Your ascendant/rising sign is the zodiac sign and degree that was rising on the eastern horizon at the specific time, date and place of your birth. The rising sign starts off the first house (pie slice) of your natal chart, which is the house of your personality, your identity and your physical body and life path in this physical, material existence. The ascendant sign can be found at the leftmost point of the chart.
The rising sign is how other people receive you and how you come across. This is different from the sun sign because the sun sign determines what you believe you're putting out there. We all have sides to us that we are blind to because we all have unconscious mannerisms and things that we do naturally without thinking - the rising sign represents these behaviors and characteristics that are very visible to others.
I'll be going through each of the twelve rising signs below - let me know if you'd like me to walk you through how to find your rising sign (exact time and place of birth required). Also, it is important to know that this is just one piece of the whole entire puzzle that is your astrological and psychological fingerprint. For a more in depth reading, feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aries: Aries risings' naturally have a lot of energy. A lot of the Aries risings' I know look very physically fit - some of them work out every day to curb all that energy and some of them don't, and the ones that don't still look very muscular and built. Aries risings have a natural self-focus and an understanding of what is and isn't best for them, even if the rest of the chart is very selfless. It can be very hard for them to hold back the urge to instigate new projects and relationships and often a lot of those go unfinished due to their relatively limited attention span to juggle so many things. What that they are very passionate about are what stays and they may appear rather spontaneous as Aries is a fire sign. Mars is the planetary ruler of Aries, so they can be taken as very competitive or threatening if they aren't very self-aware which can intimidate some folks. It's important to look at the house of Mars with Aries on the ascendant line.
Taurus: Taurus risings' have a very slow, methodical way of being. They may love to indulge in sweets, alcohol or material possessions and work is usually of the utmost importance to them. Taurus risings can have a very unique sounding voice and can be very creative in a practical way and because Venus is the planetary ruler of Taurus they really excel when their work is creative in nature. When they are not necessarily thriving, Taurus risings can be hit with lethargy or depression and can have a really hard time becoming externally motivated. Sometimes they can favor things that stay the same instead of an exciting change that would bring some sort of benefit to them. Taurus can bring stability to the traits and characteristics of a person. It's important to look at the house of Venus with Taurus on the ascendant line.
Gemini: Gemini risings' can come across as extremely chatty and fast-paced. They move and think really fast and love to talk about anything and everything. They are extremely curious about people and the surface-level motivations behind their actions. There may be a certain buzz about them that can very well look like anxiety or nerves. They love to have several different things going on at once and their tendency is to spread themselves way too thin. Gemini's are very adaptable to the changes of life and they may feel more comfortable when everything is constantly changing than when things stay the same and there's more routine. They can be really good at working with their hands or they can be ones to talk with their hands. They have a reputation for being duplicitous or for telling white lies. It's important to look at the house of Mercury with Gemini on the ascendant line.
Cancer: Cancer risings' can come across as very sensitive and compassionate towards those around them, but perhaps a little more private when it comes to their own circumstances. Big huge eyes that convey a sense of emotional knowing are a trait that Cancer risings are known for. They can be very good at initiating certain feelings in others, which can work really well for someone who's in a healing profession. These people can come across as though they have a huge heart and lots of love to give. Cancer risings' mood may change several times even in the course of a day or even an hour. Since they are ruled by the moon, there's a sense of their personal state waxing and waning, turning and changing. It's because of this that it's important to look at the house of the Moon when Cancer is on the ascendant line.
Leo: Leo risings' can walk into a room and brighten it up without much effort. They naturally have a very generous and a very big personality. They can say something in a whisper and people will listen. Depending on the chart, this characteristic can be used for evil. They have a good source of physical energy and are happiest when they are actively moving their body in some way every day. They can appear rather muscular and have a graceful way of moving. They can be extremely creative and can seem very optimistic about life and their circumstances. The tendency to talk over others or to force themselves as the leader is there. When they are committed to something, they are committed in their bones. They can have some spontaneous outbursts and moments where inspiration finds them. Since Leo is ruled by the Sun, it's important to look at the house placement of the Sun with this rising sign.
