“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”-C.G. Jung
Emotional intelligence, or EQ or EI for short, became an extra buzzworthy term since this past season of the Bachelor when one contestant accused the other of lacking in it. (And I suppose I just admitted to watching the show as a guilty pleasure.) While the context it was used was somewhat condescending, a very simple of way of thinking about emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and regulate emotions in ourselves in hopes of being able to channel them into something such as our own healing.
So why care about your own emotional intelligence? It seems pretty obvious to me…no matter how hard many of us want to deny it, by nature of being human we are in fact, emotional creatures. Knowing healthy ways to process our emotions and communicate with others about them is an incredible skill set for interpersonal relationships and work. To me, astrology offers a simple way to increase your own emotional intelligence and gain more understanding of your emotional patterning. I often feel as though I am on a one-woman mission and crusader (how Aries Moon of me) for people to understand their moon sign in astrology. I appreciate the importance of the sun in how we shape our identity in the world, but for me knowing the moon placement at the time of our birth is of equal significance.
Without understanding the moon as our emotional process and unconscious drives we really don’t know ourselves much at all. Exploring the moon sign is a juicy way to continue the process of self-awareness particularly around our feelings and astrology in this way becomes an incredible tool for the journey. Ultimately, the goal for me of astrology is to integrate all the different parts of ourselves (as planets) and appreciate our complexity and uniqueness.
Studying the sun only offers one piece of the puzzle of who we are and our souls’ expression this lifetime, while the moon is another major aspect. I often describe the astrology chart as having three major layers: the rising, the sun, and the moon. Each layer offering more and more insight into intimacy with ourselves and others. In readings, I tend to spend a lot of time on the sun AND moon and all its planetary contacts and house placement in sessions for that reason. While the house of the sun what lights us up, the moon placement where we tend to experience emotionality.
The moon is beyond our personality/persona of what we want people to see and often the parts of ourselves we want to hide or don’t like. While the sun is our conscious awareness of parts of ourselves, the moon is our unconscious and the parts that are more difficult to see. It is our most human and most vulnerable. Many times people dislike others who represent externally our moon sign (i.e. Leo moons annoyed by people who want to be the center of attention when they do, Aries moons such as myself dislike when people try to dominate situations though I secretly want to be in charge).
Here are questions related to the moon in our charts and the order in which I usually examine its key components.
1. Sign & Planetary Aspects: How do I instinctually react to situations? What do I need? What are my unconscious motivations? What do I need to feel safe or secure? What makes me feel insecure?
2. House: Where do I feel most comfortable? What experiences create an emotional charge?
Below are some unconscious needs or ways of being related to each sign as well as possible health or psychological patterns as the moon represents not only how we feel, but our physical bodies as well. In archetypal astrology, the modality that I study, the planets in aspect to the moon provide incredibly valuable information almost as equally important as the sign the moon is in, hence why I add the planetary aspects with each sign. I recommend first looking at the moon sign then other planets in relationship with your moon for a deeper understanding of other dynamics. If you have more than one planet in relationship to the moon, go in order of closeness from conjunction, opposition, trine, to square (and if you don’t know what that means then nevermind…or have a reading.):
Keywords/Themes/Unconscious needs: Inspiration, independence, protector, warrior, action-oriented, self, ambition, samurai, action, will, achievement, yang, violence, movement, competition
Elevated Expressions: Enthusiasm, ambition, optimistic, passionate, process emotions quickly, courageous
Detrimental/Shadow Expressions: Bored easily, dominating, compulsive, annoyed or agitated easily, impatient
