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 Sagittarius: Positively, I am The Gypsy, Philosopher, Seeker, Wise Guru. When I overdo this I can be fanatical, high-minded, evangelical, overly- zealous, overbearing.
I endeavor to be... merciful, truthful, expansive, purposeful. I explore different things, people and ideas ‘on purpose’ by looking for meaning. I meet life with enthusiasm and enjoy broadening social interactions. I see myself as...open-minded, optimistic, and on an adventurous search for meaning.
My Descendant is in Gemini: Positively I appreciate curiosity, enthusiasm, intelligence in others. Negatively they can be childish, shallow, scattered.
Therefore I don’t see myself as (my Shadow qualities)....scattered, inefficient, unfocused, immature, purposeless, drifting, noncommittal.
Ways I can work with my Shadow...have lots of conversations with people who challenge my tendency toward seeing my POV as ultimately right, wrong, or in a certain way. Engage multiple topics through a variety of relationships, without needing to find The Answer. Be a wide-eyed curious child again. Have fun!
My Ascendant is in Capricorn: Positively, I am The Strategist, Planner, Executor, President or CEO. Negatively I can be a power tripper, greedy, scheming, overly focused on meeting my ambitions, finesse the facts to get my way.
I endeavor to be...structured, organized and oriented towards meaningful accomplishment. I work hard for things that matter to me. I strategically deal with others, directing them toward being productive & useful. I see myself as...realistic, practical, focused and ambitious.
My Descendant is in Cancer: Positively I enjoy others as Healers, Therapists, Sensitives, Unconditional Lovers. Negatively I can see others as crybabies, wimpy, insecure, unable to grow up and take responsibility for their self.
Therefore I don’t see myself as (my Shadow qualities)...wimpy, weak, soft, overly or inappropriately emotional, childlike, a crybaby, dependent on others.
Ways I can work with my Shadow...When I get overly focused on work, I can neglect what matters; my heart and hearth. If I try to ‘do it all my self’, I isolate my partners. In sharing responsibilities and talk about what’s weighing heavy on me, we grow closer. People need people, I’m no different; my partners show me their vulnerability and teach me to soften my heart. I value that.
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My Ascendant is in Aquarius: Positively, I am known as The Authentic One, A Truthsayer, Individual, Genius, Maverick. When I overdo this I can be icy, emotionally dissociated, reactionary, interpersonally ineffective, alienated.
I endeavor to be...original, sociable, authentic. I see different angles on what’s happening in the world. The way I view life is not mainstream. I am social, but I also stand apart; this helps me to see myself clearly, and to not take on roles that feel false. I see myself as...friendly, innovative, tolerant.
My Descendant is in Leo: Positively, I appreciate others’ charisma, brilliance and playfulness. Negatively, others can be vain, egotistical, overly self-concerned.
Therefore I don’t see myself as (my Shadow qualities)...center of attention, dependent on applause/recognition, vain, costumed, melodramatic, overbearing.
Ways I can work with my Shadow... I recognize I have a hard time feeling comfortable in my own skin. I need my partners’ confidence, lightness, joie de vivre and charisma to learn how to be more effective. I can value fun, play, spontaneity more. I can appreciate that it takes all kinds of personalities to make a party.
My Ascendant is in Pisces: Positively, I am known as The Mystic, Dreamer and Poet. Negatively, when I overdo it I become a lost soul, a space cadet, a ghost.
I endeavor to be...humble, inspiring and uplifting. Emotionally porous, fluid and psychically impressionistic, I am a natural actor. Since I am always changing people don’t always know where they stand with me. I am kind and generous, often reserved, approaching the world as a colorful place full of possibility. I see myself as...sensitive, empathic, unconditionally accepting, generous.
My Descendant is in Virgo: Positively I appreciate others’ helpfulness, craftsmanship, efficiency and organization. Negatively, they fault-find and are worriers.
Therefore I don’t see myself as (my Seventh House Shadow qualities)...critical, fault-finding, nagging, conditional, worried, discerning, analytical, methodical.
Ways I can integrate my Shadow... in relationship, some things need to be spelled out. I can learn to rely more on actual (rather than intuitive) communication. The more ambiguous or avoidant I am, the more foggy my partnerships get. I endeavor to face problems head on. Instead of relying on others’ to serve me, I model their efficiency and helpfulness into my way of being.
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