How your Moon sign affects your intuition

Defining intuition precisely may be as difficult as identifying where it comes from. The word intuition can mean different things to different people, and there are multiple interpretations in the dictionary: Intuition (n): the power or faculty of attaining direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought or inference; immediate apprehension or cognition; quick and ready insight; the ability to understand something immediately without the need for conscious reasoning.

These definitions point to two consistent ideas: that intuition is a kind of knowledge obtained through a process that is outside of mental or logical processes and that any decisions or conclusions arrived at intuitively happen at a rapid speed.

Direct knowledge

It’s evident that many people think intuition happens independently of the mind, especially when you think of some of the terms used to describe it. Many of these terms refer to the body: “gut instinct”, “sixth sense”, “inner voice”. Your heart flutters, your stomach flips, your blood rushes — any or all of these things can happen when experiencing that feeling of sudden knowledge. In one woman’s description of how she experiences intuition, she says it’s like “something is telling me from my body — blood, bones and cells — rather than from my brain”.

In other instances, people describe intuition as something from outside of the body or mind altogether, from an undefined but divine or ethereal source, such as receiving a sign from the universe, god, spirit or source. Another woman’s personal account described intuition as: “The answer that I already know, which just needs to have the question asked to bring it to the surface… it’s the universe answering. Intuition is my direct line to the source.”

Rapid insight

In his 2005 book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, Malcolm Gladwell examined the concept of intuition and how people come to rapid conclusions or decisions (what he calls “snap judgments”) before even having a chance to begin to consciously examine the data. In his introduction, Gladwell uses an example of a few experts who went to a California museum to authenticate a sculpture and ensure it wasn’t a forgery. The experts got an immediate sense that it was a fake and through lengthy testing that hunch was confirmed. Gladwell says: “In the first two seconds of looking — in a single glance — they were able to understand more about the essence of the statue than the team was able to understand after 14 months.” This is an example of a common occurrence: you try to rationalise yourself and your behaviours and end up confirming or returning to your first instinct.

Practical intuition

Intuition is not simply a far-fetched or New Age idea. Intuition isn’t about reading minds or psychic powers. You probably use intuition in large and small ways on a daily basis. Perhaps you need to make an instant judgment about whether or not someone is telling the truth before you respond to them. Intuition can help you take rapid inventory of what you know in the moment and respond seamlessly.

The saying “never judge a book by its cover” may be a fair sentiment in theory, but in actuality it’s common and even necessary to do just that. You also use intuition when you get a “sense” about a person (he’s “good people” or she’s a “bad egg”). You may also use it to make predictions about your future, such as when following your “gut instinct” and making a decision that feels more “right” than another option, even if you can’t be sure of the outcome. It could even be argued that intuition is at work when an immediate understanding of a complex concept dawns in consciousness — that flash of knowing when it all comes together and you just “get it”.

Intuition doesn’t concern itself with facts and by its nature is subjective, which is sometimes why the value of intuition is dismissed. Since humans often get attached to being right or validating a set point of view, you can mistake intuition for something more basic, such as an emotional reaction to something you want to feel justified in.

Intuition can utilise emotional responses but not every emotional reaction is intuition. One important way to discern what’s intuition and what’s not might be letting go of what you wish was true in order to sense what really feels true.

Intuition and planets

Why might the Moon correlate with intuition? Mars, for instance, might seem a good candidate to consider when looking for intuition in the natal chart. The rapid knowing that arises intuitively would fit nicely with the planet of “act first, think later”. But Mars is a better fit with the concept of instinct, which is often tied to biological urges.

How about Neptune? Neptune, the planet that is most easily related to spirituality and things that have an otherworldly quality about them, might seem a good candidate since intuition seems to come from that elusive “elsewhere”. But while inspiration might seem to be plucked out of the air, intuition is often described as feeling closer to home.

The Moon governs the unconscious realm and intuition is primarily described as seeming to come from a source outside of consciousness. Although visibility is low at night, when the moon rules the sky, life remains somewhat shrouded but still active all around. Similarly, the unconscious can be highly active while the conscious remains unaware of this activity, not realising or controlling what goes on inside a person at this level.

In Blink, Gladwell refers to the intuitive process as taking place behind a “locked door” because it happens unconsciously, outside your awareness. That locked door cannot be prised open to see what happened in those two seconds between a prompt, such as a question or a situation arising, and the arrival of knowledge in response via intuition.

