I think we can understand ourselves much better if we learn house cusps. I’m a Gemini Rising and it isn’t a mask for me; it’s my identity even when I am alone. There is so much that goes into my Gemini Ascendent then it being my just my ‘go-to personality’. The ascendant is a large and much underappreciated aspect of our personality make-up. Most books on astrology don’t even cover it, yet… in my opinion, it is the MOST important. And, often ignored, are the following 11 houses and their rulers. Very few speak of house rulerships. Since I am a Gemini AC, my second house will be ruled by Cancer, my third house will be ruled by Leo, my forth house ruled by Virgo, my fifth house ruled by Libra…. and so on.
These rulerships help us understand ourselves in the same way other placements do and more! They cover every aspect of the roles we come here to play out. Scorpio rules over my 6th house which might mean that I might do a lot of research in regards to health and will discover information about health (the mind, spirit and body) that is down the rabbit hole and hidden. Scorpio’s love getting to the bottom of things and aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. They might prefer to investigate the causes of problems and remove them than deal with superficial band-aid cures. Also, since the 6th house deals with service to others, with Scorpio/Pluto ruling it, perhaps that means that I’d make a good counselor since I can see through people. I know people at a glance. I penetrate through the masks of others and identify and can solve problems on a deep level. Intuitive spiritual healing is also a possibility when Pluto is running the 6th house of service and occupation. We have 12 houses to analyze here so the rising sign and making sure you know what time you were born is SO important! Yet, it is the most underappreciated aspect of astrology.
Also when we are trying to determine one’s rising sign, think about the other 11 houses. For example, if you are trying to determine if someone’s rising sign is Aquarius or Pisces, don’t just think of what their identity might be, move on the other houses as well. If they were born with Aquarius as their rising sign, then that automatically means that Libra rules their 9th house which means they might be open to many views and angles of a spiritual, philosophical or religious idea, for example. Their mind may be open to the theories of many. But if they were born with Pisces at their ascendant, then that automatically means that scorpio runs their 9th house. They, in this case, might have a deep interest and dig deep into philosophical/theological theories. These are superficial examples. Look at ALL 12 houses and it will help you immensely determine a rising sign when we don’t have the exact time. …especially if you are intuitive and have a good eye for people.
I am hard-pressed to recommend a book to help you learn about these cups and how they affect the houses. Books certainly help and some brave authors might explain them — even if briefly. Let that be your guide…. as well as your knowledge of how the signs and the houses behave. If you just have that, you’re well on your way to figuring some of this out.
Approach learning astrology from a humble view that you may never really understand it all. If we think we know it all and we are attached to dogmatic beliefs, learning stops. Astrology can be confusing especially since a lot of astrologers don’t even agree with one another. Maybe we aren’t supposed to understand it all…right this moment. Be OK with not knowing and you’d be surprised how much you can learn in that humble space.