The following article was published in The Mountain Astrologer Magazine.
I love working with the Moon! Within its silvery light lie the answers to questions about emotions, feelings, needs and intuition. Lunar energy does not intellectualize or reason, instead it knows and comprehends. It is the place to go to connect with the Goddess, the mother energy. It helps us to identify our needs and to nurture them.
Every month the Moon makes an orbit around the Earth, passing through the twelve signs of the zodiac. As it changes signs every 2 1/2 days, emotional attitudes change, too. This has an impact on your personality, sometimes causing you to feel powerful, at other times sensitive and vulnerable.
Knowing what sign the Moon is in and understanding the emotional orientation of that sign can be very helpful. In fact, certain Moon signs consistently may have more of an impact on you every month than others. Generally speaking, the effects of the Moon are most noticeable when it transits your natal Sun or Moon sign. Strong emotional reactions during that time can indicate a pattern of ignoring your “needs” and not nurturing yourself consistently enough - like putting yourself on a starvation diet emotionally. The Moon’s energy is a reminder to comfort and mother yourself and receive unconditional love from Spirit more often.
If you find consistent vulnerabilities from month-to-month during these transits, take the hint! Attend to your needs! Nourish yourself emotionally on a more regular basis.
Likewise if you’ve been consistently feeding yourself gourmet meals emotionally - recognizing the need to “inflow” and receive - you may find the Moon’s transit to your natal Sun and Moon sign a powerful time, when you truly feel “in sync” with your intuition and instincts.
Your Sun and Moon sign aren’t the only possible reactive areas in your chart. If you are currently having a solar arc or transit from one of the outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune or Pluto), the Moon can trigger emotional activity as well as related events when it passes through the part of your chart being affected. Again, remember, this happens once a month; and in this case it acts like a trigger – stimulating growth that is necessary to get the most from the cycle.
For instance, suppose Uranus is transiting your Midheaven. Most of the time this is a long term cycle, and could take up to a year to complete. Once a month when the Moon transits over your Midheaven, you might feel increased restless and notice that the urge to explore new jobs - or the desire to add adventure and freedom to your career path is stimulated. In this case, each month when the Moon passes over your Midheaven, you will likely examine the issue of whether a new direction is necessary - and you would start to “chip away” at resistance to appropriate change.
Another great way to use lunar energy is to pay attention to the sign the Moon is transiting on a daily basis. As you observe the movement through the twelve signs, you can develop an awareness of how you respond to particular signs and then take whatever measures you need for ensuring a productive experience. You can also become more aware of how these transits affect the public - and observe patterns and changes in the emotional climate and be able to respond accordingly.
You will probably quickly start to see patterns emerge . The transit of the Moon through certain signs may trigger consistent behavior or feelings every month. It’s important to stay objective though - observing rather than “programming” that you’ll feel or react in a certain way. When you start working with Moon transits, I wouldn’t advise you to first look up the Moon sign and start watching for the “expected” effects.
One of the more important spiritual teachings for me is to release the need to be in rigid control of all aspects of life, and instead, trusting, being present in the moment and letting life flow.
So with that in mind, I suggest you take note of the days that stand out for you personally, then check the Moon. Journal this for a few months. You’ll notice the patterns that reveal themselves. You’ll be able to trust you’re not just projecting an expected result.
As a personal example, I know that the transit of the Moon in Scorpio is not my best time for staying optimistic and hopeful. Over the years I have experienced this to be true nearly every month this transit happens. My Sun is Scorpio - I am highly attuned to the emotional intensity of this water sign. I am quite aware of this because I am normally a very positive person. I focus on affirmations, meditation and positive prayer nearly every day.
For me, the Moon in Scorpio triggers deep introspection and emotional intensity. I brood more during this time, and I often feel like being alone so I can wrestle with my inner fears or other feelings. This moody time points out where I am vulnerable and where I need to grow, and it creates the emotional environment that prompts me to focus on my own spiritual evolution and healing.
Because of this vulnerability, I take extra care to see myself as a growing and evolving soul. I focus on viewing life as a “quest” instead of a “test” - respecting the fact that the goal is not to be perfect, but instead… to be perfecting. I focus on treating the vulnerabilities that are uncovered as opportunities for growth. This helps me turn the Moon in Scorpio transit into a healing experience.
I usually experience a sigh of relief when the Moon moves into Sagittarius. There is such a feeling of lightness compared to the emotional intensity of the Scorpio energy.
Another strategy for using the lunar energy is to plan activities that match the energy of the sign the Moon is transiting. For example, I consistently procrastinate doing certain administrative duties. Activities that require a lot of detail and organization (like filing papers or doing taxes), I will avoid as long as possible. So when piles of charts to be filed litter my floor, I watch for a Moon that supports that activity - Virgo.
