understanding your astrological chart


Illustration is by Marina DiFranco,

Your zodiac sign is not as cut and dry as it may seem. A common misconception about zodiac signs is that one’s personality as a whole is based on just one sign. Although everyone has a sun [star] sign, the one you are probably the most familiar with, we also have a moon and ascending [rising] sign that adds layers and depth to our astrological narrative. Knowing these other two signs will help you better understand the other elements of your personality. This is why all sun signs are not always alike. The mix between someone’s sun, moon and rising signs is what makes them who they are.

You don’t need to be an astrology buff to understand all of this. To figure out your sun, moon and rising sign you need to know your birth date, location of where you were born and time of birth. This is important because astrology is based on the positioning of the stars and planets during specific dates and times. 

According to popular astrology app, CoStar, your sun sign “determines your ego, identity and role in life.” Your sun is what you identify with based on your birthday and the zodiac calendar. This is the sign used most heavily in conversation and everyday life. For instance, when someone asks you what your sign is, you tell them your sun sign. You might even own jewelry or clothing adorned with this sign.

For those more into astrology, though, it’s important to know about the other signs that complete your persona. In some cases, your sun, moon and rising signs could all be the same or you could have two of the same and one be different. It all depends on your unique birthday, time and location of birth.

Luckily, there are online calculators that make figuring all of this out much easier. To calculate your natal chart, click this link. Once you know of all three of your signs, you can look into the traits of each one and how this correlates with the “type” of sign it is.

CoStar states that your moon sign, “rules your emotions, moods and feelings. This is probably the sign you most think of yourself as, since it reflects your personality when you’re alone or deeply comfortable.” You could identify more with this sign than your star sign, amplifying the importance of knowing about all three signs.

Following your moon sign, CoStar explains your ascendant/rising as “the ‘mask’ you present to people. It can be seen in your personal style and how you come off to people when you first meet.” This sign is not as important as your sun and moon sign because in some cases it becomes less relevant as you get older. This is the sign that is very dependent on your birth time.

Hopefully knowing just this small amount of new information helps you understand your astrological self better. Most people do not realize that our narratives according to astrology are not just solely based on our star sign, and this could be a reason why so many are skeptical. They find doubts about their star sign in relation to their personality and write off zodiac signs completely, but the pieces of information they could be missing are their moon and rising signs.

According to the CoStar app, “Astrology puts our temporary bodies in context with our universe’s vastness, allowing irrationality to invade our techno-rationalist ways of living.”

Hi, I’m Maria McGinnis, a senior journalism student from Stow, Ohio. I’m also the editor-in-chief of A Magazine. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important and entertaining news from the realms of fashion, beauty, and culture. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate to A Magazine.