The Ascendant

The Ascendant
by Jodie Forrest
Seven Paws Press 2007

The Ascendant by Jodie Forrest

How do you face the world? Are you centered? Are you poised? How well do you handle blind dates and job interviews? Your astrological Ascendant, the sign rising in the east at your birth, is the face you wear in the world, your social self, your astrological “clothing.” It’s just as important in your birth chart as your Sun and Moon. How well do you really understand it?

Join astrologer and novelist Jodie Forrest as she examines the Ascendant through the lenses of the arts, psychology, relationships, evolutionary astrology and metaphysics. Beginners or professional astrologers will deepen their knowledge of the rising sign.

With exercises for further study, topics include:

  • Why the Ascendant may be the most overlooked and least understood member of the Primal Triad (Sun, Moon, and Ascendant).
  • What exactly is the Ascendant?
  • Several working metaphors for the Ascendant, and how to apply them when analyzing charts
  • How the Ascendant interacts with the Sun and the Moon
  • The ruler of the natal Ascendant
  • Aspects to the natal Ascendant
  • Dynamic events involving the Ascendant (transits, progressions and arcs)
  • Rectification tips for the Ascendant
Includes an extensive Ascendant “cookbook” for each rising sign. $15.95
ISBN 978-0-9790677-0-9, trade paperback, 240 pages.

"No matter what your approach to astrology, Jodie Forrest's The Ascendant is a brilliant body of work, worthy to become a text for seekers in the 21st century. It is rich, comprehensive, layered, textured, and thus suitable for every level of astrological study. From the first page to the last, what beams through the entire book is its freshness and crystal clarity. You just can't beat information born out of love and experience. Read it and see for yourself."
—Michael Lutin, Vanity Fair astrologer, author Sunshines: The Astrology of Being Happy.

"In our culture, appearances can make or break us. Jodie Forrest gives new meaning to the Ascendant with this wonderfully revealing book in a very informative and insightful way."
—KT, The Astrologer (formerly known as KELLI FOX), publisher of

"Jodie Forrest does something rare here. With persuasion and elegance, she peels back layers of static description and reveals the dynamic role of the Ascendant with its mysterious me /not me quality. She takes us through style, persona, rulership and aspects, all the while maintaining the sense of how things shift over time, showing us the multiple paths offered by each rising sign, and how they move us into the great adventure we call life."
—Lynn Bell, author, Cycles of Light; tutor, Centre for Psychological Astrology.

"Takes the lid off the Ascendant to reveal multiple layers of meaning for this vital yet underexplored part of the birth chart. With wide-ranging insights and exercises, drawing on astrology, psychology and the arts, this powerful book will spark innumerable discoveries for beginners and seasoned pros."
—Jeff Jawer, author, Your Astrology Guide annual; columnist,, AOL, and

"One of the most complete, insightful yet whimsical looks at the Ascendant you could hope for—written with the skill and expertise of a professional astrologer, a superb wordsmith and a fantasy novelist. The Ascendant has always been a part of the horoscope somewhat glossed over to make room for the major emphasis on the houses, planets and aspects. Jodie Forrest puts the Ascendant in its own spotlight and takes it to the depth of exploration it so rightly deserves. Ms. Forrest brings the reader wonderful imagery that has universal appeal, as well as material specific to each sign. She’s given both the lay person and the professional astrologer a most practical and usable guide to understanding the Ascendant, that heretofore mysterious window on our world and our Self."
—Carol Lavoie, certified counseling astrologer, NCGR Level IV; co-owner, Alphee Lavoie’s Air Software, .

"I love this book! As a teacher of astrology for 20 years, I have yet to come across a book that gives students something to really sink their teeth into about the Ascendant—until now! Jodie Forrest’s writing style and presentation allow the reader to truly enjoy and absorb the information. I will recommend this book to my students as a must read!"
—Laura Nalbandian (Gerking), astrologer, teacher; owner/coordinator of Northwest Astrology Conference; coordinator of United Astrology Congress 2002; Founding Board Member, Kepler College of Astrological Arts and Sciences.

"Jodie Forrest's warm, accessible writing style conveys a wealth of information, knowledge and wisdom both familiar and new. A great book for beginners, a good refresher for the committed student, and a really enjoyable read for seasoned astrologers who’ll surely find new ideas and images. Truly a valuable addition to the existing astrological literature."
—Melanie Reinhart, B.A.; D.F.Astrol.S.; author, Chiron and the Healing Journey.

"If you've wished for a smart, psychologically-savvy, spiritually-inspired book about rising signs, Jodie Forrest is your genie. Here's something truly crisp and insightful, with exercises that involve the reader in the discovery process."
—Philip Sedgwick, astrologer/writer.

The Ascendant, reviewed by Donna Van Toen for The NCGR Newsletter

This is a unique book. Part essays on the ascendant, part cookbook, and part study guide, it examines the ascendant from many different perspectives—the arts (acting and the ascendant), psychology (in terms of the ascendant and Jung’s concept of the persona,) in terms of evolutionary astrology, and in terms about what the ascendant has to say about how you face the world and people’s first impressions of you.

There are some tips on how to spot each of the rising signs through their mannerisms—how they move, how they talk, and how they dress—as well as some tips on determining the correct ascendant if you’re ever faced with a client with an uncertain birth time. There’s even a chapter on transits, progressions, and arcs to the ascendant.

Nearly all of these chapters offer supplemental techniques for gaining a better understanding of the ascendant. These range from reading How To Read a Person Like a Book (Gerard Nierenberg), to pulling all your charts of one particular Sun sign dividing them according to ascendant, and looking for similar patterns for those with the same rising sign or even rising signs of the same element, to checking out, where there are many pictures of people along with Sun sign, Moon sign, and rising sign.

The cookbook section covers each ascendant from pretty much every perspective—the masks each ascendant wears, the persona and the other, the vehicle and the terrain to be covered in this lifetime, and more. There’s also a brief section of general information on the planets and Moon’s Nodes in the first house.

There are no charts, and there is neither a bibliography nor an index. The latter is scarcely needed, since the table of contents is very thorough. A recommended reading list might have been nice, though this book is so thorough that it’s scarcely essential.

Forrest is an evocative and clear writer, but there was at least one instance where it would have been nice to see the client’s chart being described, and to see if her perceptions tallied with mine. I also had the feeling that Forrest had much more to say but for one reason or another did not. Maybe that’s simply a case of enjoying her writing so much that I wanted more. Since she waited 20 years to write this book, I got the distinct feeling that her in-depth and clear instincts were the tip of the astrological iceberg of her knowledge. It made me want to book her for a lecture or consultation to see what else she might say.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it highly to all levels from beginner to teacher. It is both well-written and solid and fills a gap in existing literature.

reviewed by Donna Van Toen, December 06-January 07 NCGR Newsletter.
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