A myriad of subtle (yet potent) nuances delineating a natal chart interpretation can often go unnoticed. Among these understated gradations is the difference in behavior that occurs between a zodiac sign unveiled in its solar placement and its appearance as an ascendant. In other words, a Sun sign may, varying in degree of severity, conduct itself quite differently when it’s portrayed as an ascendant (ASC). While this may be of particular interest to ‘doubles’ (i.e. a Piscean Sun with a Piscean ASC), and while close aspects will significantly modify the ASC, behavioral shifts from solar to ascendant signs are applicable to the entire zodiac and should therefore, be taken to account when interpreting a comprehensive chart.
If one regards the ascendant as a modifier for the manner in which a solar sign is expressed, one may easily notice the behavioral shifts from Sun to ascendant signs. Below is a glance at the manner in which these changes may manifest throughout the Western zodiac.
The resourceful momentum of Aries is still displayed as an ASC, often with more vigor, while the innate brusqueness of a solar Aries is often funneled. This is further accentuated if Mars is placed in the water (except Scorpio, co-ruled by Mars) and Earth signs. I am of the opinion that this is one of the best ASC placements, as here, the 12 houses correlate with their ‘natural’ signs (i.e., Taurus is in the 2nd house, Gemini in the 3rd, etc.) While planetary placements and aspects are primordial influences, an Aries ASC tends to provide a solid, harmonious foundation for the remaining chart.
Since vitality is represented by the Sun, a Taurus ASC is usually less prone to lethargy, depending, of course, on the position and aspect(s) of Venus. The placement of Venus will also dictate levels of dynamism and ambition. The degree of possessiveness usually attributed to a Taurean Sun is less predominant as an ASC. However, Taurus ASC, on its own, is extremely cautious when approaching relationships. Like its solar counterpart, Taurus ASC retains its Venusian propensities to indulge the senses in a physical and sensual approach to the quotidian.
While the polarizing aspect of this solar sign is elevated as an ASC, its tendency towards superficiality is somewhat diminished. A Gemini ASC is an effective communicator, retaining a necessity for awareness on all levels. A pronounced conversationalist, this ASC is definitely one of the friendliest. While not necessarily one of the most reliable ASCs, if the Sun is positioned in an Earth sign, this proclivity can be slightly ameliorated. Fast, mobile, volatile, depending, of course, on Mercury’s aspects and placement.
Comparatively, the Cancerian ASC exhibits a more ostensible level of empathy in comparison to its solar counterpart. The solar Cancerian’s depth of emotion is felt on more of a personal level. The Cancer ASC is usually a strong introvert, unless it is stabilized by, for example, a lunar position in a fire sign. This ASC also appears more reserved and private than a Cancer Sun. A clearer perspective is generated, along with its aspects, by examining the placement of the Moon.
Whatever the Sun placement may be, the Leo ASC will bring an element of authentic expression to that particular Sun. As an ASC, Leo can become a beneficial motivator. Although still present, the degree of pride/ arrogance is lessened while this ASC’s generosity is heightened. There seems to be less over-dramatization of the person’s feelings, comparatively, although the ASC can demonstrate an aloof persona. The spontaneity and playfulness of the Leo Sun is lessened as an ASC. Both placements (ASC and Sun) retain the need for respect and dignity.
Virgo ASC conceal a much wilder side compared to their solar counterparts. Notice how a Virgo’s ASC has its eighth house in Aries. I will leave it at that. The ASC possesses a seemingly higher level of self confidence and authentic humility, the latter being since they’re able to acknowledge how much further their path is in seeking self improvement. While the solar Virgo displays a more pronounced level of analysis, both Sun and ASC placements retain excellent craftsmanship skills.
While the solar Libra behaves more detached than the ASC, the ascendant often appears more distinctive and kind, creating a more intimate hue to the expressive vigor of the person’s chart. While both solar and ASC placements have a need for interpersonal relationships, the desire is further amplified in the Libra ASC. The placement of Venus in the Libra ASC is crucial in determining the needs of the person’s relationships. Along with Gemini ASC, the Libra ASC has a great concern and focus on the physical self, which is of less predominance in the Libra Sun.
The Scorpio ASC is often interested in the investigation of other people and may be associated with the healing arts, psychotherapy, and the esoteric, among other endeavors. A Scorpio ASC’s sense of fun equates to dissecting the motives of the human species. They care next to nil about the manner in which others perceive them and, unlike their fellow water signs, are ruthlessly blunt in self-expression. The degree of vengeance and obsessive self-preservation is heightened in the Scorpio ASC, while these ‘negative’ traits are mitigated in the solar Scorpio. Scorpio is the sign of emotional extremism, and this trait is heightened to its peak in the ASC.
The broad-mindedness and optimism expressed in the solar Sagittarius is seamlessly expressed in that of the ASC, even at the face of perpetual misfortune. Additionally, self-righteousness is more apparent in Sagittarius Sun as opposed to the ASC. While Sagittarius Sun is more directed towards theoretical/ mental activity, often singularly, the Sagittarius ASC is inclined to implementing action in support of a given ideal. There is usually, an intoxicating dose of enthusiasm derived from both counterparts, although it appears more pronounced in the ASC.
Comparatively to the solar Capricorn, the Capricorn ASC holds a greater degree of skeptic self expression. It’s important to realize that the seemingly negative expression, apparent cynicism, and disdain for the unorthodox is primarily a defense mechanism for a more vulnerable, often spiritually-inclined nature. Both counterparts dislike to waste time on frivolous ideas. Both the solar and ASC Capricorn is concerned with outer appearance, reputation, and form, but the Capricorn ASC derives more fear of public opinion.
The impact of Uranus is personified more heavily in the Aquarius Sun, versus the ASC. Aquarius ASC has a weightier acclimation to convention as opposed to Aquarius Sun. Both counterparts make exceptionally quick learners with a high degree of immediacy. Both the ASC and sun retain a detached demeanor, although the Aquarius Sun is more nonchalant and impersonal than the ASC. Saturn placement (along with house position and sign), instead of Uranus, is primordial in understanding the nature of the Aquarius ASC.
Strength of character and buoyancy in Pisces ASC is stronger than its solar counterpart, perhaps attributed to its ancient ruler, Jupiter. Because the Sun is considered debilitated in Pisces, these solar natives are more influenced by all of the other factors in their natal charts. Pisces ASC can remain relatively unperturbed when experiencing misfortune, again, partly attributed to the strong influence of Jupiter (as opposed to Neptune). Like Virgo ASC, Pisces ASC requests little credit or need for public acknowledgment regarding their contribution to society.
As repeatedly mentioned throughout this post, it is crucial to examine the condition and placement of the ascendant’s ruling planet when deciphering the behavior of a sign as a particular ASC. A proper chart interpretation accounts for all variables and intricacies, which are never limited to ASC positions, much less Sun placements. The objective of this post is only, in isolation, to differentiate between the behavior of a Sun placement and that of an ascendant.
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