If you don’t know what Sun, Moon, Rising, Venus, Mars, etc. all means, don’t worry, here is a quick guide 🙂
The sign that you most likely know of yourself as, based on your birthday, is your Sun sign. This is the sign the Sun was in when you were born. So if you’re a Gemini, then your Sun is in Gemini. This means you were born between late-mid May to late-mid June.
Cusps, which are the days in which start and end a sign, can get confusing. For example, if you were born on June 22, are you a Gemini, or a Cancer? Most sources say Cancer, but occasionally you may see a source that says Gemini. What to believe?! Well, that’s when you need your birth time so you can calculate the exact position of the Sun… as well as all the other planetary placements (your Moon, Rising, Venus, Pluto, etc.).
If you don’t have your exact birth time, down to the minute, then we can assume certain placements. The Moon, for example, usually stays in the same sign all day/night, or changes only once. So if you were born on a day where it didn’t change, you can look up what sign the Moon was in on that day and you will know your Moon sign. If it did change, it’s best if you can remember approximately when you were born: was it in the morning? Afternoon? Night? These sources will usually give you the time in which the Moon transitioned into another sign, so as long as you weren’t born around that time you can safely assume (e.g. if on March 12, the Moon went from Libra to Scorpio at 7:53 AM, and you know you were born in the afternoon, then you know your Moon is in Scorpio).
When looking up what sign the Moon was in on a particular date, make sure you are looking at astrological sources and not astronomical ones. There are overlaps, but the astrological interpretation does not always coincide with the astronomical one.
If you don’t know when you were born at all, you can look up information on both Moon signs of that date and see which one resonates more. You’d be surprised at how accurate one may be and you’d have no doubts as to which one you are.
Other planets stay in signs for months/years at a time, so those can be figured out without a birth time as well. So unless you were born on the exact day it transitioned, you can safely assume your Pluto was in Scorpio, for example, if you were born in 1992 (since Pluto was in Scorpio between 1983-1995).
The only placement we cannot know for sure without a birth time is perhaps the Ascendant. This changes every two hours, so it’s best we have the exact birth time. Unfortunately, this is one of the more important/influential placements, so it’s best to try your best in finding your birth time if you don’t have it. Having your birth time is also great for getting deeper insight into your natal chart, down to the exact degrees of your planets and therefore any aspects as well (planets opposing each other at 180 degrees, for example, is significant).
If you do have your birth time, great! Plug in your info at astro.com. We are not affiliated with them but they are the most widely accepted service used by professional astrologers. Some other sites may show incorrect house placements so it’s best to use astro.com.
Hope this helps! If this is all too much, feel free to just buy products with your Sun sign, it’s still accurate 🙂