The ascendant, also known as the rising sign, is the cusp of the first house. Just as it sounds, the ascendant is the sign that was rising on the eastern horizon at your time of birth. For example, if you were born at 3:45pm and Virgo was just coming up over the eastern horizon, you are a Virgo rising.
This placement is very important, being the beginning of the house of self-image, the physical body, general health and the beginning of life. Where the ascendant lies foretells an auspicious journey of the individual in this lifetime. Just imagine as our ancestors looked upwards to the heavens where the sun would rise and noticed that the Virgin, Scorpion, or Water-Bearer was rising at the moment of their child’s birth. They knew, depending on which sign was there, that their child would fulfill a certain role for the community.
Today, we are also aware of the power of the ascendant, as most astrologers agree that its effect is one of the three most powerful in the natal chart. However, mainstream astrology seems to stop at the basic explanation of what this point entails for individuals. One may have heard that his rising sign describes how he acts, that it is the mask he wears during this life time.
But other astrologers, myself included, needed to go deeper: why is it that I have this ascendant, and why do I find myself unconsciously fulfilling this role described by the sign on my horizon? This esoteric view considers the soul’s evolution as it experiences many different desires through several lifetimes to finally reach the goal of enlightenment. Thus, it represents the desires you wish to fulfill in this lifetime, manifested as a purpose or mission we subconsciously strive to complete.
One thing makes me curious: If you fulfill this purpose, is it possible that your soul learns its lesson and can finally progress to the next step on the ladder of ascension? Just food for thought.
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