My Pisces moon friend Ann told me that when people express interest in her after one of her shows, singing as part of a 70s cover duo in local bars and other venues, she knows they’ve fallen for a mask. They’ve latched on to something about her rising sign energy. “The people I have the deepest connections with,” she said, “are people who I don’t seem to have anything in common with on the surface, but we connect through our moons.” My connection with Ann was like that. My Aries and her Capricorn sun were an awkward fit, and I had a hard time figuring out how to spend more time with her or gathering the courage to make plans with her, but oh my god, when we did hang out, we had these deep, soul-shattering, profoundly affirming Pisces moon-meld conversations in which she revealed wisdom to me like what I’ve described here.
Ann’s observation that people connect with different layers of your energy struck a deep chord with me, and it’s a great way to think about how your sun, moon, and rising sign (in addition to other planets in your chart) draw people into your life. I really like this article‘s metaphor for the relationship between your sun, moon, and rising sign, but the short version is that your sun is the core of your personality, your rising sign (the sign your ascendant falls in) represents what you show to others or what others see in you first (which isn’t necessarily a mask or misrepresentation), and your moon sign is your emotional life or inner landscape. Because your moon sign represents such a personal part of your life, it makes sense, then, that connecting with someone at the level of moon sign rather than sun sign leads to a more intimate kind of connection.
What I’m laying out in this post sits at the intersection of a kind of karmic / law of attraction / psychotherapeutic insight that we will repeatedly encounter the kinds of energies or conflicts we need to work through until we’ve learned what we need to learn. Chani Nicholas expressed the same kind of idea in her Mercury Retrograde post today. As I’ve gotten deeper into astrology, exploring my own chart and collecting the charts of a variety of acquaintances, friends, romances, and family members, I’ve seen this play out with the astrological energies that have come into my life as well.
For a while, it seemed like almost all the important people in my life were Cancer sun people: my dad, my dissertation advisor, a couple close friends, the ex I’d had the longest relationship with, and everyone I was attracted to after that relationship ended. I laughed out loud several times, scrolling through OkCupid, clicking on the profile of someone whose face I liked, and checking their sign only to see that they were a Cancer. Cancer is the first water sign, and man, can Cancers be emotional. One week, though, I saw three Cancers in my life all do the same Cancerian crab shell thing: it was clear that there was a storm brewing behind their eyes, but when I asked, “Do you want to talk about it,” the answer was a definitive no. At that point in my life, I think I was drawn to Cancers because I was trying to balance out the fact that I was so cut off from my own very sensitive, very emotional Pisces moon. I couldn’t carry my own watery feelings, so I was drawing in watery, emotional energy in the people around me, projecting all the work of feeling on to them.
After a few years of therapy, I developed the skills for identifying, naming, and tending to my own feelings, and I noticed a significant shift in the people I was drawn to. It’s often still the case that many of my friends and dates have Cancer rising or a Cancer moon, but it’s far less common now to find myself starting new relationships with Cancer sun people. There was a period of time where I went on dates with a couple of Sagittarians as I tried to figure out how my Sagittarius rising was different from my Aries sun, followed by a short romance with a fellow Aries.
Things have shifted again, though, as I’ve moved deeper into my work of nurturing my Pisces moon. The moon was in Pisces when Ann and I met up and she shared the insight at the start of this post. As I drove home, I thought to myself, “I want someone who can hold my moon.” Pisces is so sensitive, psychic, intuitive, and dreamy, with these deep, oceanic feelings. I struggle to hold all that water in the container of an Aries sun and Sadge rising: that fire combo makes me someone who is wired to just charge forward, full-speed ahead as soon as the objective is clear, even if that means trampling mine and everyone else’s feelings in the process. If I don’t want to feel things, I work. Several of my closest Cancerian friends have to stop working when they’re feeling something. The feelings are too close to the surface; they can’t focus on their work while they’re feeling. They have to go cry out their feelings, and then they can come back to their work. If I’m working, I don’t have to feel anything. It’s when I take a break from working that the feelings come flooding in, and I think, “I guess I should take a break from work and give myself some time to cry this out,” but then I usually just go back to work.
But I’m working on taking better care of my moon so that I can draw more people into my life who can “hold my moon,” or meet my emotional needs. People who can honor the gifts of my Pisces moon sensitivity, which makes me so empathic, intuitive, and kind, but also makes me feel really vulnerable and sensitive to having my feelings hurt or my buttons pushed in one way or another. And as I’ve tried to do a better job of “holding my moon” myself, more Pisces sun and water moon people have flowed into my life.
I’ve been posting on instagram each month as the sun moves into a new sign. At the end of each of those posts, I recommend that you check your list of upcoming friend birthdays on Facebook to see how many people you’re connected with have that sun sign. Does that group include your besties, frenemies, acquaintances, or some mix? Paying attention to the sun sign, at least (if not also the moon and rising sign in cases where people will allow you to look up their charts), of people in your life gives you a clue about which energies in your chart you’re working on. Additionally, though, don’t be surprised if you notice that most of your friends have an astrological signature that overlaps with your family members’. For example, my mom, dad, and youngest sister all have Scorpio moons and my middle sister is Scorpio sun with Scorpio rising, so the people I like are often Scorpio rising or Scorpio moon. My dad’s a Cancer, and that contributed to the Cancer energies I described above, and my mom’s Virgo sun has been reflected in a spate of Virgo rising people among my recent romances. For better or worse, we choose the energies we’re most familiar with.