SENSITIVE SOUL: WORK WITH A CANCER MOON SIGN

Tips and practices to help understand and work with your Cancer Moon sign from Ash Bonelli. Artwork: Prince Lauder via Behance.net

The Moon represents the inner subconscious world that we usually only share with those we love and trust. It can show us our needs and how we care for others—and as such, our Moon sign (where the Moon falls in our birth chart) shows the style in which we express this softer side.

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The inner world of the Cancer Moon sign is a gentle, vulnerable and emotional landscape. The Moon rules the sign of Cancer so she feels quite at home in this sign making it easy to fully express her archetypal nature. When we think of the crab itself (the symbol for Cancer), we see the hard protective shell on the outside but know there is nothing but softness on the inside. A small being that carries its sanctuary on its back so it can feel at home wherever it goes.

These themes symbolize the Cancer Moon sign. You can put on a brave face, but deep down you feel EVERYTHING. You usually cry easily and really experience the emotions of any particular situation or environment you happen to be in. This Moon is very in tune with its intuition, thoughts and feelings—so much so you sometimes forget that not everything is always about you. Being sensitive is great, until it isn’t and you become resentful and hide away in your shell. There is a fine balance to be found with the Cancer Moon sign.

Taking care of others usually makes you quite happy, but when it goes unappreciated or the care isn’t returned you can get quite hurt. And so Cancer Moons are often working on expressing their needs. Working on being vocal about this is really important, as you can get so lost in taking care of others that you end up with the short end of the stick.

Fear of getting hurt is very real for you for you, mainly since being hurt in love, for example, you may feel it more deeply than others. Honestly, unless you live under a rock, you will be familiar with this pain and what it can do to you. So this is a genuine fear, but not one that should stop you from receiving love.

Often times the Cancer Moon sign is associated with the mother, and rightfully so—since both Cancer and the Moon represent this energy. But not every Cancer Moon sign wants to be a parent. The mother archetype is actually about nurturing and caring for others, offering tender love and support, and this can be applied to anything in life. Your career, your pets, your friends, your home or your hobbies. You can channel this inner need to love into anything and it will be fulfilling, just as long as you let others love you back so there is a sense of balance in your life.

Below are some suggestion to connect more to your sweet Cancer Moon sign, and make the most of its intuitive expression…

:: ACTIVE LISTENING ::
The Cancer Moon sign has a tendency to feel first when engaging with others. This can go badly if you what you intuitively pick up about someone is incorrect, which can shape the relationship in the wrong direction. You can get your feelings hurt because you feel you know what they “really meant.” But assumption is really dangerous, since it can lead to un-founded resentment which can turn into distance.

This can be easily avoided if you work on listening to what they are actually saying, rather than simply feeling into their energy. If assumption-based feelings occur take the time to ask questions to gain further insight. Use your nurturing nature to engage in a more open conversation. This way you aren’t incorrectly just reading (or rather feeling) between the lines.

:: SANCTUARY ::
All Cancer Moon signs need a place to retreat. They need a space to feel safe and secure where they can let all of their emotions out without judgement. This doesn’t need to be an entire home or apartment either. It could be one room, or even a space within a room. Maybe a meditation pillow with a small altar if this practice speaks to you.

It could also be a certain location, such as your favorite park or beach. For some it could be a place from your childhood. The Cancer Moon sign can be very nostalgic so places that awaken happy memories really warm your heart.

:: NURTURE ::
Find something to nurture in your life that isn’t another person. The need to express care is innate, but you can get burned out if this means attracting energy vampires. Needy people love the sweet lunar crab, for you will always try to help solve the problems they should be dealing with on their own. And so learn to be selective.

Finding a hobby that will reward your nurturing with feelings of worth and accomplishment is such a good idea. Think gardening, or cooking, working with animals, or becoming a beekeeper. What do you want to be good at that requires time, nurturance and patience? Find something that makes your heart feel good and you will bring some emotional balance back into your life.

:: INTUITIVE PROTECTION ::
Being that you are such an intuitive, maybe even psychically gifted person, you need to work on protecting your energy. Otherwise it’s likely people will energetically take from you until you are totally drained. This can make you feel vulnerable in an unhealthy way.

Begin by taking time each morning to visualize yourself being cleansed by white healing light. Just a simple shower before (or even during!) your regular shower. Then imagine a bubble of light surrounding you, which people can only enter into when invited by you. It can be any color that you love.

