In astrology, the Moon is one of the most complex planets. It represents a vast number of areas of our lives. The Moon is our relationships with women (especially with our mother), our childhood, our emotions, our personal rituals, our subconscious minds, habits, and our ability to nurture ourselves and others. The Moon is also our need for security — physically, financially and emotionally.
Over many years as an astrologer, I have come to see the Moon in a woman's chart as an indicator of how they process emotional stress. It is also gives clues into their relationship with food, body image and negative self-talk. The Moon is not necessarily negative, but it is cyclical, like the ongoing phases of the Earth's Moon. It shows how we unconsciously repeat the same patterns of thoughts and behaviors.
To illustrate, the Moon in our chart is similar to the Moon in the sky. The Earth's Moon has no weather, wind or erosion. If a meteor hits the surface, the impact crater basically remains unchanged forever. So it is with our subconscious mind. We become emotionally wounded and it is recorded in the recesses of our memory. We may forget when and why it happened, or even what the event was (as with repressed memories), yet we will react to the pain of the event in times of stress.
It can be difficult to break patterns that are so comforting and familiar, even if they no longer serve us — the Moon seeks security. Remember there is a dark side of the Moon. This represents the hidden nature of the workings of our psyche. It is not easy to understand our depths. We need courage to plumb the secrets of our internal space, like a space probe exploring the other side of the Moon.
The Moon rules women, food and deep subconscious patterns. I find the manner in which women nurture or harm themselves with food is revealed by the other planets in the chart that contact the Moon and the way in which those planets communicate with each other. For instance, the Moon in a challenging connection with Saturn, the planet of restriction, may be expressed as anorexia. The Moon combined with Jupiter, the planet of excess, can cause severe overeating. Pluto, the planet of deep power and rage often contacts the Moon in the charts of bulimic girls and women.
In order to heal eating issues we need to incorporate the planet that contacts the Moon sign. A Moon-Saturn woman may need a positive system around food, or a healthy structured food plan to replace the harmful restrictive habits. The Moon-Jupiter person would need to honor her need to moderately indulge on occasion. The Moon-Pluto woman will need to express challenging emotions before mealtime, either though verbal communication or physical activity.
The point is that we cannot wrench the Moon away from the planets in the chart that communicate with it. These are important life lessons that will not go away by ignoring or suppressing them. At the same time, repeating the negative cycle over and over with no awareness will not bring peace, either.
We must be gentle with our Moon. It doesn't know what to do but repeat behaviors. The Moon is not linear, and neither are our subconscious habits or our relationship with food. We heal in an upward spiral, so sometimes the scenery looks the same, but we are actually viewing it from a higher perspective. As we heal our Moon/eating issues, we aim to discover the root of the pattern. The root will be revealed in layers. Each cycle may bring an opportunity for deeper insights, yet may be heralded by a temptation to slip into old behaviors.
The Moon tends to panic when its coping rituals are altered. As you heal, seek out soothing friends or a counselor who knows your cycles and will have compassion. This does not mean you will be stuck forever or need people to condone self-abusive eating behavior. The Moon needs guidance and must be consistently trained in developing new patters. Yet, our subconscious depth is unknowable in many ways. We can never "conquer" it with our minds. If an old pattern re-emerges, we can reaffirm the new pattern as soon as possible. There is a balance between respecting the lesson the old pattern is trying to teach us and getting embroiled in the negative behavior.
It takes patience and gentle dedication to create new ways to nurture ourselves on "automatic pilot" when we are under stress. Where our emotions are concerned repetitive cycles are inevitable. The question is not how to stop eating patterns, but how to redirect the energy in order to form a routine of balanced eating.