Greetings and welcome back to Journeys! This month I give you part 2 of Arising Worlds in which we look at Jupiter, Saturn, Chiron, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto on the ascendant. As was noted by a reader in the comments last month information on rising planets can be extrapolated to the characteristics of rising signs, so that Jupiter rising has quite a bit in common with both Sagittarius and Pisces rising, which are its two signs, and so on.
Jupiter represents what we need in order to manifest an awareness of the bounty of life. Most of the traditional thinking on Jupiter is heavily skewed towards optimistic and fortunate interpretations, but with the advent of modern psychology in the 20th century our understanding of this planet has grown and matured to encompass more awareness of its negative potential. For this reason if you look at ancient texts there will almost universally praise Jupiter rising as an extremely fortuitous omen, although they will sometimes make mention of some of the less healthy expressions such as exaggeration, wastefulness and laziness.
As a mediator of the natural order along with Saturn the planet Jupiter sets the overall rhythm of life in terms of expansion and contraction, with Jupiter delineating the cycles of expansion. Its overall effect is to enlarge and expand awareness and so when rising it significantly expands the projection of the qualities of the rising sign of the ascendant so that they become more all inclusive and more generalised, more beneficial in many respects but also more troubling in that they can be much greater in scale. As a result of this expansion of the qualities of the rising sign the capacity for the rising sign to form connection and experience commonality with others is increased dramatically so that the individual finds themselves in the position where they can always relate on at least a general level to whatever the awareness encounters in the present moment. If Jupiter were poetry it would be like a simile, a figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind, used to make a description more emphatic or vivid (I just gave you one by likening Jupiter to a poetic element). A key thing to understand with Jupiter rising is that this awareness of how one thing is like another thing is present in the identity at all times, not just when it happens to strike us, and that this factor is what causes the awareness to grow and expand as it finds more more connection the longer it lives.
There are certain things in human experience which rapidly multiply and grow exponentially when they are combined together, and many of these things have been associated with Jupiter in astrology. Faith for example is one of these things, as is community spirit and good fortune. Having an awareness of some of these things or one of them is very common with people who have Jupiter rising, so we see it in charts for people who preach about certain beliefs or philosophies, people who have some kind of power to bring other people together and people who emphasize a positive attitude in attracting good outcomes. The typical interpretation of this conjunction in ancient times would be that you are in some way connected to the clergy or to royalty, or that you had been in some way blessed by the gods or the heavens to attain great fortune, but the reality is that it positions you to attract these things into your sphere and to make them part of your identity. The fortune that comes from Jupiter rising is very clearly connected to the optimistic and positive attitude which it generally takes towards everything that ever happens to it, it always expects the best and it always tries to put a shine on things, but it’s true gift is its capacity to feel empathy and connection with other beings and to empower everyone by doing so.
Those with Jupiter rising have an expansive and benevolent personality and will be known as a seeker of knowledge and a philanthropist, a helper and a kind provider. This may be expressed through travel, study, teaching, religion or philosophy. They seek to broaden their horizons and embrace expansion as a positive development. They like to do things which are big, bold and grand in scale. Strong moral and sometimes religious convictions rule their behaviour, and this may at times become dogmatic. A pompous, puffed up, know it all attitude is a common trait of too much emphasis on this.
In general the appearance is fleshier, rosier and rarely gaunt as well as being buoyant and cheery, sometimes cheeky. Humour is a huge way these people recharge their vital supplies. In many cases an appropriate word for their deportment is ‘regal’ as they carry their bodies with a graceful and often physically attractive posture. The ‘sex symbols’ of Jupiter rising are like figures of royalty, they look like princes or princesses. Others have a potent spiritual or philosophical quality in their appearance and clothing. Weight can be gained more easily because Jupiter has the effect of expanding the shape of the physical body when it is rising. This is especially likely when Jupiter is conjunct the ascendant, which happens every 12 years or so, from birth onward, thus, at 12, 24, 36, 48 etc. Dieting and slimming in the years surrounding these Jupiter returns is a good idea but may be more difficult. However the gaining of weight through fat and indulgence in luxury food is not the only way that Jupiter can play out here, as the body of Charles Atlas demonstrates. A bully kicked sand in his nerdy face in front of his girlfriend around the first Jupiter return (and the girl laughed at his vow to get his own back), and then he went to a museum and saw statues of Zeus and Adonis, followed by a trip to the zoo where a caged lion taught him his famous technique for body building. This is a good example of how Jupiter rising responds to setbacks and humiliation – get better in a big way. Unlike Mars rising this is non-combative for the most part (although Atlas was motivated to get his own back because he has Aries rising, and so the bully received one of the most famous ass kickings in history). Instead with Jupiter rising the comeback response is motivated by volume and quality of belief in oneself and one’s capabilities and potentials. The sign does seem to play a role in this, however, as I have seen many more people with Jupiter in indulgent signs (like Cancer and Pisces rising) gaining fat or liquid easily, and more with Aries and Virgo rising going on health binges instead, for example.
The ability to find easy connections between your own identity and what is happening in the present moment around you also leads to a blossoming of empathy, which helps to explain why Jupiter rising is thought of as philanthropic and sensitive to those who are less fortunate or in need. A compassionate and merciful approach needs to also be directed towards the self, but in this case it’s often about being more merciful to yourself through the development of discipline rather than being too strict and judgmental of your own behaviour. Jupiter rising often leads to problems which develop because we are given too much leniency – it’s a case of being given enough rope to hang yourself with so we often need to discipline our behaviour as an act of compassion towards ourselves.
