The Big 3: Sun Sign, Moon Sign & Ascendent (Rising) Sign

Sun Sign Moon Sign Ascendent Sign

We often hear Astro lingo that speaks about the different elements in our natal chart i.e. birth chart, where the planets and stars were aligned the exact moment you were born. It’s an Astro snapshot or blueprint of our personality traits (energetically speaking) that are based upon the characteristics of the planets, constellations, stars and other energetic elements in the Universe. 

Our natal chart is like a map, divided into 12 separate houses. Each one connects to different Zodiac signs and their assigned personality traits. We look at natal charts as a spiritual guide to dive into our different states of being, allowing us to craft an overall understanding of who we are as individuals from the inside, out.

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A natal chart also gives us an indication of our forthcoming behavior traits, our emotional patterns, strengths, weaknesses, hidden fears, desires, and conscientiousness. It lays the groundwork for who we want to become – extrovert or introvert – and the decision-making ideology that guides us from one phase of our life to another.

Three houses personify our sense of self in the natal chart: The sun, the moon, and the ascendent (rising) sign of our personal astrological wheel. There is a vast difference between the traits of these three elements and the ways in which each affects our individual persona.

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Here’s an in depth look at what each house represents (www.cafeastrology.com offers free natal charts).

Sun Sign

Our sun sign is our astrological sign as we know it. This is the most widely known of the houses, and to the mainstream, it is known as the Zodiac.  Horoscope and Astrological signs are delegated based upon birth dates. It is interchangeable with the term “star sign" based upon the date you were born.

Each sun sign spans roughly four weeks. It typically begins in the middle of the month and ends in the middle of the next month.

This sign denotes the position of the Sun (ego, personality, drive and initiative) on the day you were born. Many who share the same Sun sign showcase the same personality traits. Often, we migrate to those that have our similar sun sign.

There are 12 Zodiac signs in Tropical Astrology (Western Astrology), the most widely accepted and mainstream form of astrology and the impetus for this discussion. Other astrology disciplines, such as Vedic, introduce a 13th sign. 

The Sun sign shines a light on your day-to-day personality. It showcases the strongest elements of who you are or what we refer to as your “essence.”  Even if you aren’t into astrology, most of the general population knows their Sun sign. 

Your Sun sign is a key factor in how you make decisions and how you position yourself amongst your family, work, peers and friendship circles. Many feel that the Sun sign is a direct line to your Ego, which is our inner sense of self-worth, self-importance, and self-understanding. 

The Sun showcases our spirit and how we define ourselves.

  • Are you outspoken?
  • Are you an introvert?
  • Do you fly off the handle or are you even keeled?
  • Do you think before you speak?
  • Are you the first to raise your hand with a question?
  • Or do you research online privately to get the information you need?

Our Sun sign pushes us to define who we are in the real world.

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Moon Sign

To many of us in the astrology world, the Moon sign is truly your most authentic Zodiac sign. It’s your feelings, your internal reactions, and your inner self; the self you don’t show, the things you don’t say, and the actions you don’t take. It’s the inner core (soul) and what we truly feel but rarely discuss.

Our Moon sign triggers the quintessence of our inner primal feelings and, at times, our anger, resentment, and fear. Like true life opposites, the Moon Sign and Sun Signs often conflict and contradict each other. (Should I stay, or should I go?)

Our Moon sign speaks internally about what we are afraid to say out loud.  Many of our “gut reactions” stem from our Moon sign. It triggers our emotional health and stability and forces us to withdraw or unleash.

The Moon rotates around the Earth approximately every 27.5 days, stopping by a different Zodiac sign every 2.5 days, so there is rapid rotation. You and your friend might have birthdays only three days apart but have different Moon signs, which might be the catalyst of why you are different in many aspects.

Moon Signs are what we think and feel deep inside but are fearful to say. What political party do you belong to? Well, I really don’t say that out loud. (But I know damn well what side of the fence I am on inside.) 

Our Moon sign connects our inner source when we make promises, commitments, and offer advice. It dictates our level of emotional commitment to relationships, friendships, and work. It connects to our inner passions and our inner demons, giving way to our addictions, patterns, and the repetitive ways we operate.

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Ascendent Sign

The Ascendent Sign, also known as the Rising Sign, is about how you portray yourself as others perceive you. Astrologers call this the Social side of our personality. 

The Ascendent Sign defines physical appearance, how we look, and how we represent ourselves. In other words, it's how we put together our total package and put ourselves out there.

The Ascendent sign is ascribed to your chart based upon the exact minute and location you are born. Unlike the birth date, the more precise you are about the exact time you were born (usually on your birth certificate), the more accurate the Ascendent.

When you first meet and connect with people, your Rising Sign is activated. How you walk, how you hold yourself (posture), how you use your hands and body language to communicate is associated with your Ascendent Sign.

Ascendent signs are often connected to your reactions – both verbal and physical  in day-to-day activity as well as your actual reaction time on things (slow or fast), depending on where your Ascendent Sign falls in your chart.

  • Do you make your bed everyday?
  • Is that a part of how you organize your day or is it because you think you might get a last-minute visitor and you want to appear to be neat and tidy?
  • Visible tattoos, piercings, radical hair colors, unique jewelry, and other artistic expressions are directly connected to your Ascendent sign.

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The Ascendent sign connects directly with career and employment.

  • How are you denoted in the workplace?
  • Are you a leader or a follower? 
  • Are you a worker or a manager?
  • How outspoken are you in the workplace?
  • Are you an out of the box, risk taker?And is that how you want to be  exemplified?
  • Or do you fly under the radar, just concerned about getting a paycheck.  

These types of attributes are defined by our Ascendent Sign.

Your Ascendent sign activates the moment you go on a job interview. It determines how you dress, how you speak, and how you physically hold yourself during questioning. 

Many actors, politicians, teachers, lecturers, models, and estheticians tap into their Ascendent sign for career choices. Our Ascendent Sign is typically defined as the “mask” we wear so that we can, almost like an actor, give ourselves a different personality.

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Final Thoughts

Your Sun, Moon & Ascendent signs – all combine as "the Big 3" to showcase your personality, inside and out. It is your essence and your state of being on many different levels that creates the very individual, priceless wonderment that is you.

Written by Michele Tell, Licensed in Psychic Arts and Author of The Signs of Tarot

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