Monday, August 8, 2016

The Chart Ruler: Aries Rising (Mars)

In continuation with the chart ruler series, what happens when you have an Aries Rising? Well, this is possibly seen as the “easiest” Ascendant to have because Aries is the natural ruler of the Ascendant. I remember thinking, years ago, why they are no dignities and exaltations for the angles. Maybe it’s because they’re not planets? But, in a sense, having an Aries Ascendant is like having a “dignified” Rising sign because Mars is the ruling planet, in this case, and Mars also naturally governs over the Ascendant. You would think that this would lead to a super-easy life, wouldn’t it? Well, not exactly. Any dignified placement can potentially express itself in extremes and I believe that an Aries Rising is no different. 

So, yes, with this placement, Mars is your chart ruler. Unlike the co-ruling that Mars does for Scorpio Rising people, whose lives are much more ruled by Pluto, in the end, Mars’ rulership over Aries is simpler and more singular. It also takes the person with their Ascendant in Aries and super-charges their outlook on life. Mars’ rulership over the Ascendant and 1st House is why these energies in our birth chart represent our “actions”. These are our behaviors and motivations, our overall demeanor, and the way we are going to tackle any given situation. And when you have Mars ruling the chart, when you tackle a situation, you tackle it like a football player on steroids. While this can lead to control-freak tendencies or major obsessions for Scorpio Ascendant, it just causes Aries Rising people to become highly aggressive, in some form or another.

It can be quite a common misconception that a person with an Aries Ascendant has to be all in your face: loud, pushy, coarse, etc. I have actually found that out of all the three Fire Ascendants, the Aries Rising can actually be the most low-key. To them, life is not about performing and shining like a special star, like it is for Leo Rising, and it’s not about having every possible experience they can while they can, like for the Sagittarius Rising folks of the world. Instead, for Aries Rising, it’s about just going out there and doing whatever they want to do. This does make some of them the stereotypical push-and-shove types who will obviously run you over to get where they need to go. But, just as many of them can express their aggression in a more underplayed manner, especially if their Mars is in the 4th, 8th, or 12th House. Yet, you will still sense that smoldering fire coming from them. When Mars rules your chart, you have so much energy to burn and you can easily burn the people around you with it, whether you mean to or not.

This is why, when observing an Aries Rising, you get the immediate impression that you’re playing with fire. The Ascendant rules our appearance but I don’t take it that literally. It rules our appearance just because it governs how we carry ourselves which, in turn, gives us a certain aura, physicality, and body language. The appearance of an Aries Rising can cause them to literally “burn up”. Many people with this placement report having a higher-than-usual body temperature, as if they always have a fever. Depending on their skin tone, they might also get red in the face very easily, especially when angry or frustrated, and could even find themselves breaking out on a regular basis thanks to these stressors. There is a lot of pent-up energy to these people because they are dealing with every situation with such fired-up passion that they’re ready to explode at just about any given moment. It’s why, when caught off guard, they can look angrier than they intend.

Mars is passion and that’s why it’s also the source of our rage and our frustration. When passion is thwarted, eruptions can ensue. It’s usually quite easy for an Aries Rising to “go off.” The house that their Mars is in will just show you how they do it. If Mars is in the 9th, they will lose their temper in a rather self-righteous, preachy way, insisting on the importance of right and wrong. If they have Mars in the 3rd House, when they’re pissed, prepare for either an endless word-vomit or a highly clever, hilarious telling off (and they could be fully capable of both). Since Mars is coloring their individual perspective on life, many people with this Ascendant can act as if they are just waiting for an opportunity to explode. Those who don’t even know them well can see it coming, especially since the Aries Rising’s resting face is quite confrontational and challenging to begin with. In short, they tend to already look pissed off or, at least, like they are getting pretty sick of your crap.

With Mars ruling your chart, it’s like your life is all about confrontation. People can sometimes feel like they need to defend themselves around you, as you may speak a bit too loudly, move a bit too forcefully, or “clap back” (hit somebody with a comeback) a little too aggressively. In short, you can definitely come on strong and it sets you up for playing the part of a fighter. Some Aries Ascendants can live their lives as if they are always in the middle of a boxing match. So, if the chart ruler is your life story, you might feel as if you are living the life of Muhammad Ali, always preparing for your next fight and, of course, to win. Depending on where Mars is placed in your chart, the fighting can be verbal, emotional, psychological, intellectual, or even downright physical.

