The angles are very sensitive points in the horoscope and they symbolise how our personal and inner world meets outer reality. The Ascendant marks the beginning of the first house in the horoscope and therefore is of great importance in showing how the individual tend to experience each area represented by the house cusps. I personally find slightly frustrating when casting a chart with an accurate birth time is not possible and because of that the angles are lost. I think that a very important part of the individual make up and the style and quality of energy that drives a person towards relating is contained within the Ascendant – Descendant axis. The Ascendant – Descendant is known as the relationship axis, the “me versus others”, where we recognise and separate what belongs to us from what we expect to encounter in other people and outside ourselves. We could also call the Ascendant – Descendant complex as the “meeting” axis because it reveals, by sign and aspects, how and what we tend to attract into our lives. This is the axis of self – awareness and where the individual understanding encounters and relate to other people.
The Ascendant, or the constellation that appear to be rising on the eastern horizon at the moment of birth, stands symbolically to how we define ourselves and to a sense of immediate social identity. The rising sign works as a kind of front door, being the gateway from where everything that is contained within the astrological chart is projected outward. The Ascendant has much to say about the individual’s self expression. Along these lines, personal approach, much of the personal style and physical appearance of the individual is also expressed through this angle, including the physical body itself. The Ascendant points out how we get out into the world and the way that we see ourselves interacting with others and the environment. In other words we could also say that the Ascendant represents what kind of lens that we use, not only to interpret but also to interact with the immediate reality around us. The Ascendant also shows what was going on when the person was born and how the experience was felt by the individual, describing an early imprint of what is expected from the environment and therefore how to behave in terms of survival as well. On the other hand, the Descendant, or the constellation that was setting in the western horizon line at the moment of birth, shows a set of characteristics that we expect to encounter from without. The Descendant displays parts that tend to be disowned, qualities that we often project onto other people or tend to experience from outside ourselves. Because of the natural tendency in human beings to seek wholeness there is also usually a noticeable attraction to those qualities represented by the Descendant end of the axis. I have also observed that the sign on the Descendant can point out what kind of committed partnership is appealing to the person and how the individual functions in one – to – one relationships in general. The constellation found on the Descendant mirrors the characteristics that other people perceive in us for it also shows our own approach to relationships. To illustrate how the sign polarities could work when found on the Ascendant – Descendant axis, someone with the rising sign in Libra for instance would be a person who tends to get out into the world in a diplomatic and graceful way, or someone who identifies himself with those characteristics. Compromising and being the go – between would be expected from the Libra Ascendant’s make up while the more straightforward, hot – headed and impatient characteristics of the Aries Descendant would be left to be experienced through and while relating to other people. To be liked by other people would be of extreme importance and the Libra Ascendant person would tend to feel attracted to a more decisive and independent partner. Someone with Scorpio on the Ascendant would get out into the world wanting to probe and uncover psychological truths. There would be a tendency to respond to the environment in a very passionate manner and the individual would be inclined to create crisis as a way of maintaining the intrinsic intensity contained within their style of greeting life. The Descendant in Taurus would represent the characteristics of reliability, placidity and permanence that the Scorpio Ascendant would feel drawn towards to or perhaps his/her own materialistic, unmovable and stubborn shadow. With Cancer on the Ascendant the individual would get out into the world wanting to nurture and care for others, being very sensitive to what is happening in the environment around them. These people would tend to feel attracted to competent, serious and perhaps drawn towards partnerships where age difference features. The Ascendant – Descendant axis is an extreme valuable part of the astrological map, but it has to be integrated with the rest of the chart in order to be given depth and more personal meaning.