Ascendant (Lagna) - A snap shot!

Hello all,

Namaste! Today we are going to discuss the role of the Ascendant in Vedic astrology. What is an ascendant in a horoscope? What is its significance? Can we know more about a person using an ascendant alone?

The following are the perceptions I have found after studying some of the classics in Astrology and looking at charts of family and friends. If anyone has any differing perspectives, I am very much open to discussion and would like to increase my knowledge on this subject. As mentioned before in another post on Vedic astrology, I consider myself as someone standing in front of an ocean called 'Jyothisha (Vedic astrology) awed by its breadth and depth.

So what is an ascendant? It is the zodiacal sign and the specific degree rising on the eastern horizon when a particular person is born. The particular zodiacal sign is considered the first house and the other houses are counted from this particular sign. The 'Graha'(ग्राहः) or the planet ruling this house is called the ascendant lord. Each sign is divided into 30 degrees and the particular degree where the ascendant falls is called the cusp of the first house.

So what does the ascendant show? Ascendant is the persona, which we show to the outside world or the world sees us through the filter of the ascendant. The world perceives us as our ascendant, though inside we may feel ourselves very much like our Sun or Moon sign or even ascendant lord sign. The ascendant house signifies our body as well as the particular nature of our body. For example, an Aries ascendant, which is 1-30 degrees of the natural horoscope (the horoscope counted taking Aries as the first house) has Kuja or Mangala (Mars) as the ascendant lord. Mars is considered a planet in Vedic astrology having an enormous amount of energy, will power and a drive to win a fight if one presents itself. Mars due to the high energy is considered a fiery planet.

 Mangala is the soldier or the army chief among the grahas; so let us think, what does an army chief signify? To become an army chief one should have a sharp mind, mental clarity, enormous energy, a good body structure, ability to lead, a strategist mindset to win the war, knowledge of the science of war (युद्ध तंत्रः) and an ability to have the vision to lead an army. So an Aries ascendant will show all of these capabilities. They are born leaders with a very sharp mind, a sword like mental clarity to cut through all the fluff to reach the core of a matter, ability to lead a team in a project or a war, knowledge of the intimate details of a project to finish it with a long term vision. They also will have a soldier like a body with broad shoulders and an attitude like a winner. And of course, they are always ready for a good, tough and healthy competition.

But as they have an enormous amount of energy, many times they don't know how to control their energy. This can get them into explosive situations. But if they are able to channel this huge amount of energy towards positive endeavors, it can lead to a leader who is able to lead their team or army to victory. Chandra Gupta Maurya or Alexander the great comes to mind.

OK, now instead of just going sign by sign elaborating on each ascendant, why don't we take each sign as an ascendant and assign a particular brand of car to signify the particular personality. All of us like cars, so let us see what car a particular ascendant will go for according to their personality? Definitely, their car will give a clue into their personality and help us in analyzing who they are. Why not have some car talk along with some Astrology?

Aries Ascendant (Mesha): We just discussed the Aries ascendant. Do you know the animal for an Aries? It is the Ram or the male goat.
What car will they select? They may select a red or a bright colored car with a high-speed capacity due to the high energy they exude.Or they can go for a truck like the Dodge Ram to show their massive personality. As they are the leaders they always want to be in the driver's seat. A car that comes to mind is a BMW or a Benz with bright red color with all the accessories. It gives the speed, the look as well as the efficiency to conquer the road.

Taurus Ascendant (Vrishabha): They are the fixed solid sign of the zodiac with a bull for an animal. What does the picture of a bull bring to mind? Massive body structure, solid personality and a calmness in their gait. These ascendants personify the above-said nature. They are slow to anger but can bring great stability to a situation. They are the person whom everybody depends on in a family. What will their car be? It usually will be the dependable SUV or a family van which can take the whole family on a road trip. A Toyota minivan or a Honda/Jeep SUV with solid brake structure and chassis come to mind.

Gemini Ascendant (Mithuna): They are the communicators of the zodiac and are represented by twins. Due to this they usually exhibit a double nature and it is sometimes difficult to judge, which twin will come out at a particular time. They are very fast thinkers and would like to get to places at the speed of their mind. They are fast talkers and like to do their analysis quick. As they like to move around fast, most probably will not go for big bulky cars. The car they choose may be a BMW mini or a small car like a Toyota Camry.

Cancer Ascendant (Karkitaka): They are the mothers or the nurturers of the zodiac.Even a male with this ascendant shows a huge capacity to nurture and take care of others. They are very soft natured and will be the first to give a shoulder to cry for someone in distress.They are signified by the crab.The crab has a very soft body inside a hard shell. So even if they put on a hard look outside, inside they tend to be soft. For them, the car is definitely going to be a minivan with all the accessories so that they are able to travel keeping in mind everyone's comfort.

