Ascendant = 1st House / 12th house

1st House: We develop our ego in order to have a stable reference point. We fortify it through various props (work, status, relationships, etc) and character development. This is all good and necessary, but we need to know that ego is basically a fiction (a persona, or a mask) that is shaped by all of the accumulated experience of your past.

12th House: The previously defined personality doesn’t work anymore. Something occurs that might perhaps feel like a failure to the ego, making it realize its limitation. In the best case, you forget about yourself for a bit, because of the total shock or newness or awesomeness of the experience. You expand, connect to the universe through nature, art, spirit…You begin to awaken to the oneness that you’re a part of.

Ascendant – the point of reference, the point of stability – reside between these two Houses. If you’re trying to find stability through your personality alone (i.e too far into the 1st House), you will experience the limitation through some 12th house experience. If you’re too far into the 12th house, you may not know who you are, and begin to lose the boundary and focus necessary for stability.

Most of us are stuck in the 1st house, in the narrowly defined personality, and that is why 12th house practices such as meditation (or simply taking a walk in nature with an open heart) can gently expand your awareness, bringing you back in balance.

About Hiroki Niizato

Hiroki Niizato is a professional consulting astrologer in Florida, serving clients in US and abroad. He has been practicing astrology professionally since 2001. Hiroki is a highest honor graduate of the demanding Master’s Degree Certification Course in Astrology by Noel Tyl.

You can contact Hiroki via email at: or schedule a consultation.


  1. Hi I was born at 11 April and I asked my mom what time I was born she said 8 pm but she doesn’t know what the exact minute and I try different minute I have asc in scorpio and I try another minute like 8:50 the Sagittarius asc shows. I have moon in sag and sun in Aries but I confuse in my rising. Help me

    • Hi Aleksandra, that’s a tough one – you might need to feel out the difference between Scorpio and Sagittarius and see which one feels better to you. For example, with Aries Sun and Sagittarius Moon suggesting extraversion, any psychological inclination and introversion would be attributed to a Scorpio rising.

  2. Hello! I’ve been studying a lot and feel I have a fairly good understanding of Astrology but I’m not good at putting the pieces together, to apply it to my life.
    I have my North Node at 29 degrees Leo, Virgo Ascendant with Mars and Jupiter at 1 and 4 degrees Virgo, in the 12th house. Saturn is conjunct the Black Moon at about 14-16 degrees Virgo. Pluto is in my 2nd house (squaring transiting Pluto in 5th house) but positively aspects Neptune in Sagittarius. And my moon is Scorpio tightly conjunct Uranus. I also have a T square, with Neptune at the center.
    I feel like I have a lot going on, in my chart… and the past several years have been the worst of my life! But I feel like I’ve grown a lot, spiritually and have faith that things are going to get better.
    My Sun is Pisces conjunct Mercury, too… btw… 7th house and part of the T square.
    I just wondered if you might have some insight, that hopefully will help strengthen my hope.
    Thank you!

    • Hi Leigh Anna, for an in-depth analysis of your horoscope, please consider scheduling a private session, thank you.

      • Yes, in hindsight I worried that I had asked too much. I would absolutely love to schedule a session but b/c of the hardships of the past few years, I’ve been out of work and extremely depressed…. so, I simply cannot afford one at this time.
        You appear to be extremely knowledgeable and personable though, so I will try to sometime in the future.
        I sense that you are much more trustworthy than a lot of other readers I have seen online.
        Best wishes to you!

  3. I have 1st house, 12th house and ASC in capricorn. The persona is quite correct too, and I think I’m on a phase to find my self again (which I can safely say I definitely there, just not 100% yet).

    Pluto and Saturn are currently in Capricorn. So things are quite rough.

  4. Hi I was born in north vancouver, on march 24th at 2:38pm. I am so confused as I am trying to map out my chart. But it seems like my rising sign/ ascendent is in the 12th house and not the one. Is this possible? What does it mean? Please help me.

    • Hi Allana, Ascendant is the cusp of the 1st house, so it defines the boundary between 12th and the 1st house. The sign is separate from a house – a house can start at a middle of a sign. Probably this is the source of confusion – I recommend reading some basic theory text on astrology.

  5. What about the ones stuck in the 12th house? Sun, Venus, Mercury(chart ruler) all in Taurus in 12th house with no planets in 1st. Any suggestions?

