Mask of the Cosmos~Art & Astrology's mask
Mask of the Cosmos is my small art attempt at a drawing meant to represent the Ascendant which is the rising sign and degree, or the WHAT? Point of any horoscope.
Everything that is has a beginning, and so the Ascendant may describe the beginning of an event, a nation, a day, or an individual and tells us how the world is seen and how the world sees the entity the chart describes. It is a major point in Astrology which, along with Sun and Moon, are primary factors to consider.
And the Ascendant degree's Sabian Symbol fills out the picture as well.
As you know, with Astrology a horoscope may be drawn for any place or time on earth. A good example of the impersonal use of this concept is a sunrise chart (aka a solar chart) which tells the flavor or quality that will unfold through the rest of the day in that locality.
On my Political Astrology blog, Stars Over Washington, I have often used this method for 'taking the temperature' of certain days on Capitol Hill or for the White House, and find this technique especially useful in mundane work when one doesn't know the exact timing of an event's occurrence but wishes to see how things will 'get on' for a particular day.
The chart-ruler (planet ruling the sign of the Ascendant) may then be checked for applying aspects, if any, and clues garnered. No applying aspects most often means, 'no action' (although aspects to other charts' planets or points may have something to say about things, if applicable.)
Seeing planets as 'actors' helps, too - Sun is 'the leader', Moon is 'the public' or 'the people', Mars represents males between the ages of 25 and appr 35, Mercury = young people; of course, Mars is also military personnel, police officers, firefighters, etc, and Mercury is anyone associated with communications such as reporters, speech-writers and speakers, etc.
Yet the planets retain all their other astrological correspondances simultaneously (Mercury for trade, commerce, agreements, Mars for quarrels and fires, etc) for Astrology describes a complex world occurring on many levels all at once - inner, outer, and in between the cracks.
With the sunrise/solar chart set for a particular location we may view what the universe in any area of the globe is impersonally offering at that time. As Above, So Below, and 'the end is in the beginning' as Astrology teaches.
And thus on a personal level, a baby is born into earth's flux at a particular place and time in his/her uniqueness as a genetic flowering of generations...unless, of course, another woman was on top of or underneath our mothers having a baby at precisely the same moment! But even twin births can't do that for one child must precede the other.
And so each one of us is a unique individual with a natal or birth chart all our own, and the rising Ascendant in our charts tells us much about the masks we wear as we accept the mission for which we are born, and immediately after birth begin to learn how to 'speak through the mask' of the Ascendant.
In addition, planetary aspects in natal charts help to 'fix' us in space while the qualities of the chart's aspects give a frame of reference that aids in understanding our unique potential - especially if we study our charts or have them explained to us.
The Ascendant shows our meaningful contact with the environment so that we may express ourselves fully in our lives (if we choose to accept our missions!) through the doorway of our Ascendant...the 'door' we entered by!