If you've never had a professional astrologer read your zodiac chart for you, you probably have never heard of your "rising sign," aka your "ascendant," let alone know WTF it is or what it means.
But if you're interested in astrology, you should learn it, because it's one of the three pillars of your chart, along with your sun sign and your moon.
In fact, world-renowned astrologer Susan Miller suggests reading not just your sun sign, but also your rising sign when you look up your horoscope.
So how does one find their rising sign?
Your rising sign (or ascendant, as it's also called) describes the impression you give off with new people and in unfamiliar circumstances. I like to think of it as your first impression sign.
The ascendant plays a part in your appearance and personality, going as far as sometimes influencing even a person's physical characteristics.
Once you've found out what your rising sign is using the ascendant calculator, you can find out the characteristics of your rising sign, which are any of the following.
Direct and fast-acting doers. They deal with problems without doubts and full of enthusiasm, and want to reach their goals without detours. Indecision and irresolution are rare attributes.
Practical, logical and objective yet sociable, Taurus rising looks for stability and the feeling of security. They dislike change and can appear to be stubborn.
Intellectual, practical and inquisitive, Gemini rising takes a profound interest in their friends and everything going on around them. They are communicative and are eloquent speakers, able to strike up and create lively small talk with anyone.
Versatile, kind, gentle and romantically minded, Cancer rising gives the impression of someone who is somewhat unpredictable or moody, distrustful of new situations and emotionally withdrawn in a self-protective way.
Self-confident, creative, independent, optimistic and kind-hearted, Leo rising gives off the impression of everyone's playful pal with the confidence of someone who is not-to-be-fucked with.
Virgo Risings impress those around them with their characteristic intellect. They are studious, sophisticated, observant, timid, adaptable, modest, orderly, reliable, critical and diligent.
Fair, harmonious, sociable, open-minded and compassionate, Libra rising people are the happy-go-lucky types that everyone wants to invite to their birthday dinner. They just know how to bring people together, and are easy to get along with.
Reliable, dynamic, determined and insistent, Scorpio rising people give off an air of both mystery and passion. They aren't the kinds of people who like to "keep things light" and they almost always give off a vibe of understated but notable sexuality.
Sagittarius rising people have a good sense of social solidarity and is gifted with a feeling of connectedness with others. They are curious, expansive and always want to learn new things.
Serious, grounded, practical, reliable and effective, Capricorn rising give off an impression of professionalism, duty and responsibility. They are often working, or they make their lives their work.
Firm, vigorous, energetic and frank, Aquarian rising people are independent totally unconventional, progressive, enthusiastic and innovative. They may appear to be busy in their own minds, like little mad scientists always running with new ideas.
Idealistic, faithful, docile, Pisces rising give the impression of gentleness. They are easy to open up to and will often be the recipient of personal information they never asked for from others. They're very sensitive, and easily seduced.
Hopefully this explains to some skeptics why they've never really related to the qualities of their sun sign; perhaps they see themselves more in the light of their rising sign characteristics.
It plays just as large a part in your personality.
From here on out, be sure to check the horoscope of both your sun sign AND your rising sign, as you'll find that more often it's a combination of the two which will give you a more accurate read.
It's also important to keep in mind that these are the qualities you tend to project with new people and in new situations, and to see how that awareness can benefit you in the future!