Some of us are introverts, some extroverts. Some of us are very emotional, others not so much. Some of us love indoors, others outdoors. Like snowflakes, no two individuals are the same. Even people born on the same day are as different as night and day. So, what makes us unique? Some credit for this uniqueness goes to genetics. Then, of course, there is life experience. But there is also something more cosmic at work–zodiac signs.
The 12 zodiac signs (rashi in Sanskrit)–Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces–are known to be the archetypal representations of our personalities. The internet is rife with information about the zodiac. But to steer clear of any ambiguity or misrepresentation, let’s stick to the standard definition Oxford Dictionary offers: Zodiac is the imaginary area in the sky in which the sun, moon, and planets appear to lie, and which has been divided into 12 equal parts, each with a special name and symbol. These 12 parts are the zodiac signs named after constellations (group of stars that form patterns).
Whether or not we believe in astrology and how it reflects in our lives, many of us sure find horoscopes fascinating. Those of us who avidly read the horoscope section of newspapers and magazines are aware of our sun signs, as all it requires is our birth date and month. We read what the section has to say about our sun signs and assume that is what our day, week or month ahead has in store for us. However, prediction is merely one aspect of reading sun sign based horoscopes.
Zodiac signs have much more to offer us, if only we are willing to dig a little deeper. We can actually use them to understand ourselves better, and we will need to know our moon sign and rising or ascendant sign, along with the sun sign.
Most of us are familiar with sun signs. It is that particular sign in the zodiac belt where the sun was present at the moment you took your first breath. Similarly, the moon sign is deduced from knowing in which sign the moon was present when you were born.
American astrologer Linda Goodman writes in her book Sun Signs: “You will find it interesting to obtain your ascendant from an astrologer, and then read the description for that sign, along with your regular sun sign. You will find that the two of them blended make up your total personality to a remarkable degree. The third blending of your moon sign with the other two will give you an even more complete picture.”
Most of us are familiar with sun signs. It is that particular sign in the zodiac belt where the sun was present at the moment you took your first breath. Similarly, the moon sign is deduced from knowing in which sign the moon was present when you were born. We may wonder what an ascendant or rising sign is. Astrologer Amara Bavani Dev explains it in simple words. She says, “The ascendant denotes the position of the earth in the zodiac belt when we were born.”
Figuring out our sun signs is not hard. But the same can’t be said for the moon sign and the ascendant sign. One has to know what their natal/birth chart looks like. A natal chart is drawn based on the date, time and place of one’s birth. Goodman refers to the natal chart as a photograph of the exact position of all the planets in the solar system at the moment of our birth, formed by precise mathematical calculation. Inferring our sun, moon and rising signs from this natal chart can help us understand our personality more intimately. It may provide a three-dimensional picture of who we are.
In fact, studies in the field of astrology reveal that a sun sign can indicate the psychological bias that dominates an individual’s actions. Just as the sun is the centre of the solar system, a sun sign reflects the person’s core individuality; it defines one’s basic nature. It represents one’s likes and dislikes, and the way one sees the world. For instance, if your sun sign is Gemini, you may be a lover of variety, and almost anything can draw your interest. You may be a jack-of-all-trades!
“The moon can denote positive resources from the past, which we can operate within a greater stream-of-consciousness level in this life. Or it can denote negative influences from the past, which can bind us to regressive patterns of behaviour in this life.”
If two individuals have the same sun sign, it doesn’t necessarily mean they have the same personality traits. Perhaps, their moon sign could be different. The moon sign is known to represent the emotional side of an individual. It is the mirror to a person’s mind, their thoughts and feelings, and how one relates to others on a personal level. The moon sign also shows an individual’s capacity to give and receive. It shows their vulnerabilities. For instance, if your moon sign is Capricorn, you may determinedly seek what you set your mind on. You are probably very hardworking and persist till you reach your goal–personal and otherwise.
According to Amara, the moon sign is an important karmic indicator in a horoscope. She explains, “The moon can denote positive resources from the past, which we can operate within a greater stream-of-consciousness level in this life. Or it can denote negative influences from the past, which can bind us to regressive patterns of behaviour in this life.” Clearly, our moon sign can give us a peek at both the light and dark sides of ourselves.
Now, two individuals may share the same sun sign and moon sign, and yet, they may be somewhat different from one another. Perhaps, they have different ascendant or rising sign! Some astrologers believe that the rising sign is the mask you wear when you are out meeting others. It shows the natural defence mechanisms you have in place to tackle everyday problems. Amara says the ascendant sign denotes an individual’s basic self-expression and public persona. For instance, an individual with Taurus as their ascendant is known to be creative, and may choose to work in the field of creative arts, she adds.
Understanding zodiac signs helps us figure out why we think and behave a certain way; why we like certain things and dislike others. It helps us understand ourselves better. This understanding will help us change internally rather than hoping things will change externally. This way, we can truly bring about a change in how we lead our lives. Remember Cassius from Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar? He tells Brutus: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.” Perhaps, he is right.