Virgo: Virgo risings' can come across as rather serious and reserved, but very intelligent and with a busy mind. They appear crisp, clean and professional. A high level of body awareness exists with this position and psychosomatic illnesses are possible. They have a heightened focus on work in this lifetime and they seem as though they are constantly analyzing the stream of incoming information. Stress can affect their digestion and they may have a lot of responsibility dumped on their plate because they almost seem to seek it out. This rising sign is very adaptable to the changes of every day life and they may seem like quite the busy bee. They can be very focused on their nutrition and good health habits or patterns. Since Virgo is ruled by Mercury it's important to look at the house placement of Mercury with this rising sign.
Libra: Libra risings' can come across as very people-pleasing and accommodating. There can be a sense of them constantly seeking a perfect balance in their environment and in their life only to realize that the force is always disturbed in some way because life is never going to be perfectly balanced. This can cause them a great deal of bodily discomfort which is why they seem to always have their favorite creative outlets and leanings to help them deal. This placement may naturally instigate relationships and friendships and is very oriented towards other people, which is why careers in social justice and law, if not something creative, are very preferable. Libra is ruled by Venus, so it's important to look at the house placement of Venus with this rising sign.
Scorpio: Scorpio risings' can come across as rather private. They may have a very natural resting bitch face which can give others the wrong impression about their personality. Trying to communicate with them for the first time can be like talking to a mirror because they are mirroring back all of the others' unflattering traits causing discord. This is why it is so easy for Scorpio risings' to be projected upon by others. They may have a penetrating gaze and eyes that let you know they've been through some majorly heavy stuff, even if you don't get to know about it. Because of this a lot of people will come up to the Scorpio rising and tell them all of their darkest secrets. They can be very wise due to the challenges life throws at them and innately know how to maneuver in or around darkness. Since Scorpio is ruled by Mars AND Pluto, the house placements of both of these planets are very important with Scorpio rising.
Sagittarius: Sagittarius risings' can have a phenomenon different from the Scorpio rising: resting approachable face. They can be bored to tears and still look like they're engaged and enjoying themselves, and people feel like they can approach them. Sagittarius risings' can come across as BIG personalities and they can really allow their big opinions, viewpoints and ideals to be known. There is a thread of optimism with this rising sign even if the rest of the chart is rather pessimistic. They can be hungry for knowledge and experience which causes them to often take on way too much. They can have a very muscular appearance and can require a lot of physical activity to calm their restless energy. They are always on the search for the truth and there is a lifetime emphasis on spirituality. Since Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter, the house placement of Jupiter is very important in the chart of someone who has a Sagittarius rising sign.
Capricorn: Capricorn risings' are work-focused and naturally very reserved. They may even come across as standoffish depending on the comfort level they have with their environment. They can have a life that is characterized by things not going quite their way and lots of hard lessons to learn. They may have very chiseled features and have a natural spirit of focus, ambition and drive. They are always looking for new opportunities to begin that helps them to be where they want to be in life. They can be prone to depression when things aren't going their way and can very easily see the harsh realities of this "cruel world" we live in. Saturn is the planetary ruler of Capricorn which can invite in lots of obstacles and teaches this native valuable lessons. The house placement of Saturn is very important in the chart of someone with a Capricorn rising.
Aquarius: Aquarius risings' are frequently seen as offbeat, unconventional and eccentric. They have their own rather innovative way of doing things which doesn't always translate to the understanding of more traditional folks. They can be very quirky and rather restless with busy minds. They are very friendly, yet can appear somewhat detached. It is common for these natives to be very passionate about a handful of humanitarian causes and they love to serve the greater good of the collective. They may be stubborn when they believe that they are right about something. Aquarius is ruled by Saturn AND Uranus, so it is important to look at the house placements of both of these planets in the chart of someone with an Aquarius rising.
Pisces: Pisces risings' are more than any other rising sign a product of their environment. They are rather sensitive to their external environment and dreamy and can really have a chameleon quality to their personality. They seem very spiritual and emotionally intelligent to the people they meet as if they come from another planet. They can be very adaptable to change and are constantly looking for meaning in their environment. Their emotional state and mental state can change quite often, but can harbor a quality of a "teflon mind" that other water rising signs may not have where they are actually able to let stuff go in the moment, favoring universal truths. Pisces is ruled by Jupiter AND Neptune, so it is important to look at the house placements of both of these planets in the chart of someone with a Pisces rising.