Different Sun or Ascendant signs usually have different physical characteristics. If a birth time is unknown and the person has a physical characteristic that is not associated with her Sun, Moon or anything else in her horoscope, chances are that it is coming from the Ascendant. This is by no means an exact science, but is very interesting and often works.
Physical and other characteristics traditionally associated with each Ascendant
During the Newark seminar Noel Tyl mentioned the following traditional characteristics associated with each Ascendant (with the caveat that they don’t always work):
Aries rising: Longer and/or pointed jaw*; favors the color red.
Taurus rising: Stocky build.
Gemini rising: Nervous energy – watch for biting of nails, wiggling/tapping of foot (these characteristics can also be observed with strong Uranian energy, e.g. Uranus square Sun.)
Cancer rising: Round face, the pot belly, emotional caring. Color preference: silver and/or white.
Leo rising: Hairline is forward (like Scorpio); grandeur of expression; loves to be in the Sun.
Virgo rising: The distance between the eyes are close together (in order to focus on the minute details, I suppose.)
Libra rising: Carrying a mirror all the time (literally or figuratively); narcissistic look (e.g. John F Kennedy, Bill Clinton.)
Scorpio rising: Hairline is forward; hairy arms.
Sagittarius rising: Large feet; outdoor, rangy look.
Capricorn rising: Oval face, receding hairline. Color preference: black (definitely not pink.)
Aquarius rising: Prominent forehead. Color preference: Sunset color (rust, orange.)
Pisces rising: Dreaminess; wistfulness. Color preference: dark blue.
Conclusion: I have to say I fit quite well with the description for Pisces rising – how about you? Feel free to share through email or comment (or even add your photo for reference!)
* The picture of Bill Cosby (Aries rising) above shows a classic Aries jaw – long and pointed.