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People Act Like Their Rising Sign

Updated December 29, 2019
Originally posted February 7, 2012
By Corinne Lane     30 Comments

The most common misconception in astrology is the belief that people are supposed to act like their sun sign. This is due to the last 100 years of commercialized “Sun-sign” astrology columns in newspapers, magazines, and now, popular websites. (See why Sun-sign horoscopes are useless.)

Actually, we behave like our rising sign most of the time. Our rising sign shows our personal style, the way we approach the world. The next time you’re tempted to dismiss astrology because someone doesn’t behave like their Sun sign, try finding out their rising sign. You will instantly see the correlation between their personality and their rising sign.

If we behave like our rising sign, then what’s the point of our Sun sign? The Sun sign characteristics represent your true inner self, your ego, your essence. The values of your Sun sign are those that you consider true and worthwhile values, regardless of how you behave. Your Sun sign symbolizes the things that you define as “real” and “important.”

To find evidence of the Sun sign values in a person, try the following.

First, for illustrative purpose, imagine a rebellious, reckless, daredevil riding a motorcycle or doing a hand-stand at a bar. He’s a thrill-seeker who pulls a new crazy stunt every day. He claims to be a Capricorn but you’re not convinced. He obviously does not act like a Capricorn. Capricorn is reserved, cautious, structured, and success-oriented.

So try this. The next time he’s sober, ask him two questions:

  1. 1. Does he have any goals for his future?
  2. 2. Is he content in his current job or position in life?

All Capricorn Suns will answer a resounding “no” to the second question. Life for a Capricorn is about climbing higher and higher, never settling. And always having a plan for success. To a Capricorn Sun-sign person, advancement and success are what is “real.” This is what all Capricorns Suns have in common regardless of how they behave.

So, yes, that rebellious daredevil on the motorcycle can be a Capricorn Sun-sign, but he’s definitely not Capricorn Rising.

See also: What is a Rising Sign/Ascendant – Astrology Lesson 6

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See more Why People Don't Act Like Their Sun Sign
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  1. I love this article! I really fights the prejudices against astrology! =)

  2. Christa on said:

    Fantastic article. I especially like your conclusion that he is not a Capricorn rising! What a great point… I try to tell this to people all the time (who ask about their Sun sign). I urge them to understand the importance of their rising sign. It is such a common misconception.

  3. DonnaBahama on said:

    This is a great article, especially as an introduction to Astrology…it’s, as they say in MerryOldEngland, BANG ON!

  4. Great article! I definitely behave like my Rising sign Scorpio, but my inner self or Sun sign is Virgo. There’s so much to astrology that needs to be understood to get an idea of who someone really is. This is just one part of the chart.

  5. I also think this is a fantastic’s really simple but explains a lot.i’m exploring astrology for two years now and usually questions that people asked me were really superficial and i didn’t know how to answer them on their level so they could understand.most of the time everybody insisted on their sun sign.
    i’m sagittarius raising but sometimes i feel like i’m behaving more like a combination of my sun sign in aries and moon in scorpio.only thing that i perceive like sagittarius is love for philosophy and bigger meaning of life.and yeah,maybe too much honesty :P
    anyway thanks for inspiration :)

