More and more, I find myself saying to friends, clients, and myself: “You are not your rising sign.” You are not your progressed rising sign either.
In the past, I have described the rising sign using these visuals:
- A shell
- A sword
- A shield
Whether we use the rising sign for protection or to cope or get out of a sticky situation, it does come in handy. The rising sign is possibly the tool in our belt that is easiest to wield.
And yet, I feel compelled to convey the message again: “You are NOT your rising sign.” So what’s the big deal and why is it important to remember this?
The most significant reason is self-awareness. The rising sign is something you have access to, but is not who you really are. If you feel threatened, it is the best tool for the job, but just like a sword or a shield, it can get cumbersome if you constantly have it in hand.
Your happiest times will come when you can express your sun sign freely, supported by your rising sign, but not hindered by it.
Let’s discuss a few examples…
1. Cancer with Virgo Rising
Cancer values home more than any other. Their home is their castle. They want their home to be warm and dry, safe and secure, but also inviting. Yes, the crab shell is a great retreat, but a Cancer is happiest when they can cuddle at home with friends, family, and/or the significant other.
Now Virgo’s priorities are a bit different. They are driven to improve anything they value. Yes, a Virgo can overlook clutter—if it doesn’t matter to them—but if they love something, they are going to expend a little elbow grease to luster the shine.
If you are a Cancer with Virgo on the ascendant, you might at times find yourself being very picky about your house. You might have little tolerance for messiness. You might find yourself cleaning almost obsessively. You might look around and see your home as not good enough for company…and uncomfortable for yourself.
A crab can retreat into its shell when it feels threatened, but a Cancer with Virgo rising might not retreat so easily. Or maybe retreating isn’t an option given the situation at home. The basic point is: when this Cancer is unhappy at home, he or she may overly rely on the Virgo rising in an effort to clean it all up.
“You are not a Virgo,” spirit says to you. If you’re obsessing, you might be missing the point of what’s really wrong. Maybe the condition of the house is not the problem. Maybe there is an emotional issue that needs to be addressed, discussed, and brought out from an uncomfortable, dark place to a light, safe, and secure one.
For the record, my progressed sun is in Cancer and my progressed ascendant is in Virgo. I have become neater and cleaner at home these years, but when I find myself getting tweaked about it, I now know to look more closely at how I’m feeling and why.
Yes, cleaning my house feels good—it’s productive. It gives me something to focus on and allows me to expend some energy. But it also diverts my attention from what I am feeling. Sometimes, I just need to admit that I feel what I feel, and then take it from there.
2. Leo with Gemini Rising
A true Gemini likes to roam and wander freely. They are like humming birds seeking out the next beautiful and fragrant flower. And like humming birds, when a threat comes near…they’re outta there! Geminis are more apt to flee than confront. And Geminis are quite logical too. Because they value freedom highly, they apply that standard to others: need space…give space.
Leo is a different animal, however. What a Leo values more than anything is loyalty. Leo is fixed fire; one way to think of that is constant connection. Leos radiate their love, and want to feel the love of others that same way…even if at a distance. Leos are here to shine. Do they like the attention that follows? Sure.
Let’s say a Leo with Gemini rising is abandoned or betrayed by a loved one. Will they roar like the lion? Probably not. A Leo with Gemini on the ascendant is more likely to detach…from the situation, but also from their hurt feelings. They will use logic to lessen the betrayal…or they may possibly tell themselves that the other person didn’t really abandon them at all—they just needed space and what’s wrong in that?
The thing with Gemini is this: their logic is sound. So the Leo, when in their head, might find no fault done and thus be at a loss to justify their feelings. They might even talk themselves out of their pain altogether. But I ask you this: if they feel hurt, are they not still hurt? This person might end up repressing their pain rather than releasing it.
Logic is great, but it does not rule everything. Feelings count a TON, even if they don’t make sense. Instead of wondering whether it is logical to feel what we feel, it is better to accept the feelings and allow them to be, which then also allows them to pass.
3. Gemini with Leo Rising
Unlike the previous example, I am the opposite: a Gemini with Leo rising. What I have noticed about myself is that, when I am most unhappy, I tend to exhibit negative Leo traits. My air gets consumed with fire. My mutability gets squashed—rooted into stubborn fixity. I start feeling and acting like I’m better than those around me: “How dare they treat ME like this!” My concern about appearances and what other people think can stunt my freedom of expression.
My Leo rising does support me at times too. When I’m being my Gemini self in a public setting, my Leo rising helps me shine. It allows me be more extroverted than I am naturally. Leo on the ascendant strengthens the sun sign. It is supposed to help me be more Gemini…not more Leo.
There are 144 combinations of sun sign and rising. Even when both are the same, we typically express them differently. Add in your progressed sun and rising, and you have a complex picture indeed.
The point of this article is not to weigh signs against each other or claim that any one way of being is better than any other way. The point is, we are NOT our rising sign, and when we find ourselves exhibiting the personality of our rising sign too much, then it is valuable to recognize that something is wrong. We resort to our rising sign when we feel uncomfortable, hurt, insecure, and/or threatened. Maybe what’s really wrong is just beyond our notice.
Our rising sign can help us avoid our unwanted feelings, but it is not likely the best way to resolve them.
If you are not sure what your rising sign is, or if you’re struggling with something, an Astrology reading just might be convalescent. We are in the sign of Gemini now, and a Gemini would say, “Knowledge is power!”