How to Determine(or Ascertain)
your Ascendant or Rising Sign

Your Ascendant or Rising sign is the Earth's position in the zodiac as seen from your time and place of birth. It is the sign seen rising on the eastern horizon, based on the Earth's 24 hour rotation. Knowledge of your correct Ascendant is absolutely essential to realizing your earthly or wordly role in this life. Here are four means by which to determine this pivotal factor.

1. You must have an accurate time and place of birth. To within twenty minutes if possible. Mother's memory is not always reliable. Check hospital records if you have them. The city or town is sufficient as far as place is concerned.

2. If you do not have an accurate time or place of birth, there are other ways to figure out your Ascendant or Rising sign, although it may take some work. There are people or astrologers who have an intimate knowledge of the physical and personal characteristics produced by each Ascendant sign, and can tell you yours simply by observing you. You can do this too if you acquire the basic knowledge and perceptive skills necessary.

Masculine signs rising(fire or air) are almost always taller, lighter, and more attractive than feminine(earth or water) ascendants. Neighbouring signs are as different as night and day, in both looks and temperament. Fire signs rising have that active, sporty look about them, while air sign risings have a social or intellectual look about them. Earth sign risings have that down to earth practical look about them while water sign risings have that domestic or homey look about them. Aries is confident and energetic, Taurus is stubborn and stodgy, Gemini is slim and wiry, Cancer is roundish and motherly, Leo is impressive and dramatic, Virgo is critical and petite, Libra is simply beautiful, Scorpio is intense and forbidding, Sagittarius is athletic and cheerful, Capricorn is shy and serious, Aquarius is both friendly and rebellious, and Pisces is dreamy and sensitive.

Note: Planets in the same sign as the ascendant can greatly modify its appearance according to the nature of the planets involved. If you have Sagittarius rising, for example, with Saturn there, your natural optimism and cheerfulness will be greatly toned down. "Unadulterated" ascendants or rising signs(those with no planets there) will produce the purest rising sign examples.

3. Another way to determine your Ascendant or Rising sign is to analyze your relationships. Important people in your life will almost always have their Suns in conjunction(same sign), opposition(opposite sign), or square(three signs away on either side), to your Ascendant. The opposition and conjunction occur frequently between close friends, intimates, or marriage partners. The square occurs frequently between parent and child or boss and employee.

In general, if you have a masculine ascendant, you will feel comfortable in the presence of masculine sun signs(Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius, and Aquarius) and uncomfortable in the presence of feminine sun signs(Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn, and Pisces). Similarily, feminine ascendants will feel comfortable with feminine sun signs and uncomfortable with masculine sun signs. Masculine suns emanate strong rays which threaten the sensitivity of a feminine ascendant so that a bulid up of tension occurs. Conversely, feminine suns don't emit enough power or presence which gives a masculine ascendant a creepy feeling which is also interpreted as a threat and cause of tension.

So if you find, for example, that you have an excellent rapport with Leo or Aquarius sun signs, you will, in all probability have one of those two signs as your acendant or rising sign. Leo risings also enjoy a comfortable rapport with the remaining fire and air signs. Taurus and Scorpio suns(square) will be the most difficult or tense, but at the same time extremely important; Taurus is usually a boss or father figure for Leo, and Scorpio is usually important as a home or mother figure. There is usually at least one Sun/Ascendant square between parent and child so that a feeling of dependance or authority is established.

If most of the people in your life are cardinal sun signs(Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn), then you are very likely to have a cardinal ascendant. Same rule for fixed(Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius) and mutable(Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces) signs.

4. Finally, there are Transits and Progressions. Transits are the actual movements of the heavenly bodies as they affect your natal planets here and now while progressions are more symbolic in nature, using the day for a year method, but have equally powerful effects. Certain transits and progressions contacting your Ascendant(and Midheaven) position produce recognizable effects, and are often used to determine or correct its zodiacal placement, but this requires the skill of an experienced astrologer.

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