Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Chart Rulers or Rising Planets

Q: I've always read that the ruler(s) of the ascendant and the chart ruler of the chart were two different things. The chart ruler is defined as the planet closest to the ascendant while the ruler of the ascendant is the actual ruler of the ascendant's sign. A.H.
A: Thank you for your question! What you don't mention is "where" you have always been reading about the differences between the Chart Ruler and Ascendant Ruler. I'm always curious where to find differences of interpretation because it does help me to better understand different ways of interpreting concepts. But, aside from that, I can tell you where to find similar definitions that I used on my site and also explain where I believe the confusions could be coming from.

Different astrologers put different meanings to astrology terms because of the various types of astrology being used in so many different languages. Also, I note that a lot of new Astrology terms are developing on the Internet. Over time, meanings change as do the terms being used. The definition I use for "Chart Ruler" on my site concurs with the definition found in "The only astrology book you'll ever need," by Woolfolk, and "The only way to learn astrology" by March & McEvers, as well as any number of other astrology books and websites across the Internet. The books I referenced are both basic and great resources for beginning astrologers. Sometimes I see "Chart Ruler" referenced as "the ruling planet of the chart." Some astrologers call the rising sign's ruling planet the "Significator." But I believe that this term comes more from the vedic. I believe that Paul Wade, "Be your own astrologer," simply calls the ruler of the ascendant as "the ruling planet." How confusing is that? But that's also an accurate way of describing it.

The term used for a planet that rules over a person's "sun sign" (or any sign) is called the **planetary ruler**, hence many astrologers logically conclude that the ruler of the rising sign of a chart must be the **chart ruler.** Yet, what is so different between the terms Ruling Planet and Planetary Ruler?

For example, (as explained by Dane Rudhyar, "The Astrology of Personality," page 496),
"The first way of singling out a planet, to make it serve as a center of significance, is to find what is called the 'ruling planet' or 'ruler of the chart.' This is usually determined by the sign of the Ascendant. The planet ruling this sign becomes the ruler of the whole chart. The rationale of this method is clear. The Ascendant represents the factor of individual self-hood, the monad, the fountainhead of the life and destiny which the chart as a whole symbolizes. Therefore the planet functionally dominating this Ascendant becomes naturally the dominant life-function of the personality. However, in the case of planets rising close to the Ascendant, or when a planet, wherever situated in the chart, 'disposes' of all or most other planets, then two or more planets may divide the honors of chart-rulership."
Mr. Rudhyar goes on to explain a second way of singling out a planet as a focal point but it is beyond the scope of our discussion here. Yet, I quickly picked up on Mr. Rudhyar's description, "planet ... of significance" sounding very much like "significator." Also, he explains that this is "usually" (as in "not always") the way to finding the chart ruler or ruler of the chart. So this does "open the door" to your interpretations.

Additionally, the term chart ruler being used as I have on my site would also be called the "ruler of the first house."

Other terms that are frequently confused and misused are Rising Planet, Ascending Planet, Scout Planet, Leading Planet and Oriental Planet. The term for the planet closest to the ascendant moving the opposite of the numbers on the houses (i.e. 2nd, 1st, 12th) is usually called the Rising Planet or the Ascending Planet. Many astrologers believe that the closeness of the planet to the Ascendant makes the planet more influential.
"Rising planet: A planet considered to be close to the ascendant. As with all else in astrology the deciding number of degrees will vary by astrologer, but within 5 degrees on either side of the Ascendant cusp being a widely accepted orb."

On the other hand, I have read a few texts which claim that the "rising planet" can only be located in the first house, rising toward the Ascendant while others state that the planet must have already risen above and past the horizon. On the Matrix site in the Astro*Index section, they very clearly describe the Rising Planet as being:

"A planet above, and within 5°, of the eastern Horizon."

Other similar terms that are confused on a regular basis are the "Oriental & Occidental" planets. These are the planets on either side of the Sun that rose before (Oriental, Leading, or Scout) or after (Occidental) the Sun rose.

"Oriental - literally eastern; said of a planet that rises and sets before the Sun. "

"The oriental planet, called the leading planet, is the one that will rise immediately before the Sun; i.e., the planet that directly precedes the Sun clockwise (behind the Sun in the natural order of the zodiac)."

However, I have seen it the other way around with Oriental being described as following and Occidental as before the Sun rose.

Yet the whole chart thing can get confusing, let alone figuring out which direction is rising, which is setting, which is above, below, in front and behind.

I hope that this helps you to understand where I'm coming from when using the term "Chart Ruler" on my site as well as giving you a solid set of resources to confirm why I use the term in the manner that I do. I'm not saying I'm right, I'm simply saying I'm not alone in using the term in the way that I do. Sometimes it does not boil down to the use of terms I'm always reading, but simply based on what I have found to be the most common term being used to describe a concept. Fact is, that the interpretations get cobbled up by so many different experts in the field that we need to just do the best we can with what we can find on the topic to try to make sense of it all.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008