The rising sign, or ascendant, reflects your persona—what you choose to show to the world. Whereas the Sun sign is your individuality and does not change a great deal, you have the capacity to choose the nature and level of expression of your Ascendant. You can choose the most destructive expression, or you may choose to show a side of yourself to the world that is full of optimism and promise.
The Ascendant is frequently useful in describing your physical characteristics and general health. Aside from geographical and ethnic realities, the rising sign shows complexion, hair and eye color, stature, and weight. A Gemini would be rather taller than average, and Taurus might be on the stocky side, within the range of family tendencies.
The Ascendant offers suggestions for what kind of clothing looks good, what colors will make you seem stronger. The general shape of the head and face are linked to the Ascendant. The sign also indicates a part of the body that you can show off to good advantage. It may not be your favorite part of yourself, but it is one that will respond to careful treatment in terms of clothing, movement, etc. The Taurus may not think about the throat very much, but this is a key area to focus on to create a strong effect on others. Aquarians can benefit from careful selection of shoes, as the ankles are "the thing."
As you learn about your Ascendant, you will find a whole array of new considerations for how to present yourself to the world. Should you be flippant or stern, gregarious or darkly serious? The rising sign can provide a wealth of imaginative possibilities.
Because the Ascendant is the way others see you, physically and in every other way, it pays to understand what they are seeing. You can develop a whole range of clothing, movements, communication styles and general attitudes based on your rising sign. You can overcome limitations in other areas by emphasizing the
positives here. In this way you actively participate in creating the impression you want others to have, and you become more influential as you project a well thought-out image.
SOURCE: What Astrology Can Do for You, Stephanie Clement