“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.
Sagittarius Rising: Jupiter as the Chart Ruler
The masculine, fiery, double-bodied (mutable) Sagittarius Ascendant embodies the diurnal expression of Jupiter. Because the chart ruler of Sagittarius Ascendant is Jupiter, the sign’s meaning is derived from said planet. Therefore, with Sagittarius rising, the sanguine, Jupiter-ruled native is an affable conversationalist bestowed with an exploratory drive. Sagittarius Ascendants prosper in liberal environments, requiring freedom to broaden their identities. They effortlessly project optimism, faith, and wisdom, desiring to benefit mankind via charitable acts. They personify erudite scholars beyond the mundane, and their indulgent sways mirror the all-granting, magnifying qualities of the greater benefic.
Of Jupiter-ruled natives, Lilly notes:
‘He signifies an upright, straight and tall Stature; brown, ruddy and lovely Complexion; of an oval or long Visage, and it full or fleshy; high Forehead; large grey Eyes; his Hair soft, and a kind of auburn brown…’
The placement and condition of Jupiter 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 Jupiter, Jupiter retrogrades, and Jupiter profections. The house ruler of Jupiter also directs the expression of the Sagittarius Ascendant. For example, if Jupiter occupies a sign polarizing its essential nature, such as Gemini, the native may not approach life as a typical Sagittarius Ascendant. Planets occupying the first house can significantly alter the personality of the Ascendant. Again, for example, Mercury occupying the first house of a Sagittarius Ascendant will significantly alter the appearance and personality of the native. The chart’s sect will further punctuate the full expression of Sagittarius 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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