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Sun Signs, Moon Signs and Ascendant Signs – What They Mean And Represent

For all the star gazers and believers in astrology the most talked about event is set to occur during the solstice on Dec 21- the great Jupiter- Saturn conjunction where these two mighty celestial bodies will be the closest, they have been in 800 years; forming the rare “Christmas Star”.

According to some astrologers, this Jupiter- Saturn conjunction will have certain effects on the certain zodiac signs. There are some articles that talk about the effect on moon signs.

This poses the question, what is the difference between the zodiac signs and the moon signs?

Most people, when they talk about astrology, they usually talk about their Sun signs. It is common to hear people say, “I am a Scorpio” and they check their weekly or monthly horoscope accordingly. But if we delve a little further into this mystical realm, we will learn that our natal chart is made up of the “big three”- the Sun sign, the Moon sign and the Ascendant or Rising sign and each of these signs have a significant influence on us and our charts. The cosmic information we find in our charts is wide yet unique.

This article is an attempt to explain each type of sign and its significance.

Zodiac or Sun Signs

The sun is the centre of our solar system. It is energy and life on earth depends on the sun; this is common knowledge. In astrology, the Sun represents ‘your identity’. The sun has a significant role in astrology as all other planets and the moon revolve around the sun. It is the focal point. It represents who we are and is the key element in shaping our personality. The placement of the sun during our time of birth has a strong and direct influence over the other planets in the natal chart. Sun sign represents ‘the self’ or ‘the ego’. It can be further explained by saying that the sun represents your consciousness or your awake self and symbolizes your strengths, qualities, passions, attitude and your understanding about things. It represents ‘reason’ as opposed to ‘intuition’. Sun sign plays an important role in how people view us.

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Delving slightly deeper, knowing the element of your sun sign helps in understanding the way you express things and what you need to do to recharge. The 12 zodiac signs and their corresponding elements:

  • Fire- Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
  • Air- Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
  • Water- Pisces, Cancer, Scorpio
  • Earth- Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn.

To identify the sun sign, all you need is your date of birth and month.

Moon Signs

The moon represents your subconscious mind. It deals with your emotions, intuitions, mostly things that we keep within ourselves. Let’s say, if the sun represents our soul, the moon represents our mind. According to Indian (Vedic) astrology, the placement of the moon is very crucial.  Your moon sign helps you understand the workings of your inner world. The moon astrology is known to have its origins in the Vedas. This system follows a constellations-based calendar with the moon in the centre. Interestingly, moon is the fastest moving celestial object. Both Western and Indian astrology give a lot of importance to moon as it is believed that no event can occur without the support of the Moon. The Moon represents “The Mother”. The lunar horoscope is given special preference during marriage especially by Indian astrologers. According to Vedic astrology, one cannot proceed without knowing the Moon sign.

The Moon sign plays a vital role in finding compatibility with your partner. It also can determine the nature of your relationship with your parents, siblings, business partners, lovers; anyone who comes into your life as the moon, which is closest to Earth, has a huge impact on our Natal Charts and lives. The strength of the moon along with the other planets can determine wisdom, wealth, prosperity and any such areas that brings happiness in one’s life.

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Going a little deeper, based on the Moon sign, Indian astrologers easily calculate planetary periods known as ‘Dashas’ which reveal the ruling planets and its effects at a particular time, throughout a person’s life. There are 9 dashas– 7 classical planets and the 2 nodes (Mercury which lasts for 17 years, Venus for 20 years, Sun for 6 years, Moon for 10 years, Mars for 7 years, Saturn for 19 years, Jupiter for 16 years, Rahu (The North Node for 18 years) and Ketu (The South Node for 7 years).

In Persian astrology, this Dasha system is known as Firdar or Al-Firdaria. The Dasha system makes it very easy to divide time into the smallest section and is considered to be quite accurate. These dashas are further divided into various types; of which the Ashtottari and Vimshottari are the most popular. It is known that the Vimshottari is the best way to predict one’s good or bad times.

To calculate your Moon sign you need: Date of birth, time of birth and place.

Rising Sign (Ascendant)

The Rising sign represents how the world views you or your social personality. It is the manifestation of both your worlds, the inner and outer. The Rising sign is so-called because it denotes the zodiac sign on the Eastern horizon at the time you were born. This sign is commonly known as the “public mask” as it shapes and defines one’s attitude, first impressions and appearance. It also denotes the ruling planet of your natal chart and its influence over the houses and the planets placed in them. Knowing the element of the Rising sign makes it easier to understand the type of energy that drives your physical body and your approach towards life. Many times, we find or hear from people that they don’t actually identify with their Sun sign- and this is the reason. Probably knowing your rising sun might make it easier for one to relate. Some people believe that it is better to read about both-your Sun and Rising sign to know what lies ahead for you. As the Ascendant changes every 2 hours, it is imperative that have the exact time of birth while calculating the Rising sign.

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To calculate the Rising sign, you need- the date of birth, exact time of birth and place of birth.

For all those who believe in astrology, knowing these three signs make it easier for us to understand the effects major planetary transits or conjunctions can have on your horoscope. Personally, I relate more with the Moon sign.

How about you? Do let us know ?

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