When I schedule my administrative chores on a Moon in Virgo day, not only does it mean I get the work done, but I usually get a great sense of fulfillment from accomplishing the chore. For me, this Moon in Virgo strategy works like a charm every time.
Now, will you react the same way to this Moon? It’s not a certainty because it depends on your horoscope and your personality. You might enjoy doing detailed work all the time, so having the Moon in Virgo wouldn’t matter. But just as I know where my weak spots are, you probably know where yours are. It’s helpful to recognize and use the Moon transit that will support your achieving a particular task.
Obviously you may not always have the opportunity to schedule activities based on a Moon transit. But when you can, you will feel nourished by an activity that normally feels like a chore.
To start using this information you may want to purchase an astrological calendar. There are several good ones to choose from. My personal favorite is Jim Maynard’s Pocket Astrologer - available online or at Metaphysical bookstores.
To help you start working with these energy patterns, here is a list of general descriptions for the Moon in each sign.
Moon in Aries
While the Moon is transiting Aries, there is a great deal of physical energy to tap into. It’s a period of ambition, competitiveness and impulsiveness. Initiating new projects, pioneering new paths and acting with courage flow well. Aries craves to do things fast, so impatience and irritation can flare. Beware of the urge to drive aggressively and too fast. If you can find projects where you can work independently and at your own pace you may feel more nurtured by this Moon.
Moon in Taurus
In Taurus the energy is steady, solid and persevering. The tendency is to resist change and to protect the status quo. There could be the urge to be more stubborn than usual if pushed for too much change. Generally the Taurus transit works well with practical concerns. Also enjoying good food, hanging out in comfortable surroundings, appreciating beauty and making progress on projects already started.
Moon in Gemini
The emphasis moves to the intellect with this Mercury ruled sign. Generate new ideas, write, challenge your mind, find an opportunity to communicate. You may feel adaptable and talkative and may even have a hard time staying focused on just one activity. Variety is what nourishes Gemini. This is a time when it’s easier to be objective about emotions.
Moon in Cancer
This is where the Moon feel most at home, so lunar energies are most easily expressed in this sign. Emotions run strong and sensitivity and compassion is high. It’s a good time to be with close friends and family. Baking, gardening and activities related to the home are best accomplished now. Generally it’s a sentimental, nurturing and loving time.
Moon in Leo
The energy is outgoing, dramatic and independent during a Leo Moon. Activities that require confidence, enthusiasm, dignity and leadership work well. Being recognized and appreciated also have greater rewards now. Finding outlets to show leadership and encouragement to others can bring a strong sense of satisfaction.
Moon in Virgo
Detailed tasks are best accomplished now. This is a good time to clean and organize. The energy is inward, precise, perfectionistic and somewhat intellectual. There is strong satisfaction from accomplishment and hard work during a Virgo Moon.
Moon in Libra
During a Libra Moon relationships will be important. Connecting with others, communicating and creating harmony are highlighted. It is an excellent time to appreciate beauty and to pursue the arts. The natural flow of energy will move towards socializing and seeking refined activities. It is a good time for teamwork and partnerships.
Moon in Scorpio
There is no way around the fact that Scorpio Moons are intense and passionate. The powerful energies at this time can be channeled into activities such as deep inner healing, transformational work and anything that requires a penetrating focus. Meditation and affirmative prayer are good outlets for this energy. The deep feelings that are stirred up by this Moon can be quite intense. Generally it is not a particularly social time.
Moon in Sagittarius
After the intensity of Scorpio, this Moon is a breath of fresh air. It’s easy to tap into optimism and positive attitudes. Under the influence of Sagittarius, you might feel particularly friendly, outgoing and adventurous. Promoting ideas, physical activities (sports), spontaneity and sales all flourish now. The need to be free and independent is also a key factor.
Moon in Capricorn
The focus now is practicality, ambition and work. Much organization and restructuring can be achieved now. Tasks that require discipline and persistent focus thrive. There is a “bottom line” approach to situations. Feelings and emotions are put on the back burner as achievement and efficiency are more important.
Moon in Aquarius
The motivating force is intellectual freedom with the Moon in Aquarius. Intellect wins over emotions, and there is often a desire to be unconventional and inventive. Interacting with groups, discussing progressive concepts and exploring the intellect all work well now. Social issues also generate a great deal of interest at this time.
Moon in Pisces
Imagination and a desire to escape the pressures of the mundane world are highlighted during a Pisces Moon. It’s not a particularly good time for hard work, as the energy tends to travel along more creative and mystical lines now. Psychic work, connecting spiritually, enjoying music and creating are natural. This is a highly sensitive and impressionable time.