Many Aries Rising people will use their fighting spirit, though, to not always butt heads with other people but to just compete and become one of the best. The Rising sign, in and of itself, is what gets us out there, what compels us to begin something new and put our best foot forward. You could argue that when Mars is your chart ruler, you can do this more naturally than most people. It is just automatic for you. So, as an Aries Rising, you can be the fighter, wherever you go and in whatever situation you’re in, without causing too much trouble. It can just mean being highly competitive and driven in your approach to life, as Mars is one’s drive. Thanks to this influence, your outlook on life is to accomplish as much as you can while you can. It’s just about knowing how to live out this competitive spirit in a way that doesn’t make you a sore loser or a cutthroat foe.

This is how you can potentially go overboard, with Mars acting as the chart ruler. You might become so desperate to win in the life area represented by your Mars’ house that everything goes up in smoke. With Mars in the 9th, this can mean being so intent on always being right and remaining free that you commit one foolish blunder after the next. Mars in the 8th ruling the chart could make you very obsessed with delving into your dark side and using it as a personal strength. But, it could also mean that you get totally lost in the darkness, harboring all sorts of secret compulsions and feelings, in order to maintain an advantage, that only ends up destroying everything you touch. There might be such a focus on winning, on living your life as the victor, that you cannot accept anything less than that, which doesn’t end up being very fair to the people around you.

In the end, such an approach to life can turn your personal biography into one of those books about a successful mogul or celebrity who carelessly stomped on plenty of people to get to the top of the world. The bigger problem is that your individual outlook can be highly selfish. But, in your defense, you often don’t do it on purpose! Mars is all about desire and when it is dominating the theme of your life, you are constantly saying, at every turn, “I want this! I must have that!” Of course, you’re defining your desires, so it’s not about what the other person wants. It’s this kind of single-minded drive that keeps an Aries Rising going throughout life. Each chapter of your life is about defining what you want and then going after it. Quite a straightforward life story, in the end, which is why the Ascendant is technically dignified here, as it’s all about going about one’s life with an attitude of strength, determination, and decisiveness.

While the Leo Ascendant is living the life of a star, you are living the life of a hero, Aries Ascendant. Yet, in the end, Superman doesn’t use his powers solely for himself. I’m sure he could if he wanted to. Being able to fly and have super-strength would come in handy for many very selfish reasons. But, in the end, he uses his powers to save others. Now, again, there will always be some selfishness to the Aries Rising and I’m not saying you need to become Mother Teresa. Go off on your own path. But, stop and think, on a regular basis, if what you’re doing is good for other people or not. It is your life. However, there are other people who are a part of your life, as well, and should benefit, sometimes, from your actions. In the end, I think this is essentially what connects you to your Libra Descendant, getting you to acknowledge and love your thoughtful side, especially when it comes to being thoughtful in your relationships with other people.

Still, life will always be about being a trailblazer for you and maybe this is the best way for you to do something good for others: just provide an awesome example. Those with Aries Rising often feel like they are born into greatness, given the agency and the initiative, from the beginning, to do whatever the hell they please. I won’t say that they are spoiled early in life, per se, although this can certainly be true, especially if they were an only or youngest child. But, their early environment does permit them to fully take action and take no prisoners, while they’re at it. The Ascendant symbolizes one’s birth and how one developed in their first several years of life. The birthing process is, to put it mildly, seen as a challenging thing for women to go through. And mothers with an Aries Rising child often have a particularly challenging or frustrating time giving birth to them, complete with all the requisite screaming and pushing, as if they are fighting their baby from the moment they emerge from the womb.

