Two weeks after I gave birth to my daughter Juna, my sister emailed me the astrological birth charts for my newborn, my 5-year-old daughter, Naomi, and her 2 1/2-year-old daughter, Io.
“FYI, so we know what we’re dealing with,” she wrote. Our daughters are the only children in our extended family, so my sister and I feel an immense pressure to get this parenting thing right. I suppose all parents do. Parenting in the age of social media has given us access to an endless rotation of information, from feeding and sleep guidance to navigating temper tantrums. But sometimes looking down at my tiny, “all-knowing” screen leaves me feeling overstimulated and disconnected from my own intuition.
At my sister’s beckoning, I turned my attention away from my device and up to the black screen that existed millennia before the information highway: the sky.
Astrology’s popularity has soared in recent years with apps such as Co-Star and CHANI catering to tech-savvy millennials and Gen Zers seeking tools to aid in their self-improvement and self-care journeys. As these generations are becoming parents, looking to the planets for parenting advice isn’t as far-fetched as it might have sounded 10 years ago.
For L.A.-based journalist, author and astrologer Maressa Brown, who considers herself “a baby raised by the stars,” an astrology parenting book was a natural progression of her career. Brown wrote “Raising Baby by the Stars” to give our generation a chance to feel seen in a way her parents made her feel seen. “Growing up, astrology was basically a household language,” Brown says. A bit of an outlier in his time, her father discovered astrology in 1969 and used his own astrological chart (also called a “birth chart” or “natal chart”) to help guide him in his work in finance and in raising his three kids. At each of their births, he kept a close eye on the clock so he could cast their charts “and have valuable insight into our personalities, perspectives, strengths and challenges” Brown says.
For the novice, trying to understand a birth chart can be intimidating. However, I learned from Brown’s astrological readings on Juna and me to focus on key points — sun, moon and rising signs — as easier gateways to help better understand my kids, myself and my parenting journey.
The “Big Three”
There are 12 zodiac signs: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. Each sign has its own symbol, “ruling” planet and ruling house. There are other elements to consider, such as what element or placement the signs are in, but to start, clue into your and your child’s “big three.” To find your child’s sun, moon and rising signs, Brown suggests using the free tool on her website, maressabrown.com, an app or other free charts that will tally up your star and planet placements in seconds.
You will need the exact date (day, month and year) and time of birth, in addition to your place of birth (city, state and country or province). Here is a quick peek into the symbolism of the big three:
Sun Sign: Your core identity or personality. This is what people typically think of as their sign.
Moon Sign: Your emotional compass, or how you want to be nurtured. You can use your child’s moon sign to learn the best way to soothe your child when they are upset.
Rising Sign: Also known as the ascendant, the rising is the sign that was emerging over the eastern horizon at the time of your birth. It indicates your outward personality, skills and talents. Sometimes, this is the sign you can be mistaken for because it’s how you are perceived.
What your child’s signs say about them
With my firstborn, I was so attuned to her every sound, move and mood that I could tell you exactly what she needed in any given moment. I easily developed a nap and feeding schedule because I was going off her cues. As a Capricorn sun, Naomi thrived with this routine. I’m a Capricorn rising, so I also appreciated the predictability.
Trying to balance parenting a second child, I couldn’t give Juna the same structure and felt guilty that I was failing her in some way. But Brown noted that Juna’s sun is in Pisces, the dreamy and imaginative mutable water sign. Her moon is in Libra, a social, balance-seeking, beauty-loving cardinal air sign. At her core, Juna is an intuitive little dreamer, and her emotional compass leads her to keep the peace no matter what. She is content going with the flow. And I am grateful!
Understanding Juna’s inner world through this lens has given me more confidence in our family dynamic. When Juna joined our family, we already had such a busy schedule, so she had to quicky adapt. With her rising sign in Cancer, a cardinal water sign, she is perceived as sensitive and very maternal and connected to me as her mom. While Naomi was an independent firecracker from the start, I was surprised to find Juna so attached to me, but this is validated by the planets. With this new perspective in mind, I understand my little Pisces needs a calm and centered parent, which, as a Gemini buzzing with ideas and plans, is not my natural inclination.
Brown recommends looking at your child’s sun sign as a starting point for understanding their astrological profile. For example, my eldest is a Capricorn, so I know she takes things seriously and thrives when having a plan. My sister recalls how hard it was to get her to smile as a baby, whereas my empathic little Pisces smiles the moment you just look at her.
