Why is that Leo so unassuming and self-abnegating? Isn’t Leo a flamboyant sign? He has a Capricorn Ascendant. That Pisces friend who is always running around, talking about everything under the Sun, has a Gemini Ascendant. That man who has been married quite a few times, who is given to some fairly rude and shocking “observations” about others. He has a rather critical Virgo Moon and a say-it-like-it-is Mercury in Aquarius. However, he always seems to come across as a nice guy. His Libra Ascendant gives him a smooth, overall charm that keeps people from thinking him difficult (except perhaps, his ex-wives).
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.
What follows are general interpretations of the sign position of the Ascendant. Remember that these characteristics are modified by planets conjunct the Ascendant, planets that aspect the Ascendant, and the position of the ruling planet of the sign on the Ascendant. For example, a person with an Aries Ascendant with its ruling planet, Mars, in Sagittarius will respond to the environment a little differently than another person, also with an Aries Ascendant, but whose Mars is in Scorpio. Similarly, a person with a Pisces Ascendant who also has Saturn conjunct it will “behave” differently than someone with a Pisces Ascendant who does not have that aspect.
Don’t know your rising sign?
- Aries Ascendant
- Taurus Ascendant
- Gemini Ascendant
- Cancer Ascendant
- Leo Ascendant
- Virgo Ascendant
- Libra Ascendant
- Scorpio Ascendant
- Sagittarius Ascendant
- Capricorn Ascendant
- Aquarius Ascendant
- Pisces Ascendant
People with Aries Ascendants are direct and quick. Their first instinct is to do, rather than think. Planning ahead? Forget it. Aries rising simply charges forward without much ado.
This position does not make a person aggressive. Forthright, yes, but aggression is too strong a word for these natives. They have a youthful, direct manner that sees what it wants and generally goes for it. At the same time, there isn’t any malice in their intent.
Some Aries rising people are competitive, but they generally put most of the pressure on themselves. These people love to come out ahead in all that they do. They get ready quickly, walk quickly, and have little patience for dilly-dallying. Their temper is quick, too. It’s also quick to disappear. Rarely do you find Aries rising people holding grudges. Their mannerisms are rather simple and straightforward.
Aries rising loves action, and is often trying to stir up some activity. Their strengths lie in their enterprising ways. Finishing things they start does not always come as easily, unless the ruler, Mars, is placed in a more tenacious sign, such as Taurus or Scorpio.
Aries Ascendant often gives a rather swift walk, with the head leaning forward slightly. This walk is surprisingly distinctive. Headaches, and sinus and eye problems are the usual physical complaints of this position. Rashes and acne on the face and shoulders sometimes occur. Broad shoulders and slim hips are common. Often, Aries rising people are quick to smile, and they possess a youthful charm throughout life.
Probably early on in life, Aries rising people got typecast as the “independent” child. As adults, people with Aries Ascendants often stick to that role in life. People don’t run to help them out — they appear quite fine doing things on their own. These people have learned to be self-reliant, and this generally stems from their early experiences.
Despite a rather brusque and independent manner, these natives are usually very willing to compromise in their relationships, and are very attached to the people they hold dear. More on Aries Rising.
Slow, steady, and capable are adjectives that we can safely attach to individuals born with a Taurus Ascendant. These natives have tremendous stamina and staying power. They’re often quite loyal to those they care about. Although they generally don’t come on strong, they have personal presence; and they fairly radiate stability.
The sign on the Ascendant generally reveals how people start anything new. Taurus, by nature, is resistant to change. It can be difficult to sway Taurus rising natives–they’re often rather stubborn and fixed in their ways. Their first responses are to feel things out, not in the way a Pisces might attune to their environment, but in the realm of the five senses. They have well-developed sense of smell and touch, and respond to the material world. Theirs is a practical approach to life. Security is one of their foremost considerations before undertaking anything new.
Taurus rising natives are often quite cautious and careful. With a fixed sign on the Ascendant, they are not known for their flexibility. Rather, they possess determined single-mindedness.
More than most, Taurus rising prefers the “good things” in life. Self-indulgence can be a weakness for many with this Ascendant. Often collectors in some way, Taurus rising natives place a lot of value on their material possessions.
Taurus rising individuals prefer to dress in quality clothes with a comfortable feel to them. They are rarely ostentatious in their presentation. Many have strong and sturdy physiques.
