The Ultimate Guide to Your Rising Sign

Posted on February 19, 2020

Woman standing on the side of a cliff with her arms above her head.

Your Rising sign, also referred to as your Ascending sign is your exterior, the face you give to the world, the way you appear to others. Some people describe and consider it as the mask you wear that prevents the world from getting to know the real you. This is how we see the world and how the world sees us.

Well, it’s the sign that makes up the part of your chart called the Ascendant, which is at the cusp of the first house. Cusp is an astrological term used to describe the lines between the Sun signs and the lines between the houses. Since your Rising sign is the first placement of your natal chart, it has a huge impact on your life and sense of self.

This sign represents the astrological sign that was rising over the eastern horizon at the time and in the location, you were born.

How is a Rising Sign Calculated?

There are 12 houses and each one relates to a different area of your life. The Rising sign is the sign that is in the first house of your natal birth chart (get your free birth chart right here!).

The first house rules your personality and your countenance. Your Rising sign can only be determined if you know your time and place of birth as well as your date of birth. The houses of the birth chart cannot be accurately placed without this information as the Rising signs change every 2 or so hours and constantly change throughout the day.

How Do I Know What My Rising Sign is?

Find your Rising sign by using our free Birth Chart Generator to discover your Rising or Ascending sign!

Because the houses change every 2 hours, it’s very important that you know your exact time, date and location of your birth. This is why astrologers always ask for that information because even an hour different can give you different results.

When you’re trying to make a good impression on someone - for romance, or maybe a job - you’ll unconsciously play up the good points of your Rising sign. If you have a planet conjunct to your Rising sign, it will have a major impact on your personality.

Here’s where you start to look when you don’t identify at all with your Sun or Zodiac sign. “I don’t feel like a Gemini,” may be a common complaint - but don’t write off astrology all together - you just need a little more information to get really specific about your own unique personality.

Another way to look at this is that your Rising sign speaks to the initial impression you give to others - which may not at all be what you feel like inside!

Vice versa, when you tell people your Sun sign and they look confused - they’re judging your Rising sign personality, not your Sun sign, which can remain more hidden. For example, if you tell someone you’re an Aquarius, they might expect you to be a bit kooky, coming up with 8 million ideas and avoiding public affection. But you actually have Scorpio Rising, which will come across as a personality who appreciates privacy and is much more guarded and mysterious than outgoing Aquarius.

Check this out: Rose Quartz Rising: Crystals & Ascendant Signs

How to Identify My Rising Sign in My Birth Chart:

When viewing your birth chart, the Rising sign will always fall in the 9 o’clock position.

Look at your natal chart as though you’re looking at a wall clock. Your Rising sign is located exactly where the 9:00 position would be. The sign that appears in this position represents your Ascendant.

How do your Sun, Moon & Rising Signs connect?

The first thing to note is that while your Rising sign is talked about less than your Sun and Moon Sign, it has powerful effects over your life.

While your Sun sign is considered the dominant foundation of your personality, your Rising sign is the lens that persona shines through. If you’ve ever been told “Huh, I’d never peg you as a _____“ when telling people your sign, it’s probably because you have a Rising sign that’s especially strong-willed, or even contradictory to your Sun sign.

The interplay between these primary three signs (Sun, Moon, and Rising), known as the primal triad of your natal chart, gives more insight to your personalities, motivations, emotions, and perceptions than relying on just your Sun sign alone.

Your Rising Sign is an Important Part of Your Primal Triad

Your Rising sign reveals a lot about you. As stated before, your Moon sign and Sun sign this makes up your primal triad. Your Rising sign is a good indicator of how you interact with others and the world around you, and what kind of first impression you make.

The strength of your Rising sign depends on where your Sun sign is in your natal chart. If your Sun sign isn’t in a particularly strong position, you may even behave more like your Rising sign than your Sun sign. It could account for why your Sun sign’s traits sometimes don’t match your personality.

The Rising sign will most definitely influence your immediate, unfiltered reactions to new people, unexpected events, or anything else that surprises us. It’s then no shock to learn that your Ascendant will have a deep impact on the way we communicate and the way people perceive us - especially in situations that are tense or unpleasant.

When we do not have the space to retreat behind the confident armor of our Sun sign or the time to process complicated thoughts through our emotional Moon, the reaction that often presents itself at these times of friction is our Ascendant – just as this sign was Rising in the sky at the moment of your birth, so too will this aspect of your personality ‘rise to the occasion’ in a difficult situation.

Rising Signs & The 1st House

The 1st House Sheds Light on Your Family Environment

One thing you may not be aware of is the special relationship between the Rising sign and the 1st house.

