Spiritual Health Astrology

Your Monthly Lunar Return Functions Like a Cosmic ‘Reset’ Button—Here’s How To Find and Use Yours

Photo: Getty Images / Andrew Bret Wallis
Anytime you have a planetary “return” in your chart, it means that the celestial body is at its exact placement as it was when you were born. It follows, then, that when the moon (which is regarded as a planetary force in astrology, though not technically a planet astronomically) returns to the sign it was occupying at the time of your birth, it’s known as your lunar return. And this "moon birthday" of sorts also happens often—as in, every single month.

In astrology, the moon represents a person’s emotions, senses, instincts, intuition, and unconscious selves—all of which informs how a person's lunar return may affect them. “During a lunar return, there’s a strong feeling of returning to self. It’s a time we may feel our intuition is stronger or our sensitivity is higher as a result,” says astrologer Alex Caiola.

Think about it like this: A lunar return is essentially the universe’s self-pushing reset button, says astrologer Monisha Holmes, MSW. Each time someone experiences a lunar return, it's an opportunity for them to consider the months behind and ahead of them. With that in mind, it makes sense not only to be aware that you have a lunar return, but also to know how you might best work with the potent power of that astrological event.

Read on to learn how to track your lunar return as well as how each element (fire, water, air, and Earth) can make the most of their cosmic monthly birthday.

How to track your lunar return in astrology

To track when your monthly lunar return takes place, you’ll first need to know your moon sign by inputting the date, time, and location of your birth into an astrology app or online birth chart generator.

Then, check which sign the moon will be occupying in the coming days. For the sake of an example, at the time of publish of this article, the moon was in Scorpio, so you’d be going through your lunar return if Scorpio is your natal moon. If, however, your moon is in one of the other 11 zodiac signs, Holmes suggests keeping an eye on its movements and being aware of when it moves into that sign. (It's worth noting that the moon moves signs every couple of days.)

Once it gets there, though, you'll be able to consider what you want your life to look like—and what you can do to fulfill that vision.

How each element can make the most of their lunar return

Fire (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius)

“When your moon is in a fire sign, taking action is something that's supportive to you,” says astrologer Celeste Brooks. You might get joy from being inspired or creative, so identify where you may be able to tick those boxes.

Because fire signs tend to have a lot of energy, Caiola adds that people with this placement “may want to shake it out through vigorous exercise or dance” on their lunar birthday.

Water (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces)

Water signs might benefit from being able to set some healthy boundaries during their lunar return, says Brooks: “Water needs a container. Know where you need to ground yourself and how you need to emotionally connect within…so that you can have a sense of safety, protection, and some boundaries for yourself.”

A simple (albeit obvious) lunar return celebration for water signs? Spending time in a body of water, says Caiola.

Air (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius)

For intellectual air signs, a lunar return is “all about the mind, connection with other people, how you're thinking, and what you're going to be processing,” says Brooks. In general, lunar air folks want to be mindful of how their thoughts might impact their well-being (e.g., are you thinking you should do something but then not actually doing it?). To practice self-care on their lunar returns, Caiola says “air moons could tear into a book or learning of any sort to quench their needs.”

Earth (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn)

You might have heard someone referred to as “down to Earth” when their head isn't up in the clouds. This holds true astrologically, says Brooks. “Earth signs like to be practical, take action, and have a plan.” When you know the timing of your lunar return, you can identify areas where you might need more self-support and work towards providing that for yourself, Brooks adds.

For a less emotionally taxing moon birthday, Caiola suggests you might go for a hike, talk to a tree, or tend to your plants.

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