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Book Title:

Your Intuitive Moon by Trish MacGregor Date Published: 2000 review by Clarke Fountain


The Face of the Moon

Your Intuitive Moon by Trish MacGregor

Collective Concepts of the Moon

Throughout the millennia, the moon has been the stuff of myths and fairy tales, poetry and legends. It has been worshipped and cursed and endowed with magical and curative powers. Religions have grown up around it. Sacrifices have been made to it.

In the early fifties, the moon was a favorite theme in science fiction books and movies and the storylines rarely varied: the aliens came from the moon, we colonized the moon, or the moon fell out of orbit…you get the general picture. Even Disney issued movies in which the moon played a vital role. In one film, a Western, a woman who wore a hoop skirt typical of the American west started bouncing in her hoop skirt and kept bouncing higher and higher until she bounced right into the moon. The shadow you see in the moon is, according to Disney, that woman in the hoop skirt.

In 1969, Neil Armstrong took three giant steps for mankind and our concept of the moon was forever changed. Even though its relative position in the sky hadn't changed, everything else about it had.

We now had some idea what it really looked like and the news was far from good. Dust, dust, and more dust. A black vacuum. Unimaginable cold. Nothingness. In memory, I can still see the dust that flew up around those giant steps of Armstrong's and I can see the brilliant points of light impaled against the black sky overhead. What's most vivid in my mind, though, is how the Earth looked from the moon - a swirling turquoise gem 240,000, a blue pearl turning in space. Our planet literally looked alive.

This was the year when Vietnam was in full swing. Americans arrived home in body bags, riots swept across college campuses, LSD was the drug of choice. People were tuning in and dropping out faster than the pictures of the moon were beamed back to earth.

This was the year that half a million people converged on the tiny town of Woodstock, New York, to hear Hendrix, Baez, Dylan, Choplin, and all the other musicians who had captured the emotional reality of war and chaos. Women threw off their shackles. Carlos Castaneda and Aldous Huxley hurled open the doors to other realities. Camelot was dead, Martin Luther King was dead, and we had walked on the moon.

In many ways, those steps of Armstrong's signaled that we were ready to confront our unconscious selves, our feminine, intuitive selves.

Fast-forward to the summer of 1997, July 4 to be exact. In the opening scenes of the movie, Independence Day, a mammoth shadow falls across the surface of the moon. A moving shadow whose shape is unmistakable. The message comes through loud and clear: the shadow is that of a spaceship that uses the moon as a base and now that ship is on the move toward Earth. What ensues is pure Hollywood, with Will Smith holding the record for aliens annihilated. But Independence Day, like Armstrong's three giant steps, is part of our contemporary, collective perceptions of the moon, its essential beauty and sublime mysteries.

Despite Hollywood and NASA, each of us has some personal concept about the moon. After all, we drop our heads back on any given night and there it is, shaped like a ubiquitous eye or the grin of a Cheshire cat or like a piece of fruit with the top lopped off. It speaks to us. We speak to it. Romance, madness, werewolves, witches, pagans, Druids, ocean tides and blood tides, or a sharp rise in murder and mayhem: it's all fair game where the moon is concerned. Every notion that we hold about the moon is true for us and that subjective texture is certainly in keeping with the nature of the moon in astrology.

If the sun is Apollo in your corner of the universe, then the moon is your personal oracle. If the sun represents your life force, then the moon represents the internal landscape that supports and maintains the life force. In astrology, lunar energy is embodied in that mythological moment when Luke Skywalker recognizes that Darth Vader is his father or when, in ET, the alien is getting drunk and the boy is trying to dissect a frog at school and their psyches mesh. Lunar energy is operating when reality splits off for the character Gywneth Paltrow plays in Sliding Doors or during the love scene in Titanic.

Lunar energy is the MO in Thelma and Louise, in Jacob's Ladder, and in What Dreams May Come. It's the psychic visions the young boy has in The Shining or the visions another young boy has in The Sixth Sense. It's the mother's anguish in The Deep End of the Ocean, and it's Oprah being Oprah weekday afternoons. Without lunar energy, we would be empty shells, automatons, the burn-the-books society in Farenheit 451. We would be Keeneu Reeves still stuck in the matrix, powerless puppets who accept everything at face value.

Lunar Facts & Oddities

Most of us learn facts about the moon in grade school science class. Today's kids have a distinct advantage over their parents, of course, because we've already been to the moon and information is so readily accessible through the Internet. When I entered the word "moon" in a search engine, I came up with 277,000 hits. These include sites where satellite photos of the moon can be downloaded and provide information on every facet of the moon you could possibly want to know about.

