In studying Vedic Astrology, there are simple aphorisms associated with a chart depending on the Rising Sign presented. There is a similar view presented by the 13th Century astrologer, Guido Bonatti in his 146 Considerations:
“The 125th consideration is that you look to see, in nativities or questions, what sign is ascending: if it were the sign of a planet having two domiciles, the native or querent will be engaged in those things which are signified by the other domicile of that planet, and its accidents will happen to him easily, and he himself will be the reason why they will happen to him” (146 Considerations, Guido Bonatti, translated by Benjamin Dykes).
The text then goes on to present some descriptions for the following rising signs: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. Bonatti doesn’t provide descriptions for Cancer or Leo rising, because the Sun and Moon don’t have rulership over other signs (although I personally would keep Aries and Taurus in mind when considering a Leo or Cancer rising chart respectively).
This may appear obvious or simple to many, by virtue of the fact that a planet will always involve the matters presented by the signs it rules upon the issue regarding its local determination by position in a chart. Nevertheless, a short study of this Consideration yields some interesting results, as I will present here now.
For the sake of simplicity, we are assuming whole sign or equal houses, and in practice this holds true unless there are factors that are much removed from these significations, in which case, these considerations are still true but in a general sort of way. I have added in the sign in which the ruler of the rising sign is exalted, as an indication of the area of life that is a powerful though infrequent need or desire.
Aries Rising: Scorpio is the 8th house. Capricorn is the 10th house.
Taurus Rising: Libra is the 6th house. Pisces is the 11th house.
Gemini Rising: Virgo is the 4th house.
Cancer Rising: Taurus is the 11th house.
Leo Rising: Aries is the 9th house.
Virgo Rising: Gemini is the 10th house.
Libra Rising: Taurus is the 8th house. Pisces is the 6th house.
Scorpio Rising: Aries is the 6th house. Capricorn is the 3rd house.
Sagittarius Rising: Pisces is the 4th house. Cancer is the 8th house.
Capricorn Rising: Aquarius is the 2nd house. Libra is the 10th house.
Aquarius Rising: Capricorn is the 12th house. Libra is the 9th house.
Pisces Rising: Sagittarius is the 10th house. Cancer is the 5th house.
Despite being opposing signs, Leo and Aquarius share a common 9th house theme in life. You may find that Leo and Aquarius Rising people can find common ground in the area of travel or higher education. Both wish to explore and impress upon the world their influence, although perhaps for different reasons. Leo wishes to be centre-stage and appreciated, while Aquarius endeavours to innovate and perhaps is interested in a wider world view which can be assimilated and contrasted with others.
An interesting point about Aquarius rising, is that they never seem to struggle financially in life, and they always find a way. This is not surprising, having both money houses (11th and 2nd houses) ruled by Jupiter.
Despite being opposing signs, Taurus and Scorpio share a common 6th house theme in life. Classically, Taurus and Scorpio are infamous for their proclivity for a hedonistic or extreme lifestyle involving the senses. A life full of such activities would incline the physical body to illness (6th house). This would also apply even if one considered the 6th house as one’s work (what one does with one’s hands). Being the Joy of Mars, the 6th house has a distinct laborious or injurious theme about it. A tendency to resist change (physically with Taurus, and emotionally with Scorpio) can lead to stress being held in the body. Both can have a penchant toward being workaholic. In addition, following a more traditional meaning of the 6th house as slavery, a possible indication here is that Scorpio and Taurus Rising individuals have a need to dominate over others in their work environment. Scorpio Rising because they have a need to lead (Aries 6th house), and Taurus Rising as they work through co-dependency issues at work (Libra 6th house).
Both Taurus Rising and Cancer Rising have an exaltation in the 11th house. One would understand this to indicate that reliable, dependable friendships are extremely important to these signs and how they view life, or that friends play a major role in their life at some point. Taurus Rising wants friends that increase their comfort in life (Pisces 11th house), and Cancer Rising wants friends who are financially well-off and dependable (Taurus 11th house).