Often rather possessive in partnership, these natives won’t easily break up their relationships. Although they are not particularly jealous, they view their partners as their personal property. Intensity and loyalty are especially important to Taurus rising natives. These are highly sensual people who prefer the comforts that a one-to-one, stable partnership offers. Although Taurus rising individuals value harmony and calm, their partnerships may be on the passionate side.
Taurus rising natives are often very comforting to be around. They have a stability about them that is soothing, and an inner harmony that is attractive. More on Taurus Rising.
Those born with Gemini rising see the world as a place to learn. They are curious about the people around them. Sounds similar to Sagittarius rising? Well it is, but there are some important differences. While Sagittarius seeks to expand their mental and physical horizons in a broad sense, Gemini is mostly interested in moving about in their social circles.
These are people who love to ask questions, to move around freely, and to mingle. Definitely restless and often quick in physical expression, natives of the Gemini Ascendant exude an air of impatience even if they don’t mean it. In fact, there is a cleverness to Gemini Ascendants that can intimidate some, especially sensitive folk. Their facility with words can be a wonderful asset, although sometimes Gemini rising individuals identify too much with their mental agility and forget, in their personal interactions and communications, to nurture the people around them. A certain lack of warmth in presentation can be the result, and although this style is generally a facade, it is not immediately apparent to most. People with, for example, predominant Water signs may feel a little ill at ease with Gemini rising people (that is, before they get to know them more personally), while strong Air types more fully appreciate the fun and cleverness of these individuals.
I have found two styles of presentation most common with Gemini rising people. One style is bubbly, changeable, talkative, and a little quirky. These natives are interesting and fun. They constantly explain things, whether it’s their own behavior and opinion or those of the world around them. Another distinct “style” is a rather cool and intellectual demeanor. These natives are often quite witty and clever, but they present themselves in a less cheerful and changeable way than the first group. Their observations are sharp and the overall manner is a tad brusque. No matter the style, Gemini rising natives are given to analysis and making sense of their world. Their powers of observation are well-developed, they are mentally active (more often than not, their minds are racing!), and they almost always have something bright or witty to say. It is easy for individuals with this position to get sidetracked, as their curiosity is large, their minds are quick, and their attention spans rather short!
As children, natives born with a Gemini Ascendant are often labeled as the intellectual, inquisitive, and perhaps odd child. Many feel their upbringing lacked some warmth.
In one-to-one relationships, Gemini rising people often seek a certain amount of personal freedom and space. They enjoy intellectual debates and exchanging ideas. Although they often demand a fair amount of freedom, they are often just as willing to give their partners room to breathe. More on Gemini Rising.
Famous people with Gemini Ascendants include Drew Barrymore, Bruce Springsteen, Steffi Graf, Charlie Sheen, and Ricky Martin.
These people come across as gentle creatures. There’s something familiar about them — they’re the guy or gal next door. When they enter a room, they don’t walk in with a splash. Instead, they move to the sides and weave their way inwards. These people have a familiar feel to them. Because they are rather sensitive to their environment, they can get flustered easily, especially in public.
Their first instinct, when threatened or on unfamiliar ground, is to protect themselves. When new situations present themselves, they can immediately withdraw or act shy. Generally, these people come across as caring people. They seem quite sweet — even innocent. Usually, these people appear unassuming enough to be quite approachable. Some Cancer Ascendants, however, have retreated into themselves so much as to be quite the opposite.
Since Capricorn is on the Descendant, Cancer Ascendant people are looking for structure and security in their partner and their relationship. These people function best when their partner displays strength, financial and emotional stability, and know-how. In fact, many Cancer Ascendants prefer it when their relationship has well-defined rules. Security is the basic need, and they are generally more than willing to give up some personal freedom in order to get it. In some cases, Cancer Ascendant people can surprise their partners. Why? Because they come across as rather unassuming, family-oriented people. When it comes to marriage, they have a rather matter-of-fact, practical approach. More on Cancer Rising.
Some famous people with Cancer rising include Steven Spielberg, Stephen King, Julia Roberts, and Ben Affleck. Angelina Jolie has Cancer rising with Venus tightly conjunct the Ascendant.
Leo rising people cannot help but be noticed. They radiate a special energy and magnetism that gets others’ attention. Sometimes it’s because they are loud people who pay a lot of attention to their personal appearance (especially their hair!); other times it’s due to a regal manner that simply demands interest from others.
Leo Ascendant people are very self-aware and body-conscious. They are acutely aware of others, and how they come across. In fact, these people are especially aware of their personal “backdrop”–they consider what the people they’re with, and the environments they are in, do to their own image. Often, Leo rising natives feel as if they are on stage, even in the privacy of their own homes!
