Sun, Moon, and Rising Sign: Astrology’s Big Three

Published December 23, 2022
Sun and moon behind mountain

Thanks to the explosion of astrology online and in social media, many people are taking a deeper dive into their personal astrology. While people used to only read their daily sun sign horoscope, as the drive to learn more about oneself through astrology grows, getting more information provides broader, more personalized insight. Fortunately, you have an astrological template that provides an at-a-glance summary of your personality - namely your sun, moon, and rising signs, also known as astrology's Big 3. Knowing the Big 3 and their character archetypes is a good place to start if you want to have some fun and better understand yourself and others.

Sun, Moon, and Rising Signs

The sun, moon, and rising (ascendant) signs represent the foundational parts of your personality; taken together, they're called the Big 3. In the language of astrology, your sun, moon, and rising signs communicate far more information than you get from your sun sign alone.

Sun, Moon and Rising Sign Infographic

The Sun

The sun is your ego, the star of your life. Its sign is the role you were born to play. Your sun sign answers the question, "Who am I?"

The Moon

The moon is your heart, intuition, and emotional self. Your moon sign answers the question, "What kinds of experiences are most essential to my happiness?"

The Ascendant

The ascendant or rising sign is the mask you wear that allows people you don't know well to categorize you quickly. Your rising sign is calculated for the exact time of your birth and is the most personal point of your birth chart.

Calculate Your Sun, Moon, and Ascendant

You must have your complete birth data (date, location, and exact time of birth) to find the signs of your sun, moon, and ascendant. If you have that information, finding your Big 3 is quick and easy. has a free Big 3 calculator.

Interpreting the Big 3

You can research the meaning of each of your Big 3, but the simplest and most fun way to interpret them is with the astrological archetypes. Astrological archetypes take the complexity of human individuality and break it down into easily definable characters. Using the archetypal characters related to the signs of the Big 3, you can ad-lib a quick astrological blurb about yourself or any other person who'll share their Big 3 with you. The archetypes for the sun, moon, and rising signs reveal a person's essence in a fun and simple way.

Sign Archetypes Chart


The astrological archetypes for Aries are the warrior, pioneer, daredevil, or hero.


Taurus's astrological archetypes are the sensualist, builder, musician, and patient one.


Gemini's astrological archetypes include witness, messenger, storyteller, and journalist.


Archetypally, Cancer is the mother, healer, and invisible man or woman.


For Leos, the archetypes include clown, child, performer, and king or queen.


Virgo's astrological archetypes include servant, perfectionist, analyst, craftsman, and healer.


Libra archetypes include the lover, diplomat, peacemaker, and artist.


Scorpios are magicians, strategists, hypnotists, and sorcerers.


Sagittarians are philosophers, teachers, travelers, and explorers.


If you're a Capricorn, your archetypes include executive, prime minister, father, and hermit.


Aquarians' archetypes include rebel, visionary, inventor, scientist, and exile.


Archetypes for Pisces include poet, shapeshifter, dreamer, mystic, and martyr.

Having Fun With Astrology's Big 3

An individual's birth chart is complex and filled with contradictions that only someone fluent in astrological interpretation can decipher. Still, you don't have to be an astrologer to write a sentence about the Big 3. And that one sentence can tell you a lot!

Celebrity Examples of the Big 3

Celebrities are familiar to us. We've read about their lives, and most of their birth charts are available online. Knowing your favorite celebrity's sun, moon, and ascending sign archetypes allows you to dig into the essence of their character.

Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves has a Virgo sun and Cancer moon, with Virgo on his ascendant. Reeves is a craftsman (Virgo) with the heart of a healer (Cancer), wearing the mask of a servant (Virgo).

Katy Perry

Katy Perry has a Scorpio sun and a Scorpio moon, with Scorpio on her ascendant. Katy Perry is a strategist (Scorpio) with the heart of a magician (Scorpio), wearing the mask of a hypnotist (Scorpio).

Gordon Ramsey

Gordon Ramsey has a Scorpio sun and Virgo moon, with Gemini on his Ascendant. Ramsey is a magician (Scorpio) with the heart of a perfectionist (Virgo), wearing the mask of a teacher (Gemini).

Kylie Jenner

Kylie Jenner has a Leo sun and Scorpio moon, with Capricorn on her ascendant. Kylie is a queen (Leo) with the heart of a sorcerer (Scorpio), wearing the mask of a prime minister (Capricorn).

Santa Claus

Santa Claus has a Capricorn sun and Virgo moon with Cancer on his ascendant. Santa is a hermit (Capricorn) with the heart of a servant (Virgo), wearing the mask of the invisible man (Cancer).

Astrologers and the Big 3

When astrologers first meet one another or when they introduce themselves to a group of astrologers, it's not unusual for them to give their name followed by their Big 3. In the language of astrology, this communicates some important information, and the other astrologers immediately have a feel for the person.

Sun, Moon, and Rising Sign: Astrology’s Big Three