We hate to break it to you, but you've actually got three star signs. An astrologer explains.

Welcome to 2019 where self-actualisation by way of astrology is a thing.

Full moons have the ability to derail our emotions, and your star sign can determine your worst trait, go-to cocktail and even your perfect dog breed.

But we hate to break it to you: If you’ve just been reading your sun sign, the one that’s solely determined by your day of birth, then we’re sorry to say this, but you’re doing it all wrong.

According to the basic tenets of astrology, you don’t just have one sign, you actually have three – your sun sign, moon sign and ascendant or rising sign.

Here’s what they all mean:

  • Your Sun Sign (the sign associated with your birth date) represents your ego.
  • Your Moon Sign represents your emotions.
  • Your Rising (or Ascendant) Sign is your mask to the world.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by CL Astrology (@clastrology) on


Astrologers believe that each sign (Scorpio, Leo, Aquarius etc.) represents a house and the sun, moon and planets moves through the houses depending on the time of the year. For example, if you’re born on say, February 7, your Sun sign would be Aquarius because on your day of birth, the sun was in the house of Aquarius and this is the sign that mainstream astrology refers to.

But trained astrologers go one step further. They believe the position of the sun, moon and planets at a person’s time of birth will further dictate aspects of their personality, with your sun sign (which most people already know), moon sign and rising sign the three most important determining factors. Astrologers also refer to this as a Trinity.

To get into the nitty gritty details, we asked Sydney-based astrologer, Pia Lehmann of Soulscapesoz to explain exactly what each sign represents and this is what she had to say.

Prepare yourself for a whole new world of astrological enlightenment.

How do you calculate your Sun, Moon and Rising sign?

You can do this either by going to an astrologer, like Pia or Natasha Weber of Astrotash, or by using an online ‘natal chart’ or ‘birth chart’ calculator, but you’re going to need to know your time and place of birth, the more exact the better.

If you’re not committed (or convinced enough) to consult an astrologer, there are several online services you can use.

Websites like Horoscopes.astro-seek and Cafe Astrology do this for free, as does the iOS app Co – Star which calculates your entire natal chart, which includes the positioning of your sun, moon, rising and planets. Astrology nerds also need to follow their Instagram account @costarastrology ASAP.



View this post on Instagram


~**~~**~???? hi????~**~~**~

A post shared by Co – Star (@costarastrology) on

Keep in mind an astrologer will also calculate the exact aspect (or positioning) of the sun, moon and planets on your day of birth to give you a ‘more informed’ astrological picture, so to speak.

“A bad aspect will bring out the bad traits of the sign. This is the reason why people do a reading with an astrologer. They can explain how to be aware of your negative traits,” explains Pia.


Your sun sign.

This is the one you probably know already.

Your sun sign is calculated by your day of birth and represents the “ego you need to develop,” says Pia.

However, contrary to common belief, it’s the not the character or personality your born with but something you (ideally) become with age and life experience.

“It’s the person you want to become in this life and you have to work towards that,” she continues.

“You’re born with your moon sign. Your sun sign is something you strive towards. It’s not automatic.”

Your moon sign.

According to Pia, your moon sign represents how you emotionally respond to and process things and it’s generally the sign you identify with more in your younger years, before you develop into your sun sign.

She also recommends reading both your sun sign horoscope AND your moon sign too.

“It’s about your needs – what you really really need,” says Pia.

“In your younger years, you tend to feel more at home with your moon sign than your sun sign, but this changes as your age.”


View this post on Instagram



A post shared by Clare And Jessie Stephens (@thetwins_thoughts) on


Your ascendant (or rising) sign.

Simply put, “your rising sign is how people perceive you,” says Pia. It’s named after the sign which was rising on the Eastern horizon during your time of birth.

“It’s your mask and it’s important to stress that it’s not who you truly are.”

Instead, your rising sign will determine how you interact with people and show yourself in social situations. It might also be how acquaintances will describe your character.

Describing the interplay between your moon and rising sign, Pia says the latter is “how you enter the world”.

“Imagine someone with a Pisces moon. They’re very sensitive and shy but they’ve got a Sagittarius rising,” she says.

“Nobody wold guess [that they’re shy] because they come across as very bold and self-confident with lots of bravado, but it’s not who they are.”

Want more Mamamia stories? Sign up to our newsletters and get our best stories straight into your inbox.