The Sun, Moon and The Ascendant are astrological symbols. These symbols appear in one’s esoteric horoscope, which is a map of one’s subconscious mind, revealing character traits that we are not yet conscious of and which are brought over from our past lives.
Most often, traditional astrology addresses only the external personality and often misses the deeper keys for understanding the subconscious personality and its evolution. Karmic astrology, on the other hand, is a therapeutic tool because it helps us understand the problems that result from conflicts between the conscious and unconscious levels of our minds. Ultimately, karmic astrology helps reveal the pathway by which we can know ourselves better and understand our true nature and the world in which we live.
In their attempts to understand life and death, mystics and scientists have turned to the cosmos—the macrocosm (the physical universe) and the microcosm (you, a miniature reproduction of the macrocosm).
In this system, the spirit is symbolized by the sun because when the sun is up, humans are conscious, and the nature of the spirit is consciousness. The memory track is symbolized by the moon, because when the moon is visible, humans enter into the memory track through dreams. The ego self, or the self as ego-consciousness, is symbolized by the ascendant, which is where the sun of consciousness meets the moon of sub-consciousness.
On a physical level, the sun is the source of physical life forms. It symbolizes the innermost fundamental part of ourselves, known as jiva-atma, and our self-awareness. It is our immortal self (or spirit) and symbolizes our inner life. When we refer to our sun sign in astrology, we are talking about the constellation through which the sun appears to be moving as the earth revolves around it. We know the earth rotates around the sun once a year, and that there are 12 constellations along the zodiacal belt (above the equator); therefore, we say the sun is in a certain constellation, or sun sign, for approximately 30 days before it moves on to the next sign. Depending on the sun sign in which you are born, you will tend to take on certain characteristics of that sign.
The moon reflects the light of the sun and is considered the source of non-physical life forms, such as memory, including memory of all our past lives, dreams and our reflected self-awareness. It also symbolizes the outer world. The moon, which revolves around the earth, appears to move through the zodiacal constellations much more rapidly. It changes signs approximately every two and one-half days. Depending on your moon sign at the time of birth, your feeling state will be colored by that sign.
Think of the ascendant as a line on the horizon that divides the earth and sky, that which is above you and that which is below you, that which you are consciously aware of and that which you are subconsciously aware of. It also refers to the self as ego-consciousness. The ascendant is the astrological sign that was rising over the horizon at the time of your birth (it is sometimes referred to as the “rising” sign). Since the earth rotates once every 24 yours, the ascendant changes every two hours (24 hours divided by 12 signs = 2 hours). It not only reveals your “horizon” of awareness but also your latent spiritual unfoldment.
The Ascendant and your mission in life
The ascendant is your horizon of awareness, your viewpoint, your way of seeing the world. To lift beyond your ascendant is to raise your consciousness above the vibration of materiality and attune to life rather than continuing to link to the ego-self. The goal of each person is to raise the ascendant state of consciousness and connect with the Higher Self.
Your present mental state, and thus your physical state, is temporary. Your ascendant reveals your karmic state and gives clues as to how you can best evolve in your present incarnation. Each of the twelve ascendants has a meaning and represents a lesson to be learned in this lifetime.