Astrology Basics – Your Sun, Moon, and Rising Signs

Astrology Astrology Basics

Astrology Basics – Your Sun, Moon, and Rising Signs

Astrology is a big field, so big even the most experienced and renowned astrologers still have plenty to learn. As we uncover more about our solar system and the galaxy, our practice grows, too. So, where do you start? Most of us agree the Sun, Moon, and Rising signs in your natal chart are a good place to begin exploring. 

Remember that nothing operates in a vacuum, including the parts of our birth charts. What I mean, for example, is that the Sun isn’t operating by itself. Even if you look at your Sun sign on its own, your energy is more of overall alchemy or synergy. It helps to remember that the individual planets in the chart alone don’t equal a whole person. 

The bottom line is that while astrology reveals many things about you, it doesn’t tell you who you are. That mystery lies beyond. But there’s a lot we can learn from the parts. For now, we’ll dive into astrology basics — your Sun, Moon, and Rising signs.

Your Sun Sign

The Sun is the planet (technically a star) of purpose, vitality, and creation. From Earth, it looks like the Sun moves around us, spending one month of the year in each sign. Your Sun sign is the zodiac sign the Sun was in the moment you were born. The sign your Sun is in reflects the special way you’re meant to shine in the world. 

Just as the Sun is the center of our solar system, in your birth chart, it’s like your inner essence. It gives energy to you and everything in your life. Your Sun sign shows what gets and keeps you charged up and what can run your battery down. It also represents courage and pride in yourself, which is necessary to actualize your potential. The Sun is associated with the daytime, consciousness, and what’s rational and visible. The shadow Sun can show up as self-absorption, arrogance, drama, taking things too personally, trying to outshine everyone, stealing the spotlight, and simply being selfish. The tarot card correspondence is The Sun, Major Arcana XIX. This is the card of CO-creation and inner divinity expressed through humanity.

Your Moon Sign

The Moon is the closest astronomical body to Earth, giving it strong influence over us. The Moon’s gravity pulls on Earth’s oceans, causing tides. Its movement affects our emotions, reactions, and even bodily cycles. 

The external force of the Moon stabilizes Earth’s 23.5-degree axial tilt, preventing catastrophic shifts. Imagine no seasons or rolling on our side like Uranus, with the most extreme seasons imaginable. Existence on Earth without our Moon would mean very dark nights forever.

Your Moon sign is the zodiac sign the Moon was in the moment you were born. You can find your moon sign by using an online moon sign calculator or any website that runs astrological charts. It reflects your desire to nurture, protect, belong, and connect with your roots. It’s your mystery and how you get hunches and feelings in your bones. 

While the Sun is the light you radiate outward, the Moon is your inner light and life. It shines in the dark. The sign your Moon is in reflects your emotional nature, instincts, habits, memories, ancestry, early home environment, and what makes you feel comfortable and safe.   

Shadow Moon can show up as needy, caretaking without healthy boundaries, smothering, hypersensitive, defensive, overly protective, highly irrational, emotionally immature, unstable, and insecure. The tarot card correspondence is The High Priestess, Major Arcana II. This archetype teaches us to explore our subconscious lunar landscape to receive our deepest sense of self and inner wisdom.

Your Rising Sign

Your Rising sign, or Ascendant, is the zodiac sign that was rising on the eastern horizon when you were born. To create an accurate birth chart, you need your exact birth time (hour and minute) because ascendant signs are fast-moving. A minute can make a difference. 

You chose the exact moment to be born, and your birth chart is a cosmic reflection of you. It’s a mirror for self-discovery. Your Rising sign is a big part of who you discover yourself to be in this lifetime. 

Your Rising sign represents how you approach life instinctively — how you show up and your first impression on others. A person’s Rising sign and its qualities are often noticed first upon meeting or interacting. These qualities and styles are difficult to hide. 

Your Rising sign is instinctual but not refined. You’re wired with that sign’s raw energy, but to make it really work for you takes conscious development. The energy of your Rising sign is how you can best meet each moment as you move through life.

The 12 Signs

Now that you understand Sun, Moon, and Rising signs, you can start combining them with the signs they’re in. Below is a summary of the twelve signs, but know that every sign is a universe unto itself. Learning about them can be a lifelong journey.

Aries: The first sign of the zodiac, the pioneer and initiator. Aries is known for its direct and forceful approach, is about action, and doesn’t want to sit still. This sign gets things going with a fiery punch. Some of the best Arien qualities are courage, independence, leadership, strength, instinct, and high energy. 

Taurus: The earth goddess who creates stability, comfort, and beauty. Taurus is grounded, practical, and resourceful. This sign knows how to enjoy the sensual pleasures of life and doesn’t like things too messy or complicated. Some of the best Taurean qualities are determination, loyalty, and creating abundance.

Gemini: The eternal youth who loves to learn. Gemini is curious, witty, and good at finding and sharing information. This air sign likes variety and intellectual stimulation and usually loves to talk. Some of the best Geminian qualities are intelligence, flexibility, cleverness, and being social.

Cancer: The moon goddess of the zodiac, Cancer is caring, nurturing, and intuitive.  This water sign has a protective outer shell, but it’s soft and sensitive on the inside. Cancers have a way of making you feel seen and loved — just as you are. Some of the best Cancerian qualities are empathy, tenderness, healing, and psychic ability. 

Leo: The queen of the zodiac, Leo has one of the biggest hearts! While Leos can demand attention, they also know how to give it. This fire sign is playful, creative, expressive, and warm. Some of the best Leonine qualities are charisma, confidence, passion, leadership, and generosity.

