Astrology works beautifully with the Tarot to help with self-development. A good place to start is to use the Tarot to help us get a fix on our Sun, Moon and Rising signs, since the sum of these three form the core of our being.
Sun, Moon and Rising Signs Explained
The Sun Sign
The Sun sign is your ego personality in this lifetime. Ego gets a bad rap in some spiritual circles but we need it because without it, we simply wouldn’t have any individuality. The Sun sign is said to be determined before we are born (i.e. is fated) in order to help us maximise our potential for growth in each incarnation. You could see this as a costume you are trying on to see what you can learn from acting a particular role.
The Moon Sign
The Moon sign rules our emotions and is said to carry past life memories. It can help explain why we are drawn to certain places or past cultures. Many people often feel more naturally like their Moon sign than their Sun sign, especially when they are younger. Traditionally, more feminine personalities (not necessarily genetically female) are said to express more of the Moon sign energy and to be more likely to identify with their Moon sign.
The Rising Sign (aka the Ascendant)
The Rising sign is also tied in with our personality self but in a more permanent way than the Sun. Our soul essence is thought to consist mainly of the Moon sign and Rising sign energy. The Rising sign is thought to signify our accumulated soul growth on our journey/progression through many lifetimes. This is why the planetary ruler of our rising sign rules our whole chart.
When someone walks up to you and tells you that they recognise you from a past life, it is because they recognise the energy signature carried by your soul essence. People you journey with in this lifetime in more intimate ways will often identify you with your Rising sign energy signature more than your Sun sign.
How to Locate Your Sun, Moon and Rising Signs
To find out what your Sun, Moon and Rising Signs are, you need to know your time and location as well as your date of birth. Your date of birth will always give you your Sun sign unless you are born near the cusp of two signs and most people who aren’t even into astrology usually know their Sun sign.
The Moon changes signs every two dates, so on many days it is necessary to know the exact time. For the Rising sign you also need the location to find exactly what sign rose on the eastern horizon at your time of birth. You can calculate all three on a few different sites. My personal favourite site to use is astro.com since it also has loads of free charts.
The Zodiac Signs in the Tarot
Once you have located your Zodiac signs, you can find the corresponding Tarot card for each. I recommend having a play with this without doing a reading first. Just look at the images and observe how they make you feel. Contemplate what you see. Are you drawn to one and repulsed by another…? Are two or more the same? Are they in harmony with each other or do they clash? Do they have a common lowest denominator? Are they in harmony in your natal chart (trines/sextiles) or are they in conflict (squares, quincunxes and oppositions).
Aries – The Emperor
Taurus – The Hierophant
Gemini – The Lovers
Cancer – The Chariot
Leo – Strength
Virgo – The Hermit
Libra – Justice
Scorpio – Death
Sagittarius – Temperance
Capricorn – The Devil
Aquarius – The Star
Pisces – The Moon
Astrology Tarot Reading for Personal Development
Once you have have familiarised yourself with the relevant cards, lay them out in a column like in the image below. Shuffle and cut as usual and pull cards from the top, placing one card on either side of each of the three cards in the column. The card on the left tells you what needs to be brought into balance and the card to the right tells you how.
The card to the left shows you which aspect of your ego-personality that is out of whack at the moment. The card on the right shows you how to balance this aspect. This relates to the third/solar plexus chakra.
The card to the left shows an aspect of your emotional make-up and ability to relate to others in healthy ways that needs to be refined or boosted. This relates to the second/sacral chakra.
The card to the left shows you something about your overall wellbeing that need to be brought into alignment. The card on the right shows you an action to take that will help with this. This relates to all chakras and may or may not point at a specific chakra, depending on which card shows up to the left of the Rising sign card.
Sun-Moon-Rising Sign Sample Reading with the Thelema Tarot
Sample Reading for a Capricorn Sun, Pisces Moon and Gemini Rising Sign Combo
What needs be brought back into whack is showing as The Magician. I’m lacking focus and that is not a good fit with my ambitious Capricorn Sun sign. An action I can take to remedy this would be gain a sense of adventure about one of my ventures (Knight of Wands). If I feel I’m in pursuit of something that is both worthwhile and exciting, I have no problem staying focused until I achieve my aim. Also, taking a break and doing something totally different – just for fun – could totally work.
Justice symbolises what needs to be brought into balance (pun totally intended). This can be done by expanding my network (3 of Wands). My natural introverted inclination is to shrink my world when I feel as if any relationship is not in harmony, when really this just creates more fear and anxiety. Opening my world up to new connections will help me be more balanced and in harmony with the world around me.
Overall, something that is draining me of energy right now is an ongoing battle for something that I have wanted to protect those I love from. I have been standing my ground and it is safe to step down now. It is time to pass the baton. The Ace of Swords can mean a need to cut cords and that particular meaning totally resonates here. My Gemini rising can’t stay too serious for too long anyway.
Bonus Tip 1
As you can see my Rising sign is not exactly in harmony with my Moon and Sun signs. It struck me that locating the lowest common denominator might help with bringing these three into harmony. This gives us III The Empress since all three are divisible by three. My creativity is a key to finding more harmony in general.
Bonus Tip 2
Check and compare the two columns on either side of the cards representing your Zodiac signs. Is there a dominant Element? Are any of the Elements missing? What can you learn from this? Take a bird’s-eye view of the whole spread… what does it tell you as a snapshot of where you are at right now? Feel free to share your impressions in the comments below!