Your Zodiac Sign - AKA your Sun Sign, (named because it’s decided by where the sun falls in the sky during the month you were born,) is often the first sign people learn about when starting to explore astrology. Often we get used to identifying with our Sun Sign: it's usually pretty easy to work out from our birthdate, and it’s the sign we flick to when reading our horoscope.
However, there are actually 3 big signs which tell you the most about your personality and life’s path, and they’re the Sun, Moon and Rising Signs (read more here). They all share similar levels of importance when interpreting your unique astrological chart, (a unique map of the sky at the time and place of your birth,) and they each represent different layers of your unique personality.
Our resident astrologer Heather Whitt, owner of The Alchemy Co. breaks down one of the most confused aspects of astrology - your Rising Sign and what it means.
The Rising Sign is the sign that is often the most misunderstood or confused. Unlike most of our other astrological signs there’s no planet associated with our Rising Sign placement - as there is with our Moon sign, or Mars placement, for instance.
Instead, your Rising Sign, also known as your Ascendant, is denoted by the zodiac sign that was literally ‘ascending’ over the horizon at your time of birth. We can imagine it coming up over the horizon in the same way as the Sun rises. Your zodiac chart is divided up into Twelve Houses, each representing different areas of life, and your Rising Sign always rules your First House. In that way, it sets up the alignment of your houses, that's why it’s arguably even more important than your Sun Sign! They are many basic ways to calculate your chart, this is one.
Astro apps and astrologers will always ask for your birth time and location to get an accurate reading of your rising sign and line up your houses. However, if you don’t know your birth time, don’t worry, all hope isn’t lost. You can get something called a rectification reading when an astrologer will work with you to establish your Rising Sign. This involves asking you questions about the timings of important events in your life and working backwards to make an informed prediction of your personal Rising Sign.
Learning about your Rising Sign can be fascinating! Especially if you’re into self-development and Shadow Work. Symbolically, as the sign that was dawning on the horizon at the time of your birth, your Rising Sign is all about beginnings and perspective. It represents the start of things, and the standpoint you are coming from.
This is apparent in the 3 main things that our Rising Sign tells us about ourselves:
1: The Initial Impression (How We Dawn On People
- How we come across to people when they first meet us.
- Our physical attributes (how we look, how we hold ourselves, our mannerisms).
- The way we choose to dress and present ourselves.
2: Where We Are Coming From (Our Standpoint)
- This means where we are coming from in terms of perspective, so our viewpoint of the world and the way we see things.
- We can think of this as the lens that we look through when viewing life, almost like we are all wearing glasses tinted slightly with the perspective of our individual Rising Sign.
3: Our Childhood (Our Beginning)
- Our personality as a child - which we may shed somewhat as we grow up and take on attributes of our Sun Sign or other strong aspects of our chart.
- Our inner child and what they want and need.
- What life was like for us as a child.
- The imprint one, or both, of our parents, siblings, or caregivers left on us. It's surprising how many people’s Ascendant matches their caregiver or siblings Sun, Moon or Rising Sign. We can literally see these imprints in our chart.
You might not know much about your Rising Sign at first but the more you explore it the more it’s likely to make sense for you. Take a look at the brief description of each Rising Sign here and see if this description resonates for you:
Aries: The Ram; warrior-like, youthful, assertive, motivating, a catalyst.
Taurus: The Bull; headstrong, steadfast, reliable, appreciates luxury, rooted in home life.
Gemini: The Twins; communicative, ideas driven, changeable, flexible, lighthearted.
Cancer: The Crab; a mother figure, caring, sensitive, protective of themselves and others.
Leo: The Lion; a leader, gregarious, positive, champions others, generous, fun.
Virgo: The Virgin; meticulous, practical, detail-orientated, hardworking, reliable, grounded.
Libra: The Scales; enjoys partnership of all kinds, balanced, just, appreciates beauty.
Scorpio: The Scorpion; deep, passionate, soulful, magnetic, intuitive, esoteric.
Sagittarius: The Archer; knowledgeable, well-travelled, studious, intellectual, moral.
Capricorn: The Sea-goat; a father-figure, reliable, adult, efficient, ambitious, dedicated.
Aquarius: The Water-carrier; visionary, unconventional, innovative, community-minded.
Pisces: The Fishes; emotional, spiritual, creative, caring, intuitive, has psychic tendencies.
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