Jupiter is the great finger of change and its positioning here shows that our way of expressing ourself will go through a huge alteration in life. We will expand and become more gregarious as time passes, and a positive, more optimistic outlook on life will develop. But we may also become more self indulgent, lazier and less prudent at the same time, doing nothing in moderation. We will bear disappointment more easily and adopt more of an attitude that things will always turn out right, but at the same time a tendency to exaggerate our own importance may grow. Additionally, we may become so identified with a belief system that it becomes a dogmatic caricature in our identity.
However it must be said that Jupiter rising generally enlarges and emphasizes the better part of the sign it is in. Those with Jupiter rising in Sagittarius or Pisces are the most noticeable examples of this, with those with Jupiter in Cancer just behind them, while those with Jupiter in Gemini, Virgo or Capricorn have some difficulty showing us just how Jovian they are. People with Jupiter rising can be the epitome of optimism, displaying a cheerful attitude that is loving and kind to others. The only negative side to this is that they can promise more than they can deliver. They are always willing to improve and boost other peoples efforts, and this is a source of great and ever growing good fortune. There is great generosity in these people and a benevolence, a kind of joy of living that is infectious and irrepressible, and an apt descriptor of them all is that they are in some way “larger than life”. While Jupiter rising tends toward inflating its own importance, it never loses sight of the bigger picture which establishes that it is but a small part of a greater whole.
FACES: Julian Assange (Jupiter in Scorpio with Sagittarius rising), Christopher Lee (Libra), Reinhold Ebertin (Capricorn), Johannes Brahms (Aries), Jane Fonda (Capricorn rising with Jupiter in Aquarius), Greta Garbo (Gemini), River Phoenix (Scorpio), Mae West (Taurus), Hugo Chavez (Cancer), Oliver Stone (Scorpio rising with Jupiter in Libra), Dustin Hoffman (Capricorn), Paul Newman (Capricorn), Rutger Hauer (Leo), Kevin Kline (Sagittarius), Montgomery Clift (Virgo), Pope Benedict XVI (Pisces), Phyllis Diller (Gemini), Charles Atlas (Aries) and Tony Blair (Gemini rising with Jupiter in Taurus).
Gravitas, sobriety, solemnity and sternness characterize the rising of Saturn, giving us individuals who are serious realists in direct counterpoint to the irrepressible optimism and humour of Jupiter rising. Frivolous and facetious behaviour is pared back. When Saturn colours the way of presenting ourselves to the outside world we give the impression of being straight laced, reserved, retentive and firm, are generally more afraid to let go and have fun and view people and experiences pessimistically behind a rather hard, tightly controlled or cold front. We are obligated, responsible, mature and patient but more inflexible, rigid, traditional and restricted. Saturn is not a planet that leads us to abandon our responsibilities or caution in favour of enthusiasm or exuberance so they like to test the rope bridge over any canyons very carefully before crossing it. Safety first is the mantra of Saturn rising, and follow the rulebook on the way at every step. The world sees these qualities in Saturn rising people very soon after meeting them as they are also coded into their physical appearance.
For example, a much greater weight of responsibility and obligations can fall on them than is the norm and if they internalize this and compact around it, the weight of responsibility that weighs on them is sometimes expressed physically as a stoop, as if they have literally taken a cross or burden upon their back. Sometimes, especially if Saturn is receiving other aspects of a difficult nature, this placement can lead to a lack of mobility and things like arthritis. Saturn rising on the ascendant also slows down the flow of energy in and out of the chart as a whole, which can lead to blockages of all kinds. The appearance is often bony, gaunt, thin, angular and willowy, but this isn’t necessarily a sign of poor health. This is one of the interesting things to realise about astrology and the ascendant, because we each have a unique shape our being is naturally suited to. It is not just that no body is the perfect picture of health but that each body has a shape that is its own and which it finds comfortable.
The physical effect of Saturn as it rises on the ascendant of newborns is to make them ultimately if not immediately skinnier and bonier or with more visible bone structure, to darken or narrow the eyes and hairline, and it frequently affects teeth and bonesespecially later in life in the part of the body ruled by the sign of Saturn. Their dress is classical, authoritarian, traditional and conservative and expresses status, power and maturity. Saturn rising pales the complexion and lengthens the nose. Aging applies in a very interesting way to these people – time itself seems to be contracted or slowed around their forms, so that they do not age at the same rate as everyone else. They often begin life looking older or more mature than they actually are, and behave that way too. As they advance in years they tend to retain their hair colour and volume long after their friends lose all of theirs and to effortlessly adapt to being in older bodies. The body can get more crooked and burdened by time and advance time rapidly, going the complete other way, but this tends to happen only when Saturn is mishandled (usually by taking on too many of the wrong kinds of responsibilities, or being extremely mean in spirit).
“The Iron Lady” who was “not for turning”.
Having this planet rising is in essence indicative of a series of lessons in life through which you have to continually prune and cut away old parts of yourself and gradually restructure both your awareness of who you are and the manner in which you put this across. These people do not often reveal what is going on inside and therefore place themselves in isolated or alienating positions. People have difficulty in getting to know them and their own defensiveness is responsible for the fact that they can be plagued by loneliness and insecurity, a sense that they are not good enough, that things never measure up to strict standards they have for themselves and others. It is not that these people are not good enough but that they do not allow themselves to be good enough. Their standards are too high, their rulebook too hefty. They need to accept themselves – and others – for who they are warts and all instead of concentrating on failures and faults, and they can only do this slowly, through the passing of time which brings experience.
There is a step-by-step approach which comes from an astute concentration on realities. Saturn rising is grounded and rooted and so not convinced by wild stories or speculation. It is innately focused on what works and so has little time for abstractions and theories. It would prefer to focus on the physical steps of what needs to be done in order to attain a goal rather than analyse things. It is also one of the most ambitious aspects in astrology, as Saturn rising is a mountain climbing asset with lofty heights in its sights. It understands that time is its most precious resource and that in order to make use of time effectively when climbing mountains, you have to learn how to pace yourself appropriately and carefully account for every use of your resources. As time passes through the awareness of the present moment Saturn rising is made aware of its ripples of consequence both in terms of the past and the future, in other words it can sense what actions have caused the present ones and what actions in the present will cause certain reactions or consequences further down the line. This can lead to great mastery of time in the awareness, especially for a magician.
