©2010 by Donna Cunningham, MSW
For most of us, the family we grew up in greatly influenced our food preferences and eating habits. Most habits and feelings about food are learned so early that they’re are unconscious—Moon-related areas often are. Any suggested change in diet meets great resistance because of the emotional associations and the sense of security connected with food.
Some family therapists even observe family meals to diagnose family problems. What goes on at supper is a microcosm of the relationships and conflicts within the family. At this near‑ritual meal, children learn age and sex roles, what is expected of family members, what emotional expressions are permitted, and other values. Since such highly‑charged interaction occurs at the main meal of the day, it is not surprising to find food and feelings so intertwined.
Holiday meals are a special case. The sign Cancer is greatly concerned with tradition, and the traditional holidays are times when we generally stuff ourselves. We either get together with family‑‑or else feel pain that there is no family to visit.
Unpleasant memories and unresolved conflicts about family members and the past are evoked. The mountains of food so close at hand push feelings down. Holiday blues are commonplace and testify to our sorrow and rage over lunar losses.
The Moon rules instinct, and eating would be healthier if governed by instinct rather than poor family training. Most animals, if their owners haven’t hopelessly corrupted their diets, know what is good for them to eat and when they’ve had enough. A sick animal will not eat, but sick people are cajoled into eating when fasting might be better.
Children are a born with sound food instincts. In one study, toddlers were given free choice of a range of foods. Their diet may not have been balanced on any one day, but over time it balanced out perfectly. Families teach children to override their instincts by forcing them to eat more than they want, to eat on schedule rather than when hungry, and to eat heavily sweetened processed foods.
Research shows a definite connection between weight and family influence. A team at the University of Michigan took histories of nearly 3,000 children. The more overweight the parents were, the more likely the children would be overweight and the more overweight they were. Nearly 40 percent of children from obese families were obese, where only 15% would be by chance.
The daughters were the most affected, which makes sense astrologically due to the Moon and the mother‑daughter bond. By age 17, if both parents were overweight, the daughters were more than seven times heavier than daughters of lean parents.[i] Severe obesity is apparently a recessive gene. That is, it has to exist on both sides of the family for it to be transmitted, and then you have just a one in four chance of inheriting it.[ii]
If you have a weight problem, you may be saying, “Then it’s just my bad genes!” While not denying that heredity may play a role, the team also studied adopted children and found that those adopted by obese parents had the same tendency to obesity as those born into the family. Their pets even had a high rate of obesity.
The Moon shows habits we learned early on that are tough to break. What these studies suggest is that overeating is a habit, a mechanism learned through exposure to parents who overate. The Moon rules emotions, and much serious overeating is a learned familial defense against unwelcome emotions.
(This is an excerpt from a longer chapter on food and weight in my out-of-print book, Being a Lunar Type in a Solar World from RedWheel/Weiser. That version and the revised edition, The Moon in your Life, may be available on Free Paperback Swap.)
My Moon story: I’m a 12th house Cancer Sun /Jupiter conjunction and have the Moon on the Midheaven. I come from a family with many generations of overweight women and alcoholic men. I’d love to drink more, but my physical tolerance for alcohol is severely limited–to about two margaritas a year–so you can guess which side I sided with. I’m going on 68, and have been on a diet, off a diet, trying to talk myself into a diet, or falling off a diet for the past 55 years. And you know what? I still feel good about myself because I do my part to make the world a kinder place.
Readers, do you have eating patterns that you learned in your family growing up? Do you see any correlation between that and your natal Moon? Tell us about it in the comment section.
More Posts about the Moon:
- 2010 Eclipses–How do They Affect You?
- Using the Daily Moon Sign to your Advantage
- How To Use The Moon For A Daily Emotional Weather Report
- The Moon Signs and their Emotional Habits
- The Void of Course Moon–A Lunar Sabbath?
- Why Transits to the Birth Moon are so Challenging
- How Outer Planet Transits to the Moon Affect Family Life
- Cancerians, Memory and Emotion
- Fool’s Gold—the Slippery Slope of the South Node
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[i]. Garn, Stanley M., Patricia Cole, and Stephen M. Bailey, “The Effect of Parental Fatness Levels on the Fatness of Biological and Adoptive Children,” Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 1977, pp. 91‑3.
[ii]. Price, R. Arlene, Ness, Roberta, and Peter Laskarewski. “Common
Major Gene Inheritance of Extreme Overweight.” Human Biology.
December, 1990, v:62.6, pp. 747-766.