The ascendant sign in astrology is not the same as your sun sign. Whereas your sun sign is determined based on which sign the sun was in when you were born, your rising sign is the sign which was ascending on the eastern horizon at your exact time of birth. It’s a point on the first house cusp that sets up our entire birth charts. Keep in mind the 1st house rules all matters of self– from perception, appearance, identity, first impressions, among other “firsts” in our lives. The ascendant is arguably the most important part to writing horoscopes and interpreting birth charts.
Why, may you ask? Astrology is largely interpreted from a geocentric viewpoint– meaning our observations are based on how celestial activity is perceived from our position here on Earth. Hence, why our ascendant has to do with self-perception and identity. However, which house your sun and other planets will occupy are based on the ascendant. For example, having a Cancer ascendant with a Capricorn sun places the native’s sun sign in the 7th house (opposite of the 1st).
Aquarius Ascendant Overview
Having an Aquarius ascendant can make any sun/moon combination eccentrically commanding. Quirky and boisterous, they’re often noted for their realistically optimistic attitude. They appear quite average in their physical presentation, more than most people even. Need not overlook their originality and spunk, however. Aquarius is generally known for needing to be different from everyone else, and the same can definitely be said about an Aquarius rising. What distinguishes them from other ascendants is how they naturally blend in the backdrop— despite being so unique— as their soul urges them to push others to show up as their most authentic selves.
When I say average in their physical presentation— I simply mean that the dare-to-be-different Aquarius isn’t as avant-garde as we’d expect them to be. Sure, they’re determined to own clothes and other means of physical self-expression that absolutely no one else has. However, they do it simplistically. Expect them to own basic or popular brands. Just also expect them to have clothes from that brand you perhaps don’t remember seeing in stores or on anyone. In my observation, something about an Aquarius ascendant over everyone else that has a thing for splurging on shoes and jewelry— men, women, and non-CIS alike. Basically the types who wear the same clothes but completely transforms the outfit with shoes, jewelry, and even ‘cool’ sunglasses as a statement. (For men, it’s things like watches or even ear piercings.) Also worth noting they do appreciate wearing bold colors that are also easy on the eyes (ie royal blue, emerald green, wine red, etc.). Anything that pops but doesn’t overwhelmingly make them the center of attention. While I can’t say Aquarius ascendants are largely blonde (because that just intermingles with genetics and I’m not fit to speak on that), I theorize it’s somewhat true in context of medical astrology. Ie observing families where both bloodlines are predominantly brunette with darker green or brown eyes whereas the Aquarius ascendant of the family may be the one who got the blonde recessive gene or are fair(er) pigmented in their hair, eyes, and skin than other family members. (Think about it— the Sun is in opposition in Aquarius, noting how Leo is usually the associated with a golden “glow” and darker “lion” hair and eyes.)
The zodiac’s humanitarian, ironically, can also have a bougie taste and even tendencies for splurging. They’re definitely adamant about keeping a groomed appearance. As their IC is typically in Taurus (accompanying a Scorpio MC), the native likely grew up either spoiled, provided for, or had family members who strongly valued personal care. Hell, this can even mean having selfish, distant, or perhaps unavailable parents for some— therefore pushing the native to value what they have to work for more than most people their age. Some natives also have a creative or intellectual outlet that becomes their saving grace growing up when it comes to how they establish their individuality.
More or less can apply to the Gemini IC (accompanying a Sagittarius MC), except there’s more of a rebellious and fun loving energy to them. They’re quite mischievous starting out whether it be at home or school— often attracted to those who love stirring trouble. Keeping in mind “trouble” in this case isn’t considering what society deems okay versus a strong unwillingness to abide by dumbass social constructs. The best way to sum them up is, “How can I ever be old and wise if I’m not young and crazy?” Regardless of a Scorpio or Sagittarius midheaven, these folks are put here to defy logic through self-experimentation. Many are gifted and/or excel in academics, oftentimes without trying much. The catch— they usually appear average in their grades or scholarship because they simply don’t apply themselves. Same can be said about the workplace earlier on until they reach a point of self-awareness. Especially if the native has a Gemini IC pushing them to be invested in their own experiences over formal training. Despite being so smart and even intellectually curious, some are quite successful and even opt out of higher education (as ironic as it is). However, they’re exceptionally hardworking and low key love routines, as it brings some order to their lives.