Saturn rising people must work on inhibitions, shyness, being too serious and having a sense of frustration in life from all the restrictions, rules, regulations and blocks. Planets on the eastern horizon at the time and place of our birth watch over us all our lives and are involved in many major new beginnings because of their proximity to the ascendant. Those who are watched over by the Lord of Time (Saturn) do not have it easy, for he is a hard taskmaster who requires us to work persistently and patiently, but the results of all our hard work are that much greater, and equal to the energy and effort we put in. Do not be dismayed when life throws failures in your face – there is no failure and no success, only experiences which lead to growth and when embraced growth leads to freedom and understanding for the soul. Look closely at the position of Saturn in your work with its principle to try to focus on discovering how you can express the Saturnine side of yourself more fully, healthily and completely.
Additionally, in considering this aspect look at the temple position of Uranus and the effect this has as it is in direct contradiction to the influence of this aspect – it doesn’t like obligations at all, is free spirited and determined to stay that way, breaks rules, disregards authority and tradition and likes to shatter the preconceptions and assumptions people make. This area is where Saturn rising does not get its way and its desire for order is disrupted. The Saturn influence is often stronger because of Saturn’s positioning near the ascendant, but the Uranian impulse can also be quite strong depending on its placement. These two planets can actually help each other by compensating for each others excesses and weaknesses, but they can also turn into a see-saw which results in us losing the sense of who we really are and the kind of self identity we possess. The answer is a blend of both, but with Saturn rising it is more often a balance emphasising order over chaos and thus Saturn over Uranus.
The overall path for people of Saturn rising is to overcome any fear, integrate the teachings of Saturn into their conscious identity and make them a part of the being that they show to others. Since the lessons of Saturn are often the hardest lessons that we have to learn, the importance of how we handle failure (especially when young) plays a prominent role in how we cope with this aspect. If a person with Saturn rising is crushed by their failure or sense of inadequacy in the face of reality, and then sinks into a depressive and skeptical, cynical way of being, then the lessons will be slow in learning. A better attitude is to embrace failure as an opportunity to learn and thus an opportunity to gain greater understanding. By learning the lessons of failure and disappointment, not just in their lives but in the lives of those around them, Saturn rising can gain access to a wealth of wisdom and practical assistance which establishes greater security for themselves and the people around them. When our attitude to Saturn is problematic and unhealthy then we will eventually become depressed and pessimistic, but when it is healthy and beneficial then Saturn becomes a backbone upon which everything else in the chart can depend for support. For people with Saturn rising this endeavor is vital to the health and to the identity. The list below shows plenty of examples of people with an authority and austerity to them which is immediately present when we look at them or hear them speak – if Jupiter rising is ‘larger than life’ then Saturn rising is ‘a heavy hitter’, someone whose importance or power is not easy to dismiss, and so another important part of the path is in how we wield that aura of authority, not just over others but primarily over ourselves. Self discipline and a strong moral compass is key.
FACES: Jamie Lee Curtis (Sagittarius), Christopher Lee (Libra), Goethe (Scorpio), Louis Braille (Scorpio rising with Saturn in Sagittarius), Margaret Thatcher (Scorpio), Nina Simone (Aquarius), Percy Bysshe Shelley (Taurus), Mary Shelley (Cancer), Thomas Tycho (Sagittarius), Indira Gandhi (Leo), James Madison (Sagittarius), Edward VII of the UK (Sagittarius rising with Saturn in Capricorn), Donna Summer (Virgo), Eartha Kitt ( Sagittarius), Phil Donahue (Pisces), Agatha Christie (Virgo), Humphry Davy (Scorpio), Orson Welles (Gemini), Hunter S. Thompson (Aries), James Earl Jones (Capricorn), Sean Connery (Capricorn) and Doris Day (Virgo rising with Saturn in Libra).
As a relatively recent discovery astrologers do not have as much to go on with Chiron as they have with other objects. We need more data from actual experience. Our awareness of what Chiron signifies is still developing and for individuals born with strong connections to Chiron this means that there is exploration and discovery to undertake. Although we do not yet have a complete awareness of what Chiron signifies it is at present possible to outline what his essential meaning is and therefore what his purpose in our life is. I will spend some time here doing this before talking about Chiron rising and refer you to my other articles about Chiron for further details. Just enter ‘Chiron’ in the search field for this journal.
Essentially Chiron represents a pathway we must walk towards being made more whole, more integrated with life at every level of being. In order for this path to be made clear a diagnosis of what needs to occur must be made so he relates this information to us and it is often painful to wake up to. So he brings about a painful awareness of what is flawed, wrong or just plain sick in our lives so that we will attend to it. The overall purpose of this attention is to reintegrate the aspects of being which have become fragmentary or split off so that – ultimately – we are as an individual a suitable vessel for a collective awareness to inhabit. On a broader level our dysfunctional society is an expression of our broken collective awareness and must also be corrected if we are to continue existing as a species. This in essence is the agenda of Chiron and he employs his essential meaning of integration and diagnosis towards this goal at the physical, astral and mental level of awareness but focuses his effects in the astra-mental planes.
