Do people ever ask you what’s your rising sign or ascendant? They’re the same thing; just two different ways of identifying it. The rising sign is an extremely important part of the astrological chart and says an immense amount about your personality. It is the persona or mask we adapt in our approach to life, new situations and people. It is how we interface with the world. Usually it is easier to identify a person’s rising sign because it is what we feel most comfortable showing people on first encounter. The Sun sign which really is our identity and who we are at a core level is something that is not always visible until you get to know a person better. The Sun sign comes out and shines once our ego feels a certain amount of confidence and security. The Ascendant or rising sign on the other hand is much more immediate and evident. Think of it as being much more social; the good, or bad face, you put on when you meet people. Here’s a wonderful example to explain the difference between your Sun and Ascendant. Imagine yourself home all alone in the house; you put on some great music and you begin to let loose dancing and singing at the top of your lungs, not caring what you sound like, dressed or undressed in whatever you feel most comfortable. It’s just like that scene in Risky Business with Tom Cruise – you remember the one – when with full abandon he’s dancing around the house without a care just expressing his identity in total and complete joy. That’s you and that is your Sun. Now suppose the doorbell rings and you have to answer it. All of a sudden you shift gears, turn the music down, fix your hair, get dressed or rearrange your clothes, look in the mirror to make certain you look presentable, preparing yourself to make your standard impression to face whoever is at the door. In other words you put on your mask, which may be friendly or not. That is your rising sign. Now when you open the door it could be someone you feel extremely comfortable with and so you may make another shift. The Sun and rising sign work very much together because they are both indicators of our identity. Some people view the rising sign as more superficial but I don’t think so. We are constantly adjusting and adapting to new situations every day as we try to get along with people. You show your rising sign to every stranger you meet. It’s only those people close to you that get to see your Sun sign. How many people have said “After we got married they became someone totally different.” Well, that’s what happens when the Sun sign begins to emerge and we let our mask (rising sign) down.
The only way to find out your rising sign is to know the exact time of your birth. It is worth getting a hold of your timed birth certificate so that the next time someone asks “What’s your rising sign?” you’ll know.