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The Meaning Behind Your Sun, Moon, and Rising/Ascendant Signs

You’re probably already familiar with your sun sign — it’s determined by your date and month of birth, and is most often what pop astrology refers to when referencing your sign. However, your moon and rising/ascendant signs are equally important aspects of your zodiac personality, and with your sun sign create a full picture of your outer and inner self. So, what do the different types of signs mean? We’re here to help break it down.

What Does Rising Mean in Astrology?

When we talk about rising or ascendant in astrology, we are referring to the zodiac sign that was on the Eastern horizon when you were born. This is different from your sun sign. Knowing the exact time and location that you were born is important for calculating your rising sign correctly, because the ascendant sign changes every two hours of the day.

Rising/Ascendant Sign Meaning

Your rising sign (also known as your ascendant sign) is your outer self and social personality. It represents your physical body and outward style—the way you express yourself. Your rising sign characterizes your natural first response to new people and situations, as well as how others perceive you on a first impression basis. Rising signs are often thought of as masks you put on for others, but astrologers like Priya Kale think they’re more than that, telling VICE that “your rising sign describes the vessel for the spirit, soul, and consciousness within you.”

Rising/Ascendant Sign Compatibility

Your rising sign represents your outer self and social personality, meaning that in romantic relationships, your rising sign heavily influences initial encounters and first impressions. The rising sign is indicative of an automatic, natural reaction to new people. Be careful, however—people may hide behind an ascendant “mask”, while the moon sign is a more accurate expression of one’s true personality in relationships.

Because your rising sign characterizes initial attraction, compatibility between rising signs is less important. In this case, the adage “opposites attract” can apply, and those with incompatible rising signs may find themselves drawn to one another.

How to Calculate Your Rising/Ascendant Sign

Your rising sign is the sign that was rising on the eastern horizon when you were born. Your ascendant sign, or rising sign, is easily determined as long as you know your sun sign and the time of your birth. Just follow the chart to find yours!

Rising Sign Chart

Rising/Ascendant Sign Traits

Traits others perceive in each rising sign.

Aries Ascendant

Action-oriented, straightforward, quick

Famous Aries Ascendants: John Lennon, Shakira, Heath Ledger, Rihanna

Taurus Ascendant

Slow, steady, reserved

Famous Taurus Ascendants: Martin Luther King, Miley Cyrus, David Beckham, Halle Berry

Gemini Ascendant

Curious, sociable, playful

Famous Gemini Ascendants: Lady Gaga, Will Smith, Lindsay Lohan, Matthew McConaughey

Cancer Ascendant

Kind, sensitive, watchful

Famous Cancer Ascendants: Bill Gates, Adele, Vincent Van Gogh, Meghan Markle

Leo Ascendant

Friendly, cheerful, confident

Famous Leo Ascendants: Marilyn Monroe, Johnny Depp, Selena Gomez, Andy Warhol

Virgo Ascendant

Conscientious, self-critical, helpful

Famous Virgo Ascendants: Freddy Mercury, Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, Julie Andrews

Libra Ascendant

Charming, fair-minded, agreeable

Famous Libra Ascendants: Leonardo DiCaprio, Beyoncé Knowles, Jennifer Aniston, John F. Kennedy

Scorpio Ascendant

Polarizing, magnetic, captivating

Famous Scorpio Ascendants: Taylor Swift, Tom Cruise, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Jim Carrey

Sagittarius Ascendant

Fun, animated, bubbly

Famous Sagittarius Ascendants: Brad Pitt, Princess Diana, Elvis Presley, Kim Kardashian

Capricorn Ascendant

Motivated, mature, family-oriented

Famous Capricorn Ascendants: Cristiano Ronaldo, Elizabeth II, John Legend, Rosa Parks

Aquarius Ascendant

Creative, intelligent, surprising

Famous Aquarius Ascendants: Barack Obama, Nicki Minaj, David Bowie, Audrey Hepburn

Pisces Ascendant

Whimsical, idealistic, compassionate

Famous Pisces Ascendants: Billie Eilish, Johnny Cash, Gwyneth Paltrow, John Stamos

Moon Sign Meaning

Your moon sign meaning is related to your deepest self. In fact, your astrology moon sign represents your inner emotional self, embodying how you process emotions. It is your emotional identity that typically stays hidden and speaks to the soul behind your identity. Everything that you keep to yourself—your deepest desires, emotions, and memories—is ruled by your astrology moon sign. There’s also an intimate relationship between your moon sign and what you need to maintain emotional security. Whereas surface-level relationships see traits governed by your ascendant sign, your more private connections gain insight to traits governed by your moon sign.

