When doing client readings, I like to compare the ascendant (also known as the rising sign, the two are interchangeable) to the front door of a house. The ascendant is the starting angle of a chart; it forms the foundation that the rest of the chart is built upon. The opposing side of the ascendant is the descendant, which starts the seventh house of relationships with the generalized “other”. So, the ascendant acts as the first meeting point between us and the world: our introduction to “others”, their introduction to us, the filter that initial impressions come through before we learn anything else.
The planet that rules the sign on the ascendant has importance in a chart, as that planet is the chart ruler. For instance, Neptune rules Pisces, so we’d say Neptune is the chart ruler; the traditional ruling planet of Scorpio was Mars until Pluto was discovered in 1930 so those with Scorpio rising will either have Pluto as their chart ruler, or have both Mars and Pluto co-ruling the chart, depending on whether you use the traditional or modern ruler.
The planet that rules the chart impacts the way others see you and the way you experience the world. It also makes you more sensitive to the mundane movement of that planet. For example, those with Gemini or Virgo rising will have Mercury as their chart ruler (since Mercury rules both signs) and will be more sensitive than others to Mercury retrograde periods. A Cancer rising person has the Moon ruling their chart, and are more sensitive to the lunar cycles such as eclipses as well as their progressed Moon.
Which brings me to progressed rising signs. Most people who know their time of birth can submit their data into the various free astrology software programs and see what their rising sign is. This natal ascendant never changes, and your natal chart ruler never changes. However, you do get a sort of secondary ascendant and chart ruler through an astrology technique known as secondary progressions. Your charts “front door” will always open the same way, but the secondary progressed ascendant will color this a bit and it is worthwhile to keep track of both your progressed rising sign and what is happening to your progressed chart ruler. Your progressed ascendant sign will show slow, gradual but tangible changes in your personality.
Newbies to astrology can easily figure out their progressions. Go to https://astro.com and put in your birth data, including your time of birth. Save to create your birth chart. Now, go to the “Extended Chart Selection” page. Where it says “please select a chart type” you will just select “Progressed Chart” and click to show the chart. All done!
Some useful information when looking at your progressed ascendant/rising sign:
- A natal or progressed ascendant in Cancer will make you highly aware of the rapid changes of your progressed Moon, so while everyone needs to look at their progressed Moon for the reasons listed here as its more crucial to Cancer risings.
- Ascendant signs are divided into those of long ascension or short ascension, meaning the rate of speed at which they move. Generally speaking, the signs of Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus and Gemini are of short ascension. The signs of Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, and Sagittarius are of long ascension. Those people born with short ascension signs as their natal rising sign undergo much more frequent changes than do those of long ascension.
- Eclipses on your progressed ascendant, descendant or progressed chart ruler are as important as eclipses to your birth chart ascendant, descendant and chart ruler.As the progressed ascendant continues to affect your personality, so too will it affect your relationship with others, since your descendant is changing and growing too. Let’s say your a natal Gemini rising, with a natal Sagittarius descendant. You like to interact with people on an intellectual level (Gemini) and you prefer to do so with people of interesting background and ideas (Sagittarius). When your progressed ascendant moves into Cancer, you’ll have a Capricorn descendant and it won’t be enough that others are simply interesting and exciting to you. You’ll now want people who’ve learned maturity and responsibility from their exciting background.
Can you feel your persona flavored by your progressed ascendant?