Most people only know about their sun sign, which is determined by the date you were born. This is the sign you'd probably tell someone if they asked "What's your sign?". Your moon sign, determined by the exact place and time of your birth, is your emotional core, your subconscious and instinctual side. These two walk hand-in-hand in a personality--together they are how emotions and feelings are initially felt, processed, then executed. The RISING SIGN is determined by the exact time of your birth. So, what is the RISING SIGN?
The RISING SIGN or ASCENDING SIGN is the most complex to understand. It represents what you were born to work on perfecting in this life (possibly taking several lifetimes). It is your goals, your aspirations and your highest spiritual achievement. Even if these motives go unrecognized, it is what you want in life and what you aim for. As a result of these drives, the RISING SIGN becomes your outer appearance--it is how you appear to the outside world. You take on the role of the RISING SIGN, whether direct or indirect.
A simpler way to think about this, in comparison to the moon sign: the RISING SIGN is how you may appear to a group of people who don't know you well--strangers or acquaintances. It is the energy you put off in first impressions. Your moon sign is how you may appear to a group of people who are very close to you, perhaps best friends or close family members. Those in life who are close to you learn to see through cracks in the RISING SIGN, revealing the moon sign underneath.
If you aren't sure which sign matches up with your date of birth--click on either "Aquarius - Cancer" or "Leo to Capricorn" above, find your birthday, then read about YOUR RISING SIGN!(You can calculate your sun, moon, and RISING sign ANY TIME at my favorite website here.)