The Ascendant: I Get Around

90 Comments in Ascendant, Descendant, Midheaven, and IC by

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Many astrologers consider the ascendant to be like a mask that you wear. This is a little misleading. The ascendant isn’t something that you put on at your convenience and take off when you feel comfortable. The ascendant is more like a navigation vehicle- like a car or a bicycle, or even a plane or train. It provides a way to get around. Depending on your ascendant, you could be driving a motorcycle, skateboard, dump truck or race car.

The ascendant is the vehicle, the Sun is the driver. Who is driving that motorcycle- a 1st grade teacher? Who is steering that skateboard- a CEO? In the first case, the person may have an Aries ascendant with Virgo Sun, in the second, Gemini ascendant with Capricorn Sun. The vehicle and the person driving it may not have a lot in common, but they still come together. What you see might not be what you get. That dump truck may belong to a beauty queen.

If you have the Sun and ascendant in the same sign, then your vehicle might be more like walking- like taking yourself out for a walk. You walk your Sun around, and there is a thin veil between your ascendant and Sun, but it’s still there. You still need to remove your shoes and take off your coat to be completely yourself. There is almost no place you can walk in nothing but your bare feet. You need protection. You need an outer protective shield of some kind. The ascendant is that shield.

Your ascendant is the way that you get around, but it’s not you. It helps you navigate terrain and offers a method to interact with the environment. Your Sun is always the one in the driver’s seat while the ascendant comes equipped with the GPS.

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I'm Michelle and I write AstroFix. I have an Aries Sun, Leo Moon, and Virgo rising. Find me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or Google+.
  • Michelle

    Hm… I wonder.

    If the ruler of the 1st shows the actual physical body, I'd think its condition would be more telling than anything.

    This is sort of off topic, but I wonder about the 6th house and the idea of mind over matter. Many people with 6th house placements seem to have a strong interest in hands-on alternative therapy treatments.

  • Michelle

    i'd like to know more about sun and rising combos! so interesting.

    Thank you for reading leo girl 😀

  • Michelle

    What parts don't you like of your Virgo Moon? You seem like a natural specialist to me.

  • scorpio rising

    What is your take on Chiron in the 6th house? Very little info out there about this placement.

  • firetiger

    yea actually that divide between how i felt and saw the world and what my sun sign is prompted me to even start looking into astrology…because i felt like it was spot on for everyone else and for me i felt this disconnect with my sun sign…… come to find out ahh yes well my libra sun is in the 12th house at 28 degrees and i have a scorpio ascendant with merc venus and pluto there…. i like ur vehicle/driver analogy…. i feel like im driving a suped up phantom or batmobile and i pull up at the spot and out walks me wearing pink ruffles, mary janes, and some hello kitty hair clips heheh

    • Venus in 12th

      I feel more like my moon/venus/mercury in Libra in social settings, and have such a surprise when I recognize once again, that many in the social setting are suspicious of me, until I remember it’s my scorpio rising.  I have to make an effort to use my mars in cancer to connect and nurture trust of myself by others in order to fathom the depths that my Venus in Libra feels in the 12th house.

  • gracehoper

    A better description perhaps: the first house is your constitution, your body, your basic physical form and how healthy it is on Earth; the 6th house, as Frawley says, is the slings and arrows that life flings at one, whether it be sickness or servitude. If you have an afflicted first house, you can divine illness from the first house probably, or at least a general disposition towards getting sick… but if you have an unafflicted 6th house, even a well disposed one, that doesn't mean you will never sicken– we must still see the conditions of the 1st house, and transits, progressions, and directions of the Lord of the 6th (and the 1st and other anaretic planets) to the Ascendant and planets within the house. This is just my understanding of how to go about it, gleaned from Dr. Tamez on his email lists, and then reified through reading Lilly and Frawley.

