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Astrology is an ancient language that utilizes planetary bodies, zodiac signs, and houses to communicate a unique cosmic signature known as your birth chart. The birth chart maps out the position of the sun, moon, planets, and stars at the specific time and place of your birth. This is what provides the framework for your individuality, relationships, and life purpose.
In your birth chart, the three main planetary points that outline your everyday personality are your sun, moon, and rising. Most everyone knows their sun sign, but many are not as familiar with their moon and rising sign. This is why the question “What’s your sign?” is so much more complex than the simple answer of “I’m a Libra.”
So, what is the best way to answer your sign question? By learning what your sun, moon, and rising sign really mean and then finding out which of the 12 zodiac signs they occupy in your birth chart.
The sun, moon, and rising are found within a specific zodiac sign in your birth chart. The 12 zodiac signs are associated with an elemental property (earth, water, air, fire), a fundamental quality (cardinal, mutable, fixed), and a planetary ruler. The combination of these provides the basis for exploration of how these planetary points express themselves in your life.
The sun is your identity. It is the essence that you shine out into the world. It represents the vital force that drives you to seek the highest expression of your true self. Your sun sign is how you answer the question “I am” and how you experience life and express your individuality. It also represents the type of energy that you need to feel revitalized. For example, your sun sign’s element is helpful in understanding your self-expression tendencies and how you recharge.
If your sun is an air sign:
- Gemini, Libra, or Aquarius: you love to express yourself intellectually and often recharge in social settings.
If your sun is a fire sign:
- Aries, Leo, or Sagittarius: you are motivated by inspirations and aspirations and recharge through physical activity and by pursuing your goals.
If your sun is an earth sign:
- Taurus, Virgo, or Capricorn: you are motivated by material needs and practicality and recharge through working with the physical world, being productive, and feeding your senses.
If your sun is a water sign:
- Cancer, Scorpio, or Pisces: you are motivated by deep emotional desires and recharge through emotional experiences and intimate involvement with people.
To find out what sign your sun is in, look for the ☉ symbol on your birth chart and use the guide below to interpret the sign glyph.
The moon is the soul behind your identity. It is the subconscious side of yourself that you typically keep hidden and is the driving force behind your emotional reactions. Your moon sign helps you feel pleasure and pain, joy and sorrow, and gives insight into how you nurture and restore yourself. It is the mecca of your inner world. For example, your moon sign’s element is helpful in understanding your inner world and how you typically react in emotional situations.
If your moon is in an air sign:
- Gemini, Libra, or Aquarius: you react to changing experiences with discernment and objective evaluation. You feel most aligned with your inner self when expressing ideas and interacting socially.
If your moon is in a fire sign:
- Aries, Leo, or Sagittarius: you react to changing experiences with direct action and excitement. You feel most aligned with your inner self when expressing confidence and strength.
If your moon is in an earth sign:
- Taurus, Virgo, or Capricorn: you react to changing experiences with steadiness and stability. You feel most aligned with your inner world when being productive and working towards a goal.
If your moon is a water sign:
- Cancer, Scorpio, or Pisces: you react to changing experiences with sensitivity and emotion. You feel most aligned with your inner self when feelings are deeply involved.
To find out what sign your moon is in, look for this ☽ symbol on your birth chart.
Rising sign (also known as your Ascendant) is your social personality. It is how you dawn on people as it relates to the zodiac sign that was on the Eastern horizon when you were born. Your rising sign represents your physical body and outward style. It is the manifestation of both your inner and outer world. For example, your rising sign’s element is helpful in understanding the type of energy that drives your physical body and overall approach to life.
If your rising is in an air sign:
- Gemini, Libra, or Aquarius: you are mentally quick, inquisitive, friendly, and prefer to express yourself verbally. You often approach life with the desire to understand the meaning of what or whom you encounter.
If your rising is in a fire sign:
- Aries, Leo, or Sagittarius: you are action-oriented, confident, and often blunt. You often have great vitality and physical energy, especially when striving to make your mark in the world.
If your rising is in an earth sign:
- Taurus, Virgo, or Capricorn: you are matter-of-fact and tend to focus on the material world. You often have a steadfast approach to life that can be a grounding force for many.
If your rising is in a water sign:
- Cancer, Scorpio, or Pisces: you are sensitive, empathetic, and easily influenced by your environment. You often have an approach to life that is deeply rooted in your emotional body.
Birth time and location plays a critical role in determining your rising sign. Make sure those are accurate and then look to the line on the eastern horizon of your birth chart which is also be the cusp of your 1st house.
Developing a deep awareness of your sun, moon, and rising is a great place to start in understanding your personal astrology. If you are interested in learning more, join my Cosmic Soul Membership club. Happy exploring!