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What is the 'Big 6' in astrology? Here's how to find yours

There's more to you than your Sun sign.
/ Source: TODAY

You’ve likely heard of the astrological “Big Three,” or the shorthand for the Sun, Moon and ascendant signs in your natal chart. But have you heard of the “Big Six?”

The “Big Six” expands upon the “Big Three,” adding in a person's Mercury, Venus and Mars signs to the mix.

A birth chart takes into account the date, time and location of a person's birth to create a map of the planets and their placements. Think of it as an astrological thumbprint unique to you.

The six major placements — the Sun, Moon, Ascendant, Mercury, Venus and Mars — can give more insight into a person's character, astrologically speaking.

Taking a more specific look at the additional planets in the "Big Six," Mercury rules over expression and communication. The sign in this planet gives a better look at how a person expresses thoughts and processes information.

Venus rules over love and money, explaining what someone desires in a romantic relationship. The Venus placement could also look at a person appreciates study, travel and luxury experiences.

Mars rules over aggression and anger, giving insight into how one uses energy and drive. While Venus shows gives us a glance at how we value love, Mars can help us understand physical attraction. The Mars placement will also explain motivations and what lights someone up in life.

To find your Big Six, first create a full birth chart, or at least find the signs associated with your Sun, Moon, ascendant, Mercury, Venus and Mars. It's possible to do this for free online.

Once you have your personalized chart handy, read the guide below for what each planet and sign means.


The Sun represents a person's ego, determination and will in life. This placement speaks to our core essence and what drives us to keep going.

Aries — Ambition, boldness, and strength are some characteristics of the fiery zodiac sign who likes to win at all costs. Aries Suns are known for defending those they love.

Taurus — Hardworking bulls of the zodiac spend their free time in a state of relaxation. Good luck going head-to-head with a Taurus. They’re stubborn and don’t sway their views easily. 

Gemini — Communication is key for the Gemini Sun, who uses words to facilitate information and news (and yes, gossip). They’re always “in the know” for all matters and topics. 

Cancer — Emotions run high with the intuitive and loyal water sign. Cancers are known to protect their hearts before trusting others. Once you earn their friendship, it’s for life.

Leo — This regal zodiac sign is known for their vivacious and theatrical approach to life. Their honest and spirited personality makes them generous and thoughtful.

Virgo — Known for their need for perfection and capacity for patience, Virgos are kind-hearted and sincere. Their intelligence and wit is what sets them apart from the other zodiac signs. 

Libra — This cardinal air sign is known for their love of love — as well as their fixation on having balance and peace in their lives. Living in an equilibrium is important. 

Scorpio — Mystery, power and dynamism are essential to the psychic water sign, who takes a deep dive with enthusiasm and courage in everything they do.

Sagittarius — As the defender of the galaxy, armed with a bow and arrow, the archer is a global traveler that loves to learn about different philosophies and cultures. 

Capricorn — Sea goats are known as the reflective and grounded CEOs of the zodiac, since they are the overachievers that accomplish everything they set their sights on.

Aquarius — This Sun sign is known for its innovative and revolutionary ideas. Friendship oriented, they fight on behalf of humanity and their community.

Pisces — Sensitive, altruistic, imaginative and creative are characteristics of empathetic and absorbent Pisces, who can intuitively understand the emotions of others. 


The Moon is our emotional and intuitive side, speaking to the parts of ourselves we cannot express easily to others and internalize. This astrological placement holds our memories, past experiences and the way we process trauma. 

Aries — The Aries Moon lives in the moment and can be impatient at times. Their lust for life and excitement is high, allowing them to take emotional risks.   

Taurus — The Moon in Taurus represents someone who uses earthly indulgences as a means for happiness. They live by the adage, "Eat, drink and be merry!"

Gemini — This lunar sign finds comfort in talking about their feelings. They’re emotionally intelligent and able to use their wits to figure things out.

Cancer — Security and safety are needed in order for the Moon in Cancer to feel comfortable. The attachment to memories and nostalgia are essential parts of their being.  

Leo — The Leo Moon expresses their emotions in show and profound ways. Hits to their egos can create conflicts with others, as well as interactions with those who don’t show gratitude or kindness. 