They are given to rash decisions, temper tantrums, and excesses. However, they have plenty of staying power, drive, and their idealism keeps them from getting into too much trouble. The desire to oversee the goings-on in their circle can sometimes amount to bossiness. If this desire doesn’t go too far, however, it can just mean a person who wants to make sure the people they love are all right. Many Leo rising people are managers, either by profession or character.
The tendency to overestimate things, and themselves, is generally present. This is due to a natural enthusiasm and optimism about any new undertaking. Sometimes, they are walking commercials. In fact, Leo rising people make excellent promoters.
Leo rising people are generally demonstrative, and given to grand gestures. Drama comes naturally to these natives. In fact, some are so caught up in fiction, they’re a little blind to fact. They have an unusual need to be admired.
Leo Ascendants often have a strong physical constitution. They pay special attention to their personal appearance and mannerisms. Usually, they choose clothing and hairstyles that are youthful. Their manner is authoritarian and strong.
No matter their age in real-world terms, Leo rising people are kids at heart. They are fun-loving and warm; generous and spirited.
Just how magnanimous and outgoing a Leo rising individual is will be modified by the placement of the Sun by sign and house. This is because the ruling planet of a Leo Ascendant is the Sun. For example, a Leo rising person with Sun in Virgo may not come across as strongly as a Leo rising person with Sun in Aries. No matter the placement of the Sun, however, Leo rising natives are quite self-aware and optimistic. They have a natural flair for presentation, an eye for quality, and a hard-to-resist warmth of style. They want to make things happen, and create a stir. More on Leo Rising.
Famous people with Leo Ascendants include George Bush Jr., Robert Downey Jr., Justin Timberlake, Muhammad Ali, Celine Dion, Donald Trump, Elton John, and Marilyn Monroe.
People with Virgo rising are often a little understated in their personal mannerisms and appearance, although a lot depends on the position of Mercury (the ruling planet of Virgo) in the chart. Generally, there is an intelligent and reserved aura about Virgo rising individuals that is unmistakable. These are actually somewhat shy people who need time to analyze things around them before they warm up to both situations and people. This quality can be received exactly as that, or it can be received as a rather stand-offish, cool, and even critical manner (depending on the audience).
One of the biggest personality traits of this position is body-awareness. People with Virgo ascendants are sensitive to any discomfort or other signals their body gives them. Many are especially interested and concerned with physical health, and some are attracted to mind-body awareness exercises such as yoga. Virgo rising people are often rather particular about food. Although some have good appetites, there can be an unmistakable pickiness about what they put in and on their bodies.
Virgo ascendant natives have a tendency to worry a lot, especially when confronted with new situations. They notice the tiniest details that others overlook.
Many people with this position have a tendency to attract (or be attracted to) people who need help. Their relationships may be confusing as a result. Despite the Virgo rising tendency to appear rather collected and professional, relationships can sometimes be messy simply because these natives don’t always see their partners and partnerships clearly.
There’s a quiet charm to many Virgo rising people. Once they have the chance to warm up to new people and situations, you’ll find they have a lot to offer. They’ll help you out of a jam, go out on a limb for you, and surprise you with a natural modesty under a somewhat critical and standoffish manner. More on Virgo Rising.
Famous people with Virgo Ascendants include Madonna, Kurt Cobain, Tiger Woods, and Warren Beatty.
Everybody seems to like Libra Ascendant natives. They just come across as nice, pleasant, and fair. Look a little closer at their lives, and these nice people may have had quite a few problems in their relationships. Some of them have had a string of relationships, and it can be hard to imagine why! These natives attract others to them effortlessly. Besides, they simply don’t know what to do with themselves without a significant other.
Libra rising generally appear to be smoothing everything over. They have charming smiles, a gentle approach with others, and an easygoing image. Even if they were not endowed with good looks, they are attractive. Most pay a lot of attention to their personal appearance — the colors they wear, their hair, the way they walk.
Libra rising people can be enormously persuasive, although they will almost always use a “soft sell” approach when they want to win others over, which is all of the time! A tendency to pass the buck and keep up that “nice guy/gal” image are their worst qualities. However, they can make excellent mediators and will generally be the first to accommodate you.
Libra rising natives are usually attracted to competent, active partners. Their relationships are often characterized by bickering or competitiveness until they learn to drop their sweet image once in a while and to stop blaming their partners for everything that goes wrong. More on Libra Rising.
