Just who do you think you are? Although who we think we really is infinitely debatable and existentially ripe for debate in a meditation retreat, in our day to day life someone is getting out of bed in the morning, making decisions, from what to wear, to what to eat for breakfast - it is not. We at least know enough about who we are to make tens of hundreds of these seemingly minor decisions, daily. Who is making those decisions about how I will dress, my point of view, and how I will approach/meet the world? The Ascendant, that’s who. Some astrologers say we develop our Ascendant or social mask, out of necessity as a child, and we give those ways of being we are most definitely not to unsuspecting others’ -- described by your Descendant (Seventh House Cusp) sign.
The sign on the Descendant shows behaviors we need to integrate into our self through others, as well as how we are predisposed to seeing them. The Ascendant and Descendant can flow smoothly back and forth, in a dance of complements. But if we pull too hard on the behaviors of our Ascendant and become overly competent in them-- other people will tug harder at us through opposite behaviors. They will, in other words, bug us! These ways of being can antagonize us -- as we forever call their tomato our tomahto-- or, if we learn to value them, can make our life richer, and our partnerships less riddled with conflict and blame. By knowing your Descendant sign, you can identify what you tend to reject in others’, and find more effective ways of responding to them.
My Ascendant is in Leo: Positively I am seen as The Clown, Queen or King, Aristocrat. When overboard, I can be self-absorbed, center of attention, autocratic, a crazy-maker.
My Descendant is in Aquarius: Positively, I appreciate others’ originality, unique interests, angles and ideas. Negatively, they can be distant, unconcerned, abstract, overly intellectual and left-brained, cool to the touch.
Therefore I don’t see myself as (my ‘Not Me’)... mentally rigid, constantly planning ahead (not living in the moment), unpredictable, down-hearted, negative.
Ways I can work on my Shadow... being ‘me’ comes naturally, but not everyone sees the world in the way I do. I can learn to step back, listen and then evaluate - as a relationship strategy. I can value objectivity more. I can loosen my ‘me’ focus, and become more objective about and transpersonal toward their realities.
My Ascendant is in Virgo: Positively I am seen as The Analyst, Perfectionist, Helper. When I overdo it, I can nitpick, fault-find, and suffer analysis paralysis.
I endeavor to be...efficient, organized, helpful, modest. I work hard at getting better at being me, and becoming more efficient, physically, and spiritually healthy. I tend to downplay my strengths because I am so good at identifying what needs improvement. I see myself as... striving, self-contained, practical.
My Descendant is in Pisces: Positively, I appreciate others’ creative imagination, mysticism, empathy, intuition, psychic ability. Negatively, they are hard to pin down, avoidant, ambiguous, wishful thinkers.
Therefore I don’t see myself as (my ‘Not Me’)... wishy-washy, impractical, unrealistic, chaotic, escapist, drifting, insubstantial, illogical.
Ways I can work on my Shadow... I am efficient and self-contained, so I tend to undervalue creative chaos in love, & the illogical, intuitive connections I experience in partnership. I need help being present, relaxing, and find healing acceptance through surrendering to what I cannot control. I don’t have to have it all figured out. I can let go of the little things to discover my faith in others is greater than I thought.
My Ascendant is in Libra: Positively, I am The Peacekeeper, Diplomat, Beauty Queen, Hostess, Artist, People Person. When I overdo this, I can sit on the fence, build my world around others’, waffle, be undermining, passive aggressive.
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I endeavor to be...open minded, considerate, tolerant and fair. I find it easy to empathize. I tend to put others’ wants and desires first before my own.I see myself as... generally peaceful & nice, approachable.
My Descendant is in Aries: Positively, I appreciate bravery, enthusiasm and heroism in others. Negatively I see others as troublemakers, annoying, destructive.
Therefore I don’t see myself as (my Shadow qualities)...unreasonable, angry, closed-minded, selfish, rude, intolerant or unfair.
Ways I can work with my Shadow... be honest with partners when something upsets or offends me. Give my wants and desires the same importance as I do theirs. Say no when I mean no. Own feelings of trespass and speak to them.
My Ascendant is in Scorpio: Positively, I am The Shaman, Phoenix, Detective, Hypnotist, Spy. When I overdo these behaviors, I can be intrusive, ruthlessly honest, secretive, distrustful, suspicious and violate others’ boundaries.
I endeavor to be... truthful, soulful, psychologically fearless. I tend to energetically and fearlessly probe ideas & people in order to know what and who I’m dealing with. I see myself as... honest, intuitive-psychic and psychologically penetrating.
My Descendant is in Taurus: Positively I can see others as slow, earthy, traditional, peaceful. Negatively they are earthbound, bullish & refuse to grow.
Therefore I don’t see myself as (my Shadow qualities)...simple-minded, passive, unwilling to emotionally process, dense, willing to wait.
Ways I can work with my Shadow...recognize I overlook the human need for calm, simplicity, beauty and balance. I can stop and smell the roses. I can value being in physical (not just psychological) contact.. Instead of emotionally processing 24/7 I can share time cooking, in nature, caring for the body, nesting.
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Marjorie Orr has an M.A. (Hons) in English Literature and Philosophy from Glasgow University, and was a current affairs journalist, award-winning BBC TV documentary producer and then a psychotherapist. She has a worldwide following for her astrology... read more