Your Ascendant is the degree of the eastern horizon at the time and place of your birth, one of the most individualized points in your chart. It’s where the Sun rises, making its first appearance at the dawn of a new day. Similarly, the Ascendant marks our first appearance in the world, as we awaken to our new life at birth. It says something about how we ‘rise’, how we make our appearance in the world and how we navigate through life. The sign the Ascendant falls in is the 1st house, which is why it has significance for our appearance, health and essential vitality, our intrinsic motivation and nature. It is the ‘face’ of our chart. Some part of the 1st house will always be visible beyond the horizon while the rest has not yet risen, half-light, half-dark. It is where the Earth’s turn results in a house that straddles between the light and the dark, where spirit meets matter, where reflection becomes awareness.
If you do not know your birth time, there are ways of finding it out. If you do know your Ascendant, see if you can spot similarities with other people who have your specific Ascendant/Sun/Moon combination over at AstroFaces. Here are links to my interpretations of all 12 rising signs: