Technically speaking, your Rising sign -- or ascendant -- reflects the zodiac sign that was ascending on the Eastern horizon at the moment you took your first breath in this world. This is why an exact birth time is so vital to finding your accurate rising sign. Located on the cusp of the first house of your astrological chart -- or at the nine o'clock position -- the rising sign can exert an influence almost as powerful as your Sun and Moon signs.
If you were to think of your Sun sign as your soul -- your inner personality and potential -- and your Moon sign as your heart -- your emotional core -- then you could say that your Rising sign is your physical self or the face you present to the world. For example, though your Sun sign might be Taurus, your Rising sign could very well be Gemini. While you're feeling laidback, others will tend to see you as a ball of nervous energy and cerebral wit.
At times, your Rising sign may act as a mask, hiding some aspect of your inner self you don't feel like revealing. What's your mask? How do others see you? Find out by exploring the qualities of your Rising sign. Aries
If your Rising sign is Aries, whether you like it or not, people always look to you to get things started, to lead the charge, and to say the things that no one else dares to say. You seem confident and blunt -- and like an easy puzzle to put together. People think they understand your motivations. On the negative side, you might appear too intense and forward -- even self-absorbed. Don't be surprised if others expect you to respond jealously in love. That is the Aries way, and for all the world, you look like an Aries! Taurus
If your Rising sign is Taurus, you give the first impression of someone who is calm, centered and very self-confident in an earthy and modest way. Whatever your Sun sign, with Taurus Rising, people may lean on you when they're in a bind because you seem so dependable and logical. Those are the positive Taurus traits. If you're unlucky, you may give others the idea that you're a little stubborn and boring, more a plodder than a doer. Bulls are tenacious, though, and you'd do well to learn to use that perceived characteristic to your advantage! Gemini
If your Rising sign is Gemini, others expect you to be the smart-talking jokester of your bunch, the one to come up with all the bright, slightly mischievous ideas. That's just the Gemini aura you give off. Even if you feel perfectly patient waiting in that long line, you seem restless to those around you. Watch what you say -- there could be rumors of you being a gossip hound -- even if your comments are uttered with only the best intentions. More than anything, you come across as witty, and people are prepared to be impressed by almost anything you say! Cancer
If your Rising sign is Cancer, you could be the first shoulder everyone runs to cry on. You appear nurturing and compassionate, like you're the mother hen of your circle of friends and loved ones. Though you may not actually have the patience for it, you can expect that others will open up to you when they need a little maternal advice. On the other hand, you sometimes come across as overly emotional and manipulative. Since you seem so maternal and soothing, use this quality to comfort those who seem to need a sense of security. Leo
If your Rising sign is Leo, you put up a very confident front. You appear as proud and sure of yourself as can be. People expect drama from you, and they will be disappointed if you don't deliver the spiritedness one counts on with the Lion-hearted. You carry yourself with distinction, and you catch everyone's eye whether you like it or not. If others see these regal Leo qualities, they may pick up on the some negative Leo vibes -- like smugness or over-the-top vanity. Despite that perceived self-interest, you're bound to be popular in whatever clique you find yourself. Share a free sample Self-Empowerment Guide. How did the planets shape you? Discover the shocking details with our Self-Empowerment Guide! Virgo
If your Rising sign is Virgo, you can often give the impression of someone who is very put-together, almost meticulously groomed. You hold yourself in a very modest and dignified, sometimes snooty, manner, and you seem like you would be into high fashion or at least keeping up appearances. Even if you're feeling sociable or boisterous, you may look to the world like a wallflower, like you've got something very serious on your mind. With a Virgo Rising Sign, you might find yourself fielding health-related questions from your friends and family -- you just seem like you'd have the answers! Libra
If your Rising sign is Libra, it's hard for anyone to say 'no' to you. You seem so charming and persuasive, people can't help but accommodate you! You likely look smashing even if you're just running to the market for milk. You may seem outwardly indecisive, but you're so irresistible that you'll find those around you more than happy to make up your mind for you. Keep vanity and sulkiness -- two less attractive Libran qualities -- in check. Luckily, Libras avoid conflict at all costs -- expect tons of harmony, fun and lots of carefree communication!
If your Rising sign is Scorpio, don't be hurt if people keep their distance. It's not out of disgust, but out of reverent intimidation. You seem so intense -- it could be your penetrating gaze or the way you seductively lean against the wall -- whether you mean to or not! You're dynamically alluring, and people are inexplicably drawn to you. All this perceived sexiness is fun, but there's a downside to looking like a Scorpio -- you may seem moody and even a little dangerous. Enjoy the mystery factor -- it can be fun to be an enigma! Sagittarius
If your Rising sign is in Sagittarius, happy is how people see you. Doesn't matter if you're in a foul mood, you look for all the world to be the consummate optimist, the open, friendly adventurer typified by Sagittarius. On the other hand, Sagittarians are often restless and contentious; they bore easily and sometimes pick fights for the fun of it. You give an impression of such indifference that others may say some crazy, unexpected or even hurtful things to you, expecting their comments to roll right off your back! You can't help it -- you're just exuding that characteristic Archer cool. Capricorn
If your Rising sign is Capricorn, people would be shocked if you act eccentrically, as Sea Goats exude an old-fashioned, authoritative aura. Even if you feel like the life of the party, others expect you to be the picture of industriousness, the boss figure with an impeccable sense of decorum and tradition. You may intimidate others with your intense demeanor, but they'll look to you for order. Negatively, Caps can come across as pessimistic and hypercritical. If you can figure out how to use the Capricorn influence to your advantage, you could get your foot in almost any door. Aquarius
If your Rising sign is Aquarius, you may seem aloof and self-introspective, maybe a bit outlandish. Though you seem detached, you also give the impression that you care very deeply for humanity -- just not necessarily individual humans! You'll likely attract friends easily thanks to this Aquarian influence, but be wary of the more negative traits of the Water Bearer. Sometimes you can come off as rude or thoughtless -- as well as willfully eccentric. Despite these characteristics, you'll still be wildly popular, due in large part to what people see as the innovative Aquarian brain power. Pisces
If your Rising sign is Pisces, people could perceive what you think of as 'just thinking' as dreamy introspection. You seem ephemeral and hazy, lost in a world of visions and intuitions. Even if you feel absolutely sure of yourself, others may step gingerly around you, afraid to break you or offend your supposed sensitivity. This Piscean fragility could get you in trouble: You look like an easy mark for tricksters who take advantage of naive suckers. Also, don't be puzzled if people pour their hearts out to you -- blame it on the caring Pisces vibe you give off.