If you’ve looked into Astrology beyond your sun sign, you’ve probably stumbled upon your moon and rising sign (also commonly referred to as the ascendant sign.) All together they make up the key components of your personality, and form what’s known as the “Big Three.” The constellation (or zodiac sign) that’s moving over the horizon at your time of birth determines your rising sign. The ascendant is an exact point where the easternmost horizon meets the sky. All zodiac signs cover a 30-degree span, so the ascendant will be at a specific number degree within the rising sign.
The ascendant or ASC is an extremely sensitive spot that marks the start of you and your life’s journey. This point will remain significant until you take your last breath. This is why the most accurate time and geographical location of your birth is important when looking at one’s rising sign or birth chart.
It is the ascendant or rising sign that sets up the entire birth chart and rules the first house of self. The sun and moon can be in any of the twelve houses and their placements can give us insight into the areas of life that help shape us. We come into this world inherently as our rising signs. The ascendant not only dictates personas but appearances as well. It’s everything that has to do with the self and the reason we might be told, “You don’t come off as a *insert sun sign here.”
Non-believers think it’s silly that all people born within a 30-day span “fit” into a sun sign and have similar personalities. And they’re right, that is ridiculous; but Astrology goes much deeper. Over that 30-day span the Moon will change signs every 2.5 days. And rising signs? They can change within the hour, but generally speaking around every two hours. This makes rising signs one of our most unique astrological components. People born within the same day may share a sun and moon sign but are likely to have different rising signs. Thus, creating a wide variety of personalities that all share the same sun sign.
The rising sign also indicates the chart ruler, or the most significant and influential planet in the birth chart. The placement (sign and house) of the chart ruler dictates your personality and direction in life.
But Why Should You Read Your Rising Sign Horoscope?
It all goes back to that first house of self. Hear me out, your rising sign rules the first house and sets up all of the rest of the houses in your birth chart. If you’re a Cancer Rising, Leo is likely to rule or occupy your second house, and Virgo the third, etc. When an Astrologer sits down to write “sun sign horoscopes” they use an equal house system. Meaning they take the sun sign they are writing the horoscope for and interpret the chart as if that sign is the first house. While looking at all the current planets (transits, alignments and sign placements) the horoscope writer gets insight into what areas of life are being affected based on that equal house system. Your rising sign horoscope are typically the most accurate because the houses the Astrologer is hitting on are likely to match your houses and therefore your current situations and experiences.
Not All Houses Are Created Equal
There is a caveat to this. While rising sign horoscopes might feel spot on at times, take all horoscopes with a grain of salt. In a birth chart, houses can actually be split between two or three different signs; one sign rules the house (the one on starting cusp) and the other occupies the house. Both are important when it comes to transit planets. Also keep in mind that a horoscope is just one person’s interpretation; signs, planets and aspects are fluid and can affect us in many different ways and on different levels. If you’re looking for insight, great, but ask if it really resonates with you. Remember that the main purpose of horoscopes is entertainment.
Why Do We Still Call Them Sun Sign Horoscopes, if Rising Sign Horoscopes Are More Accurate?
Back in the early 1900s, newspapers ran horoscopes of prominent public figures. Astrology wasn’t published for personal insight, but to provide a peek into the lives of the rich and famous. In 1930 a British Astrologer by the name of R.H. Naylor published a few predictions that came true and landed the very first weekly horoscope column. This started off as advice to anyone born during the week the column ran. After several years there was a need to be more inclusive, so he categorized the general public by sun signs because the Sun spends a predictable 30 days in each sign (although dates can vary within a day from year to year). He included the dates next to each sign so people would know which horoscope to read according to their birthday. This was a hit, and rightfully so because we still do it today.
Don’t Go Disassociating from Your Sun Sign Just Yet
While sun sign horoscopes can be off, the Sun still has an important role to play that can’t be discredited or overlooked. Some believe we are here to learn to embody our sun sign. We have already mastered our rising sign, but life’s experiences may push us into our sun sign energy. Once we turn it on, it’s the light that shines from within us, much like the Sun itself.
While many people today are still skeptical of Astrology, I think it’s a wonderful practice that celebrates both our individuality and connection to our fellow human beings. No matter what your sun, moon and rising signs are, everyone has every sign in their birth charts. We are all manifestations of the same Universe and therefore connected to each other. When it comes to horoscopes, read any sign that resonates with you!