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, an Aries rising with a Libra sun will likely have a 7th house sun (because Libra is opposite of Aries, and the 1st house is opposite of the 7th house). More information will be provided another time.
Aries Ascendant Overview
Aries ascendant personalities have a way of spicing up any sun or moon combination their charts may have. The 1st house is ruled by Aries, making this a favorable house placement— even if the native may feel otherwise starting out. They may have a “kick” to them; however, these personalities prefer a healthy combination between a charming and socially savvy individual to holding a more low key presence. Having cardinal signs holding together the angular houses indicates one having a strong sense of life direction in all major areas of one’s life– the self, family unit, relationships, and career. They strongly value their sense of self– to include others’ individualism. Aries ascendants don’t necessarily carry the same magnitude as an Aries sun, but, this placement is unmistakable. The most paradoxical, even. Overall, their leading abilities that surface in all personal sectors of their lives both stalls and contributes to their growth.
An Aries ascendant on the 1st house cusp puts the native’s imum coli (4th house cusp) in Cancer and their midheaven (10th house cusp) in Capricorn [in most cases]. Basically, they can go in cycles between family, relationships, and career pursuits. While they’re independent and strong-willed, they spend much time tending to their external environments than themselves (as ironic as it is). They often have a strong sense of self from an earlier age, which more or less contributes to what others may consider “mature”. Whereas many go through self-destructive and insecure cycles in their journey, Aries ascendants usually hold it down in this area of their life better than many. For this reason, they often have a leading presence in the home– whether it be the child who parents, “mom” friend, the big sibling, or any related caretaker role. It’s common to see much of their earlier life invested into the family, which more or less can stagger the native’s career pursuits. Whether it’s getting a consistent education, career training, or anything which the native can regularly channel their passions.
The catch to their independence and self-sufficiency– they’re often the guiding figures where they have to trial-and-error much of their life experiences to gain the insight needed to grow. It’s what largely contributes to the “late bloomer syndrome” most Aries ascendants frustrate themselves with. Keeping in mind Aries is physically inclined and highly visual, natives usually find importance in some aspect of their appearance– whether it be their bodies, dress style, or anything which distinguishes them from the crowd. “Basic” is not in their taste whatsoever. This aspect of their personality is what allows them to feel like an individual, especially in the points of their development where they’re expending their energy to those around them. Perhaps the most frustrating thing about this placement is the natural leadership that emerges in the family and loved ones, yet career, relationships, and the native’s life work seem more futile at first.
Matter of fact, their strong independence can lead to clashes or sudden disinterests– which can lead them to having multiple jobs earlier on. Same can be said about their relationships, though they’re usually more compromising and [somewhat idealistic] in this area. Nevertheless, it can also be an overwhelming number of interests due to their need for mental stimulation. It isn’t typically until their Jupiter (and more importantly Saturn) returns when they realize this about themselves. Considering the Capricorn MC accompanying this placement, these folks are often analytical, organized, and innovative. They do exceptionally well in the entrepreneurial, business, and interpersonal realms. Given the visual strengths of Aries, it’s no surprise to see others with artistic, performative, or intuitive abilities [the native often overlooks until they reach a certain self-awareness]. Other parts of the native’s chart will largely determine how this will personally unfold. For most, however, they better develop these areas of themselves once they spend enough of their time and energy focusing on themselves.
Unlike the winner-takes-all nature of Aries, those with an Aries ascendant don’t have as much of a desire to be #1 in everything. Many grow complacent when putting energy everywhere else instead of into themselves to where they can be the best. Sure, they have a competitive edge and seek achievement the same way anyone else does. They can be great team players, but the messy politics of leadership is usually why they need to be their own boss– to include their respect for other’s autonomy deterring them from any position where they have to infringe on anyone. Sharing a descendant in Libra (7th house), partnership is up their ally. Anything which they can share their ideas and make the magic happen is where they bear the most fruit. Especially anywhere they can freely express their beliefs and exercise the control they feel is needed. Their strong initiative is all they need to make a name for themselves or to find the fulfillment they’re looking for.
With every ascendant comes a potential waiting to be tapped into. Remember what I said about a Saturn return? While it’s a point of crisis for most people, the twist for Aries ascendants is that it’s the time they really come into their own. I’ve observed a random yet profound curiosity that motivates them to explore a new track that gives them a new sense of life purpose. Not to mention they have a certain empowerment quality to them that distinguishes them from other ascendants. Again, this placement is one big walking paradox. It’s the placement ruling our sense of self, yet the selflessness and resilience of Aries ascendants doesn’t go unnoticed. Even if it sounds like a very “un-Aries” thing, it very much so is.