The basics
The Symbols
The symbols in action

Your Sun, Moon, and Ascendant

You’ll need your birth chart to locate your Sun, Moon, and Ascendant signs. Don’t worry; it’s easy to have your chart calculated online these days.

You can tell a lot about someone just by looking at the “big 3” most important points in the chart:

The Sun sun glyph - a circle with a dot in the middle

The Sun describes your essence, your character, what motivates you.

The Moon moon glyph - a crescent

The Moon describes your feeling side. Your habit patterns, what makes you feel secure or insecure, how you react.

ascendantThe Ascendant, or rising sign

Your rising sign is the sign on the left side of the horizontal line that divides the chart into top and bottom halves. (This line is the cusp of the first house.) The Ascendant describes your “style,” your identity, how you show up in the world.

The sign on the Ascendant describes you on the job interview, and the Sun sign describes you on the job. The Moon is you on your day off.

These “big 3” signs are your astrological “handshake.” When you meet another astrologer or introduce yourself to a group of astrologers, it’s a polite gesture to offer this information. It tells astrologers who you are without revealing too much!

Doubles and Triples

You’ve probably heard someone described as a “double Pisces,” a “double Leo,” or a “triple Gemini.” Double means that two of the “big 3” are the same sign. When the Sun, Moon, and Ascendant are all the same sign, that’s a triple.

  • Being a double makes you VERY characteristic of that sign. Double Cancer is very nurturing, very sentimental. Double Virgo is very precise, very detail-oriented.
  • Being a triple makes you EXTREMELY characteristic of that sign. Triple Taurus, for example, is extremely sensual, extremely stubborn. Triple Capricorn is extremely hardworking, extremely responsible.


Newcomers to astrology often try to take the Sun, Moon, and Ascendant signs and squish them together to come up with something more specific than this: you are all three. These three pieces represent different sides of your personality. It really is that simple.

What do you know already about the signs of your Sun, Moon, and Ascendant? How are they similar? What are the differences between them? How do you relate to the signs? Do you relate better to one than the others? Comment here with your answers!

Get Birth Charts for Beginners on sale until July 31. 1 year for just $27. Astrology flashcards and weekly online meetings help you really start connecting the symbols of the chart with their meanings so you can understand yourself and your loved ones a little better. Don’t miss out on this great deal!