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Your Complete Guide To The 12 Moon Signs, From Astrology Experts

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Graphic by mbg creative x Irina Polonina / Stocksy
October 17, 2022
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When it comes to astrology, most of us know what our sun sign is, if nothing else. But there's another big player in the game that deserves more attention: your moon sign. Here's everything to know about moon signs, according to astrology experts—from why they're important to what each of the 12 moon signs is all about.

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What is a moon sign?

Your moon sign is where the moon was in the sky at the moment you were born. Its placement, along with the other planets in your chart, come together to make your complete birth chart, which is thought to speak to your life path, personality, and inclinations.

And in the case of the moon, astrologer Molly Pennington, Ph.D., tells mbg, "The astronomical reality is the moon is always reflecting the sun's light. The sun would be like our self, our identity—and the moon comes along and it reflects that, holds up a mirror to yourself."

Why do moon signs matter?

Along with sun and rising signs, the moon sign is one of the most significant placements in a birth chart. (Hence why some people call that trio your "big three.")

The moon in astrology is related to emotions, intuition, and our personal inner worlds. Understanding your moon sign can help you get to know yourself and your emotions, and it also gives us valuable insight into our deepest needs (which is why moon signs are important for astrological compatibility, which we'll get into shortly).

"The moon helps us love others—it's our love language," Pennington says, adding, "But it also reflects or shows us what we need to love ourselves. It's both how you get and how you give love."

Where your moon falls will also speak to your personal, unseen world—your subconscious, and as the AstroTwins previously explained to mbg, "Your moon rules your emotions, your responses, even what you're drawn to sometimes. It's your internal life."

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Moon sign compatibility.

It's worth mentioning straight out of the gate that if your moon sign isn't traditionally thought of as "compatible" with your love interest's moon sign, that doesn't mean the relationship is doomed. Taking both people's full birth charts into account using synastry is key, and even then, you should always take compatibility measures with a grain of salt.

All that said, according to Pennington, having the same moon sign as someone can be very beneficial because you'll intuitively understand each other's needs. It can also be pleasant if your moon is "training" your love interest's moon (four signs apart on the zodiac wheel and in the same element), she says. Oppositions can even be good (when the two moon signs are opposite each other on the chart) because these people have something to offer the other in terms of balance, Pennington explains.

And as the twins note, another approach when it comes to compatibility is considering how your two elements work together. Air moons, for example, are "always on the go, so an earth moon will ground you," the twins say. "If you're ready for that, then great—but if you're not, then you're gonna feel stifled."

Check out our full guide to moon compatibility for more information, and remember, two seemingly "incompatible" moon signs can still have a good relationship. As the twins say, "You're just going to have to recognize you may have some differences—you may provide something for the other one that they don't have."

How to calculate your moon sign.

It's super simple to calculate your moon sign. All you need is your birth date, birth time, and the location you were born. Input that information into the birth chart calculator to get a full view of your birth chart—moon included. Click here to calculate yours.

And FYI, some astrologers subscribe to the belief that being born at night can make your moon sign more pronounced because the sun is at the bottom of your chart, and the moon at the top.

Now, without further ado, let's get into the 12 moon signs.

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Aries moon:

Aries moons, according to Pennington, are going to be super passionate, and even reckless. Aries is a fire sign, and its modality is also "cardinal," meaning it likes to get the ball rolling.

Being the first astrological sign of the zodiac, Aries energy embodies childlike exuberance and enthusiasm, and as Pennington explains, an Aries moon can be quick to start but quick to burn out, as well, whether that's in love, when they're angry, etc.

"They'll kind of cycle through things fast, so their mood will change quickly," she tells mbg, adding, "It's able to recover quickly, too. An Aries Moon is just active. It's not going to be passive or wait."

Taurus moon:

Taurus moons are going to be very sensory-oriented people, according to Pennington. She explains that this is an earth sign ruled by Venus, the planet of beauty and pleasure, and equates Taurus' love language with the softest, most luxurious blanket on Earth.

"It's stable and fixed, almost like there's a business of savoring all of the things that give pleasure," she tells mbg, adding that she imagines a baby Aries moon would want to wiggle out of their blankets, while a baby Taurus moon would be content to stay swaddled.

"The Taurus moon is naturally appreciative. They're not going to be quick to rage—or to say 'I love you,'" Pennington notes. "They're gonna take their sweet time."

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Gemini moon:

With the moon in Gemini, you're going to have a person who is constantly changing—much like the moon itself, Pennington tells mbg. With Gemini being an air sign ruled by Mercury, she notes, "there's a sense of bouncing from thing to thing, and a head full of ideas, thoughts, and intellectual stuff."

These quick-witted folks are fast on their feet too, she says, adding that the word "scheming" comes to mind. "They're independent because they have it built in—they're symbolized by a twin, so this sense of duality is just more ingrained in them," Pennington notes.

Some other noteworthy qualities for folks with this moon sign, she adds, include happy, intellectual, humorous, and potentially a bit flighty.

Cancer moon:

There's a reason some people fondly refer to Cancer as the "mother" of the zodiac, as it strongly embodies nurturing, caretaking energy. And those with this moon sign will likely display that, Pennington says, adding that the moon actually rules the sign of Cancer, so it feels very at home here.

"A Cancer moon is going to be a kind of representation of nurturing, of taking care of all of the things that we need for basic survival, as well as emotional needs," she tells mbg.

Cancer moons also aren't going to avoid or be scared of anything emotional, being a water sign. "A Cancer moon is OK with crying all the time—crying over things that are sad, crying over things that give us joy—because it's always about expressing freely, whatever it is," Pennington explains.