Chiron rising leads you down a path of thorns towards a garden of roses. His place of power at the ascendant gives him a direct line into our awareness, a voice in our head watching each and every present moment. He whispers to us about what is wrong, what will fail, what must be changed, what will crumble and where the cracks will begin to show. This is his Saturnine voice. He makes us wise in the ways of animals (who live in a fully conscious collective awareness) and sharpens our mind for all kinds of diagnostics. He teaches us medicine, whether this is physical, astral or mental/spiritual medicine, and he does not allow us to wallow in pity when we are hurt or defeated – instead, he urges us to accept and bite through the pain into true healing born of wisdom. Only then do we suddenly stumble upon a proper remedy. Much of this is his Uranian voice.
With Chiron it is most often that small measures are applied expertly to bring about a big reaction. He is a master of identifying the sorest spot, the place of infection or source of dis-integration and stimulating it homeopathically. A small amount of pressure in the right place at the right time tips things over the edge, the wave crests and falls, crashing. In this way he is like the journey of the wave of Uranian potential collapsing into a Saturnine particle. So the pain brought to awareness by Chiron is often layered, acute and can persist to excruciating degrees if we try to block or contain the healing process, but if we work with it it’s often relatively brief and transitory, a message we assimilate and integrate into our awareness as a powerful teaching before moving on.
He is also a maverick figure, someone who does not align themselves with any factions but instead is intent on going their own way. This is a quality he needs to be able to bring about integration of the individual and the collective, a breaking of patterns and the freedom to opt out of all available camps, political parties or paradigms. This brings him into contact with all kinds of ‘fringe’ groups who welcome the ideas he proposes since the law of attraction on the mental plane draws them towards him. Yet he never completely abandons the orthodox as Uranus does, instead he has the task of bringing negative disparity and division to an end and thus draws upon sources of both conventional and unconventional thought for his wisdom.
Because in our modern society our fragmented collective awareness is reflected in and made physically dense through the distance that exists between different human cultures and societies, Chiron is also given to marauding beyond these artificial borders for his medicine and insight. A strong Chironic influence in the chart therefore often indicates a person who has no problems intermingling with people from other backgrounds and indeed will often be empowered by it in some way. This is an empowerment given by Chiron to individuals who have shown that they have work to do in bringing about the disintegration of corrosive boundaries.
With Chiron on the region of the ascendant there is near complete identification with these principles. If he is above the ascendant, i.e. technically in the area of the 12th temple, there will be a twinge of the subconscious to this identification and it will tend to be less driven, but when below the ascendant and properly inside the 1st temple the identification is more conscious and we would freely admit to possessing the qualities of Chiron described above. In either case the identification is so great that it will show itself in our physical awareness of the present moment, i.e. in every waking moment of life and even in some astral states. In each moment we will have an awareness of the flaws and wounded nature of that present moment, but also of the path that leads it to wholeness, and we will seek to present this to the world. Such things will reveal themselves even as part of our initial impression, our mere presence in a room. We will present insight into any lack of integration and be sensitive to any pain being felt in that moment in the environment.
Added to this out of our own struggles with pain and wounds we have an inclination to help other people discover their true potentials and face their troubles, so we magnetize painful situations. If we are not aware of this it can be very confusing and more problematic. Being aware of it is the first step with this conjunction. The awareness of the present moment must be trained. By concentrating your perceptions to stay rooted in the ever changing now moment you will eventually grow more sensitive to the voice of Chiron within you. As you cultivate this awareness you will naturally learn how to monitor the influence from the environment and find your own unique way to deal with it. Healing energy of some kind will flow through you into the world.
It is really the complete fusion of Chiron to present moment awareness that is the problem, at least in the beginning, because until we learn how to distinguish the influence of this centaur by discerning it we cannot be entirely objective about it and will tend to act as if possessed by it in some way. Pain will then tend to surround us, being perceived everywhere in everything. Birth, life and death become defined by the pain required to move through them. We will feel our fate is akin to that of Chiron’s, who was immortal but inflicted with a tiny wound on the foot infected with the Hydra’s blood, and thereby doomed to an eternal torment until an act of mercy by the gods made him mortal and he died.
Once we have learned to observe the voice of this centaur guiding us in healing things in the present moment we can follow him on a journey which leads towards wholeness and greater integration with the human collective awareness. We will be given a way through life that is uniquely our own and then Chiron will ask us to lead the way for others while he follows on slightly behind. His voice will retreat to the background slightly and we will then be on a path towards teaching what we are learning as we go. This is the point at which he is capable of escorting us to the outer and mythic worlds of awareness as I explain in my book “The 26 Keys”. Much of this contact, too, will occur in forms appropriate to the sign that is rising (for example Aquarius rising with Chiron in Aquarius will often take the form of telepathic contact with Chiron).
Until this time of integration there will be frequent and acute encounters with pain of all kinds as a way to become aware of the need for integration and as a method of revealing the secrets of natural healing, and many impulses to do something different but never knowing precisely what it is. The turning of the Chiron key is one way people with Chiron rising can contribute to and direct this development, but given that Chiron is bound up with the ascendant he has a powerful role to play in any kind of temple conduction they undertake as he is encountered at the very beginning and thereby travels around the entire chart with you (and of course the same is true of all rising planets). People can also explore the activations Chiron makes to any other keys or any activation of the 1st temple key, as all of these can help us to understand what Chiron brings.
FACES: Uri Geller (Libra), Bob Geldof (Sagittarius), Neil Kinnock (Leo), Helmut Kohl (Taurus), Ian McShane (Leo), John Hinckley (Aquarius), Whitney Houston (Pisces), Karen Silkwood (Libra), Rudolph Valentino (Libra), Reinhold Ebertin (Capricorn), André Masson (Scorpio rising with Chiron in Libra), Burt Reynolds (Gemini), Vincent Price (Pisces), Paul Williams (journalist and writer who created the first national US magazine of rock music criticism, Scorpio), William Defoe (Aquarius), Antonio Banderas (Pisces), Maximilian I the Holy Roman Emperor (Virgo), Nancy Kerrigan (Aries), Dan Rather (Taurus), Belinda Carlisle (Aquarius), Lily Tomlin (Cancer), Billy Graham (Aries rising with Chiron in Pisces) and Dennis Nilsen (Libra).
