by Robert Wilkinson
This question pops up regularly, most recently in a comment stream. When looking at material for the signs, should we read our Sun sign, our Rising sign, our Moon sign, or what? When we read what's happening for each sign, which is more important and less important, the Sun or Ascendant?
The question came from two Scorpio rising people wanting to know which influence is stronger, the Sun or Rising sign? Each are important, but in different ways. As I answered,
A Scorpio Sun is illuminated by Scorpio whatever. A Scorpio rising sees the world through a Scorpio lens. The former is the engine that pulls the train, while the latter is the view of self and therefore one's world. And yes, read BOTH your Sun sign and rising sign in posted material. I've also noted that the sign of the Asc ruler and sometimes even the Moon sign are also relevant, depending on what orientation we have at that time.
The Sun is how we are illuminated and derive power and vitality. The rising sign is the lens of how we see ourself and the world. So the Scorpio lens takes a Sag view of resources, a Cap view of the environment, Aquarian view of the early home life, Pisces view of creativity, and so forth around the wheel.
To elaborate a little, Libra rising has a Scorpio approach to resources and values, a Sag lens on their siblings, a Capricorn view of the early home life, an Aquarian view of children, etc. Leo rising approaches money through the Virgo lens, siblings through a Libra lens, the early life through the Scorpio lens. You can apply this formula to all the signs, regardless of which is on the Ascendant. Learn the order of the signs, and you'll immediately see the connectedness of all the departments of our outer affairs symbolized by the houses.
The self image of the rising sign, our "window to the world," is determined by many things, from what decan it is in to the sign and decan of the planet ruling the Ascendant. This makes Mars of primary importance to anyone with Aries or Scorpio rising, Venus of primary importance to those with Taurus or Libra rising, Mercury important for those with Gemini or Virgo rising, Saturn for those with Capricorn or Aquarius rising, Jupiter for those with Sagittarius or Pisces rising, and the Sun and Moon both of importance for those with Cancer or Leo rising. By studying the signs of the various rulers of our houses, we come to see our inner response to the outer affairs of those houses.
In a somewhat related vein, the sign of two or more planets clustered at the top of the chart shows how others see us since it's what we project to the public, but our inner view of ourself is seen through the lens of the rising sign. Planets at the bottom of our chart shows how we are around the home and our families, but we still see ourselves and our world through the rising sign. We are our Sun sign, focused, filtered, and given flavor through the Moon sign, but how we view outer worldly things is shown by the rising sign.
As for which is "stronger," each of our energies is strong or weak depending on our momentary focus. The crucial thing to keep in mind is that the signs on whatever house are dependent on where their rulers are, whether natally, progressed, or transiting. These form the complex of energies that infuse our approach to the affairs of the houses. We ARE our "planetary lights," which measure how we are proacting or reacting to the life affairs symbolized by the houses.
The natal sign of our rulers shows what we came in with and our natural default way of experiencing that planet. The progressed sign, if different, shows us how we're progressing in the evolution of that way of experiencing. The transits show us the gestalt of what's going on in the moment, and whether that ongoing energy is harmonious, frictional, specializing, or whatever other ways there are of two or more energies relating to each other.
That's why sometimes we're more at ease with circumstances and responses, and other times not. If we are inclined to be Aries or Libra in a certain area, then when that ruler transits through Cancer or Capricorn we will experience cross currents in our ways of dealing with those affairs. It's all part of the enormously complex systems theory that we call Astrology.
© Copyright 2007 Robert Wilkinson