Posted by: Donna Cunningham | July 19, 2010

Cosmic Piñata #6—a Moon Miscellany

©7-19-2010 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 The Cosmic Piñata is a series featuring choice bits of information taken from the comment section, questions from my correspondence students, readers’ emails, and letters to my Dell column. Since we’ve been looking at the Moon lately long enough to get moonstruck, this collection is about various ways it influences us.

On habits, from Being a Lunar Type in a Solar World:   The Moon rules habits–both good and bad ones. These patterns of behavior are learned so early or so long ago that we no longer recall when or why we started them. Many were transmitted by the mother or family members.

 Midsummer Night’s Dream (June 23rd) is traditionally considered an excellent time to break a habit forever. That happens to be the beginning date of the sign Cancer, which the Moon rules. If you can muster the determination to stop an unwanted habit under the sign Cancer, you can more quickly form a more desirable one.

The Moon rules not only habit but also the cravings you have for habit‑forming things. You can be imprisoned by habit and by your desire nature. Moon rituals and meditations can help in getting free of the cravings. Not all the cravings you have are for physical substances. You may crave excitement, attention, or sex, for instance. The Moon’s sign and aspects in your chart would give clues to your own habit‑traps.

 Excerpt from Astrological Analysis: We hear a great deal nowadays about comfort zones and how … well, how comforting they can be and how difficult it is to step outside them into the challenges presented by a new situation. A key to understanding what our comfort zones can be found in the Moon’s sign, house, and aspects in our birth charts. Looking at the Moon and its various meanings is most fruitful for understanding what situations make us feel safe and comfortable.

The Moon symbolizes security and the people, places, and things that make us feel secure, reassuring us in times of stress. Circumstances that require us to develop new behaviors and learn new skills can make us insecure and anxious until we acquire new and healthier coping strategies.

At least initially, most of us will procrastinate and resist taking a step forward; instead, we’ll fall back on comforting actions like compulsive shopping (Moon in Taurus) or talking on the phone for hours (Moon in Gemini). Breaking oral habits like smoking, drinking, or overeating is especially tough, because those repetitious behaviors are like security blankets.

The Moon strongly carries the imprint of our childhood, our family of origin, and especially our mothers. Much of how we approach even the most trivial events and activities in our adult life is carried over from what we learned in those earliest years. Our food habits are particularly resistant to change. Doing things the way we were raised and following the traditions of our family or hometown makes us feel rooted and gives us a sense of security.

A reader notes,People have always said I was too sensitive. I never really knew what they meant, but now that I am older, I do. I was not being sensitive about myself, but I was being sensitive to the feelings around me. The problem is that I did not realize this and didn’t respond the right way. I didn’t really know why things bothered me, just that they did. Now I know a little better and can usually tell when I am picking up the negativity/pain from others. I have a lot of Cancer, so that brings out the feelings aspect of things for me. “

My reply: “What I’ve always noticed–being a Cancer myself–is that if we’re being sensitive to other people’s feelings, they say it’s a great characteristic. However, if we’re sensitive to our own feelings, then we’re labeled “hypersensitive.” It’s the same sensitivity either way, just given a different spin.”

  On Astrological Patterns within Families: Perhaps it is rare for two people taken from the population at large to share the same rising sign, but not two closely related people. Shared Rising Signs and shared Moons are extremely common among family members, and it is part of what makes for close family ties. When you clump all the planets from the charts of a nuclear family (Mom, Dad, and children), it is highly probable that you will find the same degrees repeatedly.

 Especially when there is a strong family resemblance physically, the Rising sign of the child is often conjunct the Sun, Moon, or Rising of the parent. The parent whose planet or angle is conjunct the child’s Ascendant or Moon is often one who has a profound impact on the child’s life—they are closely akin or strongly linked.

Noted elsewhere:  I sometimes think there’s such a thing as a ruling planet for a family. My mother had Moon in Aquarius in the 5th, and Aquarius described all three of us. I am an astrologer, my brother was an Aquarius, and my sister probably has Aquarius Rising and was married to at least three bikers of the Hell’s Angels type. My father had Jupiter and Uranus tightly conjunct in Aquarius right on his Midheaven. All in all, I’d say Uranus was the planetary ruler of my family.   

A reader asks: Do you have anything on the Moon as a vocational indicator?  I have Moon in the 10th house and have been told that I should be a nurse, waitress or mother for a career. Clearly, I am not suited for any of those or other glass-ceiling, unfeminist work. I would like to hear your opinion, as so far you have been right on about the outer planets. 

My reply:  I, too, have my Moon conjunct my Midheaven, and I was the world’s worst waitress, cannot imagine being put in the position of nursing a sick person, and would be the world’s worst mother if I’d ever been misguided enough to make that my life direction.

 The Gauquelin research showed the Moon at the Midheaven as someone who would work with the public. Working primarily with women as clients and specializing in understanding their concerns and issues would also be indicated. I’d wager that that’s the clientele you’d primarily have a gift with.

Other Editions of the Cosmic Piñata:

More Posts about the Natal Moon:  


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  1. We are three siblings. With our Moons in Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. 🙂

  2. Hi, Neeti. A watery family, indeed! Donna

    • Suns in Leo, Sag and Capricorn.

  3. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to unravel the connections between my chart and those of my parents, and this has finally brought it to light. My father’s Scorpio Sun conjuncts my Moon and my mother’s Leo Sun conjuncts my IC. Perfect.

    Thanks, Donna.

  4. I’m interested in the Gauquelin research showing that the moon on the Midheaven is correlated with a career working with the public. Would that also be true, do you think, for the Midheaven in Cancer? Do you know if the Gauquelins ever published their research? I tried to find it once and couldn’t turn up any books under Gauquelin as an author.