Uranian energy is resistant to bottling and defining, it is volatile, chaotic, unpredictable and frenetic in character and tends to be hyper active and highly strung or easily upset. Yet it is also inspirational, refreshing, enlivening and liberating and so offers us a surprising way out of situations that seem intractable and resistant to change. Similar to Jupiter it has an expansive quality to it, but whereas the expansiveness of Jupiter is a potentially empathic one where we feel ourselves to be like something else, the Uranian expansiveness comes from connecting the dots between completely different things in a more intellectual exercise, it’s more about the network than the individual nodes in the network. Contrasts and paradoxes are fertile ground for the Uranian intelligences to operate in as they love making fresh connections between new concepts as well as unexpected ones between old concepts. Additionally, identification with this planet often brings about a strong connection with the power of technology and scientific thinking (so long as that scientific thinking is not blinkered or closed to extreme possibilities). Many people with this aspect have had profound group or crowd experiences (frequently in other lifetimes) which they are processing – for example they may have been in a military platoon that operated under extreme pressures, or a sports team that won something, in a hostage situation with many other people, or simply in a line of work where they were laid off along with thousands of others when something was invented. Whatever it was the situation tied the fate of the identity to the fate of other human beings in a complicated and irreversible way, and it has had a potent (often shocking) impact on our identity and experience of life. Now the task can be either to seek out that group connection and re-enact or explore certain things (not necessarily with the same people), or to break completely away from it.
Most of these people display obvious eccentricity or oddity. There can be a zany, offbeat or weird way of expressing themselves in clothing or style or just in the eyes and mannerisms which convey strangeness or originality (see Spike Milligan, for example). They have to stand out in a crowd because their identity depends upon both autonomy and independence, but at the same time these are social creatures who need to find a place within their community. The urge to be free and able to express oneself as an independent and unique being is so heightened in these people that it can become a maze which they are constantly moving through, never quite finding out who they really are for very long before restlessly moving on. The many facets of identity are continuously cascading into their present moment awareness, dazzling them with insights into themselves and others which never quite coalesce but instead continuously swirl in a kaleidoscope of shifting identity. It can be ridiculous, giddily sickening, absurd and bewildering while at the same time being liberating, enlivening and enlightening to everyone affected.
So Uranus conjunct the ascendant makes us more excitable, inspired and attached to our individual freedoms. We like to be free to express our individuality, and may rebel if anyone attempts to stifle our independence. We will prefer to go our own way even when it contradicts common sense, and reject the traditional paths in favour of the new and experimental. We like to meet life in our own unique manner, and have plenty of original and exciting ideas to share with humanity. With Uranus rising we are an awakener and we have an electrical effect on our environment. We stir things up by introducing weird concepts and rebel against rules and regulations. We always try to think outside the box and are stirred by the unusual. We see life either as an absurd joke or as a fascinating puzzle. Often as stated earlier there will be great technological or scientific ability conferred, and alongside this modern communications and inventions will frequently play a major role in life.
The mental and physical reflexes are quickened and there is a heightening of wits which can lead not only to swift comprehension of things, but also to nervous disorders and mental breakdowns. The health is either greatly enlivened with energy or greatly shattered, and the changes between the two may occur most unexpectedly. The eyes are made brighter and the surface tension of the skin becomes more sensitive. Greater mobility and flexibility is given to the area of the body ruled by the sign of the ascendant provided other aspects to the ascendant do not inhibit these things.
Quick mental reflexes not only equate to being able to make decisions on the fly but also making quick judgments about whether you like people or not, and the same is true in reverse as people with this placement will find people decide quite quickly whether they like them or not. There is something electric about the way we present ourselves which allows people to make such judgments, and given that Uranus tends towards wanting to shock this can result in some interesting expressions. In other situations however Uranus on the ascendant is less than straightforward and tends to make puzzles out of things that are uncomplicated. Often it will do this just to be contrary or because it is bored and wants to stir things up.
Focus and dedication are key qualities for these people to develop or find elsewhere in the chart, because without them they will constantly change their minds about who they are, what they want, need to do or are curious about. Without focus or dedication people with Uranus rising fail to hit their targets again and again because they never concentrate their effort in a key area and so their ambitions are short lived. This turns out to be a tremendous waste of their potential as their ideas are usually inspired and original. The great difficulty with acquiring such focus and dedication if it is not present elsewhere in the chart is that the awareness of the present moment is continuously being stimulated by new thoughts, feelings and developments which are continuously pulling us out of the present as we speculate on the future. Therefore, a routine involving a disciplined form of meditation in which the mind is harnessed and focused can be a great asset to these people which unlocks their genius.
A common touch with these people is to have the ability to read the behaviour of others, especially of crowds and in terms of trends moving through them. They are well-connected not only in terms of the people they can get into contact with (which encompass a great variety of different areas) but also in terms of the collective mind and where it is situated, and in particular where it is headed. Futurists and utopians are strongly numbered among them. Uranus rising on the ascendant connects the awareness of the present moment with its future, so that there is always a need for these people to pull their awareness out of the future and into the present moment bringing with them the insights they gain while traveling ahead.
There is gifted a latent capacity for telepathy and mental wandering which is sourced in the individuals close connection to the universal mind and the collective consciousness of humanity. These gifts emerge as they progress in maturity but they are ever present throughout life and can be detected in the aura, which is charged with bright energy and is greatly affected by their thoughts. They may find it harder than most to concentrate the mind on one spot, as it tends to teleport from one notion to another quite naturally, a factor which is the course of the great inspiration and even genius this aspect can convey.
