Ascending / Descending - Opposites of Our Identity




The Ascending / Descending axis represents two sides of the same coin. That is, together, they represent our astral personality. In astrology, this concept helps us understand that we have two sides; the way we see ourselves and how others see us.

Understand the meaning of the Ascendant and Descendant in astrology how they relate to each other to compose the astrological personality and build a pleasant, confident, and self-aware personality.

The Ascending / Descending Axis in Astrology

The Ascendant sign and the Descending sign are on opposite sides of your birth chart, positioned opposite each other on the same axis as the Zodiac wheel. The Ascendant corresponds to the First House, and the Descendant corresponds to the Seventh House.

The Ascendant is the sign on the easternmost horizon (east, rising, or rising) at the exact moment of birth. The Descendant is the lower than the western horizon (west or west) simultaneously.

The Ascendant / Descendant can rule opposite Houses, but in Astrology, instead of dividing, it unites, relates, and complements two seemingly separate and opposite halves, turning them into a single entity.

Ascending / Descending Axis - How Do They Shape My Identity?

How Does the Ascendant Influence My Personality?

The Ascendant begins in the First House, the House where the “I” lives, our most intimate being. The Ascendant brings together the qualities that we recognize and accept in ourselves, the facets of our personality that we are proud to show the world. It corresponds to how we see ourselves, our image, and all we are. It is our deepest essence.

The Sun may be at the center of your astrological personality: your ego, your consciousness, your individuality, your identity, but your Ascendant is the image that you project or wish to project on others. Your visible face is what you want to show or how you want to be seen.

It’s the way you present yourself, how you dress, how you take care of your appearance, how you adorn your personality. They are the expressions on your face, the way you move, how you express yourself, how you relate to others.

The look you have on the world. Your personality characteristics make you proud, the image you have of yourself, and the way you would like others to see you.

The Ascendant is like a mask we create for ourselves, representing who we are or what we would like to be. A mask changes and evolves throughout life according to our experiences and the search for personal improvement. It is, deep down, our identity. The qualities that we most appreciate in our personality.

How Does the Descendant Influence Neither Personality?

On the other hand, the Descendant initiates the Seventh House, the House that governs relationships. The sign is located on the opposite axis in your birth chart. It is the opposite of your Ascendant. It is what we think we are not. These are the qualities that we reject, repress, deny, ignore, or recognize in our personality.

The Descendant is the opposite of everything we identify with, get angry with, disagree with, and take ourselves seriously. However, interestingly, you may be attracted to the qualities of your opposite sign when interacting with people of that same sign. We can explain this magnetism by the force of attraction of opposites “opposites attract.”

Believe it or not, your Descendant is part of your personality, the person you are. Therefore, in Astrology, the symbolism associated with the Descending sign is essential in interpreting the birth chart.

You can deny them, but those characteristics are present in your personality. Anyone you associate with can confirm this for you. We see ourselves from our Ascendant, but other people see us through our Descendant.

The image that other people build of us may not correspond to what we try to project. Who lives with us every day and knows us, sometimes better, can tell us what characteristics of our opposite reside in us. So even if we reject them, they are present; they are part of us and our character. What Astrology tells us is that we gain more by accepting that fact than by ignoring it.

The Descendant suggests what we have to do and the experiences we must go through for our personality to develop as a whole. Therefore, in Astrology, the Ascending / Descending axis is seen as a basic orientation for our life path.

The Descendant tells us what to do and discard in our daily lives to feel safe, balanced, and in harmony with our true selves.

The Ascending / Descending axis reminds us that it is our challenge to know and reconcile the two halves of our personality. We need to incorporate the two identities and accept that we have characteristics that we would rather not have.

By accepting our “dark side,” we can build a unique identity, living in harmony with itself, without feelings of guilt or rejection.

The people around us, who love us well and love us as we are, are a precious help to bring us to a safe harbor. When we face and solve problems with the help of these people, we bring the two points of the axis closer together.

When we finally recognize and accept the aspects that we least like in our way of being, we do not need anyone else to show us who we are. Our true “me” emerges and reveals itself to us and others.

Our image of ourselves is the same that others have of us. Learn more about how the Descendant manifests itself in the signs.

Ascending / Descending Axis: What Are the Opposite Signs?

  • Aries Ascendant - Libra Descendant
  • Taurus Ascendant - Scorpio Descendant
  • Gemini Ascendant - Sagittarius Descendant
  • Cancer Ascendant - Capricorn Descendant
  • Leo Ascendant - Aquarius Descendant
  • Virgo Ascendant - Pisces Descendant
  • Libra Ascendant - Aries Descendant
  • Scorpio Ascendant - Taurus Descendant
  • Sagittarius Ascendant - Gemini Descendant
  • Capricorn Ascendant - Cancer Descendant
  • Aquarius Ascendant - Leo Descendant
  • Pisces Ascendant - Virgo Descendant

The Rising Signs by the Signs of the Zodiac

To learn more about the influence of the Ascendant on each of the Zodiac signs, see: