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A Guide to Understanding Your “Big Three” In Astrology

Astrology is a hot topic right now, and we absolutely love it. From the internet jokes about Mercury in retrograde, to zodiac sign accounts with thousands of followers, knowing about astrology is now common knowledge for many. Whether or not you think that the location of the stars in the sky when you were born actually has any influence, no one truly knows the answer. But what we do know is that astrology is a super fun and complex tool you can use to possibly understand parts of yourself and others better. 

As astrology grows in popularity and enters the sphere of regular conversation, it’s become important to understand the basics of your own. Your natal chart is a complex astrological idea of who you are through different parts of your life. Arguably, the most important part of your natal chart is your “Big Three” (your sun, moon, and rising sign). These three signs play a huge part of your overall personality through reflecting your fullest potential, your emotional landscape, and your outward perspective on the world. Here we have an explanation of how to interpret your Big Three, and we provide the resources to do so!

Sun Signs
Original Illustration on Canva for Her Campus Media

Sun signs, also interchangeable with the terms “star signs” and “zodiac signs”, are the typical zodiac reference in mainstream media. When you hear someone say something like “I am such an Aries,” they are talking about sun signs. Sun signs are purely dependent on the day you were born and which constellation the sun was in on that day. For example, if you were born on a day from August 23 to September 22, your sun sign is in Virgo. In regards to your personality, your sun sign generally describes your personality at its fullest potential in correlation to your ego and your core. It can be a good reflection of your motivation and drive in life, and what you could be like in the future when you become fully comfortable with yourself. Overall, your sun sign is a description of the qualities that develop within your best self.

Moon Signs
Original Illustration by Her Campus Media

Moon signs are a separate sign from your sun sign, so your sun sign could be Aquarius and your moon sign could be Pisces (like me!). It references what constellation the moon was in at the time and day of your birth in relation to that time zone. Your moon sign is a reflection of your inner thoughts and emotions. It is usually a more personal sign, so only you will be able to tell if it accurately shows your thought process and how you handle your feelings. It is very common to relate more to your moon sign than your sun sign, because it is closer to your thoughts. In all, your moon sign describes your subconscious, your emotional security, and who you feel you are in the world.

Rising Signs
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Megan Charles / Her Campus Media

Your rising sign, also interchangeable with the term “ascendent,” is the zodiac sign that rises in the eastern horizon at the day and time of your birth. Your rising sign is important because it serves as a filter for how you perceive the world and how you perceive yourself. It also reflects what your first impression is when you meet new people. Your rising sign is the front door of yourself, because it is what others see before they know who you are at a deeper level, and it is what you see through to interpret the world outside of yourself.

Remember, while exploring your natal chart (and just astrology in general), it is super important to keep an open mind. It is totally okay if you don’t relate to some parts of your chart, including your Big Three. But if you do connect to your astrology like millions of others around the world, embrace it! Your Big Three is just the tip of the iceberg of your natal chart, and there are so many resources to dive deeper into your astrology like Cafe Astrology, Astro.com, The Pattern and more. Now go get ‘em!

Gabriella is a second-year student at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo majoring in Graphic Communication. She is currently involved in Her Campus as the Cal Poly SLO chapter Social Media Director, Instagram Manager, and as an editorial writer. She is passionate about writing, making art, volunteering, and pursuing a career where her creativity can be at the forefront. In her free time, you can find her attempting to surf, researching astrology, and doodling anything at any given opportunity.
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