If you’ve ever read your star sign and thought, “that’s definitely not me”, it turns out there’s a very good reason for that. An astrologer explains why…
Are you a disorganised Virgo? A Capricorn with zero savings? A Cancerian whose idea of hell is too much time at home? If you’ve always felt at odds with your star sign, you don’t need to write off astrology altogether – all you need is a simple little adjustment to the way you read them. Specifically, to which sign you’re reading.
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How to read your horoscopes the right way
See, traditionally we’ve all been told to read our sun sign, but not only is that only one small part of who we are, it won’t paint the most accurate picture when reading your ‘scopes. Astrologer Emma Vidgen from The Wayward explains, “your birth chart divided into 12 houses and each governs a different area of life. If you read your sun sign it assumes that your sun falls in the first house, when in actual fact it can be anywhere in the birth chart. Reading for your rising sign, however, positions the houses in the same order that they appear in your birth chart.”
If you don’t know what your rising sign (also known as the ascendant) is, you can easily find out using the Astro birth chart on astro.com – a site that’s highly respected within the astrology community. All you need is your date, exact time and place of your birth.
So what happens exactly if you only read your sun sign? Emma explains, “Horoscopes will always broadly describe the energy of planetary movements, so for example when mercury goes retrograde, everyone will feel its effects in some way (miscommunication, confusion, delays etc.). But if you’re just reading your sun sign the terrain that the horoscope is describing won’t be as relevant (unless it’s in the first house).”
What you’ll get by reading your rising sign is a more relevant description for you, and it will feel more specific (i.e.: you’ll have miscommunications at work, or with family). “Think of it like horoscopes are weather reports, and they break down the location according to the houses in your chart,” says Emma.
What does your sun sign represent?
Your sun sign is the one you’ve most likely branded yourself with since high school – the one you’d call your “star sign”, determined from the date you were born. Emma says that this is the sign that represents the ego, and what lights us up inside. “What I find most interesting about the sun is it’s a signature in your chart that you often grow into. So growing up you might not feel like your sun, but it may be something you develop into as you age,” she says.
What does your moon sign mean?
At the other end of the spectrum is your moon sign, which is everything your sun sign is not – feelings, intuition, emotions – and ‘being’ rather than ‘doing’. Your moon sign describes how you are and how you react emotionally, and can also describe your relationship with your mother. Understanding your moon sign can also be particularly illuminating when it comes to romantic relationships.
“I always pay a lot of attention to the moon when I am working with clients in the context of relationships and wanting to find love because it can operate a lot like a love language,” says Emma. “It describes what you need to feel nourished in a relationship and it also describes the way you show love or your nurturing style as well.” Understanding what nourishes you, and what makes you feel valued in a relationship will help you choose a partner that can offer that nourishment, rather than feeling constantly frustrated that they can’t meet your needs.
The significance of your rising sign
Your rising sign represents the sign in your chart that was literally rising when you were born. It affects how other people see you, as it’s the energy you project into the world, or as Emma says, the “mask you wear”. This may also be the sign that people guess you are. “It’s connected to identity but it’s more the way you are without thinking about it – it’s intrinsic,” she says. For some it could be a bit shocking to discover your rising sign because you may not feel like (or be aware of it), yet despite this, it’s how you come across – particularly in social situations.
“The most profound thing about your ascendant is that you can start to understand how people perceive you. Most people don’t have a great awareness of this, but it can help you make sense of the way you relate to people and the effect that your energy has on them,” says Emma. What it will do is start to put your social relationships into context because you may start to understand why people react to you in the way they do.
Take a job interview for example. You might have a Libra sun (notoriously charming) and a Pisces moon (intuitive and creative), but if your rising sign is Capricorn you might come across as hard to read, or unenthused, because Capricorn energy is inherently reserved and serious – so the opposite of what you ‘feel’ or ‘are’ inherently. If you always get the feedback that you don’t ‘seem excited’ by an opportunity, this could be why.
If you’re having an a-ha moment right now, we don’t blame you. Brb, going to read up about our “new star signs” now.