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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Excerpted from Llewellyn's 2017 Moon Sign Book. Click here for current year calendars, almanacs, and datebooks.