Welcome to this introduction to the 4 Masks.
The Ascendant, or Rising Sign is the 1st Mask
It is the sign that is ‘rising’ in the East at the moment of our birth.
In Astrology this represents:
1. The ‘Mask’ or ‘Coloured Glass’ that is held up in front of the true face of the individual
2. The ‘First Impression’ the person will give to an outsider
3. The ‘facade’ a person projects, in order to protect the real self underneath
When the Sun rises at dawn, we see the beginning of a new day. It is the ‘first impression’ that is given of the day, and that impression can quite easily colour the whole of the next 24 hours. In the same way, when we wake up in the morning, a good or bad start also tends to colour our day.
By comparison, when we relate to the Ascendant in a chart we call the moment of birth as the ‘Dawn of a new life’. The sign that is ‘rising’ over the horizon at that time is the first impression that we will give to the world, and will last with us for the rest of our lives.
In just the same way as the Sun is the centre of our solar system, the Sun Sign is analogous to the centre of you – the real person. The Ascendant, therefore, is the first impression we give when meeting someone for the first time and may be completely different from the real person underneath.
Ascendant / Real Sun Sign
Someone with a Capricorn Sun Sign may well be deeply serious and responsible by nature but if they have a Leo Ascendant the first thing strangers will likely see is an outgoing, fun loving character, full of humour, and seemingly completely unphased by the more solemn aspects of life.
By the same token, a Virgo Ascendant may give a neat, precise and very practical appearance, when underneath they are quite a rash and impulsive Aries.
These first impressions can be completely deceiving to the casual onlooker, and others may often make judgments that are far from the truth, which can sometimes be extremely detrimental, particularly in areas of love or career.
Many Astrologers regard the Ascending Sign as almost more important than the Sun Sign for this mask is literally stuck to the face of the person and can never be completely removed. Nevertheless, significant as it is, it relates more to the personality of the person than the real spiritual being inside, and it is therefore argued that it cannot hold the same importance.
Click here for description of the 2nd Mask or Ego (M/C) as it is interpreted in the horoscope.
Why not study our Signs Section, and see which one you think you might use as your mask? Who knows, it may be your Ascending Sign.
The page on Compass Points will be helpful in finding out why we relate to these points in the chart.