Moon Sign Compatibility

Moon sign compatibility is a much more important factor than rising sign compatibility; having moon signs in similar elements yields the potential for very deep personal connections. When considering words like “soulmate," your moon sign compatibility should be top of mind. Because your moon sign is tied to your innermost desires and requirements for emotional security, it’s a hugely important factor in your romantic relationships. View your most compatible moon signs here.

How to Calculate Your Moon Sign

Your moon sign depends on your position around the moon when you were born; it is determined by your sun sign along with your time and place of birth. Use Cafe Astrology’s Moon Sign Calculator here.

Moon Sign Desires

Things that emotionally satisfy each moon sign.

Aries Moon

Independence, challenge, action

Famous Aries Moon Signs: Edgar Allen Poe, Whitney Houston, Salvador Dali, Angelina Jolie

Taurus Moon

Stability, security, devotion

Famous Taurus Moon Signs: Bob Dylan, Meryl Streep, Bill Clinton, Demi Lovato

Gemini Moon

Stimulation, conversation, novelty

Famous Gemini Moon Signs: Jennifer Lawrence, Sigmund Freud, 50 Cent, Priyanka Chopra

Cancer Moon

Safety, comfort, nurturing

Famous Cancer Moon Signs: Kurt Cobain, Kate Middleton, Drake, Drew Barrymore

Leo Moon

Attention, generosity, entertainment

Famous Leo Moon Signs: Julia Roberts, David Bowie, Paris Hilton, Paul McCartney

Virgo Moon

Structure, feeling useful, logic

Famous Virgo Moon Signs: Madonna, Elon Musk, J.K. Rowling, Samuel L. Jackson

Libra Moon

Peace, cooperation, equality

Famous Libra Moon Signs: Malala Yousafzai, John Krasinski, Alicia Keys, Terry Crews

Scorpio Moon

Passion, mystery, privacy

Famous Scorpio Moon Signs: Charlie Chaplin, Lisa Kudrow, Bob Marley, Avril Lavigne

Sagittarius Moon

Adventure, newness, freedom

Famous Sagittarius Moon Signs: Pablo Picasso, Oprah Winfrey, Justin Timberlake, Ellen Page

Capricorn Moon

Ambition, success, power

Famous Capricorn Moon Signs: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emma Roberts, Matt Damon, Sarah Jessica Parker

Aquarius Moon

Friendship, individualism, morality

Famous Aquarius Moon Signs: John Lennon, Sandra Bullock, Cara Delevingne, Denzel Washington

Pisces Moon

Understanding, art, connection

Famous Pisces Moon Signs: Grace Kelly, Kanye West, Coco Chanel, Leonardo da Vinci

Sun Sign Meaning

Your sun sign is your core identity, representing your ego and your passions. Similar to the Sun being at the center of the solar system, your sun sign is the center of your zodiac personality. It speaks to how you experience life and the type of energy that fuels you. This is the most popular, well-known sign, and is typically what most people mean when referencing your astrological sign. The horoscopes here on Starlies are sun sign horoscopes!

Sun Sign Compatibility

While moon sign compatibility is intimately tied to emotional needs and security, sun sign compatibility combines aspects of surface-level attraction and personality concordance with a deeper emotional connection to paint an overall picture of your compatibility with someone. Use our Zodiac Compatibility Calculator to assess your sun sign compatibility!

How to Calculate Your Sun Sign

Your sun sign is determined by your month and date of birth.

Sun Sign Facts and Traits

Starlies features sun sign profiles with facts and traits about each sign, including its element, polarity, mode, ruling planet, ruling house, color, flower, and qualities. Click here to view details about any particular sign that you’re interested in!

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