Ascendant Sign Descriptions


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NOTE: Asc signs can be modified in their physiology by the Sun sign, any 1st house planets, and by any planet within 1.5* of parallel the Asc or within 3-4* of longitude - of a correct, verified chart. Alterations to the normal patterns will only be partial and happen when the ruler of the correct Ascendant sign is conjunct or parallel a planet of differing element; when planets of a differing element are in the first house (such as Taurus rising with Sun in Gemini in 1st house); when there is a heavy concentration of planets in a differing element, especially if angular, but of the house that is not the native house of the sign on the Ascendant. Regardless, the basic essence of the sign on the Ascendant will still be there.

In facial outline identification, it is best to look at pictures of the person while still fairly young so you are not fooled by weight gain, sagging, fluid retention. Age 10-30 is a good range.

Sign Quality Differentiation by base outlines (as outlined by master astrologer John Willner):
CARDINAL - OVATE/ROUNDED FACES. The forehead area rounds or slants inward more than the fixed or mutable faces.
FIXED - RECTANGULAR OR SQUARISH/BLOCKY FACES. The face most often is straight along the edges so that the forehead/temples are about the same width as the lower jaw.
MUTABLE - NARROW/LONGISH TAPERING FACES. Can be rounded, but are usually noticeably slender or longish but often with wider foreheads.

Aries rising shows a bony or chiseled ovate head that in men can have a skeletal suggestion. The jawline can be narrow, but most often will be stronger/fuller than the other cardinal signs, and the neck is slimmer than normal.

Examples: Geraldine Ferraro, Barbra Streisand, Helen Reddy, Lynn Redgrave, Dick Gregory, David Souter, John Lennon.

Their energy is quick, courageous, direct and forward-moving (unless water or earth factors dampen the overall energy). The voice is normally louder or sharper than those around.

The eyes are active and can have a sharpness or brightness to them and there is a demeanor of energy. They eyebrows may be bushier or thicker than normal. The men can be rugged with a jutting or bony chin, which sometimes identifies them more than the outline of the face. Both sexes can be fair and ruddy, regardless of hair color (Caucasians). The personality is geared for action. These people lead with their initiative and can be quite bossy, "butt-inskies," and self-promoting. They tend to impose themselves on their surroundings with their agenda, getting others to do work for them. They energize those around them and pick up the energy in almost any environment or situation they become part of. They are natural leaders, business builders, inventors, entrepreneurs.

Taurus rising has a head and face that is more softly rectangular, and eyes to match: often brown, rounded, full, heavily lidded with long lashes and with a more steady gaze than Aries types.

Examples: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Halle Berry.

Their energy is generally slow, deliberate, pacifying, sensible and grounded (unless fire or air factors show prominence). The voice is normally soft and pleasant, and speech consistent.

The nose tends to be broad or rounded at the tip and many have cute button noses. The neck and/or throat is usually thicker than normal. The shoulders are often more rounded than square-cut like other fixed signs. The height is usually short to average. The energy is much slower in tempo than the Aries types and they are accommodating, but not easily pushed. In fact, they will resent it. They prefer routines. They are generally pleasant looking if not beautiful, and their personalities will match. Deliberate, easy, leisurely, steady and natural is how they operate. They are the stabilizers of the zodiac and can be calming and soothing during a crisis. They may not but very up or down, but can emote if needed to entertain.

Gemini rising has a narrower head that is often longer than normal. Sometimes it is normal in length, but tapers to a narrow chin. There is often a high forehead, and the eyes can be wider apart than average. This is one of the signs that can allow a person to appear younger than their actual age.

Their energy is generally lateral, even scattered, receptive, communicative, quick and variable (unless enough earth or water factors calm it down). The voice may alternate quiet and louder, rising and falling easily in pitch or volume.

The eyes and movements of the hands are quick and varied, and the thinking and speech are quicker and more varied than Cancer or Taurus. They are alert and agile with longer than average limbs, hands and feet. The fingers are generally longer than average. They are talkers and can dominate the communication if confident of their audience. They generally can only be still if their hands and thoughts are focused on a task like writing, typing, or with crafts or artistic creativity. They tend to have intellectual interests, but have too much energy outward into the nervous system to not be physically active, even if only gesturing or walking. They bring interest, curiosity, spontaneity and variety to those around and can be charming with their wit and quick retorts.

