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Astrology 101- The Sun, Moon, and Rising / Ascendant Sign Meaning in the Zodiac

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Introduction to Your Sun, Moon, and Rising Signs

Hello everyone! In this article, I’m going to be explaining what the sun, moon, and ascendant (also known as rising) signs are! These celestial bodies in space are some of the most influential ‘planets’ in your natal chart! All of the information we need to analyze this life cycle can be found in what is called your “natal” or “birth cart”. When we chart our birth day, time, and location, we can see the positions of the planets and other celestial bodies at the exact moment we were born! This map of planets creates our birth chart, which can reveal your traits for this life. This post explains how to find your three “main” signs (sun, moon, and rising) and what that means to you.

This post is part of my astrology series!-

Astrology 100: Astrology for Absolute Beginners- What’s your sign?
Astrology 102- What’s a Birth Chart? An In-depth Simple Explanation! Natal Chart

How to Find your Sun, Moon, & Ascendant Sign?

Birth Chart Instructions

Your birth chart is a map of the sky! That is, it is a map of the planets at the exact moment and location you were born! It calculates the positions of planets and other aspects we look for in astrology; like the moon, sun, and rising signs. The next lesson is dedicated to explaining how your birth/natal chart works, but for now it’s okay to use calculators to tell us our positions. The Sun signs change about every 30 daysmoon signs change about every 2.5 days, and ascendant signs change about every 2 hours. These signs are going to be different for everyone and are based on the day, time, and location you were born. It is required that you know the exact time of your birth and the name of the city you were born in, in order to know your moon sign and ascendant. (If you don’t know the time you were born then you won’t know for sure your ascendant and sometimes your moon sign, but still give it a try!)

Find your birth chart free here:

1. Click this link.

2. Fill the information on the page. You are now going to click on the city that they have corrected for you and click Submit.

3. Scroll down to the 2 tables that look something like this:


Your sun sign is the first sign on the top left.

Your moon sign is the second sign on the top left.

Your ascendant or rising sign is the first sign on the top right.

(There is a lot of information on this chart that you will not understand just yet, do not be overwhelmed check out Astrology 102: What’s a birth chart? for a more in depth analysis of birth charts)


The majority of us know what our sun sign is, it is the zodiac sign you answer, when people ask what your sign is (if you’re not sure what your sun sign is check out this post to find out). Modern mainstream astrology and horoscopes are based on the fact that everyone knows what day they were born, so when writing mass articles about predictive horoscoping they only included the sun signs. This is because your sun sign is fairly relatable and easy to find if you know your date of birth. Most people who do not study astrology, don’t know what a moon or ascendant sign is. Just as we are given our sun sign based on the day we were born, each person also has ‘other’ signs including all the planets, and a moon and ascendant sign.  Each of these planets has a different meaning! For example, to put it simply mercury controls communication while mars controls passion. Every planet is in a zodiac sign, these planets and signs affect our life according to their positions. Out of all of our planetary positions, these three signs are usually what is studied first because they are so important and influential!

What is a Sun Sign?


Quick Answer: Your sun sign represents: Your Basic Ego, Self Image, The Self You are Most Aware of, Your Conciseness, Your Personality, Individuality, Presence, and Light

Think of your sun sign as your ego, which by definition is a “a person’s sense of self importance.” It represents who you are when no one is looking, and who you naturally are when you are around those you trust the most. The sun sign is your true identity. Your sun sign is who you are without stress. This sign is who you are when you are happy and left to be you! Your friends and people who see you often will know this version of you. The sun sign also shows how you view your self, your consciousness, and your self worth. It represents your individuality and the person you believe you are. This sign is what shines about you and what energy you radiate. 

The sun is illumination, without the sun we would not be able to see anything. To see something is to know something. If you are in the dark or ignorant about pollution, you may never even think about throwing away harmful products. However once the concept is brought to light, you are aware, you now know the situation, you are now conscious about pollution and instead of doing an act ignorantly you are making a choice because you are aware of the situation. Before the light bulb went off in your head, before the sun shined it’s light on any situation or concept you were simply not aware of it. Suddenly you became aware, you gained knowledge through the sun’s rays. Your sun sign is your conscious and what you know about life and yourself.

The sun is permanent and stable, we all look to the sun for food and warmth, the sun will always rise and always set! The sun physically rules our heart, which is arguably one of the most important organs in our body keeping us alive! It’s the center of everything, there is nothing more visible than the sun. Your sun sign is one of the most important signs in your birth chart because it showcases who you truly are consciously and who you believe yourself to be. Beginner’s usually start with researching their sun sign because it is the most well known in mainstream astrology.

It represents our life purpose. Just as all the planets rotate around the sun, we focus and live off of this sun energy. It is the center of our universe and often what we focus on in life. The sun is the leader of the astrological chart. The sun will outshine other planetary positions in your chart, instinctively. This sign is what we strive to achieve, it is our goal, and also who we believe we are in our “story”. This position is who we ideally become under the most perfect conditions.


 For example, if your sun sign is Leo then you are likely to be loyal, dramatic, and consistent. If you’re a Capricorn then you will naturally be very responsible, dependable, and persistent. If your sun sign is Aquarius then you will likely be social, rebellious, and innovative. Your sun sign is who we strive to be, and who we are under the best conditions. Research “Sun in ____” to find more about your own personal Sun sign meaning

What is a Moon Sign?


