The Ascendant symbolizes the need for self-expression, and as one of the FIRE houses it has a lot to do with our sense of individuality. Planets placed in the first house of the chart represent our most natural mode of self-projection, describing how we approach others. We all have a particular lens through which we see the world, and no two individuals ever experience events in the same way.
The Ascendant sign and planet/s rising describe these perceptions along with the tasks and qualities we must develop in order to cultivate a synthesis with the Sun and Moon in the horoscope. Moreover, the Ascendant is often described as the “front door” to the house and it has a lot to say about how we view the world, and how others view us. When there are planets rising within 10 degrees of the Ascendant, they have an enormous influence over our personality, and in some cases, the planet dominates the persona.
The Sun or Moon rising in the horoscope will accentuate the sign’s qualities, talents and abilities tenfold. The Sun and Moon are two of the most important factors in chart interpretation along with the Ascendant. We can see the rising planet in action when we are approaching new situations, starting something new or making a fresh start in life.
It’s the Rising Sign and planet that are most obvious to others. The Rising Planet can show whether or not we are confident, self-expressive or fearful in new areas of life. Most rising planets are extremely difficult to hide, and usually out there for everybody to see. Even if we feel we are doing a good job at masking our insecurities, it’s like we wear our Rising Planet on our sleeve, and this can be a comfortable or uncomfortable experience depending on other chart factors.
As an example, the Moon Rising may reflect someone who finds it hard to mask their emotions with other people. With Saturn Rising, one may tightly control self-expression; there may be shyness and anxiety in front of others, and it may represent someone who likes to present a professional image at all times. A planet is always stronger than a Rising Sign and so it’s worth taking extra consideration of the planet’s characteristics.
The Gauquelin’s study, which has been highly regarded and also criticized, used planets that were angular to determine a person’s career. For example, high achievers in sports often have Mars Rising and those interested in Science have Saturn Rising. Another thing to stress about rising planets in the chart is major transits to those bodies, they are extremely significant in terms of self-development, marking those moments when we assess our self-image, create a new one, and build a whole new life for ourselves.