The Rising Sign in an astrology chart is second only to the Sun sign in importance. The rising sign or ascendant, as it is also known, is determined by the exact time of birth. Every four minutes the earth rotates one degree. Every two hours the Sun sits in a narrow path on the horizon. The horizon is the line between light and dark on the planet. During that two hour window the Sun is in each one of the zodiac signs. This time will vary throughout the year as the earth revolves around the Sun.
Depending on the time of year and the time of day, the rising sign will be found in one of the twelve zodiac signs. This is often different from the actual Sun sign and represents a significant role in the character of the individual. It is the mask we wear and what the outside world recognizes when looking at us. For example: you could have been born with your Sun in the sign of Aries, but due to the exact time of birth, the position of the Sun on the horizon (the ecliptic) could have been in another sign. This point in the astrology chart indicates the manner in which we appear to the world.
The rising sign is also the determining point which sets the stage for the line-up of the houses in an individual’s chart. A person with a first house in Libra will differ significantly from a person who has a rising sign in Aries, for example. This brings a distinctively different flavor to the energy and outcomes of events and scenarios in an individual’s life. It is also a significant indicator in the success or failure of a relationship. If the rising sign matches with the Moon or Sun in another’s chart, the likelihood for success is greatly enhanced.