The Ascendant in Astrology
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Zodiac Signs on Horoscope House Cusps

Developing your Rising Sign Overlay

Signs on each house in the horoscope:
Rising Sign

The House Cusps Tell Much of the Story

The "houses of the horoscope" refers to a twelve part division that begins with the Ascendant or your Rising Sign. Although the size of each house can vary a great deal, the 360 degree circle is divided into these twelve parts. The sign on the cusp of the Ascendant (Rising Sign) and the subsequent 11 house cusps make up what may be called the Rising Sign Overlay Pattern. After you understand this summary, you can start building your overlay pattern by clicking on the house cusp reading from the menu on left column of this page.

Why the hour of birth is important

The Ascendant/Rising Sign/First House cusp is calculated to an exact degree based on the precise moment of birth. To understand the full meaning of what your Ascendant tells, you must understand that this moment of birth places an influence on each of twelve areas of the life or houses of the horoscope.  Each of the subsequent signs consists of thirty degrees, one twelfth of the circle.

Reading the Circle

The Rising sign overlay begins with the Ascendant or the first house of the chart. On the chart, this is point at the left side of the horizontal center. Moving counter-clockwise from there, the twelve houses of random size continue to complete the ring.

The differing size of the houses sometimes results in the same sign appearing on the cusp of consecutive houses, since the signs always consist of exactly 30°. This is not unusual at all, and when it occurs on one side of the chart, it must again occur on the opposite side.  When a house is very large, i.e. larger than just one sign, it often occurs that a sign is contained within a house without appearing on either cusp line. These signs that are excluded from appearing on any cusp are said to be intercepted (in the house). Some astrologers believe that the sign on the cusp and the intercepted sign are co-rulers of the house. This often become contradictory and somewhat confusing to the beginner, and I don't personally subscribe to the idea anyway.

If you need a little help figuring out which sign is on which cusp, check here.

If you link the readings together from these twelve houses, i.e. the signs on the cusps of the houses, you will get an amazingly good personality sketch of the individual.

© Michael McClain 1996-2012.  Permission is granted for unlimited noncommercial use.  All other rights reserved.

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