The ascendant is the sign that is rising from the eastern horizon, in the natal chart at the moment of birth. As the cusp of the first house it influences the self and personality. The rising sign is on a more superficial and outward level than the sun sign, and often affects a person's appearance more than the sun. The sun correlates more with what I call the conscious self or solar consciousness, which comes more directly from the soul. The rising sign reflects on the personality, manners, style, and outward appearance that others see.
Aries rising is active, energetic, warm, courageous, impetuous, ardent, forceful, independent, masculine, frank, quick-tempered, assertive or even aggressive, headstrong, and impulsive. One likes to start new things and be the leader or first to do anything. Personality is zealous, vivacious, combative, initiating, and can but one's head like a ram or be as gentle as a lamb. One often likes the color red.
Taurus rising is self-reliant, practical, strong, stable, slow, steady, determined, patient, pliant, easy-going, affectionate, kind, obstinate, and stubborn. One likes pleasure, wealth, and beautiful things with strong likes and dislikes. Personality is secure, loving, beautiful, artistic, and conservative with bovine strength and gentleness; but if anger is allowed to build up, one can become as mad as a bull.
Gemini rising is open, quick, dexterous, conversational, mental, changing, nervous, restless, friendly, clever, witty, and versatile. One often is able to do two things at the same time and may tend to have a split personality, being skilled at drawing contrasts with a tendency to put oneself up and others down. Personality is communicative, intellectual, artistic, youthful, competitive, adaptable, changeable, and dualistic as twins.
Cancer rising is emotional, sensitive, receptive, responsive, moody, maternal, protective, imaginative, and nurturing. One tends to be motherly or loyal with sensitive feelings often protected by a hard outer shell. Personality is familiar, shy, intuitive, and faithful with a tendency to worry and get one's feelings hurt. One can be crabby and cling on to people and things, needing to learn how to let go.
Leo rising is warm-hearted, happy, optimistic, generous, radiant, confident, child-like, playful, dramatic, strong, commanding, stubborn, dignified, proud, and regal. One tends to rule or lead and can put on a performance for show. Personality is proud and powerful as a lion or king and likes to be demonstrative of affection, compassionate, and loving, shining on all and wanting to be the center of attention.
Virgo rising is modest, industrious, adaptable, practical, prudent, helpful, quick, supportive, analytical, critical, youthful, feminine, technical, and scientific. One is good at handling details related to health, clothing, food, and cleaning. Personality may be as pure as a virgin, neat, precise, and seeking improvement and perfection. One likes to learn, experiment, and break things down to their essential elements and then put them back together again.
Libra rising is pleasant, kind, attractive, loving, affectionate, courteous, agreeable, diplomatic, compromising, artistic, and just. The emotions of the personality are refined by the intellect and esthetic awareness, loving relationship, harmony, and balance. One tends to weigh things on the scales and compare things so much that one may be indecisive in the quest for justice. One is attracted to relationship and marriage, music, art, and literature.
Scorpio rising is bold, forceful, courageous, energetic, passionate, manipulating, subtle, secretive, witty or sarcastic, shrewd, penetrating, and aggressive. One likes to investigate, detect, diagnose, and may be psychic or resourceful and intuitive. Personality is emotionally powerful with strong desires and sexuality or mysticism. One's words can sting with deadly poison, or by transmuting desires one may fly as high as an eagle.
Sagittarius rising is cheerful, bright, hopeful, changing, versatile, adventurous, outspoken, straightforward, outgoing, independent, free, warm, friendly, honorable, noble, and visionary. One likes to explore either by traveling or intellectually or spiritually. Personality is warm honest, goal-oriented, freedom-loving, and vivacious. One takes aim for each goal, but upon reaching it sees another ahead and is often athletic, loving nature and the outdoors.
Capricorn rising is serious, controlled, cautious, prudent, practical, ambitious, profound, responsible, industrious, conservative, thrifty, authoritative, and organized. One likes to plan and then implement practical objectives and can handle heavy responsibilities. Personality is fatherly, traditional, careful, paternal or patriarchal, sensual, persevering, and hard-working. One's sense of honor may allow others to get one's goat.
Aquarius rising is friendly, cool, detached, intellectual, psychological, argumentative, inventive, humanitarian, humorous, unorthodox, clever, free, honest, and skeptical. One likes to know things, have many friends, and be a part of social organizations especially progressive ones. Personality is mental, humane, witty yet serious, and usually mature. One is often aware and acquainted with many people, bearing and sharing the most advanced insights.
Pisces rising is kind, loving, trustful, confiding, sympathetic, hospitable, idealistic, imaginative, impressionable, emotional, receptive, quiet, timid, but intuitive and artistic. One tends to be retiring and shy until drawn out and then can be enthusiastic, humorous, and joyful. Personality is complex with much hidden below the surface, much influenced by others and surroundings, and emotionally adaptable or unstable. One can get hooked like a fish when too gullible.