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If people born under the sun sign of Leo are supposed to be gregarious and extrovert, how do you account for your boss, who’s definitely a Leo but is shy and retiring? The answer could very well be in his rising sign. An individual’s rising sign, or ascendant, determines the persona that they project to the world around them.

The ascendant is the sign that’s on the rise in the east at the time of your birth. In order to find out what sign was ascending when you were born, you need to consult an ephemeris, which lists the locations of the planets at any given time. You will also need to know the exact time you were born, and the location.

General descriptions of the how an individual is affected by the sign that was ascending at the time of his or her birth follow.

Aries Ascendant

Individuals with Aries ascendant are quick and direct, inclined to do rather than to think. They are forthright like a child, and not aggressive in any way. Everything about these people is quick, including their temper; but then it’s also quick to disappear. They are inclined to be impulsive and outspoken in most of their opinions. Individuals with Aries rising possess drive and ambition and while they may come across as brusque and independent, they are usually willing to compromise in their relationships.

Taurus Ascendant

Those born with Taurus rising are slow, cautious, and careful and have great staying power and stamina. They can, however, be stubborn and resistant to change. Taurus rising enjoys the material world, and is very much in tune with its senses. As Taurus ascending people prefer the good things in life, self-indulgence can be a problem for these folk. They are kind and loving, and although not particularly jealous, they do have a tendency to view their partners as their personal property. Individuals with Taurus ascendant have a soothing stability about them that others find attractive.

Gemini Ascendant

Gemini rising produces a curious individual, always eager to learn, who is quick in physical expression, often with an air of impatience about him or her. These people have a need to communicate, whether verbally or in writing. Others can be a little intimidated by the cleverness and witty repartee of Gemini rising. These people can sometimes give the impression that they care more for their own verbal dexterity than they do the welfare of their loved ones. In relationships, Gemini ascending needs a lot of freedom, although it is prepared to grant the same level of freedom to others.

Cancer Ascendant

Individuals with Cancer ascendant will protect themselves when threatened or on unfamiliar ground, and are quick to withdraw in the face of new situations. These people crave security and well-defined rules, and are often willing to give up a degree of personal freedom to obtain security in their relationships. Cancer rising produces a sweet and caring individual, unassuming and approachable with a sympathetic nature, who can at times be sensitive to criticism of any kind. Cancer rising people will have a tendency to collect, whether it’s material possessions, or emotional experiences.

Leo Ascendant

Leo rising individuals like to be noticed and will do what they can to ensure it happens. These people are very self-aware and image-conscious, and sometimes live their life as though they’re on the stage. These folk like to be in charge and can come across as bossy, although this trait can manifest itself in merely wanting to ensure that their loved ones are protected. They’re demonstrative people with a natural enthusiasm. However, there’s no getting away from the drama that these individuals seek. They need to be admired and are prone to temper tantrums and excesses.

Virgo Ascendant

Those with Virgo ascending are generally conservative, diplomatic, tactful, and a little highly-strung. There’s a tendency to worry a lot, especially when confronted with unfamiliar situations. Many Virgo rising individuals are concerned with physical health and can be very particular about what they put into their bodies. These people are often attracted to those who need help, which can lead to confusing relationships as they are unable to see their partners or partnerships clearly. Virgo rising rarely holds back when it comes to advising others on how to improve themselves.

Libra Ascendant

Libra rising is concerned with maintaining harmony and balance. These people love order and beauty and seek to bring peace to the lives of those around them. Individuals born with Libra rising are party-goers, and seem to attract others effortlessly. They are generally agreeable and pleasant, and prefer to surround themselves with the good things in life. They can be enormously persuasive and will do what they can to maintain their “good guy/gal” image. Although they make great mediators, Libra rising folk have a tendency to interfere a little too much in the affairs of others.

Scorpio Ascendant

Individuals with Scorpio rising have a strong desire to achieve, eliminating whatever it is that stands in their way. These people are often successful as a result of the intense determination and drive that Scorpio rising tends to bring. These people rarely go through life unnoticed. They seem to be able to see through people, which some find intimidating, others intriguing. People with Scorpio rising can be critical, emotional, and suspicious. They are often forthright in speech and actions and while appreciating luxury, they are willing to forego this in order to achieve their aims.

Sagittarius Ascendant

Sagittarius ascending produces an individual who is jovial and witty. A great conversationalist, Sagittarius rising is able to make friends instantly. These individuals possess a love of the outdoors – literally as well as in a mental sense. There’s usually a degree of restlessness about Sagittarius rising people, as though they’re searching for something that’s always out of their reach. They tend to be forthright and honest (sometimes a little too much so!). They can also be a little impulsive and impatient, frequently changing their interests and hobbies.

Capricorn Ascendant

People who were born with Capricorn rising are generally serious creatures. These individuals can seem cold, even snobbish at times. While they do possess a sense of humor, it’s often so well hidden that few get to experience it; even when they do, it’s of the deadpan variety so can be misinterpreted. Capricorn rising strives to achieve its goals, no matter how long it takes or how many setbacks it faces, and will use whatever, or whoever, it can to reach a higher level. These people are highly practical and exhibit caution in all they do.

Aquarius Ascendant

The Aquarius ascending individual is kind, sociable, tolerant, and broad-minded. These people are intellectual, with an enquiring mind, and have an interest in all aspects of life, particularly anything that involves advancement of the human race and the benefit of mankind. They are individualists, original and independent, which sometimes leads others to regard them as a little eccentric. Aquarius rising people usually have many friends, from whom they want attention as well as admiration. While they are sociable people, they are usually unpredictable with a general manner that can be a little abrupt.

Pisces Ascendant

Pisces ascending tends to produce a dreamy, sensitive person, who gets on well with folk from all walks of life. These people have a tendency to see the world as they want to see it, and as such, objectivity isn’t always their strong point. Feelings run deep with these individuals, and they love secrets. They can appear a little too indecisive at times and are hard to pin down when a decision needs to be made. They have a subtle and non-aggressive approach to those they encounter and to life in general.

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