The superior fixed signs (Leo and Aquarius) share a 9th house signification, and the inferior fixed signs (Taurus and Scorpio) share a 6th house signification. If there is an affliction coming from Leo or Aquarius, it may be possible to find a common reason or philosophy that can bring about resolution, but if there is an affliction from Scorpio or Taurus, there needs to be some deformation or degradation and much effort or work applied. With Taurus, there is a distinct possibility that friends may help (exaltation 11th house). With Scorpio, their siblings or younger work colleagues may assist, or they may channel frustration into a compendium of writings (3rd house exaltation). On the other hand, Leo and Aquarius would prefer some valuable alone time under such stressful circumstances; Aquarius preferring the more solitary route having a 12th house signification, and Leo pushes through with their own self-esteem or in a pinch, perhaps seeking a more adventurous 9th house route.
Both Aries and Capricorn Rising have an exaltation in the 10th house, indicating that these signs can work very well together on a demanding or challenging project or professional endeavour because both signs have a sense of ambition and both thrive in challenging situations. Not surprisingly Capricorn has the more financial focus here, with a signification also in the 2nd house (Aquarius). Virgo Rising also has signification to the 10th house, but it is probably more of a highly personal professional quest or pet project that becomes larger than life, rather than starting out as anything with a corporate vibe.
Aries and Libra Rising both have shared signification of the 8th house of anxiety, distress associated with loss especially within a relationship context. Bonatti says these Rising signs are both engaged in activities which can bring about their ruin. Mars prefers Scorpio over Aries (wherein his excessive heat and restlessness is cooled), and Venus prefers Taurus over Libra (Taurus being the only sign where both the feminine planets the Moon and Venus have major dignity). Perhaps the association between the signs each planet doesn’t prefer with the 8th house points to the nature of desire itself (Venus and Mars having most activity over the formation and achievement of desire) in that it arises out of a personal need, but the flipside of it is anxiety over the security of the object of desire especially when in relationship with others. Both Aries and Libra Rising are therefore keenly aware of the issues arising out of shared responsibility and finances within relationships. Aries says, “What can I get from this exchange?”, and Libra says, “What do I have to provide in this exchange?”
Libra has an exaltation in the 6th house, so together with Scorpio and Taurus, any crisis of exchange (usually materially) that arises out of a sense of lack within a relationship (Taurus 8th house), can bring open up the body to illness albeit not as directly as it does for Scorpio and Taurus.
Sagittarius Rising has an exaltation signification in the 8th house of a Cancerian nature – issues of how material exchange has happened in the past (especially with respect to home life) – plays an important role in their life view. They can also feel incredibly responsible for the financial survival of those with whom they form a relationship, so for Sagittarius Rising, getting into a steady relationship is perhaps the one area of life that is not entered into lightly, nor is it a laughing matter.
Virgo Rising has an tendency toward self-criticism as the sign on the Ascendant is both the domicile and exaltation of Mercury, with this quest for zero defect associated with their career activities (10th house Gemini).
On the flip side, for Gemini Rising, a fulfilling and functional home environment is a prominent theme in their life, with Virgo on the 4th house. Due to the double rulership Mercury has in Virgo, the home issues are more poignant for Gemini Rising than they are for Sagittarius Rising, the latter perhaps identifying very strongly or too strongly with the ideals set forth by the family (Pisces 4th house).
Last but not least, Pisces Rising being the only one out of the twelve to have a major dignity signification to the 5th house of children and personal pleasures in life. With a Cancerian vibe, they may enjoy teaching and mentoring children, and on a personal level, enjoy being children themselves (whether in their imagination space, or in reality). For these people above all else, home is where they have fun.
These are just a few thoughts that come to mind when studying what the major dignities of Domicile and Exaltation indicate about each sign but also what they indicate as common strengths and shared concerns among them. Although I have not written it down in this article, it is equally instructive and absorbing a study to understand what the major debilities of Fall and Detriment say about the signs as they take turns rising in charts (with the 7th sign signification as an exception of course, being a common Detriment to all the signs that are Rising).
The interesting point here, and one which I am researching, is that Bonatti presents this Consideration as valid both from the point of view of understanding natal charts, but also in view of Horary questions. Apart from simply associating the wilful action of the Rising sign with its “brother” sign, I wanted to understand if the signs had any common features coming out of this consideration. These considerations, I hypothesize, could then be used to add more detail in understanding the connections between a Horary chart and the Nativity of the Querent asking the question. In fact, I am exploring this Congruency between the Natal chart and its derivative Solar Return charts as well. These will form part of future studies and articles.