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Interpreting Your Astrological “Big 6”

If you ask someone, “What’s your sign?” there’s about a 95% chance that they’ll respond with their sun sign. What many people don’t realize is that your astrological chart is far more complex than just your sun sign: you actually have 12 different placements that all contribute something different to your personality! Some of those placements are generational rather than individual, so astrologers typically focus on the “big six”—your sun, moon, rising, Mercury, Mars, and Venus signs. Let me break down those six placements.

Sun: The sun governs our ego, basic personality, and identity. Another way to think of your Sun sign is as the few words you’d use if someone asked you to describe yourself. For example, if you have a Leo Sun, you may see generosity, warmth, a flair for the dramatic, and outgoing personality as the core of who you are as a person. 

Moon: A phrase I’ve heard a lot is that our moon sign is who we are when we’re alone. The moon governs our innermost thoughts, emotions, and dreams. Your moon sign determines how you’ll connect emotionally with others as well as what kinds of people, places, and things bring you peace. You may find yourself particularly drawn to people whose sun sign matches your moon sign.

Rising: Your rising sign is your “outer self.” It controls your physical appearance and how others perceive you the first time they meet you. I’m a Pisces rising, which means strangers and acquaintances may describe me as kind and a bit quiet with my head in the clouds. 

Mercury: Mercury is the planet of communication, so your Mercury sign describes how you express yourself in conversation and your decision-making and thought processes. Understanding your Mercury sign can help you reflect on who you are as a student and how you typically approach conflict. 

Mars: Mars is the planet of aggression and passion. What do you do when you really want something? If you prefer to go with the flow, you may have a water Mars: Pisces, Cancer, or Scorpio. On the other hand, if you’re decisive and a bit impulsive, your Mars may be in Leo, Sagittarius, or Aries, the three fire signs.

Venus: Venus is all about love! Your Venus sign can help you understand your turn-ons and turn-offs, how you flirt, and what kind of partner you are. Venus also governs pleasure, so it dictates your favorite things to indulge in (chocolate and online shopping, anyone?).

Julia Ochsenhirt

Wake Forest '24

Julia Ochsenhirt is a freshman at Wake Forest from Richmond, Virginia. She plans to double-major in English and Politics & International Affairs and loves hiking, good books, long drives with music blasting, and chocolate chip cookies.
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