Cancer rising has a rounded or oval shaped face. The mouth tends to be wide and there is a generally a feeling, sympathetic look to the face.

Their energy is centripetal-consolidating (outside-in), introverted, sensitive, receptive, reticent, cautious or conservative, protective, nurturing. They can be very in tune with the needs of others and public opinion, but can be moody and changeable in their own sensitivity (unless enough earth/stabilizing factors intervene). Their approach is subconscious and intuitive. The voice is generally modest in volume and their speech reticent. This sign is often indicated over Leo on the Ascendant by the distinct tendency to mull over words before responding or bumbling them (so as not to offend), or allowing subconscious slips.

The skin is usually soft and the eyes will reflect this softness rather than a sharpness or intensity. The shoulders are often rounded, some becoming hunch-shouldered with time. They can look cherubic or innocent, even childlike. These people are generally introverted, looking for a place of respect. They avoid confrontations normally and tend to exert influence more behind the scenes, taking control tacitly with the support of others. Whether they maintain close bonds with the family of their birth or not, closeness and support are still important and family has a great influence on how they relate to the world. Don't expect strength of logic behind their actions. Empathy and unity are more likely.

Leo rising has a rectangular or squarish head.

Honor, integrity, courage, directness and honesty are the values of the balanced Leo rising person. The energy is that of one that wants to be recognized or dealt with. They can have a crude and loud approach (unless the humility of water or earth factors intervene) or a royal bearing, but they won't be ignored. The voice can be very appealing if soft or commanding if louder. Many are capable of great volumes that resonate from the chest, thus there are many actors and singers with this Ascendant sign.

The men tend to baldness. The eyes are often large or bulging, but can be especially attractive and magnetic. The eyes are more often widely-spaced than with any other sign. There can be a barrel chest with men and large bust with many of the women, but whatever the details, there is a strong, commanding presence or a statuesque look about them, whether slender or bulky. The frame is often large and the body sturdy, even blocky, but some are taller and more athletic. Some are swaybacked as if pushing out the chest with pride. With many there is an emphasis on upper body while the legs are skinny and knees knobby. They know they can be somebody, but some may stretch too hard in their ambition. They are natural leaders that radiate vitality and magnanimity.

Virgo rising has a tapering head that is sometimes clearly v-shaped. The cranium is large, if only at the occipital area, and the forehead may be higher than normal, but the head narrows to a small mouth with modest lips. Often the mouth is too small for all the adult teeth to properly erupt.

Their energy is introverted, at least early in life, but alternating like other mutable signs, so the voice tends to be soft rather than loud or sharp (unless fire/air factors alter this pattern) and can have a nasal quality. It is oriented towards smaller-scale matters of details, analysis, information, being good polishers or finishers of enterprises begun by others. It is critical with a keen eye to flaws and how to correct them. Many writers have this sign and it focuses one's cognitive awareness on processing within before communicating outwardly.

The chin may look chopped off short of a full triangle. The nose generally has a pinched bridge and is often straight and down-pointing. The eyes are closer together and smaller than most any Leo rising. They are short to tall, but generally have slender, even wiry bodies, at least when young. They are detail-oriented, health-oriented, conscientious, and want to get things right. These people are practical, but opportunistic. They can be physically susceptible and should take measures to maintain their health with exercise, diet, etc. Some have stronger constitutions and are gifted athletes. Their precision will show in their athletic approach. This rising sign is most likely to delay sexual involvement or marriage.
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Libra rising produces a rounded, ovate head that is normally smallish unless altered by planets or other factors. Even the chin tends to be rounded and with a dimple or cleft.

The energy is initiating and persuasive, people smart and people-pleasing, aesthetic and tactile, more cerebral than its fiery counterpart, Aries. The voice can be especially soft or smooth (unless fire factors significantly energize things).