Next, look at your child’s moon to gain insight into how you can nurture them best. If their moon is in Sagittarius, like mine is, then they might feel most nurtured by having plenty of opportunities for adventure or new experiences. Sagittarius is a free-spirited, mutable fire sign.
Finally, consider their rising sign to gain insight into their skills, talents and outer self. For instance, as a rising Aries, it is no surprise that Naomi wants to do everything herself and her own way. God forbid I point out her shoes are on the opposite foot! Knowing that the fiery ram is her rising sign gives me a greater understanding of her spirited nature.
What your signs say about you as a parent
With my sun and Venus in Gemini, I am a super-communicator. As a parent, this works to my advantage, as I love to communicate to Naomi the plan for the day (and this makes her Capricorn heart sing) and I love to narrate everything I’m doing to Juna, which is beneficial to her as a baby just learning the world around her. In “Raising Baby by the Stars,” Brown devotes an entire section to parent and child relationships based on your sign, how you two can connect and how you might clash.
As a Gemini parent with a little Capricorn, for instance, we’ll connect in putting in hard work that gets recognized. I noted this when Naomi and I worked together to set the Thanksgiving table last year. After her finishing touches, she beamed: “I’m really proud of myself!” As a Gemini parent with a little Pisces, Juna and I might clash if my go-go-go nature feels too overwhelming to her senses. I noticed this at our recent Thanksgiving. My typically happy-go-lucky baby was very cranky all day, refusing to nap as we frantically got the house together to host 15 family members. Looking back, I should’ve taken quiet breaks with her to soothe and ground her.
Follow your intuition
Since I already had four years of parenting under my belt, I wasn’t nervous giving birth to Juna, but I didn’t take into consideration that those four years primed me to be the best parent to Naomi. Juna is a completely different person, of course!
We are all born into this world as our unique selves and with a unique natal chart. Brown’s reading gave me an additional parenting tool to see and understand my children. Even if you can’t get a professional astrologer’s reading, investigating your own and your child’s charts can provide some extra context for your parenting journey — whether that’s validation or new insight. Not only do I have a better idea of who my little ones are at their core, I understand how to best support, love and connect with them according to the sun, the moon, the stars and my own intuition.
Nina Harada is Digital Editor of L.A. Parent.
Astrology of 2024: What’s in the Stars for Parents?
By Maressa Brown
A few must-know tips — and key dates — for the year ahead.
Embrace major changes and innovation. This spring, we’ll experience a major planetary meetup that hasn’t happened in 13 years! On April 20, Jupiter, the planet of abundance, will join forces with Uranus, the planet of innovation and change, in fixed earth sign Taurus, which could bring stunning, out-of-the- blue shifts, brainstorms and shakeups in the world. Do your best to stay grounded in your relationships with your little one and loved ones while remaining as open-minded and adaptable as you can.
Reflect on your sense of self, balance within partnerships and what fulfills you spiritually. In 2024, there will be four especially powerful new and full moons that occur alongside solar and lunar eclipses, three of which (March 25, April 8 and Oct. 2) occur in go-getter fire sign Aries and diplomatic air sign Libra. These two signs tend to spur reflection around your self-identity and how you’re showing up within your partnerships. In turn, the concept of balance and reciprocity in relationships will be a big focus. Prepare to speak up and make lasting changes to make your home life more egalitarian and prevent one partner from carrying the mental load.
On Sept. 17, we’ll have a lunar eclipse and full moon in mystical water sign Pisces, the first in a new series of lunar events that will last through 2027. Prepare to tune into more vivid dreams and start exploring empathy, emotional healing and spiritual fulfillment in your relationships.
Make the most of Mercury retrogrades by meditating on the best ways to pursue your passions. There will be three Mercury retrograde periods in 2024: April 1-25 in Aries, Aug. 4-28 in Virgo and Leo and Nov. 25-Dec. 15 in Sagittarius. While the planet of communication moves backward (or appears to from Earth’s vantage point), slowing down and prioritizing introspection is a must. And with most of this year’s backspins happening in action-oriented fire signs, you’ll do well to meditate on game plans for realizing your most heartfelt wishes and dreams. Maximize these periods by revising or reworking your approach to get the results you’re aiming for.