What is a Rising Sign or Ascendant?
What is an Ascendant?
The Ascendant or Rising Sign is the degree of the Zodiac that was rising above the eastern horizon at the moment that you are born.
It is especially significant, and can be found on the left-hand edge of your chart, most often marked by the symbol AC.
In this article about Your Sun Sign we described The Sun as the centre of the solar system, and so, the central or lead actor in the drama that is you!
The Ascendant is so important, because it gives the plot structure or context through which the story of your life will unfold.
The Ascendant describes how you project yourself out into the world, how other people see you, how you enter into new experiences, and the kinds of experiences you need in order for life to be meaningful or directed.
We’ve created a great interactive menu that can tell you all about your Rising Sign, as well as your Sun Sign and Moon Sign.
A simple way to understand it is this:
Think of your Ascendant as the character you project when arriving at a party. Do you turn up feeling bold, confident and happy to be centre of attention, or do you tend to head “straight to the kitchen” – so to speak – to find out how you can help?
Fire signs on the Ascendant tend to appear extroverted and brash. Water signs appear emotional and need to connect. Air signs appear inquisitive and want to know what’s happening, whereas Earth signs take it step by step, wanting to make sure they feel comfortable first.
Your Ascendant is the other main character in the drama that is you, and may, at times, take over the role of lead. Just like in a movie, sometimes the demands of the script require that the lead actor takes a back seat so that other characters can be introduced, or the story can be developed into a rounded whole.
The lead (Sun) and support actors (Moon, other planets) take their cue from the sign on the Ascendant. Therefore it’s really useful to know your Ascendant because the rest of your chart gains much greater detail when this vital piece of the puzzle is put in place.
As you can well imagine, knowing what the creative intention of the director is can be a very handy at times!
To get a good feel for your chart, and therefore your unique nature, you need to consider how the Sun, Moon and Rising Signs all interact. The combination of these three key dynamics gives a good summation of your personality and how you are likely to react.