These placements both represent, to an extent, who you are at the core - yet they function differently. They exist in the same part of the natal chart and play off of one another.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “nature versus nurture”? The 1st house of your natal chart basically encompasses this idea. Your 1st house represents not only who you are at the core, but the environment and upbringing that makes you who you are today. The nurturing that you received helped to create who you are and your 1st house placements represent that nurturing.

Sometimes, when people characterize you, you might feel like you don’t identify with that characterization. Learning more about your 1st house can help you reconcile these discrepancies. The difference lies in your Rising sign, which is how people see you. Sometimes who we are isn’t exactly who people perceive us to be.

The 1st house surrounds how we show ourselves to others, and understanding this placement in conjunction with our Rising sign - the way we project our personalities onto the world around us - can help you understand even more about who you are.

Related Article: The Secrets Revealed by Your Birth Chart

Your Rising Sign is also the Zodiac Sign in Your 1st House

The 1st house represents your environment and your outward personality because it is connected to your Rising sign within your natal chart. The 1st house and Ascendant signs are located at the same portion of the birth chart, which gives them a special relationship. While the 1st house may shed more light on your environment, the Rising sign shows you how you present yourself to the world.

The 1st House Gives Insight Into Your Personality

The placements in your 1st house have the ability to give detail and insights into deeper facets of your personality. This house shows you not only who you were born as, but who you are meant to be. The 1st house represents the self, the fundamental center of who you are, the ego, the id. The 1st house is the foundation of your individuality, as well as being the starting point on your journey around your natal chart.

The 1st house placements of your chart will give you clues into your countenance, your mannerisms, your approach to life, your disposition. Understanding more about this portion of your chart will give you a greater understanding of who you are in general.

The 1st House Reveals the Masks You Wear

We all wear masks when we leave the house, and sometimes within the safety of our own home. We often feel the need to protect others from the depths of ourselves. The 1st does represent the core of who you are, but it also represents the role you play, the masks you wear.

Learning more about your 1st house can help you understand why you wear the masks that you do, and which masks might prove more effective. After all, wearing a mask is not always a bad thing, especially if you do it with care and precision. You don’t want to share every single aspect of who you are with everyone you encounter, after all. Understanding your 1st house will help you wear the most protective, fiercest mask in your closet.

Read this next: Using Your Rising Sign to Accept & Adapt to Change

How Rising Signs Affect You in Everyday Life:

What Does Your Rising Sign Say About You?

Aries Rising

This is a Rising sign of action. You are not one to sit around and wait for an opportunity, favoring swift movement and quick decisions. While this position does not necessarily equal an aggressive individual, you might be more likely to jump the gun, so to speak, than other signs.

Making an impact on the world you live in is important to you, and you’ll want to conquer as you go. This is a Fire sign of action, and the 1st sign of the zodiac, so first impressions are even more important. ‘Enthusiastic’ could be your middle name and you throw yourself into new projects, plans and ideas with a primal energy. You may appear to be perpetually in a hurry, as though you cannot wait to get where you’re going.

Physical activity is critical to keep that energy flowing in a positive way - roadblocks and the word, “no,” will be met with instant frustration, but flare-ups are like fireworks - loud and vibrant, but not long-lasting. When things begin to shift around you, try to learn to take a moment and breathe in the present before making any rash decisions. It’s okay to savor the flavor of the moment before making plans and forging ahead with them.

Aries Rising’s are natural leaders, and those who master their Aries’ traits can have a huge impact on those who would follow their inspired path.

Taurus Rising

A Taurus Rising indicates an individual who is loyal, strong, and trustworthy. Yet, this ascendant is one that is inherently resistant to changes. You aren’t comfortable with quick-shifting scenery and can get unraveled in chaotic or fast-moving areas of life.

Activity for its own sake is not important to you - value is critical to Earthy Bulls, so in your 1st house, this lends a more thoughtful and patient lens to the way you see and react to the world. Being rushed will be met with characteristic Taurus stubbornness - you’re not resistant to change, but it must come in your own, good time. This is a pragmatic placement, and it’s likely you’ll do your best to avoid drama.

Try to take a moment to reassure yourself that everything happens for a reason, and reach into your heart to find that trust in the universe that you need to remain calm in times of change. Remind yourself that everything will be alright because it will.

Taurus is ruled by Venus, the planet that cares deeply about beauty and harmony, so an eye for the finer things in life is applied here as well. You may find yourself to be more outwardly affectionate and loyalty plays a much larger role in your world than with other signs.

