Welcome to our Dreamcast series, where we explore how the cosmos—with all of its infinite possibilities—can affect your bedtime vibes. You bring your curiosity. We’ll bring you the stars.

When most people look at their horoscope, they check their sun sign (the zodiac sign associated with the month they were born). Your sun sign generally reflects your fundamental qualities and how others see you. But I’ve found that looking at your moon sign can be an even better indication of how you’re going to feel.

Your moon sign can be defined as who you are when you’re alone. The moon only takes a month to travel through all 12 signs of the zodiac, changing every 2 ½ days, making it a more “of-the-moment” guide for our daily lives than the sun. The sun takes an entire year to get from Aries to Pisces, changing signs roughly once a month. Who feels the same way all month long? That’s why I suggest following your moon sign. There’s a lot to pay attention to there, as well (more on that next month!). Let’s review how a few celestial bodies rule over various aspects of our lives and personalities.

Sun, moon, and inner planets

  • Sun: Your fundamental qualities and public persona
  • Moon: Who you are when you’re by yourself
  • Venus: What you love and value in life
  • Mercury: How you communicate and connect
  • Mars: Your actions and how you go about them

Outer planets

  • Jupiter: Your luck, wisdom, and personal growth
  • Saturn: Your work ethic, discipline, and life strategy
  • Neptune: Your deepest intuition and dreams
  • Uranus: Your creativity and ingenuity
  • Pluto: Your secret self and inner motivation

The Moon Vs. Neptune

Many, if not most, astrologers believe that the planet Neptune holds the most sway over sleep and dreams. The thing is, the planet Neptune is WAY out there. Literally. It’s not close to Earth at all and takes 14 years to change position in its orbit around the sun! It moved into Pisces in 2011 and won’t move into Aries for its next 14-year stretch until 2026, meaning that entire generations might feel its influence in similar ways.

The moon might not be as mysterious or glamorous as Neptune, but it’s the astrological ruler of the things that are part of our daily regimen, among other things. This includes our daily habits and rituals: Eating, breathing, and sleeping, for example. These basic needs are ones we share with animals, who are also affected by the moon but without the benefit of astrology.

Getting To Know Your Moon Sign

Our moon signs can give us more detailed and personalized information than our sun signs. Think of it this way: If your sun sign describes who you are in your daily life, the moon describes who you are in the dark. Who you are when you’re alone, sleeping in your bed, wrapped in your unconsciousness.

The moon is the Earth’s closest celestial friend, and it affects our planet in so many basic ways. It causes the salt water in the oceans to swell or ebb; it makes the salt water in our bodies swell or ebb as well; it reflects the sun, dimming or illuminating the night sky with its relative position to the Earth.

The moon is the Earth’s closest celestial friend, and it affects our planet in so many basic ways. It causes the salt water in the oceans to swell or ebb; it makes the salt water in our bodies swell or ebb as well; it reflects the sun, dimming or illuminating the night sky with its relative position to the Earth.

Sleep On It

Here’s what you can do: Figure out your moon sign using an online tool, like the one at Cafe Astrology. Get to know it. After you’ve checked out your sun sign horoscope, read your moon sign. Download an app, like Deluxe Moon, that tells you the moon’s phases and position in the zodiac each night, and start paying attention to how the moon’s changes impact your nighttime habits. You’ll probably notice some patterns and cycles. Once you’re more familiar with how the moon impacts you, try to start making adjustments ahead of time, such as going to bed earlier, taking a bath before bed, beefing up your sleep hygiene (meaning, no screens in the bedroom), or maybe even wearing an eye mask to shut out the full moon’s glare.

We’re not trying to predict the future here. Astrology is more like a map than an operating manual; when we use it well, it can describe patterns way better than it predicts outcomes. What we can learn from the sky above us is almost limitless, so no one will blame you for feeling overwhelmed. Sleep on it. You might be surprised by what you learn.

Ruby Locke is a Cancer sun/Virgo moon who spends a lot of time standing barefoot in her yard, gazing at the stars over New England. She’s studied astrology and tarot for many years, but has only just realized how much more there is to learn.

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