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Do You Have a Cruel or Gentle Moon?

Updated: Mar 6

AI Image of the Moon
AI Moon

The Moon represents our senses/perception, receiving nourishment from our environment, our growth, our emotions, the ego, our emotional responses to our environment, and much more.

On account of their natural tendencies, there are two distinct types of Grahas: Saumya “gentle” Graha, and cruel Grahas. Saumya Grahas are those Grahas whose innate nature causes them to be helpful, supportive, and comforting towards those other Grahas that they influence. Krura Grahas are those Grahas whose innate nature causes them to be harmful, disruptive, and pain-causing towards those other Grahas that they influence (Wilhelm 63).

The saumya or gentle planets include Jupiter, Venus, Mercury (when he’s not conjunct a cruel planet), and the waxing Moon.

The krura or cruel planets include the Sun, Mars, Saturn, Rahu & Ketu, Mercury (when he’s conjunct a cruel planet), and the waning Moon

  • There are more cruel planets because life can be very cruel but it doesn’t mean life isn’t productive or have a greater purpose. Both cruel and gentle planets serve the purpose of helping us obtain spiritual realization. Krura planets inspire a person to be strong and be well through loss, pain, and challenges.

In this blog, I’ll be focusing on the krura and saumya Moons and how we emotionally respond to our environment, and how our environment responds to us. The saumya Moon waxes as the moonlight grows, while the krura Moon wanes as the light of the moon shrinks.

Having a gentle moon doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re a gentle person and you have an easy life. And having a cruel moon doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re cruel and have it harder than those with gentle moons. Kruya planets have a harshness to them in the graha or house cusp it’s in.  For example, Mars is a cruel planet. Think about a surgeon who cuts out tumors versus the naturopath (Venus) who may do methods to shrink the tumor. One uses a harsher technique whereas the other uses a less harsh method but both are useful. Saumya grahas provide more ease and comfort in whatever house cusp it’s in.

Just because someone has a cruel moon or other cruel planet in a particular house, it doesn’t mean that the planet won’t be productive or have something desirable to give. For that, we have to look at other factors such as the dignity of the planet and planets that are conjunct or aspecting it. The Moon is about growth, so a person with a gentle moon will generally find growth through gentle experiences in the house he’s in. How nice is that?! A person with a cruel moon will generally find growth through more harsh experiences in the house he’s in. (FYI, all planets are considered masculine in Vedic astrology.) Either way, it’s still growth! For example, the Moon that’s waning in the second house can cause a person to make sacrifices when it comes to getting emotional fulfillment with their finances. 

Defining Gentle and Cruel Moons

Having a gentle moon means that a person is generally given nourishing experiences that’ll feel good emotionally and they’ll respond to their environment that helps encourage them to involve themselves in the world. These people may find it easier to get what they need from the world and find growth through pleasant experiences in the bhava or house cusp their Moon is in. 

As a result of experiencing the abundance and fulfillment, the Moon attempts to develop the Bhava in which it is placed, this Bhava being a very important potential source of peace and happiness for the person…and the person develops a healthy mental attitude with which to attempt to develop those needs that they have in respect to the Bhava in which the waxing Moon is placed (Wilhelm 66-67). 

This person in general can more easily get their needs met in the material world because they receive validation for their efforts, depend on their friends and family, find fulfillment in what they accomplish, and receive validation in the house of the waxing Moon. 

Having a cruel Moon means that a person is given experiences that make them emotionally withdraw from the world and those experiences generally aren’t emotionally nourishing. Their emotional response is to move away from the material world because it’s too unfriendly. Look at the house cusp the waning Moon is in to get a deeper understanding of what a person is specifically letting go of/sacrificing. A person with a cruel Moon can get hurt in the world so they tend to retreat inwardly. Their senses retract. These people generally have to work harder and sacrifice more to get what they want from the world. It doesn’t mean they won’t be successful, though. It just means that when you try to go out in the world, you may encounter some difficult experiences that will cause you to withdraw more from life in the house the waning Moon is in. 

The Krura waning Moon causes those things indicated by the Grahas which it influences to wither and wane, resulting in these things being unable to provide fulfillment or happiness. As a result of experiencing the wane of these things and the lack of fulfillment, the individual is forced to come to terms with the need for inner, rather than outer nourishment (Wilhelm 67).

In general, those born under the cruel Moon may have an easier time being more spiritual because they are used to not getting their needs met in the world as much.  For example, if someone with a cruel moon wants spiritual fulfillment, they’ll get that in cruel ways. They’ll obtain it by perhaps coming to terms with friends and family betraying them, they may work hard to be successful and may not get recognized for all their hard work and good things they do in the world, and so on. The harsh reality of the world will push them to their inner world and hopefully find God by letting go of attachment to material fulfillment.

The Limitations of Judging Cruel and Gentle Moons

The limitation of this strategy is that we need to see if a person’s Moon is conjunct with a cruel planet, especially Saturn or Rahu. This could change a person’s emotional and environmental and perceptual experiences, whether or not the Moon is cruel or gentle. Also, people with gentle Moons can still have a really tough life and people with cruel moons can have fulfilling lives. We need to see the entire birth chart overall to analyze the person’s life.

How to Tell if You Have a Cruel or Gentle Moon in Your Chart

You can look at your birth chart using the South Indian chart from . To see if your Moon is waxing or waning, we need to look at the position of the Sun. If the Moon is between 1 degree and 179 degrees from the Sun, it’s waxing. If it’s between 181 and 359 degrees from the Sun, it’s waning as the Moon moves closer to the Sun. For example, if the Sun is in Capricorn and the Moon is in Libra, the Moon is waning because it’s moving toward the Sun, instead of away from the Sun.

Example South Indian Natal Chart
Example Natal Chart

Time of Birth Matters

In general, if you were born in the daytime, your natural tendency is to be more open to the experiences in the world. The daytime is when our senses are awake and we see and hear things. At night, our senses are naturally withdrawn as we get ready for bed and at night, there are fewer sounds and our environment is poorly lit. So if you have a waxing moon and you were born in the day, your Moon is more aligned with how you naturally are. If you were born at night and have a waning Moon, you may have an easier time withdrawing your senses and letting go because your Moon is retracting anyway.

Works Cited: Wilhelm, Ernst. Graha Sutras, 2006


I'm Gina, a California native who has voraciously studied astrology since 2018. I use Tropical Vedic Astrology and cartomancy as my main vehicles in my cosmic quest for profound spiritual understanding and healing. 


I hold a BA in Psychology and an MS in Marriage & Family Therapy from San Diego State University. With over fifteen years of counseling and teaching experience, I've always enjoyed listening to people's stories and helping them on their path. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, globe-trotting, chasing sunsets, reading, or doing something astrology-related.

To learn more about Tropical Vedic Astrology, visit:


The content on this website is to be treated as entertainment purposes only and should never replace professional advice. Her Cosmic Crown uses astrology and the cards as a tool to help with guidance providing advice during readings. We will not be responsible for the decisions you make after a reading.


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