The degree of the Zodiac which is on the eastern horizon at the moment one is born, is called ascendant, even though the last degree of a sign be ascending, that sign is called the ascendant, and the planet which rules that sign is called the significator or ruling planet; but if other planets are between the cusp of the ascendant and cusp on the second house, they are called co-significators, and they have a more powerful influence than in any other house of the horoscope, because the ascending sign governs the mind, and as the mind is, so will be the ability, desires, ambition and, to a great extent, the success of the native.
The horoscope, at first sight, may look to be inferior or of no particular signification, but if yon analyze it, and you find the ascendant in a good sign, well aspected, and good planets in the ascendant, you generally find an excellent mind, and no intellectual person can be kept down by adverse conditions or circumstances.
In judging the ascending sign, go five degrees back and forward of the degree ascending, as the five degrees back of the ascendant still have their effect. Planets within five degrees, but back of the ascendant. (In 12th house) should be considered on the ascendant, but not quite as powerful as if in the ascendant.
The ascending sign and the sign in which the ruler of the ascendant are placed will show the disposition of the native, and his general mentality. Thus: Aries ascending, with Mars in Aries, denotes one of medium height, inclined to be slender and muscular, long neck, sharp features, red or sandy hair. In disposition, courageous, ambitious, intrepid, passionate, quick in temper, cannot bear to be ordered around, naturally inclines to lead rather than follow.
Should Mars be in Taurus, the build is modified and the native will look more like Taurus than Aries; the Aries disposition will predominate, but much of the Taurus disposition will be mingled with it.
The following descriptions correspond to the different signs: Taurus gives a middle stature, with a strong, well-set body, a short, thick neck, broad forehead, dark hair, a dull complexion, rather large mouth; in disposition sullen and reserved but affectionate; they are slow to form opinions, are steadfast and self-reliant.
Gemini usually gives a tall, straight body, a sanguine complexion, dark hair and grey eyes, sharp sight and quick, active movements; in disposition scientific, with a passion for all kinds of knowledge and books; they are fickle in opinion, very intellectual, but inconstant in their habits and attachments.