In Western Astrology, it is the sun sign that most people consider. However, in Vedic astrology, the moon sign or Rashi is more important. There’s also something called the Ascendant or rising sign which too has some importance. We can distinguish between the 3 in the following manner:
Sun sign: It represents our talents, our individuality and highest self. It’s our core.
Moon sign: It represents our emotional needs and the way we react to events. It also represents our subconscious self.
Ascendant/Rising sign: It represents how we appear to other people, the way we approach our daily tasks, our appearance, habits and style.
The Sun Sign
We are born on earth to learn spiritual lessons. Such spiritual life lessons are based on our Sun Sign. If our activities are aligned to our Sun Sign, our life will be easier. Though outwardly, life may be difficult, we can be assured that we are on the right path. The Sun Sign reveals the spiritual lessons we were born to learn in this lifetime and what kind of energy we will be using. The Sun’s position indicates our relationship with our father. The Sun sign tells what a person thinks of himself, his ego and self-worth. If the Sun is ill placed, it indicates problems with father and government. People with debilitated sun may lack self-esteem and will find it hard to get respect from others. Only when we free ourselves from parental control and become self-supporting, does our Sun Sign begin to play a prominent role. When we are in our 30s there will be a change of life direction, following which a mid-life crisis may occur. This indicates the change from Moon Sign influence to Sun Sign influence on our destiny. The change may not be huge and probably could be something like engaging in a new activity that makes us happy – even a hobby that later becomes more significant. Basically, the sun influences one’s life path and the highest expression of your self. This is why it has so much prominence in mainstream astrology. Whereas, the rising sign is your external character and your moon sign is the emotional self. The sun is like a mid-point between the two
The Moon Sign
Our Moon Sign represents the "Soul" and "Mother". The Moon’s position in our birth chart symbolizes our relationship with our mother. Moon changes sign every two and a half days unlike the Sun which remains in a sign for 30 days. To find our moon sign, we need to know the birth date, time and year. The moon is connected to our feelings, so it rules the emotional and more intimate part of ourselves. The Moon sign expresses our internal world, and what we need to feel happy, secure and comfortable. It's the vulnerable and emotional part of our personality that needs to feel safe and comfortable and safe before it emerges from hiding and shows itself to others.
Ascendant or Rising signs too are taken into account by some astrologers. Also called the Ascendant, it rules the first house of the birth chart. To find it, we need the correct birth date, time, place and year as rising signs change very hour. Hence, people born on the same date will have mostly different rising signs. Rising signs are very time-sensitive.
Sun/Moon sign? Which is important?
Jyotish or Vedic Astrology deals with the Moon sign and takes the Nakshatra as the basis of calculations. The Moon takes 2.5 days to travel through a zodiac sign and 13 hours 20 minutes for each Nakshatra. Hence, the placement of the Moon is vital to know one’s Rashi. The Vedic Astrologer draws your birth chart using the date, time and city of your birth. From this he will draw and interpret the birth chart. The Moon sign and the Nakshatras will influence your individuality. Then he analyzes the twelve houses from the Lagna/Ascendant to the 12th house.
Thus, we can say that according to the astrological system – western or Vedic – being used, the sun sign or the moon sign will be more relevant. Western astrologers use the sun sign mainly while Vedic astrologers use the moon sign to make predictions. But both the sun and moon signs do have an importance in the birth chart that cannot be overlooked, whichever system one is using.