The word trust can mean different things to different people. Some people measure trust in reference to how reliable (trustworthy) they think someone is—that they can rely on someone not to lie to them or to keep their promises, for example. Some people consider themselves trusting of others because they have a conviction that people are generally good. People often extend the word beyond relationships with other people and say, "I trust the process" or "I trust the universe," referring to an overall belief that everything will turn out okay. But when it comes trusting another person with our heart, there are three main ideas:
Trust is faith. When we have trust in someone, we believe that they will not hurt us, at least not on purpose. We risk our heart in the belief and hope that another person will not let us down.
Trust depends on vulnerability. When we trust someone, we open up to them and willingly leave ourselves vulnerable to them. That means they could hurt us, but we are hoping (and betting) that they won't. Trust can only be created in vulnerability. If we are closed, then we don't allow another person in. That means they can't hurt us, but we also can't receive their love; emotion simply bounces off a closed heart.
Trust is a process. Trust inherently deepens (or lessens) over time and with interaction. While some people approach the world in a more socially guarded way and others are more likely to extend the benefit of the doubt, trust itself is not simply whether you tend to have faith in people's goodness in general. That's not a state of trust as much as it is an absence of distrust. We develop deeper trust with someone the more times we reveal ourselves to them without being rejected or hurt after doing so.
The Moon and Trust
So why do we look to the Moon in astrology when we want to know about trust in our relationships? How and why does our natal Moon sign affect our ability to trust others and be trusted?
The Inner Child
Astrology has several symbols that speak to relationships, and all of them could arguably have a hand in building trust. Venus is liking someone, and we may use our Venusian wiles to draw someone in. Mars is wanting someone, and we may use our Martial desires to pursue a relationship with someone. But the Moon waits, hidden and protected, until it feels safe to reveal itself and lower the gates. The Moon is our heart, our inner child, and so is inherently vulnerable. It doesn't defend like Mars or deflect like Venus. When it's exposed, we are raw. We open the heart gates to someone when they have proved themselves trustworthy in a way we can recognize. Our Moon sign, house, and planetary aspects provide us with a profile of what leads us to trust another.
An Open Heart
We can infer a lot about trust and the signals of trust from the idea that the Moon contributes to our instinctual makeup (a role shared with Mars). When we trust someone, we are less likely to censor ourselves or hide ourselves, whether it's evident in our behavior, our opinions, our feelings, or even our physical appearance. We are more likely to "let it all hang out" with less fear that we will be rejected for something we say or do. This means we will be following our instincts rather than assessing and editing every move we make; we can truly be ourselves. People with a high level of self-confidence may seem to do this no matter who they are with, but this may be self-esteem or bravado, not trust, since trust requires vulnerability. When we open up to someone in trust, we trust ourselves in their presence.
Trust Is a Feeling
One definition of trust is predictability: can you rely on, and therefore predict, someone's behavior? You can scientifically measure reliability. For instance, you can calculate the number of times someone has shown up at the time they promised and see how many times they've broken that commitment. But true trust cannot be measured scientifically. While someone's regular and predictable behavior can encourage us to feel secure in them, trust is a feeling, which puts trust solidly in the Moon's realm. We feel that we can trust someone, or we don't (even if we want to). Not only does this govern how deeply we trust someone, but whether we even initiate the path to trust or avoid a person altogether. This emotional instinct can also help us gauge whether we should trust someone again when they've broken our trust.
When Trust Is Broken
As we continue to keep ourselves open and have repeated experiences with someone reliably coming through for us, we come to trust them more deeply. But part of being human, of course, is that we are not perfect, nor are we constant all of the time. When trust is broken, logical analysis would tell us that if someone let us down once, we have reason to believe they might let us down again; therefore we shouldn't trust them from now on. But humans give other humans another chance all the time; we forgive and begin again. To forgive and reinitiate trust takes us back to step one: faith. It is the heart, not the mind, that provides the motivation and the courage to "forgive and forget."
Signs of Trust
Read your natal Moon sign for specifics about the kinds of things that make it easier for you to trust, and what things make you feel mistrustful or wary. Read the Moon signs of your friends and loved ones to learn how to build a deeper trust with them. You can do an Internet search for "astrology birth chart" to find sites that will give you your natal Moon sign (as well as a lot of other information) based on your time of birth. The signs here are divided by element.
