Let’s begin with the larger picture and then we will go through all the characteristics of the Moon. Why it is the mother and why it is the healer.
The larger picture is that the Moon is Prakrati – the created universe – Maya.
Surya is the source of life and the Moon is the created world and the creative universe. Its basic function is to protect and sustain this creation which is sourced by the Sun. The Sun is the source and is where things start from. Then the Moon takes the energy from the source and manifests that creation and sustains, protects and nurtures it.
Origin of creation as mentioned in the RgVeda
“That which is nothing” – it is a void. In the beginning there was nothing. This is one of the first sutras in the RgVeda. This means absolutely nothing – no gunas, no elements, no light, no sound, no color, etc. The gunas were latent in this void or nothingness.
This great void is what is known as the Brahman. This is the fundamental source of the Supreme Being – he is the great void.
Then it happened that Brahman desired to create. Now, there are multiple stories as to why he desired to create. But we will not go into this – but he wished to create. And when he wished to create, the desire itself, was a root guna which was rooted in tamas. And this is what started the mobilization of the three gunas. This was the first attribute of life. And then the actual creative energy and the ability to create and materialize things is rooted in rajas.
This mobilization of gunas caused the separation of the male and female. So the male and the female got separated.
In order to create you need energy – otherwise everything is just latent in the void. Shakti (the latent energy) had to be released for the manifested universe to come back. Shakti, which is Prakrati and the female energy, is moveable and female and had to be released from the void. This act of releasing caused the female to get separated from the male – this was the birth of Prakrati as separate from Purusha (the void and male aspect).
Purusha, the male, is inert and the female, Prakrati, is the shakti or moveable. It was the female energy that created the world. And this is depicted as Goddess Kali – who is a very aggressive goddess who has one of her legs on the corpse of Shiva or Purusha. This is the depiction of Prakrati and Purusha. And Kale, as shakti, has been released from the corpse so that the shakti can dance and create the manifested universe. Kali is representing that energy which is a released energy and she is dancing and she creates the universe. This is one level of understanding it.
And so the delineation happens between the male and the female – the Prakrati and the Purusha – and Prakrati goes ahead to create the manifested world. And one of the first points of manifestation was the sound “Om” and then “Om” itself breaks into “A-U-M”. “Om” represents the manifestation of the “A-U-M”. AUM is the 3 gunas and the 3 shaktis. And from that the 52 letters and then 24 principals of creation. And this includes what we learned in Year 1 – the 33 Devatas, the nakshatras, manas, etc.
It is said that our created universe is just an illusion – this is what the basis of Hindu scripture believes. That Prakrati, or the divine feminine, has created the manifested universe all this is nothing and that the reality is the void, or Brahman. The manifested universe is Maya and the Devine feminine energy that created the manifest world is known as Maha Maya – the Great Illusion. She is both the creator of the illusion and, at the same time, she is the illusion herself.
So why are we discussing all of this? Well, in one of your JIVA years you will learn about this big concept of the Arudha Lagna. This is all about our manifested image in the world – not our real self, but how we come across to the world, to society, to our friends, to our family, etc. So another meaning of Arudha is Maya.
One of the significators of this Maya, or Arudha, is the Moon. So Moon represents the feminine principal. She is the divine mother and because she is the divine mother, she represents Prakrati, or the created world, and therefore, Maya and illusion. She is also the significator for the Arudha Lagna. The Moon represents Gauri and the different aspects of the Divine Mother.
Together, the Sun and the Moon is the Purusha and Prakrati – the masculine and feminine principal – the king and the queen. And down to the literal level – the father and the mother. And then the Sun and the Moon, the father and the mother, join Prajapati and thus represents the tripod of life.
Since the Moon has to do with illusion, the Moon also reflects the mind. This concept that the Moon is the mind is a very fundamental concept. Chandramanasa, Somamanasa – this is constantly mentioned that Chandra or Soma, is manas, the mind.
The mind is not something that is very tangible. The mind has a lot of reflected things going on. And the Moon is all about reflected light. The Sun is the real source of light. And the Moon reflects all this light. So the Moon, the mind, is all about illusion or reflected light or our perception – how we perceive the world. How is our interaction with the world perceived by the mind and reflected on it. If our mind is in a good state, we perceive the world one way.
When Parasara describes the Moon he says the lord of the day is the Sun is the soul of the universe. The mind (Moon) is the friend of the flower which is a poetic way of describing the Moon.