The eyes and mouth are generally well-shaped and attractive, even if they are not models or beauty queens. The eyes are generally light, and in Caucasians can be of mixed color (blue-green). The skin is normally smooth, soft, and complexion good. One characteristic that can often determine a genuine Libra rising is a swayback. It is as if they are holding back their vulnerabilities and it becomes a permanent posture. Another contrasting feature with Scorpio is that the shoulders tend to be more rounded or the body lighter boned. They have good taste and want to enjoy the good life. These people are lovers and people-oriented, initiating friendships easily. Their charm and easy-going approach to people makes an impression. However, many are either indecisive or changeable, or love to argue for kicks. The women especially will adorn themselves and know how to increase their attractiveness with bangles, jewelry and clothing. They can be people-pleasers, indulgent, procrastinating. They lead by persuasion. The men (and some women) often have a knack for mechanical things, machines, computers, etc.

Scorpio rising generally shows a squarish/rectangular head.

Their energy is unrevealing but penetrating or searching, deep, hidden, intense, magnetic, powerful. The voice is generally restrained or obscured with many (especially males) speaking with clenched jaw or through their teeth (ala Clint Eastwood's characters). Many have strong resonant voices. Speech obscurities may show or the person may just not be very communicative. Men tend to appear as the 'strong but silent type.'

The eyes tend to be dark, but can be intensely bright. There is a tendency for many to partly obscure their face or eyes with hair, wearing tinted glasses or covering the eyes with a cap pulled low. The view into a Scorpio rising person is obscured on many levels. They can be short to tall, but will often be powerfully built or quietly imposing in some way. The overall look tends to be dark, but they can have very bright eyes, especially lined with a dark ring. The most common build is somewhat blocky, at least once they've reached adulthood, but the women can be especially curvy and desirable.These people don't let just anyone close and they can be hard to get to know. They can be very creative and have great capacity to excel, even rising quickly to the top. Their deep sensitivity can be either a great asset or cause for ongoing isolation. They can be very magnetic, often even erotic in their outer appeal. They are easily distinguished from Sagittarius or Libra by their private nature.

Sagittarius rising produces a longer head than normal, or at least a narrower one, and often with a back-sloping forehead or a noticeable ridge at the brow. Sometimes the head simply tapers from a wider forehead to a narrower chin in a V-shape like Virgo.

The energy is expansive, believing, outgoing, friendly and open, but many have "fled-to-the-head" with the expansive principle of Jupiter. The voice bears the same quality and the laughter can be especially uplifting, infectious and attention getting. The speech can sometimes involve stuttering because of enthusiastic thought energy that is so rapid it cannot be translated into words. At the very least excitability shows unless there is adequate earth, fixity or water to calm things down.

The ears and lobes are long most often and this distinguishes them from Capricorn, which has little if any ear lobes. The distance from mouth to chin is often elongated. The eyes can be especially brilliant, sparkling or twinkling and the energy is close to the surface nearly all the time. They are of the tallest in the zodiac, and the most extroverted. These people love freedom and truth, and are adventurous in their exploration of people, nature, philosophy and lands. They are actively open to the world, optimists, but oddly, often hypochondriac. The build is athletic, slender most often, but sometimes with more width. Even if short, the extroverted nature and breezy, friendly, open attitude gives them away. Their vision is farsighted and they must reach what captures their interest. They are restless and need to move and travel. The women are often tomboys in youth, going along and doing what the boys do, but can find full expression of their femininity in womanhood.

Capricorn rising gives a rounded-ovate head, often with compact faces and smaller, sharper features. The ears often stick out and there are little if any lobes. This sometimes creates an elfin or impish look.

The energy is reserved, formal, paternal, yet down-to-earth. Sometimes they seem to play the role of Pan, as dancers and mischief-makers. There can be restraint in the voice, in vivid contrast to the volume and exuberance of Sagittarius. Speech can be commanding when necessary, but normally is subdued (unless enough fire or air factors alter it).

The neck is usually thin and/or longer than average. The build is most often slender, even delicate looking, but there is strength and endurance underneath. They can be short to tall, but the seriousness or personal reserve and desire for respect will give them away. Energy is held in reserve for longer lasting, more important achievements, but some can be lusty and earthier. They enjoy work, even thrive on it, and some can become irritable or depressed without a challenge or without the respect and authority they desire. They are generally either capable or crafty in getting this respect. Their reserve can come across as haughtiness to some, but they are generally polite and understand the need for tradition, rules and chain of command. Their active groundedness is actually in the legs so they are sure-footed and can be very graceful, so some are natural dancers.

