Some of astrology’s biggest naysayers base their claims off the fact that they don’t identify with their Sun signs. And...that’s actually fair! Depending on where all the planets were at the time of your birth, you might feel like you most strongly identify with a completely different sign.
Let’s say you’re a Cancer Sun but have a Sagittarius rising (also sometimes referred to as your ascendant). When you first meet people and say you’re a Cancer, they’d expect you to be shy or maybe even moody. But your Sagittarius rising will actually offset those Cancerian traits with a happy-go-lucky attitude and charm that could sell sand to a desert. That’s where the rising sign comes into play—it’s a major factor in shaping and defining one’s attitude, first impressions, appearance, and demeanor.
Each birth chart is ruled by a rising sign, which is the zodiac sign that was ascending over the eastern horizon at the time of your birth. Some astrologers refer to it as a “mask” people wear—it can shed light on your initial reactions and responses to various situations. The ascendant changes every two hours, which is why it’s so important to have an accurate time of birth when interpreting a birth chart. It’s suuuuuper easy to calculate your rising sign with websites like Astro.com or AstroTheme.com or apps like Sanctuary, Co–Star or TimePassages—all you have to do is plug in your birthday, time of birth, and location of birth. Within seconds, you might find some solace when you learn your rising sign and how much you actually identify with it.
If you know yours already, here’s a cheat sheet of characteristics and what to expect from each rising sign:
You’re the friend who always wants to go out. Spring break in Cabo? You’re there. There’s a ton of energy with this placement, and you’ll generally be viewed as overzealous and passionate about life. Aries risings are all about leadership and taking charge, but there’s also a tendency to come off as aggressive or bossy.
As a Taurus rising, you have a practical approach to life. You are attuned to the finer things in life and aren’t shy about indulging yourself in life’s greatest pleasures (e.g., eating as many pints of ice cream as you freakin’ please). A strong work ethic is at the core of your ethos, and you can expect an unrivaled stubborn streak with this ascendant. You’re resistant to change, slow moving, and cautious when confronted with new situations.
You can’t sit still. Think about it—when was the last time you focused on one thing for more than five minutes? Gemini risings have the gift of gab—your brain moves a mile a minute and you’re eager to suck up as much knowledge as possible. There’s a restlessness with this rising sign, which can cause some to come off as nervous. Exercise is a successful way to mitigate this energy. You’re highly social, flirtatious, impulsive, and notoriously difficult to pin down. It’ll take some real charm and intellect to woo you.
Everyone loves to come to your house for wine night. You may be shy and reserved when you first meet someone, but once you’ve deemed them worthy of friendship, there’s no match to your loyalty. You may be a bit of a homebody and have an intense (positive or negative, depending on the rest of your chart) relationship with your mom. You’re sentimental and love a visit down Memory Lane. You’re an empath who can easily tap in to your psychic abilities.
People can spot you by your gorgeous hair from a mile away. Having your ascendant in Leo can make you quite the showstopper when it comes to your physical appearance. Couple that with a gregarious nature and a warm, outgoing personality and you’re impossible to ignore. You’re always the one in the group who declares, “Let’s take a selfie!” and tries about 37 angles until you get the right one. There is no such thing as too much attention for you. You’re incredibly driven and you probably think you should’ve been a child star (you absolutely should have).
Some might accuse you of having Resting Bitch Face—this is rarely the case though. You’re just shy and taking it all in. Overthinking is the name of the game and you tend to process information in an analytical manner. You can be reserved and don’t eagerly wear your emotions on your sleeve—instead, you display your love for someone by doing small things to make their lives easier. When your BFF is going through a horrible breakup, you’re the one who sends a care package of food and whatever else they’re too devastated to remember to buy at the moment.
If you’re a Libra ascendant, you probably take at least 30 minutes to make the simplest of choices. You’re plagued by indecision—if you and your friends are going out, you’ll need an extra two hours to decide which shirt you want to wear. There is unparalleled charm to your personality, however—you’re warm and welcoming, especially because you don’t tend to form judgments right away. You also hate conflict and avoid it at all costs, which can sometimes lead to passive-aggressive behaviors.
Turn up the intensity! With a Scorpio ascendant, others naturally feel your power in a room. You’re dedicated and passionate to those you love and causes you stand for, but you can also be extremely secretive and enjoy your privacy. You demand respect and can accidentally intimidate people for that reason. There is a need to be in control with this placement, and you might have an interest in the occult (or just reading your horoscope every day).
Always down for a party and always seeing the glass as half full, Sagittarius risings are entertaining and full of posi vibes. You’re likely also prone to word vomiting—bluntness is an extreme and unavoidable trait, and sometimes what you think is kind honesty can be taken VERY personally. Aka, you might need to work on your tact and delivery. You also might have a desire to travel the world or make multiple moves in your lifetime. Knowledge and learning never grow old—you’re a student of the world.
You might come off as a snooze initially—but that’s just because you’re too busy making money moves. Capricorn risings are reserved, responsible, and serious. Basically, you’re big on tradition, rules, and structure and you were most likely the responsible kid at the high school parties. Security is fundamental to earning your trust as well. Your work ethic is unchallenged and you eternally strive to achieve more and more—especially when it comes to providing for your loved ones.
We get it. You’re weird. Aquarius risings are like no other—unique personalities that rarely conform or give in to watching a Netflix show just because it’s trending on social media. Social justice is a massive point of interest and you find peace within larger social groups or organizations. You’re wise, curious, and essentially out of this world. Your eccentricity only adds to your desire to combat social norms, and your innovative nature makes you the perfect group-project partner.
Hello, anyone in there? With a Pisces rising, you might be a little busy dissociating. You’re adaptable and typically possess a strong sixth sense. You are a true empath, possess an innate healing power, and feel the pain and beauty the world offers on a deep level. Pisces risings have artistic minds—they’re natural painters, writers, photographers, and so on. You can struggle with indecision and escapism, which you should watch out for. But ultimately, you’re the gentlest, most open-minded sign.