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Most people can confidently answer when asked, “What’s your zodiac sign?” The answer given is typically the sun sign, or the sign you determine based on your birthday. However, the sun sign is only the tip of the astrological iceberg. In reality, a person is more than their sun sign. Among the other top three placements are the moon and rising sign. All of the placements are referred to as the birth/natal chart, which shows where the planets were when a person was born, and analyzing it can be fun and introspective. Explaining astrology can fill the pages of a novel, but understanding the basics is doable.


To begin, you must know your birth date, time of birth, and city of birth. These have to be as accurate as possible because the positions of planets can change by the minute, which could alter placements on the birth chart. The best website for plugging in this information is https://cafeastrology.com/. Once you insert your information, you’ll get your placements. You’ll immediately recognize your sun sign, but the rest may be confusing.


Sun Sign - The sun sign is you at your core, and it is the one you are most familiar with. It represents your purpose and identity.


Moon Sign - The moon sign reveals our emotions and our inner selves. It is the side that you may recognize once you discover your placement, but that others who do not know you as well may not. It is more intimate and personal than the sun sign.


Rising/Ascendant Sign - The rising is who others perceive you as. For example, if you are an Aquarius who comes across as less chill and more sporadic, you may have Sagittarius rising. Your rising sign has the traits that people will recognize in you when they first meet you.


Mercury - Mercury is the planet of communication and interpreting information from the outside world. It also controls decision-making.


Venus - Venus is the planet of love and beauty. To understand how you approach relationships and pleasures in life, your Venus placement can be a great indicator.


Mars - Mars is the planet of aggression. Your Mars placement can tell you about what makes you angry and what you desire. On the same hand, it tells you about your sex life.


Jupiter - Your Jupiter placement can tell you about your worldview, spirituality, and philosophy. Jupiter is one of two social planets.


Saturn - Your Saturn placement controls maturity, discipline, and responsibility. Saturn is the second of the two social planets.


Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto - Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto each rule generations because each planet remains in each sign for 7, 14, and 30 years respectively. Uranus rules rebellion and innovation, Neptune rules imagination, and Pluto rules power.


If you have ever met two sun signs who seemed nothing alike, now you know why. Astrology is most accurate when looked at from a holistic perspective, rather than only the sun sign. As astrology becomes more mainstream, you now have the basic tools to have a conversation about your own placements.

Kyndall Dunn is a senior honors media management major, business administration minor at Howard University from Atlanta, GA. She is a content contributor and topic editor for Her Campus. Instagram: @kyndunn LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kyndunn/
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