Being a mother is, unequivocally, the hardest job in the known universe.
Who raises/ruins us is a luck of the draw — or the umbilical cord — as some are born to saints and others to a slightly more complex, traumatizing model of motherhood.
What role do the stars play, and are some signs more likely to have toxic mothers than others?
If we allow for oversimplification, much of the discord between parents and children can be attributed to elemental interaction.
The intensity and momentum of fire mothers Aries, Leo and Sagittarius can be hard for water signs to manage. Likewise, the cerebral, inconsistent nature of air mothers — Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius — can be difficult for earth signs that thrive on the steady.
Please keep in mind and close to heart that there are no absolutes in astrology — only interpretations. Further, no matter where your mother falls on the spectrum of toxicity, it is never too late to reparent your own inner child and give yourself the happy childhood you were denied.
Read on, take care, and may joy be your greatest revenge.
Within the birth chart, the fourth house represents the concept of home: ancestry, root systems, maternal lineage, apron strings as nooses, etc.
Challenging/formative planets in the fourth house — i.e., Saturn (restriction, punishment), Pluto (death and transformation) or Mars (drive, desire, war) — can indicate strife, stifling or emotional scarification on the homefront, and/or within the parent-child dynamic.
Consequently, folks who have moon signs ruled by these planets or hard aspects between these planets and the moon tend to experience difficult relationships with their mothers.
The mighty, motherly moon
In astrology, the mother is represented by the moon and the sign the moon falls in can indicate the kind of mother figure with whom we have to reckon and the sort of childhood we enjoyed/endured/barely survived.
While all moon signs present certain maternal challenges, some set the stage for a more dramatic/traumatic mother relationship. To read more about the role of the moon in astrology and to calculate your moon sign, see here.
Aries is ruled by Mars, the planet of war, indicating this parent/child dynamic is vested in conflict and volatility.
For moon in Aries natives, there is an energy of fighting to be who they are, and emotional self-sufficiency becomes necessary for survival. The toxic, unactualized mother of the Aries moon may have been overbearing at best and quick to anger and aggression at worst, prone to outbursts that left this kindling kid feeling unsafe and unseen.
In a surprise to no one, Christina Crawford, the adopted daughter of Hollywood legend Joan Crawford and author of “Mommie Dearest,” has an Aries moon.
There may have been a deep burning on behalf of the Aries moon child to be free from the tyranny of their parents by drastic and defiant means.
As adults, this trauma manifests as a “me in a knife fight with the world” ethos, an open hostility toward dependence of any kind, and at its highest expression a true heroism/advocacy for those in need of defense or support.
Ruled in ancient and modern astrology by the planets of war (Mars) and death (Pluto), the moon in Scorpio is no cakewalk, folks.
The moon is said to be in its fall in this sign, or at its most uncomfortable. The moon is about safety and nourishment, and Scorpio is the sign of intensity and transformation through trauma — thresholds, not cradles, if you will.
Scorpio moons are thus baptized in challenge; born to mothers who are absent, untrustworthy, sorrowful or who, though caring, may not have wanted to be mothers.
Extremely, almost psychically perceptive, the Scorpio moon child often internalizes this energy and the belief that they are unwanted. They may have felt responsible for their mother’s emotional well-being, a heavy burden for a tiny human.
As adults, and as a result, Scorpio moons bear the mark of the suspicious survivor, one who anticipates betrayal, but also one that can hold tremendous and regenerative space for those who are grieving/growing.
Saturn is the ruler of Capricorn, and the presence of that stern patriarch in the placement of maternal tenderness suggests a child robbed of a childhood; permission to be free and free to falter.
The mother of a moon in Capricorn individual is likely to have been exasperated by the learning curve of children or simply had no time to invest in teaching/nurturing her offspring. Within the Cap moon kiddo, this forces the accelerated development of adult skills like discipline, self-sufficiency and emotional restraint.
Because the Cap moon’s sense of self-worth is tied to achievement, not connection, they take defeat and criticism especially hard. Being afraid to feel, uncomfortable with aid and resistant to tenderness are all hallmarks of this moon, and because we live in a punishing socioeconomic environment, these qualities can lead to wild success.
Not for nothing, many a mogul and famous musician has been blessed/cursed with a toxic mom and a hallowed-be-thy-grind Cap moon.
Astrologer Reda Wigle researches and irreverently reports back on planetary configurations and their effect on each zodiac sign. Her horoscopes integrate history, poetry, pop culture and personal experience. She is also an accomplished writer who has profiled a variety of artists and performers, as well as extensively chronicled her experiences while traveling. Among the many intriguing topics she has tackled are cemetery etiquette, her love for dive bars, Cuban Airbnbs, a “girls guide” to strip clubs and the “weirdest” foods available abroad.