Virgo — The Virgo Moons show their affection and adoration for others through criticism. They want their peers, family and loved ones to be the best versions of themselves. 

Libra — The Libra Moon is relationship-oriented and decisive. Those with this placement are smooth talkers with innate charisma and artistry.

Scorpio — The deep and intuitive Scorpio Moon jumps into situations and relationships on emotional whims. They’ll give their all for love, which is typically super intense. 

Sagittarius — This lunar sign has a lust for life and chooses to be happy in almost every situation. The Moon in Sagittarius is considered to be lucky and auspicious. 

Capricorn — The Moon in Capricorn wants to leave behind a legacy. Working hard towards attaining their emotional goals is important to them. 

Aquarius — This lunar sign needs freedom in order to thrive. They’ll dedicate their energy and time to advocating for others or ideals that speak to their heart. 

Pisces — The Pisces Moon is tender and affectionate. At times, they can be stubborn due to the fact that they see situations in accordance with their own feelings and experiences. 

Rising/Ascendant Sign 

This is what people notice about us first. It’s the essence we give off, as well as our outlook on the world. The ascendant sign was rising on the eastern horizon at the exact time of a person's birth.

Aries — This rising sign often acts on instincts and takes charge of matters. Their bravery and bravado are known to the world, since they let their courageous face shine. 

Taurus — Earthiness, beauty and creativity are some of the many sentiments that a Taurus rising exudes. They cultivate an enviably lovely lifestyle.

Gemini — The outside world may think that this placement is well-spoken, when in reality their minds are running a mile a minute. Either way, they're talkative and extroverted.

Cancer — Others pick up on the nurturing and sensitive energy of Cancer risings, making them compassionate and supportive to those in their inner circle.

Leo — As the life of the party, Leo ascendants are showy, expressive and popular. They like to be seen, known and never forgotten, which is why they’ll leave an unforgettable impression.

Virgo — This earth sign is known for their brain power and patience. As a rising sign, they're always one to seek kindness and understanding, and willing to give the benefit of the doubt to others.

Libra — Partnerships take the lead with Libra ascendents, who see the world through interpersonal relationships and love to help others succeed. 

Scorpio — This intense and brooding rising sign uses their power and intuition to safeguard their hearts. When threatened, they’ll take their venomous stingers out to protect themselves. 

Sagittarius — Optimism, joy and luck reign for this exuberant ascendant sign. Life is an adventure worth exploring and autonomy is necessary for their happiness. 

Capricorn — Determination, effort and hard work define the incentives of a Capricorn rising, who will give their all to attain their hopes and aspirations. 

Aquarius — Innovative, quirky and unique are a few words that describe the humanitarian and altruistic rising sign. They’re individuals who aren’t afraid of embracing their true selves. 

Pisces — This whimsical and dreamy ascendant sign is known to have psychic abilities and to be extra sensitive to outside forces. They also typically comes across as mysterious and are ree-thinking innovators. 


Planet of communication and information, Mercury is also a speedy messenger and traveler. Knowledge comes and flows throughout this planet.

Aries — Mercury in Aries can make decisions on a whim and statements without the facts at times. Their decisiveness makes it easy for them to commit to what they want without hesitation. 

Taurus — Their practical mindset can make it hard for them to think outside the box, but it also allows them to make choices that are definite and steadfast.

Gemini — Mercury in Gemini lives for the art of conversation (also gossip) since they’re always in the know. They can see matters from multiple viewpoints, which helps when it comes to conflict resolution. 

Cancer — This placement's thought process isn’t usually linear, which makes people with Mercury in Cancer unique, artistic, imaginative and emotionally charged. 

Leo — This Mercurial placement can be fiery and hot if they are passionate about a topic. They’re also known to use theatrics when telling stories and talking about situations. 

Virgo — Mercury in Virgo is analytical and expressive, as long as they have a moment to reflect and find the right words to say (which can take time). 

Libra — The urge to critique with kindness is high when Mercury is in Libra. They feel their purpose is to help people understand how they can improve themselves for the better. 

Scorpio — Mercury in Scorpio isn’t the most verbally expressive placement, since they use their emotions and physicality to guide their interactions with others. 