The fire Moon signs (Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius) will make judgments about whether they can trust someone or not based on their gut response, and while trust is a process, the fire Moons can move through the process quite rapidly. When their trust is broken, they prefer to deal with it directly rather than sulking or retreating.
- If your Moon is in Aries, you trust others when it becomes clear that you don't have to censor your opinions or dampen the full intensity of your personality to please them. You don't tend to trust people who are not forthright, because you don't know where you stand with them. You need freedom to be who you are without judgment. If you want an Aries Moon to trust you, be direct with them consistently. When their trust is broken, they are likely to respond with anger. Weather that storm of conflict with them and hear them out to begin rebuilding trust with them.
- If you have a Leo Moon, you open up in trust when you sense someone accepts and has a deep, genuine interest in you. While you can be very expressive, you are not the bold, outgoing, party animal that Leo is often painted to be. This is because no matter what sign it's in, the Moon is inherently our vulnerable spot that we protect until it's safe to reveal. You long to be seen but have to be sure that you won't be ridiculed or discounted when you show yourself. If you want a Leo Moon to trust you, be generous with your feelings and don't hold back. Make them feel like a priority in your life. Don't ignore them or act aloof even if they do so—and they might act that way if they are feeling insecure or their trust has been broken. Sometimes they use pride to mask their lionhearted tenderness, but that is often when they need the most acceptance.
- If your Moon is in Sagittarius, you trust people that have an easy-going nature, who are friendly and optimistic. You tend to feel like your heart is an open book, and you trust people who are straightforward and transparent with you. When your trust is broken, you tend to recover quickly, but you may pull back and keep your heart out of reach with a façade of playfulness and a devil-may-care attitude to hide the seriousness of the hurt (even sometimes from yourself). If you want a Sagittarius Moon to trust you, don't bombard or overwhelm them with a lot of expectations. Be open and honest with them, but most of all, be flexible, and they will stay open and open-hearted with you.
The earth Moon signs (Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn) are the signs most likely to measure someone's trustworthiness by their dependability. An earth Moon sign feels secure when things in their environment are under control and running as expected, so even well-intentioned surprises can throw them off. Actions always speak louder than words with the earth Moons, because they need to see results, not intentions, no matter how sincere. When their trust is broken, they may show it by holding back warmth, retreating into a more formal "business as usual" attitude, and behaving more independently.
- If your Moon is in Taurus, you trust sincerity, warmth, and groundedness. People who seem flaky or are too hard to predict make it difficult for you to open up and relax. You need a sense that someone is steadfast in order to trust that if you open up today, you won't be disappointed tomorrow. When your trust is broken, it takes a while to forgive because you need time to see the "proof in the pudding" that it won't happen again. If you want a Taurus Moon to trust you, don't try to push deeper into their confidence too fast. Just be there with or for them, and ease in. They need to open up in their own time.
- If you have a Virgo Moon, you are very analytical, so you trust someone who makes it clear that they are strong enough to handle feedback about sensitive subjects and can give you genuine, thoughtful feedback respectfully as well without being overemotional and shutting down. If you want a Virgo Moon to trust you, pay attention to the little things about them—not just the things they like, but the way they like things done. A Virgo Moon feels loved most when you do practical things for them that make their life easier, but they will trust you if they know you care enough to pay close attention to what makes them feel secure.
- If you have a Capricorn Moon, you have a stalwart heart and tend to be the one who takes care of a lot of people and tasks. But even you get sick or tapped out, and you need someone who has your back when that happens. Therefore, you tend to trust people who somehow are able to show you can depend on them like others depend on you. Trust means letting down your guard, letting someone see you are human, and that can be hard to do when you don't want to feel incapable. When you don't trust someone or your trust is broken, you will do all you can to not need (or reveal to them) how much their love and support means to you. If you want a Capricorn Moon to trust you, be true to your word with them. They are realistic and don't expect you to promise them the stars, but they do expect you to deliver on whatever it is you do promise. Appreciate what they do but be capable also.