Related Psychological Complexes/Concepts: Emotionally avoidant, anger management issues, bi-polar or compulsivity disorders
Keywords/Themes/Unconscious needs: Stability, security, beauty, connection, desire, seduction, magnetism, Eros, fashion & the arts, lover, artist, muse, Cupid, romantic relationship, money, possessions, value
Elevated Expressions: Healthy sensuality, cooperation, creativity, kindness, patience
Detrimental/Shadow Expressions: Vanity, laziness, co-dependency, objectification of oneself or others, sometimes stagnant or stuck, materialistic
Related Psychological Complexes/Concepts: Anima/Muse complexes, body dysmorphia, obstacles complex (believing something in way of arrangements or plans or “Debbie Downer”)
Gemini Moon/Moon-Mercury or Asteroid Pallas Athena
Keywords/Themes/Unconscious needs: Wisdom, need to communicate emotions, thought, conceptualize, understand, clever, alchemy, articulate, teacher, people at home to talk to, pattern recognition, understand, write, Duality of heart/mind or intuition/strategy, thief, pirate, sibling, learning
Elevated Expressions: Curious about feelings, adaptable, witty/chatty
Detrimental/Shadow Expressions: Over-think emotions rather than feel, scattered, head in the clouds, distracted, know-it-all
Related Psychological Complexes/Concepts: Dissociative disorders, overthinking feelings, insecurity around intellect, overidentified with intellect or Father Complexes, bi-polar
Keywords/Themes/Unconscious needs: Security, safety, mother, moods, rhythms, nurturing, family, ancestry, receptivity, home, host/hostess, mother, nurse, chef, hostess, caregiver, comfort, roots, family
Elevated Expressions: Emotional attunement to others and self, deep emotional connections, inner security
Detrimental/Shadow Expressions: Moody, insecure, overly emotional, needy
Related Psychological Complexes/Concepts: Co-dependency, highly sensitive person, eating disorders/emotional eating, fear of change
Leo Moon/Moon-Sun (New Moon)
Keywords/Themes/Unconscious needs: Pride, vitality, confidence, drama, performer, individuation, identity, potential, center of attention, self-expression, hero, heroine, queen, king, romantic
Elevated Expressions: Entertainer, playful, self-expressed, creativity
Detrimental/Shadow Expressions: Dramatic, insecure, self-involved, needing to be center of attention
Related Psychological Complexes/Concepts: Individuation process, narcissism or superiority complex, emotional self-involvement
Virgo Moon/Moon-Mercury or Pallas Athena
Keywords/Themes/Unconscious needs: Pride, vitality, confidence, drama, performer, individuation, identity, potential, center of attention, self-expression, concepts, analyze, understand, scribe, writer, messenger, performer, teacher, work, health, prevention, self-improvement, day-to-day, service
Elevated Expressions: Curious about emotions, organized home, healing with Earth
Detrimental/Shadow Expressions: Critical, worry wart, know-it-all, over thinking feelings instead of feeling them
Related Psychological Complexes/Concepts: Savior complex or feeling of being overly responsible for others, dissociative disorders
Libra Moon/Moon-Venus or Astraea
Keywords/Themes/Unconscious needs: harmony, balance, justice, legalities, equilibrium, connection, liberty bridge of heaven and Earth, transcendental ideals of truth, beauty, and goodness, diplomacy, marriage, partnership, complement
Elevated Expressions: Committed to justice, fairness, peaceful and calm
Detrimental/Shadow Expressions: Difficulty letting go, co-dependent, shadow avoidant/shallow
Related Psychological Complexes/Concepts: Conflict avoidant, co-dependency, fear of shadow, Cinderella complex (desire to be taken care of by others afraid of independence), People pleasing
Keywords/Themes/Unconscious needs: Transformation, shed, evolutionary force, surrender, crisis, regenerate, renewal, power, mystical, psychotherapy, regression, secrets, manipulation, inheritance, taxes, birth, death, darkness, intensity, depth, shame, guilt, criminal, shaman, witch, psychotherapist, prostitute, dictator, Kali, Kundalini, intensity, death
Elevated Expressions: Metamorphosis, transformational force of emotions, comfort with shadow/depth and the taboo, vulnerability
Detrimental/Shadow Expressions: Melodramatic, intense beyond appropriate, shame, emotionally self-absorbed, jealous
Related Psychological Complexes/Concepts: Power hungry/authority complex, Emotionally turbulent
