Much like the Sun, the Moon is not exactly a planet. We refer to the Divine Mother Moon as a planet in Astrology for ease of reference, but more accurately, she is what we consider to be “a luminary” because she illuminates the night sky. Also the moon emanates no light of her own, rather reflects the glowing light of the Sun.
The astronomical functioning of the Moon creates a lunar month by moving through all 12 zodiac signs approximately every 28 days. It transits through each astrological sign every 2 ½ days. When the Moon is in front of the Sun (conjoined together) we have a New Moon. When it is on the opposite side of the earth (180 degrees from the Sun) we have a Full Moon. The Sun & Moon are the only “planets” that don’t appear to go retrograde from a geo-centric, earth-centered perspective.
The Moon is the most important planet in Astrology, because it is the closest celestial object relative to the Earth, as well as the fastest moving of the 7 classical planets. It has the greatest psychological and developmental effect on us out of all the planets (including even the Sun) because of the Moon’s proximity. Therefore, our personal characteristics are more like our Moon signs than our Sun signs. Essentially, the Moon represents your Personality. It is your temperament and mood. It is your emotion. It is your Mind, the style in which you think and behave. The cyclical and changing nature represents our thinking, because just like the phase of the moon changes, so do our minds. Not only does it represent the state of your mental wellbeing, it also represents your physical body’s health and form. It is also early childhood development as well as instinctual motivation.
In Vedic Astrology, the Moon is the most important planet, because it creates segments in the sky known as the lunar mansions, also referred to as “nakshatras”. These Moon signs are the constellations within the 12 solar, Sun signs. In Vedic Astrology, the Moon is activated in your chart at the 23rd year, where it matures and begins to exhibit its full strength. Our minds usually begin to reach peak growth around this age. Vedic Astrologers are typically more interested in the Moon sign than the Sun sign in a person’s chart. If it is an event chart, the Moon always indicates the day, whereas the Sun indicates the month.
The Moon is our Celestial Mother. On Earth, she represents motherhood, fertility, and females in general. It is the feminine, Mother-Goddess motif. Lunar energy is introverted and internally processed. It is emotive, and closely associated with the element of water. Just as the moon pulls big bodies of water, it affects our moods according to the sign it transits, as we are comprised of about 60% water. Another thread connecting the Moon’s watery nature to fertility is the fact that humans gestate in the amniotic sac filled with fluid in the mother’s womb. Although in some cultures lunar deities are male, throughout history they are mostly attributed to females. The comprehensive list is too numerous but for example, Moon deities include the Greek Artemis, Selene or Hecate, the Roman Luna, the Hindu Chandra and the Germanic Mani.
For Astrologers and magickal practitioners, the Moon represents Mondays in the week, rather, MOON-Days. The symbol, or “glyph” of the Moon is a crescent, indicating the cyclical fluctuation from full to new, to full again. This symbolizes our ever- changing and adapting minds. Whichever sign and house the moon is situated in your chart, indicates the most opportunity for growth.
Remember that you can only see the stars under the illumination of a night sky!