“To know the character of the native’s mind, look at the Lord of the Ascendant and Mercury (who is the significator of the intellective power, speech and oration). These signify the matters of the soul, and the morals of the native, just as the Moon and the Ascendant signify the body.” (Abu’Ali Al-Khayatt, The Judgment of Nativities)
The Natal Ascendant: A Chart’s Profile
The Ascendant is simply the zodiacal degree rising over the eastern horizon at the exact time and location of birth. Known as ‘the Helm’ in Hellenistic astrology, the Ascendant expresses the native’s navigational strategy, a metaphorical grappling of the steering-oar of life. Because it reveals one’s interaction with the external environment, unfurling the native’s vitality, health, character, temperament, and corporeal constitution, the Ascendant is a critical feature of the natal chart. As the first house does not fully surface above the horizon, it remains both visible and concealed. Akin to the flight of fleet-footed Hermes, the Ascendant symbolizes the oscillation between the diurnal and nocturnal realms of spirit and matter. In essence, it is the merging point between the macrocosmic and microcosmic hemispheres of the natal chart: as above, so below.
Taurus Ascendant: Venus as the Chart Ruler
The feminine, earthy, fixed Taurus Ascendant embodies the nocturnal expression of Venus. As the planet of reconciliation, love, beauty, and artistic expression orchestrates the Taurean Ascendant, Venus will have a potent connection to the native’s body, appearance, personality, and physical vitality. As the Venusian Bull concretizes a more earthy manifestation, the Taurus Ascendant is energetically resourceful: paused reactions couple a resilient stamina. Mirroring the practical, earthly side of the benefic’s rulership (Venus), Taurus Ascendant nourishes the body and mind through the tactile senses, comfort, its physical possessions, and artistic expression. The Taurus Ascendant thrives in harmonious environments and partnerships, seeking to unify or reconcile. As the earthy Venusian Spirit, Taurus projects the image of Venus via grace and refinement. In a fertile sign, the physical constitution of the Taurus Ascendant (in isolation) is generally fuller, said to be blessed by the star of Venus.
Of Venus-ruled natives, Lilly notes:
‘A round face, and not large, fair Hair, smooth, and plenty of it… a lovely Mouth and cherry lips, the Face pretty fleshy, a rolling wandering Eye, a Body very delightful, lovely and exceedingly well shaped, one desirious of Trimming and making himself neat and complete both in clothes and Body… a steadfast Eye, and full of amorous enticements.’
The placement and condition of Venus in the natal chart guides the direction and purpose of the native’s life, while the body and identity is influenced by transits through the ascendant, natal Venus, Venus retrogrades, including first place, and Venus profection years. The house ruler of Venus also directs the expression of the Taurus Ascendant. For example, if Venus occupies a sign polarizing its essential nature, such as Scorpio, the native may not approach life as a typical Taurus Ascendant. Planets occupying the first house can significantly alter the personality of the Ascendant. Again, for example, Mars occupying the first house of Taurus will significantly alter the appearance and personality of the Ascendant. Fixed stars such as Algol and the Pleiades (conjunct the Ascendant) can impact the otherwise traditional Taurean Ascendant. The chart’s sect will further punctuate the full expression of Mars in the natal chart.
*Ascendant descriptions are intended as general, isolated references, and are but one component of the natal chart.
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