Signs 101

The Ascendant

Your Ascendant or Rising Sign (same thing) is the sign of the Zodiac that was rising on the horizon at the second you were born.  Prior to birth, the unborn infant carries all the energies of the planets within, but it is only at birth that the lifelong imprint of the Ascendant is received. At birth, the qualities symbolized by your Ascendant permeate your entire being; much like a drop of paint dye colors a whole container of water.

Have you ever read about your Sun Sign and thought to yourself, “That is so NOT me.”  This is because of your Ascendant.  Your Ascendant is so powerful that people usually think you are that sign.  The Rising Sign characterizes how your respond and react, and who you represent yourself to be.  It describes how you first react in social situations and indicates how others will perceive your behavior.  The Ascendant even determines your looks.

The Ascendant begins the chart because it is located on the cusp of your first house.  It is known as the “ruler of the chart” because it is the lens through which you see the world.  The extent to which you embrace the qualities of your Ascendant determines the ease of the expression of all other planets in the chart.

The Ascendant personalizes your chart and makes you unique.  It functions as your coping mechanism for dealing with the outside world, and can even behave as a shield to keep others from accessing the rest of your chart.

The three most powerful elements in your chart are your Sun, which governs who you are, the Moon, how you feel, and the Ascendant, what you do.

  Aries the Ram 
 Party of One

“I Am Me—You’re Not!”

Element – Fire
Quality – Cardinal
Ruler – Mars
Chord – 1st House

Symbol – The Ram
Mode – Intuition
Motto – “I am”

Archetypes:  Warrior, Pioneer, Leader, Hero, Innovator, Athlete, Daredevil, Survivor, Fool, the Loner, The Tool User, The Entrepreneur

Light:  leadership, strength, courage, action, energy, independence, innovation, honesty, enthusiasm, survival, heroism

Shadow:  belligerence, impatience, bravado, selfishness, judgment, self-absorption, antagonism, bulldozer

Anatomy:  head, brain, eyes, muscles, upper teeth 

taurus  Taurus the Bull   ♉   The Comfort Zone

“I Seek Myself Through What I Own”

Element – Earth
Quality – Fixed
Ruler – Venus
Chord – 2nd House

Symbol – The Bull
Mode – Sensation
Motto – “I Have”

Archetypes:  Earth Goddess, Steward, Builder, Farmer, Conservationist, Naturalist, Gardener, Musician, Hoarder, Slowpoke, Peacemaker, “salt of the earth”

Light:  sensual, earthy, easy going, simple, stable, constant, loving, grounding, endurance, pleasure, tranquility, reverence, abundance, security, pragmatism,  contented, trustworthy, loyal, faithful, peaceful, placid, serene, compassionate, goodnatured, warmhearted, likeable, kind, composed, unruffled, calm, quiet, steady, reliable, careful, steadfast, grounded

Shadow:  gluttony, stubbornness, materialism, possessiveness, laziness, greed, stagnation, inflexibility

Anatomy:  neck, throat, jaw, thyroid, shoulders

gemini  Gemini the Twins   ♊  Two For the Road

“I’m interested, so let’s talk about it some more!”

Element – Air
Quality – Mutable
Ruler – Mercury
Chord – 3rd House

Symbol – The Twins
Mode – Thought
Motto – “I Communicate”

Archetypes:  Witness, Storyteller, Trickster, Journalist, Student, Magician, Messenger, Salesperson

Light:  perception, intelligence, communication, open-mindedness, multi-tasking, curiosity, adaptability, versatility, quick wit

Shadow:  over-extension, nervousness, restlessness, fickle, talk without substance, lying, unreliability, indecision, distraction, superficiality

Anatomy:  lungs, shoulders, arms, hands, nervous system

cancer  Cancer the Crab   ♋  Call Me Mama

“It hurts to say goodbye—so don’t go!”

Element – Water
Quality – Cardinal
Ruler – The Moon
Chord – 4th House

Symbol – The Crab
Mode – Feeling
Motto – “I Feel”

Archetypes:  Mother, Great Mother Goddess, Healer, Caretaker, the Cook, Nurturer

Light:  nurturing, resourcefulness, domesticity, creativity, rootedness, sensitivity, intuition, imagination, receptivity, protectiveness, gregarious

Shadow:  moodiness, over-attachment to the past, hyper-sensitivity, stagnation, tribalism, hoarding, smothering, codependence, clingy, jealous, insecure, over-possessive, whiny

Anatomy:  breasts, stomach, womb

leo  Leo the Lion   ♌  Hear Me Roar

“The show must go on—starring me!”

Element – Fire
Quality – Fixed
Ruler – The Sun
Chord – 5th House

Symbol – The Lion
Mode – Intuition
Motto – “I Create”

Archetypes:  Artist, Child, Performer, Diva, King/Queen, Rock Star, Leader, Monarch

Light:  self-expression, leadership, generosity, spontaneity, joy, celebration, courage, uniqueness, innocence, charisma, loyalty, theatrical, creative, passionate, vibrant, luminous, peripatetic, romantic, youthful, playful, sunny disposition, enthusiastic, self-sufficient, sex for pleasure

Shadow:  melodrama, willfulness, ego-inflation, pride, self-aggrandizement, superiority, arrogance, entitlement

Anatomy:  heart, spine, back, spinal cord

virgo  Virgo “The Maiden”   ♍

“I’m making a list—and checking it twice!”

