ASTRO 101: RISING UP TO YOUR RISING SIGN
Maybe it’s just me and my natural Saturnian nature (read: lowkey curmudgeon who sideyes most folks’ ideas of “fun”), but it seems like it’s way too easy for us humans to hash & rehash our weaknesses. Fine-tooth combing through our faults is a hobby-level activity for basically everyone I know and work with.
Funnily enough, taking a magnifying glass to everything that’s wrong with us doesn’t actually help us cultivate our strengths. Given our current historical moment and what appears to be coming down the pipeline, cultivating our strengths instead of just microscoping our flaws is a pretty necessary strategy.
Showing up for what we care about while embodying our best talents is something that astrology can help us do. The Ascendant (or Rising sign) in particular can help us see our strongest way to show up and contribute.
WTF IS AN ASCENDANT?
The Ascendant indicates what sign of the zodiac was rising on the eastern horizon at the time we were born (thus it’s nickname of “rising sign”). It depends on where we were born, too, and since the Ascendant moves one sign every two hours or so, an exact birth time is required to know with certainty what your Ascendant is. Even ten minutes can make a difference! If you don’t know your ascendant, you can enter your birth information into a website like astro.com to figure it out — it’s the line at the 9am position of your natal chart.
Sometimes the Ascendant is described as the “mask” we wear in the world, but that makes it sound like a put-on, fake performance. The Ascendant is actually a really important part of our charts, and therefore an important part of ourselves, too.
Think of it this way: at the moment you’re born, the sign on the eastern horizon is the main flavor of the atmosphere. When you take your first breath outside of the womb, you’re inhaling that sign’s air; it’s also the first air that touches your skin. Inside and out, that air is your first contact with the outside-the-womb world, and it will continue to influence your being-in-the-world for every moment thereafter. That ascendant sign is what drew you out of the womb; that ascendant sign will help you traverse your path until the day you die.
The “mask” analogy does have some truth: our Ascendant is how others perceive us, especially before they get to know us well enough to access our Sun-nature. Especially if your Sun is in a more hidden part of your chart, you will come across as your Ascendant more than your Sun sign. On top of that, maximizing the strengths of your Ascendant (and working with its weaknesses) can actually make it easier for you to navigate the outside world; it’s also an indicator of what you have to give whenever you’re showing up for what you care about.
EVERY ASCENDANT IS A GIFT
When I first started drafting this, I made a binary list of each Ascendant’s top three strengths & weaknesses (according to me, a Capricorn Ascendant, and therefore filtered through that lens). But then I recognized how much easier it was for me to nitpick; the weaknesses I came up with were a bit harsh, and maybe not helpful given how much I’ve seen astro-n00bs use astrology to be even more hypercritical of themselves.
So, instead, I present to you a simpler list pointing to what I see to be each Ascendant’s greatest gifts to the world. When we tend well to our strengths, our weaknesses are balanced out a bit; it also feels so rad to step into our beauteousness.
Show up with your strengths, witches. The world needs it.
If you WOULD like to work with your weaknesses, too, consider booking a session with an astrologer who can guide you through those things in a constructive manner! Diana conducts astrology readings via Zoom call and can be reached here for booking inquiries.
Diana Rose Harper is a wanderer, tarot reader, astrologer, licensed massage therapist, and Reiki Master. Born under a New Moon, her life is filled with intention. Find her inspiring writings, posts, and stories lifting up amazing POC and BIPOC folx on Instagram at @ddamascenaa, support her on Patreon, and sign up for her newsletter to stay in touch.
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