up arms right away.
You heal by providing a sense of grounded calm. When emotions are turbulent and hurts rage out of control, you instinctively try to find a way to dial down the intensity. You have a knack for getting to the heart of a problem that seems overwhelming or complex. You nurture with simple solutions, whether it's offering the comfort of a warm cuppa or straightforward advice.
- Self-Healing: Slow down and back out of demands. When something blindsides you, you can feel thrown over—find a way to steady yourself until you feel like you regain your balance.
- Warning Label: Don't oversimplify by minimizing the effect of the wounding event or your patient may feel like their pain is being trivialized.
Your innate healing talent lies in your ability to turn anything around by offering another perspective on what ails someone. You know that attitude is everything when it comes to matters of the heart, and when a heartfelt story or another viewpoint fails, make 'em laugh. You have a quick wit and are playful at heart, which can lift another's spirits.
- Self-Healing: Humor is not only the best medicine you have in your healing arsenal, but a heavy dose for yourself can also work wonders. You can benefit from informal talk therapy to help you gain new perspectives on what troubles you. You can also benefit from simply engaging your mind elsewhere.
- Warning Label: Offer another point of view, but not seven or eight, or your patient may just feel more overwhelmed.
One of your best healing qualities is your understanding that it's okay to hurt. You can love and comfort someone while they are hurting without pressuring them to get over it. Your strong sense of loyalty and heightened sense of empathy make you the ideal healer, and in fact, many of those born under your sign find themselves in the healing professions as an outlet for this predisposition. You instinctively take others under your wing until they are ready to fly again.
- Self-Healing: You tend to hide in your shell when you are hurt; make that shell comfy with all of your favorite things, but when you dare, allow someone you love and trust to comfort you. Receiving care instead of only giving it can heal you surprisingly quickly.
- Warning Label: Avoid pouring so much of yourself into healing another that you become the patient! Be mindful of situations that you can help most by not helping and allowing others to find their own strength again after healing.
Although pop astrology often accuses you of hogging the spotlight, you excel at instinctively knowing how to turn it on others. You have the ability to make someone feel special when you are charming and sincere. Your time and attention are your most generous offerings. You can encourage others to find their way back to a sense of dignity by helping them rise above insult or injury.
- Self-Healing: Spend time with someone who knows your worth and can remind you how to shine.
- Warning Label: Misery may love company, but if you share your own experiences, strive to do so from a desire to reflect another's feelings rather than the urge to take your turn at the microphone.
Your instinctual healing style will prompt you to immediately figure out how you can be as helpful as possible. You easily step into a supportive role; offering practical advice is second nature to you, which is sometimes just unobtrusively taking care of mundane tasks when someone needs a break or is in crisis.
- Self-Healing: You are most susceptible to wounding when you perceive you've fallen short of expectations or failed in some way; get some perspective by seeking out and acknowledging your accomplishments to balance the strength of the inner critic.
- Warning Label: Be careful about jumping straight to problem-solving mode. Offer practical advice tentatively and be sure it's welcome, or your help may feel anything but helpful.
Your natural ability to mirror another's point of view, even if you don't always agree with their perspective, is your most powerful healing ability. You know how to make others feel understood and valued in their own right, which can help them drop their defenses. Your natural talent in mediation can also come in handy if the source of the wounding pain involves relationship conflict. (As long as the conflict doesn’t involve you.)
- Self-Healing: Restoring your emotional equilibrium is top priority when you are wounded, using any means of comfort or beauty that offers peace. A one-on-one with a close friend can provide a sounding board for your feelings.
- Warning Label: Depending on the intensity of the situation, sympathize but avoid outright lying in the effort to make another feel validated. If the relationship is a significant one, you may both feel compromised if the truth comes out later.
While some people shy away from feeling or expressing strong emotions, you are able to handle the hotter emotions such as fear, anger, and jealousy, which heal through liberation. Your ability to say out loud what no one else dares can give others permission to admit the things they are afraid to, allowing them to speak truths from the heart that may have been long buried or denied. You know the wisdom of admitting when things are bad, and you make it okay to not be okay. You can offer comfort by allowing others to be their messy, imperfect, real selves.
- Self-Healing: When you hurt, you can benefit from giving yourself the space and time to rage, cry, or do whatever else strikes your fancy. You may sometimes suppress those feelings for fear that others around you won't be able to handle it, but for you, the only way out is through experiencing those feelings.
- Warning Label: Not everyone is ready for the punch of truth, especially when they are vulnerable. Be careful about how much force you use and whether your own agenda is too much at work.
Most of all, you heal through hope and humor. You can be quite the jester and you are quick to make someone laugh—especially when they are taking themselves or life too seriously. Whether it's helping someone find the meaning in painful events, or encouraging them not to dwell on what can't be changed, your contagious positivity is your instinctual healing gift. You tend to encourage others to move on quickly by seeing the possibilities inherent in every moment.
- Self-Healing: In general, you can quickly bounce back from upset when you can find a reason to smile again. A bit of easy fun and goofing off with someone whose company you enjoy can help you shake sadness off. You know the wheel is always turning!
- Warning Label: Laughter may be the best medicine, but timing is everything; don't skip to the punch line if your patient isn't ready.
Your level-headed approach and practical attitude make you highly valuable in times of need or crisis. You have the ability to divide and conquer unlike any other sign, delegating tasks and taking care of the highest priority items with grace and expediency. You help others heal by showing them how they can help themselves—by taking responsibility for what they can do and helping them see just how capable they are. Your grounded wisdom can also provide reassuring guidance.
- Self-Healing: You are the ultimate self-cleaning oven when it comes to taking care of your own problems—you can make a list and check it off but when apathy or depression creep in, your tendency to prioritize duty over relaxation can create an emotional deficit that feels overwhelming. Work can lift your spirits, but see that it's fulfilling on a personal level or you may be running on empty.
- Warning Label: You don't tend to be a hand-holder, as you usually require both hands to take care of business! You know that falling apart just because someone else is won't get the job done, but you may feel at a loss when there's nothing to be done. Be mindful of falling into problem-solving mode when simple understanding and love are what's needed.
Your nurturing style is most apparent in what you don't do. While you can have strong opinions philosophically or mentally, you don't tend to be overbearing when it comes to matters of the heart, and you usually don't make heavy emotional demands on others. You instinctively offer others the space and freedom to be, say, or do whatever is most natural and true for them, and you will defend their right to be, say, or do it. Your detached style may seem overly cool to some, but you nurture by offering validation for others' independence. You can help others know their own heart by cutting through the expectations of others.
- Self-Healing: You may find that the best way to heal is to focus outward, rather than inward. Mental or easygoing social stimulation may help you recover from emotional upset better than navel-gazing. Alternatively, time spent alone without worrying about fitting in or pleasing others can do a world of good, when you are free to be yourself.
- Warning Label: Be careful that you don't give another so much space that they feel alone or mistake your coolness for indifference.
You are naturally empathetic, so kindness is often your strongest healing gift. You are instinctually gentle and giving with others, especially when it’s obvious they are in pain or in need of comfort. You seek to lift the hearts of others in your healing style, whether it's helping them find the silver lining, recapture hope and optimism, or find lighthearted humor.
- Self-Healing: You are often in a state of emotional openness, so retreating to an activity or place that nourishes you without the distraction of the needs of others can be the best medicine.
- Warning Label: Your tender touch doesn't often get misapplied, but some signs may find your touch a little too light. Avoid too much whitewashing in an effort to skip over pain.
Excerpted from Llewellyn's 2017 Moon Sign Book. Click here for current year calendars, almanacs, and datebooks.