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Why I stopped reading about my sun sign

WORDS BY LAUREN PAYNE

Here’s how to get a more accurate horoscope reading.

Last year, like many people, I spent a lot of time reflecting on myself. I wanted to learn more about my behaviours, thought patterns and motivations. I decided to start this journey by investigating my birth chart, as I’d always been interested in astrology.

I enrolled in various astrology courses and read a lot of books that taught me how to read my own birth chart and utilise horoscopes, which helped me discover something mind-blowing. When reading your horoscope every month, you shouldn’t read about your sun sign. Instead, you should be reading about your rising sign.


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Suddenly, everything clicked. I’d always felt like the horoscopes written about my sun sign weren’t for me. When they talked about the planets and what house of my chart they were sitting in, they were always off.

Now I know it’s because I was reading the wrong horoscope. You need to know your rising sign to get the most accurate reading and really understand how the planets are affecting you.

So what’s the deal with rising signs?

These days, many people know their ‘big three’, which comprises of their sun sign, rising sign (also known as your ascendant) and moon sign. These three signs, as astrologer Chani Nicholas explains in her book You Were Born For This: Astrology For Radical Self-Acceptance, are the “keys in every chart that fundamentally explain your life’s purpose, your physical and emotional needs, and your motivation for living.”

While your whole birth chart can show you your unique astrological blueprint, your big three are your biggest influences. Every other planet in your chart is there to support them. Think of your big three as The Plastics, running the school of your life. You may not realise it, but your rising sign is the leader. She’s Regina George and she’s running the show.

Why is knowing your rising sign so important?

Your rising sign is the exact degree of the zodiac that was rising over the eastern horizon when you were born. This degree is always in a sign and that will be your rising sign. If you’ve ever wondered why you’re asked for your birth time when generating your birth chart, it’s because of your rising sign. It needs to be as accurate as possible to determine the exact degree.

The degree of your rising sign can change every few minutes, so even though you may have the same rising sign as your work-wife, you won’t have the same degree. The sign your rising sign is in will always be in the first house of your birth chart. The sign your first house is in will determine the houses every other sign in your chart lives in.

So realistically, if you don’t know your exact birth time, not only could your rising sign be incorrect, but your entire birth chart could be wrong.

How does my rising sign affect my horoscope?

Your rising sign is the most recognisable part of yourself. It relates to your motivation, how you present yourself to the world and what other people tend to know you for. If you’ve ever read your horoscope and thought you didn’t identify with what was being said, it’s because you’re reading horoscopes for the wrong sign.

According to astrologer Nina Kahn, people don’t read horoscopes for their rising sign because reading a horoscope for your sun sign was deemed a lot easier.“That way people could read their horoscope while casually flipping through a magazine without having to find their exact birth time and calculate an entire birth chart,” she explains. This trend seeped into public consciousness and soon, the only horoscopes being written were for sun signs.

Nowadays, astrologers are changing the narrative by encouraging people to find their rising signs and use them when reading their horoscopes. Astrologer Nadine Jane developed her 2021 predictions using rising signs and encouraged her loyal Instagram following to read about those signs “first and foremost”.

I’m a Capricorn with a Gemini rising. Although I own a million notebooks, make daily to-do lists and am a borderline workaholic (I’m working on it!), I’m also extremely social, loud and thrive in a crowd.

When I investigated my birth chart, I saw how my rising sign impacted my personal life and career (I’ve been a writer for just under a decade) and it all made sense. I started to understand why I wanted to communicate with people all the time and why I could see so much duality in my style, hobbies and general demeanour.

Reading a horoscope for your rising sign instead of your sun sign can really help you discover more about yourself. They’ll accurately reflect the blueprint of your birth chart and so, when your horoscope says Mercury will retrograde in your so-and-so house, it’ll make more sense and you’ll be able to cross-reference the information with your chart.

It’s a very empowering thing to know and although people say you shouldn’t live your life according to astrology, it’s a great tool for self-reflection. So, why not make sure you’re getting the most out of it?

Read more on rising signs and what they mean here

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