Humans are complicated beings and the world is a complicated place, so it makes sense that once you dig beneath the surface of your birth chart, you'll find out that you're much more than a single zodiac sign. Most astrology newbies identify solely with their sun sign, as it’s the most commonly-known and accessible piece of pop culture astrology. However, we actually have entire charts full of planets that are sprinkled throughout many different signs of the zodiac — and one of the most important among them are our moon signs.
Your sun sign represents the core of who you are, as well as your ego, drive, persona, and overarching values. But the moon is also a key player in your astrological profile. Understanding what your moon sign means in astrology can be an eye-opening discovery, as the moon will tell you about your personality’s most vulnerable and emotional sides. This night-dwelling planet illuminates our private inner worlds, as well as the sensitive realms of our moods, vulnerabilities, and feelings.
“The moon is strongly associated with emotions, [and] it can also color our memories, or impact what we are nostalgic about,” Annabel Gat, author of The Moon Sign Guide and senior astrologer at VICE, tells Bustle. “The moon symbolizes feelings, and feelings are not disembodied emotions we intellectualize or which are floating in space — they are tactile sensations!” The moon sign is an integral piece of our astrological birth charts, and understanding this planet’s cosmic meaning can help us get to know our inner selves.
Here's what you need to know about what moon signs represent in astrology.
What Does Your Moon Sign Mean?
One of the most significant aspects of what the moon represents in our cosmic framework is emotions and feelings. The moon sign tells us how we express our feelings, behave in emotional situations, or respond to others' emotions. And because the moon moves through the zodiac relatively quickly, it's the planet has the most sway over our day-to-day moods. That helps to explain why some people feel extra emotional under a full moon, and why many people feel so personally connected to the ever-changing phases of the lunar cycle.
The moon in astrology is considered the most maternal of the celestial bodies, so our moon signs dictate the way we seek safety, security, and provide emotional support to the people we love. "The moon is our emotional and sentimental side, [but it] also represents our maternal instincts and how we nurture ourselves/others," astrologer Lisa Stardust tells Bustle. The moon speaks to what makes us feel comfortable, safe, and taken care of emotionally. On an even more literal level, your moon sign is thought to illustrate the relationship you have with the maternal figures in your life. Look to your moon sign to inspire some self-care practices for when you need to feel extra loved, nurtured, and emotionally secure.
"While our Sun sign symbolizes our ego and will [...] the Moon sign represents our internal environment—our emotions, memories, and subconscious,” Gat writes in The Moon Sign Guide. “Because the Moon sign relates to such a private side of ourselves, it is one of the most exciting to explore — all our wants and worries are touched by our Moon sign."
Part of getting to know someone is seeing new sides of them, and sometimes it doesn't really feel like you know someone until you've seen them be truly vulnerable — and those moments are exactly when you'll really see someone's moon sign show. Just as the moon itself only shines at night, most people will only feel comfortable showing off their vulnerable moon-ruled sides when they feel like they're safe from the prying and judging eyes of the daylight. "We all have emotional needs, and the moon by sign tells us our soothing style — what we’re apt to do for others and the quality of nourishment we wish to receive from others," astrologer Catherine Urban tells Bustle. Expect your moon sign's qualities to come out when you're feeling deeply emotional, extra sentimental, or simply when you're alone and can really be your truest, most vulnerable self.
But just because the moon rules more private and sensitive parts of ourselves doesn’t mean it won’t have an important influence over our public-facing lives, too. “The moon is an extremely internal aspect of ourselves, but it can impact our career, too, as our desire to leave a legacy behind us can be one which feels critical to a sense of security in the world,” Gat says. “And that’s what the moon craves: security.” Our internal landscape shapes how we show up in the world, so, like our sun signs, the moon sign can affect all different parts of our lives.
How Your Moon Sign Affects Your Love Life
While Venus is the planet of romance and Mars is the planet of sex, the moon influences our love lives in a significant way, too. “Whether you are having a one-night stand or a lifelong partnership, your moon placement will be activated,” Gat says. “While the astrological moon isn’t explicitly tied to sex or pleasure, it is tied to intimacy and our sense of safety.” When you’re falling in love with someone, you're opening up your heart to the possibility of heartbreak, and that's one of the most vulnerable feelings one can experience — so you can guarantee that your moon sign will come into play when dealing with intimate, sentimental, and emotionally-entwined situations.
