‘World, Can You See Me? Do You See What I See?’
The first house, whose beginning is from the eastern part, is called the Ascendant, and this house….signifies life, the body of any particular native or querent, and it signifies the beginning of any work and of every election, and every beginning, and it signifies the beginning of life of any nativity.
(This house) comes from the hidden to light, and from parts occult to those manifest, so he who is born, goes forth from the darkness and confined belly of his mother, and reaches the light of his age and the breadth of the air.
Guido Bonatti (late 13th Century), Liber Astronomiae, Second Tractate –Part 3, Chapter 54
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE ASCENDANT
The Ascendant Sign’s Element
Prime Motivation (P.M.) ‘the beginning of life for any nativity’
The very first Prime Motivation, that is, the desire to manifest as a sentient and sapient being, takes place when the soul and body meet at the moment of birth. A sacred contract between the divine and the terrestrial creates life; and each time a new and different action is taken, regardless of its recurrence, its efficacy, or its duration, the Prime Motivation is once again activated within the individual’s psyche. Prime Motivation can be described as four types of impulse which are determined by the Ascendant sign’s element.
The masculine yang signs are proactive and have the urge to make their mark on the world according to the quality of their element. A Fire sign Ascendant – Aries, Leo, Sagittarius – is driven by the desire for power and freedom of action. An Air sign Ascendant – Libra, Aquarius, Gemini – in keeping with its element is constantly restless and searches earnestly for communication and freedom of movement.
The feminine yin signs need fulfilment from a different direction; that of surviving, adapting and finding nourishment and safety within the changing vicissitudes of Life’s fortunes. An Earth sign Ascendant – Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo – has a need for physical security within their personal space, whilst a Water sign Ascendant – Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces – yearns for acceptance, love, and the gift of emotional security with each changing phase of Prime Motivation.
The Ascendant Sign’s Ruling Planet
The Thema Mundi (the Birth Chart of the Universe) illustrates the correct alignment between the two luminaries, Sun and Moon, and their respective signs Leo and Cancer, and the five planets and the remaining ten signs. The newer planets, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto have no sign rulerships.
Each planet is responsible for the governance of its sign, and the sign on a house cusp will tell you which of the planets are responsible for the affairs of that house.
The Lord of the Ascendant is the planet which has both the honour, and the responsibility, of fulfilling the promise of the individual’s Prime Motivation which is specified by the sign’s element.
The Ruler’s Sign – Aversion and the Ascendant
A Ruling Planet will always carry the duty for the signs which belong to it through the first rule of Essential Dignity. However, a planet can be located in any of the twelve zodiac signs. The best outcome for a house occurs when – by Ptolemaic aspect, by antiscia or contra-antiscia, or by like-engirdling – a link is established between the planet’s owned sign and its current location at the time of birth,. However, when there is no relationship which connects the planet’s location sign to its ruled sign on a house cusp, then a state of blindness exists between ruler/planet and house. This blindness is called ‘aversion’. Aversion not only creates problems for both the house and the areas of life it signifies, but it also stresses the ruling planet whose job it is to oversee the concerns of its house.
The four conditions for sight demonstrate a working association between one sign and another so that firstly, there is recognition, and secondly, that there is true and viable potential for the planet’s effectiveness when it comes to managing the house it rules. This connection is purely about sign to sign, so the degrees of the planet’s location sign, and the degrees of the house cusp (if you are using quadrant-style house systems), is irrelevant to this principle of house rulership by the planets.
The first condition which allows sight is the Ptolemaic aspects which link two signs by some feature of commonality: conjunction (same sign), sextile (same gender), square (same modality), trine (same element), and opposition (same gender and modality).
The second condition for sight is Antiscia – again , no degrees, sign only – is the connection between signs of equal light. Opposite to Antiscia are the signs of Contra-Antiscia which links two signs of equal rising times. Finally, the fourth condition for sight is Like-Engirdling which links two signs by the same planetary ruler (Fig. 1). Like-engirdling only works when the ruling planet is in one of its signs of rulership, and can then see its second sign of rulership.
Six of the seven planets have four possibilities for the planets in particular signs to be in aversion to their signs, and in this case, to the Ascendant when their sign is rising at birth. The Moon is the exception as there are only two signs, Leo and Aquarius, which are blind to the Moon’s sign of Cancer.
Adverse House Placement by Whole Sign
Aversion to the Ascendant, that is, a lack of connection between the sign on the Ascendant and its ruling planet, can occur in one of four of the houses. These four possibilities are actually two house axes: the money axis of 2nd and 8th house, and the difficult cadent houses of the 6th and the 12th house.
The diagrams which follow in the Blind Ascendant Lords series all use the Whole Sign house system – 30 degree houses beginning with zero – to demonstrate the house placement of a ruling planet when it is blind to its sign on the Ascendant. Quadrant house systems will also have blind Ascendant rulers but may not necessarily be placed in one of the dark houses with no light to the Ascendant.
The range in house degree cusps may mean that the ruling planet’s degree could place it in the house alongside one of the 2nd, 6th, 8th or 12th houses, but this different placement will not alter the planet’s blindness to the Ascendant.
Generally speaking, if the ruler of the Ascendant lies in either the second or the eighth houses, then financial issues are likely to frustrate, halt, or impair their ability to achieve their own particular insight into Prime Motivation. However, if the Ascendant’s ruler is placed in either the sixth or the twelfth house it can result in the individual feeling like they are either invisible to the world, or that they are constantly removed from life through misfortune, illness, or some action over which they feel they have no control.
Alternate Rulers to help the Ascendant to achieve P.M.
When Aversion causes the absenteeism of the Ascendant’s ruling planet, you may be able to call in a second planet, which does have connection, to aid the individual in achieving their Prime Motivation. An alternate option which is easily assessed for compatibility to the Ascendant is the planet which rules by the second level of Essential Dignity, that is, by Exaltation. The Exalted Lords for six of the signs are Aries (SUN), Taurus (MOON), Cancer (JUPITER), Libra (SATURN), Capricorn (MARS) and Pisces (VENUS). Virgo is both the Domicile and the Exalted sign for MERCURY.
Failing a connection to both the domicile lord and the exaltation lord of a sign, it may be possible to access sight and achieve feasible house management through the fourth level of Essential Dignities known as The Terms or the Bounds.
The Term Lord is the final option and it may have limited effect on helping with Prime Motivation. Unlike Rulership and Exaltation, Term Rulers do not apply to the entire sign. They can only be used if the Ascendant’s degree is complicit with the given range of degrees, and the correct degrees are shown in the Terms Table (Fig. 6). The Terms use only the five planets and do not include the Sun or the Moon as Term Rulers.
Next in the Series:
Blind Ascendant Lords – MARS