Intro to Astrological Rising Signs

All About Your Outer Frame, First Impressions, Personality and Style

Man watching the Moon. Science, education and religion team background.
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You catch sight of a cute guy or girl at a party. You exchange glances, and those glances are most likely picking up the Rising Sign. That first impression is how you engage with the world, your filter. And it’s your personal brand. When the Sun was rising on the Eastern horizon, the traits of the Ascendant were impressed by your nature (at least that’s the story!).

Big Three

Together with the Sun and Moon, your Rising sign is a main component of the astrological profile we synthesize together from the birth chart. They’re sometimes called the “Big Three.” Read more about each Rising Sign of the Zodiac, and how to find yours.

Your Rising sign is the Zodiac sign that was there on the Eastern horizon at the moment you were born. It’s your sunrise! The degree of that sign is your Ascendant (the symbol on a birth chart is ASC), and it’s found at the middle left in the chart. It’s what gives the chart a down-to-the-minute preciseness, but you’ll need to know when you were born to be accurate.

Some astrologers are trained in chart rectification when there’s no birth time available. You’ll want to seek out someone who has experience with this very technical skill within the field of astrology. They will look at experiences in your life, to place events in a timeline, and cast a chart for you based on what they glean.

Rising Signs Make It Personal

In what we call ancient history (out of Greece), but what the Earth might say was her recent Hellenistic phase, the Rising sign was used to create a personal chart. Before that, it was the province of the very rich and powerful, but this brought astrology down to the curious citizenry.

The Rising sign places the planets in their houses, so it’s a very big deal to be precise. And it makes every Sun sign unique from another of the same sign. Even twins or quintuplets can have different rising signs. It’s the horizontal frame (at the horizon) of that moment when you impressed yourself onto the world, and it’s the first impression you make on others.

If you’ve watched the Sun rise, you know it is one cosmic body that can be seen moving. So a baby born at night and the morning on the same day will -- according to astrology -- have very different personality traits from the Rising Sign.

How Others See You

What’s curious about the rising sign, is that it’s often more obvious to others than to yourself. That imprint will always be integrated into your life. Your rising sign and its planetary ruler is a cloak, made up of your personality in its mannerisms, social mask, physical characteristics, and style. It’s like the loose outer garment that’s worn on the Sun sign’s frame. It’s your storefront or façade to the world, and how you are received by others. You could say it’s your Sun’s public relations face, and this determines what and whom you let in.

On the Horizon

  • The rising sign is based on the Sun-Earth relationship, sunrise and sunset and everything in between. This cycle is fast, and the Zodiac sign on the Eastern horizon changes every two hours.
  • Your chart ruler is the Zodiac sign of your Ascendant and its influence osmosis through the entire chart.
  • Planets near or on the Ascendant will have a big impact on the personality, health and appearance.
  • Rising sign is the overwhelming impression you give others. This fits astronomically with planets appearing larger when they’re at the horizon line.

Modus Operandi

  • The Sun is identity and a sense of radiating into life as part of the mission. The Rising sign is the vehicle for doing that. You’re the titular character (Sun sign) in a movie tailor-made to be a (“your name”) vehicle (Rising Sign).
  • If someone’s description of who you are seems way off, it’s likely they caught sight of your Rising sign.
  • The rising sign influences vitality, and whether we come on like a house on fire (Aries, Sagittarius or Leo Rising), or are secretive and self-controlled (Scorpio Rising).
  • Planets at or near the Ascendant can have an inhibiting effect, like Saturn, or can be energizing, like Mars or Jupiter. Venus near the ascendant denotes someone socially popular, with a natural joie de vivre.

Chart Rectification

  • An astrologer trained in chart rectification can cast your chart backward, looking at life events to come up with a Rising sign.
  • Often times, the significant life crossroad events like births, deaths, marriage, divorce, happen on one of the four angles. This also helps to set the chart and narrow down the birth time.
  • Sometimes the front door personality is obvious in the manner, style (hair, dress), quirks.
  • If you are flying blind, with no birth time, you can still see planets in their Zodiac signs, and the relationships (aspects) between them. Many computer programs will set the birth time to noon, as a default, when there’s no birth time available.