The Ascendant

At the eastern point of the horoscope sits the Ascendant, or rising sign. It represents the personality that we project to the world, our persona. People usually come across as their ascendant or ‘rising sign’ when we first meet them, and these traits can either work in harmony or in tension with the sun sign (which rules the inner self). Some people hide behind their ascendant, turning it into a sort of mask, while others embrace and integrate the characteristics.

Along with the persona, the ascendant rules the physical body, so someone with Cancer rising may be have a rounded face and a sensitive, nurturing nature, while a Gemini ascendant might bring an angular appearance and a chatty, jittery edge (nail-biting can be a dead giveaway).

Of course, if you have a planet sitting near the ascendant or situated in the first house, this will add complexity to the picture, but the interpretations below should form a good starting point.

mstreep chart sample.
I’ve used Meryl Streep’s chart to show where the ascendant or rising sign is … see the red circle on the left? That’s it. Her ascendant is ruled by Leo, while her sun is in Cancer. Hence, her love for drama and taking risks.

astrology symbolsOnce you know your ascendant, you can read up on the traits and see if they suit. It’s also worth reading my weekly and yearly astrology forecasts for your ascendant as well as your sun sign. They can resonate in a big way!

If you don’t know your own ascendant, try casting a free chart at

Your sun sign is just the tip of the iceberg!


People with Aries ascendants tend to move quickly, talk quickly, and act without hesitation; in fact their boundless energy and enthusiasm are often legendary. Due to their confidence, they often come across as natural leaders and entrepreneurs, although their impulsive, excitable nature can lead to mishaps, especially when angry.
Traits: active or sporty, magnetic, extroverted, competitive, confident, headstrong, enterprising, often ruddy complexion


People with Taurus ascendants tend to take a more considered, slow and steady approach, but once their mind is made up, there’s no stopping them. Their senses are generally highly attuned, giving a love for good food, soft fabrics, music and finer things in life; comfort, quality and luxury often rank high on their list of priorities.
Traits: stable, dependable, refined, musical or artistic, stubborn, determined, acquisitive, often strong, sturdy or thick-set


People with Gemini on the ascendant tend to be energetic, agile and always on the go; they generally love a chat, and due to their natural curiosity, are often drawn towards books, films and media-related fields. Nervous habits are common in this sign, but plenty of exercise and physical activity can help to calm them down.
Traits: versatile, well-read, expressive, edgy, curious, active, impulsive, talkative, restless, often slim, tall or boney


People with Cancer on their ascendant tend to be sensitive, caring souls; their home is their sanctuary, and like a crab, they retreat into their shell when threatened. Parenthood and teaching professions often appeal, along with food, health and finance-related fields, for comfort and material security are important to this sign.
Traits: sensitive, sympathetic, feeling, moody, intuitive, defensive, home loving, often pale, plump or round in the face.


People with Leo on their ascendant need to be noticed. The bigger and more glamourous, the better, especially when it comes to cars, clothes and their hair (or mane). Their confident, extroverted approach makes them natural performers, managers, motivators and salespeople, but beneath the exterior, the ego can be surprisingly fragile.
Traits: friendly, confident, loyal, glamourous, creative, dramatic, bossy, opinionated, restless, often bald or have ‘big hair’


People with Virgo on their ascendant tend to be intelligent, exacting, competent and discriminating. Their attention to detail is often impressive, but over-thinking things can lead to worry and negative thinking, or even OCD. A preference for stylish items and quality clothing often surfaces early, along with a love for facts and figures.
Traits: practical, methodical, hard-working, reliable, exacting, health-conscious, anxious, face often develops fine worry lines


People with Libra on their ascendant tend to be talkative, charming and charismatic. Their aesthetic eye is usually well developed, leading to a love for fashion, design and the performing arts. Relationships are often a preoccupation, along with issues involving justice and fair play. Their refined, stylish manner can be a dead giveaway.
Traits: diplomatic, stylish, romantic, cultured, chatty, indecisive, often well-dressed, with wide-set eyes or attractive features


People with Scorpio on their ascendant tend to be private or secretive, especially when they feel emotionally exposed. Power and control are strong life themes, but when harnessed correctly, these traits can bring great influence and success. An air of mystery and charisma often acts as a magnet to the opposite sex.
Traits: passionate, driven, intense, secretive, sexual, powerful, competitive, often drawn to mysterious people, situations and places


People with Sagittarius on their ascendant often crave freedom and fresh air. Travel can be a major theme or they may be drawn to foreign philosophies, people and places; their search for answers often lasts a lifetime. Known for their sense of humour and outgoing nature, they are often quite private, or even aloof.
Traits: friendly, talented, generous, unpredictable, outdoorsy, adventurous, restless, often drawn to travel and the outdoors


People with Capricorn on their ascendant tend to feel old before their time; even as children they may feel more responsible and serious than others, but as they age they become more carefree. Still, they place high value on hard work, rules and respect; their sensible, grounded nature often makes them pillars of society.
Traits: practical, conservative, careful, industrious, wise, judgmental, reliable, organised, often tall or wiry with a lined face


People with Aquarius on their ascendant value originality, freedom and independence; they’re the scientists, innovators and eccentrics of the zodiac, but a surprisingly stubborn, sceptical streak can run deep. Often opinionated and always up for a chat, people with this rising sign follow the beat of their own drum.
Traits: friendly, inventive, unique, eccentric, freedom-loving, determined, stubborn, often drawn to colourful people and clothes


People with Pisces on their ascendant tend to feel emotions deeply and resonate with other-worldly spheres. Mysticism, healing and the arts may attract them from an early age, but when ungrounded, escapist tendencies can surface in negative ways. Being creative souls, finding healthy, expressive outlets is essential.
Traits: sensitive, creative, caring, moody, imaginative, mystical, escapist, compassionate, often pale skin and cold extremities

Copyright Jenny Blume 2015

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