Western astrology tends to focus on the Sun sign. In Vedic astrology the Ascendant is the most important factor, then the Moon sign and third the Sun sign. This is logical because the Ascendant is the most quickly changing of all planetary factors. It changes signs in two hours, compared to two and a half days for the Moon and a month for the Sun. Hence it more directly reflects our individuality. As it is the point of orientation of the Earth to the heavens it also more directly reflects the meaning of our particular incarnation on Earth. However, whatever sign has the greatest strength by aspect or association of planets will be the strongest in the chart. It may not be one of these three signs, though it usually is.
The signs are not irreducible elements. It is the planets which are the main factors. For this reason, in Vedic astrology we speak of individuals according to their most powerful planet or planets, not so much by signs. We judge individuals primarily by their planets.
Sometimes the strongest planet is not the ruler of the Ascendant, the Moon or the Sun. Usually if a planet aspects these factors and their rulers, it will overpower them. For example, Saturn as the strongest planet in the chart will give Capricornian traits, the traits of its cardinal sign, even if there are no planets in Capricorn. It is the qualities of the planets that are the essence of Vedic astrology. The signs are only one side of that.
The following delineation of the signs is general, mainly according to personality types. It is primarily as Ascendants that their qualities are described here, but the same indications apply as Moon-signs or Sun-signs, to a lesser degree.
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