When talking about the Descendant, I like to not just focus on the standard “what kind of partner are you attracted to?” angle. I also like to focus on the fact that this represents the “other half” of yourself; the side of you that contradicts the persona, represented by the Ascendant, that you have cultivated. This is why when people meet you, they meet your Ascendant and when they get closer to you and really become an integral part of your life (i.e. your romantic partner or your good friend), they meet your Descendant. People can be confusing and paradoxical, which explains the innate contrast between your general behavior and the “other person” that someone gets acquainted with once your Descendant comes out.
As an Aquarius Rising with a Leo Sun in the 7th, I have always felt like a major contradiction because I am my other half in a very fundamental way (in fact, all Aquarius Risings will feel this way, to some extent, as the Sun, the planet of self, rules the 7th regardless in the chart). My advice with the Descendant is to always love and appreciate these traits within yourself because this will significantly enhance and improve your relationships with others. Like in any relationship, you might not always like the qualities of your other half. I don’t always like, especially now, to admit that I have times where I can be a self-absorbed teenager in an adult’s body, a la Leo. But, to a certain degree and as long as it’s not doing massive damage, you have to find a way to love these qualities anyway because real love involves both the good and the bad.
ARIES DESCENDANT (Libra Ascendant)
You come off as being so nice, accommodating, and pleasant. But, you are actually a real iron fist in a velvet glove. Once people really get to know you, you’re quite fierce and a force to be reckoned with. It’s to a point where your partners might feel as if they have bitten off more than they can chew. Sometimes, that lovely, refined demeanor is just a way of drawing people in and having them exactly where you want them so you can win the game. You’re surprisingly competitive, confrontational, and self-reliant in your relationships, pushing the other to hold their own.
TAURUS DESCENDANT (Scorpio Ascendant)
You possess such a general air of mystery, depth, and complexity. So, it’s quite a surprise for people who get close to you to realize that you often aren’t that much of a puzzle at all. In your romantic relationships and good friendships, you are simple, solid, and laidback to the point of putting others to sleep. It’s as if you put so much energy into playing this part of the enigmatic one that peering behind that veneer is a bit anticlimactic. People then realize that you are much easier to understand and much more level-headed than they initially thought.
GEMINI DESCENDANT (Sagittarius Ascendant)
Your demeanor is very upbeat, straightforward, and philosophical. Yet, there is another side to you that is more logical and thinks everything out. People initially think you are the kind of person who you can’t get down. But, you are much more changeable in your close relationships. You spend so much time looking on the bright side that the other half of you keeps nagging you with evidence that could burst your bubble or others’. You will often connect with your romantic partner or close friend in a way that just lets you bounce all of your thoughts and ideas off of them. You can constantly change your mind in relationships to the point of suddenly becoming another person.
CANCER DESCENDANT (Capricorn Ascendant)
You have an efficient, strong, and capable sort of persona, seeming like you can handle whatever life throws at you. But, you are one of those classic “tough on the outside, soft on the inside” types of people. When someone becomes a real part of your life, they see that vulnerability and those emotions you keep so closely guarded. You spend so much time appearing as if you have it all together. But, this sophisticated, self-sufficient exterior gets set aside so a needier and more sensitive soul can emerge, which makes you such a caregiver in relationships, as well.
LEO DESCENDANT (Aquarius Ascendant)
You generally appear to be a nonchalant, intellectual, and often distant individual. Yet, you can also be very passionate and heartfelt. In your important relationships, you are very warm and can be especially romantic. There is also a huge magnetism and superstar-like charisma that those that get to know you may not be able to get enough of. By being such a cool nonconformist and making your own rules, you reveal a side of yourself that is like a strong-willed artist or performer with his or her own grandiose vision. So, you can actually end up dominating your platonic and romantic partners because of this, revealing a surprisingly large ego or strength of will.
VIRGO DESCENDANT (Pisces Ascendant)
You come off as an ethereal, mysterious person who lives on some other planet or version of reality than the rest of people. But, in getting to know you, a more down-to-earth and sensible picture of you emerges. After all, in order for you to peacefully escape into this other realm, you have to get things together in the real world first. You reveal yourself to be shrewder and more intellectual than you come off. With romantic partners and good friends, you insist on a certain order or practicality in the relationship, tending to all the details and finishing all the work that needs to be done.
LIBRA DESCENDANT (Aries Ascendant)
You present yourself and carry yourself as a ballsy, forward, and headstrong person. Although you generally come off as fearless, take-no-crap person, you definitely have a gentler and more refined side to you. Since you are so eager to barrel full speed ahead into challenges, you often don’t have time to stop and think that much about what you’re doing. In your partnerships, you like to be more thoughtful and think more of the consequences. People can also be surprised at how sweet you turn out to be when they get to know you and you can do a lot to please your lovers or friends.
SCORPIO DESCENDANT (Taurus Ascendant)
Your demeanor is so calm, sweet, and stable that you seem to be the ultimate easygoing type of person. But, there is an intense and tempestuous side of you that emerges strongly in your important relationships. You might spend so much time being patient and even-keeled that you bottle up your passions until you just can’t anymore. Your romantic partners and good friends will eventually realize that you are more complicated and emotionally demanding than they initially realized. But, this eventually leads to relationships that are very deep, enriching, and life-changing.
SAGITTARIUS DESCENDANT (Gemini Ascendant)
Your persona is very scattered, whimsical, and in flux mentally, constantly keeping you in your head. Although you come off as someone who is tough to pin down, when you really let someone into your life, you are a lot more straightforward than you appeared to be. You generally change your mind so frequently that you prefer to be more consistent and full of conviction when you’re close to someone. In fact, you are very opinionated with your significant other or best friend. But, you are also very positive and enthusiastic with them, instead of poking holes in everything with logic.
CAPRICORN DESCENDANT (Cancer Ascendant)
You possess a general air to you that is particularly sensitive, emotionally charged, and vulnerable. But, in terms of your close relationships, you can actually be quite guarded. You are very cautious and skeptical in terms of getting close to someone. It’s as if being so emotionally exposed on a regular basis shows you how insensitive or unreceptive people can be, causing you to put up barriers in terms of getting to know others. Yet, once the trust is earned, you also reveal a very dependable, capable side of yourself that doesn’t waver and is in the relationship for the long haul.
AQUARIUS DESCENDANT (Leo Ascendant)
You have an exterior that is very charismatic, confident, and attention-getting, giving you the persona of the fabulous one. When you form a relationship with someone, though, you do not want all of that attention and praise. In these partnerships, you’re like a famous person who is tired of hearing people kiss his or her ass. In fact, you can often do things to provoke your romantic partner or good friend, shocking them, breaking the rules, or defying their expectations. You are also quite cool, casual, and independent in relationships, yearning for more than enough space and freedom.
PISCES DESCENDANT (Virgo Ascendant)
You carry yourself and generally see yourself as someone who is clear-headed, efficient, and has their act together. Yet, there is another side of yourself that is an outright mess and that also lives in another dimension. You can get so frustrated with the lack of perfection in the real world that you yearn to escape into another world that has that perfect feel. So, when people get to know you, they get to know the part of you that operates on another wavelength. You are also very empathetic and intuitive in romances and good friendships, creating a downright telepathic bond with the other.