The Influences of the Moon in Astronomy and Astrology

Nuremberg_chronicles sun and moon

If you look up your horoscope in the daily paper, you’ll find that predictions are made based on the sun signs. One of the many things these horoscopes miss is the powerful astrological influence of the moon, which in some cases is stronger than that of the sun. It’s not just pop culture astrology that overlooks the moon; Western, secular culture often does the same. In a post-industrial society with a solar calendar, the influences of the moon which were strongly felt in times past through the lunar calendar and the economic ramifications of the tides are no longer seen as so practically important. While most individuals no longer follow the phases of the moon, the sun’s daily and yearly influences cannot be ignored even by our modern society, whether the marking of time or the passing of the seasons.

Popular horoscopes and modern culture may ignore the importance of the moon, but astronomy and astrology acknowledge the powerful influences of the moon on both the earth and those on it.  Since the moon is so much closer to earth than the sun is, its gravitational effects can sometimes be felt more strongly than the star and the center of of our solar system. For example, the sun does influence the tides on earth, but only at a strength less than half of that of the moon. This causes the phenomena known as spring tides and neap tides. When the sun’s tidal influence aligns with that of the moon, tidal effects become more extreme, creating spring tides. When the opposite occurs and the sun’s tidal influence is at odds with that of the moon, weaker tides, known as neap tides take place. In this case, the moon’s influence is seen as stronger than that of the sun! This same gravitational influence of the moon has changed the earth’s day length from about 6 hours to our current 24 hours as it slows down the earth’s rotation.

Tidal influences of the sun and moon; spring and neap tides. Wikipedia.

At the same time, according to astrologers, the astrological influences of the moon are vital in any birth chart. While second to the sun overall, there are certain domains in which the influences of the moon are dominant. The moon is understood to determine the emotional, inner moods of an individual, even as the sun determines the overall personality. For example, someone whose natal sun is in Scorpio but whose moon is in Aquarius will have a personality strongly influenced by deep emotion and a stubborn willpower yet will also tend to be emotionally detached, rebellious, and moody. If both the natal sun and moon are in Scorpio, then the individual will see Scorpio even more powerfully than usual! This is why the influence of the moon must not be ignored, since it provides influences which are distinct and often at odds with those of the sun. Wonder why popular horoscope readings often seem inaccurate? It’s because they ignore vital influences like those of the moon on individuals! Beyond this, popular horoscopes also ignore the rest of the planets and their positions in the chart, missing all of the nuances of the birth chart! This is why newspaper horoscopes seem so vague, because they reduce everyone in the world into 12 categories. Of course they will be vague! In reality, there are so many influences in the birth chart, and few are as important as those of the moon. Just like astronomically, when the influences of the sun and moon line up, they cause these influences to be even more extreme, as we see with the tides!


2 thoughts on “The Influences of the Moon in Astronomy and Astrology

  1. TA comment: Good job on describing the differences between the sun and the moon on tides, your information is accurate. As a scientist though, I feel a moral responsibility to draw a firm line between the science (astronomy) and faith (astrology) as they are very different things.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment! Yes, I find the ways in which philosophy, religion, and other ways of thought such as astrology assert principles which can be related analogously to science (or natural philosophy), whether that’s seen in concepts such as reaping and sowing (Newton’s 3rd), reincarnation (all matter and beings come from the same source, star dust), or in this post’s example in astrology. While it’s nice that you’ve drawn your line, you can see that I have not deemed astrology an empirical science, but simply related what is now wonderfully understood in astronomy to what some astrologers say about a subject. Just because something is not a science, that doesn’t mean it’s not interesting or perhaps beneficial to think about (cf. philosophy and religion)! I’m glad to see that you also give strong credence to faith since you mention a specifically “moral” responsibility from which you feel bound to speak, even as it is borne out of your dedication to the empirical sciences!


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