When it comes to astrology, your sun, moon, and rising signs are typically referred to as your “Big 3.” Okay, cool, but what does that mean?
Each of these signs indicates something about your personality. They also speak to your ego, motivations, emotions, and other parts of your identity. For believers—and those willing to be converted—your Big 3 may give you a new way to look at, say, why you’re always procrastinating, why you love making lists, or why you feel like you’re more emotional than everyone else (we’re looking at you, Cancers).
Here’s how to find your Big 3, and how to use them as a tool to get more out of your life.
Your sun sign is the easiest to figure out
Astrologically speaking, your sun sign is indicative of your pride, ego, and drive. This sign basically describes who you are at your core and presents the clearest picture of your overall personality. When you’re reading your basic horoscope, you go by your sun sign.
That means you probably already know your sun sign. If not, use your birthday to find it in the list below:
- Aries (March 21-April 19)
- Taurus (April 20-May 20)
- Gemini (May 21-June 20)
- Cancer (June 21-July 22)
- Leo (July 23-August 22)
- Virgo (August 23-September 22)
- Libra (September 23-October 22)
- Scorpio (October 23-November 21)
- Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)
- Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
- Aquarius (January 20-February 18)
- Pisces (February 19-March 20)
If you were born on September 27, you’re a Libra. This means your sun sign is also Libra. In the context of the Big 3, you’d call yourself a “Libra Sun.”
If you’re a Gemini Sun, you’re probably known for being conversational and clear-headed. Looking to work out that part of your personality more? Head to a local coffee shop for a poetry open mic night. Offer to lead meetings at work. Attend an artists’ panel or city council meeting and ask questions. Practicing your sun traits allows you to harness their energy—so work out those muscles so they can go to work for you.
If you’re a Pisces Sun, you’re a sensitive soul who spends a lot of time daydreaming. Get energy from it by wandering through an enchanting botanical garden, spending a cool morning at the beach, or arranging a flower display for your kitchen table.
Moon signs are determined by your time of birth
Your moon sign represents who you are on a deeper level than your sun sign. The best way to explain it is that your moon sign is the unspoken part of your soul. It represents your instincts, what you really need to be comfortable, and how you operate on a subconscious level.
To determine your moon sign, you’ll need to know what time you were born. Not sure how to answer this? We didn’t either.
The easiest way to figure this out is to look at your birth certificate if you have access to it. Ask your parents/guardians if they know the time you were born if you can’t get your hands on your birth certificate. The more precise you are, the better, but most birth chart calculators will be able to figure out your moon sign with even a ballpark time frame—so don’t sweat it.
Got your birth time? Find your moon sign using Cafe Astrology’s helpful natal chart calculator. (FYI: Natal Chart and Birth Chart mean the same thing.)
If you’re a Taurus Moon, you tend to seek out emotional safety in your actions and relationships. This is important to keep in mind when, say, you’re planning an overnight excursion. Knowing yourself might help you to choose a trip that’ll invoke the calm sense of safety that gives you confidence. For example, you might like cozying up in a tiny house or yurt. Not an outdoorsy type? Look for what you know gives you peace—like a fancy hotel, a secluded AirBnB, or a room with a window that lets in the sound of waves lapping against the shore.
Leo Moons, on the other hand, are known for the level of love and care they provide for others—which projects an innate inner warmth. Looking for a new job? Hiring a dog walker? Seek out businesses focused on self-care, like Sunflower Wellness in Milwaukee, and holistic approaches, like Pets Naturally in Northern Michigan. You’ll find kindred spirits there.
Scorpio Moons? Yeah, they’re known for being a bit brooding, but they’re also the most loyal people you’ll ever meet. This is why you’ll catch them ordering lunch at the same hoagie spots all the time—their loyalty extends to everyone, including their favorite restaurants, salons, and stores. Got a Scorpio Moon in your life? Make their day by showing loyalty right back to them, with an unexpected delivery of their favorite coffee drink. Apps like UberEats, GrubHub, and DoorDash can help with this.
Rising Sign = Where you were born
The final piece of the equation is your rising, or “ascendant” sign. You’ll hear it both ways, so you can use whichever phrase you like. In conversation, though, you’d say something like, “Oh, I’m a Virgo Rising.”
You can use Cafe Astrology’s natal chart calculator for this as well, or you can toggle over to Co-Star Astrology to find your results. Their app also allows you to create a profile and connect with friends to check out your compatibility, get a brief horoscope daily, along with a fun list of do’s and don’ts for each day, through the app.
The fact that your rising sign is determined by where you were born is pretty fascinating stuff. If you were born in Alexandria, Virginia or Orlando, Florida, that has a direct impact on the character traits you possess. Crazy, right?
Virgo risings are even-tempered and are all about the facts. They want to understand everything about climate change, including how they can help the environment in their own backyard.
Are you a Sagittarius rising? If so, you give off an upbeat, confident vibe that’s immediately noticeable. You’ll thrive at one of the best public colleges in your state because you’ll have the opportunity to meet new people on campus.
Pisces risings are known for having an active imagination, so heading out to a local beach with a spectacular view is a great weekend activity for them.
Once you have your Big 3 astrology signs down, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of who you are and what you need from your personal environment, which is never a bad thing.