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What Does an Ascendant or Rising Sign Mean in Your Birth Chart?

I have a strong interest in astrology and I love sharing my knowledge with others.

What Is Your Rising Sign in Astrology?

Back in ancient times, astrologers used a person’s rising sign, also called the ascendant, to determine the personality of an individual. Luck, moods, priorities, and actions could be revealed as well as likely future events. Relationships with one’s individual family members, friends, enemies, and co-workers could be understood, too.

In today’s astrology, the rising sign indicates the same as it did in ancient times. The difference, however, is that the modern populous has opted to use a person’s Sun sign to understand and describe one’s personality. The Sun sign is an important contributing factor; however, the Moon sign holds significance, and the rising sign is the better of the three indicators of one’s life experiences. Also, it is important to understand that a person’s birth chart, also called the natal chart, in its entirety can only determine the accuracy of an astrological reading.

The ascendant in a birth chart is the zodiac rising over the Earth’s eastern horizon at the precise time and place of an individual's birth. Just as the Sun rises in the east, the constellations rise from the east as well. Therefore, when looking at a birth chart, know that the constellations or zodiac signs are moving from east to west in a counterclockwise motion.

The Birth Chart or Natal Chart

If you were born outside, day or night, and your first sight was the sky above, you would see your natal chart. Frozen at the precise date, time, and place of your birth, the map of the heavens is yours alone, like a fingerprint. It consists of twelve houses, or approximately thirty-degree sections, each represented by a ruling astrological planet and dominating specific areas of your life. Astrological planets are also placed in the sky randomly in these sections of life, and they have major influences on your life events as well.

Additionally, the aspects between the planets can strengthen or diminish influences in any given part of the birth chart. As you can see, a birth chart is quite detailed and complicated, and it fluctuates through time, making it quite an extensive study.

The ascendant or zodiac sign rising in the first house of the natal chart represents self, personality, and the center of one’s existence. The rising sign indicates how the world views you, unlike the Sun sign, which determines your inner personality, or the real you. The rising sign is your emotional reaction to what the universe has given to you. It is a transparent response for all to see.

Astrological Symbols and Glyphs

When one has a natal chart interpreted by a professional astrologer, the map or chart is laid out in a circular template divided up between the twelve houses. The ascendant is the left-most point and is the beginning of the first house.

Each zodiac sign has a specific glyph or symbol uniquely assigned to that sign. Each astrological planet has a glyph assigned to it as well. These glyphs are traditional ancient markings used to read a chart. Astrology has a language of its own, and by learning this language, a person is well on their way to reading the chart for themselves. I’ve listed below some of the basic astrological glyphs for your review.

The zodiac signs, planets, and glyphs

The zodiac signs, planets, and glyphs

Just as the Sun rises in the east, constellations rise in the east also.

Just as the Sun rises in the east, constellations rise in the east also.

Comments and suggestions will be accepted in the comments section below.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


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