Posted by: Donna Cunningham | December 5, 2009

How Outer Planet Transits to the Moon Affect Family Life

©2009 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

  For women, especially, transits to the birth Moon are often major markers in the life cycle. These aspects can usher in anything from puberty to leaving home to marriage and childbirth to menopause and children leaving the nest to widowhood and the retirement home. Each development in these roles evokes profound responses, both in the woman herself and in her partner and family members. Major emotional readjustments are required. Our relationship with the inner or outer mother is likely to be changing at the same time.

 For men, these transits may primarily operate through the women in their lives. This is most true of men who have disowned their own lunar hemisphere and projected it onto women. It is least true of men who have embraced and integrated their lunar traits. At any rate, an outer planet transit may find a man going through major realignments of his relationships with key women and the woman within. Sometimes a key woman moves out of his life, sometimes an important new woman comes in, and sometimes both.

 If he has been overly dependent on these women to provide him with nurturing, emotional awareness, and security, the codependency may end. He may experience vulnerability in the process that can make the lunar realms more conscious and real to him. He may find himself taking on homemaking or child care tasks, perhaps due to an addition to the family.Donna Cunningham Skywriter Moon

 When Saturn transits the Moon, we typically take on more family responsibility, and it is one indicator of having a child, especially the first one. Saturn is a major time marker and corresponds with formal roles like parenthood. Saturn aspects to the Moon often concur with beginnings or endings in female roles and family structures. We might buy our first house or sell the old family homestead. Men may find themselves helping with homemaking or child care tasks, perhaps due to the family growing larger or the wife going to work.

 Or, there is both an ending and a beginning–we marry and leave home. A woman enters the menopause but becomes a grandmother. Beginnings are accompanied by seriousness and worry about new commitments. Endings can be accompanied by sadness and anxiety about the passage of some nurturing structure. Still, we can find gratification in our new level of maturity, hard-won capabilities, and adult status.

 During the easier transits, you could crave a child—and may give birth, adopt, or take in foster children. There could be a strong desire to teach or work with children in a alternative, integrative setting, like a performing arts camp, or a Montessori or a Waldorf school. Under stressful aspects, you could deal with fertility difficulties or face either an unexpected or unwanted pregnancy or gynecological problem. Conditions of the female organs or hormones, like endometriosis or menopause, may come up. Look to emotional root causes for diseases or if menopause comes early.

At worst, you could experience a loss in your relationship with a child in some sense–a loss that is seldom literal, and more often philosophical or emotional. Under positive aspects, you could heal any of these issues–a prodigal son or daughter returns, you find or are found by a child given up for adoption, or you have amazing results with an alternative cure for your hormonal imbalance.

In general, a change in attitude toward women or femininity alters the quality of your relationships, ultimately for the better, even if the short-term brings strained relations or endings. You are starting to internalize mother and nurturing, setting an example for your dependents to begin doing the same.

 (Note because Saturn and Pluto are square for much of the coming year, if you’re having a Saturn transit to the Moon, there’s a good chance you’ll be having a Pluto transit as well.  If that’Donna Cunningham Skywriter Moons so, you would want to read about Pluto transits below.)

When Uranus transits the Moon, we typically rebel against traditional female and family roles, chafing at the constraints they bring and insisting on more freedom. Either with or without validation from family, friends, and society, we experiment with alternative ways of meeting lunar needs. If we’re unwilling to transform dependency patterns, change may be thrust upon us from outside, seemingly without warning. If we’d been paying more attention to undercurrents in these areas, however, we might have seen that change was long overdue.

In either case, a support group may be helpful, either emotionally or practically. With a trine the revolt is less drastic. We may get away with it, earning the covert admiration of those around us. With more difficult aspects, the pressure to conform to tradition may be more intense, and thus the moonquake when we rebel may be more disruptive. Of course, Uranus always carries the possibility of emotional detachment, an enlightened perspective, and social evolution. Don’t rationalize your feelings about such modifications out of existence, however, or they may one day erupt and surprise you.

When Neptune transits the Moon, there is disillusionment with the feminine roles. Women may feel burned out and trapped by lunar responsibilities and incapable of continuing to nurture or rescue others. The home feels like a prison, the children or partner’s demands overwhelming. For men, there can be a period of idealizing an important woman followed by disillusionment when her humanness is revealed.

 We want someone to rescue us and take us away from all this. Even if the white knight, the guru, or the mother of all mothers does appear, there is a high price for submerging yourself this way. It stops further growth and ultimately becomes suffocating. The womb becomes toxic after it outlives its usefulness.

 When Pluto transits the Moon, an intense confrontation over women’s roles can be played out. If pregnancy occurs, it may be  more about  issues in the relationship than about a baby. Still, a shift in role can be an intense metamorphosis in which a woman experiences the power of her femininity. When we become mothers, we transform on a deep level and become closer to mothers of all times.