Due to the Ascendant being in its ruling sign, the early years of childhood are highly active for the Aries Ascendant. These babies often speak and walk early, eager to be self-reliant. In fact, they learn to do everything quickly. One’s Ascendant is behavioral conditioning, how one learned to behave and conduct themselves. Aries Rising children never exactly learn to “behave”. They do learn that if they want something, they need to go out and get it, no questions asked. So, a strong sense of independence develops by the time they’re about six or seven. And let’s not forget the terrible two’s which can usually be particularly terrible for those with this placement, unless some strong Venus action is going on. The sudden idea that they can say “no”, get what they want by demanding it, and even throw themselves a temper tantrum is all too irresistible to these toddlers.

Yet, even as adults, it can seem as if some of these people have not left their terrible two’s. It’s not just because they’re hot-tempered. The first several years of their lives have imprinted them more so than the average person. As an Aries Ascendant, you are always acting, in a way, from that place of being a five-year-old. The thing about the Ascendant is that it’s so impulsive and immediate. And the very way an Aries Rising acts is solely through their impulses. With Mars ruling the chart, you are constantly figuring out how to get from point A to point B. So, the more impulsive you are about it, the better! Some might say that this isn’t always the best choice. Impulsiveness is sometimes frowned upon. But, believe it or not, following your impulses can be a good thing far more often than not, as long as you’re not breaking the law or hurting others or yourself. No matter what the outcome is, you will, at least, develop bravery, strength, and the ability to take risks. 

Mars is also associated with courage and how one can find their courage. Since Mars is your chart ruler, you don’t really need to find it. You step forward with courage, in any given situation. The house your Mars is in will tell how you’re courageous, whether it’s just by sheer action itself (1st House) or through being yourself (5th House) or through embracing the unexpected (11th House). Regardless, you know how to act brave, regardless of whether or not you actually feel brave. It’s why, whenever you’re feeling insecure, you easily overcompensate with aggression or bravado. Again, this is the planet of action, which is why it will make your demeanor both courageous and impulsive. When you are taking action that is really worth something, it requires courage. Also, it requires impulse and that is regarding the biggest or the smallest of actions. Whatever we do, it has stemmed from an impulse from within. Some Aries Rising people, depending on the house Mars is in, may be able to calculate things more. But, the impulsive approach still remains.

So, there is a certain aura of rawness and immediacy to you. You’re not going to care about coming off as too polished or delicate. You put yourself right out there and it’s through a really visceral burst of energy. Aries Rising people have a powerful physicality to them. Many times, they can look as if they just worked out, even if they didn’t. If they’re actually leaving the gym in their gym clothes, it will look as if it fits them perfectly, while someone else would just look like they’re slumming around. Something about your talk and your walk will always say that, “I have things to do.” One of the distinct traits of this placement is a walk that is like the march of a soldier, showing a man or woman on a mission. But, of course, no one is barking orders at you and neither will you. I have never seen Aries as bossy. Aries is just a catalyst for things, so they might give you some pointers or motivation to push you in the right direction. Yet, you don’t have the energy to be bossy. You’re too focused on what you need to do to care that much about the choices that other people make.

Speaking of “doing”, Mars does also rule one’s sex drive. This is a very important part of life for all of us but it is just a little more important to you when Mars is your chart ruler. If the chart ruler is how you see life, with Mars ruling the chart, sex is life to you. Sometimes, Aries Rising people will be relentlessly and openly horny. There can be something very predatory and player-like about them because of that. And, yes, that goes without saying that it can apply to males and females of any sexual orientation. In fact, it’s quite common for these people to go through very distinct phases of just wanting “action.” I think they can be very good at separating these dalliances from the real thing. In the end, with that Libra Descendant, they are highly relationship-oriented and do just want a sweet soul mate who will love them forever. But, until they find Mr. or Mrs. Right, they are often perfectly fine with Mr. or Mrs. Right Now. It can be sort of black-or-white for this placement.

When the Aries Rising’s Mars Return happens, all of these traits can actually begin to mellow out for awhile. Whatever your chart ruler is, it’s like you are constantly living out the Return out of that planet. A planet’s Return is when its expression is magnified in your life. Yet, when you have a particular planet ruling your chart, its expression is already magnified. So, when it Returns, the reverse effect actually happens and it finds a certain balance. For the rest of us, the Mars Return is a time where we may feel angrier, get into more heated conflicts with others, find our courage, become more selfish, and feel hornier than usual. But, this is already your life, Aries Rising! Because of this, the Mars Return is simply when you reap the benefits of being a fiery go-getter.

