The Moon is the closest heavenly body to the earth, the fastest in its movement across the sky, and second only to the Sun in both size and significance. Just like the Sun, the Moon exudes a direct physical influence on life on earth, creating the tides, lighting up the night sky, triggering volcanoes and earthquakes, and even stabilizing the earths orbit and as a result its weather and climate. In ancient cultures it served as a calendar due to its predictable daily change in appearance, and with it being the main source of light after sunset it was often regarded as an important deity. In many cultures the moon was seen as feminine, with its monthly cycle reminiscent of the menstrual and with 9 of its cycles corresponding to the length of pregnancies.
In western astrology the moon is considered as representing mainly the emotions of a person. It represents emotions in vedic astrology as well, but there it’s main significance is in fact as the significator of the mind, and as such of the personality and the world view of a person making it the most significant factor in a person’s chart. In addition, the Moon signifies the mother, sleep and dreams, mental health, milk, fluids in the body, the chest and the brain.
So why exactly is the moon connected to our thoughts and feelings?
The Moon is the fastest moving celestial body, seemingly running circles around other planets just like our thoughts that seem to race through our heads. The constant waxing and waning of the Moon along with its influence on the tides are also very reminiscent of human emotion that are seemingly in constant flux, always moving from one extreme to another. And even its silvery color is similar to the gray matter of our brain.
Both our thoughts and our feelings are directly connected to the way we see the world around us. A pessimist will concentrate far more on the negative sides of life while an optimist will be mostly focused on the brighter ones, mirroring the contrast between the new and the full Moon. These polar opposites are like a loop, with the pessimist extending the negative view point to his thoughts, fueling negative emotions that will continue to inspire more negative outlook. Similarly, the optimist will perpetuate a positivity loop in the same exact manner.
While I do love my mother, I don’t think about her all the time. So what does she have to do with all of this?
The connection between the Moon and maternity comes first and foremost from the similarity between the lunar and the menstrual cycles. The menstrual cycle begins when the woman becomes fertile and her body is able to get pregnant, and stops when she is no longer able to bear children. The pregnancy period is also seen as connected to the moon as the average pregnancy takes 9 months, aka 9 rotations of the Moon around the earth.
A much clearer connection can be seen between the mother and emotions, as these depend greatly on the way she treated the person when he was young. His thoughts and world view too will be somewhat dependent on their relationship because the mother is also the first educator in one’s life, even before school or kindergarten, and is usually responsible for teaching how to walk, talk and interact with the world.
Fair enough, but in case you haven’t noticed not everyone can produce milk…
That is exactly the point of the previous segment as milk is a direct product of maternity itself, being produced only when a woman becomes pregnant and drying up when the baby is old enough to eat on his own. Breasts too are connected to the moon due to their role as the food source of the baby, but also due to them serving as the holding area when that baby is embraced. The chest area is also where we feel pain due to strong emotions, further emphasizing the connection.
And how do sleep or dreams fit the whole story?
What we see in our dreams is often directly related to our emotions, with people in stress having more nightmares and more hopeful people usually dreaming about their objects of desire. The quality of sleep too is affected by a person’s emotions, with uneasy thoughts and worries or even over-excitement often being a barrier to falling asleep, while relaxation and feelings of security and comfort usually have the opposite effect.
Sleep is also connected with the mother, as she is the one that usually lays the children to bed, but a far more interesting connection can be found between sleeping and milk. The idea of drinking milk before sleep is quite an old one, but in fact has quite a bit of merit because milk actually contains melatonin, the hormone that tells our brain it’s time to go to bed making it a great home remedy for insomnia.
It must be noted that while western astrology views personality types through the lens of the astrological signs, dividing personalities into 12 different groups, vedic astrology has no less than 108 different personality types to consider which are derived from the 27 lunar mansions, with each further divided into 4 different parts. In fact, it is the position of the Moon in one of those 108 divisions which dictates according to vedic astrology the true mindset of a person.
To find out more about these lunar mansions and their role in astrology, please visit “Nakshatras – The Hindu Lunar Mansions”.
With that being said, in both schools of astrology the full personality of a person is a composite of all the elements in his chart and each of them individually, even the Moon, can tell only a fraction of the story.