 Puberty and menopause are other Plutonian shifts in feminine physiology and spirit. The urge to nest or perhaps to transform our living space may become obsessive. Pluto is deep, internal, and powerful, so the woman or man who experiences it can never again take the lunar realms so much for granted. We may grieve about leaving behind a time when we could innocently depend on Mom and her surrogates without having to repay in kind.

With all outer planet transits to the Moon, it’s important to have a grasp of the birth Moon, for it describes our stance toward these roles. It shows how we carry them out, what we feel about them, what models we had, and how we respond to changes in them. A woman with Moon in Aquarius is likely to experience far more conflict about fitting into traditional female roles than a woman with Moon in Cancer or Capricorn. A man with Moon in Taurus expects the woman in his life to be as old-fashioned as he is. Since Taurus is fixed earth, he may experience change as deeply disruptive.

 More Posts about the Moon on this Blog:

Note: This has been an excerpt from my out of print hard-copy book, The Moon in your Life, which you can sometimes find at or used book sources.  a 50-page excerpt from The Moon in your Life. Read more about it here: NEW: FREE BOOKLET FOR SKYWRITER SUBSCRIBERS!  If you’re already a subscriber and want a copy, forward the most recent email post to me at To sign up for a subscription, go to the top right hand corner of the blog and click on “Subscribe.”  Then send me an email with your subscription confirmation or an email post with a request for the booklet in the subject line.


  1. Great post, thanks!

  2. My one and only daughter was born during a Saturn transit to my moon. Saturn was right on my moon on the day of her birth.
    Also, I was experiencing my first Saturn return when we bought our first house.
    Astrology never ceases to amaze.

    • Those are quite typical manifestations of Saturn transits–important points in the maturation cycle. Donna

  3. I really enjoyed this article, Donna. Thank you for putting this up. Neptune is currently transiting my Mother’s natal Pisces Moon and she is lashing out and emotionally explosive. She’s blaming her children for her own misguided mistakes. I’ve just written her a letter regarding her Narcissistic and Histrionic personality disorders and how they’ve affected my life. It’s really more for me than for her, as I know the letter will immediately end up in the trash :0)

  4. Thank you, Donna, for your consistently thought-provoking and thoughtful work. I need consistency right now, since transiting Uranus has been hovering right over my natal moon for the past few months. I find myself wanting to cry at the most inopportune times; as a Capricorn , this frustrates my sense of dignity to no end. I have already alienated a couple of friends who were quite offended by my “weird” emotional display, but in both cases the dynamic of the friendship was for me to be the caretaker, so I guess Uranus works in mysterious ways. I had psyched myself up for lightning bolts, and instead am getting these pop-up rainshowers…

    • Oh, my, DO.NOT get me started on one-way friendships like that!!! You deserve better, and it’s the Capricorn way to feel you have to always seem to have it all together, but I think transits to the Moon are a perfect time to learn to tend to your emotions rather than shut them down. Donna

  5. Thanks, Donna. I must admit I have more time to myself, after being liberated from those relationships, and that is how I found your great website. I guess it is apt that this Uranus transit offers astrology as a tool for helping me heal my moon issues!

  6. Another profound article . I just entered a saturn square moon transit. With my natal pices moon in the 1st hpuse and transit saturn in sag from the 10th. Saturn is also opposing my mars in genimi 4th house. It feels like an obvious time to grow up as im overly attached to both parents. Also work is beconing more demanding and meeting my private emotinal needs are not as easy as before. Is saturn squate moon ever soft? Or joyful?

    • While I wouldn’t call it joy, there is often a great sense of satisfaction, accomplishment, and a more solid foundation when the work of Saturn is done.

  7. Hi Donna,

    I have a tough, strong Aquarius Saturn in my natal 8th house. It opposes my Leo Sun in the 2nd and squares my Scorpio Neptune at the end of my 4th house.

    Currently Saturn is transiting square my Pisces 9th house Moon that conjuncts Chiron and opposes Pluto in my 3rd in a zero degree orb. Saturn will transit exactly square straight thru Nov. 2016 during this last third pass.

    I recently had a medical emergency and received lifesaving surgery to correct a rare deadly hernia in my stomach. During my hospital stay, my sister passed away, she was nine years older than I and had played a motherly role all my life. I notice since I have been home now that people
    are miserly toward me and I feel slighted, despite having been caring and responsible toward others in my own dealings.

    I am so looking forward to the end of 2016 and this transit. It is lonely and dejecting and depleting.

  8. Hi

    I’m currently experiencing transit Saturn opposite my moon in Gemini. I don’t have kids, but I’m baby-sitting (Saturn-responsibility) and taking care (moon) of my cousin (Gemini). But tJupiter in libra is simultaneously forming a trine to my moon and it’s an enjoyable process :-). Oh and not forgetting tUranus forming a sextile to my moon, so still waiting to see how everything else might play out as the moon rules my 9th house of higher education, philosophy, religion, etc. The transiting planets are all forming an exact aspect to my natal moon in Gemini in 8th house.

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