One particular site, is for "moon enthusiasts." It has a wealth of information on current research and includes regular updates on the discoveries by NASA's Lunar Prospector spacecraft. The spacecraft entered the lunar orbit on January 11, 1998, and has conducted its mapping missions from fifteen to sixty-three miles above the moon's surface.

This mapping by the Lunar Prospector has added credence to a long held theory that the bulk of the moon was ripped away from the Earth when an object the size of Mars collided with it four to five million years ago. A March 16, 1999 press release from NASA read: "Similarities in the mineral composition of the Earth and Moon indicate that they share a common origin."

The moon is our only satellite and its average distance from Earth is 238,857 miles. Its revolution around the Earth takes 27 days, seven hours, and 43 minutes. Even though it's only a quarter the size of Earth, its gravitational pull is the main cause of our ocean tides. In fact, the moon actually has more than twice the effect on tides than the Sun.

Since our bodies are primarily water, the moon's gravitational pull on the tides also affects our bodily fluids, metabolic rates, and, of course, our emotions. The link, for instance, between the full moon and violent aggression has been noted for years by police officers, hospital workers, and employees at mental institutions.

In the 1970s, a Miami psychiatrist, Arnold Lieber, decided to conduct a scientific study to find out if these observations were true. As a med student at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, he'd noticed recurring periods when patients on the psyche ward were more disturbed than usual. These periods would last for several days, then the patients would resume their normal behavior. He became curious about the phenomenon and finally conducted a scientific study. His findings, later backed by four other independent studies, confirmed that during the full moon and, to a lesser extent, during the new moon, there are increases in all violent crimes - homicide, rape, assault. There's also an increase in lesser crimes - burglary, auto theft, larceny, and drunken and disorderly behavior.

Is it any coincidence, then, that the word lunatic is derived from the word lunar?

Hospital workers and maternity ward nurses have long noticed that more babies are born at the full and new moons than at any other time of the month. These may be due to the fact that the gravitational pull is strongest when the moon, sun, and Earth are aligned, as they are during the new and full moon. These observations have been backed by scientific studies. Interestingly enough, the lunar calendar is still the basis for calculating a pregnancy. The nine months are synodic months (the length of time it takes the moon to orbit earth).

Since the moon has no atmosphere, it has nothing to protect it from meteor strikes, which is why its surface is pocked with impact craters. Since it has no tectonic or volcanic activity, its surface is immune to the erosive effects of atmospheric weathering, tectonic shifts, and volcanic upheavals that reshape the surface of our planet. In comparison, Earth is a work in progress. On the moon, even the footprints left by the Apollo astronauts will remain intact for millions of years unless a meteor strike obliterates them. The moon's gravity is about a sixth of ours; that's why the Apollo astronauts looked like they were jumping rope up there. Despite appearances to the contrary, the moon has no light of its own. That gorgeous full moon you see each month is the reflected light of our Sun.

In ancient cultures, the passage of time was marked according to the lunation - or cycle - of the Moon. A month was the time between one new moon and the next and, in a typical year, there were thirteen lunar cycles. This way of marking time still exists among some pagan sects today and may be closer to our natural rhythms than our present solar calendar.

Astrological Lunar Facts

The Inner You

The moon in your horoscope is every bit as important as your Sun sign. In fact, Eastern astrologers give the moon greater emphasis than the sun sign. The moon rules the sign of Cancer and the fourth house in the horoscope. She represents mom or whoever plays that role for you and also symbolizes other women in your life. The moon is feminine, yin, our intuitive selves.

In the physical body, her territory pertains primarily to women - breasts, ovaries, womb. In both genders, she rules internal fluids and the stomach, and, of course, she's our emotional barometer, the gauge of our inner health. Not surprisingly, the moon rules conception.

A Czech physician, in fact, theorized that every woman had a fertility cycle that depended on the phase of the moon when she was born. Eugene Jones developed a fertilization calendar based on his theory, which allegedly showed a 98 percent success rate. He charged an astronomical fee for his calendar, but people who were desperate for children paid it.

Jones claimed that if a woman used his methods, she could choose the gender of her child. His technique was based on the rules of classical astrology, which he'd studied, and boils down to using the gender of moon signs. If conception took place on a Leo day, the child would be male. On a Taurus day, the child would be a girl.

The medical establishment went berserk over his claims. But when a panel of gynecologists challenged him to predict the genders of babies based only on their conception dates, Jones's accuracy was 87 percent.