The four elements

While everyone can access intuition and it’s typically described in similar ways, the Moon sign you were born under can tell you how your intuition in particular may try to get your attention or the ways you might experience your feeling, intuitive self. Your Moon sign can also provide clues about the things in people or your environment to which you are especially sensitive. It can even highlight ways you can support your intuition, so it can reveal itself to your consciousness more easily.

The 12 signs are divided into four elemental groups: fire, earth, air and water. The elements represent essential, natural forces and resources. Since the Moon is a primal and fundamental symbol, your Moon sign element symbolises the natural way you experience intuition.

The fiery Moon

Because of the passion and immediacy inherent in the signs Aries, Leo and Sagittarius, you may connect in a more emotional way with the word “instinct” if you belong to this sign group, because this word often feels more visceral. Fire represents the life instinct, which contains a strong and impulsive drive to respond to life with a deep and resounding “yes”.

If you have an Aries Moon, intuition may express itself to you through a feeling of a direct hit, a clarity that gets you fired up. If you were born during a Sagittarius Moon, you will try anything once. Your instinctive response to life is with an enthused, open heart. Intuition may clarify itself not just with a “why not?” but with a feeling of things coming together, where everything in your current situation or state of being says “this is what it’s all been leading up to”.

If you were born under the Leo Moon, your intuition may speak through your creativity; not an artistic desire, necessarily, but out of that inherent feeling of wanting to express your very essence through creating and engaging with life itself. Something may click inside you when it seems like a situation or a decision is a reflection of the deepest essence of who you are.

While you’re not immune to second-guessing your intuition, you have the gift of the fire signs in that they are the least likely of all the signs to be subject to hesitation, chronic doubt or indecision. Your intuition may manifest in the most simple and direct way: yes or no. The magnetic pull of “yes” stirs you to act on what you want, even if you’re not sure why you want it. The “no” may actually feel more like the absence of a yes, with no leap, no stirring, simply a dull, lifeless feeling that feels stifling, heavy and plain wrong.

To develop and support your intuition, pay attention to situations that seem to “make your blood boil.” Whether it’s out of anger, excitement or fear, your instant reaction is a clue. Thoughts or instinctual behaviours that present themselves in the heat of a moment may be how intuition reveals itself to you. Some of the most meaningful experiences in your life, those that just felt right, may be experiences that had your heart racing in the literal sense, where you felt awakened and alive. Exercise, not necessarily of the routine kind but that which really engages your joy, freedom and spontaneity in the movement, may be a way to clear the decks for your intuition to speak to you.

The earthy Moon

If your Moon sign is Taurus, Virgo or Capricorn, your intuition aligns with the element of earth. The earth element symbolises natural processes and laws. Earthy Moon signs operate in a sensible fashion, not only by utilising practical methods of interacting with the world but also with the five senses. One might imagine you saying “something doesn’t smell right” or “I don’t like the look of that” if you’re presented with a situation that seems like there’s more going on than is immediately apparent.

Your “sixth sense” is common sense. Intuition may express as a decision or judgment that simply feels natural and obvious. You have an innate ability to get a feeling for when something doesn’t add up or won’t play out in expected ways.

If you have a Taurus Moon, you have a bit of the natural animal in you, that “horse sense” that tells you that this doesn’t feel comfortable, right or safe. If you were born under a Virgo Moon, you have a natural ability to spot the flaw in something, even if it’s something small, much like the princess’ heightened sensitivity in The Princess and the Pea. If you have the moon in Capricorn, you tend to have a sense of where things will naturally lead and have a knack for identifying the paths that will take you toward or away from the objective.

Intuition can sometimes prompt you to act differently than you’d anticipated or planned. Intuition doesn’t have any regard for what’s efficient, practical or cost-effective, so if you are have an earth element Moon, you may find yourself vulnerable to suppressing your intuition to avoid disrupting your plans. To benefit from your intuition, you’ll have to be willing to be potentially inconvenienced and be able to respond in the moment to something if your intuition prompts you to go in a different direction than you’d planned.

To enhance your intuition, you may simply need to get out of your own way, and that can mean giving your body and mind something to do to be occupied. Something as simple as going for a walk can make your Virgo or Capricorn Moon feel like it’s getting somewhere (quite literally) and can be a good distraction and allow your intuitive voice to be heard. If your Moon is in Taurus, the peaceful connection to nature through a walk, preferably somewhere outside of the city and away from the distraction of traffic, can clear intuition’s path. Walking a labyrinth, which is an ancient meditation tool, can also be a good alternative.

