The Soul Purpose of your Rising Sign; Part One

Light is undiminishable, eternal and omni-present. In every religion that existed these qualities have been recognized as divine. So that we are forced to the conclusion that light—actual sensible light—is indeed the direct vehicle of divinity: it is the consciousness of God. — Rodney Collin, The Theory of Celestial Influence

One of the major differences between traditional astrology and soul-centered astrology is the focus on the ascendant or rising sign of the natal chart. The emphasis in traditional astrology is usually placed on the sun sign and the position of the sun by house, sign, and aspect in the horoscope. The sun is seen as representing the life principle, our major creative impulse, and our fundamental sense of individåuality. All of this is true—from the level of the personality. In soul-centered astrology, we consider the rising sign as the incarnating point of the Presence of the Soul. We look to the rising sign to give us hints as to the reason for the present incarnation. In this respect, we judge the rising sign astrologically from the perspective of its Ray quality, applying this understanding of the Rays (as we have discussed in numerous previous articles in this series), to the essential esoteric meaning of the sign on the ascendant. In soul-centered astrology therefore, the rising sign tells us a lot about the future: why we are here, what we came to so, and the nature of our Soul’s purpose. We are helped further along in our assessment of this essential purpose by judging the placement of that particular rising sign’s esoteric planetary ruler in the natal horoscope.

And what of the Sun? In soul-centered astrology, we can say that the Sun in its sign has four primary purposes:

  • It reveals the energies, temperament, and characteristics of the present incarnation.

  • It speaks about the nature of the personality life and the tools and talents, our “equipment”, brought over from previous lifetimes in order to be used for the present.

  • It is the force field through which the personality expresses itself and thus comes into its own self-awareness.

  • It reveals certain indications about the Ray makeup of the personality.

Let´s now begin our exploration of each of the twelve signs of the zodiac, taken as the rising sign in the soul-centered chart. I will also mention the esoteric ruler of each of the signs and make a few comments about this planet in order to help further your own investigation and study of your horoscope. 

ARIES: THE LIGHT OF LIGHT ITSELF
This is the dim point of light found at the center of the cycle of manifestation, faint and flickering. It is the “searchlight of the Logos, seeking that which can be used” for divine expression.

People born with Aries rising are here to teach and learn about the Right Use of Will. Aries is the initiating expressing of the Will-to-Be. It is the ever pulsating Force of Life that emerges through the creative, fiery ethers, traveling through all the various planes of the involutionary and evolutionary schemes of life, until it anchors itself in the world of forms. Aries seeks to manifest: “Let there be Light!” he says, “And let Light stimulate Form into self-awareness!”

As an expression of the Will/Power of Divinity, Aries is the personification of the First Ray. As the directing and controlling urge for the expression of willpower in the outer world of forms, Aries is also endowed with the energies of the Seventh Ray of Order. As the “Light of Life Itself”, the Ram is a pure emanation from the Mind of God—that place, as it states in the Great Invocation “where the Will of God is known”. This makes Aries the initiating force for the birthplace of ideas. The Ancient Wisdom tells us that the energy of Life follows thought. As we think a thing into manifestation, so it becomes. You therefore should take a look at Mercury in your chart, for this planet is the esoteric ruler of Aries. The position of Mercury in your horoscope will tell you much about how you are to use your will to be the messenger of your Soul’s purpose in the present incarnation. The Soul-centered, Mercury-ruled individual with Aries on the ascendant is able to arouse, stimulate and infuse a new focus of awareness into any activity. This focus is based on the realization that all ideas coming from the Soul are to be of benefit to humanity. It is this perceptive, penetrating, and intuitively based mind that is the real “weapon” of the Aries spiritual warrior. Aries is thus the fiery channel of expression for the birthing of those ideas that further our individual as well as our collective evolution.

TAURUS: THE PENETRATING LIGHT OF THE PATH 
This is a beam of light, streaming forth from the point in Aries, and revealing the area of light control.

