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The Soul, Its Home, and the Way It's Known: The Sun, Moon, and Rising in Astrology

Sunrise over the ocean.
The Sun rising helps us understand ourself.

Most people know very little about astrology, and are only exposed to the mainstream examples in newspaper and magazine websites. This type of astrology is mostly known as Sun Sign Astrology, dividing up the population into 12 zodiac partitions, each designated by the dates the Sun falls in each sign on an individual’s birthday.

This is the difference between understanding a song by its melody, but not by its full musical and vocal components. It gives a strong case, but stripped of its nuance, paradox, and power. Sun sign astrology also can be seen as a throwback to a more patriarchal lens. The importance of the Sun also has roots in its energy being “masculine.” I try to use the word yang for this, because one of the side benefits of understanding astrology is how non-binary it can be. We have multitudes, as they say. But I digress; Sun sign astrology tells us a two dimensional story about a constellation of a person’s psyche. 

In astrology, knowing the big three– that is the Sun, Moon, and Rising sign is the shorthand we can use to get a pretty solid basic read on someone and how they might experience the world.

Let’s start with Sun: the Sun can be known as your spirit or soul. It’s your consciousness, your ego, your identity. If the Sun is– for lack of a better word–God, then our Sun signs determine how that consciousness might act, what it might want, and what gives it light. A Sun for any person, is the way they enact God on a personal level. This is a simplification, of course, but this is the root of the world view of astrology.

But a soul needs a home, especially on earth. Moon is like a reflector of the bigness of– the great consciousness of Sun, bringing this to a localized experience on earth. Because she reflects and receives, she is considered feminine (I like to say yin,) and she is ever-changing form. Even though we know that the Moon is much smaller than the Sun, the ancients saw them with equal importance. Moon can completely cover Sun from our view on earth during an eclipse. And because Moon is linked to earth, Moon is linked to our body, its emotional tissue, its needs and instincts. Moon is the animal of us, and the container for the soul. It is linked through our female bloodline and therefore it links us to our great ancestor. 

The rising sign (also known as the ascendant) is the sign in our chart that determines our house system (which we’ll leave aside for now.) But the rising sign will dictate which planetary energy rules our chart, and is determined by our time and place of birth and how it corresponds to where the Sun was rising when you took your first breath. The rising sign is the way that we are in the world, how others perceive us. The ascendant is like a filter or brand (although I really don’t like the capitalistic descriptor.) This BIG soul energy (Sun) needs a material place to reside, and that container-- your body (Moon) needs a way to be understood. It needs a vibe (Rising.) That vibe is how you come across and how you are seen and known, by the exterior world, and also yourself. Your rising sign is your interpreter for this big sacred stuff. It’s what makes you tangible, and it’s the flavor of the ride you’re on. When someone asks me to guess their sign, it’s often I can guess their Ascendant/ Rising Sign.

The rising sign will also determine which planet rules your chart. Each of the 12 zodiacal signs is ruled by a planet. The planets represent different parts of our psyche. I’ve mentioned the Sun and Moon (sometimes called luminaries in astrology– we know they aren’t planets at all, but for the purpose of astrology, they do get referred to as planets.) So an example of “planets” ruling signs is: the Sun rules Leo, and the Moon rules Cancer. Someone who has a Leo rising will be profoundly affected by the movement of the Sun and the themes of the Sun, and likewise for a Cancer rising with the Moon.

There is a lot of information to take in when first learning about astrology and how it works, and how to recognize energy in ourselves. For example, I am an Aries Sun and Cancer Rising. I am at the mercy of the movement of the Moon and feel energy shifts physically. Profoundly.

Understanding these three energies can help understand what you need to feel energized, safe, and integrated in the world. If you are struggling with any of these things, an astrologer can look at how this energetic situation can be improved. Everyone I’ve ever read for is already living their chart. Often we feel like we are doing it all wrong because we are in the middle of the story. Like any good narrative, there needs to be a story arc. Anything you already know or are good at, you take for granted anyway. The story comes from growth, discomfort, and struggle. And I get it, sometimes you get so much of it, you feel flattened by it. But living your chart will help you tap into something greater, bigger, and more profound. Living your chart helps you find your divinity, and when you find that; you know your true power in the bigger story of humanity.

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1 Comment

Mar 13

So much enlightening...Greatly appreciate!

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