Quick Answer: Your Moon Sign Determines- Your Inner Emotional Self, Inner Qualities, Intuition, Feelings, Thoughts, Instincts, Emotions, 


Think of your moon sign as your emotional self and your deepest, most personal thoughts. Your moon sign reveals the way you process emotions, reactions, and feelings. It rules over your inner emotional self, intuition, instincts, thoughts, and subconscious. The moon sign shows us our deepest personal needs for this lifetime. The sun is constantly being surrounded by the moon, like a safety blanket coddling, and making sure the sun is okay. Our moon signs reveal what makes us feel comfortable, safe, and secure. 

The moon is the closest celestial body to Earth! It also moves very quickly only taking about a month to cycle through all of the signs and only spends about two and a half days in each sign. That being said, the moon rules everything that is constantly changing, just like it’s different phases and shapes. The moon is known for being in charge of our ever changing moods and emotions. The moon is “This is how I feel right now” (as opposed to the sun’s energy which is this is who I am and will always be). 


If the sun is action, the moon is reaction. The moon is associated with feminine energy and your mother figure, while the sun is connected to masculine energy and your father figure. Because the sun is emitting light and the moon is receiving this light the moon is recognized as the feminine and the sun as the masculine. One is emitting (action) while the other is reflecting (inaction). The sun rules rationality while the moon rules irrationality.  The sun focuses on the exciting present, while the moon focuses on the emotional past. If the sun is the hypothetical King then the moon is the hypothetical Queen.  

For example if your moon is in Pisces, then you may be clairvoyant or sometimes down right psychic. Because the moon effects our brain just imagine that your moon sign controls your thoughts and how you feel. If your moon is in Scorpio, then you are probably a bit secretive, even if you don’t mean to be. Scorpios are usually very aware that they enjoy keeping things to themselves. Research “Moon in ____” to find more about your own personal Sun sign meaning

What is an Ascendant/Rising Sign?

Quick Answer: Your Ascendant Sign Determines- How the World Sees You, First Impressions, The Surface Level you, What you Let the Outside World See, The Face We Show to Strangers, Your physical Appearence, How you see the world


Sometimes in astrology the ascendant sign is simply seen as your mask. This is semi-accurate considering, people see your face and have an opinion of you, even before you speak. However the ascendant sign is much bigger than just a mask! This sign determines your physical body in this life cycle. More than a mask, it’s your skin, your bones, your health conditions, your muscles, it’s literally your body that covers your soul! No person wants to walk around showing their soul to anyone that looks at them, our ascendant sign is our body in this life time, it is the physical manifestation of the zodiac sign it resides in (and what planets reside in the first house more on this later). The sign that your rising sign resides in can tell you about your physical traits this lifetime.

The ascendant point represents the sign that was rising on the horizon when you were born. It is how you view the world, how you were introduced to the world, and how you see and perceive the world around you for the rest of your life. This sign will determine your attitude towards life and the outside world around you. This is your perception of how life and people and situations treat you and your reactions based on those situations.


I’ve also referred to your rising sign as your “book cover” because it determines how people perceive you at first meeting. It is the surface level you, what you innately share with the outside world. This sign will correlate to your demeanor and your overall attitude. This is how we were conditioned to represent ourselves as children. It is your image, your style, and your reputation. It shows how we handle and deal with new experiences, and unexpected situations. We treat strangers differently than we do people we trust, whether we realize this or not, this creates a very different image to those who don’t know us. Your ascendant sign also rules over your fight or flight reactions! This is the sign we turn into when we become uncomfortable, this sign will be in charge of our immediate reactions and instincts in situations where you need to make a quick immediate decision.

For example, if your ascendant sign is Taurus then you probably come across as stubborn, you may or may not be stubborn, but because your ascendant sign determines how you appear to others, you will appear to be a Taurus until they get to know you better. If your ascendant is in Gemini then you are probably perceived as a bubbly and talkative person.


Comparing the Three Signs


  • Identity
  • Ego
  • Self Importance
  • Masculine Energy
  • Conscious
  • Known
  • Blatantly Obvious


  • Emotions
  • Moods
  • Mind Workings
  • Feminine Energy
  • Subconscious
  • Unknown
  • Mysterious


  • Appearance
  • Animal instincts
  • First Reactions
  • Health Issues
  • Physical World
  • Image Projected
  • World Interaction

In conclusion

Astrology is a complicated subject, we have to take many things into consideration when researching how the heavens effect us. In conclusion, Your sun sign determines your ego, your moon sign determines your emotions, and your ascendant determines your outward appearance and attitude. These are the three most important signs in your birth chart in terms of what shapes your personality. 

Other posts in this series:

Astrology 100: Astrology for Absolute Beginners- What’s your sign?

Astrology 102- What’s a Birth Chart? An In-depth Simple Explanation! Natal Chart

Thank you for stopping by and reading this article! Have an amazing day!

Any thoughts? Leave a comment!

10 thoughts on “Astrology 101- The Sun, Moon, and Rising / Ascendant Sign Meaning in the Zodiac

  1. Sun and moon in Gemini and rising in Sagittarius. I’ve been told I come off as a know it all then folks realize I’m both quiet and loud, sweet and salty, dark and light, but never mean or bitter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the different personalities of Gemini, it seems to keep the rest of us on our toes! 🙂
      I am also aware that I come off as a “know it all” at first, probably because of my moon in Aquarius and Rising in Aries. (As a Libra, I also have air signs as my sun and moon sign and in my experience air signs are rarely bitter or mean)! Thank you for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so happy I can help! It seems like no matter how advanced you get into astrology, there is always more to find out! Thank you for the link I can use that in future posts 🙂


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