Breaking Down Astrology: Sun vs. Moon vs. Rising

Whether you’re an astrology fanatic or think it’s all a hoax, you’ve heard the question, “What’s your zodiac sign?” Like myself, you may be hesitant to answer because you don’t necessarily connect to the sign you were born into. For many, this lack of attachment to your sign can be what turns you off about zodiac signs. What you probably don’t know though, is that within astrology, your sun sign or zodiac sign is only a small fraction of what makes up who you are based on the heavens. Three signs make up the foundation of who you are in astrology; your sun, moon, and rising/ascendant. Your personality is based on a combination of the three, each being responsible for a different aspect of who you are.

  1. 1. The Sun: your ego

    Your sun sign refers to the position of the sun when you were born. Each sun sign lasts about a month before the next starts. The sun sign is what people usually think of in connection to astrology. Yet, your sun sign is not a representation of you as a whole, but rather your ego. Your sun sign is the core of who you are, your attitude towards the world, and how you perceive things. Usually, your passions in life can be connected back to some of the attributes of your sun sign. For instance, the most common zodiac sign for lawyers is Aries; this is due to the natural leadership abilities of Aries as well as their ability to problem-solve. It's okay to not connect well to your sun sign because, based on your sun, moon, and rising combination, your sun sign may be overpowered.

  2. 2. The Moon: your emotions

    To determine your moon sign, you need to use your time and place of birth, and the zodiac sign changes about ever two days. Opposed to your sun sign, your moon is less visible, hidden within your more emotional side. Your moon sign presents itself through how you express and feel your emotions. Your moon sign can also point to what you need in personal relationships to feel safe and loved; this can be within romantic relationships or just close friendships.

  3. 3. The Ascendant: how others see you

    Your rising or ascendant sign refers to which zodiac sign was rising on the Eastern horizon when you were born. Similar to your moon sign, it is set by your birthplace and time, but it changes every two hours. Your ascendant sign is the most straightforward as it is the first impression people get of you. It is all about how you act in the moment and your general impressions on people. This can differ drastically from your sun and moon sign and therefore allow your first impression to differ from who you are. On the other hand, your rising sign could perfectly match your sun and moon signs making your rising sign blend into the background.