Aquarius rising produces a squarish head more often than any other sign, but the head can be more rectangular.

The energy is a contradiction of the outward-directed outside-in (centripetal) dynamic: social but individualistic. Their magnetism draws people because they are different and because the project comfort with being different. This is reflected in the voice, which can distinct and be projected for great effect, but may not be loud one-to-one.

They build tends to be solid or blocky or at least square-shouldered. Often the lower body is solid and strong. The height is normally medium to tall. They are distinctive people and can show this in something unusual about their appearance. They have insight into human nature and are strong-willed, intellectual, and very opinionated at times. Many are crowd-pleasing performers. They enjoy being different and revel in it. Justice and being kind to the underdog are common attitudes. Sometimes they themselves are the underdog. Their energy is extroverted, but often in an introverted way, happy to be with others even when quiet. Many of them are complex and identify as much with what must be done in society as with their own personal identity.

Pisces rising has a narrow/longish face, sometimes v-shaped, but curved.

Their energy is subtle, not normally direct, mysterious, but not necessarily secretive, visionary, intuitive. The voice is soft, easy and gentle, in direct contrast to the pace and sharpness of Aries.

The skin often has a clear appearance that is luminescent. This is much like their personalities, which are the most humble, transparent and sacrificial in the zodiac. The eyes are often large and round or bulging. They tend to be dark or of mixed color, but can be bright. They are generally inquisitive and can be great listeners, giving you their full attention. There is mystery about them that makes many of them very alluring. Their sensitivity comes out at times when they speak to empathize with or defend others, especially who are not there to defend themselves. Prejudiced attitudes are hard to find among these people. They are empathetic and forgiving more than others. Their talent for and love of music, poetry, dancing, role-playing can give them away when paired with the facial features. Many of these men have a knack for computers and intuitive navigation of mysterious worlds.
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This thread may be more appropriate in the Cusps/houses thread, so if a moderator wants to move it, I'd appreciate it.


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Hmm. Thanks for the info! Do you find the body a natural help in double-checking ASC? Especially those close to the edge of a sign?

What else affects the body, via ASC, it's ruler etc.? ASC ruler aspects, aspects to the ASC itself?

I think I fit the Virgo ASC pretty well, but if my time of birth is correct, I've Cancer Rising, Moon in 3rd of Virgo (3rd house in Placidus/Whole Sign).

- I have a high forehead, small mouth and lips. Eyes are small and usually soft, though I note a much dark, striking shade when optimistic/victorious.

- I'm average height for a European male, very slim, and where not slim, muscles are very strong and obvious. I never felt like I earned those muscles: interest in sport and exercise is sporadic, I've no interest in routine so I don't know how I got and keep those muscles.

- Legs are especially well-built, always were, and I as I say I didn't earn them!

- I never gain weight, neither does my dad. I'm very light for a male.

- Broad shoulders, very thin and lightly muscled torso.

- Thin arms, very active, palms of hands are large, short figures, very strong knuckles.

Would you mind commenting on whether you think this fits my Cancer sign, ruler and aspects? I'd be very grateful, and this could turn out to be a more fail-safe method of ASC verification.
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Great info Kannon. Mods, I recommend that this thread becomes a sticky...
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I dont fit all the description of gemini rising. I dont have a long forehead and thin face. I have fat or high cheekbones and roundish chin. Maybe its a libra thing from my sun?

Especially Im not tall! But I have slim legs and arms/hands. I kind of have a similar body shape as my mum when she was younger, but shes leo rising... Ive read somewhere else that gemini AC have pointy slim or prominent noses, and that I can agree with about my appearance.

Also my skin looks pale compared to my alsmost raven black hair. And I have brown eyes with a shimmer of hazel depending on the light.


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If this heads for stick-land, then maybe I should move my question to another thread!

