The Moon; Magical & Mysterious: Ruler of Cancer

As we enter into the summer season, we find ourselves surrounded by the energy of Cancer, ruled by the night-time luminary, The Moon. The Sun’s ingress into Cancer signals that we have arrived at the Summer Solstice, that point in time when, in the Northern hemisphere, the light has stretched out to its maximum length. The farther north that we go, the longer the light lingers. No wonder this time is referred to as the long days of summer.

The Moon is the most magical &, in some ways, the most mysterious of Celestial Objects. Imagine that you are a ‘long-ago’ person who is watching the night sky. You see, over the course of several days, this luminescent sphere of light that continually changes its shape before your very eyes. As the days follow one another, it expands until it fills the night sky with its glow & then, just as rapidly, it begins to shrink until you can only see stars twinkling above you. Imagine how you might have felt as you watched this transformative process pattern itself in the skies above your head! Today, much of the magic & mystery has been stripped away from this truly amazing monthly event. We ‘moderns’ take it for granted because we have all learned about the prosaic aspect of orbits & rotations, but just imagine, if we knew nothing about astronomy. Magic, indeed!

Astrologically, the Moon is one of the primary archetypes that we look at when we are attempting to understand the dominant drivers within the persona. It informs us about the individual’s security mechanisms, instinctive reactions & essential personal needs, to name just a few. It is the Moon that reflects the solar force & it is through the fluctuating nature of the Moon that the personality reveals itself. No one is the same all the time, are they? Just as the Moon changes in terms of shape & luminescence, so do we, as individuals, shift according to the various influences that we experience on a daily basis. In Roman times, the emperors identified themselves by their Moon signs rather than their Sun signs since they understood that the Moon was a much more personal indicator of the psyche than the Sun. After all, as the earth orbits around the fixed star, The Sun, it resides in each of the 12 signs of the Zodiac for about 30 days. On the other hand, the Moon rapidly transits the entire Zodiac in each of those 30-day monthly periods spending only about 2 ½ days in each of the 12 signs. What is more personal to you, the month that you share with a whole slew of others or the day that you were born which you share with far fewer persons?

The archetypal placement of the Moon through the 12 signs of the Zodiac gives us a great starting point as we begin to unravel our essential natures. Much work has been done in this area of Lunar Archetypes. Following is a partial list of some of them. Find your own Moon sign to see if you can relate to the essence of what the archetype is suggesting.

Moon in:

Aries:                    THE WARRIOR: 

Here we find a need for action, autonomy & immediate gratification. Moon in Aries people are assertive & in most cases pretty independent. Good in a crisis because their default is to take action.



Taurus:                 THE FLOWER CHILD

These people are usually comfortable in their own skins; calm, reliable & practical. They have the ability to create the reality that they most desire. They make solid companions & are easy to be around.




Gemini:                THE TRICKSTER

Moon in Gemini folks are adaptable emotionally. They are eternally youthful & inquisitive about the world around them. Never give a party without some of these folks on your list. Witty, sometimes caustic but always engaging.                               


Cancer:                 THE CAREGIVER

These people have a great capacity to give comfort to others. They need to have a quiet & stable personal environment that they can escape to. The absolute best when you are ailing. They know exactly how to make you feel a bit better.


Leo:                       THE HERO

Moon in Leo people are the children of the Zodiac. Always needing lots of affirmation & an equal amount of fun in their lives. Because they so need to be loved, they have the ability to give BIG love in return.


Virgo:                    THE WISE ONE

These folks need order in their lives. They have an innate ability to research whatever they need to & the more that they organize themselves, the better they feel. It’s always a good idea to have one of these folks if you are needing to get something done. Love to work? Absolutely.




Libra:                     THE LOVER

Moon in Libra people love to love. When they are able to provide others with elegance & beauty, they feel fulfilled & accomplished. When it comes to the ‘companion’ experience, there is none quite like a Moon in Libra.



Scorpio:                THE MAGICIAN

Nothing is taboo for these edgy folks. If it’s hidden, they want to uncover it. If it’s scary, they push forward right into it. Brave. If you are in crisis or having a traumatic experience, these are the people who will most understand your pain.







Moon in Sag does not want the grass to grow under its feet. No matter where they are, these intrepid folks are always ready for the next big quest, whether actual or imagined. Fun to be around. Big personalities.


Capricorn:           THE BOSS

Competent, efficient, self-contained & no-nonsense. It’s all about getting down to business. The reason they are such good managers is because they know how to keep it from getting too personal.




Aquarius:             THE REBEL

These quirky folks see the world in a way the rest of us just can’t. Able to come up with new approaches to old problems. Once they are done with you, they are completely done with you. Good friends to all and any.



Pisces:                  THE MYSTIC

Poetic & dreamy, these tender ones are the children of the goddess. Their love for humanity & all things natural knows no bounds. Be prepared to venture to magical places when they are around.


These are merely a sample of the archetypes that we can apply to the various signs of the Zodiac. You can do your own research to find others that are equally applicable. When working with the archetypal method, the key is to discern how that universal energy might apply in your own day to day life.


Another way to dig deep into the Lunar energy of your own natal chart is to determine what phase the Moon was in when you were born. In astrology, we attribute 8 phases to the Moon & each one adds nuance to the persona. You will have either a waxing type phase or a waning type phase. The waxing phase if a growth phase, assimilative, increasing in both experience & application, ACQUIRING assets in its quest for selfhood. The waning type phase is integrative, with an emphasis on adjustment, refinement & understanding, now busy in the process of ALLOCATING the acquired assets to complete the quest for selfhood.

