She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
-- Lord Byron
The Moon holds such a natural fascination for us, doesn't she? How often are we absolutely wowed by her beauty when we happen to glance up at the night sky? Whether she is in her full aspect or in her crescent phase - which I like to call "the bow of Artemis", seeing the Moon illuminating the dark of night inspires us to pause a moment and experience her beauty. She is magic, she is mystery, and she is grace.
The Moon rules the zodiac sign of Cancer and the Fourth House, representing our deepest personal needs, our unconscious minds, and our instinctive, emotional reactions. She indicates our feeling nature, and how we instinctively react to any challenges we may face. The things we just seem to know without giving them any thought, such as our instincts, intuitive impulses, and hunches are all products of the Moon. The forms of expression that you feel seem to emanate from your deepest self belong to the Moon, which can include all forms of art, letters, and creative work of any kind. These modes of expression can sometimes manifest through acts of love, and sometimes even in the type of work you choose.
When we are positively inspired by the Moon, we are creative, intuitive, sentimental, adaptable, introspective, and protective. If negatively inspired, we become moody, restless and irrational.
Associated with the mother and feminine energy in general, the Moon represents our individual nurturing instincts. Depending on where the Moon is located in an individual's natal chart, and in which sign she inhabits, will indicate the person's perceptions regarding their mother and women in general. For instance, a person with their natal Moon in Virgo will perceive their mother as having the qualities of a Virgo, and may feel that their mother is either highly efficient, dependable and reasonable, or too critical and not emotionally supportive, even if in reality this is not the case. A person with their natal Moon in Aquarius may experience an unconventional relationship with their mother, perceiving mom as being aloof and unpredictable, avant-garde and fun, or even not altogether there. The Moon in an individual's Fourth House indicates that the person's mother is a very strong influence in his or her life; a nurturing soul who provided the basic needs for survival of shelter, food and love.
Since the Moon represents our unconscious desires and the influence of the past upon our present lives, she indicates what we feel our needs are in order to achieve a sense of security, which may or may not in reality be healthy for us. She is both our inner child and our outer mother, and indicates our spontaneous and instinctual reactions to our environment. She also shows us how we protect ourselves; how we make ourselves safe, comfortable and secure. Whether we allow ourselves to be motivated by fear, restlessness or a fearless sense of adventure is often indicated by the sign our Moon embraces in our charts. By showing us our unconscious responses, the Moon helps us to gain deep personal insight and we can then work toward healing any deep emotional wounds we have experienced. By healing these wounds, we can then be free to grow into our authentic, powerful selves.
The Moon is in partnership with the Sun as the Luminaries of the zodiac. Together they form a perfect balance of masculine and feminine energy, and remind us of the balance we can create in our relationships and within ourselves. Your Moon and Sun can interact either harmoniously or in conflict with each other, depending upon their placement in your chart, and how they dance with each other through the heavens at any given time. On occasion, the Sun can act as a censor to our Lunar instincts, which may or may not be a good thing, depending on the circumstances. For example, whenever we feel misunderstood, it is often our Moon energy imperfectly expressed through our Sun sign. When you know what you'd like to do, but can't find the right way to do it, it is likely your Moon that knows and your Sun that refuses to react in harmony with this desire. When you find yourself thinking, "Now, why did I just say that?" and are pleasantly surprised by your spontaneous wit and candor, it is your Lunar energy expressing itself despite your Sun's attempts to censor it. Conversely, if you've just committed an embarrassing or damaging slip of the lip, it's very likely your Sun expressing itself against the will of your Moon.
The Moon's energy is responsive, receptive and reflective. If she is very strong in an individual's natal chart - either lying close to the Ascendant, Descendant, Tenth or Fourth House cusps or residing in a water sign such as Scorpio, Cancer or Pisces, the Moon can drive the personality even more than the Sun. It is often said that to achieve true happiness in life, it is best not to give the Moon too much or too little importance in your life. I'd like to amend that by saying it's best to pay attention to the signals the Moon is giving you, and act accordingly. If your unconscious responses are holding you back from forward movement, or if your instincts are to recklessly jump off every cliff that you encounter, insight into these traits can serve you well by inspiring you to make a choice whether or not to consciously move in a different direction. The Moon is a benevolent teacher, as are all the planets, and can teach us much if we give her a listen.
So if it feels good, embrace your own feminine aspect, whenever she appears. Allow her to express herself fully in the most positive ways, through the inspiration of poetry, the emotion you feel while gazing into the eyes of a lover, and those mystifying instincts that can gently beckon you to places as yet unexplored. The mystical and magical depths is where you'll find her, will you answer her irresistible call? The choice, as always, is yours.