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  • Writer's pictureYolanda McAdam

The Ascendant in Your Birth Chart

You are a reflection of a moment in time. That moment in time is symbolized by the Ascendant in your birth chart. Your Ascendant (also known as the Rising Sign) is in Howard Sasportas words “the lens through which we perceive existence, the focus we bring into life, the way we “bracket” the world.”

In astrology, the Ascendant is an angle. It’s not a planet, or an asteroid or a fixed star. It’s the angle associated with the first house and it’s the sign of the Zodiac that was rising in the eastern sky at the moment and location of your birth.

Your first impression of someone is your response to that person’s Ascendant (also known as the Rising Sign), not their Sun sign. This is because the style in which we meet life is shown by the Ascendant and the 1st house.

The Ascendant in natal astrology reveals the following:

  • It describes your experience of birth. Many Scorpio ascendants or ascendants with Pluto rising involve a close life-or-death struggle, for example.

  • It describes the effect our arrival produces in others. For example with Uranus or Aquarius rising your arrival was probably disruptive.

  • It describes the way we approach life when we embrace a new level of experience. An Aries rising will be eager for action while a Taurus rising will be slower to act.

  • The first house will describe the tasks that need to be fulfilled in order to realize your own unique identity.

  • It describes the path you must take to grow into our Sun Sign.

The Ascendant is the vehicle that will transport you to wholeness.

Here is a brief description for each sign:

Aries Rising

You’re warm and passionate as well as impulsive and confident. You’re a natural leader and you have a competitive streak. Watch your temper and be careful that you don’t come across as domineering.

Taurus Rising

You’re calm and confident. Tenacious. You exude sex appeal. You may be slow to start things but once you get going you’re unstoppable. You appreciate the arts, especially music. You may in fact have a great voice or a musical talent.

Gemini Rising

You’re social and chatty. You’re smart and witty. But also changeable and fickle. You find it hard to concentrate on something for a long period of time. You can be sarcastic and unkind.

Cancer Rising

Your family is everything to you. You love food. You are sensitive and feel things deeply. You are kind and nurturing. Others can see you as defensive, moody and secretive.

Leo Rising

You carry yourself like a Queen/King. You attract attention easily because you love entertaining as well as teaching. You are warm and generous but careful that you don’t come across as arrogant and excessively proud.

Virgo Rising

You’re whip-smart and self-sufficient. You’re helpful and obliging because you enjoy being of service and have a keen interest in health (yours and others). Watch for a tendency to demand perfection from yourself and those you care about.

Libra Rising

You have excellent taste and a wonderful sense of style. You’re sociable and peace-loving but have a hard time making decisions. You strive for beauty, harmony and balance in all aspects of life but can come across as superficial.

Scorpio Rising

You are a complex and private person who enjoys deep and meaningful conversations and experiences. You like getting to the bottom of things. You are passionate and caring but you can also be obsessive and unforgiving.

Sagittarius Rising

You are freedom-loving and optimistic. You are drawn to learn more about other cultures and philosophies. You dream of being a wise elder one day. You are open and frank but can come across as opinionated and patronising.

Capricorn Rising

You are practical and hard-working. You have a wonderful sense of humour. You are the boss (if not yet, you strive to be). You are disciplined and reserved but can come across as pessimistic and controlling.

Aquarius Rising

You are fiercely individualistic and don’t believe in conforming for the sake of conformity. You are friendly and intelligent. You follow the beat of your own drum. You can come across as detached and cool because you spend so much time in your head.

Pisces Rising

You are empathetic and kind and imaginative. You like talking about dreams and are drawn to mystical subjects. You are romantic and love music. You can come across as flaky and unreliable.




Sasportas, Howard - The Twelve Houses, Flare Publications 2007