    • As far as I know, he wasn’t into signs at all. Just positions of planets.

    • Neeti is right, they didn’t work with signs. Most of their work was not in English translation, though they traveled and lectured extensively here. (Both are dead now.) There’s a book called The Mars Effect that tells the whole story of how scientists tried to debunk it and actually faked some results that had them discredited for a while. Donna

      • Guess what – I went looking for The Mars Effect at Amazon, and it turns out there’s a whole bunch of books by Gauquelin in English now. I ordered Cosmic Influences on Human Behavior. Your book on the moon arrived the other day, Donna, and I’m looking forward to sitting down with it during a quiet time.

      • Great news, Margaret! The Gauquelins were pyschologists and their research was conducted by standard protocols. Some of it was significant at .001, meaning that there was only one chance in 1000 that the result could have happened by chance. It definitely set the scientific community off! Donna

    • I have Midheaven in Cancer and my work is anything but public. At the beginning I worked in computer programming and now I’m a student and a researcher. All these types of work are quite solitary, basically it’s me and the data. But I also have Saturn in 12th ;D

      • Hmm. Perhaps the answer is in planets that aspect your Midheaven, because that alters the picture. Uranus would account for the computer skills, and Pluto is asociated with research (one of the Gauquelins’ findings). Are you part of the Pluto-Uranus in Virgo generation? Donna

      • Hi Donna, I was born in 1979, so I’m the Pluto in Libra and Uranus in Scorpio generation.

        I have Mercury in Scorpio trine MC (2nd) and Chiron in Taurus sextile MC (8th), both aspects are exact. I also have Lilith in Virgo sextile MC, 2 degrees orb.

        I actually changed occupations from computers to linguistics and psychology. I felt that computers is not an ideal field for me, and discovered that what I really like is research and academy career. This environment feels natural and inspiring to me! Right now I use computers only as a tool for data analysis, and analysis is my actual love 🙂

  5. Can you discuss a Moon Pluto opposition?

    I often wonder if I am too much Pluto and not enough Moon.

    What would a ‘enlightened’ use of this aspect look like?

    • The opposition is an aspect of resistance and projection, so here the person is rejecting the Plutonian qualities of the mother and saying, “not me, I’m not going to be like her,” so they bend over backwards to be as different from the mother (and the mothering role) as possible. The mother may have been very controlling, and so there could have been a power struggle and alienation from the mother.

      What the person is resisting depends on the signs involved. People born with Pluto in Leo and Aquarian planets of all kinds carried the Aquarian rebelliousness to the extreme, for Aquarians balk at any attempt to control or possess them.

      I’d imagine that people with Pluto in Libra opposed by Moon in Aries would resist the obsession with women’s appearance and fashion. The Moon’s sign and aspects has much to do with what we’re taught is the “proper” women’s role. Donna

      By rights this comment should be under the article about Moon-Pluto aspects, readers, so if you haven’t seen it, it’s here:

  6. My Moon, my mother and her two sisters and their mother’s Moon is (was) all in Cancer aspected by Uranus and the angles! Mine is Moon/Uranus on MC.
    I’d second what you say about the Moon and the public and about not wanting to be a nurse, (I’d HATE it!), waitress (I was a good waitress but didn’t last long) or even a Mom.
    I never wanted to be a Mom, nor am I a very nurturing person in the maternal sense.
    I was, however, house mother/resident manager to a small apartment building that got nicknamed “Casa del Wackos” LOL!

  7. To see how my children see me as a mother would I look to there 4th house? Would their moon and aspects be how I have interacted with them in that area of life?
    Since both my childrens chart are very different as they are individuals would both see me in a different light. What do you think about that?

    • You’d look at their Moon and its house and aspects. The 4th can give some clues, but it’s also the sum total of what family life was like in the family of origin.

      It’s quite common for children in the same family to have different Moon signs and aspects, as your relationship with each child can be a bit different.

      Also the sequence of Moon signs from the oldest to the youngest child is a bit like a history of family life in different years.

      For instance, maybe the first and second child could have Moon in Taurus, having had a real earth mother, cookie baking type of Mom, and then the third child has Moon in Capricorn, perhaps signifying that by that time the Mom had to go out and work to help with finances of a larger family.

      • Hi Donna,

        With that in mind how could a 1st house Moon with no aspects, and an empty 4th house Capricorn cusp child see his mother then? Thanks for your thoughts!!

      • I’d really have to see the chart, Jen, and I’m not doing charts any more. However, the aspects and house position of Saturn, the ruler of the 4th, would play a part. And it’s entirely possible the mother is represented by the 10th house, especially in a single-parent family. Donna

  8. I and my father have overlapping grand fire trines (me – Mars/Aries, Uranus/Leo, Saturn/Sagittarius, him – Uranus/Aries, Moon/Leo, Saturn/Sagittarius) plus MC/IC reversed (me – MC/Leo/Uranus, him – IC/Leo/Moon). We got on okay til my first Saturn return and then we didn’t. I didn’t care to put his Leo Moon first anymore and wasnae into putting up with his interference in my professional life. We can both do a good drama queen.

  9. oh, I just saw this. Yes, my first son was really hit hard by having a working mom. He has his moon in Capricorn. My second son for some reason was not so strongly affected and in fact, he always seemed to know that we were doing our best…Moon in Pisces!

  10. Great discussion on family patterns.

    Not Moon related, but just noticed that my mother and stepfather (born ’44 and ’31 respectively) both have Jupiter sq. Uranus in their charts and so do myself and my (half) brother. I was born ’65 and he in ’87.

    Fascinating that we are all born into different generations and yet all have the same square!

  11. I just noticed that you wrote Midsummer Night’s Dream instead of only Midsummer Night as I suppose you wanted to write. I guess it’s a true HABIT to say the whole thing together 😀

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