Overall the path of this aspect is to minimise the effect of chaos that an emphasis on seeking freedom and change brings so that disruption is contained and the energy is channeled into inspiration and sudden enlightenment. To grasp the lightning of Uranus on the ascendant the mind must be opened to the infinite and receive a shock, the repercussions of which must be handled in a positive way, which requires a strong grounding through Saturn. Otherwise, there is danger of becoming unhinged and descending into madness, paranoia, confusion and conflation, or worse (see Charles Manson and Ian Brady). If the individual is gifted with a position to influence the lives of others through the media or has some other way of influencing mass opinion, then what they do with this influence becomes a part of their karma, but at some point they are likely to lose control of that in some way and to find themselves being defined and shaped in turn by the collective awareness. Usually this turns out to have unexpected consequences.
FACES: Spike Milligan (Aquarius), Tennessee Williams (Capricorn), Kurt Cobain (Virgo), Franklin D. Roosevelt (Virgo), Carl Lewis (Leo), James Valliere (Taurus), Prince Andrew the UK (Leo), Princess Margaret of the UK (Aries), Ian Brady (Taurus), Johanna Kinkel (Scorpio), Charles Manson (Taurus rising with Uranus in Aries), Charles de Gaulle (Libra), Rene Magritte (Sagittarius), Karen Carpenter (Cancer), Dionne Warwick (Taurus), John Denver (Gemini), Allen Ginsberg (Pisces), Eric Honecker (Capricorn rising with Uranus in Aquarius) and Philip K. Dick (Pisces rising with Uranus in Aries).
Any planet on the ascendant is a rare gift because such a powerful position occurs at its height for only about 30 minutes each day, depending on our location. In this window of time each day Neptune (and every other planet when it rises) has the chance to take form or birth itself throughout the present moment in the physical world, just as the Sun imprints itself onto the physical world at dawn by ushering in the hours of daylight. Within this window a powerful presence of Neptune is evoked into a particular place. As this occurs, souls with a strong connection with Neptune are drawn forwards into the moment for incarnation, bringing the Neptune within them forward in time and space and seeking to learn the lessons of living in this world with that connection intact. This is true of all planets rising but with Neptune this brings with it enormous sensitivity and empathy as well as near total immersion in the realm of the invisible and intangible. Many of these people have had transcendent, mystical or psychoactive encounters (frequently in former lives) which they are processing in this one.
Appearance wise these people have lighter coloured, reflective eyes that seem soft and gentle, like a deers or a fishes, and there is a much more passive form of self expression and often a softer voice. They often have a dreamy, far-off look to them and prefer subtler tones and colours that put others at ease and are loosely comfortable. Men like their collars to be open and without a tie and women prefer longer, more flowing garments and subtle makeup. The hair is frequently wavy and the body is lean with clear skin.
As a baby and in very early childhood there is frequently a strong imagination belying a deep immersion in the astral realm, as these infants perceive many ‘imaginary’ friends and beings and this early exposure to the astral realm can forever after leave them with a feeling that things are not what they seem. They can learn an early distrust of adults and experience early confusion when they perceive that adults live in a different reality which does not recognize the existence or validity of their own. However, and this is critical, the vehicle of imagination which enables contact with these invisible intelligences also heavily distorts that contact. Thus the work here is to clean the windows to allow the source to be clearly seen, and often this is never undertaken because the delusions set in and seemingly become insoluble. A common theme here is for the individual to develop a savior complex that transforms their life into an act of martyrdom and playing the victim, sometimes with a spiral into sheer madness. Even when the individual manages to gain the upper hand in this feat the reactions of society to what they perceive teaches them very quickly to keep it secret and sometimes to engage in deception and lies in order to avoid being thought of as mad, and so the path is an extremely tricky one that requires careful calibration. Involvement in high arts or music helps them because it gives them a way to practically and positively channel the muses through the identity, and this is a key accomplishment to aim for when Neptune rises.
Neptune is very often a subtle background influence in astrology but as these children grow up they come to identify with the Neptune within them perhaps more than any others. This identification is at first not a problem, as when we are children we are given permissions and freedoms to explore the imagination, so we often find ourselves drawn to ways in which to do that. But then puberty arrives, things change and the real problems of this aspect begin, largely because of the unhealthy way many adults look upon those with imagination or sensitivity. As adults, if we have imagination we are supposed to do something responsible with it, like become an artist or a philosopher, or more ideally an inventor. It is not ‘adult’ or ‘mature’ to simply play with the imagination, to toy with it and simply enjoy it. Similarly, the universal empathy and connection to everything gifted by Neptune, a gift that was given free expression as children, becomes vulnerability and a complicated set of rules when we are growing up. We need to learn how to establish boundaries for our identity. Thus, a repression of both imagination and empathy occurs that people with this aspect can pay a heavy price for later because in doing so they deny a core element of their own identity.
As adults, then, part of the challenge is in finding some way to live with the immersion we have in a way of seeing things that does not hold much value in modern society. This way of seeing things is essentially immaterial, focusing on matters such as spirituality, dreams and symbols, fantasy worlds and imaginary situations. We cannot not wonder – “What if…?” – which leads to all kinds of problems until we find the dimmer switch for this behaviour. It is easy, for example, to arrive at all kinds of illusionary ideas simply by following the imagination where it will lead, ideas about other people and what they really want, ideas about what is really going on in all the conspiracies about the world, ideas even about who we are. These are the people who can end up really believing that they are from other planets because they had dreams or visions when they were young and last night the Voice of Metatron, Supreme Commander of the Niburian Fleet, activated their DNA and took them on a trip through time to the moment when the dinosaurs triggered the first atomic explosion, and told them that they are the messiah for a race of ETs. This is total escape from reality into the worlds of the imagination and represents a failure to handle the energy of Neptune, a failure to gift them to Earth in real terms. This is an extreme (made up) example and most people with this aspect will not go this far but at some level there will always be some confusion or idealism resulting from being saturated in the astral imagination, situations which stand in the way of the great gifts of Neptune being bestowed upon the world.