Teachers, parents, and peers usually recognize the native’s potential before they do. Lacking receptivity in this area slows them down, but what pushes them forward is the opportunities to exercise a true sense of individuality through their social circles, leadership, and even chaotic experiences. Having Leo as the descendant can make them the center of their friend groups— i.e. the friend or peer who either: 1) plans/hosts the gatherings or 2) the friend group feels incomplete without their presence. Relationship wise, many natives have this need to provide and be provided for— though this largely depends on what kind of background they come from and other parts of their birth chart. (All Aquarius ascendants have a Leo descendant.)
Aquarius ascendants are deterred from conventionality or any path conforming to it. Those with a Scorpio midheaven are more inclined to anything mental health, occult, or esoteric— usually expressed through art, music, writing, magic, their bodies (sex and/or modeling), etc. Depending on the chart, some natives also take an interest in politics, activism, social work, philanthropy, psychology, or anything where they transform the deeper part of their personal experiences into a collective understanding. A Sagittarius midheaven is seemingly more common, which is similar in manifestation. The difference is that the Sagittarius MC is more performative, sociable, and emphasizes a need for developing their worldview and how it’s contributed to benefit the whole rather than uncovering and revealing internal truths. They may take on similar interests as a Scorpio MC, to specifically include teaching, counseling, coaching, sales, marketing, research, business, event planning, or anything related. Both MCs are geared towards empowering the unique facets of the other in a way where it’s facilitated through the native’s own originality.
It’s worth noting how this placement is unparalleled in their altruism, or, at least having a strong sense of service to others. What many don’t see is their rowdy and slightly chaotic side— which, is redeemed through a will to do good. So while it’s easy for those who are close to them to get frustrated when the native goes through self-destructive or stagnant phases, they do try their best to compensate wherever they may be wrong. Even if they’re too stubborn to admit or confront it in that moment. They hate not leaving things better than they left them, to especially include letting people down. Which, they sometimes feel they can’t help but do. Whether it be from their strong independence or prioritizing the wrong people and things, depending on the native’s chart. But, it does equip them with an eye for details and a positive mindset that can make them what one may consider a more ‘pleasant’ critic. (Hence, why they make great coaches, counselors, and leaders.)
On the other hand, these folks are approachable, kind, and humorous. Not that their humor is dry necessarily, but… they have an unusual way of making people laugh through twisted and/or straightforward humor such as dad jokes, anti-jokes, or anything related. They sometimes respond to something casual with something outlandishly random, which can make others raise their eye brows… and even laugh. Guess you could call them corny, more or less. If they aren’t, they sure as hell are suckers for anything that is. Anything that makes someone go “da fuq” is something they will explore purely out of devil’s advocacy. They’ll argue with you just to tell you in the end they actually agreed with you the whole time. That type of stuff, to be honest. One plus to note is how their storytelling abilities also make them great in areas of writing, socializing, and even comedy.
Remember Aquarius generally rules humanity, and their seeming imperfections are what make them human. Real and refreshing. Reminding us how chaos doesn’t always have to be painful but exciting and enriching— which, they’re usually blunt in this area. In my observations, this quality is what empowers them to take on leadership, ambassadorship, and even authorship considering they’re masters of understanding and expressing themselves through paradoxes. They stagger the line between confusing and intriguing. Their spunk and originality are integral to their self-perception. It’s what compels them to stand for something, even if that something is anything or nothing. Tell them they remind you of someone you know and notice how they’ll dismiss such a claim. Then again, they have a unique ability to understand others and to empower that potential in them. In turn, it strangely empowers them. If you’re wanting to overthrow an outdated institution, structure, or belief system, an Aquarius rising is the one you want on your side the whole way.