Basic Astrology: Rising Sign as Chart Ruler

Your Rising Sign is determined by the sign that was hitting the Eastern horizon at the time and place you were born. That’s why precise birth info is required to determine the Rising sign, and hints to its significance. Aside: The term “Ascendent” (ASC) is pretty much used interchangeably with term “Rising sign,” although Ascendent refers to the degree of the ecliptic ascending on the Eastern horizon, not the sign itself.

Beyond the Sun and the Moon (aka “Luminaries” or “Lights”), the rising sign is one of the most important parts of your natal chart. If you know only three things about your chart, they should be Sun, Moon and Rising sign!

If the Sun sign reflects core identity (nature), the Rising becomes a filter for expressing that identity to the outside world (nurture). The Rising sign is sometimes referred to as a mask we wear, sort of like our personality’s front door. It’s the default Self you take out to meet and greet the world, whether or not you’re aware.

Rising signs can also flavor physical appearance as well as the impression you make on others. It will always fall somewhere in your first house, and determines the house positioning. If someone else is describing you, they will most likely pinpoint characteristics related to your Rising sign.

The planet associated with your Rising Sign is generally called the Chart Ruler–not your sun sign! For example, I am a Virgo with Leo Rising, so my Chart Ruler would be the Sun, as the Sun rules Leo. A Virgo with Leo rising like me may indeed be critical and perfectionistic by nature, but will have learned to express it in a warm, sunny way. How’s that for a trick?

Ascendents falling closer to the beginning of a sign are expected to have stronger influence, because most of the first house will fall within that sign. The Rising Sign is also said to have more influence if the Sun falls towards the bottom of the chart, which would make the Sun’s influence less outwardly visible. The differences may lessen after an individual reaches their first Saturn return (28ish) and may tend to have a more integrated presentation of the Sun Sign and Rising Sign due maturity and greater self-confidence.

Aspects to the Chart Ruler, either natal or by transit, will tend to have a noticeable impact on an individual. What’s going on with your Chart Ruler packs punch, so it makes sense to pay attention.

Do you feel the influence of your Chart Ruler?

Tarot Video: Secret to Shuffling

Once upon a time, when I was a new, self-taught Tarotisa, I stressed about the right way to shuffle. Once I learned the secret, it eliminated the stress.

How do you shuffle the cards?

What about Tarot Rituals?

I use rituals  for preparing for a reading. They vary depending on opportunity and mood, but I do some form for any reading. I like to take a couple minutes and clear my mind. Take slow, deep breaths and center. I rub my hands with some of my “Psychic Oil” I made under the full moon in Pisces (and recharged under the full moon in Scorpio). I light incense or put essential oil in a burner. I hold a quartz crystal and say a prayer.

And then I start reading.

This sounds like a lot of trouble, but it’s not, really. I like all that stuff; that’s part of why it’s helpful.

I drew a card for insight into improving your readings, and we got the Two of Swords—you have decisions to make, after all. Two’s indicate a need to balance; this card is associated with Moon in Libra. Effectively reading for others requires you to keep emotional (moon) balance (Libra), keeping your own energy tidy. Rituals are one way to help do that.

By relaxing, creating a pleasant atmosphere and clearing your mind, you put yourself in a state primed to receive intuitive insight. You’re calm and centered. That’s when your radar’s best. You’re focused and present, ready to give full attention to the reading at hand.

And the symbolism is helpful. Crystals and physical objects pick up the vibrations when you use them. You’re creating a shortcut to get to the right frame of mind. By focusing on the energy you want to create, you increase your awareness and experience of it.  It’s a basic form of magic work.

In order for rituals to be effective, though, they have to resonate with you, being consistent with your intent in the reading.  There’s energy contained in the act of consideration, creation and execution. The more personally meaningful to you, the more energy. You can copy someone else’s ideas if it resonates, but most of the time altering to fit in with your frame of reference and belief system makes the ritual or symbol more powerful.

Do you use rituals in your Tarot or astrology work?

