Aquarius Moon: Out of Place is Where They’re at Home

Dear Friend and Reader:

The Aquarius Moon often presents a puzzle to astrologers. The Moon is a cyclical creature, constantly changing. Aquarius is a fixed sign and tends to crystallize patterns. The Moon is inherently emotional and Aquarius is usually described as being rational and intellectual. Sometimes annoyingly so.

Mohammad Ali (then known as Cassius Clay) fighting underwater in 1961 at age 19, in a Sports Illustrated photo shoot. Photo by Flip Schule.

The Moon is maternal and we hardly think of Aquarius as being particularly cozy this way. Aquarius is ruled by Saturn (in the modern age, affiliated with Uranus). The Moon rules the sign Cancer, which is about as different from Aquarius as you can get.

And different is what you get. These people are fiercely independent, and will always make up their own minds. Even if they agree with you about something 100%, you can be sure they reached their conclusion their own way.

This is the Moon for whom emotions must make sense, which is a perfectly absurd idea that makes sense to them.

Some astrologers will tell you it’s a terrible lunar placement and others will tell you it’s a great one. Whatever the case, there’s something distinctly Aquarian about the Aquarius Moon — you can see it and feel it in these natives. It brings out different properties than the Sun in this sign; it’s a softer, more laid back and more receptive side of Aquarius.

This Moon has an easygoing quality that can conceal its depth of commitment. It’s difficult to tell where you stand with an Aquarius Moon person, though it’s never useful to underestimate them or to assume they don’t care. They just have unusual ways of showing it. And they are not given to the usual sentimentality that many people mistake for sincerity.

Of all the places the Moon can be, Aquarius is the one that I think, “Of course that’s where it is” when I see it in a chart. There is something odd that they all have in common, and you cannot really say what it is. One distinctive thing about them is that they have a way of giving everyone else permission to be who they are.

My own Moon is in Aquarius, and The New York Times once wrote of me, “In the tradition of investigative reporters, Mr. Coppolino draws strength from being disliked.”

Thriving on Being Out of Place

As we will see from the many examples that follow, this Moon placement has the unusual quality of thriving on being out of place. Many people feel odd or uncomfortable self-conscious in social situations. Yet Aquarius Moon natives recognize this as part of the human condition and tend to be gifted at adapting to being places they may not belong or for which they’re not suited.

My own Moon is in Aquarius, and The New York Times once wrote of me, “In the tradition of investigative reporters, Mr. Coppolino draws strength from being disliked.”

Those with this lunar placement are continuously in unfamiliar emotional territory, compelled to adapt, synthesize and create the world they need as a basic necessity of living. This adaptability is the essential difference between the Aquarius Moon and Aquarius Sun or rising.

The Moon is cyclical in nature, and more flexible than the other placements. It brings out the mutable side of the fixed sign Aquarius. It’s also more receptive than the Sun, as the Moon is visible only by reflected light. The Sun shines steadily, and stays at the center of the solar system. The Moon orbits and moves through its phases rapidly.

There is one other essential difference between Aquarius Moon and other placements in this sign. It has the ability to detach from its emotions without losing contact with them. The equation is a little like: “This is me, and this is how I feel. They are different things.”

The Moon is inherently emotional, though Aquarius allows a measure of emotional objectivity rather than the usual drowning in one’s own currents.

“Guitar groups are on their way out, Mr. Epstein,” said Dick Rowe of Decca Records when he opted not to sign the Beatles in 1962. But Mr. Epstein was not having it. He knew better, because he had a sense of the public rather than a business prejudice.

Brian Epstein, manager of the Beatles, and John Lennon, co-founder of the Beatles, both had their lunar placement in Aquarius. And no, guitar bands were not on their way out.

A Pioneering Spirit

This Moon placement seems to come with a certain kind of pioneering spirit. For a fine example, Brian Epstein, the first manager of the Beatles, the man who them on the map, had an Aquarius Moon. It required honoring both vision and practicality, and a feeling for exactly what the world was ready for.

“Guitar groups are on their way out, Mr. Epstein,” said Dick Rowe of Decca Records when he opted not to sign the Beatles in 1962. But Mr. Epstein was not having it. He knew better, because he had a sense of the public rather than a business prejudice.

The world’s most loveable robot was invented by someone with his Moon in Aquarius. R2 probably had it too.

George Lucas innovated a new genre of science fiction and created a robots that seem as warm and loving as anyone’s dog or friend — R2-D2 and C3PO — has an Aquarius Moon. Star Wars was the laughingstock of science fiction fans before it came out. It was supposed to be a flop.