  6. Brittney on said:

    Thank you! I’ve been realizing lately that I seem to feel and behave more like an amalgamation of Taurus (my ASC), Sagittarius (my Venus, also Sag’s ruling planet Jupiter is conj. my ASC), and Aquarius (I think this must be due to my Sun conj. Uranus, since I have no airy planets in my chart) with a tiny bit of Capricorn rounding it out (even though this is my Sun, Mercury, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune). I had to wonder if I didn’t feel Capricornian because I was repressing those characteristics. But I don’t feel like I’m just repressing and denying it, I just don’t really feel it that strongly in the first place.
    I’ve read about the ASC as “the face we show to the world” but those versions suggest that the sun is still the true “Me”, which sounds like I should feel like a Cappy (including all of the details that just make me incredibly bored even thinking about them) but I’m repressing the real me in favour of a more attractive facade. Believe me, it is not that I don’t want to be responsible and organized, it’s just that I have to work really, really hard just to appear slightly responsible and no one who knows me would call me organized. And if Procrastination was an Olympic sport, I would take home all the medals.
    Your article explains so much about why I can only seem to resonate with some of the values and characteristics of my Capricorn Sun. Thank you also for using Cap as your example, that made it so much easier (lucky me; is that my Jupiter conj. ASC at work?). Actually my husband does have Capricorn Ascendant, so I can vouch for that example. I dream of skydiving one day and traveling freely, exploring the world for the knowledge and experience. He needs to be in control, so he gives a resounding “NO” to skydiving; traveling must be planned and budgeted well in advance, and only if the route and destination are safe, secure, and reasonably affordable.

  7. I know this may be true, but personally I haven’t met that many people who contradict their sun sign to such an extent. Most people actually fit theirs quite well…. Or maybe it’s just me. Maybe I see through them :)

    As for myself, I’m Leo Rising and Leo Sun – Leo inside out!

  8. Lovelife on said:

    Would you include the Moon sign also being strong? I don’t see the rising sign as much as I see the moon sign honestly. And many people do not know their time of birth and so, its difficult to do a comparison.

    However I know, for instance, that Gemini Moon people always appear younger than then they are and they can be irritatingly childlike.

    Cancer Moon people can be very moody and appear quite touchy-even bipolar. There is an air about them that suggests “be careful: tread lightly”

    Libra Moon people are usually very nice and are courteous.It’s very important for them to be friendly and welcoming. They count a lot on people’s opinions of them.

    Also, as another reader just noted, for some people their Sun sign just “screams” at you-no questions asked. There are some people(despite their Ascendant) who will appear like their Sun sign and , even in some cases, the sign that dominates their chart(even if its not their Sun, Moon or Asc).

    Astrology is so complicated , but fascinating also.

    • Brittney on said:

      I think you’re right, the moon sign can be really strong, but maybe more so in personal relationships? My husband has a Cancer Moon (A+ description, by the way) and he doesn’t really show that side of himself except to me, his mom and dad, and his grandparents. Otherwise he seems very much like his Cappy ASC, at least from what I’ve observed, even with his Scorpio Sun.

  9. Michael Sears on said:

    Great example. I cannot figure how the exact example would work for me. I am a pisces sun and aquarius rising. Could you give me an illustration of how my combo is to the Capricorn sun and rising sign.

  10. My rising sign is Capricorn. My sun is in Libra. I act more like a Capricorn than Libra. I act nothing like a Libra whatsoever. I have no Libra traits, although I was born under Libra. I don’t get along with Libras either.
    I find it’s very possible that you can be more like your rising sign than sun sign.
    You can actually be what your rising sign is, other than your sun sign. When I read Capricorn traits, I have all of them! Don’t be fooled that you are what you’re born under. It doesn’t always work that way.

  11. but i act like my descendant could u explain the reason for me?

  12. I’m a Sagittarius Sun, Leo Moon, Cancer Rising with a Fire dominant chart. I personally don’t identify with my Rising sign at all. Also, in my opinion the Ascendant is what people want to appear like. I know this woman who is in her mid 20s like me, she is a Leo Ascendant with a pretty ‘heavy’ chart, full of Capricorn and Scorpio placements. She wants to appear to be sunny, happy, joyful, confident like a Leo so badly. It comes off as fake and forced. She is not a Leo after all, and even though she acts like it, one can see through it.

