Moon Sign Series: Episode 0—What is Moon Sign?

Basic Information About the Moon

The Moon is the only natural satellite of the Earth.

Amongst the celestial bodies commonly used in Western astrology, such as the Moon, Sun, Mars, Venus or Saturn, the Moon is the closest to the Earth and, at the slow rate of about an inch each year, it is gradually moving away from our planet.

In addition, the distance between the Moon and Earth is an average of 238,855 miles or 384,400 kilometres, equivalent to 30 Earths. 

Compared to the Earth, the Moon is relatively small, with its radius being about 1,080 miles (1,740 kilometres), which is less than a third of the width of the Earth, and its mass is 8.1 x 10^19 tons, which is only a bit more than one percent of Earth’s.

As the gravity of the surface of the Moon is as small as about 17% of Earth’s, astronauts look as if they were delightfully skipping along in footage of moonwalks.

The temperature on the Moon differs significantly, depending on the degree to which it receives sunlight. In fact, it ranges from 260 degrees Fahrenheit (127 degrees Celsius) when in full Sun and an extreme low of -280 degrees Fahrenheit (-173 degrees Celsius) when it is in complete darkness.

The Moon rotates around the Earth, making a complete orbit in an average of 27 days (27 days, 7 hours, 43 minutes, 11.6 seconds). This period is called the lunar sidereal month, and the word sidereal comes from the Latin sidereus, meaning shining, star or starry.

This is because the fixed stars are used to define the lunar sidereal month; this is a period where the Moon moves against the background of the fixed stars and returns to the same point relative to the stars as seen from the Earth.

The Moon isn’t the only one making moves, though. Because the Earth also moves, rotating around the Sun, as the Moon rotates around the Earth, it takes about 29.5 days (29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, 2.9 seconds to be exact) from a new moon to the next new Moon as seen from the Earth. 

This period is known as the lunar synodic month, and the word synodic derives from the Greek sundos, which means ‘copulation’. According to Robert A. Garfinkle, who is the author of ‘Luna Cognita: A Comprehensive Observer’s Handbook of the Known Moon‘, the ancient Greeks believed that the Sun and Moon conjoin each new Moon and give birth to a new Moon.

The lunar synodic month is also called the lunation, and Western astrologer Dane Rudhyar developed the idea of ‘lunation birthday’ in the 1940s, where people are classified into eight personality types according to the lunation they were born under. In modern Western astrology, lunation is still used to interpret an individual’s personality and life.

In Western astrology, the celestial bodies such as the Moon, Sun, Jupiter or Mercury are regarded to move between each of the 12 zodiac signs at their own speed. The Moon moves much more quickly than other bodies, staying in one sign only for two to two and a half days.

The Sun, for example, stays in one sign for about one month, making a complete journey through the 12 signs in about one year, while Jupiter remains in one sign for about one year, taking about 12 years to go through all the signs. As such, in terms of Moon signs, as the Moon moves quickly, it is possible for two people born only a few hours apart to have different Moon signs.

What is a Moon Sign?

When we discuss our Zodiac signs with friends, such as saying, ‘I’m an Aquarius’, we are usually referring to our Sun sign. The Sun sign is the sign which the Sun was in when you were born on your horoscope.

However, our Moon sign is the sign which the Moon was in when you were born on your horoscope. Moon signs usually differ from Sun signs, although they sometimes overlap.

We normally know our Sun sign because the Sun sign has a fixed period; for example, for Taurus, it’s those born between 20th April (or 21st April, depending on where you were born) and 20th (or 21st) May. It’s simple to figure out our Sun sign. However, as the Moon sign does not have the same regularity, we need to look it up to find our own individual sign.

If you have your natal horoscope, you can find out your Moon sign by checking the sign which the Moon is in.

However, as discussed below, if you don’t know your birth time, there’s a possibility that the Moon sign on your horoscope is different from the actual Moon sign, which is the sign of your actual birth time.

If you don’t have your natal horoscope, there are many websites where you can manually calculate your Moon sign.

In this article, we will learn about how to calculate your Moon sign on AstroStyle, which is a site run by AstroTwins. The AstroTwins’ written work regularly appears in Elle magazine. If you already know your Moon sign, go to ‘What The Moon Sign Represents’ below.

How to Manually Calculate Your Moon Sign

(1) Visit the AstroStyle website.

(2) In the Moon Sign Calculator, enter your date of birth, time of birth and the city where you were born. If you don’t know your birth time, check ‘unknown time’.

