Ascendant (also known the "rising sign") is the sign on the cusp of the
first house of the natal chart. It is the sign (and degree of that sign) that is
rising on the Eastern horizon at the moment of birth, with respect to the place
The Ascendant is one of the four angles of the chart. The other
three are the Descendant (directly opposite the Ascendant), the Imum Coeli (IC),
and the Midheaven (MC).
The Ascendant defines, in part, the first impression we
make on others in a personal rather than professional sense.
It represents our physical appearance, our physical bodies
and overall health, and the body ego. The Ascendant
is often referred to as the mask we wear, although I don't
consider it to be as superficial as this might suggest. What
it does represent is our natural and personal defense mechanisms
that we use to adapt
to, and cope with, our environment.
The Ascendant also shows our first impressions of the world around us, and
reveals our expectations of the world around us--whether we are naturally
hesitant or enthusiastic, for example. How we begin new projects, and our
attitude towards new experiences come under the rule of the Ascendant.
The Ascendant in the Signs: Rising Signs
The Ascendant is the cusp of the first house, and is often represented in its abbreviated form: ASC.
Try this quick calculator to determine your Ascendant. An accurate birth
time is required.