Persona, the way you appear to others, first impression
Mask, the lens through which you view the world
The energetic wave you rode into this life upon
The Ascendant, or Rising Sign, is part of the “Big 3” most important aspects of a birth chart, but it is not an actual planet or object in the sky. Instead it is the constellation of the zodiac belt that is rising up over the eastern horizon at the time you were born (or that the chart is cast), from the perspective of someone standing on the Earth at the place where you were born. Since it is the sign that was appearing in the sky at the same time you appeared on the Earth, it is said to describe the energetic wave you rode in on. The Ascendant rules the first house, and sets up the pattern for what signs rule the rest of the houses (except in unusual cases where a sign may be completely enclosed by a house but not rule anything). While the sun, moon, and all the planets could be found anywhere in a birth chart, the ascendant is always on the left at the 9:00 position. The ascendant also represents your persona, and the impression you give to others. In a way it is the mask you wear for others, but it is also like a pair of glasses that colour the way you see the world. Are yours rose-coloured, dark and clouded, or perfectly clear?