How To Use Your Astrological Birth Chart To Better Understand Your Relationship With Your Parents

Photo: Getty Images/den Belitsky
Your astrological birth chart can be used in infinite ways to help you learn about yourself and others, and that extends to your parent-child relationship. That is, by learning about your own chart in astrology, you can also better understand how you interact with your parents and other family members.

In fact, you don’t even have to look at another person’s chart to examine your relationship with them. Your entire life essentially exists within your chart, including everyone you know and will know—your family members, your friends, your coworkers, and your children.

Your entire life essentially exists within your chart, including everyone you know and will know.

So, how can you contextualize this information in your chart? In astrology, the sun and moon are classical representations of the father and mother, respectively. There are astrological houses in a person's chart (each of which represents a different aspect of a person's life) that are also associated with the parents and family: The third house is where we find siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins; the fourth represents the family and parents, specifically the father and paternal line; and the 10th house represents the mother and maternal lineage. Finally, the taskmaster planet Saturn represents the ways we structure our lives and our reality, along with our relationship with boundaries, order, discipline, and responsibility. Our Saturn placement can tell us a lot about our relationship with our parents or the primary caregivers in our lives in regards to the type of structure they provided for us, or even the lack thereof.

Of course, there are countless nuances that can be drawn from a closer examination of an individual’s birth chart, so while general advice can help you to read your chart to shed light on your relationship with your parents and others, it is still, at best general advice. So, while you may get insights below to contextualize the existing relationships in your life, don't take it as evidence that everything you knew is wrong if something doesn't seem to line up; instead, contemplate on what patterns you do see.

How to read your astrological birth chart to better understand your parent-child relationship

Understand the roles of the sun and moon

The sun, often associated with the father, and moon, often with the mother, are our two primary light sources in our charts, which are therefore seen as representing our parents or primary caregivers. A lack thereof would also be seen in the dynamics of the chart. Removing the gender binary from the equation, the sun is also often seen as representing the more visible or external parent, who might be more career-oriented. And the moon can represent the more nurturing parental type.

The sun, often associated with the father, and moon, often with the mother, are our two primary light sources in our charts, which are therefore seen as representing our parents or primary caregivers.

Of course, a nurturing father and a more tough-as-nails mother could still be represented by the sun and moon, respectively, but the ways they go about those activities would be reflected by the nature and condition of those planets in the chart. Similarly, for someone who doesn’t have one or both parents in their life, their sun and moon signs would still symbolize the type of guidance and care they received (or lack thereof) from their primary caregivers.

Sun placement

The sun’s sign and house placement in your chart may reflect how you feel about your father: It may often speak to certain personality traits your father has, and the general archetype your father embodies in your life. For example, if your sun is in Scorpio, you might have a father who can be quite mysterious, brooding, or has intense emotions. An Aquarius sun might have a father who identifies more with marginalized identities or the fringes of society, considering themselves an outcast or exile in some ways.

The house placement of the sun will provide further insight on the father. If your sun is in your fifth house, which is associated with children, art, creativity and entertainment, perhaps your father works in one of these fields, or is someone who, similarly to you, feels particular orientation towards prioritizing fun and enjoyment in life. If your sun is in your 12th house, which is associated with loss, liminality, endings, institutionalization, and mental health, it could speak to your father potentially being absent in one way or another, whether physically, mentally, or emotionally. It could also speak to the father’s profession, like working in hospitals, prisons, with marginalized communities, or with the less fortunate.

Moon placement

The moon’s sign and house placement will speak a lot to your mother and the dominant character traits you perceived in her. If your moon is in Libra, for example, your mother might be a very relationship-oriented person, who often takes neutral positions or tries to be a problem-solver. Your mother might be a social person or may be aesthetically oriented. A Taurus moon person might have a mother who took parenthood very seriously, and to you, potentially too much so. Because the moon exalts in Taurus, it has the potential to overdo what it's good at–caretaking and providing. Sometimes people with Taurus moons experienced their mothers as controlling or extreme in some way. Because both Taurus and Libra are ruled by Venus, both moon signs might also associate their mother or mother figure with beauty, art, luxury, or aesthetics in some ways, to name a few Venusian associations that apply to both signs.

Now let’s factor in house placement: If your moon is, say, placed in the fourth house, maybe your mother spends a lot of time at home, or works in an industry having to do with homes, families, or land. A ninth-house moon could point toward a mother who is from a foreign country, travels a lot or works in the travel industry, is an educator, or perhaps is very spiritual or religious.

Whether you were born during day or night

Another way of examining the dynamics of the sun and moon in one’s chart is by sect. Sect refers to the difference between day and night, and the disparities in consciousness between the two.

Folks born during the day—that is, after sunrise and before sunset—are considered to be diurnal, and the sun is the primary source of light or consciousness. Therefore, there may be an orientation toward external achievements, matters of the mind or spirit, of receiving guidance from outside of oneself. Diurnal types might resonate with their father’s point of view on life more than their mother’s. It could also reflect that the father played the dominant role in the family dynamics.

For folks born at night—after sunset and before sunrise—their dominant consciousness is ruled by the moon, the dominant source of light. Nocturnal people tend to be oriented more towards matters of the body, materiality, somatics, and their deeply felt desires. They could find more resonance with their mother’s way of viewing and moving through life, or it could be that their mother had the dominant role in the family dynamics.

Natal moon phase

The relationship between the sun and moon, aka the moon phase, when you were born can describe how you experience the dynamic between your parents.

New moon: If you were born during a new moon—when the sun and moon were in the same sign—that could symbolize a resonance between your parents, that they were on the same page or working together under shared circumstances.

Quarter or half moon: If you were born during a quarter or half moon—with the sun and moon three signs from each other, like, Gemini and Virgo or Libra and Capricorn—that could represent potential conflict or disagreement between your parents and their core personalities or temperaments. This doesn’t necessarily mean they fought all the time, but that particular differences likely kept them constantly bumping into each other, consistently challenged by their differences, but that tension could be what keeps them going.

Full moon: If you were born during a full moon, when the sun and moon were in opposite signs, your parents might have been polar opposites. The opposition denotes distance and separation, so it’s possible that your parents didn’t last long as a unit, or that the distance and differences between them could not be reconciled.

Consider connections with siblings' charts

You can also check out your parents' and siblings’ sun and moon signs to reflect on their relationship with their parents and see what patterns emerge. For example, my sister and I both have Mars-ruled moons (Aries and Scorpio), and we both have our moons in the second house. While we have different relationships with our mother, we have a shared experience of her being a hard worker, and a passionate and fiery person—all qualities associated with Mars.

Our mom is a Sagittarius, a fire sign, and my moon is also in a fire sign. My sister’s Scorpio moon is conjunct Jupiter, the planet that rules Sagittarius. And again, we both have the moon in the second house, so our relationship with finances and spending have a lot to do with our mother, but in different ways (I'm more of a spender versus my sister, who’s a big saver). All of that's to say that there are clear patterns and synchronicities in how we view our mother, with slight differences and nuances that can be further elaborated on by examining the various charts dynamics.

After examining your own chart, check out the charts of your family members. What does your siblings’ third house look like, and how might that describe you? Take a look at your father’s moon sign to better understand his relationship with his mother, or your mother’s sun sign to inquire about her relationship with her father. If you have children, their sun and moon signs will represent you and their other parent.

Just be sure to remember that each chart should be examined from the perspective of the person whose chart you’re looking at, with empathy and curiosity.

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