When we talk about the mind, we are talking about the emotions. And when we talk about emotions we are talking about Jala Tattwa. The Moon is all Jala Tattwa – it is complete water.
When the Moon is full, the jala water is sweet. It has complete light. Or when it is exalted or it has dig bala or in the 4th house or in its own sign – then the jala tattwa is very complete.
Now, the chart can also be high in agni or other tattwas based on other things. This will have an effect on the jala tattwa.
Water is all about emotions. That which is fleeting, that which is reflected, love, caring, nurturing, compassion, etc. Hence when we come to the 4th house, the Moon is the natural ruler of the 4th house. In the Kala Purusha, the Moon (Cancer) is the 4th house. And the 4th house represents the home and is a water sign and the Moon even gets dig bala in the 4th house. And what does it do from this house? From this house it provides one with a home, mother, parents, love and compassion and tenderness. And it is the natural house of healing because the mother’s role is to nurture and to care for and to heal a child. We always look to the 4th house for the healing and care so the Moon also represents this.
And as representing healing, the Moon represents medicine or plants and curing. Moon is an important graha for healing and doctors.
And since we are talking about the home, then it also represents the Mother and all of the qualities of the mother – nurturing, caring, loving.
And then we can extent this to our broader family – society, brotherhood. A person with a strong Moon is very good at social work or as a community head. Moon is very good with the public and public relations. A person with a very good Moon can be a public relations manager in a company. Dealing with other people, ensuring that there is harmony, that the family/community is held together.
Social work and sociability – someone who is very social and likes to have people over for dinner – this is a strong Moon.
And the Moon is very important for anyone working with the masses.
Moon rules fame and the public.
This is why we say that someone who has the Moon in the Lagna indicates a person who has the potential for being very famous. By famous, we mean that they will be known amongst a large group of people.
The Moon is the secondary karaka for the 2nd house and is the primary karaka for the 4th house.
Moon rules food – especially milk, rice and all foods that white. And represents feeding – because Mother feeds their children.
People with strong Moon, likes to feed people. It doesn’t mean that they are good cooks, it means that they like to make sure that people are feed and they like to have food in their houses, etc. Friends, family, children – they like to make sure that all these people are feed.
Moon also rules agricultural crops and medicinal plants. Now why is this?
There is this story. Moon is the lord of the night and the Sun rules the day. When you get into divisional charts, you will come across one called the hora. And you have come across the concept of ahora which means day and night. So the 30 degrees of a house is divided in half of 15 degrees each. One is known as Chandra and the other as Surya. The first half of all odd signs are the Sun’s hora and the second half is the Moon’s hora. This is reversed for even signs. So this whole thing about day and night is the division of male and female.
The Moon is suppose to be the lord of the night. She rules over the Nakshatras. The Sun rules over the 9 grahas. One of the names of the Sun is Grahanavapati – lord of the 9 planets. And the Moon is known as Rajnish – lord of the night. She rules the night and she rules the Nakshatras. If you are born in the daytime, then Surya is strong; night time birth, the Chandra is strong.
Now we come to the story part. It is said that these 27 Nakshatras are the 27 beautiful daughters of Daksa Prajapati. The Moon spends approximately a day or so in each Nakshatra house. The very fact that the Moon has 27 wives and spends only one or two days a month with each, tells us that the Moon has the quality of being very, very fleeting in nature. Very changeable – the fastest of all planets – always fluctuating and changeable in its nature. It is momentary and unstable. Hence it is said that the Moon represents instability and is very lustful in nature – he is too interested in lust. This comes from his having so many wives and moving from one to the next. Over sexuality also.
The Moon loved Rohini the most. He would spend more time with Rohini than the other wives. And Rohini, incidentally, is the birth nakshatra of the Moon. Each planet has their own birth nakshatra and for the Moon, it is Rohini. He loved Rohini which made all the other wives very unhappy and they complained to the Moon many, many times. And the Moon said, yes, yes – but didn’t do anything about it. Finally they went to Daksa, their father – we are unhappy because he gives more attention to Rohini. Daksa spoke with the Moon and gave him a warning – you must make all my daughters equally happy. And the Moon said, yes of course, I will not pay extra attention to Rohini anymore. But he proceeded to do exactly what he pleased – spending more time with Rohini. Daksa got extremely angry. Hence Daksa cursed the Moon and said, “You are so proud that you have this glow and light and all shining and attractive. So I am going to curse you so that you will not have such beautiful light anymore. And all this light will go away and you will get pock marks and you will suffer with a deadly disease and no one will be attracted to you anymore. The Moon got very upset and was afflicted by all these things – disease and losing his light. Finally, the Moon went to Shiva’s feet and said, “Please, help me – I am wasting away to nothingness”. So Shiva put the him on his head – this is why you see the Moon on Shiva’s head. Shiva said, I will save you by putting you up on my head. But I cannot save you from the entire curse – he has curse you so some of the curse will come too. But at least I saved you, so you will not lose your light completely. What will happen is that you will wax and wanes. This is why the Moon waxes and wanes.