  • leo girl

    funny thing, the same thing happened to me ! i'm a leo sun and just found out my ascendant is scorpio as well! :) plus libra moon. i'd like to know more about sun and rising combos! so interesting.

    • cathyd0105

      I’m a Scorpio Sun with a Leo ascendant (and a Leo Moon).  Would be fascinating to find out similarities (if any!) with Scorpio Sun/Leo Rising and Leo Sun/Scorpio Rising.    I’ve always gotten along well with people (particularly work colleagues) who have a Sun in Leo, for example.

  • Ebonystarr55

    LOL. I can't think of two signs that have less in common.

  • gracehoper

    Isn't that the truth! My Virgo Moon is often the focus of a lot of what I don't like in other people. I think that's the problem with an opposition. I find myself taking the Mars in Pisces position a lot in my daily interpersonal interactions and projecting the Virgo Moon on other people. It helps to be conscious of it though, so I can own it, and balance the two.

  • gracehoper

    As an aside, I think my general level of health corroborates the idea that the south node is benefic with malefics and malefic with benefics: my south node is conjunct the antiscion of Saturn, the Greater Malefic and my Ascendant, yet my health is very good. Antiscial Saturn + s.node= Aphesis on the scales when weighing health in the 1st house, imo. (The pattern is exactly repeated in the 12th house, where natal Saturn is conjunct antiscial Ascendant and antiscial s.node) –basically the reflection, if reversed, of what is happening just 20 degrees further on at my true Asc. (It also helps that Jupiter is the Almuten of my Ascendant, and the ruler of my 6th house, placed in the 8th, where it is peregrine (if the Almuten of a Geniture can be peregrine, that is) but otherwise in hayz and has some accidental dignity.)

  • Grace

    1. Yes
    2. OMG I bet! LOL.

  • Ebonystarr55

    Learning about my Ascendant really helped me to understand why others seem to perceive me so drastically differently than I see myself. I guess that is bound to happen when you have a Leo Ascendant and a Virgo Sun. lol

  • gracehoper

    Yeah, I'm healthy, other than my 6th house illness issues (Neptune on the 6th cusp with that T-square etc = psychiatric issues) but as far as my body goes and my general health, I have always been a healthy guy. I imagine the two like two sides of a scale. On the 1st house side of the scale we put in all the health indicators. On the 6th house side we put in all the illness indicators. Then we balance them out and come to a conclusion about the person's health.

  • Michelle

    I've seen people assert that the ascendant (its ruler, aspects, etc…) is “health” and the 6th house is “disease.”I'd like a specific description of the difference between the two.

    Are you healthy right now?

  • gracehoper

    I believe you'll be able to divine much more about your health from your Ascendant, it's ruler and other details about your first house than from looking at your 6th! The Ascendant and first house are the house of your incarnation on earth. The ancients would use the minor dignities of the Ascendant to pinpoint details about the appearance.

    My Ascendant is a stressed/pinpointed spot in my chart both natally and particularly right now. It's conjunct the star Sirius. It's the midpoint of my Sun and Moon. Natally, Mercury sextiles, South Node & antiscial Saturn conjoin whilst Jupiter quincunxes (from Aquarius, therefor an inconjunct and not a true quincunx.) Progressed Venus conjoins. Transiting Venus sextiles from Virgo.

  • Michelle


  • Grace

    “Many astrologers consider the ascendant to be like a mask that you wear. This is a little misleading. The ascendant isn’t something that you put on at your convenience and take off when you feel comfortable.” – Right on!

  • Michelle

    It's funny how you can find the things you don't like about other people reflected in your own chart. Sometimes the traits we hate the most in other people are the traits that we like least in ourselves.

    Thank you for reading scorpio rising 😀

  • scorpio rising

    I really like your work. I have often wondered about it. I used to always dislike scorpiois. This is when I only knew about sun signs. Low and behold I find out my ascendant is scorpio.
    I like this blog because the focus is on astrology. not all over the place, current event, cooking, shopping

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