Everyone knows what their Sun sign is. Even people who don’t ‘believe’ in astrology.
The Sun describes our personality, right?
Yes and no.
Yes, because the Sun does describe our personality, and no, because the Sun is not the only thing that describes our personality. We also have the Ascendant, the Moon, planets, houses and aspects.
The Sun, The Moon, The Ascendant – The Big 3
From all the different elements in our chart, the Sun, Moon and rising sign are the most important; they are called “The Big 3”.
“The Big 3” – Sun, Moon and ascendant – are the 3 major pillars of our natal chart and they influence our personality in profound ways.
But the question is, which one describes what? How is the Sun different from the Moon and from the Ascendant?
Most people have some vague ideas about how the Sun describes our identity, the Moon our feelings, and the Ascendant – also called the rising sign – our social ‘mask’. However these definitions are somewhat limiting and confusing.
The Sun, The Moon, And The Egg
If you want to understand how the Sun, the Moon and the Ascendant work together, think of an egg.
The egg is made of the egg yolk (the yellow inside) and the surrounding egg whites.
The yolk is the first part that forms when a hen’s egg cells reach maturity. The white part of the egg forms around the yolk later, providing cushioning between the embryo and the protective shell.
We could say that the yolk is the Sun, and the white part is the Moon.
Just like the Sun, the yolk is the primordial seed of life. This seed however needs a protective layer, a cushion so it can grow and develop into a life form.
The yolk and the whites are equally important – in fact they have the same dimensions. Similarly, the Sun and the Moon have the exact same dimensions as seen from Earth.
We are not only our Sun sign. We are both our Sun and our Moon sign. One cannot exist without the other.
The Sun (yolk) is our primordial seed, our drive and purpose in life. It’s what we identify with consciously.
The whites (the Moon) is the supporting environment – i.e. our physiological and psychological processes, our genetic memory, our nutrients – everything around that allows us to grow and evolve. Our Moon sign may be less obvious, but it influences us to the same extent our Sun sign does.
What about the Ascendant?
The ascendant is the egg’s shell.
Without the shell, life as we know it wouldn’t be possible. Without the Ascendant, we would be floating energy in space. The Ascendant – the egg shell – makes things real.
When the yolk and the whites, through mutual support mature into a new life form, the chick is ready to emerge. It cracks the egg shell, becoming a unique life form in 3D.
Similarly, our Ascendant sign is the sign that’s rising on the horizon – it’s what comes to life, to be seen and acknowledged in the 3D.
Our Ascendant sign describes the way we operate in the world. We may identify less with the qualities of our Ascendant sign on a personal level, however the Ascendant describes how we concretely go about things in life – our behaviors, our approaches, the way we conduct ourselves.
The Ascendant is the shell we wear, it’s what other people see first when they look at us.
The Ascendant is not a mask – at least not in a way that is not real. The Ascendant IS the real us – the sum of our behaviors and approaches to life. The goal of the Ascendant is to make the Sun and the Moon real, to give these energies an actual expression in the 3D.
Other people firstly see your Ascendant; then your Sun sign. It’s only the close ones (or experienced astrologers) that get to see your Moon sign.
Our Moon is our default behavior, our comfort zone – who we are when we relax and no one is watching. Our Moon is that part of us that is the most stable and resistant to change – it’s how we instinctively operate, our deepest needs, it’s what ‘wins’ and takes precedence over everything else.
Sun, Moon Ascendant Examples
Let’s say you’re a Gemini Sun and rising, and a Taurus Moon.
As a double Gemini, you may value curiosity, speed and social interactions. Your Taurus Moon however prefers to take things slowly. Taurus Moon is not in a rush. How does this dynamic play out? Your friends and co-workers get to see your Gemini social side. Your partner and your dog, your “don’t rush me” Taurus side.
Let’s take a real-life example, Queen Elizabeth the 2nd.
She was a Capricorn Ascendant, Taurus Sun and Leo Moon.
The first thing we see when we look at Elizabeth is her Capricorn ascendant – her formality, her title and royal status.
If we look a bit closer, we also notice her Taurus sun – expressed through her stability, persistence, love for tradition, and her pleasant, cooperative Taurus/Venus style.
It’s however only her close family that got to know the Queen’s Leo Moon side – her joyful, fun loving, playful and romantic nature. When we look at the Queen we see Capricorn; the real Queen, when no one was watching, was a Leo.
What are your “Big 3”? Does the egg theory help you better understand your Sun, Moon and Ascendant sign?
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8 thoughts on “The Sun, The Moon And The Egg”
An extremely helpful article. Like many I had always thought of the ascendant as the mask and never thought about it much further
Well, as an Aries sun and ascendent with a Cancer moon…has been a real life chalenge!
Lovely post! Very well explained. Thank you very much.
Great explanation – I’ve been looking into this in detail lately because I’ve been looking at the synastry of my new son and myself – he is Gemini sun and moon with Taurus rising – I’m Pisces sun and moon with Aquarius rising 😝 trying to see how this might play out 🤦🏼♀️🙄🤣
Oops I was supposed to put he is Virgo rising
Sun in Sagittarius, Asc Leo and Moon in Aries – all fire signs. It may seem too hot, but I would rather say warm and kind, loving freedom and truth – Sagittarius, playful Leo – loving kids and animals, bold and action driven – Aries.
Libra sun with Leo asc, I have my moon in Sag
My Libra is close to the SGC & my moon 2° from sagA GC, which i believe gives these extra oomph.
I’ll have to delve deeper into this … I’m finding it very interesting & the best explanation of the Big3 that I’ve ever heard!