The confusion arising in life takes many forms but at its root it also stems from two main sources, one which I will discuss shortly, and the other is confusion about symbols and their signifcance. For Neptune rising a symbol that appears can have almost any meaning, depending on what the imagination personally perceives in it at the time. A blue flame seen in the campfire can be the body of the avatar or guru you are thinking of at the time, and a chance word overheard on a random TV screen in a bar can be the signal that your marriage or even the world is about to end. This fact causes confusion because the identity does not interpret symbols and signs effectively or objectively until it has purified its imagination of things like fear, persecution complex, wish fulfillment and narcissism, factors which saturate the identity of Neptune rising, and so it leads people astray.
The other main source of confusion is the lack of a defined and solid identity – the porous lack of boundaries mentioned earlier. This is perhaps the more important source of confusion because it is one that requires a self transformation to occur rather than being addressed through a rethink of concepts and some meditation, as the confusion arising from symbols can be. The first thing that I would like to note here is the connection between compassion and identity. This connection is essential to understand if we are to comprehend the influence of Neptune on the ascendant. Neptune on the ascendant brings a fountain of compassion into the present moment using our eyes, ears, heart and mind as a channel. The experience of Neptune is that of a dissolving of all boundaries into the ethers, a disentangling, disintegrating force that unbinds the illusions of separation perceived in the infinite forms of the material world. It coalesces, merges, mixes and unites all things into a nameless, nebulous field of One-ness. When Neptune is placed on the ascendant, the plane of identity in the present, it then becomes unavoidable that we will end up identifying with everyone and everything around us that we focus upon – compassion then overwhelms us even if we are not aware of it. We can easily identify with absolutely everything and everyone, and really experience this connection as a reality, not just as a fantasy; in other words we can with practice connect with the objectively real essence of Neptune and truly experience and perceive other worlds and other realities, but only when we have both learned to interpret symbols properly and we have a solid and authentic grasp of our identity. Very few actually accomplish this.
The problem of course is that when the identity experiences a flowing connection of unity to everyone our own identity goes out of focus. We do not know who we are because we cannot easily separate it from what everyone and everything else is. Our identity blends mysteriously into theirs and we discover with unsettling regularity that what we had supposed was true is not or that the person we thought we were is a fake or a reflection of what others are. Additionally our fear and the other negative things twisting our imagination continually warp all of this until we clear it up. It becomes imperative to define what we are not, to establish boundaries. The whole question of identity can become plagued with mystery, misapprehension, disillusionment and pretense until we do. Acquiring this solidity of identity is critical because without a clear identity we cannot perceive the essential meaning of symbols, perceiving only what we ourselves bring to them, and symbols are continually showing up for us in the present moment awareness we have. So the crux being established by this aspect is to gain a firmer and more solid grasp of your own identity and to exercise the gifts of Neptune with great care, which means handling all of the above issues, undoing any repression and distortion of imagination that was taken on board through the process. When this is done, many visionary and psychic gifts begin to emerge and the imagination becomes their tool and not their mutator.
FACES: Paul McCartney (Virgo), Cat Stevens (Libra), Immanuel Kant (Taurus), Julian Assange (Sagittarius), Bill Clinton (Libra), Tracey Ullman (Scorpio), Michael Fassbender (Sagittarius), Roger Moore (Leo), Marcel Proust (Aries), Chrissie Hynde (Libra), Matthew Mitcham (Capricorn), Harrison Ford (Libra rising with Neptune in Virgo), Aaron Spelling (Leo), Gates McFadden (Libra), Josef Mengele (Cancer), Johannes Kepler (Gemini) and Auguste Renoir (Aquarius).
Credit: NASA, ESA and G. Bacon (STScI)
When Pluto rises intensity and magnetism surround us wherever we go. There is something of the Scorpio sign in us and so even if our ascendant is something completely different Pluto will add passion, personal power and insight to the sign, dramatically intensifying its nature. These people are powerful and insightful but that has all come at a heavy price. Other people will sit up and take notice when they are around and they have an intense side which will make an impact on their surroundings. Many of the individuals with this placement attract controversy and violate taboos of behaviour which magnetize massive (often overblown) reactions from others. Some Pluto rising people are tempted to court this outcome, often because it seems to inevitably happen anyway.
There is no getting away from the presence of darkness in life when Pluto rises – it makes the identity fully aware that horrible things happen out there. This doesn’t mean the life is destined for tragedy, it just means it is aware that mortality has the last laugh on all human efforts, and thus that there are what we can only call horrors to face in life. Pluto rising looks deep into the abyss, facing the demons within head on, and because it possesses this incredible courage it is very often demonised, condemned and feared. Only Scorpio can understand that by gazing into oblivion, the Pluto rising person is reborn from mortality to immortality. The mysterious way in which this aspect allows us to fully shed our identity as if it were merely the skin of a snake, leaving behind only a lifeless husk while we move onto a new life, is just the start of the magic that Pluto rising can display.
This ability to undergo repeated rebirth (especially in terms of our appearance and image) can become addictive and compulsive for Pluto rising as it is literally like quaffing from the nectar of eternal life, defying death through continuous transformation. This means the aspect can become compulsively destructive, addicted to the thrill of watching buildings blow up or perpetually sabotaging any hope of a less intense life. Others can be driven away, unable to keep up with the sheer intensity of the way we life and continually transform. So the dual gift being conferred here is both destruction and transformation, a deeply powerful gift that has to be wielded with extreme care.