Virgo: The one who keeps it all together. Virgo is dedicated to bettering the world and works hard to make it happen. This earth sign understands how things work, making it good at creating and improving things, from perfecting haircuts to healing bodies. Some of the best Virgoan qualities are critical thinking, organization, patience, craftspersonship, and devotion.

Libra: The artist and peacekeeper. Libra is motivated by love, relationships, and beauty. This air sign is charming, pleasant, cooperative, has an eye for symmetry, and naturally balances the world around them. Some of the best Libran qualities are good communication, mediation, an eye for aesthetics and design, and fair-mindedness.  

Scorpio: The powerhouse. Scorpios have the mind of a detective and love getting to the bottom of things. Their energy is intense, and when they’re in something, they go all the way. This water sign transforms all that it touches. Some of the best Scorpionic qualities are magnetism, passion, intuition, and the guts to confront almost anything.

Sagittarius: The adventurer and truth seeker, Sagittarius needs to feel alive and has no problem taking risks when it’s worth it. This fire sign pursues the greater truth and meaning. Sagittarians love travel, including physical, mental, and spiritual journeys. Some of the best Sagittarian qualities are optimism, enthusiasm, honesty, and seeing the bigger picture.

Capricorn: The builder. No sign can climb the mountain and accomplish great works the way Capricorn can. Capricorns work hard to produce results and keep their eye on the prize. This earth sign is visionary, responsible, and a great manifester, and some of the best Capricornian qualities are discipline, wisdom, leadership, and strategy.

Aquarius: The free thinker that seeks to liberate from the past and create a better future. Aquarians simply don’t play by the rules — and that’s exactly what we love about this world-minded air sign. They bring on the change! Some of the best Aquarian qualities are innovation, objectivity, altruism, and celebration of unity in diversity.

Pisces: The dreamer. Pisces is the last sign in the zodiac and is naturally mystical, with one foot in this world and one in another. This water sign is imaginative, idealistic, deeply caring, and hypersensitive. Some of the best Piscean qualities are compassion, acceptance, psychic sensitivity, and inspired creativity.


What about Cusps?

There are differing opinions on the meaning and use of cusps in astrology. When we say someone is on the cusp, we mean a planet in their birth chart is at the ending or beginning degrees of a sign. If, for example, you have the Sun at 29 degrees Pisces (each sign covers 30 degrees), your Sun is on the cusp of Pisces and Aries (the imaginary line that separates the signs). 

Some astrologers believe planets on the cusp carry the energy of both signs because they’re in a transitional space. Others do not incorporate cusps into interpretation, as planets are technically in a single sign. This is a fun area to explore for yourself.


Gemstones for each sign

AriesFire agate is a gem of motivation, action, vitality, creativity, passion, and grounding. It’s the gemstone to work with when you need to take action and find direction in life. Fire agate aids in decision-making and pushes you forward in the direction of your soul. 

TaurusEmerald helps manifest your desires and holds attraction magic that works with you to bring your dreams to life. It’s also a stone of strength and discernment, especially in love.

GeminiAmazonite is a Throat Chakra stone that encourages speaking your truth with clarity and confidence. It helps to heal unhealthy communication patterns and assists you in having difficult conversations with ease. Working with this gem opens the door to heartfelt sharing.  

CancerHoney calcite is a powerful gem that helps you to heal the mother wound. It’s known to heal any unresolved emotional issues between you and your mother. It’s a powerful partner in assisting you in releasing stuck energies so you can move forward with ease and forgiveness.

LeoSunstone is a leadership crystal that activates and heals the Sacral Chakra — your center of vitality, sexual pleasure, and desire. It’s a stone of awakening and activation that helps you recognize and manifest your potential.

VirgoMoss agate is a healing stone that is grounding and strengthens your connection with Mother Earth. It also brings peace, balance, patience, and stamina to handle life’s challenges. 

LibraBlue kyanite is the most powerful stone for balance and alignment. It’s also a Throat Chakra gem that connects you to your highest truth. Blue kyanite makes it easy for you to express yourself openly.

ScorpioLabradorite shines when it comes to new beginnings, awareness, visioning, and going after your heart’s desires. This Third Eye-opening stone brings hope and possibility. It kindles your inner fire like its brilliant fiery flashes of color that sparkle from its darkness.

SagittariusLapis lazuli represents our innate intuition, power, telepathic gifts, wisdom, and spiritual growth. It activates the Third Eye Chakra and heightens the ability to access inner vision and deepen self-knowledge. 

CapricornGarnet is a protective, calming, and stabilizing Root Chakra gem that pulls your spirit back to center. It’s a wonderful ally to work with during spiritual journey for a safe return – just one touch will ground you.

AquariusAmethyst is all about connecting with Source and comes from the ancient Greek word “amethystos,” which means ‘not drunk.’ It offers enhanced clarity, unity, a balanced mind, and peaceful, blissful energy. 

PiscesAquamarine is a crystal of the sea with a calming and cooling vibration that enhances intuition, imagination, and creativity. It’s a Throat Chakra gemstone that brings clarity and depth to your conversations and interactions.

Crystals for Healing

The MOST important part of your chart

Astrology can illuminate many things about you, but YOU are the most important part of your chart. Your level of consciousness, how you work with your energy, and how you choose to experience your circumstances. 

Your birth chart reflects your energy, habits, needs, patterns, communication style, desires, memories, feelings, thoughts, challenges, dreams, and more. It’s a wonderful tool for understanding yourself and others, but remember you’re the one creating your life.

Astrology doesn’t happen to you — it IS you. And when you work with it, your life and the world around you change.

Astrology 2021

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