The Ascendants

The Ascendant (or rising sign) is often considered the mask one wears when meeting others. Perhaps it is most aptly thought of as the automatic responses to one’s environment. The Ascendant shows our natural defenses and how we cope with day-to-day issues. The energies of the sign and condition of the Ascendant are most overt and obvious to others. The Ascendant shows an individual’s first, natural reaction to new people and situations. The Ascendant is the is the zodiac sign and degree that was ascending on the eastern horizon at the specific time and location of the vent of your birth.  Astrologers believe that the ascendant signifies a person’s awakening consciousness, in the same way that the Sun’s appearance on the eastern horizon signifies the dawn of a new day. The Ascendant signifies our persona, the part f ourself which we most easily identify with our ego, and from which we project our personality.

If you’ve ever been puzzled by how others describe you, it could be that they’ve encountered the Rising sign qualities. It’s the image facing outward, and might not be how you see yourself at all. It is the front door of the self, but as much a part of the personality as the Sun sign.

The Rising sign deals with First House issues like appearance and personality, and can even influence physical characteristics. If the Sun is the core self, taking action in the world, the Rising sign is the vehicle with which to do it.

It’s qualities show up immediately, while the full essence of the person’s Sun sign become known over time. For example, a Virgo with Leo Rising may have a big mane of hair and come across as showy and proud, but after awhile, you’ll discover the true humble and modest Virgo, always ready to serve in some way. The Rising and Sun sign blend into an inner and outer layer, with the Moon obscured deep within and behind the shifting clouds of the self.

Because the ascendant is specific to a particular time and place, it signifies the individual environment and conditioning that a person receives during their upbringing, and also the circumstances of their childhood. For this reason, the ascendant is also concerned with how a person has learned to present him or herself to the world, especially in public and in impersonal situations. In some circumstances, it can therefore function as a shield or mask to guard a person’s real nature – in other words the ‘defense mechanism’ every person has to cope with unfamiliar or uncomfortable situations. The ascendant also has a strong bearing on a person’s physical appearance and overall health.

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