Self-care has taken on new meaning in the age of pandemic and extreme social upheaval. The term is now firmly lodged in millennial vocabulary, but it many ways it’s become a commodified buzz word, tied to products or services that may only provide fleeting happiness.
In an ideal world, good self-care should nourish mind, body and soul. But how do we know how best to care for ourselves?
Astrology, a language that describes your life and the way you experience the world, can be a powerful tool for self-understanding, and therefore self-empowerment. When it comes to self-care, astrologers will look at your Moon placement for clues.
The most personal “planet”
The Moon is the fastest moving body in relative motion to the Earth. It travels through the entire zodiac in 28 days, spending 2-3 days in each sign.
Because it changes signs quickly, it’s much more personal to you than your Sun sign. You could share the same Sun sign with all people born within a certain period of time, but few of them will also share your Moon sign.
The Moon thus signifies deeply subjective, and subconscious parts of your life. Your emotional needs and responses, how you want to be nurtured and how you nurture other people, are shown by the Moon’s condition in your birth chart.
The Moon rules domestic habits: how you relax, and what you need to feel at home. Understanding your Moon sign, and giving it what it wants and needs, will be key to your self-care journey.
The Moon as the Mother
To fully understand our innermost desires and our subconscious drives, we must look to the past – specifically, to your earliest experiences. As astrologer Susan Miller writes, “The Sun represents where you’re going, but the Moon signifies where you’ve been.”
The Moon traditionally signifies the mother, or the primary caregiver in childhood. It can show your mom’s behavior toward you, but more generally it shows your relationship with your mom – whether it’s loving and close, fearful and regimented, or anything in between.
For instance, Air-sign Moons often have mothers who are intelligent and intellectual, and who stress learning and knowledge from an early age. Air Moons’ relationships with their moms tend to be detached, friendly, and less emotional; in adulthood, this could easily translate into becoming BFFs with mom.
The nurturing patterns you experienced as a child tend to influence how you want to be nurtured in adulthood, and how you yourself nurture others. The Moon’s placement in your birth chart can reflect those patterns, which can then help you identify and meet your needs.
The zodiac sign of your Moon will contain a lot of information, but it’s also important to look at which house the Moon is located, as well as its interactions with other planets in your chart, for the full picture. You can look up your Moon sign from any free birth chart generator online, such as astro.com.
The Moon as the Mother
This Mars-ruled Moon sign needs a lot of action, excitement, and a physical outlet for their emotions. Aries Moons tend to grow up with moms that were assertive and strong willed, teaching them to stand up for themselves. These independent Moons feel most secure when they are charting their own path; they won’t be happy being told what to do! They also thrive in competition. Self-care should look like a robust exercise routine, sports or even martial arts.
Moon in Taurus
Taurus Moons are deeply anchored in their bodies, so self-care will come in material or physical pleasures; think massages, hearty comfort food, and a great skincare ritual! They experienced their moms as dependable caregivers who met their physical needs quite well, so they crave the same type of stability as adults. Lunar Taureans feel emotionally distressed by abrupt life changes, or if they’re thrown too quickly or too far out of their comfort zone. Emotional self-care for this Earth sign means honoring that need for stability, and allowing themselves to adapt at their own pace.
Moon in Gemini
Air signs have a tendency to try and “solve” their emotions. For Gemini Moons, that means intellectualizing their feelings, or sidestepping them completely through their sharp humor and self-deprecating wit. But a more constructive outlet could be talking about their feelings with a trusted friend, as Lunar Gemini need sounding boards to figure out how they really feel. Self-care often involves intellectual stimulation, such as a good book, an immersive video game, or an eye-opening documentary.
Moon in Cancer
The Moon is at home in its ruling sign Cancer, which means it’s more comfortable with embracing the feels. They’re marked by a deep emotional connection with their mother, which can manifest positively, making them good caregivers; or negatively, bringing out their needy side. Lunar Cancers often find emotional fulfillment by stepping into nurturing roles themselves. These family-focused Moon signs tend to be textbook homebodies. Self-care will look like cooking, cozy hang-outs at home, or spending quality time with family and close friends.
