©10-11-2010 by Donna Cunningham, MSW
One of the themes discussed in yesterday’s Q&A session was that the Ascendant and planets in the 1st can give a misleading picture of who we are. It’s our default setting in social situations—a kind of façade that may mask insecurities, politically or socially incorrect attitudes, or even a tender side we don’t trust the outside world to respect.
It’s the part of ourselves we’re most comfortable showing to people who don’t know us well, but it may or may not represent us as we really are. So, the question I’d like us all to consider today is what we can learn about our social masks and what they hide by analyzing our Rising sign and the planets in our 1st house.
The 12th House–the Rising Sign’s Hidden Motives
One revealing part of the process would be to look at the relationship between your 1st house and your 12th. The 1st is what you readily show the world, while the 12th house is your secrets—even the secrets you keep from yourself.
In the natural zodiac, the sign on the 12th is the one that comes before the sign on the 1st. My early mentor, Rod Chase, used that relationship to discover secrets and the hidden motives of each of the 12 signs.
For instance, Leo rising puts Cancer on the 12th. Behind the Lion’s roar may be a shy, yet crusty Crab, with pinchers to defend itself if you pry too much.
Virgo’s 12th is Leo, and behind that trademark modesty can lurk a surprising amount of ego. (Gift suggestion: a t-shirt that says, “I may not be perfect, but I’m miles ahead of the rest of you!”)
Behind Libra’s sweetly agreeable facade can be a surprisingly hypercritical Virgo side. Behind Scorpio’s control freak demands can be a Libran yearning for unconditional love.
Do you wish I’d do all 12 Rising signs? I won’t because I don’t do cookbook interpretations of all 12 whatevers. But I’ve given enough examples that you should be able to compare your 1st and 12 houses yourself. Done in more detail, this technique for looking at the 12 signs is a very fruitful inquiry into the hidden motives of the Rising signs, so I invite you to pursue it at your leisure.
Other Things the Ascendant Hides
Today, however, let’s examine the broad spectrum of ways we keep the world from getting too close—the variety of defense mechanisms the Ascendant and any planets in the 1st employ to hide our more vulnerable yet more authentic qualities.
Not limited to the 12th house’s secrets, the 1st house may also be protecting our Sun’s sign and aspects, the true center of our being and the source of our self-esteem or lack thereof.
That’s part of the difference between a person with the Ascendant in a sign versus a person with the Sun in that sign. The person with Aquarius Rising, for instance, rebels or does or says shocking things, but they do it for show or as a way of coping with social interactions. The person with an Aquarius Sun almost HAS to rebel/shock/be unconventional, as it’s part of their identity and they’d feel like they were losing themselves if they complied.
The Ascendant may also may keep our Moon’s sign and aspects private, with its emotions, insecurities, and long-term effects of family dynamics.
There are any number of major chart factors it can conceal–like an off-the-charts Pluto score, a major configuration like a t-square, or a stellium in a particular house. A casual acquaintance or co-worker may not have a clue to the Real You. (It’s less likely to be able to hide these things if the chart feature in question actually forms an aspect to the Ascendant. )
Me, I confess that my Leo stellium in the 1st covering up my 12th house Cancer Sun definitely qualifies me as the Lion’s roar that covers up the crusty crab. But, as one of my student used to say, “When the crab grabs, watch out!”
So I invite you to think about how your Ascendant and 1st house planets may represent an automatic, knee-jerk response that protects you from the outside world and yet may not allow your true self and your real desires full expression. Share your insights in the comment section. No Bull!
For more details about the 1st house and all its complexities, see: Readers Ask: Q&A about the 1st House and Ascendant.
The Complete Miniseries on the 12th house:
- Readers Ask: Q & A about the 12th House
- New Insights into the 12th House from our Q&A Session
- 7 Secrets You May not Know about the 12th House
- 12 Famous People with 12th House Suns
- Daybreak and the 12th House Sun
- Jupiter in the 12th—When Does Good Luck Turn Bad?
- Transits from the 12th House to the 1st–Like Night and Day
- The Twelfth House—Comparing Ancient and Modern Views
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Art Credits: Giving a come-as-your-sign party this Halloween? I found all of these masks and many more under Google images, where they can be found on commercial websites.