The Soul purpose for a person who has Taurus rising in their chart has a great deal to do with the principle of illumination. His or her task is to irradiate the physical world with consciousness and by so doing, uplift the material plane. Quite a job! This is done by allowing the Light of the Divine Will (Aries) to penetrate all solidified forms. The testing ground and the primary challenge for the person with a Taurus ascendant has to do with not becoming attached to and trapped within the very same physical plane that Taurus seeks to enlighten. Taurus is primarily a sign of desire, desire in form. We have to remember that on the personality level, Taurus’ motto is: “I have therefore I am”.

The life of a person attempting to walk the Path of Light is required to transform the desire for material things into spiritual aspiration. This often surfaces in the urge to liberate oneself as well as others from the attachment to matter. One of the world’s greatest Teachers and Initiates was the Buddha. He is said to have been born, reached enlightenment, and died in the sign of Taurus. The Buddha taught that the path of detachment from desire is the vehicle for the entrance of Light, i.e. the entrance of Creative Will. This tension of transmutation is embodied in the Fourth Ray which is the Ray of the Bull. As you may recall from previous articles, the Fourth stands as the intermediary between the three higher Rays of Spirit and the three lesser Rays of form.

The Soul purpose of a Taurus ascendant not only involves freeing oneself from attachments to material forms. It also has to do with helping to break such attachments in other people’s lives so that the bounty of the Earth can be distributed fairly to all the world’s children. Taurus is helped in this task through its esoteric ruling planet, Vulcan. Vulcan is the “Blacksmith of the Gods” and through his fires he transforms and refines all forms so that they may be made more useful to the Soul. Vulcan is found within 8 degrees of the position of your Sun. 

GEMINI: THE LIGHT OF INTERPLAY 
This is a line of light beams, revealing that which opposes or the basic duality of manifestation, the relationship of spirit and of form. It is the conscious light of that relationship.

The primary function of the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces) is to produce a constant flux, a never-ending sense of movement, in order to provide a wide field of expression for the life of the Soul. It is in the gathering of life experiences, based on the movement of relatedness and relationship that is the Soul purpose of a Gemini ascendant. Gemini relates, that is its job. The Soul also relates. It is primarily concerned with connectedness. In its most essential capacity, the Soul is the Way through which Spirit connects to Matter and Matter to Spirit. The Soul stands in the middle; the Soul is the Middle Way .

As the sign most significant of relatedness, Gemini functions as a vehicle for the Second Ray of Love/Wisdom. It has as its Soul ruler, the planet Venus which is considered by esoteric astrologers to be the most highly evolved planet in the solar system. Like the Soul, Venus embodies the “urge to merge”. Venus seeks to unite and blend and by so doing, birth into life a greater refinement than existed beforehand. On the Soul level, the person with Gemini rising is not an expression of duality but an agent of harmony. Venus is the planetary Lord of the Fifth Ray, the Ray of the Concrete Mind. It is through Gemini (and its exoteric relationship to Mercury), that Venus may express her focus of union and communion. If Gemini is on your ascendant, look to the position of Venus in your natal chart to see how you may more impersonally bring love into other people’s lives and thus fulfill your Soul purpose. This will be achieved through some form of service that involves bringing together and harmonizing individuals and groups of people. In this way, you may be an effective agent of communication, sharing with others Venus’s Law, the Law of Right Human Relationships. 

CANCER: THE LIGHT WITHIN THE FORM 
This is the diffused light of substance itself, the “dark light” of matter…It is the light awaiting the stimulation coming from the soul light.

The Ancient Wisdom Teachings tell us that Cancer is “the Gate in”. It is the place where the Soul takes its first physical incarnation for a particular cycle of evolutionary unfoldment. This is one reason why Cancers are always so concerned with their home, and are constantly seeking a secure place in which to roost. The purpose of an incarnation taken with Cancer rising has a great deal to do with the anchoring of foundations, a firm base upon which future incarnations may be built. Eventually the experiences of these incarnations synthesize and culminate when we reach “the Gate out” through Cancer’s polarity sign, Capricorn. When highly developed, Cancer not only has created this firm sense of spiritual foundation (anchored through impersonal love), but also provides the opportunity for giving out a special type of nourishment, one which helps and supports others to come to the realization of their own Soul’s purpose.