The moon is exalted in the sign of Taurus, in her fall in Scorpio, and in detriment in Capricorn. But what, exactly do these terms mean? If your moon is in Scorpio or Capricorn, are your cursed for life? The terms are just jargon. The thing to remember about exalted, fall, and detriment, is that they simply describe how lunar energies mesh with the energy of particular signs.

I was about eighteen when I read my first description of my Capricorn moon. It was hardly a rave review. Adjectives like ruthless and power hungry and comparisons to Hitler sent me back to the astrologer who had erected my chart. "This isn't me. There must be some mistake."

Nope, no mistake.

In the years since then, I've come to appreciate my Capricorn moon. It grounds me and keeps me focused. When my Gemini sun is scattered in the wind, the energy of my Capricorn moon brings me back to where I should be. When my external world is disordered and chaotic, my Capricorn moon is my emotional fortress. But when I got fed up teaching Spanish to hormonal seventh graders and entertained the idea of becoming a fulltime writer, my Capricorn moon balked - too much uncertainty, no regular income, no health insurance. Then once it got all those objections out of the way without my deviating from the notion, it shouted, Go for it.

Those descriptions I read way back when made me more conscious of the characteristics inherent to a Capricorn moon so that I tried harder to channel the negative traits into more constructive channels. "Integration of lunar energy" may sound like pseudo psychobabble, but it's a key factor in summoning and using your intuition. Astrologer Robert Hand, in his excellent book Horoscope Symbols, writes: "At a certain level, the lunar parts of the mind are in touch with everything, everywhere. The Moon, then, becomes one of the indicators of psychic ability, a mode of perception in which everything is in some way connected."

In a sense, your natal moon allows you to perceive the big picture, the forest, your personal hologram, and its myriad connections to the matrix of life. Not bad for a satellite, right?

The Signs & Elements

Moon signs, like sun signs, come in a baker's dozen. They even have the same names - Aries, Taurus, Gemini, and so on around the zodiac. And, like sun signs, they have two broad groupings - by element and by mode. These categories reveal a great deal about the nature of the signs and make it easier to place your natal moon into a simple context.

The elements are what you learned about in grade school science class: fire, earth, air, and water. Three signs go with each element. Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius are fire; Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn are earth; Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius are air; and Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces are water. Simple enough. But what's it mean in real life? It means that if you're a Libra sun married to a Taurus sun, two signs that aren't particularly compatible, and have been married successfully for 25 years, then chances are your moon signs get along famously. Maybe your moon is in Virgo and your spouse's moon is in Pisces, earth and water respectively. Or perhaps your partner's sun sign is the same as your moon sign, which gives you an instinctive, emotional understanding of each other. It may also indicate a karmic connection between you, something that originated in other lives. Compatibility in terms of elements is just common sense. Air feeds fire, water nurtures earth. Other combinations can work, of course, but may not be quite as compatible. An Aries sun sign may feel that his Scorpio mate is always trying to "dampen his fire." A Libra may resent the way her Capricorn mate tries to smother her with practicality. You get the general idea here.

Swiss psychologist Carl Jung studied the charts of 483 married couples to see if there was something particular in their charts that made their marriages work. He found three common factors: a conjunction (union) between one partner's moon and the other partner's sun (same sign and close in degree); the same moon signs in both charts; and one partner's moon on the other partner's ascendant. His findings make perfect astrological sense.

The first combination (sun and moon in same sign) gives you and your partner an instinctive understanding of each other's needs. The second combination (same moon) gives you similar emotional needs and responses. The third combination (moon and ascendant in same sign) means that one partner's emotional needs mesh with the self the other person presents to the world.


Back to grade school science. The nature of fire is to burn. But fire exists in many forms: candlelight, fireworks, brush fires, solar flares, explosions, fire from a match, in a fireplace, and forest fires. We use fire for light, to cook our food, to stay warm. It's all the same energy and whether it's constructive or destructive depends on the way we use it.

Applied to astrology, the fire signs as a group are energetic, passionate, enthusiastic, impulsive and impetuous, filled with vitality. They're the Indiana Jones of the zodiac, action-oriented. They're great at starting things, at getting projects off the ground. They're innovators, paradigm-busters. They can also be emotionally explosive, sharp-tongued, and consumed by their own energies.

As a fire sign moon, your intuitive insights are likely to come to you in abrupt, brilliant flashes, with an explosive force that seizes your attention. This could be the aha! that grabs you in the middle of the night or the answer that slams into you when you're doing sixty on the freeway. The insight is usually sudden and unexpected, but it concerns something you've been working on or mulling over for awhile.