Positions of power can be presented to these people – we should not forget that the word plutocracy is related here, nor that Pluto is God of the underworld and thus a keeper of many treasures buried in the ground as well as many lost sacred artifacts of legend, objects with such profound magical power that they have to be kept hidden away. Occult and magical power as well as psychological power must also be included here, and Pluto rising can gift these individuals with any combination of these forms of power over others and themselves. Whatever gifts Pluto rising confers they will be infused with a desire to uncover even deeper secrets and further mysteries with them, and this lore will be jealously guarded and hoarded by the identity.
Compulsive interest in Plutonian subjects like the occult, death, sex and other taboos are very common among these people but they are rarely advertised. These are extremely good people to tell secrets to because they will not only keep those secrets under great duress and probably even torture, but they will also have a profound and penetrating insight into the situation which can help you to transform it for yourself. In some cases this same ability can be used to help keep secrets for others or to work in a profession or line of duty connected to finding or keeping secrets. Sometimes the ability to keep secrets is something that we have to learn as a survival mechanism, for example if we have been sexually abused and we don’t want the world to know our private life so that it can continually remind us. Whatever the reason is to develop the secretive identity, the Pluto rising person conceals themselves very effectively.
The secretive nature of these people is expressed in their bodies in some way, often through an intense gaze that bores into people’s souls, a mysterious or shadowy aura, sunglasses or hoods covering the features, dark clothing or heavy make up. There is frequently a smoldering sexual quality which attracts interest even though the Pluto rising person is generally very private and withdrawn – at least until they volcanically explode with some pent-up emotion. When this happens Pluto rising can lose control of its destructive power and inflict a lot of collateral damage beyond that which has caused it to erupt. For this reason it is often very important for these people to find a way to release pent-up emotions before they become destructive and erupt in an uncontrolled way.
The detective power of this aspect is extraordinary – these are definitely people you want on your team or helping you when you are looking for something or trying to figure out something mysterious. This is the ‘Colombo’ superpower – they have an innate power to penetrate to the heart of the mystery and to unravel it by asking the right questions, but in cases where personal feelings are involved this can become extremely uncomfortable as the relentless probing of Pluto can bring up the deepest, most denied feelings that we have. We can gain a lot more empathy and respect for these people by understanding that they live a life in which this is constantly turned upon themselves, they literally have no choice in the matter because Pluto is present in every single moment that they experience.
With Pluto rising we lack awareness of just how intense we are and can express ourselves far too forcefully than is necessary, igniting explosive conflict and destructive sequences of events if we are not careful to control our tempers or passions. We often find ourselves engaged in power struggles with people in positions of superiority and are known for bringing about all kinds of transformations, improvements and changes in our environment, as well as being a bit of a control freak. All of this can bring us into confrontation with authorities who either get in our way or intervene when we step over the line. Yet because of the intensity which we radiate, direct confrontation is unlikely unless the other person is equally Plutonian or feels they have enough backup – in most cases we will find people take a more manipulative and subtly secretive approach to undermining our efforts, but Pluto rising is no stranger to this and knows the game back to front. It’s very hard to pull the wool over these people’s eyes, their bullshit detector is way too advanced.
Relationships could suffer through their own actions as they can sometimes be very demanding and possessive, with the consequence that the partner feels manipulated or controlled. Every planet that rises on the ascendant also has a direct impact upon our relationship dynamic because it will oppose the cusp of the 7th temple and potentially any planets or objects within that temple. The connection between our identity as it is and the identity of our closest partner, as well as how those two identities affect one another, is the obvious thing being represented by astrology here. When we are a certain person ourselves we will tend to attract certain relationships because of that identity, while on the other hand relationships that come into our lives will also act to shape our identity in very direct ways. So when Pluto is rising our relationships become characterised with Plutonian themes, and when Neptune is rising with net Neptunian themes, and so on. What the Pluto rising person needs is a partner who can interact with them at the intense level that will be required, which often means a serious and profound commitment. Although Pluto rising can manifest as a compulsive attraction to sex and sexual relationships with many partners, especially when that is leading us into taboo territory, what it yearns for on the deepest level is the kind of commitment wherein it can give itself completely to another human being. Pluto wants to consume and be consumed.
Learning to control emotions and the intensity of feelings is absolutely crucial to success in life for these people. There needs to be away for them to express what they feel in the present moment and because what they feel is intense they have to find a way to do it safely. If the Pluto rising individual can do this, the awesome power of Pluto will be unleashed, an absolutely unstoppable force which strengthens the will and its power to shape reality, puts us in touch with precious and potent inner resources which enable us to withstand great pressures, and reveals many secrets that cannot be put into words.
FACES: John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr (Virgo), Richard Branson (Leo), Nikola Tesla (Taurus), Kurt Cobain (Virgo), Peter Gabriel (Leo), James Madison (Sagittarius), k.d. Lang (Virgo), Jeffrey Archer (Cancer rising with Pluto in Leo), Neil Kinnock (Leo), David Frost (Cancer), Julie Walters (Leo), Christopher Reeve (Leo), Michael Moore (Leo), George W. Bush (Leo), Madonna (Virgo), Justin Bieber (Scorpio), Katy Perry (Scorpio), Laurence Olivier (Gemini), Johannes Brahms (Aries), Al Gore (Leo), Judy Garland (Cancer), George Galloway (Leo), Marie I of England (Capricorn), Gene Roddenberry (Cancer), Al Pacino (Leo), Leonardo DiCaprio (Libra), Glenn Close (Leo), Steve Martin (Leo) and Jerry Lewis (Cancer).
This concludes this two-part series, I hope you have enjoyed it and found it helpful. Of course, there are many more ways in which planets on the ascendant can manifest themselves other than the ways I have covered in these brief descriptions, but I hope to have provided some fertile ground for you to make your own discoveries through experience. If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts about the subject matter in his articles please feel free to leave a comment below.