Gemini Rising

Air sign Gemini in your 1st House means communication is critical for you, especially when it comes to self-expression. Mercury-ruled Gemini needs mental stimulation to survive, so long conversations, debates, and deep thoughts are par for the course. You may be described as flaky, but those who know you best will understand your strong aversion to boredom, and know you avoid it like the plague.

This placement creates an air of intellect and thoughtful responses to events and circumstances, but it also comes with a difficulty in making decisions.

Channeling your intellectual energy into lifelong learning can keep the fires burning, and ensure you don’t become disappointed if those around you can’t seem to keep up. These are storytellers, entertainers and more often than not, the social butterflies of the group - ever up for a new challenge or idea to bat around.

You love to question the nature of reality and dig within yourself for answers, which are sometimes hard to find. During times of change, try to ground yourself in your intuition and understanding. You have more of the answers than you realize, they’re just lying dormant and waiting to be discovered. Discover that inherent truth within yourself to make those changes easier to face.

Cancer Rising

Your personality is one that both feels familiar to others and prefers familiarity in life. You like comfort and cozy surroundings, which are sometimes disrupted when life throws you a curveball.

Be prepared for people to come to you for help, for tender-hearted Cancer is terrifically nurturing. You might be described as initially shy, and people may be surprised to find such a kind and compassionate soul beneath your outer shell of privacy.

Protecting family and home are key, and dedicating time to both is a likely focus. At worst, a hurt Cancer can be passive-aggressive - or a crier - but that usually indicates a sensitive personality who doesn’t yet know where to put hurt feelings or disillusion. You instinctively try to protect yourself, retreating within your shell and attempting to avoid discomfort.

Sometimes the best things in life happen outside of your comfort zone, however. Try stepping out of that shell and learning to face the discomfort of change. You’ll be proud of yourself and surprised at how strong you are when you push yourself.

Learning to channel and become more comfortable within your strong emotions can lead you to be a powerful influence on the people lucky enough to be in your inner circle.

Leo Rising

Lions are generous and powerful in their ability to lead - there’s often a tendency to show off in some way - be it in physical appearance, a loud, roaring voice or a desire to bring people together as the Social Director. At its strongest influence, these are performers who want to be recognized for their unique abilities. Leos connect to the influence of the 5th House of Pleasure and are ever-seeking joy in the world.

This is another physical Fire sign, looking to direct that intense energy somewhere - but Leo is more social than independent Aries - team sports, clubs and group efforts are highly desirable. A strong inclination to be creative lives here as well, and finding ways to wow the VIPs in their lives can take interesting and even provocative forms, especially in the bedroom and with social events.

While you are self-aware, you sometimes tend to react too quickly to situations that disturb or upset your center. You might act out during unexpected changes, and while you don’t intend to hurt anyone, it can be jarring for those closest to you.

Try to remain focused and calm when things seem to be turning upside-down, and remember that your charm and personality will carry you through any of life’s surprises. If you remain centered, everything around you will appear calmer and easier to take on.

Virgo Rising

Your nature is analytical; you like to pull things apart and get to the bottom of them. You want to discover and properly place each piece of the puzzle. This is not always an option in life, however, as many of the puzzle pieces haven’t been given to us yet.

The world is a place that needs routine - and you have a need to serve. You might be described as thoughtful, quiet and even intense - Virgo Rising has a lot going on their heads but isn’t always keen on sharing those thoughts with the world. They want as much information as they can gather in order to solve problems, which can leave little room for spontaneity.

Virgos have a powerful desire to help others, so an interest in caregiving, volunteering or even combining their interest in health by being a personal trainer or nutritionist is likely. You are probably very particular about certain areas of your life -your appearance, your eating habits, even the car you drive - having things just so gives you comfort.

Be patient and know that you can’t know everything. There will be unexpected happenings that you can’t control, and that’s okay. Learn to trust the universe and try to understand that sometimes, being out of control can be liberating. Once you realize this, you will be much calmer in the face of change.

Libra Rising

Decisions are tough when you can see many options - but you relate to most people and don’t want to take sides! Libra Ascending promotes balance, charm, creativity and a friendly approach to life. You seek centered-ness in all things, which can be disrupted when unexpected changes flow your way.

Libra Rising does not want to offend anyone and tends to be careful in choosing their words. You may be known as a diplomatic and willing to collaborate - this is a sign that enjoys working with others and relationships will be a huge focus.

When you’re knocked off-balance, it’s important for you to find that focus again, and the easiest way to do this is to accept the transitory nature of life. Remember that balance requires there to be imbalance from time to time as the universe constantly shifts. Trust that you’ll once again find your center when the dust has settled a bit.

Appearance is important here as well, and it is common for many Libra Rising signs to be considered stylish and fashionable. Also ruled by Venus, beauty and harmony play key roles in the choices of Libra Rising. Fairness and balance in all things will pervade the life of this sign.