Sagittarius — The tendency to think before speaking is high, but so is the ability to express oneself bluntly with the purpose of being an honest person. 

Capricorn — This Mercurial placement leaves no room for interpretation. Communication is concise and direct when Mercury is in straightforward Capricorn. 

Aquarius — Mercury in Aquarius looks at situations from a distance. This perspective helps them see matters from a different angle and look at the bigger picture. 

Pisces — Intuition supersedes logic when Mercury is in Pisces. Gut feelings and emotions are used as the catalyst for making decisions. 


Venus represents our inclination for sweets, food, beauty, luxury, good times and love.

Aries — Venus in Aries jumps into relationships head first without looking backward or forward. The rush of love is what they want to feel the most when partnering with others. 

Taurus — Sensuality and creativity merge together when Venus is in Taurus. The earth sign knows how to work and play hard, as well as how to get what they want with charm. 

Gemini — Chattiness and playfulness are extremely important to Venus in Gemini. The Mercurial sign needs constant communication when in relationships.

Cancer — This Venusian placement is known to be extremely sensitive and sympathetic, so much so that they carry the emotional baggage of others on their hearts. 

Leo — Venus in Leo is big-hearted and generous, as well as dramatic and intense depending on their mood. They're the most loyal and trustworthy Venusian sign in the zodiac.

Virgo — Venus in Virgo desires someone who offers them stability, empathy, structure and intellectually challenges them. Their desire for the "perfect" partner can slow down their romantic search.

Libra — Balance and kindness rule this Venusian sign's approach to love. They compromise on matters to avoid conflict. 

Scorpio — Venus in Scorpio isn’t for the faint of heart. They want to consume their partner’s thoughts and be consumed by their relationship at the same time. 

Sagittarius — As long as Venus in Sagittarius is free to do what they want, when they want, they’ll stay loyal to their significant other at all times. 

Capricorn — Power couple alert! Working with their partner to attain success as a couple is important to Venus in Capricorn, who’ll put the effort into maintaining a relationship with anyone they love. 

Aquarius — Venus in Aquarius can be a tad aloof when it comes to romantic matters. But when they find someone who they can talk to about any matter, their heart is ablaze. 

Pisces — This beautiful and compassionate Venusian placement is known to give compassion and unconditional love to others, even if the sentiment isn’t reciprocated. 


The planet Mars shows how we take action and fight. It also depicts the way we express our physicality and our energy levels. 

Aries — Impulsive and fiery action leads to major changes when Mars is in Aries. The only caveat is that they act before thinking, which could lead to issues if they don’t take caution. 

Taurus — Slow and stubborn describes Mars in Taurus. The earth sign is not one to change its direction once committed to a project. Inflexibility can lead to frustrations down the road.  

Gemini — Words can hurt when Mars is in Gemini. The need to express oneself and confront others can result in ongoing arguments.

Cancer — Emotions and tempers run high when Mars is in Cancer. When provoked, this sign becomes protective of others and themselves, as well as moody and defensive.  

Leo — The ego and heart play an important role for Mars in Leo, which leads with pride, gusto, enthusiasm and idealism.

Virgo — When Mars is in earth sign Virgo, forethought and strategy are used to achieve dreams. Mars in Virgo also critiques and uses methodical means to attain their passions.

Libra — This astrological placement may not be as decisive or direct as most, but they know how to make peace with others when in the midst of conflict, and that can be an asset. 

Scorpio — Known to do things in extremes, Mars in Scorpio pours their all into anything and everything that they do — as long as it peaks their interests. 

Sagittarius — As the only zodiac sign armed with a weapon, Mars in Sagittarius shoots straight to the heart in order to get what they want and to fight for others.

Capricorn — Known to complete projects deliberately and carefully, those with Mars in Capricorn use determination and will to attain their goals and hopes without a hitch. 

Aquarius — Not one to push their agenda on others, Mars in Aquarius opts to take a backseat when having direct conversations, acting detached at times. 

Pisces — Creativity is an outlet for aggression. This Mars placement opts to go with the flow and isn’t very assertive when expressing themselves. Instead, they use their intuition to make decisions.