(3) Then, all you have to do is click ‘Calculate’.

Your results will be generated, revealing your Moon sign.

The above example is the Moon sign of Queen Elizabeth II. As shown in ‘Sign’, her Moon sign is Leo, and the information inside the parentheses indicates what degrees and minutes the Moon was in Leo. 

Can We Know Our Moon Sign Without an Accurate Birth Time?

As I wrote in the ‘Basic information about the Moon’ section of this article, many babies were born only a few hours apart and they can all have different Moon signs. This is because the Moon moves so quickly.

In other words, it may not be possible to determine our actual Moon sign unless we know our birth time.

Some moon sign calculators use the time of 12:00 (noon) of your birthday if you don’t know your birth time.

However, using 12:00 as someone’s birth time can affect their Moon sign.

Suppose you don’t know your birth time, so you calculate your Moon sign with your birth time as noon on your birthday, and the calculation turns out to be the result of Leo. Let’s say your actual birth time was at 14:00. 

If the Moon was in Leo both at 12:00 and 14:00 on your birthday, you have calculated your actual Moon sign. However, if the Moon had moved from Leo to the next sign of Virgo at 13:30 on that day, your Moon sign is actually Virgo.

This is why putting ‘noon’ isn’t an accurate way to determine your actual Moon sign.

So, what can we do if we don’t know our birth time then?

Knowing our birth time is the best way to find out our actual Moon sign, but this can be quite a hassle as many of us do not know the exact time of our birth. However, let’s suppose you don’t know your birth time, so you calculate your Moon sign with your birth time as noon on your birthday.

If you are not convinced by the characteristics of the Moon sign you got from the calculation, then you can use the process of elimination to determine your likely Moon sign.

In this case, you can look at the characteristics of the two signs:

(1) the Moon sign, which is prior to the Moon sign you got from the calculation, and

(2) the next Moon sign.

Which of these two moon signs resonate with you the most?

Either way, only the three signs (the calculated sign, the sign prior to it, or the sign following it) have the possibility of being your actual Moon sign. So, taking a hard look at each and figuring out which you identify with most can help you figure out your true Moon sign.

For example, let’s say your calculated Moon sign is Capricorn, but the characteristics of lunar Capricornian do not apply to you at all. You can look at the characteristics of lunar Sagittarian, which is the prior sign to Capricorn, and those of lunar Aquarian, which is the next sign to Capricorn.

If you find that the characteristics of a lunar Sagittarian resonate with you better, you can adopt Sagittarius as your actual Moon sign instead of Capricorn.

Alternatively, if you know the degree and minute of the moon at noon on your birthday, you can narrow the number of your possible Moon signs to two, not three.

You could also identify your accurate Moon sign with the degree and minute of the Moon at noon on your birthday, even if you don’t know your birth time.

If you calculate your Moon sign at AstroStyle, as described above, the degree and minute of the Moon are shown in the parenthesis after your Moon sign.

In the example below, where I’ve calculated Queen Elizabeth II’s Moon sign with her birth time as noon, the degree and minute of the moon are 16°42’.

On the horoscope, the Moon moves on average 0.5° per hour, or 6° in 12 hours, and every sign encompasses 30°.

So, if the moon’s degree at noon on your birthday plus 6° exceeds 30°, the moon had moved from one sign to the next sign on that day (i.e., the Moon was in two signs, so there are two possible Moon signs).

Conversely, if the Moon’s degree at noon on your birthday minus 6° is below 0°, it indicates that the Moon was positioned in the prior sign you got from the calculation at some time that day (i.e., there are still two possible Moon signs here).

If adding 6° to the moon’s degree at noon does not bring it above 30° and subtracting 6° does not bring it below 0° either, it means that the Moon stayed in the same sign all day on your birthday. 

In this case, you can identify your accurate Moon sign even if you calculate your Moon sign with your birth time as noon on your birthday because you don’t know your birth time.

In the example above, the Moon was at 16°42’ in Leo. As adding 6° to 16°42’ does not exceed 30°, and subtracting 6° does not fall below 0° either, Queen’s Moon sign is Leo anyway, irrespective of her birth time.

However, this is not the case in the example below.

The image above is the Moon sign calculated based on Jeff Bezos’ birth information.

However, while his birth date and place of birth are publicly available, his birth time is unknown, so I’ve calculated his Moon sign with his birth time as noon.

As shown in the image, the Moon sign is Sagittarius and the degree and the minute of the Moon are 28°22’. So, when we add 6°, it exceeds 30°.

