Many people love reading their weekly or daily horoscopes; but if you know what sign your Ascendant is in, it makes reading your horoscope more accurate. While a general weekly horoscope cannot tell you exactly what is going on in your life at the moment; it can give you an idea of the general activity of the planets at that time and how that affects all of us. Knowing your Ascendant sign helps to narrow down in what part of your life that activity will be happening.
So, what is an Ascendant sign? It is the astrological sign and degree of that sign that was coming up over the horizon at the time and place of your birth.
Let’s take for example Jupiter. Jupiter has just recently entered the sign of Libra and will remain in this sign for approximately one year. In astrology Jupiter is considered a lucky planet. It is associated with such things as travel, higher learning, philosophy and gifts. Jupiter’s effects tend to be expansive, prone to big gestures, and can sometimes go a little overboard.
So, what part of your life is about to get a boost from Jupiter?
Well, that will depend on where the sign of Libra is in your natal (birth) chart. We look to see where Libra is in the natal chart because that is the sign that Jupiter is currently in for the next year or so.
The chart below is my natal chart and you can see that the Sun is in the 3rd house at 8 degrees of Aries (circled in green). My Ascendant is at 26 degrees of Capricorn (circled in purple). So in my natal chart, the sign of Libra starts in my 9th house (study and long distance travel) and ends in my 10th house (career and public reputation).
However, if I read a generalized weekly horoscope for Aries – it will likely tell me that Jupiter is visiting my 7th house (relationships) and bringing me all those wonderful things in regards to relationships. The essential message is the same (wonderful things happening) but just in the wrong area of my life (7th house versus the 9th and 10th houses).
The problem that horoscope writers face is that they are writing for a larger audience and do not know the natal charts of everyone they are writing for. So instead, they generally write what are called Sun sign horoscopes.
The sign that your Sun was in at the time of your birth is what is commonly referred to as your star sign.
As the Ascendant is usually on the start (cusp) of the 1st house, they will often erect a chart with 0 degrees of the sign that they are writing about on the cusp of the 1st house. So, if they are writing a horoscope for Aries, they place Aries on the cusp of the 1st house. If they are writing about Taurus, they place Taurus on the cusp of the first house and so on through all the signs.
The chart below is an example of a chart that could be used to write an Aries Sun sign horoscope. You can see that Aries is at 0 degrees at the start of the 1st house (the Ascendant). In this chart, Jupiter (circled in purple) has just entered the 7th house. The 7th house is associated with such things as partners (both romantic and business), marriage and known enemies. So the writer might say that Jupiter will be bringing its qualities of good luck and benevolence to the sector of partnerships, in a general sense, over the next year for those who have an Aries Sun. That would be fine if my Sun was close to my ascendant in my natal chart, but isn’t; it’s in the 3rd house of my natal chart.
The chart below is called a bi-wheel and has my natal chart as the inner wheel and the current position of the planets (called transits) in the outer wheel. You can see my Sun is in the 3rd house (circled in green). You can see my Ascendant at 26 degrees of Capricorn (circled in orange). The outer section of the wheel is the position of the planets at the moment (16 September, 2016) and you can see that Jupiter, in the sign of Libra, is currently in my 9th house (circled in purple).
Jupiter has been in my 9th house for a while though, as most people don’t have the cusps of their houses starting at 0 degrees of a sign for every house. Jupiter actually entered my 9th house in early July while it was in the sign of Virgo (the cusp of my 9th house is 17 degrees Virgo). It will stay there until about mid December and then move into my 10th house of career and public recognition.
The start of the 10th house is known as the Medium Coeli or Midheaven and is the most visible part of your chart. The time that a planet crosses the 10th house cusp is usually a time where a person may experience more public exposure than usual, and is usually related somewhat with the qualities of that planet.
With Jupiter being such a beneficial planet, this would be a very good time for me to make a presentation or anything that might put me before the public. At that time Jupiter (bringing good things) will be at the highest part of my chart (10th house Cusp or Medium Coeli). It will be approximately another 12 years until this happens again as it takes Jupiter about that amount of time to travel around the whole chart.
If I have been reading generalized horoscopes for Aries though, they are probably telling me that partnerships are going to be great, my love life should be booming, in fact I might be spoilt for choice (Jupiter enjoying too much of a good thing sometimes). I may marry or go into business at this time. I may receive gifts or benefits from a partner or just generally have a great time with partners. All those things may very well happen but in the meantime they are not telling me about how I should be looking out for these great opportunities in relation to travel and study (9th house) and then later my career and public reputation (10th house).
Fair enough you say. It is not a personalized horoscope – and no it’s not. Here is the trick though. If I read the horoscope for my Ascendant, then I have a better chance of knowing what areas of my chart/life are going to be impacted by what is going on with the current position of the planets (transits).
The chart below has a Capricorn Ascendant. You can see that Capricorn at 0 degrees is on the Ascendant (circled in orange) and that Jupiter is in the 10th house of the chart (circled in purple).
I tend to read not only Capricorn horoscopes though, but also Aquarius. This is because, although my Ascendant is in Capricorn, it is so late in the sign (26 out of 30 degrees) that sometimes the information in the Aquarian horoscope relates more to my chart that the Capricorn one.
You can see in the chart below that when you put Aquarius on the Ascendant (circled in orange) that this places Jupiter at the start of the 9th house (circled in purple). If I read the horoscopes for Aquarius and Capricorn, I get a more accurate version of what is happening in my life than if I read Aries. If you look at the Aquarius ascendant chart below, you can see that my Sun at 8 Aries would fit in the 3rd house of the chart, which is where it is in my natal chart. Not everyone needs to read two Ascendant signs, but if you have an Ascendant in the late degrees of a sign it may pay you to do so.
I hope that makes it clearer; why you should read your Ascendant sign as well as, or even instead of your Sun sign when reading Sun sign horoscopes. If you do not know your ascendant, you can find out what it is on my Daily Horoscope page. If you enter your details and select Natal Horoscope it will give you a brief run down of your Natal chart, including your Ascendant. If that all sounds like too much hard work, leave a comment below and I will get back to you with your Ascendant.
Curious where Jupiter is in your chart and what luck it might bring you this coming year? Stay tuned, I am going to write an article about that as well (so much to do, so many distracting things to explore!). Or, if you are too impatient to wait for that (I’m an Aries, I TOTALLY get that), drop me a line in the comments below or via the Scullywag Astrology Facebook page and I will let you know.
In the meantime, why not try reading your Ascendant sign along with your Sun sign when reading your horoscopes?
I would love to know how you find it works for you. Some people prefer to read their Sun signs, some their Moon signs; whatever works for you, works for you. The same applies for reading horoscopes, some writers will connect with you in some way, others may leave you cold.