The Sun, Moon and Rising Sign:

The Big Three in Astrology and a Birth Chart

Ever heard of the term “The Big Three”? This has become the new norm when asking someone about their astrology birth chart.

So, instead of saying “Baby, what’s your Sign?” popularized by Linda Goodman back in the 60’s, it’s now whether or not you know your Rising and Moon sign too. These three are the most important parts to know when it comes to understanding your birth chart. Knowledge of your Big Three can bring you that much more depth, magic and empowerment, so let’s get started:

Why The Big Three?

Why are the Rising, Sun and Moon called The Big Three? Well, because they’re a big deal! Aside from your Chart Ruler (the planetary ruler of your Rising Sign), these three will tell you the most about your personality, life purpose and lessons. It will bring you instant results when it comes to understanding how you and others tick.

After all, the Sun and Moon light up the sky and govern night and day, masculine and feminine – all the major polarities of life. And the Rising Sign, well, let’s explore more on what that means -

The Layers of Your Personality

The simplest way to explain the Big Three is to think of them as different layers of your personality. Like peeling an onion, each one reveals more and more of who you are, going deeper and deeper. Yet, at the same time, these three are also inseparable and work together to create the complex, interesting and multi-faceted person that is you.

Here’s what these layers stand for:

  1. The Rising Sign – the firstlayer of you. The moment when you take in your first breath the moment, the moment of your physical incarnation, governing how you look, how you dress, what your body type is, how people see you and the first impression you give.
  2.  The Sun – this is the real you. It can loosely indicate your life’s Purpose, your core Self, and Identity. Your Ego.
  3.  The Moon – this is the deepest layer of you, the side that only family, close colleagues and lovers will ever see unless the Moon is placed quite prominently in your birth chart. It governs reactions, habits, instinctual behaviors and emotions.

Here’s a handy tip – it takes a year or two for people to get past the Rising Sign impression you give off to get to know the Sun underneath this layer. After this time, people will begin to see your Sun’s qualities instead of your Rising Sign’s traits. It takes even longer for people to get to know the qualities and traits of your Moon Sign, because you have to feel secure and comfortable with them to be able to display your emotional side.

It’s also said that the Rising Sign’s energies support your journey to know your Sun’s qualities and purpose. That the Rising Sign, in a sense, serves the Sun.

For example, let’s say your Sun is in the zodiac sign of Pisces, and your Rising Sign is Libra. The Rising’s signs’ qualities of balance, harmony and focus on relationships all serve your Sun’s Piscean purpose of finding deeper spirituality and connecting to the Divine. In other words, exploring balance and being in relationships may be the path to finding spiritual meaning in your life.

Phew. Yes, it’s complicated to think about, but can provide food for thought and some fun material to play around with. Don’t rush it – it can take years to unfurl the meaning of the Sun, Rising Sign and Moon and how they work together. You’re just getting started.

Let’s dig a little deeper.

The Rising Sign

As the first layer of who you are, the Rising Sign (also known as the Ascendant), is that first impression energy. It’s what people see of you before they really get to know who you are.

It can get complicated especially if your Rising Sign is very different from your Sun and Moon sign. Let’s say you have a serious, mature and hardworking Capricorn Rising Sign. But your Sun is in spontaneous and playful Gemini. What people see at first (the Capricorn stuff) isn’t really what they get (the Gemini stuff) when they’ve taken some time to get to know you.

Being aware of what you put out can be very empowering, and help you understand why people treat you the way that they do.

And let’s mention it again – The Rising sign’s qualities are there to help you walk further on the path towards claiming your Sun Sign’s qualities and purpose. It’s the means to an end, the clue to the mystery of you.

The Sun

This is the one that all of us know. Our star signs. The archetypical Self, indicating our Identity, Personality and Purpose. Who We Really Are? What We Are Meant to Be Doing to Feel Fulfilled. Yes, all in caps because it’s that important.

It’s easy to emulate the qualities of the zodiac sign that the Sun is in. We’ve all said it before “oh, I’m such an Aries, I can’t hold back”, or “It’s the Taurus in me that loves to save money”.

For some of us, it’s not as easy, especially if our Sun is in a weak area of our birth charts, but more on that in another article. Suffice to say, some of us may even identify more with our Rising Sign or Moon. But generally speaking, we “get” our Sun sign.

The Sun also rules within us our Masculine, active energy, the conscious side of ourselves, which is why some find it easier to connect with the Sun’s qualities.

The Moon

The Moon is a mystery to most of us when it comes to our Astrological charts. Unless we are emotionally quite in tune with ourselves and our needs, the Moon can be a point at which we trip ourselves up by reacting instead of responding. And for some of us, the Moon’s energy is all we feel, more than our Sun or Rising Sign’s energies.

The Moon is the very deepest layer of who we are, as it’s the habits and responses created in us from childhood. In fact, did you know that we tend to act out our Moon sign qualities up until the age of seven?

The Moon talks about our childhood, how we were nurtured and our Feminine, Mothering energy. The sign of the Moon is how we behave emotionally, whether we react or respond, and most importantly, what we feel nurtured by.

It’s important to note that very few people get past both our Rising Sign and Sun Sign’s defenses to get to know the inner child, the Moon within. We have to feel really safe with said person to be able to open up. We might also have to live or work with them for a long time for them to start seeing our Moon’s qualities. And often, all it takes to create safety is exactly that – time.

How They Work Together – Or Not

A fun game to try is to see if any of the Big Three are in the same element of air, earth fire or water.

If, for example, you have your Sun and Moon in earth zodiac signs and your Rising sign in a fire zodiac sign, then you could find that what you put out there as your Rising sign – fiery, assertive and expressive – is balanced out by the grounded and productive energy of the Moon and Sun in earth signs. But, this can also create “false impressions”, as the Rising sign is that first impression, after all.

It’s also important to note if there are major clashes, such as having an emotional water Rising Sign and a detached, airy Moon sign. It can mean that although you come off (first impressions) as “feely” and sensitive, you’re actually quite objective and cool, because of your Moon in an air sign.

Knowledge of your Big Three, can, therefore, be enlightening, empowering insightful and really just mind-blowing. Even better is knowing some else’s Big Three, because armed with this knowledge, you’ll be so much better able to navigate your relationship and understand them better. The best part is being able to accept yourself for who you are.

One last word: one of the reasons why romantic relationships often end around the two-to-three-year mark is because of the Rising Sign/Sun phenomenon. You may fall in love with someone’s Rising sign, only to discover that their Sun Sign true identity is not quite what you bargained for. Thus begins the power struggle as you try and change them “back” into who you thought they were. It takes work and acceptance to make the relationship last beyond this stage.

Going forward, you can generate your Astrological chart and find out your Big Three simply by hitting Google, or getting a reading from a good Astrologer. Look up your Rising Sign qualities, your Sun and your Moon energies, and discover what make you uniquely you!



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