Moon in Leo
Much like their Leo Sun counterparts, Leo Moons are notoriously attention-seeking, except that this drive is expressed through their emotions. They tend to be generous and enthusiastic, harboring strong emotions that need an external outlet. Drama and performing are natural choices to channel their passion. Growing up, Leo Moons experienced their mother as someone who exuded a regal, powerful aura. Because they have a high sense of pride and crave approval from others, Leo Moons need to practice emotional self-care by being their own biggest fan, and doing creative things to please themselves first.
Moon in Virgo
Virgo Moons are comforted by having structure and control over their surroundings. This meticulous Moon sign is most likely to be unsettled by mess, whether it’s the physical or emotional kind. Their childhood may have been spent with a hyper-critical caregiver, or a helicopter mom who scheduled out their lives to a tee. As a result, Lunar Virgos can seek comfort by nitpicking or being overly analytical. Self-care should involve practical ways to ground their anxiety, such as bullet journaling, gardening, or listening to self-help audiobooks.
Moon in Libra
Venus rules this sign, but it’s the social, aesthetic side of Venus that Libra Moons tend to channel, rather than the sensual side that Taurus Moons embrace. Libra Moons experienced their mother as someone fair-minded, and who emphasized peacemaking and social graces. As a result, they tend to have an instinctual need to maintain harmony in their relationships. Light social interaction will fill up their tank, but Lunar Libras also find comfort in art and beauty. Therapeutic activities include making mood boards on Pinterest, listening to music, or putting a fashionable outfit together.
Moon in Scorpio
Waters run very deep with Lunar Scorpios. In childhood, they may have experienced their mom as someone intense and passionate, but sometimes controlling or invasive, which leads Scorpio Moons to put up emotional walls. These Water-sign Moons crave deep intimacy and soul bonding, so they won’t feel fulfilled in shallow relationships. Self-care must address both their need to be private, and to express (or even purge) their intense emotions safely. Journaling, meditation, or therapy could help Scorpio Moons achieve emotional equilibrium.
Moon in Sagittarius
Childhood for Lunar Sagittarians is often marked by the amount of freedom they experienced, specifically whether or not they got enough from their mother. They may have experienced their mom as someone with high moral values, or who was religious. This can translate to Sagittarius Moons to seek deeper meaning in the world. Travel and new experiences are deeply nourishing to these Fire-sign Moons, but self-care doesn’t always mean packing a bag and taking off. Expanding their horizons by reading books, meeting new people, or a cultivating a spiritual practice can be also effective self-care.
Moon in Capricorn
The Moon isn’t wholly comfortable in Capricorn, as it’s the opposite sign of Cancer, the Moon’s domicile. Lunar Capricorns often feel awkward or at odds with their own feelings. This may be a reflection of their childhood, where they learned to be more serious and more responsible than their age. As a result, this Saturn-ruled Moon sign may channel their emotions towards success and achievement; they’re happiest when they’re working toward long-term goals. But self-care can also be learning to relax and be present in the moment, knowing worth isn’t tied to productivity. Getting a massage or a facial (Saturn rules the skin and bones), or practicing grounding meditations can help Capricorn Moons unwind.
Moon in Aquarius
Another Saturn-ruled sign, Aquarius Moons likely learned to be emotionally independent from a young age. Aquarians are notorious for being the most detached sign in the zodiac, meaning the Moon in this placement is far from mushy and sentimental. Their relationship with their mom may be more marked by emotional space, than closeness. But that doesn’t make Lunar Aquarians unfeeling; instead, it means they need distance to process their emotions. Self-care means taking time out to hold their feelings in an intellectual space. Their emotions also tend to run humanitarian rather than personal, so emotional fulfillment may come through activist pursuits.
Moon in Pisces
The most sensitive and intuitive of the Moon signs, Pisces can swim comfortably in the feels – but they have to be careful not to drown in them. Lunar Pisceans likely experienced their mother as someone who made sacrifices for their family, and perhaps even played a martyr in some way. As a result, Lunar Pisceans develop tremendous empathy. Because they tend to take on other people’s pain, these Water-sign Moons should practice self-care by setting emotional boundaries. A dose of healthy escapism can also soothe Pisces Moons, whether through long hours of making art, doing yoga, or bingeing fantasy shows on Netflix. – Rappler.com
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