Aug 16

The Moon : Rulership, Exaltation, Detriment and Fall

After taking a look in the Sun’s essential dignities, in the previous article, it is time to move forward to explore the Moon’s rulership, exaltation, detriment and fall. Most people know that the Moon rules the sign of Cancer, but we will try to get deeper into understanding the Moon’s behavior through the zodiac signs. For those who have not yet read the article about the Sun, we will again re-explain the meanings of rulership, exaltation, detriment and fall.

When a planet is positioned in the sign that it rules, it is considered to be in rulership or domicile. Its power is strengthened even more, and it can function with great effect, which usually has a very positive outcome to the native.

The Moon rules the sign of Cancer; there is no better placement for the dim lit satellite of our home planet to exist in a natal chart. Traditionally connected with the sea and everything liquid, the Cancer sign is a feminine sign – and having the Moon in it makes the native very emotional. The Moons swims wonderfully in the Cancer waters, and functions a lot better than in all the other signs.

More particularly, the first decan of Cancer has the Moon as its ruler, so we can tell that the energy it radiates is not mixed with any other influence. This is enhancing even more the already strong feminine characteristics, and is giving the typical characteristics that one would expect from the Moon and Cancer. The second decan has Pluto as a sub-ruler, while the third and last decan is ruled by Neptune.

When a planet is positioned in the opposite sign of the one it rules, it is considered to be in detriment. Its power is weakened, and its function is debilitated – at least slightly if it is receiving a lot of positive aspects from other planets. This does not mean that it brings a negative outcome, but definitely the planet does not operate in its full power.

The Moon is in detriment In Capricorn, and its fluid nature is not operating good at all in the stable and rocky surroundings of the sign and its ruler Saturn. Saturn embraces with his cold and controlling arms the emotional shine of the Moon, not allowing it to express itself as it usually does. Capricorn is opposite the ruling sign of the Moon, Cancer, and is by no means giving the fertile environment for the Moon’s tender feelings to shine. This is not necessarily bad. The person with this placement could be just very careful with expanding and revealing his emotions, which could in the end prove to be good, as he would not rush. Logic is prevailing, and if the Moon is well-aspected then it can even be a great placement, as no hasty decisions are made in matters connected to the house that the Moon is positioned. Nevertheless, in case there are squares or oppositions by malefics, the native will experience worries, delays and disappointments in those matters. Sometimes, this is due to his own approach towards things. Closed in his own nutshell, he can be leaving opportunities pass, while mumbling that nothing good arrives to him.

There are some certain signs, that when a planet is placed is functioning pretty well. This is called “exaltation” and the planet is operating as if it is in its ruling sign, although slightly less powerfully. The influence is quite positive and its action runs smoothly.


The Moon is exalted in the sign of Taurus, and even more powerful at the 3d degree of this sign. Taurus is feminine and fertile, and the watery characteristics of the Moon are fruitfully enhanced by the sign’s plentifulness. The Venusian energy that embraces the Moon through Taurus promotes beauty, nurturing, and creates a great surrounding for flourishing matters of the house that this placement exists. If the native’s Venus is in Cancer, then we also have a mutual reception of the two planets, and the issues of both houses are hand-by-hand progressing even stronger, while if the planets also have a sextile between them or are supported by other aspects from benefics, their best qualities are to be revealed. The Moon in Taurus many times signifies a caring mother who created a beautiful childhood to the native, which as a pattern appears again and again through his life. Everything connected with earth and water can enhance even more the native’s reality. Whether it is keeping flowers and taking care of them, or being strongly connected with the nature, the Moon and Taurus are being fed by the respective symbolic actions and will trigger positive events in the areas of life ruled by them.

The sign opposite of the exaltation sign, is called a “fall” sign for a planet. It tends to lose in strength and not operate well, although being in fall is lot better than being in detriment.

The Moon is in fall in Scorpio, with the 3d degree being the most devastating. The last decan of Libra together with the first decan of Scorpio, are as we have already mentioned called “Via Combusta”, and are the most obscure part of the whole zodiac. A Moon in Scorpio can allow all the dark and violent parts of the Moon appear, due to the co-rulership of Scorpio of Pluto and Mars. The excess of water in this combination, as Scorpio is a water sign, makes the native unstable in his bad reactions, leading to eruptive behaviours, and if conjunct with the South Node to Lunacy. The native has huge occult powers, sometimes uncontrolled – which can make him even dangerous to other people and himself. If in a chart of a woman, there is high probability of having as an effect on the body dark color of hair and milk-white skin. Generally, the natives tend to look like the stereotype of “the witch”, or “the goth”, are mostly using black color and if the moon is conjuncting the Ascendant this might even be an absolute rule. In case there are hard aspects from malefics, you should be really careful of such a person, as he could easily harm you even without consciously wanting it. If only positive aspects fall on the Moon, then the darkness is blunted or dissolved, allowing good characteristics to appear. The Moon in Scorpio can signify also that the mother of the person is either practicing dark arts, or is a harsh personality. In the first situation, there could be a pattern passing from grandmother to mother, and from her to the female child – occult abilities through heritage. In case the Moon is in the 8th or the 12th house, the abilities are furthermore enhanced. Of course, the Moon is the least stable planet, making it difficult to control such abilities. About this aspect we will return with a greater article, as many people involved in occultism and many of our readers can have it in their chart. This difficult position of the Moon is a big chapter, to be thoroughly investigated in detail.