Second, Lucas does more than make movies. He founded Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), which revolutionized special effects. And it moved a massive part of Hollywood’s business to northern California, creating a parallel movie industry.

Speaking of science fiction, its very inventor, H.G. Wells (The Time Machine), and his distant cousin and dharma heir, Orson Welles (producer of the radio classic War of the Worlds), both have moons in this sign. Wells wrote the novella on which Welles founded his career.

There is something distinctly futuristic about these people, like you’re friends with a character from a science fiction novel. The are able to sense the present becoming the future. There is also the ability to resonate with the public and pick up on trends before they manifest.

What is interesting is that their characters and ideas can become more famous then they are, whether it’s the robots that Lucas created, or the band Brian Epstein represented. As for Wells and Welles, their ideas and achievements are more famous than they are. This is not the Leo Moon, where one must be visible, well-loved and well-known; Aquarius Moon natives do fine working behind the scenes, and often thrive there.

Richard Nixon had his Moon in Aquarius and also had plenty of time to hate, but he is an example of how even someone so diabolical could be appreciated for his humanity.

Diana, Princess of Wales. She had nothing in commons with the royal family she married into. But she could handle it. Photo by Torsten Blackwood.

A Humanitarian Streak

But it happens that they end visiting your home through TV, and they make an impression. Consider the late Diana, Princess of Wales or John Lennon. Here are two of the best known names in Western culture, recognized as much as anything for their basic humanity. As for Diana, think of how different she was from the royal family she married into. Yet in that role, she was a shining star, loved most for her down-to-earth humanity.

There’s a need to be human despite being famous, and that need is obviously driven by a feeling of being so different than everyone else. They often possess an inherent sense of equality with their fellow humans.

Pres. Nixon speaking with protesters at the Lincoln Memorial on May 9, 1970, just days after the Kent State massacre. This took some guts and originality.

John Lennon did is best to live like any other New Yorker. With Diana, Lennon shared a propensity for getting involved with social causes; they both had the common touch. To most people, social causes are abstractions. John and Yoko’s “Bed Ins” were humorously Aquarian (and so too is Ono, who with her Aquarius Sun, is an abstract artist).

To Aquarians, abstractions are real, so there’s no conflict there. They can conceive of needs that most people cannot imagine. They are good at identifying needs that go beyond themselves.

They can be a little cool, a little (or a lot) remote at times, but consistently a friend, and even a friend to their enemies. They can go a long time before they take insults personally, though eventually, that quality gives out. This is the Moon with no time to hate. It’s better to just move on.

Richard Nixon had his Moon in Aquarius and also had plenty of time to hate, but he is an example of how even someone so diabolical could be appreciated for his humanity. Nixon to the Lincoln Memorial at around 5 am on May 9, 1970 and spoke with anti-Vietnam protestors for two hours. This was four days after the Kent State massacre, so you can be sure this took some guts. He later recalled that he had “never seen the Secret Service quite so petrified with apprehension.”

This is the perfect example of the Aquarius Moon. So too is Muhammad Ali, one of the world’s most famous protesters against the Vietnam War. “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong,” he famously said, explaining why he didn’t want to kill them.

There is something mental about this Moon, which is why some astrologers are prejudiced against it and claim it’s shallow. But what it may lack in gushing emotion it makes up for in ideas.

Woody Allen and Diane Keaton in a scene from “Sleeper,” 1973. Both have their Moon in Aquarius.

Friendly or Dispassionate?

Are they friendly or dispassionate? Perhaps both, or seemingly so. One needs to be a little dispassionate to be a true friend; one must not get too involved. Their apparent lack of passion can drive the people who want them to be passionate a little nuts. Nuts is contagious; they are all a little or a lot neurotic, but you love them anyway.

Both Diane Keaton and Woody Allen have Aquarius Moons. These two people — are they characters or are they real? — exemplify New York City-style mashugana like the professionals they are, popping Valium to stay calm and navigating the mental loops of relationships for all to see. “I awoke on Friday and because the universe is expanding it took me longer than usual to find my robe,” Woody Allen said in an interview once, a perfectly abstract thing to say.

Infielder Jackie Robinson in his Brooklyn Dodgers uniform.

Their comedy is social satire. They get the joke of how stupid society is, with all its rules, expectations and appearances. They understand the rules and cannot help but break them. After all, what else are rules for? To an Aquarian that is.