Britney Spears and Anne Heche are celebrity examples of the Ascendant in Libra. Also, Freddie Prinze Jr. has a Libra Ascendant with Pluto rising.
Scorpio Ascendant people have a lot of presence. There is something about them that tells the world that they are not to be pushed around. Their manner commands respect, and in some cases, fear. Scorpio rising people can be quiet or loud, but they always seem powerful and determined.
You either love or hate Scorpio rising people they are rarely people who go through life unnoticed. In fact, some of them are confused when faced with the fact that they get such strong reactions from others. They seem to look right through people, seeing through superficiality. This can be quite intimidating to some, and intriguing to others. Scorpio rising people, in their dealings with others, look for answers by reading between the lines. Surface details are discarded when they are getting a feel for people and situations around them.
Scorpio rising people value their privacy so much, it can border on paranoia. They have a strong need to control their environment and are experts at strategy. Rarely people who will blow their chances with impatience, they plan out their moves carefully and deliberately, relying on their awesome ability to feel out others and situations.
Scorpio rising natives are drawn to down-to-earth, natural partners. Reliability in their partner is very important. They generally look for complete commitment and have little patience with flighty partners. More on Scorpio Rising.
Celebrity examples of Scorpio Ascendant include Sean Penn, Martha Stewart, Prince, Susan Dey, Tom Cruise, Chris Evert, and Penny Marshall.
The world is filled with adventure, new things to experience, and, most of all, hope, with this Ascendant. There is an unmistakable faith and enthusiasm with Sagittarius rising people. Grand schemes, big promises, and a willingness to explore and experiment are themes, although follow-through is not a strong characteristic of Sagittarius.
These individuals are somewhat restless and often active people. They always seem to be looking for something that is just out of grasp — and many do this their entire lives. They can be quite direct at times, yet they are likable enough to forgive for their faux-pas. Most have a lot to say and offer. Their insights and opinions are usually interesting and exciting, although sometimes lacking in details.
Sagittarius rising people have opinions about everything, and they just love telling others exactly what they are. Not all people with this position are outgoing folk, but they all have a way of moving about that at least exudes a certain level of confidence. Some might even call them naive or overly optimistic. Even the quiet ones don’t shrink from life and from experience.
One of the most obvious and endearing traits of Sagittarius rising is their willingness to keep up a sense of humor. Even when they’re feeling low, they manage to find humor in life and have fun with whatever they do have. The placement of Sagittarius’ ruling planet, Jupiter, will give more clues to how they go about expressing themselves. Jupiter in Capricorn, for example, might give a more sarcastic approach, but underneath there lies an unmistakable hope and spirit for living. More on Sagittarius Rising.
Famous people with this position include Catherine Zeta-Jones and Nicolas Cage.
There’s a seriousness to Capricorn rising people that is unmistakable. Even when they’re joking around, it’s of the deadpan variety. In fact, plenty of very humorous people have Capricorn Ascendants. It’s all in the timing…and the fact that they don’t giggle before the joke is over.
Capricorn Ascendant people project competence. They simply ooze it. They’re generally very image-conscious people–the clothes they wear and their manner are a big deal to them. They want to appear successful, and they generally succeed!
Often the Ascendant persona is the one that was forced upon us by family conditioning. For example, parents may label their Libra Ascendant child the “nice” one; their Aries Ascendant child the “independent” one; and their Pisces Ascendant child is generally the space cadet of the family. We adopt these roles as familiar ones, and often carry them with us as our defense mechanisms, in some way or another, for the rest of our lives. In the case of Capricorn Ascendants, these were the children who were considered the responsible ones. Sometimes, it was they themselves who looked around them and felt the need to be the structured, dependable, and responsible members of the family. So, often, Capricorn rising people adopted a strong sense of tradition, family, and responsibility at a very young age.
Capricorn rising people are generally big on family, and forever worry about security–for themselves and their dependents. They come across to others as hard-working, competent, and dependable people. What others may not see under that cool, even suave, exterior, is an inner struggle: they often ask themselves, “Am I doing enough?”, “Do I deserve all of this?”, “How can I make things better?” They worry a lot about the future.
If success seemed to have come easy to these folks, it hasn’t. They just made it look that way with a patient, hard-working, driven personality. Some Capricorn rising people practice some form of self-denial. They know how to do away with the frivolous. Still, they’ll spend money on the clothes they really want (the ones with the right labels, that is), and other status symbols. Although they’re rarely showy, their quiet air of success is often a result of conscious effort.
