At a basic level, people with day charts were born during the daytime, and people with night charts were born at night—and their respective orientation is as follows. But, unpacking the meaning of having a day chart vs. a night chart goes much further than that when you consider its implications on your sun sign (based on where the sun was located in the sky when you were born) and, in turn, how you express your core identity and personality.
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How to tell if you have a day or night chart
The easiest method to determine your sect is just to consider the time when you were born. Were you born when it would have been daytime or nighttime in your birth location? Day births have day charts, or the diurnal sect, and night births have night charts, or the nocturnal sect. (Note that if you were born at the exact same time as someone born on the opposite side of the world from you, they’d have the opposite sect because in one place, it would’ve been day, and in the other, night.)
Day births have day charts, or the diurnal sect, and night births have night charts, or the nocturnal sect.
As an example, I was born at 4:41 a.m. in Illinois. Although it was getting close to the sunrise, it was still dark out. So, I have a nocturnal sect. If I were born at 4:41 p.m., the sun would have still been visible, and I’d be a diurnal sect.
You can get much more insight from looking at your full birth chart to see your sun placement, though. “When you’re looking at the houses of your birth chart, you’re looking for where the sun is located, and whether it’s above the degree of the ascendant [the horizon line], in the first house through the seventh house, or it’s below the degree of the ascendant, in the eighth house through the 12th house,” says astrologer Rowan Oliver, co-founder of the forthcoming astrology app StarScribe.
If your sun is in the top half, congratulations! You’re a day chart. And in the bottom half? Also, congratulations! You’re a night chart. But what if you’re born with your sun right on the ascendent horizon line in your birth chart?
That’s very rare, says astrologer and life coach Julia Mihas, but it can happen—and if so, she says you’ll need to do a bit more digging (that is, introspection) to determine which sect you’re in based on how the two sects traditionally manifest.
As noted above, the diurnal sect has a daytime orientation—meaning it also has a more prominent sun orientation. Whereas, the nocturnal sect has a nighttime orientation and also a stronger moon orientation. And you can use this information to make a judgment call about yourself, if your sun falls right on the line between the two: Is your sun sign or moon sign more emphasized in your personality?
How your sect affects your personal astrology
What having a day chart says about your personality
Chances are, the core elements of your sun sign ring very true for you if you have a day chart vs. a night chart, given that day chart folks are thought to be solar-oriented, or influenced more directly by the sun. (Which makes sense: The sun was shining when you were born.)
It’s also the case that solar-oriented people are commonly extroverts, spending more time on activities and tasks that have an outward-facing, public orientation or that place them in the company of others. That applies double if your sun is located in a sign that’s naturally associated with the diurnal sect: Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius, or Aquarius. (If your sun is in one of the other signs, your day-oriented sect may also help explain why you may feel more outgoing than your sun-sign peers.)
In a day chart, your moon sign also takes a back seat to your sun sign. So, it’s likely that you also don’t relate to your moon sign nearly as much as you do your sun sign, even in the internal, emotional way that the moon typically shows up in our personality.
What having a night chart says about your personality
If you have a nocturnal sect (aka you’re lunar-oriented), you’re going to be a bit more domestic, a bit more personal, and have a more internally focused point of view. That’s not to say you’re necessarily a homebody (though you might be), but it’s certainly likelier for you to fall in the introvert camp, focusing more on filling your own cup with time spent solo, unwinding and unplugging, rather than soaking up energy from other people.
Much like the folks who have a diurnal sect and also a day-oriented sun sign, if you have a nocturnal sect and your sun is also located in one of the quieter, moodier nighttime-oriented signs—Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn, or Pisces—you may especially resonate with the inward-focused traits above.
If, instead, you have a night chart but your sun is located in one of the daytime signs, you may feel as if you’re more personal and private than your sun-sign counterparts. For example, take my own chart: My sun sign is in outgoing, day-focused Leo, but you’ll remember that I have a night chart. As a result, though I can be extroverted at times, I consider myself much more of an introspective night person than plenty of my Leo compatriots.
With a night chart, you may also feel more attuned or connected to your moon sign than your sun sign overall. “Especially in pop astrology, everybody says your sun sign is you, that’s your most core energy,” says Oliver. “But when it’s a night chart, the moon takes on that role a bit more, being the leader of the chart because it’s more likely to be seen and visible than the sun. The sun is still playing its inherent role, but the moon may take over as that main guiding force.”
How having a day chart vs. a night chart can affect your experience of astrological transits
Depending on your sect, you have planets that may be more difficult for you (malefics) or easier for you (benefics) when you’re dealing with the energy of their transits (aka present-day movements through different zodiac signs in the sky). Day charts, ruled by the sun, have Jupiter as the benefic and Saturn as the malefic. Night charts, ruled by the moon, have Venus as the benefic and Mars as the malefic. The important things to note? You’ll have an easier time with the benefic in your sect and a harder time with the malefic in the opposite sect.
You’ll have an easier time with the benefic in your sect and a harder time with the malefic in the opposite sect.
So, if you have a day chart, you’ll feel a strong pull toward Jupiter and its energy can be particularly helpful in your life. That means you’ll experience a much easier time when Jupiter retrogrades than your lunar-oriented peers, and any Jupiter transit in your sign will be very auspicious (hello, good luck). But on the flip side, whenever Mars (the night-ruled malefic) forms a tough aspect with Jupiter or heads retrograde, you could find that you really struggle; its aggression will try to get in the way of your friendly Jupiter demeanor, and you could have a hard time keeping your anger in check.
The same thing is true but with the opposite set of benefic and malefic planets for the folks with a night chart. In you fall in this nocturnal camp, Venus’s energy will especially help you out—meaning you probably aren’t as affected by the current Venus retrograde as your diurnal friends may be. And whenever Venus moves through your sign, you may feel especially vibrant. By contrast, Saturn’s energy will try to tear you down. You’ll want to watch out for Saturn retrogrades, which could feel like a tough reality check—and beware of your Saturn return (aka when Saturn moves through the sign it was in when you were born), which is notoriously difficult for those with night charts.
“Transits of the malefic planet outside your sect might require more attention, more vigilance, and more care.” —Julia Mihas, astrologer
Whichever sect you fall in, it’ll be a beneficial exercise to keep track of the malefic outside your sect, so you can try to ease the struggle. “Pay a little bit more attention to those transits and where [the planet is] placed,” says Mihas. “[They] might require more attention, more vigilance, and more care.”
At the same time, however, you’ll also want to watch the transits of your sect’s benefic, too, so you can harness the good energy. “The benefics are what people tend to take for granted in their chart because the energy is so easy,” says Mihas, “whereas it’s common to be more acutely aware of your malefic.” She suggests turning your attention to your benefic, “where the aptitudes and talents and luck flow in easily, so you can strike more while the iron is hot and make better use of it.”
Think about it like this: If you have a night chart with Venus as your benefic, you can make use of that planet’s energy to boost your relationships when it’s transiting through your sign. (After all, Venus is the ruler of all things love, beauty, and values.) Try to do something romantic for your significant other, or have a deep conversation with a close friend, as Venus’s energy will give those activities a helpful boost.
If, instead, you have a day chart with Jupiter as your benefic, you might especially lean into learning, adventure, or spontaneity—all Jupiter-ruled realms—whenever it’s moving through your sign, or see what creative or intellectual endeavor you might take a chance on when Jupiter’s luck is (quite literally) on your side.