moon chart

A Quick Guide to Understanding Your Birth Chart

You’re probably aware of your astrological sign, more accurately known as your sun sign, which is determined by your date of birth. It’s also the one you most commonly associate with when anything zodiac comes up, like your weekly horoscope. However, there is much more to you than your sun sign, which makes up just one part of your birth chart!

Also known as a natal chart, it is essentially a snapshot of the universe when you were born. The planets were all arranged in specific ways that tell you more about your personality, like your motivations, how you deal with your emotions, and your approach to romance. For instance, a Cancer sun with a Scorpio moon and Leo rising is very different from a Cancer sun with a Gemini moon and an Aquarius rising. Here’s what you need to know:

Deciphering Your Birth Chart

You’ll need three details to find your birth chart: the date, time, and location (such as the city) of your birth. That probably means you have to text your mom or rummage through your stuff for your birth certificate. Once you have the needed information, look up your birth chart on an online calculator like You’ll then be presented with a complex-looking chart with a giant circle, numbers, astrological symbols, and lines crossing the circle in different ways.

It can be overwhelming to decipher what all these mean, so we’ll focus on three critical aspects: your sun, moon, and rising signs, known as the big 3. These have the most influence on your personality.

Your Sun Sign

Your sun sign is likely the one you identify most with, although this isn’t always true. It’s how you answer the question of “I am.” The sun symbol on your birth chart, marked by a circle with a dot, tells you where your sun is. It indicates your ego and identity. For example, Sagittarians love philosophy, traveling, and spontaneity, which means that if you are a Sagittarius, you probably closely relate to these three aspects.

It’s important to note that some people have birthdays that are on the cusp of sun signs. However, you cannot be two sun signs at once simply because the sun cannot be in two places simultaneously. That’s why the time of your birth is so important; you may have thought you were a Leo all your life, but it turns out that the sun had just transitioned to Virgo the minute you were born!

Your Moon Sign

Your sun concerns your identity, and your moon governs your emotions or your “id.” It is represented by a crescent moon symbol on your chart and tells you a lot about how you process your feelings and care for yourself. If you’re a Sagittarius sun with a Pisces moon, then you’re likely to be more sensitive and prefer soothing yourself by having a bath, going for a swim, or 
diving into your creativity rather than traveling. However, a Pisces sun, known for being dreamy and imaginative, would feel better after exercising or engaging in intense physical activity if they had an Aries moon. There are so many nuances and exciting differences when you account for your other placements beyond your sun sign!

Your Rising Sign

Lastly, your rising sign, also known as the ascendant, is the position of the sun on the horizon when you were born. It is symbolized on your chart by ASC or AC. You typically have the same sun and rising sign if you were born at sunrise.

The sun concerns the ego and your identity, and the moon focuses on your emotions, but your rising sign is the ‘mask’ you wear or the front you present to the world. It encapsulates how people perceive you or what you want other people to think of you. In fact, your rising sign is often people’s first impression of you!

It can even influence your appearance. For instance, Capricorn risings often have sharp, angular features, and Aries risings are known for their thick, bold eyebrows. When you first get to know other people, you’ll probably associate them with their rising sign traits since they stand out more, but as you learn more about them, their sun and moon signs will show.


Your birth chart is made up of various placements, showcasing the different aspects of your personality. However, it can be dizzying to dive deep into what your Mars in Taurus and Venus in Libra mean when you aren’t sure what your big 3 say about you. By using our guide, you’ll understand the very basics of your birth chart, making you ready to learn more about the rest of your placements!

Now that you know your big 3, why not get zodiac jewelry in each of them from Ephemeris Co? We sell customized birth chart jewelry and wall art containing your accurate natal chart, allowing you to wear a picture of the cosmos from when you were born. Create yours today!

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