You would think that fire signs, moon or sun, should get along best with other fire signs. But I've seen too many explosive combinations between fire signs. It's as if all that action and vitality is just too much under a single roof. Fire gets along best with other air signs.


The earth signs are definitely calmer than their fire cousins. These folks are practical, efficient, and pay attention to details. They're grounded. It's unlikely that an earth sign would head off to Tahiti on the spur of the moment. But a Sagittarian would do it in a heartbeat, with nothing more than a backpack and his ATM card.

Earth signs often enjoy gardening, sports, camping, being outdoors. They tend to be athletic and often enjoy cooking and gourmet foods. They can be security conscious, ambitious individuals, but always move at their leisurely pace, which can drive everyone around them crazy.

As an earth sign moon, your intuitive insights are felt mostly in the physical body. You talk about "gut feelings." You're acutely aware of the energy that other people radiate. A sprained muscle, a cold, even a headache: this is the voice of your intuition. The trick is figuring out what the symptom is saying. If you work in the health field, then one of the skills you develop is being able to interpret other people's symptoms. By this, I mean you're able to pinpoint the emotional cause of the symptom. The paragon of this ability is the medical intuitive. But all earth signs have it to some degree.

It's interesting to look at families where everyone has an earth moon. Regardless of what their sun signs say about how they get along as a unit, the common earth moon gives the family unit a practical, efficient focus.


In many ways, the air signs are the most ephemeral of the zodiac, the hardest to pin down. We can see fire, earth, and water, but not air. However, we perceive the effects of air - a sea breeze, wind blowing through trees, hurricanes, tornadoes, La Nina, El Nino, smog, and fog. Then, of course, there's the simple fact that if we don't breathe, we die.

The mind is the air sign's domain and it's through the mind that you explore your emotions, the realm of the moon. This may seem contradictory, since we usually don't think of emotions as a mental process. But for an air sign moon, it isn't enough to just feel something; you have to understand it and that's the job of the mind. You're good with language, communication, and abstract thought. You go to sleep with your mind buzzing away and wake up with that same buzz in your heads.

As an air sign moon, your intuitive flashes come to you through your intellect. You might get vivid mental images, mind pictures. You might tune in to your intuition through writing, art, speaking. Clairvoyance may be your vehicle.

Air signs generally do great with other air signs and part of it may be that they always have something to talk about. They also get along well with fire signs.


We drink it, swim in it, bathe in it. It feeds our lawns our flowers, our slice of earth. It covers most of our planet and constitutes eighty percent of our bodies. It molds itself to whatever vessel contains it. Like air, we can't live without it.

Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. This trio hits us where we are the most vulnerable. Our homes, our sexuality, our karma. This trio is entirely about emotion. They feel their way through life and all of us have known one or two: the smothering parent, the infidel, the martyr or the savior in our midst. The water signs can be so intense that you want to strangle them. But always, there's a sense that they're connected to something larger, that they know stuff that eludes the rest of us. And, quite often, they do. They are the natural psychics of the zodiac, deeply compassionate.

These people usually aren't as objective as air or fire signs and tend to see everything through a subjective lens. This makes them well-suited for the medical and health fields, artistic pursuits of all kinds, teaching, metaphysics, and counseling.

As a water moon, your intuitive insights come to you through dreams, visions, your emotions, and when you're involved in something creative. Your sense of touch may be so acute that you can pick up intuitive impressions when you touch people or objects. Precognition may be something that comes to you naturally.

In a family where everyone has a water moon, you can always feel the fluidity of emotions eddying around them. Chances are they live close to water, too, or wish they did. Water regenerates their spirits.

Modes of Being

Some people fall so obviously into categories that they become our prototypes for certain kinds of people: the prom queen, the jock, the cheerleader, the computer nerd, the missionary, the scatterbrained, the social butterfly. They are prototypes for certain characteristics that usually fall into three broad groupings: focused, resolute, and adaptable.

These words describe not only characteristics, but ways of using energy. In astrology, there are three such groupings or triplicities: cardinal (focused), fixed (resolute), and mutable (adaptable). Each grouping holds one sign of each element. In other words, a Virgo - earth - and a Gemini - air - may not seem to have much in common on the surface. Yet, because both are mutable signs, they are oddly compatible. They use energy in the same way, through adapting to people and circumstances and being flexible. With moon signs, triplicities are particularly revealing because the energy is primarily emotional and intuitive. This explains why two people whose sun signs are at complete odds get along incredibly well. A Taurus and a Gemini sun, for example, are the typical tortoise and hare couple. The Taurus is Ferdinand the bull, content to snooze in the sun and smell the flowers. The Gemini, meanwhile, is zipping around, stirring up the field and trampling the flowers. But if both of them have moons in the same triplicity - Libra and Capricorn, for instance, or Aquarius and Leo - then they use emotional and intuitive energy in the same way. They have an instinctive understanding of each other's deeper needs.

