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Learning Your Big Three: Sun, Rising & Moon

Astrology has a way of offering a deep dive into you as a person. You can use the stars to offer you more guidance on your thought patterns, habits, and even on how to navigate certain transits. You might ask, how can my sun sign offer so much? The answer is, it can’t, which is why we use more than just your sun sign. Knowing your birth chart, and more specifically your big three– your sun, rising, and moon signs– can help paint a better picture. Here’s a guide to your big three.

What’s a birth chart?

As astrologer Chani Nicholas defines it, your “birth chart is a snapshot of the sky the moment you took your first breath. It marks your arrival here on earth; a celestial blueprint, if you will, that holds the keys to living a life of purpose,” (Nicholas, 2020). By looking at a birth chart, astrologers (and self-proclaimed astrologers) are able to see where the sun, moon, and various other planets were on the exact day and the exact time you were born. It will also tell you where certain asteroids were, the degrees of the planets, and any other major transits that were taking place.

Your sun sign

The sun sign is the most commonly known placement of a birth chart. It speaks to the position of the sun when you were born. Most often, one’s sun sign is associated with the month they were born in, depending on which sign their date of birth falls into. The sun “is your life force...[and] it represents your life’s purpose,” (Nicholas, 2020). The Sun represents how you shine and what qualities you possess the most.

Your rising sign

The rising sign in a chart is one that is not as commonly known as the sun. Also referred to as the ascendent, your rising sign represents what you appear as most often to people around you. Your rising/ascendent sign “symbolizes your motivation for being here. It tells us what gets you going, gets you out of bed, and sets you on the quest of life,” (Nicholas, 2020). It’s really all about what motivates you.

Your moon sign

In a chart, the moon represents who you are when no one is in the room. It represents who you truly are under the masks you wear. Where the moon is in your chart speaks to your physical and emotional needs. Just like the moon in the sky, our moon sign is mysterious, cyclical, and ever changing. Additionally, it “speaks to our daily experience of manifesting our spiritual selves. It is the reflection of our soul’s experience in our body,” (Nicholas, 2020).

Painting a larger picture

Knowing your big three can provide you with far more insight on why you are the way that you are and why you think the things you do than you would’ve been able to gather from just your sun sign. With the combination of your big three, you can learn to approach your self-care through the lens of astrology and even incorporate astrology into your self-care routine. For example, by learning what rising sign is, you can learn to love what motivates you even harder, without feeling guilt or shame for it. Likewise, by learning what your moon sign is, you can embrace the fact that some days you feel one way, while others you feel another. How do I find my big three? To find out more details about your birth chart, you need to know the following:

  • Your birth date

  • Time of birth

  • Place of birth

Most chart calculators will also need to know your full name and some might even ask for your gender. You can find a full reading of your chart, along with details into the placement of various other planets by using an online birth chart calculator, like the one on Cafe Astrology. You can also use the natal chart calculator created by Chani Nicholas, the astrologer and author cited here. For the most accurate deep dive into your chart, though, it’s best to connect with an astrologer, who can speak to the various complexities of your chart and answer any questions.

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