More often than not, Capricorn rising individuals are success stories. Their childhoods may have been difficult, but they slowly but surely turn their lives around. Saturn rules this Ascendant, and this generally means a kind of backwards way of living–as children, they are serious and bear a lot of responsibility; and as they grow up, they age beautifully, learning how to loosen up. More on Capricorn Rising.
Celebrity examples of Capricorn Ascendant are George Burns and Alan Alda.
How unique and original Aquarius rising natives come across! These individuals are just that — individuals, and they won’t let you forget that fact. Often turned to for advice, these natives possess intellectual poise and savvy. They often are curious, and quite learned, in both science and metaphysics–anything that involves advancement of the human race holds much appeal.
It’s hard to shock an Aquarius rising. They’ve seen it all, or at least want you to think they have. In fact, they often enjoy shocking others. Not that they are flamboyant by nature, but they do like to, albeit quietly, get a rise out of others. Some natives born with Aquarius on their Ascendant can be quietly provocative and irreverent.
Most people with this Ascendant are quite friendly and likable. Their personality quirks generally go over quite well with others. They generally give others quite a bit of freedom–accepting, as a rule, people from all walks of life as equals. And, their somewhat cool and detached curiosity about all that goes on around them appeals to most.
Curiously, Aquarius rising people can be a little standoffish while also coming across as humanitarian and kind.
Often labeled as independent and original children, Aquarius rising natives often feel a little “different” or “special” throughout life. They often feel like they are on the outside looking in, and their ability to observe and deduce is often uncanny. They’re also adept at getting things to work, even when the parts that make up the whole seem like a puzzle with unusual pieces–especially when it comes to groups of people. This sets them apart as managers and team leaders.
The Ascendant often reveals physical mannerisms and even choice of dress, as it shows how people present themselves to the world. With Aquarius here, natives sometimes have a quirkiness to their manner, and some dress in a slightly offbeat manner–not enough to make them stand out like a sore thumb, but just enough to express their original temperament.
Because these people seem so open to new ideas, it may be surprising when you encounter their decidedly stubborn streak. Aquarius is a fixed sign, after all. The ascendant sign shows how individuals react to new situations, and with Aquarius rising, there can be a resistance to change that seems to belie the native’s generally progressive nature. There’s a distinct inflexibility with Aquarian rising people, and, sometimes, a tendency to want to force their opinions on others.
With their eye to the future of mankind as a whole, some people born with an Aquarius Ascendant overlook the more personal needs of the people closest to them. They are often attracted to partners who possess self-confidence and ardor. More on Aquarius Rising.
Celebrity examples of Aquarius rising are Matt Damon and Michael J. Fox.
“Go with the flow” seems to be a Pisces rising motto. They move about the world in a vaguely directionless, gentle manner. They come across as artists and lovers of peace; but their open minds and hearts can give them a chameleon-like persona. Others are not always sure who they’ll meet from one day to the next with a Pisces rising person. Although often quiet and shy, another day may find them talkative and passionate. They are hugely impressionable, have a dreamy disposition, and project a soft-hearted personality. Pisces rising sees the world the way they want to see it at any given time, so objectivity is not necessarily a strong point. Neither is decision-making!
People with Pisces rising resist any kind of labeling–their characters are changeable, and they don’t want to be pinned down or pegged in any way. Theirs is a restless, searching nature that cannot be happy with any one way of living or being. Pisces rising avoids cold, hard facts and harsh realities like the plague. They don’t have a decisive plan for tomorrow or even today, preferring to keep things open. Since they change their minds frequently enough, and like to “feel” their way through life, too much organization or structure can be seen as very limiting.
Pisces rising people walk around with their heads in the clouds, and even when you do have their attention, their dreaminess is almost always apparent.
These people look for a stable partnership–one that is reliable. Pisces rising people gravitate to partners who keep them on their toes, and they often will pass off the little details and reality checks to their significant other. They seem to need a practical, realistic partner.
Pisces Ascendants often have a sensitivity to drugs, and sometimes are prone to allergies that come and go. Their physical constitutions seem to be less resistant than most.
Pisces rising people often possess an irresistible charm that comes on in a quiet way, with a soft aura about them. Both their appearance and mannerisms are usually quite intriguing to others. More on Pisces Rising.
Famous people with this position include George Clooney, Robert Redford, and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Try this quick calculator to determine your Ascendant. An accurate birth time is required.