While the sun sign plays an important role in a person's astrological chart, the ascendant, or rising sign, plays an equally important role. Both signs have distinct traits but work together to form one's personality characteristics.
The sun sign is based on the Earth's movement around the sun. The sign is calculated by the month and day of birth. For instance, people born between Aug. 22 and Sept. 21 are considered Virgos, while those born between May 20 and June 21 are Gemini.
Sun Sign Traits
According to Moon Cats Astrology, the sun sign is sometimes called the "conscious self." The sun sign traits are most obvious after getting to know someone and the sign represents the behavior we are most comfortable with.
The Rising Sign
The rising sign, also known as the ascendant, is the sign that was rising on the eastern horizon at the time you were born. It is located on the first cusp of your birth chart. To calculate the rising sign, you will need to know the exact time and geographic location of your birth since the ascendant changes every two hours.
Rising Sign Traits
Most astrologers agree that the rising sign represents the persona that you present to the outside world. At times, your rising sign may act as a mask in order to hide some characteristic of your inner self that you may be reluctant to reveal.
Some esoteric (or soul-centered) astrologers---unlike traditional astrologers---believe that the rising sign may be more important than the sun sign. These astrologers believe the rising sign represents a person's truest aspirations.
- Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Remko van Dokkum