New Moon:  Waxing (0*-45*):    This is the SEED stage. At this time of the month, the Moon goes from invisible to barely visible. New Moon people are eager to learn, interested in all that is new, ready to start things. Lots of ideas & lots of desire to get those ideas off the ground.

In the natural wheel, this phase cover ALL of Aries & half of Taurus. Think about the excitement & zest of Aries & the groundedness & potential growth of Taurus. The idea is born & begins to take form.


The archetype for this phase is THE PIONEER.


Crescent Phase: Waxing (45*-90*): The SPROUT stage. In the sky, the Moon is a crescent shape & by the end of this phase is a half Moon shape. These people love to “do”. They have a natural vitality & take the ideas of the ‘seed’ stage & run with them. In the Natural Wheel, this phase cover half of Taurus & all of Gemini suggesting both concretization & investigation.

The archetype for this phase is THE ACTIVIST.


First Quarter Phase: Waxing (90*-135*):  The ROOT & LEAF stage. The Moon moves from half to humped in this phase. Things begin to fill out. Growth abounds. These are the folks who must act on their principles or die. They can often find themselves in conflict situations because they are so passionate about what they are beginning to believe. Their job is to face their inner crisis & then to take deliberate action to overcome it. In the Natural Wheel, this phase covers all of Cancer & half of Leo suggesting both the internalization process & the outward expression that can result from the inner struggle.

The archetype for this phase is THE HERO.



Gibbous Phase: Waxing (135*-180*): The BUD stage. The Humped Moon becomes Full in this phase. Things are coming to fruition but not entirely. There is still work to be done; to refine, to analyze, to adjust; to (hopefully) perfect. These folks are more restrained, less impetuous & able to integrate the experience into the enterprise. In the Natural Wheel, this phase finishes the Last half of Leo & takes in all of Virgo. Personal effort leads to refinement of ability.

The archetype for this phase is THE SCHOLAR.


Full Phase: Waning (180*-225*): The FRUITION stage. The Moon begins this phase as FULL & gradually wanes to Reversed Humped. A personality on full frontal review. There is a need here to be seen, to speak out, to demonstrate the ‘fruits’ of the self to others. These people have an inborn magnetism that can either draw others to them or, conversely, cause others to be repelled after the initial interaction. Usually, they know who they are & have a strong need to externalize that knowledge. In the Natural Wheel this phase covers all of Libra & half of Scorpio. Interaction & compulsion.

The archetype for this phase is THE PERFORMER.

Disseminating Phase: Waning (225*-270*): The HARVEST stage. The Moon visibly shifts from Reversed Humped to Reversed half in the sky. Here we can discover a deliberative & considered personality. There is an air of stored wisdom, the ability to instruct others, a sense of generosity of self along with a powerful presence of integrity & truth-telling. The certainty of this stage can calm & inspire at the same time. In the Natural Wheel this phase covers the latter half of Scorpio & all of Sagittarius suggesting power & wisdom & incredible ethical conduct but this must be linked to a clearly defined personal mission that one can commit to.

The archetype for this phase is THE PILGRIM.

Last Quarter Phase: Waning (270*-315*): The DECOMPOSITION stage. The visible Moon now shrinks from Reversed Half to Reversed Crescent. Here is a personality in flux. The crisis of the First Quarter phase was all about the need for action but in the last quarter phase the crisis involves one’s essential consciousness. Everything is now being reviewed & questioned. All formulations are held up to the harsh light of day & released as necessary. Whatever is no longer relevant is discarded. Personal transformation is not only possible but, if the self is developed, probable. Out of the fullness of previous wisdom a whole new protocol can be formed.  This phase covers all of Capricorn & the first half of Aquarius in the Natural Wheel.

The archetype for this phase is THE REFORMER.

Balsamic Phase: Waning (315*-360*): The FALLOW or REST stage. The visible Moon now shrinks back into darkness by the end of this phase signaling that a cycle has been completed & that a new cycle is about to begin. There can be two stages within this phase, the first being the Waning Crescent stage, 315*-345* & the second being the ‘true’ balsamic phase covering the last 15* from 345*-360*. In the first part, the surrender of all things begins. There is a sense of completion with a need to spend much time in meditative thought. Whatever needs completion will now be completed. This could result in a life of ‘cleaning up’ of unfinished business. Whatever the case, a key element in this phase is an intuitive body of knowledge that lends itself to great insight. As this phase progresses, there is a distillation of this energy so that the individual could present themselves as one with tremendous psychic ability, either in the area of prophecy or channeling. The transition that is occurring is in preparation for a whole new cycle of becoming that begins in the New Phase. In the Natural Wheel this phase covers the last half of Aquarius & the whole of Pisces.

For the first part of this phase the archetype is THE CONTEMPLATIVE.


In the last 15* we encounter THE PROPHET.





Once you determine what phase you were born under, synthesize it with the sign that your Moon occupies. You will find, as you meditate on it, that it will reveal subtleties of persona that may even surprise you.

If you do not know what phase you were born under, feel free to send me an email with your birth data & I will send you your information. First name is more than sufficient for this process.

Birth data: day, month year, time of day & geographical location.