The Mars Return occurs roughly every two to two and a half years. It’s a cycle that can have you burning your energy off constantly until you come to a point of homeostasis during your Mars Return. You’ll have less to be mad about and maybe even less to do. It’s as if you have already accomplished everything you strove to accomplish. So, while the Mars Return makes the next person more competitive and more eager to tackle their goals, for you, it’s a time where you take stock of your victories and create new goals for the future. You may also feel less argumentative or confrontational with others during this time. Again, you will have this powerful feeling, during this time, that you’ve already won, in some way or another. You’ll realize how victorious at life you really are. Therefore, a surprising ability to pick your battles can emerge, in a way that other people may be thankful for. But, they will soon have to buckle up again because it’s like the Mars Return is the calm before your inevitable storm. You’re simply recharging your batteries for the next go around.


  1. My cousin has his Mars in Arise Ascendent and he's an Arise stellium but (Sun, Mercury, Saturn) fall in 12th house. When we were young, out of nowhere he will just hit me. Actually he does that to anyone who he think he can domineer over. he's very agressive toward little kid. but sometimes he's just shut in to himself. I guess it's the sun in 12th

  2. Hi Wayman. Just an idea for a new topic. Planetary dominants using pullen astrology. I can see your top 3 are Pluto, Saturn and Mercury (in that order). It will be a good topic to write on.

    Mine are Neptune, Saturn and Pluto. No one really writes interpretations on these so it will be good to get your persepctive.

    Would have messaged this privately but no option to do that on here. Unless I must have missed it.

  3. awesome article, i've got an aries rising and my mars is in libra, so im not too sure how that plays out, but thus far in my 34 yrs of life, i've learned when i incorporate more ppl into my successes and victories, instead of taking all of the glory for myself, the more balanced my life is, i seem to attract praise and attention when i give other's their chance to shine and or attempt to glorify their successes.. maybe thats why i have a libra descendant and a mars in libra placement, to temper my aries rising and leo sun.

    1. Hi,

      I have an aries ascendant as well as mars in libra too omg. May I know if your libra is in the 6th or 7th house? My ascendant is 29° thus my mars is in the 6th. And I totally agree on the balance it gives us

  4. Great article! Pretty much EVERYTHING you said about the psyche & nature behind a person who was born with an Aries Ascendant, like myself and all of it's luxuriously easy(HA!) T-Squares that it makes in my chart; Opposite my Libra Jupiter+Saturn+Pluto & square Mercury+Mars+Midheaven, etc. Ouch!, but yea, everything you said about Aries ASC is truly UNCANNILY ACCURATE!!! I thoroughly enjoy your genuine way of explaining things!🖒Thank you!

  5. OH!!! And my Mars is in the 3rd house too, which you gave another spot-on interpretation about in a nutshell!

  6. I have ascendant in aries mars in scorpio in the 7th house. Im really fiery and this completely describes me. Yet its my only fire placement except north node in sagittarius

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  8. "Speaking of “doing”, Mars does also rule one’s sex drive. This is a very important part of life for all of us but it is just a little more important to you when Mars is your chart ruler. If the chart ruler is how you see life, with Mars ruling the chart, sex is life to you. Sometimes, Aries Rising people will be relentlessly and openly horny."

    Nice post! 👍

  9. This was awesome. How does a mars retrograde effect someone with aries ascendant and mars ruling the chart?

  10. I love this post. I'm an aries sun, mercury, venus, saturn, and ascendant. And all those planets are in the first house! I'm pure fire! This post is pure fire!

  11. Hello, Wayman..
    I am aries rising with mars in 8° 12th house, mercury 23° 1st house, sun 15° 12th house, and south node is is at 17°, all of these conjunct to my ascendant, what does this mean to me?

  12. And ascendat is on 16° aries, sorry for my english btw.. And I really like many of your articles, it's all down to the detail..