When considering energetic climates and their influences on the newborn, there are some particular astrological alignments that us amateur astrologers are the most familiar with. Nicknamed the ‘Big Three’, the positions of the Sun, the Moon and Ascendant are amongst the most discussed placements in personal natal charts. The Ascendant, or Rising Sign, is the zodiac sign that was ascending on the eastern horizon at the time of ones birth. It changes every two hours on average (emphasising the importance of knowing ones correct birth time when calculating a chart reading).
A person’s Sun placement directly influences their temporal self. The Sun represents life itself, and is much more tied to the physical than the Moon. While the placement of ones Moon pertains to their soul knowledge and eternal essence, the Sun’s placement is indicative of our current Earth-bound self.
The Sun influences the ego, personality and conscious expression of self. It is much more visible in the day-to-day than ones Moon expression (the ego’s whole purpose is to keep us alive and, thus, its cries are heard the loudest). Thus, ego (the Sun) tends to dominate over intuition (the Moon) in our expression and experience of self. It is a common challenge balancing the light of our Sun’s expression without it totally blinding us to the messages of our Moon.
Our emotions are intuitive messages themselves, and are the language of the Moon. Moon placement reflects the eternal self, also known as the higher self. It is the divine link between our physical embodiment and our eternal essence. It reveals our innermost nature, emotional nature, moods, instincts and intuition. As it is our most vulnerable aspect, it’s the most likely aspect of our expression to be hidden, or suppressed (seeing as it is our most vulnerable self). A person’s emotional needs are told here; what makes us feel stable.
Many astrologers look to a person’s Sun placement to identify major life lessons. For instance, a person may choose to incarnate under a Gemini Sun so as to amplify themes of interpersonal connection and finding ones voice in this life. We choose a specific Sun influence to amplify specific rhythms in our lives. If the Sun is our head and the Moon is our heart, the Ascendant is our skin.
Our Ascendant (also known as the Rising Sign) is the expression of self that is automatic upon social interaction, and it is largely protective. Some astrologers consider it ‘the mask’ we wear. The Ascendant marks the beginning of our 1st House of Self, which can fall anywhere, in any sign. This chart point is important to identify, as it informs us of all a person’s house positions, 1 through 12.
A person’s House positions are incredibly telling. But that’s for another time.
We choose our birth time prior to life here on Earth. Specific planetary alignments create specific energetic climates, and by opting into the energetic climate present at the time of ones birth, one harnesses specific influences. These influences add ingredients to the embodiment and experiences we intend to create. The parents and circumstances we opt into add further ingredients. All come together to propel us in the direction of fulfilling our specific missions, intentions and ‘life purposes’.
It is not often that we have just one life purpose upon coming to Earth – our eternal perspective (or higher self) usually has a range of life purposes, or pre-birth intentions. Mirroring this is the range of astrological influences present at our time of birth.
If you want to work out what your Sun, Moon and Rising signs are use these links for free Natal charts: