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Tristram Shandy
18-02-2007, 09:58
Are there any rules of thumb on how to interpret them? Some astrologers consider them important, others don't. I have found several interpretations about individual Ascendant aspects on the web. However, I am looking for more generic descriptions, so I can make my own interpretations. The closest I could found is a snippet at astrologysource.com (http://www.astrologysource.com/understand7.html).

Public Image Detailed analyzes of the Ascendant

Sign on the Ascendant
Ascendant aspects


I think that I understand what the snippet means. The Ascendant aspects would influnce the way you show yourself to people (including yourself). Still, the wording of the snippet could be clearer. Public image sounds something like Midheaven. However, there are people in the private sphere, as well. Public is not the same as the other people. I may have just answered my own question, but I think that this topic is worth discussing.

The other thing that I am interested in is the applying and separating aspects of Ascendant. You look at the angular speed of the heavenly bodies and the angle between them to conclude, whether the aspect is applying or separating. But the Ascendant isn't a heavenly body, only a point. Has it no speed or superfast rotation, circa 360 degrees in day? This may sound like a minor question, but it has bothered me since I learned the difference between applying and separating aspects.

dadsnook2000
18-02-2007, 11:03
Let's start with the Ascendant. Yes, the Ascendant is just a point on a chart. It's just that, a point. But it represents the point where a meridian (vertical line going from pole to pole) passes thru the local horizon's east point and the ecliptic or zodiac circle. That zodiac sign and degree point is assigned to this eastern point. The local horizon and the Ascendant axis and MC axis are defined by the time and place of your birth -- these points and the house system that you use are considered very personal because they are unique to just you. The planets, as they are placed in that house system, are unique to you. On the other hand, the signs and the planet's placements in the signs are not unique to just you -- they are shared by everyone.

We can say that "houses are personal (along with the Asc and MC) while signs are social-cultural and common to many.

The above statements provide a background to your question about the Ascendant -- it is very important! I would suggest that any astrologer or astrological source that suggests that the ascendant is not important is really ignorant on astrology as it is currently conceived, taught and used. Being part of your unique and personal relationship to the celestial sphere about you, the Ascendant has a strong symbolic meanings -- it is said to be your core self, personality focus, appearance, health profile (?), experience of the moment, view of the world around you, etc.

By definition, the Ascendant is the starting boundary of the first house, yet the Ascendant is not the first house in terms of its meanings. The Ascendant is a point of experience, action and reaction, feeling and perception. The first house, as a zone, represents a broader and less acute set of meanings. The sign on its cusp and the planets contained within it represent the manner in which you conduct your life and see your experiences. Planets here take on a very personal level of expression and temperment. As such, these planets can have a strong impact on the shape of your personality and approach to life. I would suggest that the first house is also part of your health profile.

Planets in the first house are not the same as planets that aspect your Ascendant. For example, Mars in the first house might tend to make you very aggressive in your nature, inclined to making rash decisions, bring a sense of being very "hands on" in how you see things. Mars in square aspect to the Ascendant, on the other hand, would push you to acting angry when upset, being very physical in the way you touch things and work with your hands, all of the cookbook things might apply -- but be subject to all the modifications that other factors (planets, aspects) in the chart might bring forward.

So, to sum up your answers:
** The Ascendant and MC are very personal because they are based on the time and place of birth -- this is unique to just you.
** The signs and the planet's places within them are not personal, but social as they are shared by many.
** The houses and the planet's placement within them are important to you because they relate to your personal world and experience.
** The Ascendant is important.
** The first house is defined as starting with the Ascendant.
** The first house differs from the Ascendant in its meanings.
** Planets in the first house help to define the nature of your personality and the manner in which you experience life.
** Planets that aspect the Ascendant define the manner in which you act and outwardly express your self.
** How you act may differ from how you perceive yourself.

Hope this helps. Dave

Tristram Shandy
19-02-2007, 10:04
Thank you for your explanation. It made me reread material on AC-DC axis. I first though that I had a skewed idea of its meaning. Then I found several, more or less different ideas on the meaning of the Ascendant. Just compare these pages: mooncatsastrology.com (http://www.mooncatsastrology.com/astro2/sunmoonrising.htm), cafeastrology.com (http://www.cafeastrology.com/ascendant.html). My original idea followed this definition (http://www.saunalahti.fi/astrolo2/akselit.htm). (99,5% of Aeclectic members can't understand the language in which the text was written, but I love references. ;)) Many texts equate the Ascendant with its sign, which is problematic, when you are interested in Ascendant aspects.

As a result, I chose a new definition that I operate with. I use now the definition in the book that I use most.

I have no difficulties in imagining, where AC-DC, MC-IC and other axes and circles are. I have been interested in astronomy for a long time. My background also means that I am only interested in psychological astrology, not its medical, horary etc forms.

Let's start with the Ascendant. Yes, the Ascendant is just a point on a chart. It's just that, a point. But it represents the point where a meridian (vertical line going from pole to pole) passes thru the local horizon's east point and the ecliptic or zodiac circle. That zodiac sign and degree point is assigned to this eastern point.

That explanation sounds more like the Vertex (http://lunarplanner.com/ArgoNavisPublications/StarChartPersonal/STInstruction.html). I have understood that the Ascendant is the place where the Zodiac intersects the horizon, rising above it. It is in the east but not necessarily exactly above or below the local horizon's east point. [* (http://www.aquamoonlight.co.uk/ascendant.html)] Actually, it can be in be in funny places if you were born in polar regions.

I reckon that my first question has been answered, but not yet the second.

dadsnook2000
19-02-2007, 11:20
Visualization of local horizons, zodiac or ecliptic circles, meridians, etc. are not easy for most of us. Let us consider a couple of examples.

Yesterday I was outside a lot as the temperature had risen above the freezing point and it was convenient to vacuum out the cars after taking them through a car wash establishment. The Sun had been relatively high at noon but it was then about 4:30 pm. The Sun was low, yet it would be another hour before it set. It was moving along a shallow arc that moved it across the horizon much faster than it dropped to the horizon line. I pictured the ecliptic as a long low arc that stretched across the southern sky. Its arc actually didn't go across 180 degrees of horizon. At this time of the year its day-time arch is actually shorter. At night the ecliptic circle is higher in the sky and its arc stretches across a lot of sky. The east point is not where the Sun comes up, visibly, nor where it sets, visibly. It rises more in the east-south-east. In the summer months it rises more in the east-north-east.

So, you'll have to forgive my slight mis-statement. It seemed easier to use the explanation I gave to explain this seeming discrepancy.

If we drew a diagram with the local horizon (with a view of some 20 miles in horizon diameter) being a small circle with its center resting on our location, the phenomena as I described it above would be true. If we diagrammed the horizon as parallel the local horizon with its circle-plane passing thru the center of the earth, then we would indeed have the Ascendant point defined as you noted.

Its just easier to look at a book. But many of those early-studies astrology buffs on the list don't have that extensive a library. Anyway, we can use the Ascendant as specified by our software or manual calculations in the several interpretive manners I noted -- or something akin to that which appeals to us and which works relatively consistently. Dave.