Ascendant

Ascendant is a term used in astrology to refer to the degree of the zodiac or sometimes the entire zodiacal sign that is rising over the eastern horizon at a given moment in time.

Due to the Earth’s rotation, the signs of the zodiac appear to rise over the eastern horizon at an approximate rate of one sign every two hours, from the perspective of an observer standing on Earth. This rate changes depending on one’s location in the northern or southern hemisphere, as well as certain signs rising faster or slower than others.

The term Ascendant is typically used to refer to the degree of the zodiac that intersects with the eastern horizon at a given moment in time, although sometimes the term is also used more loosely to refer to the entire sign that is rising over the eastern horizon at that time.

The original term for the Ascendant that was used more commonly by astrologers who wrote in Greek during the Hellenistic tradition was horoskopos, which means “Hour-Marker”. This term was sometimes used to refer to the degree of the Ascendant, and sometimes to the sign, which is partially where the ambiguity comes from in today’s usage. The Greco-Roman astrologers also sometimes referred to the Hour-Marker with other terms such as the Greek anatellon, or the Latin ortus, which can be translated as “Ascendant” or “Rising”, respectively. These terms then become the direct ancestors for the English term “Ascendant”, which became common in English astrological texts from the 17th century onward.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *