by Stefan Stenudd



Disappearing Ascendant

The Rising Sign Irregularities in the Complete Horoscope

Disappearing Ascendant


The Ascendant, the Rising Sign, behaves very differently depending on the latitude of the place for which the complete horoscope is charted. At a certain latitude the Ascendant even disappears completely.



       The Ascendant, which is the cusp of the 1st House in the complete horoscope, is the point on the Zodiac circle cut by the eastern horizon at the time in question, as seen from the place in question. That's why it's also called the Rising Sign. It moves through all the 360 of the Zodiac, all its twelve signs, in 24 hours.

       That would be a mean velocity of two hours in each sign, and one degree in four minutes. But the Ascendant doesn't move with a fixed speed. It accelerates and decelerates - more so the farther away from the equator it's observed. That means the Ascendant stays longer in some Zodiac signs than in others.

       For example, the latitude of 60 North is the approximate position of Oslo in Norway, Stockholm in Sweden, Saint Petersburg in Russia, the south of Alaska, Quebec in Canada, and the southern tip of Greenland. There, the Ascendant's time in each Zodiac sign has the following percentage:


The Ascendant at Latitude 60 N

Aries

Taurus

Gemini

Cancer

Leo

Virgo

Libra

Scorpio

Sagittarius

Capricorn

Aquarius

Pisces

2 %

3 %

6 %

12 %

14 %

13 %

13 %

14 %

12 %

6 %

3 %

2 %


       That means persons born at this latitude are seven times more likely to be Leo or Scorpio than Aries or Pisces. The odds are significantly increased from Cancer to Sagittarius, whereas the likelyhood of having any other Ascendant is just 22%.

       This must be taken into account when reading a complete horoscope chart of someone from this latitude - or any latitude far away from the equator. People who have any of the common Ascendants at a certain latitude are not likely to stand out with it there, but those who have one of the rare Ascendants certainly will - as long as they remain in their home town.


Ascendant Disappearing at the Arctic Circle

The differences in percentage increase, the farther you get from the equator. Then, suddenly at a certain latitude, the Ascendant disappears completely. That's at the Arctic Circle (66.6 N). Actually it happens at both Polar Circles, North and South.


The Polar Circles.

The Polar Circles, 66 33' 44" north and south of the equator.


       That's because of the angle of the Earth's axis to the Ecliptic (the Zodiac circle) is not 90, but 23.4 - the angle by which the Polar Circles differ from 90. In mathematical calculations of the Ascendant, that leads to latitudes at and beyond the Polar Circles being incalculable.

       In observation of the sky, the effect is just as absurd. There are periods when the Zodiac circle can be seen in its entirety, and other periods when all of it is hidden from view. The Ascendant is sometimes seemingly moving backwards. It can also happen that Medium Coeli (MC, also called Midheaven) is at the same spot as the Ascendant.

       So, for these latitudes, the Ascendant goes haywire. Therefore, so does the House system and Medium Coeli.

       You can see on the world map above, to what regions of the world this applies. On the southern hemisphere it makes little difference, since very few people are born below the Polar Circle. But on the northern hemisphere, it includes just about all of Alaska, Greenland, and the northern regions of Canada, Scandinavia and Russia. For people living there, the Ascendant is an enigma.


What To Do With the Birth Chart?

So, what to do about the complete horoscope birth chart for people born in those areas? One solution is to accept calculated values, where those are possible, and draw the chart accordingly - although that may give a chart where the Ascendant and Medium Coeli collide - or the latter is below the horizon. That's what some astrologers would do. Others would alter the results to get a more conventional birth chart.

       I hesitate about both these solutions, and not only because in some cases they still become completely incalculable. Nor do I favor approximating the value of the Ascendant - except for places not too far above the Arctic Circle.

       Instead, I like to apply astrological theory of reading to these odd circumstances: If the Ascendant is so elusive at these latitudes, it must mean people born there are elusive regarding the Ascendant qualities. Simply put, they don't really have a way of presenting themselves that differs from their true personalities. What you see is what you get. Or - reversed - you never see what you get.

       Since Medium Coeli is also sort of out of control, it means that these people don't really have a strong impression of who they are. Instead, they simply observe their actions and make their conclusions based on that, sort of neutrally as if from a distance.

       I live in Sweden, where you come across people born way up north, near the Arctic Circle and some born beyond it. My impression is that they may very well have a different attitude towards themselves than what's the case for southerners. That makes them at the same time easier and much more difficult to read.


Saami in Finnmark, Norway, c. 1900.

Saami in Finnmark, Norway, c. 1900.


       That would be interesting to explore methodically, for example by observing the most northern peoples: the Saami and the Eskimo. Do they have in common an attitude towards the self that differs significantly from other people? And if so, do these differences somehow correspond to what can astrologically be deducted from a lack of Ascendant and Medium Coeli?


Eskimo children, 1950's.

Eskimo children, 1950's.






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ZODIAC SIGNS

Twelve websites devoted to each of the Zodiac signs and their traits.

Aries Zodiac Sign

Aries


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Taurus


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Gemini


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Cancer


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Leo


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MY OTHER DIVINATION SITES

Tarot Card Meanings

Tarot Card Meanings. Website by Stefan Stenudd. Try the old Tarot deck of cards with a free online divination. How to use the Tarot and what each card means.



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I Ching Online. Website by Stefan Stenudd. Try the ancient Chinese divination online for free. The 64 hexagrams of I Ching, The Book of Change, and what they mean in divination.




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Your Health in Your Horoscope

This book by Stefan Stenudd explains what your horoscope says about your health, according to the old tradition of medical astrology.

       You learn what the zodiac signs, the planets, and the other ingredients of the horoscope reveal about many health issues and different types of illnesses. Also, celebrity horoscope charts are used to show how a health reading is made.

       The book contains a quick introduction to astrology, as well, and instructions on how to read a birth chart in general. Click the image to see the book (and Kindle ebook) at Amazon.




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Sunday Brunch with
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Stefan Stenudd

Stefan Stenudd, Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction.

About me

I'm a Swedish astrologer, author and historian of ideas, researching ancient thought and mythology. My personal website:


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