Keywords/Themes/Unconscious needs: expansion, growth, adventure, high ideals, morality, superiority, philosophy, abundance, success, joy, adventurous, vision, pride, arrogance, Zeus/Jupiter king, fortune, magnify, overindulge, truth seeker, conviction, law, travel, religion
Elevated Expressions: Humorous, joyful, faithful, optimistic
Detrimental/Shadow Expressions: Arrogance, exaggeration, bravado, feeling of moral/emotional superiority
Related Psychological Complexes/Concepts: Fanatic, escapism/over indulgence, Messianic/Redeemer complex, Emotional avoidant/overly optimistic
Keywords/Themes/Unconscious needs: Structure, constraint, commitment, karma, time, maturity, loss, alienation, hermit, authority, pessimism, security, control, gravitas, concrete manifestation, responsibility, focused, hard work, boundaries, slowness, grounded, solitude, Father Time, Grim Reaper, wise elder, Senex, crone, boss, scrooge, status, reputation, vocation
Elevated Expressions: Emotional maturity, comfortable living or being alone, patience, delayed gratification
Detrimental/Shadow Expressions: Fear, melancholy, judgement, overly serious
Related Psychological Complexes/Concepts: Depression/sadness, acute pessimism or fear of failure, fear of change
Keywords/Themes/Unconscious needs: Originality, impulse, sudden change, radical energy, divine mind, intuition, rebel, eccentricity, innovation, freedom, epiphany, defiance of authority, service to humanity, radical expression, quirky, misfit, inventor, mad scientist, Silicon Valley/Steve Jobs/technology, groups, aspirations, possibilities
Elevated Expressions: Emotional awareness, channel emotions toward creativity, intuitive awareness
Detrimental/Shadow Expressions: Rebelling to rebel, loner, detached, moving around a lot, restless
Related Psychological Complexes/Concepts: Savior complex, bored easily, non-committal
Keywords/Themes/Unconscious needs: Imagination, unity, return to source, dreams, universal love, spirituality, escapism, dissolve, mystical experiences, transcend, visionary, compassion, artistic, dance, cinema, photography, visionary, magical, ego dissolution, divine connection, confused, overwhelmed, merge, lost at sea, prophet, victim, martyr, puer/puella, enlightenment
Elevated Expressions: Imagination, unconditional love, process emotions through dreams
Detrimental/Shadow Expressions: Delusion, fantasy, disassociation, addiction to cope with emotions, indecisive/confused
• Related Psychological Complexes/Concepts: Highly sensitive person (HSP), escapism, addiction, Puer/Eternal Boy complex or fear of shadow, spiritual bypassing of emotions
The house where your moon lands represents the area of life where emotions may be most active or activated or empowered:
1st: Purpose, passion, or physical appearance
2nd: Money, values, material goods
3rd: School/studies, immediate surroundings, siblings, or short trips
4th: Family, ancestors, origins
5th: Pleasure, leisure, creativity
6th: Jobs, day-to-day life, colleagues
7th: Relationships, Partnerships, One-on-one relating
8th: Financial investments, death, rebirth, transformational processes
9th: Higher learning, traveling, or spirituality
10th: Career, vocation, legacy want to leave
11th: Friends, community, humanitarian contribution
12th: Hidden difficulties, unawareness, spiritual yearnings, boundaries
It is important to note that you may resonate with descriptions that are your rising, moon, or sun sign. The difference is the flavor and the way we experience something as well as avoid putting ourselves into a “sun-only box.” For example, an Aries sun may pride themselves on their independence, but if their moon is in Libra they may have a deep yearning for another that often goes unacknowledged or unconsciously drives their neediness or codependency. If you only know your sun sign there would be an entire dynamic of your relational realm missing as interpersonal relating is where we begin to navigate our emotions the most. In my dream astrology world, people would read both their sun and moon sign horoscopes to explore both their external and internal qualities of experience.
Knowing and consistently deepening our relationship to our moon signs allows us to open more into the often unconscious parts of ourselves where we can struggle the most. Like the Jung quote at the beginning of this post, the more awareness we have our emotions and our unconscious, the less we blame “the universe” or “just being a Taurus”, or whatever it is. And instead, integrate the part of us we haven’t paid attention to for deep healing while we become infinitely more emotionally intelligent.