Image cut from Kat Patterson’s Zodiac Art serie.
The Ascendant or Rising sign is the name given to the sign on the eastern horizon during the time of birth of an individual. Having a Leo Ascendant means that during your birth, the sign of Leo was rising from above the ground, the same way that the Sun rises. People who have Leo as their rising sign, have the Sun as their overall chart ruler.
Our Rising Sign is a very important astrological parameter, even though many theories are proposed by different astrologers and astrological systems. Still, most agree that the Ascendant defines our body and physical characteristics, also playing a strong role in the development of our character. This is quite natural, as the 1st house (the Ascendant being on its cusp) is responsible for our ego, self-perception and behavior. We should keep in mind, that when the Ascendant is at the beginning of a sign, the sign’s traits are more potent than when it is placed at its end. When the next sign occupies the biggest part of the 1st house, it naturally gives a lot of its traits to the native’s character and even to his body. If your Ascendant is at the last degrees of a sign, you can consider the next sign as a co-Ascendant. Many people though, experience the next sign to behave as the Rising sign a lot more than the one which is actually rising.
Before we continue with the traits the sign grants, we should mention that depending on the geographical latitude, each sign needs slightly different time to ascend. If we are born near the equator, the differences are hardly visible. Yet, the closer we are born to any of the two poles, the better the differences between signs can be visible. This is also the reason why people born in rather extreme northern or southern latitudes can experience rather strange natal charts, with some houses being huge while some others quite small. As always, we propose to our readers to use the Placidus system in calculating their houses, because we find it to function better both on our own charts and on the charts of other people that we have analyzed. In the northern hemisphere, Leo is rising a little bit slower than the average of the signs. When someone is born at 50 degrees Northern latitude, the sign will need two hours and 40 minutes to rise fully. At a city placed at 60 degrees Northern latitude, the sign will need around three hours and 15 minutes. Thus, a person born in the Northern hemisphere has statistically significantly more possibilities to have a Leo Ascendant, when the average time a sign needs to ascend is two hours.
As we already mentioned, individuals with a Leo Ascendant will have the Sun as their chart ruler. The Sun, responsible for our ego, represents the core of our existence. As a celestial body in the native’s natal chart, it will be of utmost importance. The Sun will be strongly connected with the native’s physical body, vitality and appearance. Their body and self will be affected not only by transits of planets through their Ascendant, but also by transits to the Sun. In addition, natal aspects of other planets to the Sun, while also its location in a particular house, will play an important role. People with a Leo Ascendant, must take care to empower their Sun in healthy ways, as its functions will always have a positive or negative effect overall on their chart, touching all their life areas.
Having a Leo Ascendant feels like having the Sun in your 1st house. Both Leo and the Sun have strong masculine characteristics, which is natural as they symbolize the archetype of the Male. This will naturally grant a rather masculine appearance, even to women that have this natal placement. We should note here that this does not necessarily affect their sexual preferences, yet mostly how their appearance and presence is perceived. Leo Rising people tend to have a body that doesn’t pass unnoticed, in the same way that a lion would not be ignored while walking among other animals. This could happen in many ways, as, in the end, the Ascendant influences how the native is perceived by the world, his visible self. It could give a body with muscles, signifying strength and leadership that Leo, as a sign, grants. It could give a rather big body with big bones, making the individual easily visible and appearing dominant. It could give certain characteristics that are outside the average spectrum of appearance. Thick, strong and long hair, even for men, or the exact opposite; a powerful bold head, deprived of hair and even as shiny as the Sun. We should not forget that Leo is a fire sign, and fire signs as Ascendants are, at least, rumored to burn the hair. The fire signs are dry and barren, certainly not the best surroundings for any type of “vegetation blossoming”, including the human hair (at least as an archetype).
