Astrology 101-

What's Your Sign?

It’s the stuff of TV sitcoms and 30-something romantic comedies, never mind trite pick-up lines, but believe it or not, “What’s your sign?” is a question that has solid astrological bones.  To see what I mean, we have to learn something about a symbol in the birth chart called the Ascendant, or Rising Sign. 

At the moment of your birth, no matter what the actual clock time may be, one of the twelve signs of the zodiac is dawning – or rising – at the eastern horizon line.  Think of it as a panel of stained glass of one of twelve “colors” that stands between you and everything and everyone that is NOT you.  Like a cathedral window, the Ascendant filters your energetic light out into the world.  It also colors the light of the outside world as it shines in on you, affecting how you take in the your environment and the experiences and people you encounter along life’s way.         

The Rising Sign is sometimes called a mask, because it describes your social, public persona – how you present yourself in new, or relatively impersonal, or, importantly, uncertain or threatening situations. At these times the energy of the Ascendant as an interface helps you maximize your own comfort and security and minimize vulnerability.  But the Rising Sign is absolutely not something external or artificial that you invoke when needed.  Rather, it’s an important, totally integrated component of the energetic palette of possibility that is represented by your own unique birth chart.

Sometimes the qualities of the Ascendant are very similar to the most prominent themes in the rest of the chart.  For example, Sagittarius is as outgoing, gregarious, generous and optimistic as the sign of Leo, differing in details like that Sag is more flexible and less inclined to seek leadership roles than Leo, while Leo energy is more comfortable with attention and less inclined to be as on the move as Sag.  So if you meet someone with a Sagittarius Rising Sign and a Leo Sun, you’ll find that your initial impression will be quite consistent with your experience of that person as the relationship grows.  Other times, the Ascendant is very different from the basic nature of the individual.  Staying with our Sag rising example, that outgoing, energetic approach to life can be fronting for a sensitive, inward-turned, slower-moving water sign like Cancer or Pisces.    

This is why, if you have just a little knowledge of the qualities of each astrological sign,  “What’s your sign?”, combined with your initial impression of an individual,  can double-up your understanding of what a person is really like.

As for me – I’m Libra Ascendant with a Gemini Sun.  What’s your sign?

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