5 Star
Jemima Cainer
Birth Charts
Tarot/I Ching

Your Daily Horoscope, from Oscar and Jonathan Cainer

The Big Three in Astrology

by Jemima Cainer
Wed, 27th Sep

An Overview of the Big Three in Astrology - What They Are and How They Interact

If you have ever Googled astrology or spoken to somebody with an interest, especially somebody from the US, you may have heard the term 'The Big Three'. Traditionally, at least from scholarly Astrologers, it is frowned upon to give too much weight to any one part of a chart. When studying, Astrologers are usually taught that everything needs to be considered in the context of the whole chart. But the best starting point for grasping the character of a person, a baseline reading, if you like, is to consider their so-called 'Big Three'. So what are they? And why do they matter?

The Big Three in Astrology are a person's Sun sign, Moon Sign and Rising Sign or Ascendant. What is the difference between the three and how can they give a clue to the kind of personality a person has, or how their life may unfold? To understand this let's take a look at each of these three crucially important signs and how they influence a person's character.

Sun Signs

Most people know their Sun Sign but they often use the term 'Star sign' for it. It is, quite simply, the sign of the zodiac that the Sun was located in at the moment of your birth. The Sun takes around 30 days to move through each sign. Because of this, usually, at least, you do not need to know the exact time or place of birth to work this out. The exception to this is if a person is born very close to the point at which the Sun crosses from one sign to the next, a moment which some people refer to as 'being on the cusp'. But that can of worms is another article entirely! So what significance does the Sun's placement in the Zodiac have on a personality or life? Well, the Sun in Astrology is associated with a person's Spirit. The Sun sign gives us an indication of a person's general energy, their values, their sense of self, and the way they find purpose in the world. A Sun sign is important, but it only makes up a very tiny part of Astrology as a whole.

The Sun sign is symbolic of your core self, representing the fundamental essence of who you are. It is linked to your main personality traits, your innate strengths and weaknesses, and your overall life path. In essence, the Sun sign is your consciousness and it describes your sense of identity. The Sun shows the unchanging truth of our character that remains consistent throughout your life.

Moon Signs

Traditionally, before daily horoscopes were published in newspapers, people would identify their 'star sign' as the sign where the Moon was when they were born. The Moon sign speaks to our inner self, our emotions, and our subconscious. It is not always as easy to see the traits of a Moon sign, especially as people get older and learn to keep their reactions back. However, it's our Moon sign that governs how we react emotionally to situations, determining our instinctual responses and desires - and also pointing to what makes us anxious or fearful.

Your Moon sign is the part of you that is hidden. It is what lies below the surface, but probably sums up how you really feel about life and everything in it. The Moon rules over our emotional selves. It governs our reactions, how we interact with our own instincts, how we nurture and care for others, what we need from relationships and can even describe our relationship with our own mothers. Knowing and understanding your Moon sign is the first step to knowing your true self. It is the very first key to unlocking your astrological love language, and to understanding what it is you really need from relationships and life.

Your Moon side reveals the most irrational, intuitive part of you. It is not always, who you want to be, or who you would like to be known as. It is though, essentially, truly, who you really are. The Moon rules over the night. It is our dream world, our feelings and emotions.

Ascendant or Rising Signs

So what is an Ascendant? Well, it is the sign of the zodiac which was at the horizon point as you came into the world. This Ascendant sign colours the way we enter and encounter the world and also, describes how the world meets us. It is the energy we give off when we first meet somebody, or when we first approach something new.

Imagine how you would present yourself for a job interview, starting a new role or meeting somebody totally new for the first time... How you carry yourself in these situations is governed by your Rising sign. This sign is like a mask that we wear to the world. It's the persona we project, often shaping how others perceive us upon first encounters. This outward façade can sometimes be very different from our Sun sign, revealing itself more prominently in our day-to-day interactions and surface-level behaviours. It's the role we play when adapting to the world around us, acting as our protective armour when navigating through life's challenges and facing new situations or environments.

Examining the Relationship Between Moon Signs, Ascendants, and Rising Signs

To understand the effects of these three influences in a person we look at elements of their personality and consider the path their life may take.

Like so much in Astrology, the answer to many questions about the big three is... well... 'it depends'! So many factors can influence a person's individual chart that it is possible that their sun sign or any other sign for that matter, is a defining focus, or perhaps more of a side part. This is why some people seem much more attuned to their ascendant sign, or their Moon sign. There are a myriad of planetary influences to interpret. Astrology is not purely a science, nor is it entirely an art form. It is an ongoing practice which requires precision and intuition. How then, do we use these three factors as a starting point and find out how they interact with each other to determine who we are and how we live our lives?