No ways :)

If it becomes a sticky, it just makes its easier to find in future .... the only time discussions aren't entered into and I'm open to correction here, is when it gets put into the Ed Board and I'm not recommending that.


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I dont fit all the description of gemini rising. I dont have a long forehead and thin face. I have fat or high cheekbones and roundish chin. Maybe its a libra thing from my sun?

Especially Im not tall! But I have slim legs and arms/hands. I kind of have a similar body shape as my mum when she was younger, but shes leo rising... Ive read somewhere else that gemini AC have pointy slim or prominent noses, and that I can agree with about my appearance.

Also my skin looks pale compared to my alsmost raven black hair. And I have brown eyes with a shimmer of hazel depending on the light.

Personality has to be taken into account. Sometimes just long limbs, hands/feet are a good indicator of Gemini over Taurus. You don't have to be tall to be Gem rising, its just that height comes more often with Gem, Sag, Leo (sign unaltered by Asc/1st house planets). Most people with early degree birth times are actually the previous sign.

Its your overall energy that will specifiy your rising sign, with few exceptions.


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Personality has to be taken into account. Sometimes just long limbs, hands/feet are a good indicator of Gemini over Taurus. You don't have to be tall to be Gem rising, its just that height comes more often with Gem, Sag, Leo (sign unaltered by Asc/1st house planets). Most people with early degree birth times are actually the previous sign.

Its your overall energy that will specifiy your rising sign, with few exceptions.

Mentally I think Im Gemini rising, cause as I said Im always curious, have been studying my whole life, could speak at a much earlier age than all my siblings and easily learn foreign languages. Not sure about the taurus thing....Arent they heavier built? More compact than gemini? And thicker neck? My neck is long and thin, so they say:)


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hi i loved this ~thanks for posting
i am aries rising but doing my chart another way makes me pisces ( my sun sign) but i do have to say the older i get i speak out much more and i am def direct and hate injustice of anykind
thanks again oh and for listening


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i am a 0-1 degree scorpio ascendant, born supposedly at 10:00am exactly and i swear i look like a mix of scorpio and libra!! i have extremely dark eyes and im private/obssessive but i have a round face with dimples and a cleft chin, and ive always made friends easily...i guess thats how a cusp works...i have a round face and a square jaw is that possible? lol


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My personal notions;

Me Libra rising :)cancer:, Pluto Scorpio 1st house)
Cousin Libra rising :)pisces:, moon :scorpio: 1st house)

-soft, fine skin (Libra tendency, don't know if moon affects also)
-fluffy, soft hair
-"relaxed" bodies, lazyness, we're always seeking comfiest position / place possible
-delicate features
-cousin hazel eyes, mine green/multicolor (-with scorpio ring)

cousin 2
Scorpio rising, other things same as the one above (twin brother)

-dark hair, like iron structure
-deep, dark eyes
-stiff body
-gets dark in summer
-he has also softness in his features; round face, moonlike
-he's always feeling hot

neat, we're so different and alike

Amy Vir Sn Ari Mn Pis Ris

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I read about Libra rising having a dimple in the chin and I know planets can alter things. I don't know that you'd call this a dimple but it's a nitch of some kind in the chin.

Here's a link to a couple of pictures of Kurt Russell (I am watching a movie with him in it now..."Executive Decision" and he is Cancer rising with a Cancer moon.

Here is the link to his natal chart

and then I see a nitch or dimple in Sofia Loren's chin too. It says she is Capricorn rising. Loren/RIPyEnus/SofiaLoren.jpg

Here's a link to her natal chart

And look at the nose on Sofia Loren. It almost turns downward at the tip.
Is that typical of Capricorn rising.

What's the consensus?

Amy Vir Sn Ari Mn Pis Ris

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Look at the chin of Bret Michaels. He's got a dimple or nitch of some kind too.

They don't know his rising sign but with all his health difficulties of late I would've thought late Virgo since all his problems dominoed one after the other. But without the recent health stuff I would've thought Leo rising for his hair and star qualities or Libra for his "pretty boy" look.

Here's his chart with unknown rising


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Take a look at the faces I've posted in the top of this thread for some examples of the principles of the Asc by quality, etc.