What You Need to Know About Moon Signs, Including How to Calculate Yours

What You Need to Know About Moon Signs, Including How to Calculate Yours

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Back in my B.A. (before astrology) days, I really only knew my sun sign. That was fun and useful, but I didn’t feel entirely attached—mostly because, as a Capricorn sun, it seemed to leave out a good chunk of my personality. But then, one day, I learned I had a Pisces moon, and so much clicked into place. (Overly empathetic and emotional? It’s me.) The same goes for Tali Edut, one half of The AstroTwins, ELLE’s resident astrologers. “When I learned I had a Scorpio moon, I was like, this explains everything,” Edut says. “Learning your moon and rising is just game-changing. That’s how I got obsessed with astrology.” If you have yet to have a similar experience—or you just want to know more about what a moon sign really means—get the full rundown, below.

What is a moon sign?

the astrological sky and a crescent moon
Getty + Leah Romero

As Edut explains, your moon sign is the companion to your sun sign. “The sun is how you shine in the world, and the moon is the part of yourself that you may tend to hide from the world.” Your moon sign is connected to your emotions, your desires, and your private self—the side of you that your loved ones get to experience.

The moon is also the ruling planet of Cancer, so it tends to represent the Cancerian part of your personality, Edut says. Your moon sign is connected to what you need to feel emotionally secure in relationships or how you may respond when family triggers come up. “The moon will show your relationship with your family, what you need to feel safe, and what kind of home you make for yourself,” she says. If you’re a Gemini moon, you may need a balcony that faces onto a buzzy street, Edut explains, or if you’re a Pisces moon, you may want to live in a fortress somewhere where no one can find you. “[Your moon] is great for deciding where to live or what kind of home to live in.”

As for which moon signs stand out the most, Edut says she can always tell a Scorpio moon (she is one, after all) because “they will deflect by asking questions about you, but then [they] remain a mystery.” She can also tell a Capricorn moon as they tend to be very composed but can get cold and icy out of nowhere, while Aries moons are always excitable, fun, and impatient. “They get everyone going, but they can be super demanding and get frustrated easily when things don’t go their way.”

How can you calculate your moon sign?

One easy way to figure out your moon sign is to head over to the AstroTwins’ website to get a free birth chart. You just need to know your time of birth, date of birth, and place of birth. As for how your moon sign is calculated, Edut explains that your moon sign is a result of where the moon was in the sky when you were born.

“The moon orbits around us, so it’s moving in a circle,” she explains. “If you divide that circle into 12, like a clock, each one of those slices is connected to one of the zodiac signs. Every two and a half days, the moon will move on to another sign, so it orbits through all 12 signs of the zodiac within a month. So somebody born even a day after you or later in the same day might have a different [moon] sign.”

How your moon, sun, and rising signs work together

Often called your astrological “big three,” the sun, moon, and rising signs are typically the most referenced signs, even though they don’t make up your entire chart. “They’re a great place to start,” Edut says. “I don’t think they’re necessarily more important than other parts of your chart, but they’re the most immediate parts of yourself.” She explains they work together well because they answer questions like: Who am I at my core? (Sun.) How do other people see me? (Rising.) How do I really feel about that? (Moon.)

Think of it like this, Edut suggests: If the sun makes you blue, your rising sign will act like your filter, tinting you navy blue or powder blue. Then your moon sign is the internal part that you bring out when you feel safe around others.

Moon signs by element

Earth: Capricorn, Virgo, Taurus

“Earth moons really need a lot of reassurance,” Edut explains. “They don’t like a lot of surprises.” They value stability and lasting relationships. While they’re “slow-burners,” meaning they take a while to open up, Edut says once they do, they’re loyal, enduring friends.

Fire: Leo, Sagittarius, Aries

On the other hand, fire moons love surprises, because they get bored “really easily,” Edut says. “They need a lot of variety emotionally. They are the secret drama queens. They may seem super chill, which can be good, because they can be very exciting people to be around, but the tantrums are legendary.”

Water: Pisces, Scorpio, Cancer

Water moons (guilty as charged) run deep and can be skittish about getting close to people since they tend to deeply bond with others. “They can get lost in feelings and lose themselves in other people,” Edut adds. “They can be real nurturers and caretakers, almost to a fault. They need to learn how to do that for themselves.”

Air: Aquarius, Gemini, Libra

Air moons, however, are some of the hardest people to develop long relationships with, Edut explains. “They can be very changeable in their emotions. You may have periods of time where you have friend breakups, and then they come back around.” She adds, “They’re the more-the-merrier people, but may be a little bit harder to be intimate with sometimes.” They’re also charming and might prefer to discuss what they’re thinking as opposed to what they’re feeling.

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