The Rising Lens - The Ruler of the Ascendant So often in consultation with clients, I have found that the ruler of the Ascendant - its sign, house and condition -- highlights an important storyline, an important thread that weaves it way throughout life development. Many times it allows the astrologer within minutes (if not seconds) to get right to the crux of the matter, to the heart of a very relevant theme within a client's identity development. Let's study a few examples. Take the Ascendant ruler in the horoscope of a female client (age 53) with the Ascendant falling on the Aries Point at 00 Capricorn. Saturn its ruler in Sagittarius is situated in the 11th house suggesting a tremendous need for love. Saturn drives a t-square with the Sun in Pisces in the 2nd house, co-ruling the 8th opposed Pluto in the 8th house, ruling the 10th and 11th. This t-square positioned in Succedent Houses clues us to challenges revolving around issues of self-worth, lovability and feeling valuable or not to others. From this pattern alone we can put together a few strong open-ended questions to lead the conversation into meaningful directions. I began the consultation by asking my client to please tell me about the tremendous need for love suggested in her horoscope ---its connection to self-worth and lovability concerns, concerns about how valuable or not she feels she is to others, perhaps as well involving the significance or value of sex ---and all of these considerations appear to revolve strongly around the father figure. That's all I needed to say. My client responded very matter-of-factly, "Absolutely! I can tell you precisely about it." When she was 17 years old upon leaving hospital after having an abortion, her father told her that when he returned from his business trip, they would sit down and discuss what had transpired. Although she was 17, my client described herself as "mentally" being about 13 years old --- terribly naïve and immature particularly about sexual understanding and reproduction. Her father never returned home. He died of a massive heart attack at age 45 while on business (in my client's horoscope, the Ascendant had ARCED to semi-square natal Sun and Saturn, precisely!). She interpreted her father's death as total abandonment. He was her anchor, her rock, the only person who had given her unconditional love and understanding. Her mother on the other hand had always been very distant and judgmental. Subsequently she felt a complete lack of love in her life, and felt unworthy of being loved. There was a great gap of neediness in terms of being able to give and receive love. She became promiscuous, and confused 'sexual' experiences with 'loving' experiences in an attempt to generate feelings of love. She said she was looking for love and trying to comfort her neediness. I needed to know how my client had resolved this issue (or not). I asked her what she might have brought forward as an adult into her friendships and intimate relationships from that difficult time. What had accompanied her feelings and behaviors in relationships since her father's death? She explained that male company had been very important to her. Male friends had become lovers. More importantly, in devoting her life to raising two sons she had taught them the importance of unconditional love. She didn't want her boys to grow up into men and feel unworthy of love in any way. Not as she herself had felt. The consultation was off to a superb start. We were about 3 minutes into discussion and we had already exposed a vital theme within her development. Another female client (age 57) has Uranus in Cancer in the 5th house ruling her Ascendant in Aquarius. Uranus is conjunct Mars ruler of the 3rd (and Pluto which sits tightly opposed the Ascendant is semisquare Mars... and Pluto=Sun/Moon!!!). Uranus forms a t-square to Jupiter in Aries in the 3rd house, ruler of the 11th opposed Neptune, ruler of the 2nd. I asked my client to please tell me about the highly charged temperament and nervous system suggested in her horoscope ---the need to come on strong, to do things her way... easily agitated and overly argumentative. It appeared that these behaviors were linked directly to self-worth and lovability issues in connection with siblings. Why the strong need to 'fight back?' How did this pattern develop? By observing my client's reaction to what I had said, I knew I hit a bull's eye. She responded that she was the youngest sibling, the only female with four older brothers. She constantly had to defend herself against their bullying. She became extremely independent and defiant about not allowing anyone to push her around. The early home life situation had setup a slew of behavioral defenses that had spilled-over into her adult relationships, both personal and professional (Pluto rules the 10th). In order for me to understand how 5th house matters might be involved (with Uranus conjunct Mars in the 5th) I asked her how these behavioral patterns had affected her son (her only child). She explained it was her son who had made her consciously aware of her combative nature. He would often tell her before leaving the house together: "Mom, please do not get into an argument with anyone today!" It was her son's diplomacy and cooperative nature that had reflected back to her time and time again the need for her to transmute her aggressiveness and reactive defenses. Again within just a few minutes of our consultation, we had tapped upon a very pertinent theme within her development. In my own horoscope with Taurus on the Ascendant, Venus its ruler in Pisces situated in the 11th house suggests hypersensitivity about feeling lovable, somehow even linked perhaps to female friendships. Venus is square the Moon in the self-worth 2nd. Pluto in the 5th ruling the 7th is quindecile Venus suggesting an obsessive extremism with emotional expression surrounding intimacy and romantic relationships. Neptune ruling the 11th is sesquiquadrate Venus echoing the insecurity and doubt about one's lovability. Uranus ruling the 10th is precisely inconjunct Venus reiterating intensified emotions, even an irritation about not feeling appreciated, possibly in connection with a parent. An astrologer might begin discussion with me by saying, "Please tell me about the ultra-sensitivity and confusion suggested in your horoscope about your sense of lovability and feeling appreciated. How has this created too much emotional waste and over-suffering in one-on-one personal relationships? How have female friendships and/or a parent contributed to your not believing that you are lovable?" Whoosh! I guarantee you I would be absolutely astonished that someone who knows nothing about me could be so on target and hit upon such a pertinent theme in my development. You can try this with our own horoscope. Study the condition of the Ascendant Ruler. Formulate a few strong statements to ask yourself out loud. Feel the impact of your words and listen to how you would respond. Imagine how effective that would be in guiding consultation discussion with you. Practice with friends and family members, and see what it elicits in conversation. Simplicity can be very, very effective! As Noel Tyl teaches, how many measurements do we really need to start a rich discussion with our client?

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