Leo Ascendant (Simha): They are the king or the lion of the zodiac and they have a huge loving heart and they want to be the center of attention and be in the limelight. They are not petty and don't go for fickle mindedness. They love to shower others with affection and in turn love to become the center of their Universe. They are definitely not going to go for small cars. They like big, bold, bright and majestic cars. Maybe a Bentley or a Jaguar to show off their majestic personality.


Virgo Ascendant (Kanni): They are the worker bee of the Zodiac. They love to do routine chores and analyze their logs and charts.They also have a huge sense of duty and will be the first one to offer a helping hand to a co-worker. They love to be part of a team and work at the back end of a project or a movie set. They will be the camera man or the production assistant who is indispensable but never in the limelight. Their car - definitely one that they can take on errands and may be made into a makeshift studio in case a need arises. A Dodge Caravan or a Dodge RAM van.

Libra Ascendant (Tula): They are the balance of the zodiac. This is the one sign, which can get into the shoes of both sides of an argument and look at the matter from both sides. Due to this capacity, they vacillate between two options and have a tough time to come to a decision. They make good mediators, judges, and attorneys. Their car is definitely one that gives them prestige, a dependable car that can take them to their courthouse and one they can take on a road trip in case they have to attend a case in another city. A BMW, Benz or a Lexus with a steel gray or a black color comes to mind.

Scorpio Ascendant (Vrischika): They are the emotional lot of the zodiac represented by the scorpion. Like the scorpions hiding under the rock, they are secretive in nature and can judge the emotions of others very well. They recognize the undercurrents in a situation and can act accordingly. This is the one sign, which can sting if their path is crossed.Their car will be a dependable, smooth one with definitely tinted windows so that they have their privacy. How about an Acura with tinted glasses even for the front windshield?

Sagittarius Ascendant (Dhanu): They are the bold, brash, direct and expansive sign of the zodiac represented by a centaur.They are very much action oriented and doesn't like the slow and steady approach. Once they decide on something they want to act and finish the project. But when the project gets tough they will be the first one to leave the project hanging in midway. Their car definitely a fast and brash one like a Chevy Camaro or a Ford Mustang.

Capricorn Ascendant (Makara): They are the responsible mountain goat of the zodiac and they are the one with the motto, 'slow and steady wins the race'. When the going gets tough they get going. As they are the mountain goats they are always scaling the mountain to the top in their career as well as their life. Their car always will be the responsible, dependable one, which will not break down in the middle of the trip. Their car will be well maintained and always with a full tank of petrol. A Toyota Prius or an Infiniti definitely.

Aquarius Ascendant (Kumbha): They are the out of the box genius and innovative sign of the zodiac. They are techno savvy, global minded and have a universal citizen attitude. They don't like narrow-mindedness and have the sign of a man with a pot of flowing water. They like to disperse knowledge and wisdom to their fellow human beings. Their car will be something which they don't have to put a lot of time into and is very low maintenance as they don't like to spend too much time on physical things. Maybe a Toyota Corolla or a Honda Accord.

Toyota Sienna
Pisces Ascendant (Meena): They are the dreamers of the zodiac.They love to day dream and make big plans in their mind. They like to go into unknown realms and dimensions in their mind. They are the philosophers and the wise men of the zodiac. They love to teach and guide others using their insight and intuition. Their car most probably will be something they can take to their lectures, very comfortable and low maintenance. A Toyota Sienna or an Innova may be, which is comfortable as well as low maintenance.

This is just a snapshot through the filter of an ascendant. But we humans are complex beings having numerous facets to our personality. Hence each one of us displays shades of the ascendant, ascendant lord, moon sign, sun sign and even the Venus or Jupiter sign. Above that, there comes the interactions of planets (grahas), stars (nakshatras and the aspects they make.

So each one of us is a dynamic puzzle out of which the ascendant is just one puzzle piece but a very important piece at that. Someone who likes to put the horoscope as a puzzle will definitely enjoy the effort and the chance for a sharp mental analysis it provides. It also opens the curtain to the human mind and all the fascinating aspects related to that. Hope all of you enjoyed the quick ride through the ascendants and let us take a small pit stop for now.

I wish you a good weekend and I'll see you next Friday! 😉

Next week: Sri Krishna: An analysis!

Note: All images were taken from Wikimedia Commons and

Ralph Waldo Emerson writes, "There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance ; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better for worse as his portion that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried".  

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