The earth is spinning on its axis and every 2 hours or so if you take a look at the eastern horizon of any location one or other of the 12 signs of the zodiac will be rising. This precise point is known in astrological terms as the Ascendant or rising sign.
According to astrologers the rising sign is pivotal to an understanding of the horoscope and the personality of an individual because it reflects what an individual presents to the world around him. Many astrologers refer to this as “the mask” we assume. The Sun is our basic willpower, the Moon our emotional or instinctive responses, however, the mask is what we prefer the world to see and what we project to our environment. And that is why it is so important to study this point in the horoscope because often we get caught up in the appearance rather than the reality of what is.
A person may have the rising sign of Aries which is considered energetic, full of self-confidence and impatience. Yet the Sun sign may be the sensitive Cancer. In this case we may completely overlook the true motivation or character of the person in favour of what is superficially presented to the world around them. In this instance the person may not necessarily be as outgoing and confident as we would assume but would be projecting this almost as a means of overcompensating for oversensitivity, past hurts which could be rooted in childhood mistrust or abandonment. You would need to look at many other factors to draw that conclusion but I think you understand that what I am saying here is that the rising sign presents a very different picture about the person to what they may actually be.
The sign of the Zodiac which represents the rising sign is of course important but we must need to also look at other factors that colour this fact. What are those factors? Well, each rising sign has a ruling planet and its essential to study the placement of that planet. In the instance that we are looking at here with the rising sign of Aries, Mars, the ruling planet, can be in any other side of the Zodiac. If it was located in Capricorn, this is considered the most powerful point or what is known as exaltation. Mars with function it is best and is Capricorn is the 10th house from Aries that would indicate a powerful professional drive and a desire to be well known and recognised for one’s talents. On the other hand if the same Mars for the rising sign of Aries was to be found in the sign of Cancer, this would weaken Mars as Cancer is the debilitation sign for it. As you can see would have diametrically opposing drives yet with the same rising sign.
As well is looking to the placement of the ruling planet of the rising sign one must look at the aspects to the rising sign and the ruler of the rising sign. Difficult aspects will challenge the person with an opposite result if favourable aspects predominated. Then of course there is the issue of the nature of the planets involved in those aspects. Friendly planets will be supportive whereas on friendly ones will challenge and possibly produce failure. As you can see the typical year market Sun sign astrology is only scratching the surface and it is imperative that the rising sign be calculated for more accurate details about your personality, future and destiny.