Rays Three and Seven work through Cancer. Ray Three is called “the Mother Ray” as it is the Ray of Active Intelligence. It is from mind that all manifestation emerges and Cancer is without doubt the “Mother Sign”. On the level of the Soul, this birthing, nurturing, and mothering is not done through the emotions of the personality. The source of personality centered emotions is rooted in the solar plexus and is thus prejudiced by personal concerns of loss or gain, victory or defeat. These very personal conditions and the survival fears so connected with them are all under the influence of the Moon and the individual’s “biological karma”. It is not the Moon who rules Cancer on the Soul level, it is Neptune .

Cancer’s other Ray energy is Seven. The Seventh Ray is concerned with the interconnectedness existing in all forms of nature. The universally loving vibrations of Neptune endow the soul-centered Cancer with the ability to nurture and protect all of the world’s forms: mineral, vegetable, animal, and human. Neptune bathes the Soul purpose of a person with Cancer rising in the universal waters of transpersonal love. This then becomes the power of love, the Soul, as healer. Look to the position of Neptune in your chart to see where this potential for healing is in your chart. 

LEO: THE LIGHT OF THE SOUL 
A reflected point of light logoic or divine. The light diffused in Cancer focuses and reveals eventually a point.

As Leo is ruled by the Sun, the Soul purpose of a person with Leo on the ascendant is intimately related to the Spiritual purpose for the solar system. This is first and foremost, the evolution of consciousness. In human life in general and in a Leo-ascendant’s life in particular, this translates as the activation of self-consciousness. Once we know that we are indeed an individual self—self-demonstrating and self-creating—we then come to know ourselves as an extension of universal creativity. This awareness unfolds within us the quality of unconditional love. It is in this process that the Soul-centered, Leo-ascendant has his or her task and reward. In order to experience the nature of such transpersonal love as it may operate through us in an individual way, human evolution must pass out of the mass consciousness found in the sign Cancer, and into the intense self-consciousness of Leo.

Leo is found on the First and Fifth Rays of manifestation. The First Ray relates to the intense, purifying action of fire and the physical form of the sun. The Soul purpose of these flames as well as Leo’s path, is to burn and destroy anything which hinders the progress of the Creative Will. This Will is in reality, the Will-to-Love as the Sun, Leo’s ruler both traditionally and esoterically, is a star of the Second Ray of Love/Wisdom. Leo is also found on the Fifth Ray of the Concrete Mind. Thus Leo is also very strongly related to Venus, the planetary ruler of that Ray. Look to the placement of the Sun in your horoscope and you will find where the shadow of the personality has to be burned in order to reveal the Light of the Soul. Venus will give you a hint as to what techniques of communication you may use in order to concretize your creative impulses into the practical world of your human relationships. 

VIRGO: THE BLENDED DUAL LIGHT
Two lights are seen—one bright and strong, the light of form; one faint and dim, the light of God. This light is distinguished by a waxing of one and the waning of the other. It differs from the light in Gemini.

Virgo represents the inner gestation and growth of the Soul force within each of us. This is the sign of pregnancy and on an esoteric level, Virgo is ruled by the Moon, Mother of all Forms. These forms of life and the Mother Principle which creates them, both shield and nurture, protect and prepare the Inner Light. The Mother gathers all the nutrients necessary to feed her unborn child and then, at the right moment in the cycle of evolution, the Child is born into the world. The Soul purpose of a person with Virgo rising is to choose with profound discrimination the right methods, processes, techniques, that will allow his or her “Inner Child” (the Soul) to be born. The evolutionary stage of human development indicated by having Virgo on the ascendant is the awakening of our inner, subjective life. This is the quickening of the Soul’s Presence, but the consciousness of the Soul is yet to be born. This is the Virgo rising person’s real job! It will be then that Virgo’s may take his or her true place in the world and create a real sense of self-fulfillment be achieved. Look to the position of the Moon in your chart in order to find where such opportunities for nurturing and growth appear in your horoscope.

Two of the Rays work through Virgo: the Second and the Sixth. It is through the Second Ray that Virgo develops its orientation to Love and the necessary Wisdom which may carry that subjective life and its loving consciousness into the practical world of forms. The Sixth Ray of Devotion leads a person with Virgo rising to the Path by which he or she may cultivate the type of personal service to humanity which allows Soul purpose to flourish.