The “Big-Three” in Astrology: Your Sun, Moon, & Rising Signs Explained

by Adama Sesay

sun moon rising signs explained


You most likely know your sun sign, but you don’t exactly feel like it. You may have heard Astrologers proclaim, “You are more than your sun sign!”, but what exactly does this mean? Your astrological DNA is made up of an entire birth chart with different planetary placements, not just the sun. You are a multi-faceted human being and your unique chart reflects this; no two charts in the world are the same.


Learn About Your Sun, Moon, & Rising Signs

The three pillars of your personality, or “big three”, are your rising, sun, and moon sign placements. Using a free birth chart calculator or consulting an Astrologer can help you determine yours. Here is a quick guide to your cosmic personality.


Your Rising Sign aka Ascendant

Your rising sign, also known as the ascendant, is determined by which astrological sign was on the eastern horizon the moment you were born. This placement determines your appearance, personality, and how you present yourself to the outside world. This is how you come across when people first meet you. The planetary ruler of your rising sign and where it is placed in your chart is also important. It can determine how you focus your attention and energy in life. For example, if you have an Aries rising with its planetary ruler Mars in the first house, you can be driven by your own personal needs and desires in life.


Your Sun Sign

The next layer of your astrological makeup is the sun. Your sun sign represents your ego, life path, and how you shine the brightest in this lifetime. Understanding where the sun is placed in your chart can also determine your own personal strengths and challenges.  Some individuals become their sun sign later in life, as the rising and moon are habitual and instinctual energies. If your sun sign is in the same sign as your rising or moon (example: a Gemini rising and sun), the traits of the sun are expressed and felt more naturally. It’s less of a challenge for you to step into your calling and become who you were born to be. If you have conflicting energies, you may not “feel” like your sun sign. For example, if you have a Taurus rising, Leo sun, and Scorpio moon, you have three conflicting energies that you must integrate in order to self-actualize and grow into who you were meant to be.


Your Moon Sign

Lastly, the moon represents your emotions, instinctual reactions, and internal world. This is also an indicator of what your inner child needs to feel nurtured, as the moon represents the relationship with your mother. It’s essentially who you are when you are with family, friends, or become comfortable in a situation. This is an extremely important placement in terms of friendships, relationships, marriage, and your home. Depending on your chart this is the sign you may identify with more. Having compatible moon signs signals a deeper relationship where both parties are familiar with the way the other expresses themselves. It’s almost as if you are “at home”.


Understanding these three energies can help you ultimately understand yourself on a deeper level. Tap into the power of your moon to heal, harness the energy of your sun to achieve, and use your rising for the strength to walk through the world.


Stay up to date with Adama of Lilith Astrology on her weekly horoscope show:


Image by Janelle Burger @janelleburger


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