The rising sign — like looking in the mirror!

[Luis Villasmil on Unsplash]

Astrologer Jeanne Avery refers to the rising sign as “that part of yourself that you allow others to see.” That couldn’t be more true.

It’s the way you look, it’s what you wear on your face and it’s how you approach life. It’s the “you” people see before they get to know who you really are underneath the surface.

But what is a rising sign, how does it relate to astrology as a whole and how can you find out your own rising sign? Read on and I’ll tell you!

First, though, there’s some technical stuff I have to explain.

The rising sign, also known in astrology as your “ascendant,” is the sign that is coming up over the horizon the moment you were born.

Anytime a planet moves into a sign, it moves through 30 degrees of that sign before moving into the next one. For example, when the sun moved into Virgo on Aug. 22, it reached zero degrees Virgo. Today, Aug. 30, it’s at 7 degrees Virgo. Near the end of the month, after it passes 29 degrees Virgo, it will go into zero degrees Libra, and then the cycle repeats all over again.

The sun changes about every 30 days. The moon goes much more quickly, passing through all 30 degrees of a sign in roughly 2.5 days. But the ascendant moves much more quickly than even the moon, often making it through all 30 degrees of a sign in about two hours.

That’s one of the big reasons why it’s so important to know the exact time and place where you were born. And the reason that’s even more important is that your ascendant is what sets your entire birth chart in stone. But more on that later.

What our rising signs can tell us about ourselves

I’ll use myself as an example. My rising sign is Libra, the cardinal air sign that represents partnerships, justice and aesthetic. That means that my entire birth chart is ruled by Venus, because Venus rules Libra.

From what I have experienced — and from what I’ve read on other astrology sites — it’s hard not to like a Libra rising when you meet one. We are charming, friendly and good conversationalists. We present pleasantly.

In her book, “The Rising Sign: Your Astrological Mask,” Jeanne Avery writes that the primary quality associated with Libra risings is harmony.

“He cannot stand injustice, dissention or strife. He may spend his life attempting to create the peaceful and beautiful existence he so desperately needs,” Avery writes.

I identify with this a lot. I definitely try to be the peacemaker in my life, especially with friends. Even with family members, I do try to find a balance between people who disagree, although that does change when family pushes my buttons.

The problem I used to run into a lot when I was younger was, I would make such a strong first impression on people, but I found it hard to deepen my relationships because I was turning on the charm. But that wasn’t who I really was. It was exhausting to keep up that charade. Inside, I was a Taurus sun and Virgo moon who likes things consistent and organized and can be kind of introverted.

But that’s kind of how rising signs work for everyone, honestly. You present a certain image to others, but if they stick around long enough to get to know you better, your sun and moon signs will start to reveal themselves.

What are the qualities of the different rising signs?

Here’s a quick rundown:

Aries risings are direct, hot headed and they look you right in the eye.

Taurus risings give off an aura of groundedness.

Gemini risings are funny, talkative and charming.

Cancer risings have a softness about them, sort of like a motherly energy.

Leo risings are noticeable from a mile away. They wear colorful clothes — yellow and red in particular — and find other ways to express themselves.

Virgo risings seem serious and always seem like their minds are working a mile a minute.

Libra risings are great at parties and at putting people at ease.

Scorpio risings exude mystery. They can be intimidating and seem like they’re keeping a secret.

Sagittarius risings think and have a lot of opinions about culture, religion and the world as a whole.

Capricorn risings come across as very practical.

Aquarius seem curious and open-minded.

Pisces risings have a dreaminess and otherworldliness about them.

Sound like anyone you know?

How can I find out my rising sign?

Ask your mom/grandma/whoever what time you were born, if you’re not sure. Location is also important because rising signs can be really different depending on the time zone.

Once you know your birth time, go to, hover over “Free Horoscopes” and find the button that says “Natal Chart, Ascendant.” Click there and enter your birth data, or the data of whoever you’re looking up. A birth chart will pop up with all of your planetary placements. Where it says “AC,” that’s your ascendant, or rising sign.

Or, you can do it on Cafe Astrology.

Happy digging!

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