The airy Moon

Gemini, Libra and Aquarius make up the air element. This group of signs’ primary intuitive resource resembles the very tool it can use to second-guess its intuition: thought. If you were born under one of these signs, you like to take ideas apart (Gemini), discover and compare thoughts through interaction with others (Libra) and apply theories objectively when observing the world around you (Aquarius).

Intuition may seem to reveal itself to you from “out of thin air”, perhaps as a thought that doesn’t seem to feel the same as the others in your continual stream of thoughts, as if someone else put that thought into your head. If you are highly attuned to these messages, they may seem auditory.

Logic and reason are your language, so while most of the time you may connect the dots in a linear and logical fashion, your clue that your intuition is engaged might be when you can’t demonstrate the sequence of thoughts that lead to a judgment or decision. In the award-winning classic novel A Wrinkle in Time, one of the characters is able to “wrinkle” time and space in order to allow the other characters to travel great distances in a short period of time. She calls this ability “tessering” and explains it using an example of two ends of a string held taut in each hand which come together, folding (wrinkling) the string to get from point A to B almost instantaneously without having to travel along the length of the string. As an air-sign Moon, you may do something similar with your train of thought, using intuition to leap through and over concepts in the blink of an eye, especially if you were born under the Gemini or Aquarius Moon.

For a Libra Moon, two heads may be better than one, as your intuition is turned up a notch when in the presence of another person, such as when you are bouncing ideas off someone else and prompting this kind of rapid-fire thinking via intuition. You also have a natural ability to tune into the comfort levels of others, so your intuition steps in when you are trying to “read” someone. As a lover of harmony, your intuition may speak to you either through a sense of tension, where something doesn’t feel right because there seems to be a discomfort in the air, or when something does feel right because it simply seems to set you at ease.

With an air Moon sign, you may second-guess your intuition if you are not able to back-up your sudden insights with a rational explanation, especially if someone is asking you to explain or justify why you came to a certain conclusion or made a certain decision. It can be easy for you to be too objective and explain away your feelings altogether. You can easily dismiss or support any inkling you choose to by rationalising it away or making up a supposed sensible explanation, which can leave you with a sense that you can’t trust intuition alone at all. However, intuition doesn’t explain itself and can be quite irrational, which isn’t to say it’s necessarily foolish but simply out of the realm of logical thought.

To support your intuitive processes and let those “out of the blue” intuitive thoughts flow freely into your consciousness, use methods that help you avoid suppressing, organising or evaluating thoughts before they’ve even made it out of the gate. Keeping a journal, not for recording events but for writing down consciousness thoughts as they come into your head, no matter how silly or irrelevant. This can help keep the air moving, so to speak.

The watery Moon

Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces make up the water-sign group and if you were born under a watery Moon, your emotions run as deep as your intuition. When you get a nudge from your intuition, you might say that you pulled something “from the depths”. While intuition is commonly described as a feeling, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it registers as a specific emotion, but the two ideas may be peas in a pod for you.

Water-sign Moons, especially Cancer and Pisces, can be highly empathetic and in some instances may gain intuition about a certain person or situation by picking up on the emotions of those around them as if they were their own. The “mood of the room” may trigger your own emotional response, letting you know whether or not this is a good space.

If you are a Scorpio Moon, you have a knack for picking up on non-verbal cues and putting them together in an intuitive way to let you know when there’s something deeper going on under the surface. You may sometimes be accused of being suspicious if you leap to conclusions about what that something is, but you are rarely wrong when it comes to sensing a vibe that makes you want to dig deeper.

Growing up, you may have been told by that you are “too sensitive” or that you are over-reacting, a judgment that often comes with a projection of shame. As a result, you may second-guess your own intuition and try to ignore what you’re feeling because you don’t want to be told you are making something out of nothing. However, emotions may often be how you recognise that something deeper is trying to communicate with you. And whether what your intuition is whispering to you is correct or misleading, at least being willing to look at it and consider it can help you access your inner knowing.

The water signs are among the most subjective of all the signs. While this is often criticised, it can actually be your ally, especially if what you are trying to know is yourself. Accessing your inner knowing may be made easier for you by experiencing mediums that are subjective and emotionally provocative, such as poetry, art or music — not just for enjoyment but to take in the images and sounds that you resonate with. Producing works of art or music can also open this channel, although it’s important to remember it’s not about acquiring or utilising a skill as much as it is allowing a free association process to happen, with images or sounds instead of words. Another technique may simply be peace and quiet in which to meditate, to focus deeply on your inner-self — not to analyse it but to feel it. This, of course, can be good advice for us all!

The WellBeing Team

The WellBeing Team

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