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As a rule of thumb in astrology, the inner placements and planets: (Sun, Moon, Rising, Mercury, Venus, and Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn) have a bigger impact on your personality than the outer planets (Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto) because these placements move between signs more quickly, sometimes staying in the same sign for just a few days, and vary more radically person toe person, making them more unique to you. Once you have the placements and corresponding signs for your big three, it’s time to dig deeper. The next section will cover how to read the aspects, degrees, and houses in your birth chart.

HOW TO READ YOUR BIRTH CHART (+ PLANETS, SIGNS, HOUSES, & ASPECTS)

Next, you’ll want to know how each of these placements behaves in your chart. This can be done by finding things like the degree, aspects, and houses for each of the planets. You should practice memorizing these concepts while learning your Big 3, as this information can be applied to all of the placements and planets in your chart.

 

  • Each planet has a function that influences different aspects of your personality

  • Every sign highlights how the planets will function based on the energy of that sign

  • Each house shows which area of life your planets and sign will impact

  • Your aspects show how two or more planets work together

 

The best place for beginners to start is by learning the 12 zodiac signs in astrology. People often make the mistake of assuming they don’t have a certain sign in their chart. but everyone feels the influence of all 12 zodiac signs in their chart – so it’s important to familiarize yourself with all of them.

 

In astrology, the planets and luminaries help round out the first layer of your birth chart. Each planet has a function that influences different aspects of your personality, and knowing which zodiac sign each planet is ruled by will give you a clearer picture of your unique astrology. The 12 houses in astrology each represent a key part of life. While the twelve zodiac signs represent unique energies and personality traits, the twelve houses of the zodiac represent larger life themes such as your career, love life, sense of self-identity, and more.

 

Aspects refer to how planets and other celestial bodies in the sky interact with each other. Aspects describe the angles that planets form to each other on the wheel of the Zodiac. The angles that aspects fall into each means something different. Like other pieces of the astrology puzzle, aspects change frequently and are very unique to you. Every person’s natal chart is a 360° circle split into 12 pieces, with each zodiac sign taking up 30° on the wheel. Each of your planets and other placements will appear on your zodiac wheel at a precise number of degrees within a sign – refer back to your chart to see which placements fall into each degree. Understanding the degrees of each of your planets will help you understand which daily astrological transits influence you. By bringing each of these unique aspects of your birth chart together, you can understand major themes and lessons in your life and dig deep into the quirks of your personality.

 

HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR SUN SIGN

Your sun sign is the part of your personality that spends the most time in the spotlight. It is your true essence of self. It’s your identity. Your ego energy. The sun sign is determined by locating which astrological sign was on the eastern horizon (the sun rises in the east) when you were born. Your Sun Sign dictates other things too, like how you tend to express yourself and how you like to recharge. Just like the sun in the sky, your Sun Sign shines bright and sets a certain tone for the rest of your chart.

 

If your sun is in an air sign: (Aquarius, Gemini, or Libra)
You’re likely very comfortable in social settings and enjoy making connections with people who you find intellectually stimulating and interesting. Air Suns are incredible communicators who can shake up any situation with their leadership skills and out-of-the-box thinking.

 

If your sun is in a fire sign: (Aries, Leo, or Sagittarius)
You’re a firecracker who loves all of the passion and adventure life has to throw your way. You love dreaming big and aspire to do incredible, bold things. You’re a creator who loves to bring ideas to life.

 

If your sun is in an earth sign: (Taurus, Virgo, or Capricorn)
Your desire for material safety and comfort drives many of your aspirations and dreams. Some people mistakenly think this means earth signs are materialistic – but that’s not true. Earth signs are hard workers with ambition, drive, and a sense of direction. They are great leaders and often succeed wherever they go.

 

If your sun is in a water sign: (Cancer, Scorpio, or Pisces)
You love getting to know others on a personal level. Water signs are caregivers and nurturers. Sensitive, highly intuitive, and deep, they form connections and bonds quickly. Just as they are sensitive to sad emotions, water signs can be quick to ugly emotions like anger or jealousy.

 

LEARN MORE: We wrote detailed descriptions of how each zodiac sign behaves in the Sun. Check out on guide on how to understand your sun sign here.

HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR MOON SIGN

Your Moon sign is determined by where in the sky the moon was on the day you were born and shows how you really feel under the surface. The Moon also influences how you process emotions.

Your moon sign can also influence how strongly your Sun Sign presents in comparison with the rest of your chart. If your sun and moon signs are in conflicting elements or signs, it could present as an internal struggle between your inner and outer world.

 

If your Moon is in an air sign: (Gemini, Libra, or Aquarius)
You approach emotions and your inner world in a very logical way. You’re a chameleon. Change doesn’t stress you out or even bother you, it’s easy for you to follow the flow of life. This is likely because you find expressing your emotions and social interactions in a logical way. You understand social convention, it’s easy for you to decipher. Air Moons needs to be careful not to let logic ruin the potential for a deeper inner world. It’s important for Air Moons to learn when to let go and do something they perceive as silly or illogical.