Scorpio Rising

You know what you want, and you demand it from life. Rather than being thrown off balance when things shift unexpectedly, you shake your fists at the sky and demand answers from the universe.

Self-control is key -and there may be a strong desire for power in some way shape or form. People may find you mysterious - or at least unpredictable - and you have no trouble keeping a good secret, especially when it’s about yourself. Remember that patience is a virtue, and the answers won’t always be given to us immediately. You must learn to be patient with the universe, and trust its process. When you soften a bit and learn to see the world through more accepting eyes, your destiny will unfold naturally.

Try not to take things too seriously, as life can be as much fun as you make it. While you may have many deep feelings running through your soul, don’t let those outweigh feelings of love, light, and positivity.

Sagittarius Rising

You love adventure and new experiences, and you might accept changes a bit more naturally than others, perhaps because you seem to be perpetually seeking something new and exciting, you can go with the flow rather easily.

Just remember that everything happens for a reason in the universe, and when one of your projects falls through, the universe is likely making room for a more fortuitous venture.

Don’t fret when things don’t seem to work out despite your efforts, there is always another opportunity around the corner. In fact, Jupiter brings fortune to this sign. Try to look for signs of your luck and feel fortunate for every time things do go your way.

Adventure and travel are prominent themes in the Sag Rising’s routine. You may even find that these concepts are involved in your career or daily life somehow. Trust in your intuition to lead you toward the appropriate adventures.

You want to see every corner of the world. Capitalize on your curiosity and make this Earth your playground.

Capricorn Rising

You might have the tendency to take things a bit too seriously at times, and the ebbs and flows of life are no exception. You are often deep in thought, concerned with the meaning of certain events and circumstances, and perhaps disappointed when you don’t feel you’ve found an answer.

Remember that you are capable and competent and will succeed in any area that you put your focus into.

Don’t be discouraged when life pushes you down a new or unknown path, you’re probably on your way to something amazing. Success is a prominent concept in the Capricorn’s vernacular, and as a Capricorn Rising, you may be obsessed with the thought of becoming successful. Just remember how important personal relationships are in life, too.

Success, self-control, and manipulation of your environment and reputation are key.

Aquarius Rising

This placement denotes individuality and unique problem-solving skills. You find interesting, one-of-a-kind solutions to life’s problems. You seem cool and even reserved in the face of change, rarely shaken by newness or strangeness. But, try to see the message in the changes of life; learn to sense what the universe is trying to tell you.

There may be a muse that’s trying to make its way into your sphere, or an idea meant only for you. Keep your eyes and heart open. It’s important to take note of the ideas that flow your way because Aquarius Rising folks have a million inventive, innovative ideas that may take the world by storm.

Your uncharacteristic point of view can have varying effects; your innovation, altruistic nature is helpful, while your stubborn point of view can turn others off.

Pisces Rising

Your nature is one that goes with the flow quite easily, as you seem to have been born from the very waters that create the flow of life itself. You can lose your direction from time to time, so fluid is your personality.

Learn that you can go with the flow while still focusing on the things you desire and the goals you wish to achieve. There is something to be said for remaining focused in times of change.

Deep feelings can lead to intense emotions or frequent anxiety. You may have to carve your own routine out to avoid these negative experiences. Spiritual and metaphysical practices can help you relax into your beingness with a sense of self-love and confidence.

You know how to flow with life’s currents, but you may have a hard time creating boundaries that suit you. Learning how to live within reality rather than escape it can prove difficult.

How Does My Rising Sign Affect My Relationships?

Because your Rising sign deals with how you present yourself to the world, understanding more about it can help you understand how you are presenting yourself to your partner. For instance, if you are a Pisces, you may feel that you come across as sensitive and empathetic as you feel deep down. However, if you are a Taurus Rising, you may be presenting yourself as more stubborn than you feel.

Learning about your Rising sign helps you understand the energy that you’re putting out there, which in turn can help you better evaluate the energy you’re receiving in response.

In Conclusion

While the Sun sign seems to get most of the attention in astrology, learning more about your chart and every sign within it will bring you closer to your center and your purpose on this Earth. Embrace your Rising sign, as each one has its very unique strengths and amazing qualities.

Remember, there is no such thing as a “bad” sign, whether it’s a Sun sign, a Moon sign, or a Rising sign.

Read this next: Should You Read Your Rising Sign’s Horoscope?

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Rhiannon Liselle is a nomadic Sagittarius with a passion for writing and trying to help others grow. She’s studied astrology for about 10 years, and has been writing about… Learn More About The Author »

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