Let’s talk about one of the most important points in your birth chart: the Ascendant/Rising Sign.
It is the sign that is just on Eastern horizon, where the light first hit your chart on the day you were born. I love that symbolism! In fact, that is why I named Ascent Astrology after the Ascendant; you only go up from there. But, back to my blog post. (Ahem…)
The sign on your ascendant is a power point and part of the big 3 when determining personality (Sun, Moon, and Ascendant). This sign is the way that you present yourself to the outside world, how you interact with others, and the way you get things done.
The moment you were born, you first left your mother and became your own separate person. The sign of your Ascendant expresses that essence and characteristics of how you will view the world forever. It is key to your personality. Some astrologers refer to it as “your mask” as it’s the first thing people see about you. However, I’ve found that the longer you wear a suit the more it becomes part of you. It intertwines into your identity. Think about your first professional job. You probably felt like an imposter your first day, but the role you occupied became more ingrained the longer you stayed.
In social situations astrologers get asked the party trick question called: “Guess my sign.” I know the average person is asking me to guess their Sun Sign, but what we pick up on is their Ascendant. So 9 times out of 10, even if I guess, I’m going to get it wrong from their point of view.
What’s the Difference Between Sun/Moon/Ascendant?
The Ascendant represents your Self-Awareness, Self-Sufficiency, and Self-Interest. It signifies your goals, your ambitions, and the way you direct your energies to make things happen.
The Sun Sign represents your Identity, Soul Urge, and Ego. It takes time to evolve and can be a bit hidden. Your Ascendant is your shield of your Sun and Moon Sign. Most people don’t grow into their sun signs until their teens or early adulthood.
The Moon Sign represents your Inner Emotional Life. It’s how your gut responds and how you best nurture yourself. Some people cry it out, others talk, while others have to get active to work through their feelings. All of this is in your Moon. I wrote more about that here.
How to Find Your Ascendant:
Most people don’t know their Ascendant unless they have been to an astrologer or have done their chart online from a reputable source like www.astro.com or www.astro-seek.com.
You also will need your exact birth time to figure out your Ascendant. Find your birth certificate for this vs. relying on Mom’s euphoric memory. The Ascendant hour changes roughly every 2 hours so it’s important.
Depending on the house system you use, the Ascendant can fall anywhere in the first house, but for the purpose of easy visuals, I’ve put it on the cusp line dividing the 12th and 1st house. Always look for “As” or “Asc”.
If you don’t know your birth time, it’s still possible to figure out your Ascendant through a process called rectification.
Aries Ascendant: There is nothing shy about this individual. They have strong opinions and an innate way of raising their hand to go first. They are enthusiastic, jump in head first, and like to get projects off the ground. They like recognition but sometimes have a hard time sticking with things through the end.
Taurus Ascendant: They are steady-eddy’s of the Zodiac. They will order the same thing off of the menu because they know it will be consistently yummy. They have a reputation for being resistant to change, but once they see the proven results they are 100% on board and it will be hard to get them to alter the path. Refined and slower paced, these individuals don’t like to be pressured with time or opinions. They aren’t afraid to put in the long hours and can accumulate wealth.
Gemini Ascendant: Their hands move as fast as their mouths when they are talking. There is always potential for everything in their minds which is why they are natural worries. They are excitable, witty, and love to be with people. They love to have multiple projects going on at the same time. Don’t worry about deadlines; they will make it at the last minute by a hair.
Cancer Ascendant: These individuals are warm, affectionate, and wear their hearts on their sleeves. They are sensitive and can pick up on moods of others. It’s almost like they have a 6th sense of what other’s need before that individual can articulate it. When they perceive their security is threatened, expect a little emotional spiraling. Cancer Ascendants are the natural mothers of the Zodiac.
Leo Ascendant: The magnetism these individuals possess is astounding. They attract people, but sometimes doesn’t have the natural ability to organize them like Capricorns do – just in a sense of their radiance. They celebrate everyone’s uniqueness and they believe life is fun as a basic principle. They are natural cheerleaders and love to be celebrated. False pride and grudges can be their downfall though. Loyalty is the number one value until they feel betrayed and then expect to be shut in the darkness forever. There are no second chances.
Virgo Ascendant: If you get unsolicited advice in a crisp manner and it’s coming from a helpful place, chances are it’s coming from a Virgo Ascendant. They want to be helpful as their core principle, but logic can feel a little cold. They aren’t as stubborn as a Taurus; in fact they will change their opinion if the opposition has sound logic. If given a problem their first instinct is to hit the information sources and gather as much information as possible. Expect these individuals to be extremely health conscious.
Libra Ascendant: Indecision is one of the hallmarks of this Ascendant. It’s not because they don’t know what they want; it’s because they don’t want to offend anyone else by stepping on their toes. They love hosting and making sure everyone feels welcome. They are neat and discriminating. In fact, their houses will look like an interior decorator swooped into every room and it was just their own eagle eye putting things together. Don’t open their closets though; you’re going to find all of the unfinished design jobs they forgot.
Scorpio Ascendant: These individual are some of the hardest go get to know and they pride themselves on it. They keep secrets like currency, but wouldn’t dare to cash in because they know the value of relationships. Their minds are always working to go deeper and uncover the next piece of information. They like to work behind the scenes and have amazing powers of observation to solve problems. Like Virgo Ascendants, not much slips by them. They can be cruel when crossed and will sting with their tempers if provoked. They will never let you know how deep you hurt them.
Sagittarius Ascendant: They would never try to box another person in which is why it is hard to get them to commit. Respecting everyone’s need for independence, exploration, and ability to be themselves are key values. They love a spirited debate and honestly don’t take offense when opposing views are expressed as long as clear thinking is shown. These archers have a wide range of friends and are optimistic about the future. Generous with their time and money almost to a fault. They can be impulsive and will value any action forward in the spirit of trying to solve the problem. They love to brainstorm.
Capricorn Ascendant: As children you wonder if they know how to play. Their ambition is focused and everything is directed toward making a better life and improving themselves. All goals are just stepping stones where hard work and self-reliance are expected. They tend to have older person health problems when they are younger (need reading glasses, joint problems, etc). They are extremely intelligent and build things that last. They are the CEO’s of the Zodiac.
Aquarius Ascendant: Lively and friendly, Aquarius risings are fun to be around. They paint pictures with their words, expanding the “what could be’s” for everyone to see. They don’t like conflict like Libra, but it’s more on a global/group level than on a personal/individual level. They can be inflexible in their opinions though and will be intolerant of other’s short comings. Their minds are quick and expansive and they have no patience for those who cannot see their vision. They find the flaws in other’s arguments effortlessly and point them out with humor. They don’t mind being independent. They believe they are special.
Pisces Ascendant: These individuals have the reputation of being the scatterbrains of the Zodiac. They follow their instincts without reservation. They are naturally optimistic, devoted, willing to help, and flexible. Sometimes these traits get interpreted as them being wishy-washy. But really they are so devoted to others that just have a hard time setting boundaries, sometimes to their own detriment. They endure and believe in miracles and if that doesn’t work then they will play the victim so others will set the boundaries for them.
Bonus Astrologers Tip:
Most horoscope columns are written from the Ascendant’s point of view so try reading them from your Ascendant’s sign. It’s particularly important when they are talking about topics that will be highlighted that month or year and the accuracy of the timing and issues will improve.