 

If your moon is in a fire sign: (Aries, Leo, or Sagittarius)
You are excited by the many emotions and experiences life has to offer. You’re an emotional thrill seeker. You want to explore and feel everything the human experience has to offer. Fire Moons have a deep and complex inner world that craves creativity, passion, and growth. Repetition or boredom is the natural enemy of a Fire Moon. You’re likely incredibly confident and enjoy seeking out friends and partners with the same spice for life and adventurous outlook you have. 

 

If your moon is in an earth sign: (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn)
You are the master of emotional regulation. Earth Moons believe that true emotional stability comes from carefully building and maintaining your home life and relationships. Earth signs aren’t afraid of long-term commitment. They are ready to settle down when they find the right person. An earth moon feels most in harmony with their inner world when they feel successful, needed, and successful.

 

If your moon is in a water sign: (Cancer, Scorpio, or Pisces)
You likely find yourself attracted to nature, the metaphysical, and spirituality. They don’t deal with change as easily as some other signs and are very in tune with how emotions impact your world and relationships. You are deeply private and creative. Only people who have shown they are worthy of your trust can unlock the secrets behind the real you. They have no problem with feeling feelings and sorting through their complicated inner world. Don’t forget that a little self-love can go a long way.

 

Your Sun and Moon sign form a yin and yang pull between your inner and outer self and many people can find major points of conflict between these signs. Understanding how these two placements and their energies play off of each other will help you understand the relationship between your own sun and moon signs. Your Sun Sign radiates masculine energy and focuses on how you express yourself and your ego energy, while your Moon Sign holds feminine energy that rules over your innermost thoughts, dreams, hopes, and feelings. Together they make up your external and internal personas – the face you show the world vs. who you are inside.

 

LEARN MORE: We wrote detailed descriptions of how each zodiac sign behaves in the moon. Check out on guide on how to understand your moon sign here.

 

HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR RISING SIGN

Your Ascendant Sign, also known as your Rising Sign, reflects how other people see and perceive you. Your rising sign determines the energy of both our outward personality and our birth chart as a whole.

That’s because your rising sign is located in the first house of self-identity and personality. The ascendant can also show the difference between how you react to emotional things publicly vs privately. For example, if you were an Aries Ascendant with a Cancer Moon, you might have a fiery temper outwardly, but take things very personally on the inside. Chart Rulers are also based on your ascendant sign and can help us better understand how each of our astrological placements works with each other.

 

If Your Ascendant is an Air Sign: (Gemini, Libra, or Aquarius)
You’re probably someone people perceive as professional and competent. You probably excelled in classes that involved writing, communication, or debate. Friends and family have talked about how quick-witted and curious you are. Air Ascendants crave knowledge and seek to attain as much knowledge as possible in a single lifetime. They seek to understand, they enjoy problem-solving and finding solutions. An Air Ascendant is likely to find themselves leaders in both home and work, carving out new paths that benefit everyone. 

 

If Your Ascendant is a Fire Sign: (Aries, Leo, or Sagittarius)
You are a natural-born star. People are inspired by your passion, creativity, and boldness. You are not afraid of looking like a fool if it means making people laugh. You are the life of the party and likely have many friends. You’re an extrovert who enjoys pulling people out of their shells and empowering others to live life at full throttle. You don’t take yourself too seriously. Fire Ascendant’s want to ride the waves of life and leave their mark on as many places and people as they can.

 

If Your Ascendant is an Earth Sign: (Taurus, Virgo, or Capricorn)
You are the sort of no-nonsense person that others might find off-putting at first. Earth Ascendants tend to focus on the material world, but that doesn’t make them greedy or selfish. They are natural-born entrepreneurs, success comes easy to them. You are often perceived as the reliable and stable friend of any group. You are the person your friends come to when they need practical advice. Earth Ascendants are loyal, reliable, practical, and calming. They are the lone island sitting peacefully among the rocky ocean waves. 

 

If Your Ascendant is a Water Sign: (Cancer, Scorpio, or Pisces)
People often perceive you as sensitive, empathetic, and nurturing. Waster Ascendants tend to be emotional on both the surface and the inside. You are likely the “Mom Friend” of your group of friends, looking out for their emotional well-being. You are fiercely loyal and love to dream big. Daydreaming is a favorite pastime of yours and you have no trouble exploring your inner world and relationships with others. Water Ascendants are very open and warm, people often find themselves sharing secrets with you. You may come off a bit intense at first, but under the surface, you are a warm and compassionate soul.

 

In astrology, your rising sign determines the energy of both our outward personality and our birth chart as a whole. That’s because your rising sign is located in the first house of self-identity and personality. Chart Rulers are based on your ascendant sign and can help us better understand how each of our astrological placements works with each other. Your Chart Ruler is decided by the planet that rules the sign your Ascendant is in.