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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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!
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 ...