Why are we going to talk about the Moon first? If we’re talking about the Moon, there’s got to be a reason. In a way it doesn’t really matter where you start with astrology because you’re dealing with a spherical body of wisdom: you can pick any point on the sphere and go in there, and it will take you to every other point. It makes sense to start with the Moon because she’s the closest thing to us. But the real reason I start with the Moon is because I want to give you a sense of what I do when I’m trying to figure things out. When I crack open a chart, I don’t even look at anything else. I just say, “Where’s the Moon? What sign is she in? What house is she in?” And I look at her first because I get more information out of her than I do out of any other body in the chart.
The Moon, along with the archetype that governs the sign that she is in, tells me everything there is to know about the person’s past and all the stories and information that they’ve brought in from previous incarnations. She’s like an open book. After I look at the Moon in any chart, already I can sit down and tell the person this, that, and the other thing. Within a few minutes they will look back at me and say, “Wow! How did you know that?”
Not only is the Moon telling me about past lives, she is all of the stuff that we have totally mastered. So, the Moon is basically telling me where this person has received a PhD—in the school of Taurus, or, if you’ve got the Moon in Aries, in the school of Aries. What that tells me about this person is that for the first half of their life (this is usually how it goes) this individual is going to repeat that experience because life is a school and, when you come into this experience, your memories of your previous life are all you’ve got to bring with you.
So you’re born and you’ve got this context of cellular memory that remembers certain things, so you start to repeat those patterns. But by the time you get to be about thirty-five or forty, you begin to realize that things aren’t working the way you thought they would, and you can’t keep doing the same old thing because you’re not growing or learning anything.
Don’t forget; the Moon is about growth. If you keep doing what you’ve already got your PhD in, you’re not going to get anywhere. Nobody in their right mind would go back and get their PhD twice in the same subject—not unless they failed at it the first time around.
There is a moment of truth that comes to everyone, somewhere around the fortieth year, when we look around and say, “Hey, this isn’t working for me anymore.” And the deal with the Moon is that you have permission to function from that place, because it does have its good points. The Moon has endowed you with a body of wisdom and experience that is now a permanent part of you, but in this incarnation, you only have permission to function from that place one-third of the time. Operating from that point 100 percent of the time will not allow the soul to grow and evolve.
However, if the Moon tells us where you’ve been, she also has a lot to say about where you might get stuck. When you think about the Moon ruling all past lives, all previous incarnations, it is interesting to note that all of the cookbook astrology books will tell you that the Moon rules the past. This astrological cliché is voiced incessantly but rarely considered or analyzed deeply. It’s easy to slip right by that statement and take it for granted. But if you think about it for two seconds, you realize, “Oh my God! The past is everything.” It isn’t just what happened yesterday; it’s what happened everywhere and in everything through all of time, right down to what’s going on in your cellular memory.
Now it’s interesting to think about this because time, experience, and repetition are the only teachers here in the Third Dimension. The Moon goes around in circles, over and over again. She is the most blatantly cyclical body in the solar system. The Sun is another one of those things that helps us mark time by repeating itself. We watch it rise, we watch it set, and that pattern repeats every twenty-four hours.
Well, if the Sun moves one degree of arc in a day, the Moon moves one degree of arc every two hours. Totally on time and on the ball, she is responsible for all the tiny, second-hand movements that get us pissed off, and cause us to react, and cause another reaction to occur over there, and another one over there. The Moon is the one who moves the smaller gears that pull us along to the bigger changes. Her cycles are coordinated precisely with the cycles of Saturn.
Commonly known as “The Father of Time,” Saturn is the one that cuts us off and says, “Okay, you’ve spent twenty-seven years making a fool of yourself. That’s enough of that. It’s time to get on to the next thing.” If Saturn is the one dropping the axe sooner or later—or rewarding us sooner or later, because sometimes he does—within that interval it is the Moon who gets us all the way from A to B. Queen of the small stuff, her movements guide us into the bigger changes. This is why she rules the memory: she has been there and done that more than any other body in the solar system.
By extension the Moon rules our habits. Think about it: what do we do every day? Anything that we do repetitively is ruled by the Moon. She’s in all those things we do as a matter of course:
• When you’re cooking breakfast, that’s the Moon.
• When you’re putting your slippers on, that’s the Moon.
• When you’re brushing your teeth, brushing your hair, or washing your face, that’s the Moon.
• Anything that is related to the house and especially to the kitchen, that’s the Moon.
• Food is lunar.
• Women are lunar.
• Water is lunar.
• The laundry is lunar.
• When you are hanging up the wash or putting it in the dryer, you are involved with the Moon.
• When you’re sitting in your living room watching TV, that’s the Moon.
All of this is lunar.
The Moon is the mycelium, she is the moss, she is the matrix that all of the bigger stuff takes place in. She holds it in a net—or a web, or a womb. I swear to God this is where the Spider Woman myths originated. So if you think about it, every blessed thing comes out of her and is part of her.
Now the reason I am talking this way is because it’s important to get a feel for things. Astrology isn’t “out there”—it’s here inside and among us. We’re living it. And if you bring this whole concept of the laundry, the household chores, and all of the little mechanical things that we have to do every day to just be human all the way down to the cellular level, the Moon also rules all the automatic responses that keep everything in our body moving. She controls the way the blood flows. She keeps the heart beating. She controls all the tiny changes that cause the womb to open when it’s time for the courses to flow or when it’s time to give birth. She’s the one that knows that it’s time for the tide to turn.
Adapted and reprinted with permission from Weiser Books, an imprint of Red Wheel/Weiser, The Lunar Gospel by Cal Garrison is available wherever books and ebooks are sold or directly from the publisher at Red Wheel/Weiser or 800-423-7087.