The next sign after Sagittarius is Capricorn, which means the Moon had moved from Sagittarius to Capricorn on this day.

His moon sign is either Sagittarius or Capricorn.

The only way to identify the exact Moon sign is to know his birth time.

Or, as I wrote above, if it is difficult to know our birth time, we can determine our likely Moon sign using the process of elimination.

What The Moon Sign Represents

In Western astrology, while the Sun represents our identity, outer persona and the basic purpose of life, the Moon symbolises our emotions, reactions and inner world. The Moon is regarded as ruling our emotions, how they change and our changing mannerisms, but it’s not only the Moon that represents emotions. 

According to Sasha Fenton, a British Astrologer who has published more than 100 books about Western astrology, Tarot, Palmistry, etc., all of the celestial bodies used in Western astrology represent an emotional state in some way or another. For example, the Sun represents joy and happiness, while Mars represents jealousy and hatred.

The Moon, on the other hand, represents emotional security, which is what circumstances and state of being you find comfortable. In addition, it represents emotional needs, which is what we need to feel taken care of, loved and nurtured.

As the Moon also rules our habits and natural and unthinking forms of behaviour, we tend to behave far more like our Moon sign when we are young than our Sun sign. We often develop Sun sign personality traits later in life because the Sun is strongly related to social factors.

According to Western astrology, the sign in which the celestial body is placed shows how the nature of the body is expressed. That is, our Moon sign tells us how the nature of the Moon is expressed in our lives.

As mentioned, the Moon is associated with our emotions and reactions. In addition to these, the Moon is also known to be related to:

Private Self

The Moon represents the innermost, vulnerable part of us. American astrologer Amy Herring writes in her book ‘Astrology of The Moon: An Illuminating Journey Through the Signs and Houses’ that the Moon would be so private that it would be our bedroom or even bedroom closet if we compared various astrological parts to all the rooms in a house.

Women and Mother

The Moon often represents your relationship with women (e.g., your mother, wife or female boss). Although it is often said that the Moon represents mother, it’s not necessarily limited to mother; what the Moon represents includes a mother figure such as a person who had the most responsibility for taking care of you.

The moon sign can indicate what your primary nurturer (this can be your mother, father or someone entirely different) is like as a person, how they influenced you and how you were nurtured by them. In this sense, the Moon is associated with childhood experiences and the mark these left on you.

Home and Family

The Moon rules the home, particularly the kitchen. Your Moon sign can show your degree of interest in the kitchen and the act of cooking.

The Moon can also show your attitude to family life, including your dealing with family and the importance of home life for you.

Voyage and the Sea

The Moon was once thought to vanish into the sea with each new Moon. This notion led to the association between the Moon and the sea and, by extension, travel. Along those same lines, it can also significantly impact our attitude, or preference, toward travel.

After the discovery of Neptune in 1846, the themes related to the sea have been passed over to the rulership of Neptune. However, those who have a horoscope strongly coloured by lunar influence still tend to love to live near water, such as the sea and river. 

As the Moon changes its shape every day and even disappears completely, seen from the Earth from time to time, it symbolises a desire for change and for getting away from things. 

The above are some of the examples of the Moon’s nature. 

The Moon’s nature is manifested through its zodiac sign. For instance, if the Moon is in Aries, its nature is channelled through the Aries filter. Some of its traits include a knack for innovating and pioneering, although it may show less enthusiasm for sustaining ongoing endeavours.

Consequently, the expression of the Moon’s nature is contingent on its zodiac sign placement.


(1) National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). (2022, July 27). Earth’s Moon: in depth.

(2) National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). (2021, May 13). Moon.

(3) Garfinkle, R. A. (2020). Luna Cognita: A Comprehensive Observer’s Handbook of the Known Moon. Springer.

(4) Rudhyar, D. (1967).  Lunation Cycle: A Key to the Understanding of Personality. Aurora Press.

(5) Miller, S. (n. d.). The Moon. Retrieved September 10, 2023, from

(6) Hermes Astrology. (2023). The Big Three in Astrology: Sun – Moon – Ascendant.

(7) Fenton, S. (2015). Sasha Fenton’s Moon Signs (2nd ed.). Stellium Ltd.

(8) Herring, A. (2021). Astrology of the Moon: An Illuminating Journey Through the Signs and Houses. Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd.

(9) Faulkner, C. (2017). The Signs: Decode the Stars, Reframe Your Life. Penguin Random House.