These are your mental and energetic guards for the day ahead. You could also burn some sage in your space before your start your day or make a healing spray with essential oils to mist yourself with. Anything that  creates an energetic boundary between you and the world will help.

Also, be present to when you feel depleted. What was going on? Who were you around? Sometimes the best defense is creating literal space between you and the people or situations that take advantage of you.

Above all, may you find comfort in your innate ability to be vulnerable—and use it to show others the strength in letting down our guard in a world that needs it more than ever before.

CURIOUS COMMUNICATOR: WORK WITH A GEMINI MOON SIGN

Tips and practices to help understand and work with your Gemini Moon sign from Ash Bonelli. Artwork: Prince Lauder via Behance.net

The Moon represents what we need in life to feel safe, secure, and how we need to be nurtured, and understanding your Moon’s requirements can help you connect deeper to your more private self. When you have a bad day or are just feeling “off” you want to tap into your Moon. She is the cosmic mother and learning more about the sign where she sits in your birth chart, can reveal so much about your internal landscape.

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The Gemini Moon sign is forever curious. She wants to learn about anything and everything. This Moon loves to engage and communicate, since Gemini is a mutable air sign that needs mental stimulation and variety. When things become stagnant the restless demons set in—and so keeping things moving in life is key.

Depending on the rest of your chart, these behaviors/tendencies may express in a need to always have light and breezy conversations. You enjoy gathering data, processing it and then moving on to the next interesting person, subject or experience. This flitting about keeps things upbeat and interesting yet can have a downside.

The Gemini Moon sign is learning to also go deep. It’s about finding some balance between superficial experiences and really getting to know yourself and others on a more intimate level. Because of this Moon’s voracious appetite for new information, you can come across fickle or insincere if this expression is out of balance.

This analytical moon usually symbolizes a gifted speaker, writer or teacher. Since you are always gathering information you put it to good use by sharing it with others, and this exchange of thoughts, ideas and insights can be quite soothing for you. The give and take is the thrill that propels you forward to find more.

This is a delightful quality that makes you fun to chat with, as well as being able to turn a negative emotional situation into a happier one. The Gemini Moon sign is clever and witty, so having an innate emotional tie to these abilities can bring true fulfillment through expression.

Just make sure to keep the input and output in check or you will never be able to get to your deeper self. There can be an avoidance of darker undercurrents if you don’t allow yourself time to really feel your feelings, which may mean missing out on the beauty of vulnerability.

Below are some suggestions to bring some balance back to your energetic moon as well as ways to emphasize it. These are meant to empower and bolster your emotional wellbeing to be at your best!

:: FOCUS ::
Zero in on a project that you have to stay committed to—anything that will require you to stick to it long enough to actually become proficient at it. Since Gemini is placed in the linguistic camp you could learn a new language. Mercury being Gemini’s ruler is associated with dexterity so you could learn to play an instrument. The other benefit of this for you emotionally, is that once you’ve mastered this new interest you then get to share it, creates a beautiful cyclical effect for your heart, and your Gemini Moon sign.

:: BREATHWORK ::
Learning to control your responses in more hectic situations could be very healing—and one way is with the simple art of breathing. Try practicing the 2:1 ratio breath, in which increasing the length of your exhalation helps to relax your parasympathetic nervous system. Start by breathing through the nose in your natural way without counting. Then after a few rounds begin to breath in for a count of two, and exhaling for four. Work your way up to deeper breaths from there, and try doing 10 rounds the next time you begin feeling the frazzled.

:: MINDFULNESS ::
In the simplest terms, this simply means being aware and in the present moment without judgement—actually quite hard, since the Gemini Moon sign is often stuck between wondering what the future holds and dwelling on the past. Finding a meditation practice that works for you is key, and if sitting still is just too much for you try doing a walking meditation, which will burn up any restlessness through mindful movement. You could also try Qi Gong—which covers practices from the gentle Tai Chi to the more fierce option, Kung Fu. Potentially a healing double whammy, helping you to focus and be more in the moment while still satisfying the need to learn and grow.

SENSUAL AWAKENING: WORK WITH YOUR TAURUS MOON SIGN

Understand your Taurus Moon sign and maximize your self-care practice to be the best YOU, says Ash Bonelli. Artwork: Prince Lauder via Behance.net

The Taurus Moon sign is the symbol of sensuality. The full embrace of our five senses. Our moon sign symbolizes our heart, our deepest needs, our ideal environment, as well as the things in life that make us feel secure, safe and loved. We feed our moon and our moon feeds us. Understanding this side of yourself can help you feel more balanced, stable and centered.

