Kristin Magaldi
Updated Apr 10, 2020 @ 11:24 am
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If you’re into astrology, there’s a good chance you know what your sun sign is—or the position the sun was in when you were born—but have you ever taken a look at your full birth chart? While most of us identify with our sun sign (better known as our zodiac sign), the other positions of the planets within your chart can have an impact on how much you are actually like your zodiac sign. For example, you might be a Libra, but if your moon is in Capricorn, you might find you’re not as indecisive as Libras are known to be. So what aspects of your birth chart should you understand to get the whole picture of who you are? The first, beyond your sun sign, is your rising sign or ascendent sign.

“In astrology, the birth chart is divided into 12 different houses, which are based on the time, date, and location of your birth. The first house is the rising sign or the ascendent,” astrologer Lisa Stardust tells HelloGiggles. “The rising sign is what people notice about you first. It’s the mask you wear to the world. The sun sign is our ego and will, while the rising sign is how the world perceives us and what we show to them.”

If you’re not sure what your rising sign is, or what your birth chart even looks like, websites like CafeAstrology.com will use when and where you were born to show you what the positions of the planets were at that moment. Once you know what your rising sign is, you can better evaluate how it impacts your sun sign and how it can color the way you present yourself to the world.

We asked Stardust to further unpack what each zodiac sign means if it’s in your ascendant house.

Aries

Typically, Aries is an assertive, confident sign who knows how to get things done. Even if you find your sun sign has a more low-key demeanor, you might see some of these aspects shining through if Aries is your rising sign. “You’re very impulsive and take on projects that you are immediately drawn to right away,” Stardust says. Perhaps you’re a go-getter at work, or you’re a risk-taker in your day-to-day life—this could all be because of your Aries rising.

Taurus

Though your sun sign may not have any of those earthy vibes, you might find yourself taking a slow and steady approach to things if your ascendant sign is Taurus. “You like to take your time when problem solving and to deal with the finer things in life, like your beauty routine,” Stardust says. Enjoy art, good food, and taking it easy? You can thank your Taurus rising for that.

Gemini

Your sun sign may be the quiet type, but you’ve likely always found you’re actually pretty chatty, and that has to do with your Gemini rising. “You are a stellar communicator and excellent at making others see your points,” Stardust says.

Cancer

Has anyone ever told you that you feel familiar to them, or that they instantly feel secure when you walk into the room? That’s your Cancer rising shining through. “People know that you want to care for them 24/7,” Stardust says. “You are comforting, yet tough with your circle.”

Leo

Your sign sign may be a classically quiet personality who doesn’t like the spotlight, but if you’re a Leo rising, the world is likely to see none of that. Instead, you may come off as the center of attention, no matter what situation you’re in. “You have a natural flair for expressing your desires with passion,” Stardust says, and you captivate those around you.

Virgo

Even if you’re an Aries or Sagittarius sun, having Virgo as your rising sign can mitigate some of your more impulsive tendencies in favor or a more measured approach to life. “Patience is your virtue, as well as kindness and straightforward communication, even if you’re shy at first,” Stardust says.

Libra

Having a Libra in your ascendant house might make you more of a romantic than your sun sign would lead you to believe. Being ruled by Venus, ascendant Libras can come off as infatuated with the idea of love. “When the going gets tough, you flirt on,” Stardust says. “Life is one big charming and fair game of love—and you know it.”

Scorpio

Do people tend to say they can’t always figure you out? Your rising sign is probably Scorpio. “Mysterious and deep, your sultry and intense vibe cuts to the bone in all matters,” Stardust says. It doesn’t matter if your sun sign is an open book—being a Scorpio rising often means you play your cards close to your chest, and only let people in after they get to know you.

Sagittarius

If the Archer is your rising sign, people might see some of your more brash and impulsive ways when they first meet you. “You’re a gambler by nature, who is blunt and straight to the point in all areas of life,” Stardust says.

Capricorn

If you’re the type to interview for a job and basically always nail it, then you’re likely a Cap rising. “Life’s all business for you, and you tend to play by the rules and respect the civilities of society,” Stardust says. Your annual reviews at work probably also tend to go off without a hitch.

Aquarius

Those with Aquarius as their rising sign often feel the call to do right by others and can be seen as social justice warriors. “You’re a humanitarian who sees the world as a place where you can serve and protect others,” Stardust says.

Pisces

Even if your sun is a a no-nonsense earth sign, being a Pisces rising might mean others see you as an ethereal creative. “You’re a visionary and a dreamer who is in constant search of romantic and artistic inspiration,” Stardust says. Yes, you may be easily distracted, but it’s all part of your charm.

While your sun sign may be the core of who you are, it’s helpful to know the full scope of your birth chart. Those who swear up and down that their sun sign is them to a T can often still see a bit of their rising sign peeking through.