Ascendant, Sun and Moon
The Sun, Moon and Rising Sign – The Three Sides of “You”
The Ascendant in a Natal Chart
Ever read about your zodiac sign and feel it really doesn’t resonate with you? I’ve heard many people do. That’s because you are so much more than the birth sign that you were born under. Astrologically speaking, I tell my clients that they really have three signs. There is a Sun sign which is based on the day they were born, a Rising sign a.k.a the Ascendant, which is based on their hour of birth and a Moon sign which is based on the Moon’s placement. All three of these “signs” represent you.
Finding out and understanding how your Sun sign, Ascendant sign and Moon sign work together can give you a better picture of who you truly are. Let’s examine each.
Your Rising Sign a.k.a. The Ascendant, is how the world sees you. It is based on the exact time you were born. Every two hours, the rising sign changes. Depending on the day, time, year and location of birth, your rising sign could compliment your sun sign or be quite opposite. This is one of the reasons some people who read their horoscope say it doesn’t resonate, because they may have two different personalities at work here. Let say someone was Cancer with a Sagittarius rising sign. Sagittarius, is known for its free spirited nature and doesn’t want to be tied down. But if their sun sign is Cancer, they may indeed have Cancer traits and want to be “tied down’ by family and friends. This Sagittarius side may be more a rebel and risk taker! The rising sign represents how the world sees you and how you represent yourself to the world. You may be a Cancer but actually look like a Sagittarius and possess Archer qualities.
The Rising sign is the equivalent to the horizon at a person’s birth. It is the starting point of the chart and the starting point in a person’s life. The ascendant is interpreted as indicative of the individual’s personality as well as his appearance. It also indicates the circumstances of childhood. The rising sign is one of the most important parts of a chart because it describes the influences that become a part of a person’s being the very moment they take their first breath.
While the Sun indicates the inner personality (something we don’t always allow others to see), the vitality and the ego quality. The Moon relates to the emotional quality and adds an emotional aspect to the Sun’s ego quality. It is the rising sign that indicates an individual’s particular outlook on life.
The ascendant can act like a wall or façade that an individual erects around themselves. It is often like a mask that is hidden behind, simply because it is concerned with survival issues. It describes the part of the personality that is most easily expressed. It sometimes protects the real identity (described by the Sun). It tells us how a person has “photographed” the circumstances around them and what they have decided will work best. It tells us about the technique a person has developed to enable them to handle the conditions they cope with.
The Sun in a Natal Chart
The Sun is the generator of life; the motivating power behind all activities. Astrologers call the Sun the “Individuality”. This means that it is the essence of Man and represents the Spirit. The Spirit is that atom of divinity within each being. It signifies Man’s connection to the Source of Light. The Sun-Spirit also represents the creative abilities of the individual and the state of his or her general health. It is the Sun’s light with vitalizes all the other planets, for without its electromagnetic radiation there would be no life anywhere, either in the solar system or in the human organism.
Your Sun Sign- basically is how you shine. It represents who you are. For example If you were born June 29th, you would be a Cancer and probably have nurturing sensitive qualities. Picture the Sun as being you and shining brightly. The qualities of your Sun sign is what you radiate. Each zodiac sign has specific personality traits related to their sign.
The Moon in a Natal Chart
Your Moon Sign is based on the sign the moon falls in on the day of birth. The moon changes about every two and a quarter days. The moon rules your emotions and how you deal with feelings. In a woman’s chart, it can also rule her mother, her health and her home. In a man’s chart, it can also rule the woman he would have deep feelings for. So let’s say your moon is in the sign of Scorpio. Your characteristics would include very deep intense feelings and strong intuition. Your Scorpio moon could also make you a very private person. So following the other examples of the sun and rising sign, the Scorpio moon compliments the fellow water sign Cancer but contradicts some of the energy of the Sagittarius’ personality.
The placement of the Moon is the indication of a person’s Personality. This differs from Individuality as signified by the Sun in that the Personality is the many-faceted vehicle through which the Individuality (the Spirit) expresses itself. Man has to draw upon different aspects of himself in order to match the circumstances which surround him. Many people identify with these changes and are not even aware of the differences in their life-rhythms. They are, in fact, molded by their immediate environment and are blown by the wind. They have little control over their destiny, for their conscious contact with their Individuality is poor, almost non-existent. Such people have no control over their emotions and are slaves to their immediate feelings and impulses. Those who have learned how to control their Personality so that it can become a tool of their Will are the stronger beings in the world. The way this strength is used, however, once again depends on the nature of the Soul and its spiritual development.
In the horoscope, it is very important that the Sun and Moon be situated in a harmonious relationship so that the will of the Individuality and the feelings of the Personality can be coordinated in confronting one’s life circumstances. If the Sun is strong and the Moon is weak, a man will not know how to interact with other people or how to balance his own desires against prevailing conditions. The Moon represents the ability to attract people and shows how one deals with others. If the Moon is strong, and the Sun is weak, the person will have many friends and opportunities but will not have the strength to follow though on ideas and relationships.
When you deal with issues emotionally, you are probably working your Moon sign. When you out in the public, your Rising sign is what people see first. It represents your physical appearance. So what you see is not necessarily what you get. Hopefully this information will clear up some of the questions many have had as to why they don’t relate to their sun sign. These folks may feel their vibration is much more related to their Moon or Rising signs. I also tell my clients to read their Rising sign everyday in the horoscopes. It may provide a better indication of what is truly going to happen for the day than the sun sign horoscopes although both are valid. But do read both.
Here’s something else I find interesting; In Vedic theory, astrologers are not concerned with your Sun sign. They are interested in reading your Moon sign because this is what they consider to be the real essence of a person’s soul.
A inharmonious connections between these two Lights does not mean that an individual will not be successful. It may just indicate increased difficulty in succeeding. In the process of learning how to balance the will with the feelings, a man may learn some very important lessons necessary for the total growth and development of his Being. Rewards without work are seldom meaningful.
On a more mundane level, the Moon in the natal chart indicates one’s domestic life and love of family. The Moon is the significator of one’s mother, the wife in a man’s horoscope, and the nature of one’s pregnancies and childbirths in a women’s. The strength or weakness of the Moon’s natal position is most important in the determination of one’s personal magnetism, imagination, and general sympathies.
The Rising Sign by Jeanne Avery
The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need by Joanna Martine Woolfold
Alan Oken’s Complete Astrology by Alan Oken