The Moon’s Influence on Personality

In natal astrology, the moon rules over the emotional side of life, childhood, motherhood, security, and the domestic sphere.

The three most important influences in the natal horoscope are the sun, moon, and ascendant (rising sign).

The moon position is critical to interpersonal relationships, because it reflects the inner self that is shown only to those closest. Emotional reactions, motherhood, childhood, and feelings of security and belonging (or lack thereof) are all influenced by this lunar sign.

The Moon Rules over the Emotional Side of Life

The position of the moon provides information about an individual’s innermost needs – in other words, what is required to bring contentment, peace, satisfaction, security, and a sense of belonging, as well as how the inner self can best be expressed.

While the sun sign guides actions, reactions are influenced by the moon sign. The moon sign indicates how a person will experience and express feelings, and how she will respond to any stimuli that evokes emotion. As such, it gives some indication as to how a person is likely to react under duress, as well as her day-to-day habits and instinctual responses.

To strangers, acquaintances, and coworkers, people tend to show more of their sun sign or rising signs traits. The moon sign traits are usually only seen by those closest to an individual, though when under stress, the moon sign often comes to the fore, and the person will manifest those astrological traits more overtly.

The Moon Rules over Motherhood and Childhood

Since it is associated with the feminine principle, the moon indicates not only how feminine energy is likely to be expressed, but also what sorts of strengths and challenges are likely to characterize one’s relationships with women. In addition, the position of the moon can indicate the sort of mother or nurturer a person is likely to be, both toward others and toward himself.

The moon position also suggests the sort of childhood traits and experiences a person is likely to have experienced. While adults tend to behave in a manner more consistent with their sun and/or rising sign, more instinctual and less guarded children tend to express their moon signs more strongly. As such, when reading a child’s astrological profile, it is at least as important (and perhaps more so) to look at the moon sign as the sun sign.

Since the moon sign is associated with childhood, it is also linked with the past. One’s perception of history, tendency toward nostalgia, and the way in which memories are experienced are all influenced by the moon sign. Also, the perception of history and how patriotism is expressed are influenced by the moon’s position because these aspects of the self are tied to a deep sense of belonging.

The Moon Rules over the Unconscious Side of Life

The moon sign gives clues about the unconscious forces that drive an individual, and some astrologers have even supported the idea that the moon is a greater indicator of true personality, while the sun represents only the ways in which the individual takes overt action or expresses her individuality. Since it represents a person’s unconscious feelings and motivations, it is believed that blocking the moon sign’s deeper needs can result in compulsive behaviour, severe anxieties, and other problems.

The moon personality is the side of oneself that an individual tends to keep hidden. In our society, intuitive or instinctual behaviour is often met with disapproval, as it is perceived as primitive or uncivilized. The moon sign indicates the areas of life in which an individual is most likely to experience fears, insecurities, jealousies, and darker fantasies – the elements of the self that many people find disturbing and wish to suppress. Daydreams and the deeper dreams experienced while sleeping are also influenced by the moon sign.

Those whose sun and/or rising signs are the same as their moon signs, or at least fall in similar signs, will have fewer conflicts between their inner selves and the personas that they express outwardly. By contrast, those whose sun or rising signs and moon signs are in radically different placements may have difficulties in expressing their true feelings, and are more inclined to be misunderstood by others. However, having some conflicts such as this can be beneficial.

While they make some aspects of life more difficult, conflicts between the sun and moon or the rising sign and moon can be a driving force for creativity and achievement. Many people who have accomplished great things have natal astrology charts characterized by more than the usual number of difficult aspects. A chart that is too easy does not spur the individual to make an impact on the world.

The Moon Sign Is Important in Love Relationships

The moon plays a profound role in intuitive responses and emotional reactions, so lunar compatibility is even more important than compatibility among sun signs for love relationships. Any positive aspect to a person’s moon increases the likelihood of forging a lasting bond, either in close platonic friendship or romantic love. A particularly strong connecting factor is having one person’s moon sign matching the other’s sun sign.

Further Reading

To read moon sign profiles for each sign, see the Astrology Moon Signs page. For personality and compatibility profiles for all the sun signs, visit the main Astrology page.


    • Bugler, Ashford, Chubb, and Zapp. (1992). The Complete Handbook of Astrology. Montreal, QC: Marshall Cavendish Limited.
    • Haydn, Paul. (1998). The Astrological Moon. York Beach, ME: Samuel Weiser, Inc.
    • Heese, Annie, & Banks, Adam.
    • Woolfolk, Joanna Martine. (1992). The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need. Lanham, MD: Scarborough House Paperback Edition.

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