The moon is considered to be exalted in Taurus—meaning the moon loves this sign and can operate quite well here. She gets to express her desire for security through earthy realms that satisfy our more human needs. As such, if you have a Taurus Moon sign, you like to stop and smell the roses and have the ability to feel comforted by the simple joys of life.

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The Taurus Moon sign also needs and seeks out stability in all areas of life. It can be quite unnerving to you if you find yourself in a whirlpool of whipping emotions. Even if it doesn’t have to do with you in particular, just being around energy like that can take you off-kilter. You like to operate in a way that feels safe and comfortable.

You usually don’t rush into emotional situations without careful thought or even planning. The Taurus Moon sign likes to see what organically develops and prefers to allow time and space for trust to blossom. If you find yourself being forced into a situation that you feel you are not ready for, then those around you should get ready for some serious stubborn responses. This moon will emotionally resist just to prove a point because moving too quickly can threaten the sensitive heart of a Taurus Moon sign.

This moon can also be prone to overindulgence for pleasure’s sake or external soothing—such as emotional eating. A real love of healing touch, delicious tastes, and lovely landscapes are most certainly not a bad thing. It only gets unhealthy when you begin to use sensual pleasure as a band-aid. The Taurus Moon sign is stellar at finding pleasure in simply being human, but the real beauty is to enjoy it without getting totally lost in it.

:: CREATE INNER STABILITY ::
Accountability. Sudden change can be psychically toxic to this moon, so making your own plans and sticking to them helps keep your core more centered. Often not so simple in our fast-paced, always shifting world. Work on creating some habitual patterns with intent. For example, head to the market every Sunday to buy yourself fresh flowers for the week. You get the dependability of your routine and the sensual pleasure of the flowers themselves. Start an exercise regime that feels good to your body and stick to the goals you set. The more you can rely on yourself, the more your emotional body will open up to the vacillating currents of life.

:: CALM BEFORE THE STORM ::
Try this mini meditation when life does throw you some curveballs. The Taurus Moon sign doesn’t enjoy change, since they work hard to develop stable systems that work for them. Yet we all know that life moves to its own beat. When you find yourself freaking out, take the time to stop and do some deep breathing. Then really ask yourself, “Is my immediate reaction equal to the outcome of the change in front of me?”

We live in such a high-stress society that our nervous systems are always in “go” mode, making us more susceptible to react rather than respond. And for the sweet and stable lunar Taurus it can be even more difficult. We first breathe to balance the body, and then we create open space to allow the inner dialogue to occur.

:: MANTRA ::
“I am collected regardless of external uncertainty.”

:: SENSUAL BALANCE :: 
Seek out the pleasures in life without totally leaning on them for emotional stability. Ice-cream will eventually let you down. Sad, but true. Especially if you’re one those people that beats yourself up after eating a whole tub. Our bodies are amazing machines, and deserve to be taken care of. If you find yourself returning too often to something that’s not the most healthy option, take time to consider why. What are you trying to avoid, hide or ignore?

If you can’t dig deep enough to scoop up the root consider exploring this with a therapist.  I’ve seen many clients with this moon placement who use food in particular as a form of comfort, yet secretly hate this about themselves. I’ve even seen the opposite occur, where the denial of pleasure becomes a form of stability. Either way, these are vicious cycles that are usually signals that some psyche work needs addressing. It’s nothing to be ashamed of—everybody is going through something, and we are on this earth to help each other through it.

:: EARTHLY DELIGHTS :: 
This is a creative moon that needs to feel connected to its earthy roots. Think gardening, getting your hands dirty, and really feeling the earth. As well as working with pottery, clay, sculpture, mixed media, paper mache, etc, it’s about creating something that feels good in your hands and takes time to master. Go for long walks outdoors, collect beautiful flowers that you can press later for safe keeping, or go to artistic events that inspire you.

:: MOVEMENT :: 
The Taurus Moon sign is what’s called in astro language “fixed,” which can be embodied by traits such as being stubborn, lethargic or possibly lazy. Keep in mind that Venus rules Taurus, and she really does enjoy lying about being fed grapes from time to time. With that said, the body needs a fair amount of movement. Try vinyasa yoga, ashtanga yoga or a barre class, all practices that work through repetitive motions, allowing for heat and stability to build. A double whammy for you too, because you get the consistency of a set routine while allowing for more expansion in your head and your heart.