“In short term connections, our moon sign might help us suss out if someone ‘feels’ right — do they give you goosebumps in a good way or a bad way?” Gat says. “In long term connections, the moon sign might color how we nest with our partner, connect emotionally, nurture each other, and recall the past.”
If you're not in a relationship and are simply looking for an astrological love match, your moon sign can be helpful in figuring out the ways in which you want to be nurtured, taken care of, and emotionally connected. Examining this intimate part of your chart can be a lot more telling that simply looking at sun sign compatibility — so calculate your crush's moon sign and plan some dates accordingly.
How To Calculate Your Moon Sign
As the moon moves through the sky during its monthly journey through the zodiac, it changes signs approximately every two and a half days. This means that in order to calculate your moon sign, you need to use your full birth date, and you may need an exact birth time, depending on whether or not the moon ingressed into a new sign on the day you were born. To find your moon sign, you can use an online moon sign calculator, hop onto your favorite astrology app to look it up yourself, or consult a professional astrologer. Wherever the moon falls in the zodiac at the time of your birth determines what your moon sign is — and this placement says a lot about how you express your emotions and want to feel nurtured.
Your Moon Sign Meaning, Explained
While you may be familiar with the zodiac archetypes when it comes to sun signs, each zodiac sign’s qualities show up a little differently through the sensitive lens of the moon. If your moon is in a fire sign, you might have big emotional reactions, whereas you're probably more grounded in emotional situations if you're an earth moon sign. If you're a water moon sign, you feel your emotions in a deep and meaningful way — but if your moon is in an air sign, you likely approach emotional situations from a more detached and intellectual perspective.
Here’s a quick guide to the vibes of the moon in each sign:
Aries Moon Sign Meaning: Aries are impulsive and fiery, so they experience their feelings hot and fast. Their emotional temperature can rise swiftly, but they’re just as quick to let go of things.
Taurus Moon Sign Meaning: "Taurus Moon does not do drama … at least, that is what you might think until you walk into their bedroom,” Gat writes in The Moon Sign Guide. “Their home usually has a glamorous, sometimes bordering on gaudy, feel to it." Comfort and emotional security is important to a Taurus moon.
Gemini Moon Sign Meaning: Logical and communicative, Gemini moons like to think and talk through their feelings, so humorous heart-to-hearts are a great way for them to process emotions.
Cancer Moon Sign Meaning: "The Moon might be happy in Cancer, but Cancer Moon is not always cheerful,” Gat writes. “However, they recognize that feelings come and go, like the tides of the sea and the waves on the shore."
Leo Moon Sign Meaning: Leo loves to be the center of attention, so Leo moons have a penchant for dramatic displays of emotion. They have big feelings, but also lots of space in their heart to be there for others.
Virgo Moon Sign Meaning: Virgo moon people are highly emotionally observant. “A Virgo moon might write a tale detailing the physical, earthly, sensual aspects [of a memory] point by point,” Gat says.
Libra Moon Sign Meaning: Libra is the sign of harmony and partnership, so having it as a moon sign speaks to someone who craves emotional balance and seeks comfort in their closest connections.
Scorpio Moon Sign Meaning: Scorpio moon people feel things in an immensely deep way, so they can be intense and brooding at times. However, they’re also fiercely loyal and present with their emotions.
Sagittarius Moon Sign Meaning: Optimistic and spontaneous, Sagittarius moons will boldly charge toward new emotional experiences and revel in the adventure and freedom of truly feeling things.
Capricorn Moon Sign Meaning: Earthy Capricorn moons may not wear their feelings on their sleeves, but beneath their grounded and stoic facade is a sensual, committed, and comfort-loving heart.
Aquarius Moon Sign Meaning: Objective and creative, Aquarius moon energy allows people to tap into the emotions of the collective, and they find deep comfort and intimacy in their friendships.
Pisces Moon Sign Meaning: People with the moon in Pisces are highly nostalgic and consider their emotions a mystical experience. “A Pisces moon may write a poem filled with spiritual metaphors about something that took place long ago,” Gat says.
Your moon sign is just as important to who you are as your sun sign is, and learning about what yours means will shine a whole new light on your personal astrological makeup. Look up your moon sign and discover how it affects your personality, emotions, and inner life.
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