Cancer season is upon us, and it’s the time of year when my fellow early-summer birthdays and I retreat into our homes, listen to our emotions, and celebrate life with those close to us. From now until July 22nd, sun is aligned with its position during my birth, so my sun sign, or what most people would simply call my “astrological sign” comes into its own.
But as I’ve been delving deeper into astrology lately I’ve been thinking about the contrast among my sun sign (Cancer) and my moon and rising signs, two aspects of the personal zodiac profile that many people are unaware of.
A sun sign is only one part of a complex natal zodiac chart that each person has. It’s solely based on the day and month when one was born, and it’s the type of sign that you’d find in a horoscope chart in the back of a magazine. Meanwhile, a moon sign, also known as an ascendant sign, corresponds to what zodiac sign was rising in the eastern horizon during your exact time of birth. So two Cancers born on the same day could have totally different moon signs, as well as different rising or ascendant signs, which depend on the which longitude or latitude of your birth state and city. The variations of moon and ascendant signs complicate a sun sign more than you would think, creating a vast array of astrological profiles.
According to a few astrology websites, a good way to understand the difference between these types of signs is by thinking of the moon and sun signs enclosed within an exterior of the ascendant sign. So while I’m a July-born Cancer, the location of my birth makes me a Taurus rising. My coworkers or classmates might see me as being reliable, patient, and determined, those close to me know that I’m weepy, filled with love, and sometimes volatile in classic Water Sign fashion.
Reading your full natal chart will help you gain insight into the way you see yourself in public and private, and the dualities and complexities of your astrological self. Try it here, and read more about the differences between sun, moon, and rising signs here.