I thought I was Aquarius!
navigating my birth chart, specifically the rising sign
I am a proud Aquarius! My mother is an Aquarius, as is my older brother. I have the zodiac symbol tattooed on my ankle (one of the body parts Aquarius rules). I've ALWAYS connected with being an Aquarian -- quirky, unique, non-conforming, a visionary.
When I was growing up, I was not-so-seriously learning about astrology. I was too embarrassed to admit my interest, out of fear of rejection or ridicule -- I was young, I didn't know better! -- but I still owned a book or two. I am only just starting to properly learn how to read my natal chart now, since becoming a certified Moonologer. (That's a whole blog article in itself!).
I had heard in the past that because I was born on January 21st, I'm an Aquarius on the cusp of Capricorn, and I was led to believe that this meant I'm "a little bit of a Capricorn". I've since learned this is NOT the case!
(Although, side note, I did learn of something called zodiac decans -- each sign has three decans, and it means that people born in the same sign could be different, depending on if they were born in the beginning, middle, or end of their sign ... but there are so many different factors of astrology, and as you can tell I am NOT an expert, so I'll stop it here. I did find a website if you're curious to learn a little though.)
So, apparently, being on the cusp of a sign does not mean you're "a little bit" of that sign -- you are one OR the other. I learned this from my Moonology training by Yasmin Boland. And it relieved me, because as a proud Aquarius, I was often worried about the possibility of actually being a Capricorn. Nothing against Capricorns (I have a couple cousins who fall under the sign), but it never sat right with me. I think, compared to how I felt as an Aquarius (a free spirit), the idea of being a Capricorn (which, at the time, I saw as meaning more rigid) did not appeal to me AT ALL.
This year, I learned about the Rising sign. Most of us know our Sun sign -- this is what I refer to when I say I'm Aquarius; this is the sign where the Sun was when I was born. The Rising sign is based on your TIME of birth (which is why EXACT time of birth is so crucial for reading a natal chart) -- someone born in the same place as you on the same day will have a different Rising sign if you were born at, say, 10 o'clock in the morning and they were born at 1 o'clock in the afternoon.
The Sun sign is who you are at your core, your identity. The Rising sign is who you are at a first glance, how other people see you. Can you imagine how upset I was when I found out my Rising sign is Capricorn? After all these years of struggling internally with the "cusp issue"!
... But now it makes more sense. I often show more of my Capricorn side than my Aquarius (until I'm REALLY comfortable with someone -- I don't think my boyfriend knew how quirky I really was until it was too late, lol). I've often had people tell me how "organized" I am, because I like to make plans. I think I show off my ambitious side, too -- my goals and dreams ... I love sharing these, as I also love learning about the goals and dreams of others. I've also been complimented on how calm I am -- this might be more of a general Earth sign trait, not necessarily Capricorn-specific ... I do try to appear calm though, because really, I am NOT calm on the inside! (Too many ideas and thoughts swirling around, some anxiety mixed in there on occasion.)
There is still so much for me to learn and navigate with all of this -- especially since I have a lot of planetary energy in Capricorn and Aquarius (SEVEN planets total between these two signs!). Now that I've learned this difference between the Sun sign and the Rising sign, I feel more at peace with this information. I am still a very proud Aquarius ... but I can respect my Capricorn side as well.