The way to an air-sign Moon's heart is through their intellect. The air Moon signs (Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius) have feelings just as everyone does, but they often understand and process their emotions by sorting through information and communication—expressing how they feel through words, ideas, and concepts. The air signs build trust with another person through the process of coming to and refining an understanding of what they can expect from another person and what the other should expect from them, like an unspoken social contract. When their trust is broken, they tend to work through the feelings by disengaging and trying to revise their expectations in their own mind.
- If you have a Gemini Moon, you tend to be pretty open in whom you trust, as long as they don't have an obviously shady personality. You go further into the process of trust when you feel like you can depend on someone to tell you the truth. You have the mental flexibility to see things from multiple points of view, so you aren't likely to be offended by or argue over semantics, but if someone tells you a bold-faced, intentional lie, it will break your trust since communication depends on honesty. If you want a Gemini Moon to trust you, communicate openly with them. Allow them the room to be spontaneous and to change their mind without trying to pin them down like a butterfly on a board.
- If your Moon is in Libra, you are sensitive to another's needs, desires, and emotional states, and often want to be accommodating to them; in order to trust someone, you need evidence that they are not going to take advantage of that. Going deeper into the process of trust with someone means trusting them to respect your point of view when you disagree with them. If you don't trust someone, you tend to avoid conflict and hide your true feelings and opinions. If you want a Libra Moon to trust you, make it clear that you want to know what they want and you want to support them, not just be supported by them. Allow the space for them to bring up issues that may be sensitive and listen respectfully, but don't push them into conflict by attacking them.
- If your Moon is in Aquarius, you build trust with someone who is not threatened by your need for freedom and individuality. This means not loading you down with a heap of expectations that encroach on your right to live authentically according to what makes sense to you. When your trust is broken, you tend to distance yourself from another. You can be stubborn but don't tend to hold on to grudges, so a rational conversation about the conflict can be enough for you to decide to extend trust again, as long as you want to. If you want an Aquarius Moon to trust you, communicate with them openly and objectively. Don't "handle" them or maneuver around them in order to get them to do what you want them to do.
The water Moon signs (Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces) need to feel that someone is being emotionally sincere and honest to trust them. They are going to respond to nonverbal cues such as eye contact, appropriate touching, and warmth. Like the fire signs, they are likely to make judgments about initiating trust based on subjective gut responses to someone, but they will hang back and observe for a bit longer before they open their doors. When their trust is broken, they are likely to retreat into themselves.
- If your Moon is in Cancer, thoughtfulness and patience are the winning combination for you to trust someone. Trust unfolds layer after layer for you slowly, through a process of sharing and supporting each other. If this process only goes one way (you "mothering" them or vice versa), trust becomes stalled. You don't recover easily when your trust is broken, but a sincere emotional appeal, an apology, and some extra consideration goes a long way. If you want a Cancer Moon to trust you, provide them with some emotional security that you are planning on sticking around with consistency in being there for them, but don't overwhelm them by pushing too fast. They will shower you with love and care in return.
- If your Moon is in Scorpio, honesty is of utmost importance. You need to feel that not only is someone telling you the truth, but they are not holding back or hiding something, even if they are doing so for compassionate reasons. You also need to feel that those you trust are loyal to you, that you can trust them with your secrets, and that they will stand up for you with others, if needed. If your trust is betrayed, you can be ruthless in burning the bridge with someone. Rebuilding trust is an act of will for you. If you want a Scorpio Moon to trust you, don't be needlessly insulting in your honesty with them, but don't pull your punches, and make it clear to them that they don't have to pull theirs. They trust people who are strong enough to acknowledge the deep and taboo stuff. However, as much as a Scorpio Moon values forthright honesty, they also guard their privacy and will not easily forgive if it is violated.
- If your Moon is in Pisces, you are very soft-hearted, so gentleness is the key for you to open up in trust. You tend to have faith in people overall, but to really trust someone, you need compassion and encouragement without harsh judgment. You are not one to hold a grudge, forgiving and forgetting easily and multiple times if your trust is broken due to human frailty, since you are compassionate when people are trying their best. However, while you may forgive, you won't forget betrayals out of intentional cruelty or mean-spiritedness. If you want a Pisces Moon to trust you, believe in them and encourage them. Be gentle with your feedback on their ideas and feelings, rather than pummeling them with a "dose of reality for their own good."
Excerpted from Llewellyn's 2014 Moon Sign Book. Click here for all current-year calendars, almanacs, and datebooks.