Reading for Yourself: Tips from the World Reversed

People often say it’s difficult or impossible reading for themselves, and I understand why. When invested emotionally, it’s hard to stay clear enough to let information freely flow. We’re looking for confirmation of what we want, or reassurance fears won’t materialize. If we don’t get it, maybe the deck is broken!  Except we worry the deck’s not broken and “the cards have spoken” and maybe by doing that reading when we were so wound we’ve inadvertently created the energy that will manifest….Agghh! (Or maybe you’re not so neurotic? )

Yes, the cards themselves carry meaning via symbolism and archetypal imagery, echoed throughout the collective unconscious over centuries of mystical practice. But they don’t in and of themselves hold the real magic of a Tarot reading.

To help explain, we’ve got the World, coming in inverted. Number XXI of the Major Arcana, we’re at the end of the Fool’s Journey. This card is (perhaps surprisingly) associated with Saturn. The World card points to a totality, everything coming together in a large, complete, and all-encompassing way. It’s a Hero’s Journey where the seeker returns with knowledge earned through trials, ready to use hard-won growth for the greater good. Implied is mastery of both worlds—journeyed land and homeland, material world and spiritual world. The World can also represent letting go of a firmly held worldview in favor of a more expansive vision. Reversed, you’d be close to mastery. You have to make sure you stay out of your own way.

When I first started reading for myself, like everybody I’d pull cards on matters I cared a lot about. But when I didn’t like or immediately understand the results, I’d quickly reshuffle and try again. You do this a few times, you’ll get the same cards repeatedly. You do this half a dozen times, you’ll start getting total nonsense. The problem isn’t with the cards. It’s a trick of not accepting the answers. Think of it like asking a guru the same question ten times. The first three or four times, you may variations of get the same, valid answer. You ask another six times, it’s clear you are choosing not to accept the answer given. The guru may stop speaking entirely, or attempt to snap you to attention by spouting gibberish. It’s your choice, of course, what you are willing to hear. But why ask otherwise?

You can hear the answers clearer in large part by letting go. To understand on a deeper level, you have to be willing to let go of the worldview you’ve become attached to. You may have to rewrite some of your currently held perspective to accommodate a larger vision. To get good results reading for yourself, you have to be open to whatever mail shows up in the box, not just the letter you wanted to get. You can’t expect spiritual messages to come through freely if your demanding editorial control of the content.

The cards themselves carry no judgment inherently. What’s “good” or “bad” to us is merely a part of the bigger picture, a bigger worldview of how the energy is playing out. Free will is part of every step of the reading process. The Tarot answers questions, very specifically (and rather literally). Be sure you’re asking the questions you actually want answered, clearly.  Be open to hearing whatever you get, even if it’s not what you expected or hoped for. If you don’t understand what you get in a self reading, let it sit until you do. The answer will still be there for you when you’re ready.

The World inverted suggests letting go of assumptions and angst to let yourself accept a larger reality. Don’t worry that it may take time or work to assimilate. It’s okay to be “working on it.” Here, you earn (Saturn) clarity by seeking and accepting higher knowledge. Allow the time (Saturn) it takes for truth to sink in. Float out the intention and the answers come back as you’re ready to hear them.

What are your experiences doing Tarot readings for yourself?

Quick Reference: Chakra Cheatsheet

Seven Main Chakras

7 Main Chakras, Bottom to Top

Chakras are spinning energy centers in the body, each corresponding to a particular type of energetic expression. The seven main chakras have associations that can be used to help us tap into the energy each covers.

To activate or clear individual chakras, you can visualize the spinning energy vortexes, clear them with light, wear corresponding colors, use gemstones associated with each, or even participate in activities ruled by that chakra.

Do you consciously work with your Chakra energy?



