The Ascendant In Astrology: Discover Your Rising Sign

What do others see in YOU? Your ascendant, or rising sign, colors your appearance, attitude and demeanor.

Okay, you know your Sun sign—but there’s much more to the chart than that! Your rising sign, also called your ascendant, is the sign that was rising over the eastern horizon when you were born.

To calculate your rising sign, you need to know what time you were born—exact if possible, approximate if not. Advanced astrology tip: When looking at your natal chart as a picture, you can find your rising sign at the 9:00 position on the zodiac wheel. This is the very beginning point of the chart, which is indicated by a darker line. Do a free chart here to find your rising sign.

chart with ascendant drawing

The rising sign: The “first impression”

In astrology, your rising sign colors the first impression that you make—everything from your appearance to your attitude and demeanor. Are you warm and welcoming, or reserved and a little awkward? Do you prefer bold colors and bling, or are you most comfortable in an Armani suit? All of these factors can be easily pinpointed by the rising sign in your chart.

If people always peg you for a sign other than your own, don’t be surprised to discover that it’s actually because of your rising sign.

For example, a more reserved Capricorn Sun sign person with a Leo rising can appear to have some Leo-like features. They may have wild hair, an outgoing personality and a more expressive style than the average Capricorn. The rising sign can also set your orientation to life. A normally shy Cancer Sun sign person born with a direct and aggressive Aries rising might be bolder and more in-your-face than, say, a Cancer Sun sign born with a genteel and harmony-seeking Libra ascendant.

If people always peg you for a sign other than your own, don’t be surprised to discover that it’s actually because of your rising sign. You can also think of your rising sign as a “filter” or a “tint.” If your Sun sign made you blue, your rising sign determines whether you’re a powder blue, a bright cornflower or a dark navy. 

The rising sign changes approximately every two hours, so you need to know your time of birth to get an accurate answer. Some birth certificates unfortunately don’t list time of birth, so you may need to rely on a parent’s memory or have a professional astrologer “reconstruct” your chart and make their best guess for your rising sign.

Don’t have your birth certificate? If you were born in the United States, you can write to the Office of Vital Records in your birth state for a copy.

How does the rising sign determine my “chart ruler”?

Each zodiac sign has a ruling planet (for example, Libra is ruled by Venus, Cancer is ruled by the moon, et. al). Known as the “chart ruler,” the ruling planet associated with your ascendant gives more insight into your overall persona—and even the types of people you attract into your life. For a person with Sagittarius rising, jovial and expansive Jupiter (the ruler of Sagittarius) is the ruling planet of that person’s whole chart. Translation: The cycles and movements of Jupiter will have an especially strong influence on this person’s life. A Sagittarius rising person would also have strong “Jupiterian” themes in their lives: They might love travel, have international and multicultural friends and possess a spirit of eternal optimism.

Aries Rising Sign:

If your ascendant is Aries, you make a bold and unforgettable first impression. The Aries rising sign can come across as a dynamic go-getter, but you can also read as overwhelming or aggressive. Read more about Aries rising

Taurus Rising Sign:

If your ascendant is Taurus, you have a strong and unwavering presence, a solid work ethic and an eye for design. Taurus rising sign style is classic and also a little tough. You’re built to last!

Gemini Rising Sign:

If your ascendant is Gemini, you are a natural communicator who talks a mile a minute, gesticulating with your hands. Gemini rising sign style is playful—you’re not afraid of a bright color or eye-popping pattern.

Cancer Rising Sign:

If your ascendant is Cancer, you are a caring empath who comes across as deeply sensitive or intuitive. Cancer rising sign style is feminine and nurturing with a touch of classic glamour.

Leo Rising Sign:

If your ascendant is Leo, you are dynamic, warm and powerful. Leo rising sign people are impossible to ignore, with their loud laughs, colorful outfits and trademark manes of hair.

Virgo Rising Sign:

If your ascendant is Virgo, you are observant, analytical and may appear to be serious or lost in thought. Virgo rising sign people can have “baby faces” and may decorate or dress in white or neutral colors.

Libra Rising Sign:

If your ascendant is Libra, you are charm personified. You are gracious, well-dressed and at times, soft-spoken. Libra rising sign people are gentle but hate conflict and may go too far to keep the peace.

Scorpio Rising Sign:

If your ascendant is Scorpio, you exude power and sensuality. Your Scorpio rising sign presence can be felt without saying a word. You can come across as intense and may be drawn to spiritual pursuits.

Sagittarius Rising Sign:

If your ascendant is Sagittarius, you can be blunt, wise and cuttingly crass—a know-it-all at times. The Sagittarius rising sign is attracted to big ideas and hates small talk. Your style is colorful, worldly and eclectic.

Capricorn Rising Sign:

If your ascendant is Capricorn, you come across as hardworking, no-nonsense and polished. Your Capricorn rising sign gives you a sharp business acumen but can also read as heavy or overly serious.

Aquarius Rising Sign:

If your ascendant is Aquarius, you march to your own beat in attitude and style. The Aquarius rising sign adds a rebel edge to your vibe, as well as a passion for social justice or cutting-edge ideas.

Pisces Rising Sign:

If your ascendant is Pisces, you may have luminous eyes that reflect the world’s suffering. Pisces rising sign people are sensitive artistes who can be powerful healers, but are prone to addiction.


Do a free chart and find your rising sign now:

Your ascendant is determined by the minute you were born. If you don’t already know your rising sign, you can find one by doing a free chart here. You just need to know your time, date and place of birth to calculate. Have fun looking up yourself and your friends, love interests, coworkers and family members!

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Art via Tumblr