The Sun, Moon, and Rising signs work in unison to shape the unique persona of a person. If the signs in your 'Big Three' are diametrically opposed in their elemental nature or qualities, you may find yourself often in a state of internal tug-of-war, or you may come across as a bit of an enigma. This could manifest as feelings of conflict, indecisiveness, or even a struggle to truly comprehend what direction you want to go in. These opposing signs might pull you in different directions, causing a sense of disarray in decision-making and challenges to overcome on your journey to personal growth.

If there is Harmony between the big three there may be an ease of flow and a sense of things 'falling into place' for a person or an appearance of them seeming to breeze through where other people struggle.

The rare occurrence of having all three signs in your Big Three chart be of the same zodiac sign may lead to an incredibly potent personality. This uncommon alignment can produce an individual who has a laser-focused approach to life, with their emotions, intentions, and energies all flowing in the same direction. Such a person would likely have an uncanny ability to channel their energies toward their life goals with immense resolve and dedication. This alignment can bring about a sense of congruence and harmony within the self, allowing individuals to fully embrace their inherent qualities and utilise them to their maximum potential.

Is your Sun or rising sign more important?

In astrology, both the Sun sign and the Rising sign hold significant importance, each contributing to our persona in unique ways. The Sun sign represents our core self, essentially illuminating our most dominant characteristics, our life's purpose, and our most genuine aspirations. It is the essence of who we are at our core.

On the other hand, the Rising sign, often considered the 'mask' we present to the world, plays a crucial role in shaping our outward behaviours and mannerisms, and influences the first impressions we make. It represents how we approach life's challenges and the persona we project, especially during first encounters.

Neither one of these signs is 'more important'. They each provide different insights into our persona, with one shining a light on our inherent essence, and the other portraying the methods we use to navigate the world. It's the interplay between these two elements that truly paints a complete picture of our astrological identity and understanding this about yourself is a great place to start to unlock your potential.

How to Know if You Don't Resonate with Your Sun Sign

Sometimes, you may find that you don't resonate with your Sun sign. This can often lead to a feeling of disconnect or confusion when reading horoscopes or other astrology-related content. However, it's important to remember that astrology is a complex and nuanced field of practice. Your Sun sign is just a single piece of a much larger puzzle. Other factors such as your Moon sign, Rising sign, and the positions of other planets at your time of birth, all contribute to your astrological profile.

Some of us connect much more easily or find a deeper affinity with the sign of the zodiac that the Moon was in when we were born. Some people find out their rising sign and have a moment of 'aha!'... We are all, so much more than our Sun signs. The Sun sign is one part of our character that gives us our outlook on life. It shapes who we are and influences the main story we tell as we make our mark on the world. What makes us complex nuanced beings with a range of differences and our own unique characters, is the collection of all the influences in our birth chart.

Life experiences and upbringing also play a monumental role in shaping your personality. If you don't resonate with your Sun sign, it may be worthwhile to delve deeper into your full astrological chart to understand the multitude of celestial influences that make up your unique character.

The Benefits of Knowing Your Big Three in Astrology and its Impact on Your Life

Knowing your Big Three in astrology - your Sun sign, Moon sign, and Rising sign - can provide a more holistic understanding of your personality. It can highlight not just your outward behaviours, but also your emotional responses and give you an insight into understanding your core values. Knowledge is power and self-knowledge is one of the most powerful tools you can have to transform the way you live your life. By acquiring a deeper self-awareness you can access a profound tool for personal growth. It is a little bit like having a map of your own psyche to help you understand yourself on a new level. It can help you to see why the things that bother you bring you so much irritation, or to show you why you react to some things in your life the way that you do. This insight into your strengths and innate tendencies can help you plan and navigate your way through the challenges that life brings. This cosmic outline can help to enable you to unlock your deepest potential and empower yourself to live your life to the fullest.

To discover your 'Big Three', click here
By inputting your date, exact time, and place of birth, you can generate a detailed astrological chart that includes your Sun, Moon, and Rising signs. This resource not only provides you with your Big Three but also offers deeper insights into other planetary alignments at your time of birth.

Birth Charts

New! The Solstice

Moon Signs

New Moon in Gemini

What it means to have Moon in...

2024 Year Ahead Forecasts

2024 Love Forecasts









Sign into 5 Star