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Dictionary of Astrological and Astronomical Terms

Compiled by Julene Packer-Louis, Evan Bortnick, and Jackie Goldstein

Copyright 2000-2020 OCA, Inc. All rights reserved. No portion of the dictionary may be reproduced in any form without written permission.



The point where the Horizon and the Ecliptic intersect in the east, marking the beginning of the first house cusp in most house systems. The Ascendant is the sign of the zodiac that was on the Eastern horizon at the moment for which the horoscope was cast.

In a natal chart, the Ascendant sign and its rulership will reflect significant influences in the personality. Many astrologers view the planet which rules the Ascendant sign as the chart ruler.

Because of the rotation of the Earth, all twelve signs of the zodiac pass over the horizon during the course of a 24 hour period. This means that the sign on the Ascendant will change on an average of once every two hours. Therefore, if the birth time is uncertain, the person may receive a chart in which the Ascendant is incorrect.

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