It’s always a good ice-breaker! Love it or hate it, astrology provokes the kind of reaction that makes people sit up and take notice, and quickly gets the conversation going. Once you’ve exhausted the subject of Sun Signs, asking someone you’ve just met ‘what’s your Rising Sign?’ makes a great alternative chat-up line.
Don’t expect many to know the answer, though. Although almost everyone can tell you their Sun Sign, far fewer are familiar with their Rising Sign – literally the Zodiac sign rising over the horizon at our moment of birth – although its bearing on our personality is of equal importance.
Since this sign changes quite quickly – once about every two hours in fact – in order to work it out we have to find out our birth time, which may require a bit of effort. Because of this, it’s less directly accessible to most people than their Sun Sign, for which it’s unnecessary to know the hour of our birth – just our birth date. This is because the Sun moves relatively slowly, remaining in the same sign for an entire month at a time.
First Impressions Count!
Yet it’s someone’s Rising Sign, not their Sun Sign, that we’re most likely to pick up on when first meeting them, since this is the part of our personality which is most immediately apparent to others. We all know the importance of first impressions. Somewhat scarily, it’s in those vital first few minutes that a prospective date will make up their mind about us – and how we come across is largely down to our Rising Sign.
It doesn’t necessarily reflect the “real” us though, and in a sense it’s a kind of mask, based on our appearance, mannerisms and outer persona, that we adopt in order to face the outside world. In this way it differs from our Sun Sign, which relates more to our true or inner self, and which we may reveal to others much more slowly, only as we gradually get to know them.
When a person’s Rising Sign and Sun Sign have similar characteristics, what you see is generally what you get: in other words, how they are on the outside and on the inside will tend to be much the same. But if these two signs are completely different to each other, the way they project themselves at a superficial level may be quite unlike what one would normally expect from their Sun Sign.
Sun Signs versus Rising Signs
It’s for this reason that some people can, on first impressions, seem atypical of their Sun Sign. If, for example, you were born under the Sun Sign Leo, but your Rising Sign is Virgo, you’re likely to come across initially as rather more modest and reserved than your typically confident and outgoing Lion. Similarly, a Sun Sign Pisces with down-to-earth Capricorn rising is unlikely to reveal their inherent gentleness and sensitivity at the start.
In the context of relationship analysis, Rising Signs can often make a significant difference to the overall outcome. Because our Rising Sign is the most immediate thing that someone will pick up about us, it determines how well we will click in the first instance – before we have a chance to make deeper contact with each other and find out more about who we really are.
Provided you know your birth time, having checked out your general Sun Sign compatibility with another person, it’s a good idea then to see how your Rising Sign fits into the picture – and how this might possibly change things. For example, even if your Sun Signs are basically incompatible, a good match between your Rising Sign and their Sun Sign could help.
Normally, for instance, feet-on-the ground Taurus tends to feel a bit out of its element when it’s around whacky Aquarians. But if a Sun Sign Taurean just happens to have Aquarius rising, they're likely to get on rather better with Aquarians – and with the other two air signs, Gemini and Libra, for that matter – than would otherwise be the case.
How To Find Out Your Rising Sign
Because, unlike your Sun Sign, your Rising Sign is time-sensitive, in order that it can be calculated, you do need to have a fairly accurate knowledge of exactly when you were born. The first place to look for this is obviously on your birth certificate which, in many countries of the world, will include the time of birth. Alternatively, of course, you can ask your mother whether she recalls it.
If there was something significant about your time of birth – or there’s some story connected with it, she – or maybe another close relative – will often know it exactly. In some cases you may find your time of birth entered in your “baby book” or another form of family records. Failing this, it’s worth asking the hospital where you were born, or the doctor attendant at the birth, to check their records.
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