Here's Why Your Ascendant Sign Is Just As Important As Your Sun Sign

by Valerie Mesa

The universe is infinite, as is the study of astrology. I'm completely mesmerized by the depth and complexity of the topic of astrology. There are so many things to learn. Your sun sign. Your houses. Your ascendant sign. There's a lot to learn, especially when asking: What is your ascendant sign? If you're not familiar with the term ascendant, or rising sign, here's some background: On the day you were born, the cosmos were in the midst of their own storyline. This, in turn, created a cosmic frequency and celestial theme in your human experience. So your birth chart is an exact screenshot of the sky on the day you were born, and each of the planets have a specific duty and personality while the houses represent 12 different areas of life.

Let's say you were born on July 12. This would mean you were born with the sun in Cancer, which is your sun sign. But that's not your only sign, and you can't automatically assume every Cancer is hypersensitive, moody, and needy — which are all characteristics of the sun sign. You have to take into consideration that it's likely that their planets (including their ascendant) could have been traveling through attention-seeking fire signs, or a mischievous air sign, which would automatically change everything about their astrological identity, despite their sun sign's overall significance.

Thoroughly confused yet? Don't be! Here's what you should know:

What Is Your Ascendant Sign?

The ascendant or rising sign is the ruler of your first house of self, personality, appearance, and first impressions. According to, your ascendant sign (which can be used interchangeably with the term rising sign) "can affect your appearance, your attitude, and the way you come across to others." It's the sign that was ascending on the eastern horizon the very same moment you were born. This is the front door to your chart, which also provides the very first breath of existence and color of your world.

Because the rising sign changes every two hours, it's really, really important to know exactly when you were born in order to figure out yours. According to, if you can't rely on a parent or caregiver's memory to tell you the time you were born (or if your birth certificate doesn't list the hour), you can work with a professional astrologer to "reconstruct" your chart with you. From there, they can make an educated guess at which rising sign is in your chart.

I'm a Cancer sun with a Scorpio ascendant. These water signs already go hand-in-hand because they're both incredibly emotional and receptive. I hide my "Cancer-like" emotions very well, all thanks to my Scorpio ascendant, of course. And I also naturally resonate more with the Scorpio personality, and often times, because of this, I consider my ascendant sign's horoscope to be more accurate than my sun sign.

Long story short, when someone first meets you, they're most likely going to meet your rising sign, and well... IDK about you, but that's pretty crucial information. Also, if my first house is Scorpio, this means my second house is Sagittarius, my third house is Capricorn, so on and so forth. Sounds like useless information going in order of the zodiac, but in reality, the order of your chart wheel determines the energetic themes of your real life events.