The Moon, in the astrological chart, can help us understand how we deal with our emotions. It show how comfortable we are with dependency, how we take care of others, gratify their needs, and how we accept those same needs in ourselves. Can we tolerate feeling dependent and actively go out to get those needs met?
Perhaps the most crucial human function described by the Moon is mothering -- the mothering you give and the mothering you got. We'll see that the two are nearly inseparable. A less sexist word for this function is nurturing -- after all, we can get caring, feeding, and loving from our fathers and other people as well as our mothers. As grownups, men hopefully do take care of others (friends and relatives, as well as children), and this is one of the functions of the Moon in a man's chart, although an often suppressed or disguised one in our culture.
For most people locked in a traditional upbringing, however, the Moon functions were most often filled by the mother, so the Moon in the chart may be read as the mother. The Moon describes how well we can take care of others, gratify their needs, and how well we can accept those same needs in ourselves. It show how comfortable we are with dependency. Can we tolerate feeling dependent and actively go out to get those needs met? And, similarly, can we respond when others are dependent on us?
With Moon In Cancer, Dependency Is Strong; In Aries...
With a Moon in Cancer, for instance, dependency is strong. The person may be extremely dependent on others and show it; or, conversely, may hide their own dependency, consciously or unconsciously, by going all out to take care of others. The trap here is that this mother-to-the-world pose can leave the person drained and feeling even more dependent.
A Moon in Aries person, on the other hand, places a high value on their own independence and has a very low tolerance for other people's dependency. It gets in the way of all those bright, shiny new things they want to achieve.
Our Parents & Our Attitude Toward Dependency
Psychology teaches us that our attitude toward dependency in ourselves and others comes directly from our parents, particularly our mothers. If the parent was able to deal with our dependency in a loving but balanced way -- neither over-protective nor neglectful -- then we will also be able to handle dependency appropriately.
A Moon/Saturn or Moon in Capricorn person had a mother (or parents) who was dutiful but cold toward their needs and who pushed them to grow up too fast. A Moon/Neptune or Moon in Pisces person may have had a parent who was outwardly more sympathetic to their needs, but who was oddly elusive when the chips were down. Both of these people might have the same problems in responding to others as their parents did.
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Parenting Like Our Parents Parented
Like it or not, we generally become the kind of parents our parents were. As psychologically aware people, we may vow to raise our children differently than we were raised. Nevertheless, when the children actually come along, we are often dismayed to find ourselves sounding and acting just like our own parents.Why is this?
The Moon shows the patterns, habits, and memories from our earliest years, many of which are unconscious. We live what we learn, and one of the things we learn from our parents is how to be a parent. Since it is mainly unconscious, these patterns are difficult to put under rational control. Children who were abused, for instance, very often grow up to be abusive parents.
About The Author
Donna Cunningham has a master's degree in social work and over 25 years of counseling experience. She is the author of numerous books. This article is excerpted, with permission, from "An Astrological Guide to Self-Awareness", published by CRCS Publications, P.O. Box 1460, Sebastopol, CA 95472. 707-829-0735; fax 707-793-9434. This book may be ordered from the publisher ($12 + $2.25 shipping), or by clicking on the book cover on the right.