by Stefan Stenudd
The Rising Sign Irregularities in the Complete Horoscope
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:
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 CircleThe 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.
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.
ZODIAC SIGNSThe twelve Zodiac signs and what they mean in astrology.
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About meI'm a Swedish astrologer, author and historian of ideas, researching ancient thought and mythology. My personal website: stenudd.com