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Soul Food Astrology: Stellar Recipes for Good Living
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Q:  I was born September 14, 1966 at 11:26 a.m. in Miami, Florida.  Whenever I get charts done, some show my ascendant as Scorpio, while others show it as Sagittarius.   I identify more with the Scorpio, but definitely have the Sagittarian desire for freedom and travel.  Depending on which ascendant comes up, it shifts my whole chart, giving a very different reading.  What ascendant do you come up with for me?   -- Lori B. 

A:  Using the three most popular house systems for chart calculation -- Koch, Placidus and Equal -- at 11:26 a.m. in Miami, Florida on September 14, 1966, your Ascendant is definitively Sagittarius.  View Chart  One degree, 16 minutes to be exact.  However, just six minutes earlier, at 11:20 a.m., your ascendant would have been 29 degrees Scorpio.  So you see that a correct birth time can make a big difference in accurately calculating a chart. 

People often talk about their Ascendant (or rising sign) being on the "cusp" between two signs.  This is technically not possible, as the Ascendant degree is always in one sign only for a given date, place and time.  What frequently does occur, however, is that other planets or points in the chart will be in signs that border the Ascendant sign. 

For example, in your case, you have Sagittarius rising, but the Moon's South Node and Neptune in your chart are placed in the sign of Scorpio.  We often identify very strongly with our South Node sign, and have both the strengths of the sign to offer, and the weaknesses of the sign to overcome during our lifetime.  You may want to read as much as you can on the signs of Scorpio (your Moon's South Node) and Taurus (your Moon's North Node), since you are learning to balance these opposite signs in a healthy way. 

With Sagittarius rising, you may be optimistic and upbeat toward others most of the time, and love freedom and travel as you have indicated.  However, due to the Scorpio South Node influence, you are also likely to need a great deal of private time to retreat from the world, explore the secrets and psychology of yourself or others, and form intimate relationship bonds.  Be careful not to let Scorpio jealousies, control, desire for extreme experiences, delusions or addictions (Neptune in Scorpio) prevent you from achieving the sweet, stable, solid life of practical service that you crave.  Luckily, your Sagittarius ascendant helps you to overlook many slights and not take things too personally.  You can inspire people and also touch them deeply, which is a rare and worthy combination.  Best wishes. 

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