The Ascendant

“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 concelead. 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.

Capricorn Ascendant

“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.

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Capricorn: The Goat

Capricorn Rising: Saturn as the Chart Ruler

The feminine, earthy, movable (cardinal) Capricorn Ascendant embodies the nocturnal expression of Saturn. Because Capricorn Ascendant’s chart ruler is Saturn, the meaning of the sign is derived from the qualities of its planetary ruler (Saturn). With Capricorn rising, the Saturn-ruled native is laborious, somber, cautionary, and interminably committed to any proposed objective. The practical application of Saturn is attributed to earthy Capricorn: keenly cognizant of the limitations and boundaries surrounding the native, resourcefulness is maintained through disciplined perseverance. Capricorn Ascendants appear to carry the ‘weight’ of Saturn, innately aware of the resilience, maturity, and fortitude requested to concretize tasks and endeavors.

Of Saturn-ruled natives, Lilly notes:

‘Body more cold and dry, of a middle stature, his Complexion pale, swarthy or muddy, his Eyes little and black, looking downward; a broad Forehead, black or sad Hair, and it hard or rugged; great Ears, hanging; lowering Eyebrows…’

The placement and condition of Saturn 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 Saturn, Saturn retrogrades, Saturn profections. The house ruler of Saturn also directs the expression of the Saturn Ascendant. For example, if Saturn occupies a sign polarizing its essential nature, such as Cancer, the native may not approach life as a typical Capricorn Ascendant. Planets occupying the first house can significantly alter the personality of the Ascendant. Again, for example, the Moon occupying the first house of a Capricorn Ascendant will significantly alter the appearance and personality of the native. The chart’s sect will further punctuate the full expression of Capricorn 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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