So by now, we all know there’s much more to astrology than surface-level platitudes and silly memes (as much as we love them). Different aspects of our birth charts shed light on different aspects of our own personalities, and how we interact with the world around us.
Our sun sign is the heart of us, our moon sign reveals our deepest inner workings, and our rising sign — or our ascendant — shows how we present ourselves to the world.
But there’s another — quite often overlooked — aspect of our charts that reveals the type of people we’re drawn to and attract into our lives: Our descendant sign.
What Is a Descendant Sign?
As the name suggests, our descendant sign is the polar opposite of our ascendant, a.k.a. rising, sign. Where our ascendant is the sign that was on the eastern horizon, where the sun rises, when we were born, our descendant marks the sign that was on the western horizon, where the sun sets.
And from an astrological standpoint, they’re polar opposites as well. The Ascendant and descendant draw a straight horizontal line through the middle of our birth charts. They make up the Axis of Relationships, with the ascendant representing ourselves, and the descendant representing others.
So while our ascendant sign is the image we project out into the world, and one we’re most comfortable with inhabiting, the descendant sign is the opposite — meaning traits we don’t feel as comfortable with, and in fact, don’t really wish to embody.
As an example, I have a Leo ascendant. That means more than anything in life, I wish to be truly seen by others and make others feel the same way. I project my feelings onto just about anyone in my path, and I’m a fan of grand gestures to make people feel loved.
The polar opposite of Leo on the zodiac wheel is Aquarius. And while I love me a quirky air sign, they’re most often considered to be aloof. Big ideas are their jam, but big feelings make them uncomfortable. Especially public displays of those feelings.
What Your Descendant Reveals About Your Relationships
And here’s where things start to get interesting. You might be asking, “why on earth would I want a partner who embodies the traits I don’t particularly like.” And the short answer is you don’t — not consciously.
Whether or not we like to believe it, we have all of those energies from our descendant signs within us. They’re just the parts of ourselves that we repress and deny. They’re the traits that, when we’re feeling off-balance, we project onto others, and maybe even pick fights that we don’t really understand. They make up a part of our shadow.
This is exactly why we draw those same people into our lives on an unconscious level — whether it be through friends, romantic partners, or business colleagues. On a karmic level, we’re seeking to bring ourselves into balance by integrating those aspects of our personalities, and so we attract — and seek out — mirrors to force that issue.
Is your head spinning yet? I think it will make a lot more sense when we get into some specific examples. So stay tuned for Part II, where we’ll do exactly that.