Your rising sign, also known as your ascendant, is the zodiac sign that was ascending on the Eastern horizon when you took your first breath in this world. This is why knowing your exact birth time is so important in determining your rising sign. The rising sign, which is located on the cusp of the first house of your astrological chart — or at nine o’clock — can have an influence almost as strong as your Sun and Moon signs.
If your Sun sign represents your soul — your inner personality and potential — and your Moon sign represents your heart — your emotional core — then your rising sign represents your physical self, or the face you portray to the world. For instance, even if your Sun sign is Taurus, your rising sign could be Gemini. Others will perceive you as a ball of nervous energy and smart wit when you’re feeling relaxed.
Your rising sign can sometimes operate as a mask, concealing a piece of your inner self that you don’t want to disclose. Your Ascendant sign explains your temperament, outward traits, and behavior, as well as the public face you present. In casual, impersonal situations, it’s the aspect of yourself you’re most willing for others to see. Changes in this area explain why people who were born on the same day as you have such disparate personalities, abilities and interests, and life experiences.
The Rising Sign in a person’s chart is also known as the Ascendant. Both phrases are used interchangeably by astrologers. It’s the sign that was rising on the Eastern horizon of the sky when you were born in the location where you were born. This is why, in order to create a truly accurate Natal Chart, you must know both a birthplace and a birth time.