Element – Earth
Quality – Mutable
Ruler – Ceres & Mercury
Chord – 6th House

Symbol – The Maiden, The Analyzer
Mode – Sensation, Thought
Motto – “I Heal”

Archetypes:  Doctor/Healer, Priestess, Crafter, Witch, Critic, Analyst, Editor, Servant, Representation of female youth

Light:  skillfulness, sincerity, quality, refinement, self-discipline, service, discrimination, efficiency, pragmatism, clarity, high-quality standards, humility, intellect, synthesis, class, sophistication, mistress of the fashion and textile arts, purification, cleansing, dignity, integrity, loyalty, genuineness, humanitarian

Shadow:  perfectionism, judgment, over-analysis, pettiness, workaholism, martyrdom, self-doubt, hyper-criticism, nick-picking tendencies, fear (nervousness), crisis

Anatomy:  intestines, Sacral and Solar Plexus, the nervous system

libra  Libra the Scales   ♎   Taking Turns

“We’re in this together—so let’s share!”

Element – Air
Quality – Cardinal
Ruler – Venus
Chord – 7th House

Symbol – The Scales
Mode – Thought, Sensation
Motto – “I Weigh”

Archetypes:  Diplomat, Peacemaker, Lover, Artist, Socialite

Light:  collaboration, cooperation, peace, beauty, compassionate detachment, equilibrium, diplomacy, justice, graciousness, social skills

Shadow:  indecision, laziness, insincerity, co-dependence, passivity, insecurity, lack of self-awareness, superficiality, manipulation

Anatomy:  kidneys, low back

scorpio  Scorpio the Scorpion     All or Nothing At All

“Trust me—you don’t really want to know my secrets!”

Element – Water
Quality – Fixed
Ruler – Pluto
Chord – 8th House

Symbol – The Scorpion
Mode – Feeling
Motto – “I Control”

Archetypes:  Magician, Sorceress, Wizard, Detective, Dark Goddess, Psychologist, Shaman, Priestess, Edge-Walker, Eagle

Light:  emotional depth, healing, passion, survival, erotic, transformation, compassion, intimacy, the orgasm, alchemy, power, rechanneling, healer (removal of poison from the blood…), regenerative forces, no fear of death (perhaps attraction to it), supernatural, joining forces, instinct, magnetic, compelling, rebirth, attraction

Shadow:  abuse of power, secrecy, judgment, jealousy, violence, selfishness, emotional repression, compulsion, destruction, paranoia, the dead, perversion, obsession, control, vulgarity, revenge, “one truth” belief system, receives pleasure in disturbing others, uninvited mental probing/channeling, manipulation, over-intensity, crisis

Anatomy:  Reproductive and eliminative organs; auto-immune and antibody systems

sagittarius  Sagittarius the Archer  ♐  Big World Out There

“I Believe We’re All Here to Do Some Good!”

Element – Fire
Quality – Mutable
Ruler – Jupiter
Chord – 9th House

Symbol – The Archer
Mode – Intuition
Motto – “I Philosophize”

Archetypes:  Philosopher, Gypsy, Teacher, Globetrotter, Adventurer, Guru, Vagabond, Preacher

Light:  expansion, exploration, enthusiasm, resilience, abundance, adventure, intuition, faith, understanding, wisdom, freedom, optimism

Shadow:  self-righteousness, intolerance, over-extension, over preaching, imprudence, fear of commitment, over-indulgence, fanaticism, tactlessness

Anatomy:  thighs, buttocks, hips, upper leg, solar plexus chakra; seat of locomotion in the body

capricorn  Capricorn the Sea Goat      Slow, Steady Climb

“Life makes me wait—But I’m worth it!”

Element – Earth
Quality – Cardinal
Ruler – Saturn
Chord – 10th House

Symbol – The Goat
Mode – Sensation
Motto – “I Master”

Archetypes:  Father, Hermit, Boss, Manager, Dictator, CEO, Authority

Light: introspection, wisdom, self-discipline, reliable, pragmatism, patience, integrity, humor, perseverance, consistent, power, high standards, long-term perspective, achiever of long term goals, focus, calm, sturdy

Shadow: fear, coldness, materialism, workaholism, authoritarianism, isolation, opportunism, rigidity, control, micromanaging, cynicism, over structuring, lack of spontaneity, excessive ambition, status seeking, emotional suffocation, conditional love, compulsively demanding “proper” respect from subordinates (“Yes Sir!” factor)

Anatomy:  Knees, bones, teeth, skin, joints

aquarius  Aquarius the Water Bearer   ♒  Breaking the Rules

“I’m a round peg in a square hole in a curved universe!”

Element – Air
Quality – Fixed
Ruler – Uranus
Chord – 11th House

Symbol – The Water Bearer
Mode – Thought
Motto – “I Universalize”

Archetypes:  Revolutionary, Innovator, Scientist, Genius, Networker, Activist, Outsider, Truth-Teller

Light:  creativity, freedom, individuality, humanitarianism, community, team player, objectivity, future vision, idealism, truth, friendship, rebel with a cause, inventor of new ways

Shadow:  stubbornness, “rebel without a cause,” alienation, emotional detachment, living in the future, undependable

Anatomy:  ankles, lower legs, circulatory system, electrical system

pisces  Pisces the Fish   ♓  The Art of Dreaming

“With an open heart, I swim the deepest cosmic waters!”

Element – Water
Quality – Mutable
Ruler – Neptune
Chord – 12th House

Symbol – The Fish
Mode – Feeling
Motto – “I Believe”

Archetypes:  Dreamer, Mystic, Visionary, Artist, Poet, Musician, Psychic, Healer, Martyr

Light:  intuition, creativity, healing, peace, oneness, sensitivity, cosmic, compassion, consciousness, higher vision, service, imagination, synthesizing

Shadow:  aimlessness, depression, addiction, escapism, lack of boundaries, victimization, martyrdom

Anatomy:  feet, lymphatic system

Find out about my Astrology Readings

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