  6. i love you article !! How would you then find balance if you too far into the 12th house ?

    • Hi Kay, maybe what is experienced on the inside should be expressed at some point. So bringing your private insights into the realm of action might help with the balance.

  7. Hi. My daughter has saturn on asc so close it is hard to say is it in 1 or 12 house. She will have saturn on asc in Solar return next year (She will be 14). Would you interpert that differently for someone who has it in natal chart? Changing school that year so I am worried. Thank you for your advice

    • Hi Maja, if her natal Saturn is within a few degrees of the Ascendant, you can interpret it as entering the 1st house.

      Solar return is a different beast and I normally don’t use it, but in this case it seems to be echoing her natal chart, so the interpretation will be similar to how you read it natally – feeling inhibited in her personal expression, needing to mature in order to relate successfully, etc…

  8. Hello..great article. Your insights are very interesting.
    I was wondering if you can shed any additional light with an aspect.

    I have Virgo rising, with venus conjuct Asc. from the 12th house. 1.3 degreee separation. Venus also squares the MC. (ven 16°/asc 17°)

    what would you say is the natal significance of that placing? also how should I better prepare for the anticipated neptune opposition coming up. I have read your article about this and found it fascinating.

    Mercury sits @ Cancer in 11th house forming a T square with 2nd house Uranus in Libra and 8th house Mars/Aries. Mercury also trines a Sagitarius Moon/Neptune conjuction in the 3rd house.


    • Hi there, Venus on the Ascendant suggests the importance of being appreciated by others, in order for you to feel confident.

      Virgo placement adds a kind of emotional astuteness, although perhaps you can talk about emotions without necessary feeling them. For a more holistic understanding of your entire chart, please consider scheduling a private consultation.

  9. Hello, I don’t know if its correct but when I give my birthdate, Scorpio is my ascendent and Scorpio is in my 12th house, so its in both. However theres a stellium of planets in saggitarius in house 1. My north node is Taurus 5th house, and Pluto is in Scorpio in House 11 south as
    well. I don’t understand it all so much. But Scorpio ascendant seemingly so, though Saturn in 1st in Sag seems to bring some reticence. Scorpio in the 12th they reckon can be taken advantage of, power yes that does happen. Pisces sun in 3rd.
    You’re astro writings are top of the list

    • Hi Tom, make sure you’ve entered your correct birth time, so you can get the accurate Ascendant. Only after doing that you can start looking at houses. Glad you’re enjoying the site!

  10. The 12th house has started to perplex me. Mostly because after going to numerous pages regarding the matter I wanted an answer to I kept getting different answers.

    The question I had involved the ‘end’ of the 12th house near the ascendent. I read somewhere that this area (usually 5degrees to the asc) is sometimes called the dark half of the acendent, as in the part of us we’re oblivious too I assume.

    Of course this all sounds rather different to what specifically your discussing here and I’m asking this because I looked through your other article relating to planets in the 12th and saw your response regarding a natal saturn in the 12th.

    But I have this chart of an acquaintance who’s gotten together with someone and after learning their basic birth times discovered she has saturn in his 12th very close to the ascendent, his hidden self. I’ve heard some say people with this placement with teach and discipline the house person in whatever things they’re oblivious to in the 12th house, while others say why may undermine and drain them.

    At first sight I would make the assumption that such a placement in what seems to be such a vulnerable place would suggest she might be making him feel trapped or governed in some unseen way and would therefore be a source of anxiety.

    He has his ascendent in 11.06 sagittarius, her saturn is 5.57 sagittarius.

    Maybe I’m just seeing things but with so many varied interpretations out there I’m really not sure, I’ve read that the natal saturn in the 12th leads to some of the worst depression issues that are ever documented in astrology because saturn adds to a hopeless and imprisoned feeling of the 12th house.

    Hoping this isn;t too off topic but could you explain what you think such a placement in synastry could be? A persons saturn in anothers 12th just conjuncting the asc?

  11. Hello Hiroki, i have my venus in 8 grades aquarius, asteroid aphrodite in 12 grades aquarius and ascendant in 15 grades aquarius. Also have lilith in 22 grades aquarius conjunct pholus and Kallisto. Im always insecured and worried about how i look ..and if people like me or not. Obsessed with my image. I guess people like me a lot ..but i dont have a real sensation of that…. Which energy do you think is stronger? Thank you so much….