The face of the natives with a Leo Ascendant is usually wide, with a strong forehead. They usually have wheat/golden color of skin, of course connected with the Sun and its precious metal. The Sun is the ruler of the day, and whoever baths in its golden rays will have a tanned and thick skin, while the light that surrounds them will lighten (burn) the color of their hair. The eyes, too, are rarely dark; usual tones are hazel and green-ish. We are speaking here about the exact opposite of the Cancer archetype, where the Moon (ruler of the night) will grant the native white skin and black hair. Thus, Leo rising will make the individual appear strong and sanguine. Other characteristics that such people can have are bushy and masculine eyebrows.
Leo Rising gives a person who deliberately shows off his appearance. No matter if it is thanks to some physical characteristics, or his style and clothes, he wants the cameras on him – together with the other people’s attention of course. He feels like the King and with his image wants to make it clear to others. Loud and enthusiastic, optimistic and open; yet always ready to also get in a fight when their feeling of power is being threatened by other similar individuals. Self-confident and arrogant, they will try to become the center of the universe. Most of the times, they are indeed liked by other people; the reason behind it is probably their out-going character, which may indeed lift the spirits of the whole group of people they belong to.
The sign of Leo gives people who like to physically take part in activities that are fun. No matter if it is sports, partying or performing, they have an inner need to feed their inner desire of inducing joy. They may like performing some art or acting as a hobby or even a profession, and will always feel beautiful when they are observed and admired by others. Leo is the natural ruler of the 5th house, which represents the life area of recreation, fun and flirt. In addition, the fifth house is ruling children, and Leos always hide a child inside them that they are not even afraid to show. They like competition, hate to lose and will prefer to have around them either people that are inferior, or that cannot excel in the same fields than they do. They will always get along very well with people that have totally different abilities, strengths and even interests, as they will not feel subconsciously threatened of losing their crown. You will find Leo Ascendants anywhere there is action, fun and socializing together. Also, you will frequently find them in front of a mirror.
In their relationships, natives with a Leo Ascendant tend to be rather selfish – without even understanding it. Leo rising people see their own selves as their priority, yet it is something done on a subconscious level and they might not notice it. Yet, they develop strong feelings of protection towards their beloved ones. When they feel that someone who is theirs is under a threat, they will stand in front of him to defend him. They flirt a lot, get enthusiastic over a person easily, but this can wear off rather quickly. They usually find partners that are weaker than them, who will play the role of the Moon in their relation (if we assume that a relationship can be represented as a Sun/Moon duality). In any case, when it comes to their connection to other people, their physical needs and more animalistic urges are certainly of greater importance than the security and romanticism.
Leo Rising people are famous for having rather robust bodies. The Sun makes them rather endurable as organisms, both on a physical and on a psychological level. Leo, as a sign, rules our heart, our spine and our back. These are the first to suffer during a difficult transit to the native’s Ascendant or natal Sun. People with a Leo Ascendant should take some extra care regarding the condition of their heart, as this is their Achilles’ foot.
Always have in mind that any planet present near the Ascendant point will definitely alter both the physical appearance and the characteristics of the native. We could say that in the first 10 degrees of the first house it will have the strongest influence on the Ascendant, while also the last 5 degrees of the 12th house. The planet’s energies blend with the Ascendant ones; we can imagine the sign as a canvas while the planet as the paint that will, in the end, create the unique picture of the individual. Of course, it is possible to have more than one planets (or astrological points/ asteroids) in conjunction with the ascendant – furthermore complicating the big picture. To understand better your body, your Ego and how they function you should analyze all those planetary influences. This is why knowing your Ascendant does not necessarily mean jumping to correct conclusions about your life.
You can use our free natal chart generator, in order to understand better not only your Rising Sign but also any possible planets that are present near it. Also, do not forget to pay attention to your natal Sun placement in the houses and signs, so that you discover the functions of your chart ruler and how it will affect your life and priorities. Finally, do not forget to read the article about natal Sun in the 1st house, as it has many similarities to having a Leo Ascendant.