When a planet of a natal chart is neither in its rulership, nor in detriment, exaltation or fall, it is called peregrine. This position is rather neutral, and the planets functions are mostly determined by aspects received by other planets. Around 70% of the planets of any random natal chart, are in peregrine state.

The Moon is peregrine in the rest of the signs; this does not imply though that it functions in the same way in all of them. Aries is too dry, fiery and impulsive, and the Earth’s moist satellite has difficulties of expressing itself while positioned here. Nevertheless, the raw Martian energy can be beneficial if assisted by other planets positions. Gemini is rather neutral, while Leo gives to the Moon similar fiery characteristics as Aries. Virgo Moon pays a lot of attention to details; the first half of Libra could be stated as being rather positive, while the second has a lot of common things with Scorpio, as we already mentioned above. Sagittarius can be also a very positive placement for the Moon, where its energy is becoming Jupiterian and expansive. Aquarius grants a very weird approach to sentiments, while Pisces definitely enhances everything that has to do with emotions, making the native very receptive, intuitive, and very compassive. A person with the Moon in Pisces can through osmosis feel the feelings of everyone around him, but also must be careful of becoming overly passive and receiving all the negativity that his surroundings provide. Furthermore, such native are rather prone to get hypnotized easily, and should be very careful in dealings with manipulative people.

It should be stated, that even when a planet is in detriment or in fall, strong positive aspects by other planets can totally eradicate the handicap of its natal positioning. No matter how important are these natal states of planets, they are just the board on which one’s life evolves. The game itself, even if influenced by the board, is mostly depending on the movements and the transits of the celestial bodies. Life is not a still snapshot, but an eternally evolving multi-parameter function.

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About the Author:

Xaos is the author of all astrological articles on Free-Spirited Mind. He bears no responsibility for any other articles or opinions of authors.
  • Jenna

    Thank you for the wonderful article. I have my moon in Scorpio and am always trying to understand more about this placement 🙂

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    • Zenith Astrology

      Yea I just don’t like his wordage as an Aquarius he says the Moon functions better in Cancer than all other signs. He doesn’t give the deep explanations why. And leave a lot up to the viewer to see a Taurus Moon as a least good sign to be in. I don’t like his wordage. But he did cover some good aspects and points.

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  • mysticjeanie

    Same! Thanks! I have a Moon in Scorpio [12th House] as well! Going to read your next article that was listed for that placement!

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    • Zenith Astrology

      Yea an Astrologer, I don’t agree some of the things he wrote, like being in detriment is worse than fall. Because most times, it’s a very physical experience with Scorpios fallen Moon. But that’s why I will have my own site in the future, going over how I see it, as I have double fall and double exalts in my chart. I’ll tell you from what I’ve seen, what they mean. It’s just combating my disssoation and easily raised adrenaline is pain in a** somedays.

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  • Zenith Astrology

    Yea my mom was practicing the dark arts with me as a child, just as I suspected. But
    couldn’t exactly remember, as I just found out from my Gemini mate I have PTSD, and re- entering thereapy, which lead to me researching DID – and my quick diagnosis. Aquarius is associated with experiments, and I noticed we “altar” our experiments. Not saying all Aquarians will have “split” or alter personalities, but some, like me, will. With this combination it entails dark art (all this junk at the bottom of my chart) and Aquarius Sun (experiments). My Moon is in the fallen 3rd degree, conjunct Pluto from Libra in the approach position on the I.C. with the Moon in the 4th house of the mother AND a Scorpio 4th house. She was always “hiding” something I couldn’t quite put my finger on. But I was abandoned at 7 years old to the state of Colorado for her child abuses (the first time) . For some reason, Denver is a hot bed of that stuff. 02-07-80 4:56pm. I also have flash backs and pre sleep flashback nightmares of being trapped in able to breath speak or weird sexual experiences. I noticed my SUN MOON placements literally equal FLASHBACK . Aquarius Sun is flash or lighting, and Scorpio Moon is back or magnetize. I always suspected this is what was here and got signs from things in related one day researching it. Like balloons out side and children, and black and white dog. But I was scared of what I found. But did suspect this is where it was going. She died at 50 so I’m not longer un safe for feel mind controlled by her. She was a Virgo Sun, sept 10th 1959. Virgo has a propensity to be attracted to “virginal” types. Alas I cannot just heal myself with Astrology and have stopped rebelling from therapy. It does bring out some good, still I feel like they did not help protect me from my mom or in “the system” from there system, and it was hard trusting a therapist all over again.

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