For a lot of people, the term "astrology" means a one-sentence magazine horoscope that tells them how their day will unfold. And, more often than not, those forecasts are too general, incredibly random, or just totally incorrect. How can everyone in the world be categorized by just 12 signs? That's because most people don't know how to read a natal chart.
Well, they can’t. Real astrology examines not only your “main sign,” but at least nine other planets that fall into a sign at birth. Everyone has a sun sign, moon sign, rising sign, Mercury sign, and so on. But just knowing three “big ones” could change your mind about how accurate astrology is.
With 12 possibilities for each planetary placement in your natal chart, there are no two natal charts that are exactly alike. Cast your natal chart here and make a note of where sun, moon, and ascendant falls.
Here's a sample chart for reference:
And while it’s not as talked about as the sun sign, your rising sign (also called the ascendant) is extremely important. This sign was the constellation rising on the eastern horizon when you were born, and it changes every ~two hours as the Earth spins, which is why you need the exact time and place of birth.
Your rising sign reflects how strangers/acquaintances perceive you and how you face the world; many argue it affects our appearance more than any other placement in astrology. The ascendant is our unconscious vibe, and it greatly influences the entire chart.
If it seems like a lot of information, don’t be overwhelmed! Here are the most important to remember:
1. Sun: Your sun sign is your overall “self,” personality, and who you grew up to be.
2. Moon: Your moon sign is your emotions, your hidden self, and who you were as a child.
3. Rising/Ascendant: Your rising sign is how the world sees you, how you relate to other people, and the personality you project.
There are plenty of other factors influencing who you are. Every planet in the solar system landed in a sign when you were born, and each one represents something within you. (Note: sun and moon are considered “luminaries" and astrologers don’t count Earth.)
4. Mercury: Your natal Mercury represents how you communicate, your mind, and how you learn and process information.
5. Venus: Where Venus was placed when you were born is how you express femininity; it's the love language you speak and how you act in partnerships.
6. Mars: The placement of Mars is how you express masculinity, anger, aggression, and passion.
7. Jupiter: Jupiter's place on your chart dictates your luck, your personal belief system, and how you broaden your horizons.
8. Saturn: Where Saturn was when you were born translate to the restrictions and challenges you may face, how you handle responsibility, and your career(s).
Now for the outer planets, which are considered generational because they move around the sun much slower than inner planets. They stay in each sign for years, and have a lesser effect on our daily lives due to their distance.
9. Uranus: The placement of Uranus on your chart shows your visionary side, how you rebel, and represents flashes of genius and inspiration.
10. Neptune: Neptune on your chart affects your dreams and fantasies, and represents how you escape this reality.
11. Pluto: Pluto's placement shows how you will experience death and rebirth, transformations, and your karma/fate.
Just getting a handle on these key placements in your chart will paint a much fuller picture. Remember: The rising sign represents your public face, the sun shows your basic way of being, and the moon encompasses your heart. Take the time to study the traits of all of them.
The rising sign represents your public face, the sun shows your basic way of being, and the moon encompasses your heart.
What elements are your sun, moon, and rising signs? Do they complement each other? Which planet rules your sun sign compared to which planet rules your ascendant? Are your emotions (moon) in a difficult aspect to your ego (sun)?
Is your moon and your significant other’s moon vibing with each other? Then, you can study your communication style (Mercury), your style of harmonizing with others (Venus), and how you go after what you want (Mars).
Say you’re a Libra sun, but a Capricorn rising with a Scorpio moon. You're probably a lot more serious and private than the pure Libra stereotype. People who meet you take you seriously because of Capricorn’s earthy, commanding presence. Relationships will be committed, bordering on obsessive because of Scorpio’s influence on the moon.
There are endless ways to examine a chart, and so many resources online to help us learn more about each placement. Once you get advanced, house placements add another layer of complexity.
Being reduced to just one sign out of twelve is simplistic; astrologers completely agree with that. Astrology is enriching when we dive beyond the surface; so don’t knock it until you look beyond your sun sign.
Taking time to study our emotions, relationship styles, and our means of communication is a great way to grow. We are all complicated beings, and real astrology should always recognize that and celebrate it.
Moonsplaining is a content package dedicated to the power of feminine spirituality. Instead of blaming the universe for your problems, learn how to harness its ebbs and flows for your own good. Here's how to make the universe work for you, not against you.