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Leo moon:

A Leo moon makes for an interesting placement, according to Pennington, because Leo is ruled by the sun. "So it's a sun-moon, and it's a fire moon," she says, adding that this placement really thrives on recognition and admiration above all.

"There's this primacy of knowing, I am to be nurtured, I am to receive the attention that I desire. There's a natural sense of them getting themselves across to their audience or to the world—and then also receiving attention back," she notes.

This is also a fairly optimistic moon placement, and as such, these people will likely be joyful and fun-loving. And with the right person, according to Pennington, Leo moons can mirror that admiration and worship right back to their partner.

Virgo moon:

Few moon signs are steadier than the Virgo moon, which Pennington notes is "not apt to be swept away by nonsense or things that are shallow." Being a mutable earth sign ruled by Mercury, Virgo energy is intellectual, particular, and practical.

"The Virgo moon has a knack for seeing exactly what she needs, and they'll have the ability to scrutinize that [thanks to] Mercury with a good head on their shoulders," Pennington tells mbg, adding that this placement appreciates a love language that takes care of practical needs.

For instance, instead of emotionally consoling a crying Virgo moon, she notes, they would prefer you just hand them the tissues. Virgo energy is also known for being quite critical, which in a moon placement, can translate to being critical of oneself.

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Libra moon:

Reaching the halfway point of the zodiac, we have Libra, and with this moon placement, the name of the game is harmonious connections. "The Libra Moon is like the ultimate hostess. Its love language is about connection, and I think that because it's ruled by Venus," Pennington tells mbg.

She notes that people with this moon placement are naturally very charming and also appreciate being charmed by people and things. Their energy could be described as flirtatious and almost sparkly, she says, adding that Libra moons are well attuned to social graces and keeping the vibe light.

And being symbolized by the scales, Libra moons will also strive for balance in their lives, including in their relationships. "A Libra moon would give love by listening, but then they need a partner who will also listen to them," Pennington says.

Scorpio moon:

Much like the Scorpion that symbolizes Scorpio comes with its own built-in armor, so, too, do Scorpio moons. These folks are careful, private, and well equipped with boundaries and "weapons," Pennington tells mbg.

And while having a Scorpio moon is typically regarded as a more challenging placement, she adds that Scorpio moons are ultimately able to regulate their emotions in a healthy way because they're discerning and also know how to dig deep.

"Scorpio is able to understand all of the ways emotions can go wrong...but the good thing about a Scorpio moon is that it's rebellious and not scared of fighting," Pennington explains, adding, "Many people don't say what they mean, or they avoid emotions because they're not OK with conflict, but a Scorpio moon is built for that."

Sagittarius moon:

If your moon is in Sagittarius, according to Pennington, you're likely an adventurous person—and that's in terms of the experiences you have but also your relationships, career, and even interests. Variety is the name of game here.

As Pennington explains, Sagittarius is a mutable fire sign, ruled by Jupiter, which is the planet of expansion, philosophy, growth, and luck. So having the moon here, she says, makes for someone who's always looking for new experiences.

They have an insatiable curiosity, and where a Scorpio moon might analyze one thing incessantly, for example, a Sagittarius moon would be more likely to examine something briefly and then move to the next thing. And they like it that way, according to Pennington, who notes Sag moons are typically upbeat, happy, and cheerful people.

Capricorn moon:

If Cancer is the mother of the zodiac, you can think of Capricorn as the father, and this makes for a very solid moon placement. Being a cardinal earth sign, Pennington explains that Capricorn has a "serious stability" to it and likes to see real, tangible results in their life, whether it's in their relationships or jobs.

This moon placement wouldn't be one for short flings, for example, and prefer tightly bound commitments that leave nothing up in the air. As Pennington puts it, "Capricorn is really about lasting commitment once it finally decides or gets around to it," adding that these folks may be slow to say how they feel, but their feelings run super deep.

This is also a placement that really wants to provide for the people they care about but in practical, material ways, as opposed to emotional (which would be the case for a Cancer moon), Pennington notes.

Aquarius moon:

The last of the air signs, Aquarius energy has a certain detachment to it, according to Pennington, who says Aquarius moons are able to "look at things from above" and likely have an eccentric streak.

"For each Aquarius moon," she says, "it's probably going to be something different and eccentric and idiosyncratic to that particular person—so it can be unpredictable in that way—and their love language is really their quirkiness that they want someone to notice and appreciate."

Pennington also tells mbg that Aquarius moons are typically avant-garde artist types who are independent, humanitarian-minded, somewhat aloof, and require plenty of mental stimulation (like all air moons).

Pisces moon:

Last but certainly not least is the Pisces moon, which is known for being a particularly psychic or intuitive astrological placement. According to Pennington, a sense of spirituality or mysticism will be ingrained in most Pisces moons.

"Everything is mystical, paradoxical, imaginative, and dreamy to them," she explains, adding that they have a strong appetite for imagination and the arts. "A Pisces moon is anti-normal, anti-rigidity, anti-anything kind of like basic. So they would be inspired and nurtured by things like music or anything creative."

This moon placement also needs to be cognizant of staying grounded in reality, as fantastical thinking can wind up getting them hurt, Pennington notes. "This moon needs a protection that they don't have built in, but they are capable of regeneration, survival, and joy," she says.

The takeaway.

There's so much more to astrology than just your sun sign, and your moon sign is definitely one to get familiar with if you're learning more about your birth chart. This placement can tell us about our deepest needs, what feeds our souls, and even who we're compatible with, so be sure not to leave it out of the equation.