Chakra01 1. Root Chakra
Survival, safety, vitality, instincts, stability, physical needs
Smokey Quartz Crystal, Ruby, Bloodstone & Hematite
Chakra02 2. Sacral Chakra
Pleasure, Emotions, Feelings, Physical activity, Intimacy
Carnelian Agate, Tiger’s Eye, and Onyx
Chakra03 3. Solar Plexus Chakra
Strength, personal power, intellect, will, mental clarity, knowledge
Citrine, Amber & Topaz
Chakra04 4. Heart Chakra
Love, compassion, forgiveness, growth, self-acceptance
Rose Quartz, Diamond, Peridot and Tourmaline
Chakra05 5. Throat Chakra
Communication, creative expression, self-expression, planning, wisdom, trust
Turquoise Stone, blue agate, and Aquamarine
Chakra06 6.Third Eye Chakra
Creative vision, psychic vision, self-realization, perception, memory, perspective
Sapphire, Tanzanite, Lapis Lazuli and Fluorite
Chakra07 7. Crown Chakra
Spirituality, connection to Universal knowledge, inspiration, meditation, oneness
Amethyst and Alexandrite


Teaching Yourself Tarot: How do you know the right way to read the cards?

Tips for Teaching Yourself Tarot ReadingI taught myself to read Tarot. It’s both easy and hard, to teach yourself the cards. There’s that point when you decide you want to learn Tarot. Somehow or other, you’ve gotten a taste of the power there and want more. So you start looking for answers. Not hard, finding answers. There’s an almost infinite number of books, websites, communities and readers who are more than happy to share their Tarot knowledge with you.

Except almost as soon as you start looking, the challenge materializes: everyone says something different! New readers find themselves in the incredibly frustrating position of figuring out which approach is right in this sea of contradictory advice.

Answers to questions on the process of reading are vital to be able to read effectively. Without confidence in technique, interpretation and the particulars of working the cards, readings tend to be inconsistent at best. Anxiety and uncertainty permeates the reading, leaving messages cloudy and confusing. This is obviously a problem. So what do you do?

You look for YOUR path. Here are some tips for developing some personal Tarot Mojo!

  • Ask for help. Not so much from your Tarot-slinging friend, although s/he is often a good resource. But  start at the real Source, wherever or whomever you believe is the ultimate provider Tarot insight. Say a Tarot prayer. If you do this each time you work with the cards, you’ll find your readings improve immediately and quite likely, you’ll also begin stumbling across just the info you needed, just when you needed it. Synchronicity triggers.
  • Approach it experimentally. Don’t take anyone’s word here–compare, contrast, and take notes. Tarot is your best teacher of Tarot! That’s why everybody and their brother suggests a Tarot Journal, to help you track as you learn. The Fool’s Journey isn’t just a life metaphor–it’s a perfect description of the process of learning Tarot. Approach it as such, with an open heart and mind.
  • Keep it playful. Reverence and respect for the cards is fine and well, but limiting yourself to panic readings on life-and-death issues makes it all but impossible to find that intuitive/psychic flow that allows you to step beyond the book definitions to truly working Tarot as a divination tool. If you’ve given yourself plenty of practice in a light, fun environment, however, you’re much better prepared to hear the messages when you do call on Tarot 911.
  • Expect differences in approach between yourself and other readers you admire and respect. These differences don’t mean someone is “wrong.” I’d be more concerned if there were no differences. Cards speak to individual readers in individual ways–and how good that is, since we all receive and process insight uniquely. By letting go of the right-vs.-wrong mentality, you open up a space to claim your personal adventure.
  • Develop a personal relationship with the cards. You can’t expect to really get to know someone solely by asking others’ opinions about that person. A deep knowing requires extended interaction. Likewise, you cannot get to know Tarot based solely on other people’s opinion. The more energy you put directly into working the cards, the better you’ll get to know how they speak to you.
  • Never stop studying how the cards work–and you’ll never stop learning about how they do. Whether it’s a simple as noting how the cards came together in a particular reading or an unusual insight that cropped up, or studiously devouring the latest book by your favorite Tarot authors, expect learning to be ongoing as long as you travel this path. Openness is imperative to grow as a reader. The most skilled and able Tarot master is a perpetual Tarot student.
  • Stay humble. As we develop skill, temptation arises to see ourselves as the official light bearers and keeper of ultimate Tarot truths. Hogwash! Get over yourself already. All noteworthy readings are by grace. The reader works to wield the cards responsibly, and get the most of what’s on offer. But the reader doesn’t personally create the magic; they only tap it. Acknowledgement and gratitude is in order–and incidentally is one of the best ways to invite further, greater grace into your readings.

What do you think? Do you have tips to share?