Your 'Big 3' Signs in Astrology

Your sun, moon, and rising signs are known as your “big three” signs in astrology — think of them as your most significant astrological stats.

Big 3 Astrology

These Big 3 Astrology signs are super important in your birth chart, and each rules over its own part of your personality and overall self. While the sun represents the core of yourself and the moon represents your inner self, you can think of your rising sign as being representative of your outer self.

What is Your Sun Sign?

From our viewpoint here on Earth, the Sun travels around the Earth once each year. Within the space of that year the Sun moves through all twelve signs of the zodiac,* spending approximately one month in each sign.

The sign that the Sun was traveling through at the time of your birth is your Sun sign. It gives us life, warmth, energy, food. It is the force that sustains us on Earth. The Sun is also the most important and pervasive influence in your natal chart, and in many ways determines how others see you. The position of the Sun in your natal chart governs your individuality, your distinctive style, and your drive to fulfill your goals in life, ruling over your ego and sense of self, as well as your sense of creativity and vitality.

Your Sun sign defines your general character. Are you introspective? Do you make friends easily? How do you cope with responsibility? Are you high-strung or easygoing? The answers may be found in a study of your Sun sign.

Astrology is a fascinating tool for the study of human nature. When you first meet someone, that person is a mystery. You see the color of eyes and hair, the mode of dress, whether he or she is tall or short. You must wait for further information to know anything more. If you know the person’s Sun sign, you can put a few pieces of the puzzle together. But, just as when you are beginning a complex jigsaw puzzle, too many pieces are missing.

The Sun sign merely gives you an edge, an extra insight that you would not otherwise possess. Of course, knowledge of Sun signs is not only useful in casual social meetings. It is invaluable in close relationships. If your Cancer husband nags and criticizes, you’ll know it’s just his way of showing how much he cares about you. If your ten-year-old Virgo daughter acts like a premature old maid, fussing about putting everything exactly where she wants it, you’ll understand why she needs to have her possessions neatly arranged. Knowing how scattered and forgetful a Gemini can be, you will find it easier to forgive your Gemini lover when your birthday present shows up two days late.

Most important of all, an understanding of your own Sun sign will give you an added measure of self-knowledge, a deeper insight into the stranger that is yourself.

What is Your Moon Sign?

The position of the Moon in your birth chart is second only in importance to the position of the Sun. The Sun sign is the part of you that is most apparent on the surface; it is what others see. The Moon sign is the part of you that you see.

In astrology the Moon stands for emotions, instincts, and the unconscious. Whereas the Sun represents your will, the Moon represents your instinctive reactions. Evangeline Adams, the most famous astrologer of the early twentieth century, wrote that the Sun signifies your individuality and the Moon signifies your personality. Other astrologers define the Sun’s influence as a vital force and the Moon as an unconscious force. In essence, the Moon represents the side of you that reacts before you have time to think.

In many ways your Moon personality is the one you keep hidden. Human beings tend to disapprove of instinctive behavior. We call it uncivilized, primitive, and animalistic. Thus, in certain respects, your Moon personality is a part of yourself that you find disturbing. It is your inner core, which feels hate and jealousy, broods and is fearful, and has fantasies that you often deny even to yourself.

Of course, this is not the complete picture of the Moon’s influence on your personality. It is also your Moon side that can spontaneously feel and express joy and pleasure, the side that reacts to emotional stimuli. It is the part of you that enjoys the little sensualities of life—the perfumed aroma of flowers, the smell of the grass after it rains, the delight of a long, hot shower. The Moon is inextricably linked to what might be called your reaction to your environment, for the Moon rules over the five senses—sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch.

Because the Moon holds dominion over the emotional sphere, it influences your receptivity to others and also how others feel about you. Obviously, therefore, the Moon is an extremely important factor in love relationships. A strong and lasting bond is indicated in a relationship when the woman has her Moon in the same sign in which a man has his Sun. For example, if he is a Scorpio Sun sign and she has her Moon in Scorpio, they have an excellent chance of a long relationship because each will have a deep understanding of the other.

The Moon in your birth chart modifies your Sun sign; it brings new forces, different motivations, and special elements to the character of your Sun sign. Your Sun sign personality and Moon sign personality are a blend, a marriage. As in a marriage, disparate elements sometimes work together to form a compatible partnership, each lending the other its strengths. But sometimes there is conflict in which opposing traits collide with each other.

If you feel that you are in constant conflict with yourself— if you feel you are two different people torn and pulled by each other—astrology can help you. Study both your Sun sign and Moon sign. Learn the positive and negative sides to these signs and try to recognize these elements within yourself. You may find that with a deeper understanding of the forces that motivate you, you will learn to be less hard on yourself and to reconcile what seems to be a confusing whirl of contradictions. On the other hand, if your Sun and Moon are in the same sign, you will probably find the characteristics of that sign doubly reinforced in your personality.

What is Your Rising Sign?

Your Rising sign, also known as Ascendant sign is a very important part of your birth chart. Your Ascendant is the sign that reflects your outward demeanor and to a great extent determines how the outside world looks at you.

The word outer is significant in defining your Rising sign, for this is the sign that represents your outer personality. In modern terminology, it is your image. Very often your Ascendant is what the world first sees in you, the impression that you first make on other people. Many believe, your Rising sign is more immediately revealing than your Sun sign. Your Rising sign has been likened to the door of a house, the entranceway that visitors first see and must pass through in order to look into the house itself.

The personality you outwardly project is almost always a perfect blend of your Sun sign and Rising sign. It is this combination that makes your unique impact on the world. Your Moon sign is a more hidden aspect of your personality. It is a pervasive influence, but it is likely that other people sense the influence of your Moon sign in your character rather than see it on the surface.

What exactly is an Ascendant? In its simplest definition, your Ascendant is the astrological sign that was rising on the eastern horizon at the moment of your birth (hence, your Rising sign). When you were born you left the condition of being a fetus and became a separate, fully formed human being. Therefore, the sign that was rising at this precise moment denotes your first experience as a separate human being; it expresses the moment in which you began independent existence in this world. As such, it characterizes the way you deal with others and your distinctive style of interacting with people. It speaks of your coping mechanisms and how you react to anything new that life throws at you. In many respects, your Ascendant is the sign that makes you feel most comfortable psychically. Its behaviors reassure you that you are coping well and will be safe as you enter unfamiliar emotional territory.

Your Ascendant is called the sign of your self—your self-awareness, your self-sufficiency, your self-interest. In many ways your Rising sign signifies your goals, aims, and objectives, and indicates the main thrust of your creative powers. To some degree, this sign also influences your physical characteristics and mannerisms. It is your mask of outward appearance. Like any mask, it may hide your real face, but more likely it is simply a part of your real face. It is the face that you most easily and naturally show to others.

In reading the description of your Rising sign, keep in mind that this is not a representation of all this is you. You are a blend, and your Ascendant is only part of your personality. Only by self-examination can you discern which parts of you are your Sun sign, which are your Moon sign, and which are your Rising sign.

Uncover deeper insights into your personality, motivations, & desires with an In-Depth Astrology & Numerology Natal Chart Analysis.

Sun and Moon Sign Combinations:

Article Referenced from Woolfolk, Joanna Martine. The Only Astrology Book You'll Ever Need. Taylor Trade Publishing, 2013.


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