There is something mental about this Moon, which is why some astrologers are prejudiced against it and claim it’s shallow. But what it may lack in gushing emotion it makes up for in ideas.

Both Alfred Nobel and Joseph Pulitzer, each idea men in their own right whose names are now attached to prizes which reward society’s most daring journalists, creators and scientists, were of the Aquarian moon. It was Pulitzer, a newspaper publisher, who first called for the university-level training of journalists.

When NASA put the first woman in space, Sally Ride, it was someone with an Aquarius Moon. Ditto for the first black baseball player to step up to the plate, Jackie Robinson (talk about being out of place, as the world’s first black Major League Baseball player).

How does this work? My take is that the Moon is so antithetical to Aquarius that it functions chirotically — like Chiron, using sand to create the pearl in the oyster. This Moon seems agitated or irritated and must go to great extents to fit in at all; therefore it can also withstand the long struggles that pioneers face, and the mixed reviews they always wind up getting. They are already attuned to a degree of emotional alienation, so the discomfort of both bold achievement and of unpopularity is not too difficult for their natures to endure.

Gary Gilmore, shown in white, became the symbol for how stupid the death penalty is. In this photo, His last words, “Let’s do it,” were appropriated by Nike in their slogan, “Just do it” — one of the most popular advertising taglines in history.

Complex Emotional Natures

Their emotional natures are exceedingly complex, and mingled with all kinds of ideas about themselves. These are not simple people, no matter what you do. Emotional complexity is far more natural to them than it is to most other moons. This is one reason why they make such good friends. Everyone else’s problems seem simpler than their own.

The dark side of the Aquarius moon appears in the likes of David Koresh, Charles Manson and Gary Gillmore. Koresh and Manson, for their part, exemplify the group aspect of this moon that can have a cultish quality. But there is still something of their humanity that shines through these people.

Gillmore, a confessed double-murderer who became the first person executed after the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty, became the truly human symbol for how stupid the death penalty is (in part thanks to Norman Mailer, who has an Aquarius Sun).

Even Charles Manson came across equal pars living person and monster. Interesting that both Koresh and Manson had aspirations to being rock stars, perhaps the ultimate career experience for this Moon (Linda Ronstadt and Neil Young being two examples).

Neil Young is a strange guy, and that’s why we love him.

Boring and Stuck People are Insufferable to Them

Neil’s lyrics give us some insight into the complexity of this Moon. In one song, he talks about how all those lovers are only passing through you in the end. In another, he ponders, “How I lost my friends, I still don’t understand.” He continues:

They were lost in rock formations
Or became park bench mutations
On the sidewalks and in the stations
They were waiting, waiting.

So I got bored and left them there,
They were just deadweight to me
Better down the road without that load.

What Neil seems to be saying is that his friends crystallized and become burdens — and that they were spending their lives waiting for something to happen. And being stuck with boring people is the worst possible fate for the Moon in Aquarius.

Though Aquarius itself may be about crystallization, the Moon is always changing and it can’t take one pattern of living for very long. So it’s always on the move, emotionally and mentally, constantly reinventing itself, at least in a healthy specimen. The chart’s aspects, of course, modify and describe the details.

They need a lot of people around them, and a constant supply of fresh faces and minds, preferably in small groups. That keeps things interesting. But they are usually among the most interesting people they know, so where does that leave them?

Linda Ronstadt has her Moon in Aquarius. How can anyone be that adorable?

Eccentric and Detached Mothers

Aquarius Moon is the original brotherly lover. Their detachment — seen in both men and women — gives them the ability to be both lover and friend, either or both at the same time. Being friends with them after a romantic relationship has ended is often easy because they are generally not hung up on the past, and they recognize the necessity of friendship inherent in any sexual pairing even after the sexual dimension has changed.

Alternately, they can let people pass through them and move on.

As the Moon always describes mother to some degree, this is worth a comment. What about mom led them to be this way?

They all have eccentric mothers, many of whom were a little detached and may themselves have “moved on.” Their moms can have that same removed quality most people see in them. But removed or not, there is always something odd about mom.

Either she is not there, or she’s more like an aunt, or she’s more like a friend than a parent, or she’s just kinda weird. And that in turn creates a sense of safety around being different.

Does their mom ever really know them? Can anyone know them truly? Do they know themselves? They may seem to, but none are really so certain; that would be boring — and they want interesting. Gaining self-knowledge is a lifelong quest, and the driving force behind everything else they set out to achieve.


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