If you're a cardinal moon sign, then you move primarily in one direction, along a single focused path. You're able to draw on emotional reserves you probably don't even know you have. You're not a quitter, unless you lose interest, then you walk away without resentment of guilt because you simply don't care anymore. Intuitively, you're at your best when your goal is utterly clear in your own heart.

If you're a fixed moon sign, then you're in for the long haul. Your emotions tend to cluster around a particular area in your life and you don't change your opinion or convictions just because someone you know believes something else. Your intuition is immediate, all encompassing, and expresses itself through the element of your moon sign.

If you've got a mutable moon, you're an emotionally flexible person. You adapt to whatever suits you, can fit your emotions to someone else's, and can easily put yourself in the other guy's shoes. Intuitively, you're quick, the kind of person who can assess the mood of a group as soon as you walk into it. It's as if you adapt yourself to the other person's mood.

Table 1 outlines the elements and mode of each sign. In table 2, brief descriptions are provided for each sign.


Table 1: Elements & Modes

Sign Symbol Element Mode
Aries fire cardinal
Taurus earth fixed
Gemini air mutable
Cancer water cardinal
Leo fire fixed
Virgo earth mutable
Libra air cardinal
Scorpio water fixed
Sagittarius firs mutable
Capricorn earth cardinal
Aquarius earth fixed
Pisces water mutable



Table 2: Keywords for Moon Signs

Moon SignKeywords
Aries, cardinal fire:Primal energy, self-starters, impatient and impetuous. Focused as long as interest holds. Can be emotionally explosive. Emphasis on self. Sudden insights.
Taurus, fixed earth:Stubborn, persistent, slow to change opinion. Great endurance. Security-conscious. Appreciation for the finer things in life. Intuition is tactile. Gets "gut feelings."
Gemini, mutable air: Mental, communicator, versatile, adaptable, emotionally flexible. Quick changes in mood, erratic temperament. Mentally intuitive, gets clairvoyant impressions.
Cancer, cardinal water:Sensitive, nurturing, home-oriented. Emotionally elusive, changeable, needs deep roots, introspective. Intuition works best through the emotions and dreams.
Leo, fixed fire:Bold, dramatic emotions played on public stage. Enjoys attention. Flamboyant. Emotionally volatile, particularly when involving kids or creativity or some strong belief.. Intuition is quick, hot, immediate, an aha!
Virgo, mutable earth:Emotionally detached, a perfectionist, practical. Can be picky about details, enjoys order. Mentally intuitive. Intuition also works through health and the body.
Libra, cardinal air:Seeks balance emotionally. Inner need for harmony. Mentally intuitive. Clear impressions come through dreams, visions, and in relationships with others.
Scorpio, fixed water:Emotionally powerful and intense. Emotionally intuitive, a swift, immediate knowing. Intuition may also work through sexuality, dreams, any connection to deeper layers of life.
Sagittarius, mutable fire:Think of the New Hampshire motto: live free or die. Emotionally adaptable, but only to a point. Intuition usually future-oriented, involving the larger picture. Simply "knows" things.
Capricorn, cardinal earth:Compartmentalizes emotions. Has emotional reservoirs that can be tapped during times of stress or crisis. Intuition works primarily through the body and can be particularly strong through touch and hearing.
Aquarius, fixed air:Emotionally sociable and concerned with large, societal issues. Future- oriented, visionary. Mentally intuitive, like Gemini, but intuition can manifest through dreams and visions, similar to fixed Scorpio.
Pisces, mutable water:Emotionally ambivalent, deeply sensitive to other people's moods and emotions. Very compassionate. Intuition naturally strong. Gets "gut feelings," may have precognitive dreams and visions.



Sun Signs, Moon Signs

Most people know their sun signs. But since there are references throughout the book to sun signs, I've included a table that provides the beginning and end dates for each sign.


Table 3: Sun Signs

Sign Dates
Aries March 21 - April 19
Taurus April 20 - May 20
Gemini May 21 - June 21
Cancer June 22 - July 22
Leo July 23 - August 22
Virgo August 23 - September 22
Libra September 23 - October 22
Scorpio October 23 - November 21
Sagittarius November 22 - December 21
Capricorn December 22 - January 19
Aquarius January 20 - February 18
Pisces February 19 - March 20