Astrology is a big field, so big even the most experienced and renowned astrologers still have plenty to learn. And, the more we discover about our solar system and the galaxy, the more we have to integrate and evolve in our practice. So, if you want to know more, where do you start? Most of us agree the Sun, Moon, and Rising signs are a good place to begin exploring. Keep in mind that nothing operates in a vacuum and that includes the parts of our birth charts. What I mean, for example, is that the Sun isn’t operating by itself. Even if you look at your Sun sign on its own, your energy is more of overall alchemy or synergy. It helps to remember the parts never add up to the whole – in this case, the individual planets and angles in the chart don’t equate to the whole person. The bottom line is that while astrology reveals many things about you, it doesn’t tell you who you are. That mystery lies beyond. But, there’s a lot we can learn from the parts and now we’ll dive right into astrology basics – your Sun, Moon, and Rising signs.
Your Sun Sign
The Sun is the planet (technically a star) of purpose, vitality, and creation. From our perspective on Earth, it looks like the Sun moves around us, spending one month of the year in each sign. Your Sun sign is the zodiac sign the Sun was in the moment you were born. The sign your Sun is in reflects the special way you’re meant to shine in the world. Just as the Sun is the center of our solar system, the Sun in your birth chart is the core nature of your spirit or essence that infuses all of you, and life around you, with its energy. Your Sun sign shows what gets and keeps you charged-up and what can run your battery down. It also represents courage and pride in yourself, which is necessary to actualize your potential. The Sun is associated with the daytime, consciousness, and what’s rational and visible.
Everything has a light and dark side, and shadow Sun can show up as self-absorption, arrogance, drama, taking things too personally, trying to outshine everyone, stealing the spotlight, overly attached to attention and applause, and simply selfish. The Tarot card correspondence is The Sun, Major Arcana XIX. This is the card of CO-creation, and inner divinity expressed through humanity.
Your Moon Sign
The Moon is the closest astronomical body to Earth, giving it strong influence over us. The Moon’s gravity pulls on Earth’s oceans, causing tides, and its movement affects our emotions, reactions, and even our bodily cycles. The external force of the Moon stabilizes Earth’s 23.5 degree axial tilt, preventing catastrophic shifts – imagine no seasons at all or rolling on our side like Uranus, with the most extreme seasons imaginable. Existence on Earth without our Moon would mean very dark nights forever.
Your Moon sign is the zodiac sign the Moon was in the moment you were born. It reflects your desire to nurture, protect, belong, and connect with your roots. It’s also your mystery and the way you get hunches and feelings in your bones. While the Sun is the light you radiate outward, the Moon is your inner light and inner life – it shines in the dark. The sign your Moon is in reflects your emotional nature, natural instincts, reactions, habits, memories, ancestry, early home environment, and what makes you feel comfortable and safe.
Shadow Moon can show up as needy, mothering or caretaking without healthy boundaries, smothering, hypersensitive, defensive, overly protective, highly irrational, emotionally immature, unstable, and insecure. The Tarot card correspondence is The High Priestess, Major Arcana II. This archetype teaches us to explore our subconscious lunar landscape to receive our deepest sense of self and inner wisdom.
Your Rising Sign
Your Rising sign, or Ascendant, is the zodiac sign that was rising on the eastern horizon at the moment you were born. To create an accurate birth chart, you need your exact birth time (hour and minute) because the Rising sign is fast-moving (yes – a minute can make a difference). You chose an exact moment to be born, and the birth chart is a cosmic reflection of you – a mirror for self-discovery. Your Rising sign is a big part of who you’re discovering yourself to be in this lifetime.
Your Rising sign reflects the way you spontaneously approach life – how you show up and the first impression you make on others. A person’s Rising sign and its associated qualities are often noticed first upon meeting or interacting, and these qualities and style are difficult to hide. Your Rising sign is instinctual but not refined. It’s like you’re wired with that sign’s raw energy, but to make it really work for you takes conscious development. The energy of your Rising sign is how you can best meet each moment as you move through life.