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What’s Your Rising Sign? Here’s How To Find Out (And What It Means)

It's all about the face you present to the world.


When you think about your birth chart or horoscope, your moon sign and your sun sign — also known as star sign — are likely the first two things that come to mind. But while your sun sign does, indeed, represent your core traits and behaviors, astrology is more complex than these broad outlines. For a better understanding of your birth chart, you’ll need to have a firm grasp on your ascendant sign. More commonly called your rising sign, this refers to the zodiac sign that was waxing on the eastern horizon at the time of your birth. This sign represents an external façade, if you will — the version of yourself that you share with the world, particularly other people.

This article will equip you with the tools to better understand your birth chart; your compatibility with other signs; and how your sign changes in periods of rest and challenge. Here’s a closer look at the importance of the rising sign, how to find it, and the common traits and features of each rising sign in the zodiac.

How can I find my rising sign?

The easiest way to find your rising sign is to put your birth information — including the exact time of your birth — into a rising sign calculator. Many apps and online programs automate this process to deliver a more comprehensive birth chart. Your rising sign, your sun sign, and your moon sign make up your “big three,” which is what astrology experts deem the three most important influences on your chart. Sun signs are based on the day you were born, but your rising sign is based on the time you were born. Because there are twelve signs of the zodiac and 24 hours in the day, each rising sign has a different daily two-hour window.

What does my rising sign mean?

Once you have determined your rising sign, you can begin making sense of its relationship to your personality and the personalities of others. Rising signs are a snapshot of the sky’s appearance at the moment of your birth, which is why they’re closely related to perception and the way we construct and interact with reality. They inform our view of the world and how people’s perceptions of us feed into a greater understanding of reality. 

Your rising sign also represents the version of yourself that you reveal to others, and it can greatly impact how you frame your interpersonal relationships, balance your inner world and outer life, and shape your lifelong journey. It’s an incredibly influential element of your birth chart, defining your social personality and compatibilities. Understanding the traits and characteristics of each rising sign can improve your understanding of yourself and those around you. 

Rising Signs at a Glance

Each sign rules for two hours a day, but those two hours greatly impact the individuals who fall under that sign. Here’s a closer look at the 12 zodiac signs, and what their influence as rising signs might mean for you.

Aries (Fire Sign)

Those with an Aries rising sign never back down from a challenge. They are bold, competitive, and driven, and they often have a sense of spiritedness and joy about them when they embark on a new endeavor. This is the warrior sign, always willing to be first in blazing new trails. While their instincts are reliable and their independence admirable, they must balance their impulses and remember that asking permission doesn’t equal weakness.

Taurus (Earth Sign)

The Taurus rising sign is well-balanced. Tauruses may come across as strong-willed and intense at times, but if you look below the surface, you’ll see a softer, homier side. They appreciate luxury and simplicity in equal measure, and enjoy the happiness that comes from creating things. They’re a buoy in stormy seas, and they strive for long-term sustainability, which makes them exceedingly dependable. This, however, can often prevent them from embracing change, even when it’s for the best.   

Gemini (Air Sign)

People who fall under the Gemini rising sign want to do everything at once (and they don’t think it’s that much to ask). Because this rising sign is often associated with social life and worldly experiences, the ruling planet of Mercury plays a big role in the outgoing, social, and talkative nature of ascent Geminis. They’re incredibly creative and love learning new things, but they must work to stay with a project or person and create something that lasts.

Cancer (Water Sign)

If you can penetrate their hard shell exterior, those with a Cancer rising sign are soft, nurturing, and kind. Trust and openness have to be earned when it comes to Cancer, but it’s more than worth it when you do. They may not show it, but Cancers can be very sensitive, so it’s important to be careful with the Crabs in your life.

Leo (Fire Sign)

When it comes to drama, nobody beats a Leo. Those with a Leo rising sign are the life of the party — bold, vibrant, and fun-loving. They’re known for their creativity and for inspiring others with their vibrant personalities and colorful ways of looking at the world. Leos can be blunt and confident, which isn’t always easy to endure. It’s important for Leos to surround themselves with friends who get what they’re all about.

Virgo (Earth Sign)

If you have a Virgo rising sign, you have both feet firmly on the ground. Virgos are healers and love troubleshooting complex issues, especially when they’re someone else’s problems. They make for great friends because they’re reliable, intelligent, and always ahead of the curve. When it comes to themselves, however, Virgos can struggle with perfectionism and must work to reconcile their need for perfection in order to protect themselves in the long run. 

Libra (Air Sign)

Libra rising signs bring much-needed romance and goodness to the world. They appreciate justice and strive for fairness in all things, but they also love a good flirt. Libras are air signs, after all, so it can be difficult for them to make a decision, especially when that decision will upset someone else. People with Libra rising signs will help you find a peaceable solution every time.

Scorpio (Water Sign)

If you have a Scorpio rising sign, you’re likely deeply in-tune with your emotions — and you know just how to use those emotions to navigate the world around you. Scorpios are keen readers of others and themselves, and they may be intimidating to those who don’t know them well. Scorpios are ruled by two of the boldest planets, Pluto and Mars, and are known for being intense and mysterious. If you can penetrate Scorpio’s cool exterior, you’re sure to love what you find.

Sagittarius (Fire Sign)

Sagittarius is a fire sign through and through, and a Sagittarius rising sign more than delivers on the outspoken, bold, confident, and capable traits for which Sagittariuses are well-known. With a Sagittarius, life will never be boring. It’s important, however, that they’re careful with unapologetic truth, as it can sometimes cause more harm than good.

Capricorn (Earth Sign)

Capricorns and Capricorn rising signs are ruled by Saturn and are known for being driven, organized, and put together. If you can get below the surface of prim and proper Cap, you’ll see that they’re quite ambitious and a bit wild. Capricorns are said to age backward and often become looser and freer as they solidify their place in the world. 

Aquarius (Air Sign)

Aquarius rising signs are all about the big picture. Their focus is on community at a grand scale, which can sometimes make it hard to crack their surface in interpersonal relationships. However, they genuinely want to work for the good of the world. They are meant to lead and are often known for being individualistic and just a little bit weird — and we love them for it.

Pisces (Water Sign)

Pisces may be a water sign, but they can often be found with their heads in the clouds. The Pisces rising sign can be dreamy and a touch magical. In fact, they’re even considered a little bit psychic, though it’s more likely that these signs are just tuned into the emotions and feelings of everyone around them. When it comes to Pisces, it’s all about creative thinking. 

What’s in a sign?

Your rising sign can tell you a lot about who you are as a person and how you view the world around you. To learn more about what your zodiac sign and birth chart say about you, explore our collection of horoscopes and astrological analyses.

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