    • Astrology Library on said:

      This is an interesting perspective. Some of us are not comfortable at all with our rising sign characteristics because they clash with our Sun/Moon/Venus, yet we’ll still behave like it. This may explain why it looks fake and forced in your friend. Some astrologers believe that the rising sign is the way that the world forces you to behave. They say that you can trace the rising sign to one of the parents or primary care givers (that at some point, the parent taught the child to behave like that). Here is an excerpt from our “Rising Sign Lesson“:

      The Rising sign is often described as a public mask that we wear, since it tends to be how people see us, especially strangers who don’t know our deeper selves. But in fact, the Rising sign is not like a mask because wearing a mask denotes some level of falsity or hiding oneself. Your Rising Sign characteristics are not a “fake cover-up” as a mask would imply. Those characteristics are a real and true part of who your are, more like a face than a mask. Even though your face is shallow and external, you’re stuck with it and cannot take it off! It’s a real part of you, not fake.

  13. I’d just like to say, as an alleged Capricorn (with a Virgo moon to boot!), that I answered “yes” to question 2. x_x I already felt like I was in big trouble before I got to this article, and now I know it for sure! To be true, I am laying it on pretty thick with the faux maudlin, but I do feel estranged from my sun sign. ..which might be to your point. something i read earlier said that if your ascendant is in it’s native house, then it’s influence is thought to be stronger. well, my ascendant is Aries, and I do identify with those qualities more than the Capricorn qualities, pretty much always, and to the great emotional frustration of Virgo-me. alas, still lossssssst. j/k! I ANSWERED YES TO QUESTION 2! Capricorn fail. All guideposts drifting into space…

    • my virgo moon and cap sun sign loathe my improper uses of “it’s”..aries me dun give a

      and also, by “alleged capricorn” i’m just referring to how my birthday is jan. 13

  14. For all the people who don’t identify with their rising sign, sun sign, or both – try using a sidereal birth chart. In western astrology, (which is the main type of astrology we use today) I’m a Sagittarius rising and a Pisces sun, both which I hardly identify with. However, in sidereal astrology, my rising sign is in Scorpio which I totally identify with. Some people relate more with western, some with sidereal, and some like myself, both. If you do both charts, you’ll notice that every sign in each astrology method are about one over from each other so it’s quite possible that you’ll identify with both when it comes to different aspects of your chart. For example, Scorpio ( again, which is my rising in sidereal) is before Sagittarius (my rising in western). Another example, my Venus in sidereal is in Capricorn while my Venus in western is in Aquarius which identify more with. My moon is also in Virgo with sidereal, which I don’t relate with, but in Libra in western, which I do relate with. They’re all one over from each other. Hopefully this isn’t too confusing and maybe helps someone else!

  15. Vour Essence on said:

    Wow this is actually explains alot! Thanks for the informative piece!:)

  16. I know this is pretty old, but I just wanted to ask. I have always found astrology super fascinating. But I never paid any mind to it – I am a Leo sun, and absolutely nothing like a Leo. Not my values, actions, beliefs, mannerisms, anything. I don’t relate to any of it at all. Not even a little.
    Then a year ago I found out there is more to it than just the sun signs. I got out my birth certificate and calculated my sun, moon, and rising signs. I was soooo excited that I would finally be able to relate! I love personality stuff; it’s intriguing.
    My moon sign is Capricorn. Same story as Leo – it’s not me. At all. In fact, almost everything was the opposite of being true. Reading multiple descriptions of a Capricorn moon was just…bewildering, because it couldn’t be further off the mark!
    My rising sign is Cancer. And I can relate to that somewhat. Not a resounding “yes” or “no” either way. I can definitely see it in some ways.
    But my sun and moon sign? No way. :( I don’t remember what element (if that s the right term) was strongest for me….fire, I think? But I do remember that whatever it was didn’t seem to fit me, either. I just can’t relate to any of this. It’s just so off from who I am, past and present. Inside and out. It doesn’t fit. I don’t like the “well astrology is complicated” reaction because it seems like a cop-out or something. Why am I so incredibly different from my sun and moon sign?? Shouldn’t I at least have SOMEthing I can relate to about them? Any help would be so appreciated!!

    • Corinne Lane on said:

      It may be that you have a planet right on one of your angles. That would override a lot in your chart. See: The Meaning of a Planet in Conjunction To 1 of Your Angles.

      In addition, if you have several very tight square aspects (small orb) to your sun, that can make it difficult to identify with your sun. (The same works for the moon or any other planet). You may ending up acting more like the planets squaring the sun.

      There are several other points that an astrologer would look at in your chart that all tell part of the story. One more that I would add here is that if your sun is square to your ascendant, this causes major issues in not only identifying with your sun, but also in identifying with your ascendant. You can end up having a hard time with both signs.

      As a side note, I also don’t identify much with my sun or ascendant signs. I hope you don’t give up on astrology because someone may have told you “it’s complicated.” We teach the opposite on this site. Our Lessons page has had this sentence for almost a decade:

      If you are patient, you will find that astrology is not as complicated as it first seems.

      Best wishes.

    • Chanel P on said:

      I’ve been studying astrology more and more over the last year and what I’ve discovered is that the Vedic method also know as the “sidereal” zodiac is most accurate. It uses the real size and location of the constellations in the sky whereas western sets the constellations to the seasons of the earth which are not visible to the sky. In other words, it is mathematically more accurate. The eastern “Vedic” degrees fall about 23.5 degrees behind the western degrees. So say if your moon is in Capricorn in western, it would most likely be in Sagittarius in Vedic. And if your rising is Cancer, it would most likely be in Gemini in Vedic unless it’s about 24 degrees or more into the signs you have them in. As well as if your sun is in Leo, it would more likely be in Cancer in sidereal. What I would recommend you do is a Vedic chart, you will have difficultly reading it coming from Western but I’d be happy to help you understand it and what signs and placements you have. Another important thing in Vedic are these things called “naskatras” which accurately describe the different degrees of each sign! It can be a little overwhelming and seem complicated at first, but I can guarantee if you’re really interested in learning, you will be amazed at how accurately it describes you. Let me know if you’re interested, I will send you a link to do your chart and tell you how to read it!

    • Sabrina on said:

      There are so many planets and angles and aspects between them that you really need to see more than just those three signs to get a true picture of your personality. I’ve never really identified with my sun either, but the further I dig into my chart the more I understand why. Have you tried creating your full chart on It’s free but it’s amazingly detailed and once you see your full chart you might be able to look for some of those aspects Corrine mentioned. Also, don’t be afraid to Google any other planets or aspects you’re curious about.

      Side note: You don’t happen to have Saturn aspecting your sun, moon, or rising sign, do you? When Saturn connects with something in a hard aspect especially, it challenges it, and makes it difficult to express that side of yourself. You have to struggle to let that side out. Sorry for the long tangent, I have a lot of Saturn issues in my own chart.

  17. Whew. I seem to have the opposite dilemma where I can resonate with my Sun sign, but not my Ascendant. My sun is in a cadent and one of the “bad” houses and my chart ruler is in aversion to my Ascendant & in detriment. I suppose the later is why I can’t relate to my Ascendant so much, but I wonder my I can relate to my Sun sign more even though it’s cadent?

  18. zo_78653 on said:

    okay, so heres a little story for you. But first heres my info.
    Sun in taurus
    Moon in pisces
    Mercury in aries
    Venus in taurus
    Mars in pisces
    Jupiter in libra
    Saturn in cancer
    Uranus in pisces
    Neptune in aquarius
    Pluto in sagittarius
    Rising in capricorn

    okay, so i was a really quite kid. I stayed to myself a whole lot. I believe thats the rising capricorn/pisces. When i got older i became really loud and goofy, but was still a loner and a bit of a wanderer. Now that im older, im still goofy, EXTREMELY Romantic, but i get really aggressive when angry. ( taurus ?) I love talking to people now, but often feel like im annoying others. Ive been told that i act like a leo…. ICK. Why do I act so crazy and wild, when all my main signs are generally relaxed?

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