I've noticed that there is some confusion about what the ascendant sign means in a chart, especially in relation to the sun sign. The sun sign is sometimes said to be the sign that describes how you interact with the world, your outer self, and the ascendant sign represents the part of you that you only reveal to those closest to you, or your inner self. At other times, the sun sign is described as your inner self, and the ascendant represents your personality and appearance. I think the confusion comes from trying to simplify the explanation so it's easier for people to understand that they play different, but integrated, roles in a chart.
The sun sign really represents your known, conscious, core self. It represents what you know about yourself for sure and what you most easily connect with. If you were asked to define your self, you would end up describing your sun sign.
The ascendant sign represents what you are discovering about yourself, what is literally rising up within you. The ascendant is the point where what is unconscious (12th house) is becoming conscious (1st house). It represents what you are learning about what is possible for yourself in this life, what you are capable of, what holds you back etc. Chances are whenever a planet transits your ascendant sign you will experience a realization that will help you to create the life you really want.
tags: ascendant, sun sign