There’s evidence to support that more than 90 percent of adults know their zodiac signs. And of that majority, more than half agree that the character descriptions suit them personally.
But astrology is more than just a person’s sun sign, which is determined by their birthday. In fact, for those who believe in astrology, the sun sign is just one variable in a complex formula that can explain a person’s mental, emotional, and even physical makeup.
Rising signs and moon signs are also key players in astrology. And once you know what they mean, you’ll be able to recognize how they affect your everyday life.
The Sun Sign
When people think of astrology, their first thought is probably their zodiac sign. That is, which constellation was behind the sun at the time of their birth. For example, I was born on July 25. On that day, the constellation “Leo” was behind the sun, making me a Leo.
But why does that matter? Because according to astrology, a person’s sun sign reflects their individual identity. Each sun sign comes with its own set of traits. Perhaps you’ve heard a few of the stereotypes before: Geminis might be two-faced, Leos might be prideful, Pisces might be emotional, and the list goes on.
If you feel like your sun sign doesn’t entirely capture who you are as a person, that’s because it doesn’t. As Virginia Mason so eloquently put it: “If you were a book, the genre of the book would be your sun sign, and its cover would be your rising.”
So… What About Rising Signs?
While the sun sign reflects a person’s innermost values, the rising sign describes their outward appearance to others. In other words, if someone were to guess your zodiac sign, they’d probably guess it wrong because of how they perceive you.
The rising sign is determined by the constellation that was rising over the eastern horizon when you were born. To calculate this, you’ll need to know the exact time and location of your birth. Some websites only need the city or state, but more accurate readings are based on latitude and longitude.
When you’re reading your horoscope, your sun sign will likely reveal the overarching themes of your life. But since your rising sign is more specific, it will reveal more insight into the timing of those themes.
The Moon Sign
Your moon and rising signs are what set you apart from the millions of other people who share your sun sign. This is why you might feel like your sun sign doesn’t explain everything about you.
Like Virginia Mason said: If the sun sign is the genre of your book, and the rising sign is the cover, then the moon sign is the book’s deeper meaning. Your moon sign — where the moon was at the date and time of your birth — shapes your emotions and your soul.
The moon was passing through the Capricorn constellation at the time of my birth, which means I have a Capricorn moon. So while my core personality might be loyal and consistent because of my Leo sun, my Capricorn moon guides my innermost desires. In this case, those are reservation, structure, and ambition.
Moon signs are most frequently used in romantic compatibility. This is because it explains how — and who — you love, and what you need to attain emotional security. You can use Ask Astrology to learn more about what each of your signs means, as well as test their romantic compatibility with other signs.
Most people tend to focus only on their sun, moon, and rising signs. But each of the planets’ placements in the solar system also determines more specific characteristics of your personality.
Your Mercury sign is your “mind’s planet.” It dictates how you communicate, talk, think, and process information. It’s also how you learn.
Like the moon sign, your Venus sign offers more insight into how you love — especially the qualities you’re attracted to. The house placement of your Venus sign can also reveal how you express that love.
Your Mars sign is reflective of how you assert aggression and take action, especially when angry or sexually aroused. It can also help explain the energy that you surround yourself with.
Your Jupiter sign makes up one of two “social planets.” Specifically, Jupiter’s placement rules your idealism, optimism, and expansion. In other words, it’s philosophical. And its house placement determines how you measure success.
Your Saturn sign is the other social planet. But, it differs from Jupiter because it deals with limits, boundaries, responsibility, fears, and self-discipline. The house placement of your Saturn sign can reveal some of your deepest difficulties.
The Uranus sign is more of a generational one because it stays in each sign for seven years. Specifically, it controls innovation, rebellion, and progress. It’s used as a tool for “generations” of a sign to set themselves apart from others of the same sign.
Like Uranus, your Neptune sign is another generational one. Except Neptune stays in each sign for 14 years, not seven. It rules dreams, imagination, and unconsciousness.
The last planetary sign, Pluto, is another generational sign of 30 years. It determines power, intensity, obsession, and control.
It can be easy to dismiss astrology because many people don’t want to believe their lives are shaped by the stars. But once you look into sun signs, moon signs, and rising signs, you’ll begin to notice a lot of coincidences. You might even find astrology to be a useful tool for self-exploration.
If you want to learn more about your spirituality, check out our divination section at Spiritual Nature Magazine.