by Guest Author Eileen Grimes
Next to the Sun and the Moon in the horoscope, the rising sign (aka the Ascendant) is a major point in any astrological chart. There are many popular associations, including the personality of the person, the way a person looks, physical attributes, etc. The rising sign is always at the 9 o'clock position in the birthchart has to do with what zodiacal sign was “rising” at the time of birth. The time of birth is needed to get an accurate rising sign placement.
However, I like to view this as what was being illuminated at the time of birth -- the moment our being rises in the east . It's the very moment we become visible to the universe around us.
The rising sign isn’t a planet (expressing a particular part of our lives, like relationships), nor an area of life that needs to be explored. It is more of a portal through which energy must funnel outwards. It acts as the channel of energy from the self to the world at large. The Sun is our essential being, the “overlord”, if you will, of the essential qualities that make up ourselves, and how we view and approach our life. The Moon is the inner world we find security in, and is our link to emotional well-being. The Sun and Moon are directly connected to Mom and Dad’s influence on us. When we add the rising sign, we find some additional expectations with origins in those early years. In other words, we will find what kind of behavior we must develop in order to gain acceptance into our family, and into our world.
The major focus of the rising sign, therefore, rests on the development of the personality -- our social mask, actually. When we’re out in the world and are meeting and greeting people, the rising sign is generally the first thing we present to others. Astrologer Diana Stone, says that the rising sign has to do with the behavior patterns we might have to adopt to adapt to our external and familial surroundings. This means, “acceptable” behavior -- what will get us noticed, win approval/disapproval, and most certainly acknowledgment from those around us.
If all is well and we grow up reasonably sound and secure, we will behave in certain ways and develop social skills to gain acceptance by the world. We will develop specific personality traits so that our public persona is successful; so that we can socially interact with great success. The overall chart is something we grow into, over time, and learn the lessons we have to learn. The rising sign is significant, in that our interaction to the outer world will assist the development of the emotional self and self-identity, and ultimately the complete integration of ourselves, on all levels.
Each rising sign has specific lessons that need to be learned. When those traits are owned, and integrated into the personality, the rest of the chart can find its way out into the world, and express itself with true integrity.
I must say, in the process of “growing” into my own rising sign over the years, I have found this part of the chart to be way more important than I realized. The integration of that part of us can help us become more effective in life, as well as to understand how we're coming across, and how we connect with others.