The moon is supposedly the closest heavenly body to the earth. It is the fastest moving in the sky and comes first in the Chaldean order of the planets. If you spend a night outside, you can observe the moon moving quite rapidly, far faster than any of the other celestial lights.
The moon has another unique quality: its phases. No other luminary so openly appears and reappears with such regularity. The moon’s cycle is four sets of seven days, with a mysterious moonless period tacked onto the end, bringing the cycle to about 29.5 days.
For this reason, the moon has always had a special relationship to the unseen aspects of life, and to the process of death and rebirth. The moon is also obviously queen of the night, the time when man is most vunerable, when his fears are laid open, and when if he sleeps he is visited by visions and fantastic dreams. Night is also a time of healing, rest, and contemplation, and the moon reflects these qualities.
The moon also has a special relationship to the subconcious. It is heavily associated with water – the moon shares many qualities with its emissary on the zodiac wheel: cancer. Modern science now theorizes that the force from the moon is what causes tides in the ocean, affirming the moon’s kinship with water.
The moon has a connotation of delving deep into the subconcious or secretive aspects of life (as we’ve discussed, this a common occult association with water). It is usually feminine.
Each planet has one of the classical metals associated with it. Some alchemists believed that the rays emanating from the planets caused particular metals to form deep in the earth. Other alchemists simply found a symbolic or spiritual resonance between the metals and the planets (in terms of their qualities, features, or underlying essence). Either way, the moon’s metal is silver. This is an ideal metaphor for the moon, not only because of the visual similarity to its cool and silvery moonlight, but also because silver is discreetly regal, elegant, and universally loved. Silver and gold have a parallel relationship to that of the moon and the sun.
Luna is a Roman name often identified with Diana, goddess of the moon. Diana’s emblem is a bow and arrow. She is also a hunting and forest goddess associated with virginity, unlike the other explicitly female planet Venus. The moon actually embodies the female principle, in a sense, more directly than Venus, who is more associated with love and sensuality as opposed to just “womanhood”. Fittingly, women even have natural temporal periods in their bodies that are in harmony with the moon’s cycle, the most obvious of these being the menstrual cycle, these both non-coincidentally being about the same period of time
Key aspects of the moon are changeability, growth, and the subconscious. The moon rules over fertility. It is nurturing, it is cold, it is female.
Although modern science theorizes that the moon reflects the light of the sun, virtually all ancient cultures believed moonlight and sunlight to be different, and observed the two possessing different qualities. Moonlight, for example, is said to be cool, as opposed to the warming light of the sun. Moonlight was also observed to putrefy and produce moisture as opposed to the drying light of the sun (please keep this in mind when standing in moonlight). In short, the moon is a mysterious celestial ruler with many secrets.