Why is the Ascendant of a birth chart given importance? And, from an esoteric point of view, how are we to embody the energies of the ASC?
The Ascendant of the horoscope is also called the Rising Sign because this point signifies the sign that was rising on the eastern horizon at the place and time of birth or of creation in the case of an event or business. For instance,I have Sagittarius rising. That is my Ascendant.
The Ascendant is important firstly because it sets the Wheel. That is to say, if Sagittarius is rising, then one knows where Gemini is located – directly across the chart – and, thus, what arenas of life Gemini is conditioning. By knowing the time and location of the birth of someone or an event, the Wheel is now oriented and said to be “set in motion.” If one’s chart/horoscope is not intercepted, then the vertical points (4th/10th houses) can also be set. In this example, they will be Virgo 10th and Pisces 4th; and the rest of the signs fill in accordingly. With an intercepted chart, all bets are off.
The Rising sign is important traditionally because:
- it promotes the body type of a person and often emphasizes the part of the body corresponding to the sign of the ASC.
- As mentioned in article #13, the ASC conditions or colors how a person starts things, as well as what he or she begins or is afraid to.
- The ASC is the cusp of the 1st house. That house is the initial manifestation of the Wheel as an overall design for one’s life/ or one’s business/marriage, or other type of event. This might sound esoteric, but no. Whether one believes in one life as operative or many, this one is the one being lived. The energetics of this life are what are depicted by the astrological chart. No matter what level of Path one is on or capable of living from, the chart is a symbolic representation of the life’s potential, the likely challenges, as well as the spectrum of qualities and skills at one’s disposal to address challenges and to fulfill potential.
These factors are significant. They are all being lived and will be until the moment of death. Never dismiss the influence of the Rising Sign. Again, it alone sets the Wheel and puts it into motion. I hope everyone will contemplate their ASC with a fresh mind and heart. Our life is the embodiment of the Ascendant.
We begin with the same idea: the Ascendant sets the Wheel. The horoscope is a symbolic rendering of who you are at this point in your eons of multi-dimensional evolution. The great potential of Being expressing through Compassion as Action and the Creative Demonstration of Non-Dual Wisdom/Awareness is depicted in the chart. However, human beings have a tendency toward mediocrity which is also portrayed in the chart, specifically how the native will likely default. Curiously, we bring aplomb and pride to our mediocrity!
The horoscope illustrates the karmic challenges that we have been living for a long time as well as the antidotes or corrective measures to nullify or transform them. Certain houses, signs, and configurations tend to illustrate these facets. The same indicators usually configure to describe the one or two primary themes of the horoscope. How one lives those themes is up to the native.
The birth chart is illustrating multiple layers and, therefore, possibilities or dimensions all at once. This is because a human being is a multi-dimensional being whose possible expressions are beyond measure. That’s joyous to acknowledge and work from because doing so automatically pushes personal parameters while illumining comfort zones. It highlights habits of consciousness and default patterns while also clarifying how to change them. To live this ongoing insight and openness to personal transfiguration is creative and spontaneous. Being human, we will still eat the foods we like and have the friends we do, all the while spiritual awakeness is being cultivated. You are your chart. If old dynamics are not changed consciously in this life, they’ll be waiting in the next. As human beings, we can bring awareness to our life. What a blessing!
The Rising Sign is what can powerfully and benevolently arise within one. The attributes and qualities of the rising sign are this life’s agenda for personal spiritual maturation. Then, due to inter-being with all beings, each person’s spiritual maturing in any way and any measure is of benefit to myriad others. Consider, for example, someone who stops killing insects or eats less animal flesh or plants for the pollinators or feeds birds or chooses to be courteous to everyone every day. The ramifications of these small actions reverberate literally to countless beings. And, through such common activities one is embodying the qualities of the Ascendant.
The Master DK said that the Ascendant “indicates the intended life or immediate soul purpose for this incarnation.” EA pg. 18. His statement adds the level of soul to what was said in prior paragraphs about the ASC. But, let’s expand the term “soul” to include the higher nature called by various terms. Now it becomes clear that the ASC declares the evolutionary purpose and modality of the current incarnation.
I have wondered if the degree of the rising sign points to where in a cycle of incarnations the current life is. For example, does 0-5 indicate a new cycle, zenith degrees (14-19) imply middle-way through, 25-28 state that a cycle is completing? Furthermore, 29 and 0 are actually void of course degrees for signs including that of the ASC. What might that spiritually indicate? All this is speculation, but – for me – degrees have intuitively suggested the above; and such an interpretation is usually restated in other features of the horoscope.
The soul or higher nature is seeking to accomplish features, skills, or qualities of the ASC. For instance, the mode might be significant this life (cardinal, fixed, or mutable). It might be being established (independence, stability, or flexibility) or act as a mirror. I know a few people with Leo rising. They all exhibit something in common: the fixity of personal routines. This example is one of mirroring. All of these people are on the Path but don’t recognize this behavior. Now, I also have behaviors that I don’t recognize, so no better-than-thou here. The point in the example is fixity. My challenge is completions (Sagittarius rising). The only exception is gardening. I collect and dry my own seeds, start as many plants indoors as possible, collect and dry herbs and seeds, tend the soil, and do it all over again. Completions are an excellent cultivation of diligence, and I am grateful for each opportunity.
Examine your life through the lens of the rising sign: its mode, element, plethora of qualities and skills, as well as afflictive tendencies. What is being embodied? Is the ASC demonstrating through our life and service? What about personal spiritual training, the observer, and self-reflection and transmutation processes? Just as it was rising on the eastern horizon when we were born, we are to arise as the ASC.
All three rulers of the Ascendant qualify the Wheel. Point on Path will determine how robust an influence each is. Because we are incarnated, the traditional ruler is active. Because we are a soul or higher nature that incarnated, the esoteric ruler is a constant force. Because, we are pure beingness unfettered by causes and conditions, pure beingness that has emanated an illusory manifestation into an illusory world, the hierarchical ruler is in play.
The Rising Sign is often called “the stretch.” This characterization implies stretching beyond personal comfort zones, habits, and frames of reference. Look to the esoteric ruler of the ASC for the look and feel of the stretch, to what extent it has been accomplished and embodied, as well as the mechanisms for doing so. As mentioned in #13, the hierarchical ruler requires that the esoteric ruler’s gifts be established within one’s consciousness or conscious awareness. The hierarchical ruler is, basically, a wider demonstration of the self-less-ness of the esoteric ruler’s powers. The hierarchical ruler is not about one’s personal life anymore than the sky is.
Reflect on the ASC’s ruling planets’ qualifying of your life. Both the traditional and esoteric should be fairly obvious. Use these many posts to help with the attributes of the planets on their various levels. Below is the chart of rulers. Use it to go to the house correspondent to the sign. For example, Leo rising would go to the post on the 5th house.
The entire chart is designed to assist the soul/higher nature in its agenda for the life. The ASC reports that agenda. This means that every feature of the horoscope plus the transits, solar returns, and progressions generated from it all are in support of the higher nature’s purpose, goals, and intentions. True happiness for self and others lies in this embodiment.