The Power of Astrology: Understanding Your Ascendant, Sun, and Moon
Three of the most important points in your astrological chart are your Ascendant, Sun, and Moon. While the Sun and Moon are planets, the Ascendant is the sign and element of your first house.
The Ascendant – The Mask You Show the World
The first house in your chart is known as your Ascendant. It’s important because it expresses the self. Some ancient astrologers believed the ascendant was the most crucial sign in a person’s chart because it revealed personality (not to be confused with character or identity, which we’ll discuss in a bit). An example of personality vs. character is someone who smiles for others but is actually crying on the inside.
Since the first house is a sign and element (i.e. – Virgo / earth), it’s where the motivations and urges of the self are expressed. You may or may not have any planets in your ascendant.
The ascendant is important because it sets up the order for the rest of the houses in your chart. If someone’s first house is Virgo, then their second house will be Libra, the third will be Scorpio, and so on.
Because most people know their birthdays, but not their exact birth times, modern society often judges people based on their sun signs, which can sometimes be unfair. For example, Virgo ascendants are known to be practical, organized, and down to earth. They can also be somewhat picky and like rules and schedules. This may contrast with their Aquarius sun, which expresses itself as free-spirited and a little revolutionary.
Be cautious about judging someone by their sun sign; their behavior will be driven by their ascendant and may not give an accurate picture of their character or identity.
The Sun – Identity, Character, and Self-Esteem
The sun is the prime indicator of your identity and character. It’s how you act and react based on your inner makeup. Depending on where your sun is placed in your chart (and planets that may be nearby), it can indicate leadership, willpower, and authority.
The Sun is your main source of self-esteem and self-identity. If your sun is in the 5th house (the house of romance, self-expression / creativity, children, sports), you may enjoy romantic dinners, writing, painting, or doing crafts, and doing fun things with your children.
Because your sun is your identity and character, you won’t really need to “think” about your interests; they’ll just be there. If you have other planets near your sun, those planets’ influence will also impact your identity and how you express your sun sign and element.
The Moon – Where You Emotionally Process
The house, sign, and element where your moon is placed reveals where you emotionally process and what you need to feel safe and protected. Much like feelings, the power of your moon sign can fluctuate.
The moon shows you what you need to feel nurtured. It will impact what environments feel comfortable to you, and it’s also where memories are stored. Because the moon is where you feel most supported emotionally, it’s often associated with the feminine or a mother figure.
The sign and element of your moon can also help you understand why you respond as you do to others. The placement of your moon determines how public opinion (whether it be a small or large group of people) impact you emotionally. You moon’s placement help you understand why you react as you do to certain situations.
Your ascendant, sun, and moon are three of the most important points on your astrological chart. By learning how to work with their energies, you can better understand your personality, identity, and emotions.
Written by Brooke Davis
Brooke Davis is a tarot teacher and wellness coach who enjoys helping the tarot-curious learn about the cards by using intuition and insight, not just definitions from a book. Her four-course Tarot 101 series is offered online through Discover Your Spiritual Gifts. Register for the next session here.