Regardless of whether you buy into astrology or not, there's a good chance you know your personal answer to the question, "What's your sign?" But it turns out that answer may not be actually be as simple as "Libra" or "Pisces." Do you know the difference between your Sun, Moon and Rising signs? Together, they create a much more nuanced portrait of a person. If you've ever felt disconnected to the characteristics of your "sign," this may explain why.
The practice of astrology that most of us in the United States follow (or don't follow), called Western Astrology, arose over 2,000 years ago in Mesopotamia. The system, which was created by the Babylonians, refined by the Greeks, and preserved by the Arab Empire, simultaneously charted the path of the Sun through the Zodiac constellations over the course of the year, and the characteristics of babies born under each sign.
The position of the stars and planets the moment a person is born comprise their natal chart; it's from this alignment that astrologists draw your Sun, Moon, and Rising signs. No one has your exact natal chart. It's idiosyncratically you.
So here's what you need to know about each of your signs:
Your Sun Sign
Your Sun sign is the core of your ego, the basis of your "you-ness." Susan Miller of Astrology Zone writes, "Another way to think about the Sun is to imagine that it is your personality’s Boss." When you think of the question, "What's your sign," what you're really asking is, "What's your Sun sign?"
Your Moon Sign
Your Moon sign, meanwhile, is essentially, "You, drunk" — which is to say, it's your darker, emotional inner self that you don't necessarily reveal to others. If you're especially sensitive, you may connect more with the characteristics of your Moon sign than your Sun.
Your Rising Sign
Your Rising sign, also known as your Ascendant sign, is the "you" you consciously present to the world — the lens through which you view interactions. Though that may not seem necessarily as important as Sun and Moon, what you're willing to reveal says a lot about you.
So What Do We Do With All This?
Put it all together, is what. You probably already know your Sun sign (and if you don't, it's easily found — here's the list of signs by birth date); to find your Moon and Rising signs, meanwhile, you could do one of a few things: You could get your charts done by a professional astrologist, though that costs money and often requires a waiting period and a sit-down meeting to go over the results; or, you could try a website that provides a rough sketch of your chart. Cafe Astrology is a personal favorite of mine. Regardless of the route, you'll need your date of birth, time of birth (as close to the minute as possible), and geographic location of where you were born.
Then, read your horoscopes — all of them. Indeed, astrologists recommend reading horoscopes for both your Sun and Moon sign, as they collectively tend to present a better portrait of what's going on in your life.
You ready? Let's do this thing.