Three ways of defining you ...
The short answer to this question is: Your Sun sign tells about your basic ego, your Moon sign tells about you emotional inner self, and your Ascendant tells about your outer presentation to the rest of the world.
If you want to know more ... read on:
There are three main components an astrologer considers in developing a quick thumbnail sketch of your personality. Astrologers call these three points in your horoscope the Sun sign, the Moon sign, and the Ascendant -- or "Rising sign." The fact that there are three of them goes a long way toward explaining why not everyone born under the same Zodiac sign is "just alike."
Your Sun Sign
The Sun symbolizes your basic personality. The Zodiac sign it is in describes the "essential qualities" of your character. This sign is also the easiest one to find. You probably already know it. It's what you mean when you tell someone "I'm an Aries," or "I'm a Capricorn," or "I'm a Pisces."
This astrological symbol describes the qualities of your central ego, your individual self-expression, and your personal identity. Astrologers consider that your Sun sign describes your core personality ... and many will say it is the most important sign you have, although that's not entirely correct.
Better than nothing
The Moon sign and the Ascendant sign are just as important -- although they are impossible to accurately determine unless an astrologer actually casts your horoscope and looks at the information it contains.
Information based on your Sun sign alone is "better than nothing," but it is also seriously incomplete. Forecasts based on your Sun sign will tell you what is happening with regard to your ego, your self-image, and your personal development out in the world. But that's not all you are ... not by a long shot.
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Your Moon Sign
To an astrologer, the Moon symbolizes the part of you that reacts automatically and from force of habit to experiences in the world. In fact, you may identify very strongly with this part of yourself ... and feel it is who you really are on the inside. (If you feel the "common knowledge" about your Sun sign qualities often don't describe you completely ... this could be one of the reasons why. Your Moon Sign qualities could be very different from your Sun sign qualities -- and you may be responding to or expressing those.)
The part of you described by your Moon sign is composed almost entirely of emotional energy. Whether you let it show on the outside or not, you are very aware of this energy. It operates in all areas where matters of family, security, and your feelings are involved. It is likely the self you most often show to people you are comfortable with and "familiar with" yourself.
Information based on your Moon sign is essential to creating a more complete and well-rounded picture of you as an individual spirit. Forecasts based on your Moon sign will tell you what is happening in your inner world where you really live about things that are very important to you personally. You will quite likely relate to readings involving your Moon sign energy much more directly than those based on your Sun sign alone.
As I said, both are important in describing experiences in your world and with you as an individual spirit, but the only way to determine your Moon Sign for sure is if an astrologer (or computer program) casts your horoscope -- and tells you. The Moon changes signs every 2 1/2 days ... and depending on the day you were born, its power will influence the qualities of your Sun sign tremendously.
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Your Ascendant Sign
The Ascendant is also called the "Rising Sign" of a person's chart. Astrologers use the two terms interchangeably. It is literally the sign that was rising on the Eastern horizon of the sky at the time you were born in the place where you were born. This is why it is essential to have both a birthplace and a birth time in order to cast a completely valid Natal Chart.
All twelve signs of the Zodiac rotate across the sky in the course of a day. Therefore the sign that is ascending -- literally "rising" -- on the eastern horizon changes every two hours. And your Rising Sign ... or Ascendant Sign ... depends on the exact time you were born!
Only if you were born within two hours one way or the other of sunrise will your Ascendant Sign be the same as your Sun sign ... and it is completely independent of your Moon sign. Yet this third key component of your personality, will usually give the most valid information about who you appear to be to other people and how you take on the world!!
Your Ascendant sign describes your temperament, your outward mannerisms and behavior, the personality you put "on public display." It is the part of yourself you are most willing for other people to see in casual, impersonal situations. Changes here will explain why even people born on the same day as you ... will have very different personalities, different strengths and interests, and different life experiences.
Forecasts based on your Ascendant sign are likely to be immediately recognizable in describing the events and focus of your life and immediate future. These contain perhaps the most important and valid information you can receive from a "general" astrology reading ... about what explicitly is happening in your life. In this way, your Ascendant sign information is even more crucial, important ... and applicable than your Sun sign information.
But there is no way to tell you your Ascendant sign information without a birth time ... and place. Sorry. There just isn't.
These are "the big three" components of your individual character. With this information, any competent astrologer can talk about the major themes unfolding in your life and your experiences at any given time. Therefore, this is why I say subscriptions to these three pieces of forecasting information will give you the most complete and valid picture of what is going on in your world ... based on what astrology can capably provide.
In other words, a person with a Moon sign in Cancer, and especially a person with an Ascendant sign in Cancer will find information and predictions about the sign of Cancer itself just as valid and informative as a person who is a Cancer ... which is just another way of saying such a person has his Sun sign in Cancer.
Final note: Occasionally, a person will have only two major signs to consider because two placements will be in the same sign. And rarely, a person will have only one ... because he or she was born close to sunrise, on a day when the Sun and Moon were in the same sign. It happens.
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What is a Horoscope? -- Astrology's Most Essential Tool ---> Sometimes this word is used to designate the forecast or prediction of events based on the alignment of planets in the sky at any given time. As such, it has been seriously abused and twisted by the popularized (and usually meaningless and sappy) "fortune-cookie" versions that appear in newspaper features and other products we all know so well.
The Moon in General -- Your Inner Self of Feelings, Emotions and Intuition ---> Welcome to your inner world -- In Astrology, The Moon represents our inner feelings, our emotions ... and our deep security needs. It reflects our basic habits, instincts and automatic reactions. It speaks to some elements of our Karma and childhood home, our upbringing, family background and specifically our relationship with our mother (or major mother figure from the past.) The Inner Self fueled by your Moon energy wants you to feel safe, protected, emotionally supported and "at home."
The Sun in General -- Your Essential Self of Power, Will, Vitality and Ambition ---> The essence of you -- In Astrology, The Sun represents your basic core identity. It gives information about the qualities of your ego, your individual self-expression, your self-image and your sense of personal identity. It depicts both the essence of who you are and how you define and reveal yourself to the rest of the world.
Celestial Navigation is
Rebecca's Astrology Blog