Your ascendant, or rising sign
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.
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.
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.
Each zodiac sign has a ruling planet (for example, Libra is ruled by Venus, Cancer is ruled by the moon, etc). 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.