  12. I have venus at 4 degrees Capricorn in the 12th house and my ascendant at 29 degrees Capricorn. They are considered conjunct by sign, I guess, but when I read about Venus conjunct ascendant I can relate to it a lot despite them not being within 10 degrees. I also get a lot of compliments about my appearance pretty much on a daily basis but at the same time I struggle a lot with this feeling like I really don’t know what I look like and have a lot of insecurity about my appearance in general despite having good days. The only good thing about this is that people just think I’m very humble. Any thoughts on this? My midheaven is Scorpio at 14 degrees in house 10 and also conjunct my Pluto in Scorpio at 19 degrees house 10. Maybe this would also lend some power to my projected image that people keep picking up on? Usually when people first meet me their initial feelings are that I’m intimidating and unapproachable/mysterious. When they get to know my warm Sagittarius sun and moon though, it surprises them every time.

    • Hi there, physical attractiveness doesn’t depend on your Venus being on the Ascendant, so you wouldn’t necessarily connect your 12th house Venus to the Ascendant (with 25 degree difference it’s definitely not a conjunction.) Your other comments make sense for a Capricorn Ascendant.

  13. Ah, so do you think with a South Node in Leo in the 12th, I will need to find a balance between the ego needs of my 12th and my 1st (Virgo ASC, Sun’s in Pisces in 7th) because Leo also has to do with ego?

  14. I wrote ” since pluto in scorpio” i was wanting to say : since saturn in scorpio XD Yeah, my life turned upset down, like from slavry to freedom.

    • Hello Thais, thank you for commenting and sharing your experience. Venus conjunct Ascendant is a powerful measurement socially, and it magnifies the social orientation of Libra rising. It sounds like you understand the depth and passion of Pluto in 1st house from personal experience.

  15. Hello =D What could you tell me about a libra risig conjuct to venus and lilith in 12th house in 23 degrees. The first house is occupied by 7 degrees os libra and 23 degrees of scorpio, also pluto is in scorpio in the first house. I feel very confused, i am kind person and everybody likes me, i have this justice and art interests, but i am drowned in scorpio interest, like everything about occult, darkness, tabus, hidden stuff and i also have since ever the desire to look like a scorpio even before knowing about astrology, the power and magnetism. Can i be a mix of libra and scorpio rising? I have also sextile of pluto with sun and moon, and trine to midheaven in cancer and other aspects with pluto. Sometimes i feel terrible fake, cuz i am kind and nice with everyone even if irritating, since pluto in scorpio my life changed a lot, and i change very much, i am serching for streng to not care about opinions and social norms anymore , so i can be myself without influences. Thank you very much for the post . ( ps: english is not my native languege, dont bother about bad grammar please)

    • Aliyah Martin says

      I have the same thing! I am a libra rising yet it lands in my 12th house, therefore making my first house in scorpio. I have been trying to figure out what that exactly means but I can never get a clear answer.

      • Hi there, a sign on the house cusp defines the dominant energy of the house, so if you have a Libra Ascendant, you would consider it as the main 1st house sign.

        • I to have my ascendant in my 12th house which is Libra. My 1st house according to my natal chart is Scorpio. So which is my TRUE 1st? Libra or Scorpio and if the answer is Libra… that would push all my signs into their following houses correct? Scorpio would now be my 2nd house? Please help I am so confused!

  16. Hi Mr. Niizato,

    I have a question. You see your article was really informative in explaining how the 1st house (mask) is like a cage and how the 12th house represents union. While the Ascendent works as a midway point, but what happens if you have the same sign in both houses? I have a 23 degree Scorpio as a Ascendent and a 8 degree Scorpio in the 12th. So how is there a balance there? I know the degrees represent something, but since the signs are the same; isn’t the effect the same?
    (Did that make sense… o o)

    Have a nice day & thank you!

    • It may be helpful to think of 12th house as having to let go of the old personality, and 1st house as strengthening the emerging new ego. In your case, both houses are ruled by the same planet (Pluto), which suggests that you may go through both house challenges at the same time when Pluto is being triggered by transit or Solar Arc (which makes sense, since you can’t acquire a new sense of self without letting go of your old beliefs and patterns.) This is all very much suited to Scorpio symbolism, by the way – you may want to check out another post on Scorpio rising elsewhere in this blog.

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