And then Shiva told the Moon that he would give him a special quality. When you wax and when you shine, you will have a special quality. Since you have been afflicted by disease yourself, you will have the special quality by which you will have the capacity to cure diseases of people. You will create medicines so that when you wax, you will be pulling in some kind of special light, which is soma, into all the plants. And all the plants will have some sort of medicinal qualities. You will be directly responsible for contributing to the medicinal quality of plants. And you will also conserve the longevity and have the capacity to cure and heal living things. This is the special power that Shiva gave the Moon.
The interesting thing is that in Ayurveda, one of the principal scriptures of Ayurveda tells of a story. Brahma is with a congregation of doctors and tells them, “Find me a plant which does not have a medicinal quality.” And all the doctors went to search for such a plant and could not find a single plant without some medicinal quality. And Brahma told them this is because every plant has some medicinal quality. This principal is the root of Ayurveda.
So, we have this whole story about the Moon contributing to the medicinal quality of plants, longevity, disease and healing and curing.
Nakshatras are very important when it comes to longevity. If the Moon is well placed and in a good Nakshatra, it supports health and longevity.
We talk about Moon in the 8th house – this ruins the Moon’s ability to give longevity which is represented by the 8th house – the house of longevity. This is why the Moon in the 8th house is a maraka sthana placement.
Now even if the Moon is full in the 8th house is not good. The only time that a Moon in the 8th house may not be that bad is when the Moon is exalted (Tula Rising) or in its own house of Cancer (Dhanu).
And we have seen the principal work with other planets. If Surya is exalted in the 12th house, then even though the 12th is the maraka sthana, it is still a very good Surya – this gives fantastic results. You have to be careful when you come across these types of situation and how you judge it.
But for example, Jupiter in the 3rd house – this may not be that helpful if Guru is in Dhanu or Meena. Because when Jupiter is in the 3rd house it loses a lot of its “idealism” quality. So, you have to sort through this based on the planet you are looking at.
The Moon is exalted in the Krittika portion of Taurus but is considered exalted in all of Taurus Rashi. Krittika is its highest point of exaltation though. In Rohini, it is exalted and also in its Moolatrikona. And the same is true of debilitation. 3 degrees of Scorpio is the maximum degree of debilitation but the whole sign of Scorpio is the Moon’s sign of debilitation.
In the Kala Purusha, the 4th house represents the breasts, lungs and the heart – the entire chest region. The heart and lungs are placed together in the body – one on top of the other – so it is both of these. And the entire rib cage area and the pulmonary cavity and region is Cancer.
Lungs – water bound disease, tuberculosis, brochontics, lung diseases.
And the Moon rules the mind. It controls all sorts of mental diseases – madness, lunacy, psychological disorders, depression. And rules our emotions – happiness and sadness and the fluctuation of emotions.
And Moon rules other things
Both Moon and Venus rule liquids. But as to the different liquids, water is Moon as is milk. And Moon represents salts and saline. And products of the ocean – and the ocean represents consciousness as well as things that come from the ocean such as shells, etc.
But Moon also rules gemstones and Venus rules jewelry.
Moon rules melody and tunes. If you see Chandra in trines to the Navamsha Lagna – this means that the person will have a great sense of melody. But it also indicates a very emotional person or maternal person – whether male or female. Can be very fond of taking care of people, feeding people – when Moon is strong. Or an ability to cure – a prominent Moon is required for healing.
Moon rules domesticity, happiness, love marriage.
The Moon is also related in an indirect way with Vatta disorders – and therefore, indirectly related to nervous disorders. It can get influenced by vatta and cause Vatta type disease like certain nervous disorders and certain forms of rheumatism.