Have you ever read a complicated horoscope or tried to decipher an astrological chart and asked yourself, “What is my rising sign?” If you’re guilty, like me, of going down the rabbit-hole and spending hours Google searching the heck out of your Zodiac sign, you’ve probably come across this query more than once.
Your personal sign of the Zodiac isn’t as straightforward as you might assume at first glance. There are 12 signs, but to have a more complete picture, there is also your sun sign, moon sign, as well as the Ascendent. According to AlwaysAstrology, “The rising sign is the Zodiac sign that was rising on the eastern horizon the moment you were born.” That may seem rather unimportant, but according to HoroscopeWithin, “The Rising Sign is the sign on the 1st house cusp of your personal horoscope. This is the face you wear in public, how others see you, and your Astrological Mask.” Primarily, your rising sign signifies people’s first impression of you — essentially what I see as your "cocktail party sign."
Luckily, you don’t have to go to a certified astrologer anymore to find out what your rising sign means because there are plenty of great places that calculate it on the Internet (da dada DA!). To find out your Ascendent sign you will need a few crucial pieces of information, including your date of birth, time of birth, and city of birth (some calculate it down to the hospital that delivered you!). This might take a call to your folks, or locating your birth certificate. Then, plug the info into an astrological calculator like this one and voilà!
It’s easy to be bit skeptical of astrology, but I’m sure if your ever read your horoscope or perused a breakdown of your astrological sign, there have been one or two things that strike you as truthful, and perhaps even insightful. The personality traits outlined by the signs can be surprisingly accurate. The signs distill it down to the essentials — the Sagittarius is independent, the Virgo is analytical, and the Aries is optimistic, and the list goes on. Believe me, I’ve dated enough Virgos to know that these Zodiac signs have some credence to them.
Astrology is now thought of as a pseudoscience, but the practice has been around longer than Christianity — dated to around second millennium B.C.. I’m not saying this calendrical system is telling us the future, but many cultures, including Chinese, Indian, and Mayan, believe in the link between the celestial and the terrestrial, and hold the predictions of horoscopes in high regard. The New York Times recently published an essay on the subject as part of their wonderful Modern Love series. So don't brush off the opportunity for some quality guidance and self-reflection! Who knows? Maybe there are some answers in the stars.