What and Who is the Ascendant?

© 1998 by Ruth Brummund, Dipl. Psych

translated by L Blake Finley, M.A..

NOTE: It has come to the translator's attention that the textual content of some of the original articles sent or posted by Ms Brummund from/in Germany have been altered after the translator received the text translated below. The following text is a translation of the content of the article as it appeared on the date indicated at the end of this translated text, and does not include translation of any alterations that may have been made in the German original since that date.

In the Sep/Oct 1998 issue of the German astrological journal "Meridian" there is an article about thoughts and experiences dealing with the Ascendant.  This is an interesting topic and should also be addressed in our group.  Firstly, I raise the question of just what the Ascendant actually is. We know that the Midheaven and Ascendant are zodiacal points whose calculations are based upon the geographic coordinates of the birthplace.  They do not radiate energies in the same way that planets do, since they do not orbit as independent objects, but are calculated points dependent on the rotation of the Earth.

Each creature has its own Karma, and Karma is the sum of developments brought from the past combined with those of this lifetime, whereby one sometimes lives in partially predetermined circumstances. One can either progress upward by application of free will, or regress through stagnation.  According to Helena Blavatsky, each being has already reached a certain degree of awareness and chooses how to manifest in the next life. It has been posited that we preselect our own parents in each lifetime; and even when the desired birthtime and circumstances are not available, we might choose adoption as an alternate route to them.  Gina Cerminara, in "Karma und Wiedergeburt" writes that "according to Edgar Cayce's perception, those who incarnated in a certain era, in general, incarnate again with the same souls in a later collective era. In the interim periods, we find a different set of souls on the Earth."  This indicates that we will continue to encounter certain persons again and again, and that we always return to the point of departure.  It is even posited that the embryo already experiences the entry of the soul, or what the individual might call the non-material component of each being, while still in the womb, and that no one knows this point in time beforehand.

Due to the daily rotation of the Earth, the Midheaven and Ascendant change from moment to moment.  The longitude of a given location, converted through time, yields the Midheaven, and this longitudinal Axis traverses through the new being and thus characterizes the inner nature or ego.  The Ascendant is dependent on the Midheaven in correlation with the latitude of the birthplace.  On the day of birth, the child's birth is a physical experience for the mother.  The mother's Sun, as an indicator of her physically-manifest body, must be somehow linked with the Midheaven as a timing factor in the chart of the child, with the time the mother gives delivery to the child.  If the mother's Sun is clustered (ed: i.e. in 8th harmonic aspect) with the child's Saturn, astrologers note that she had a difficult time either in weeks immediately before or after birth.  These difficulties will be perceptible in the mother-child relationship throughout their life together.  The relationship between the child's Ascendant and the mother's Sun is also significant, and mitigating planetary influences at their midpoint can mollify the harshness of Saturn.  There is also a variation where the child's Meridian is clearly clustered (i.e. in hard aspect) with the mother's Sun, whereas the child's Ascendant is not; in which case their relationship remains somewhat impersonal through the remainder of their current lifetimes.

To address the question of defining the Ascendant requires consideration of further interpretation. It is an angular point in the zodiac, cusp of the first house, according to Franz Stark, "... the innate fundamental dynamic of the individual"; according to Johann Wolfgang Denziger, " ... the Ascendant gives us the necessary orientation needed for our evolutionary path". A pertinent illustration is the difference between a vehicle (Sun, Moon, planets) and the street signs (the Ascendant).  No other myth is more significant to the meaning of the Ascendant than the story of the hunter Orion, who, after being blinded, regained his sight when he wandered to the East, where the Sun rises."  I concur, as long as this points us toward relationships which are important for our personal development.  Alfred Witte speaks of the Ascendant as "others". If we go from the Ascendant to its polarized Descendant, partnerships, we first must have the background of personal associates through school, work, or other situations as a prerequisite.

Innovations in astrology occurred in the first 20 years of Alfred Witte's work.  He detected four Transneptunians and Friedrich Sieggrün added another four.  They have been used by the Hamburg School for nearly 80 years, throughout the evolution of Uranian Astrology.  The Transneptunians might be intangible power-fields which find expression just as other planets through symbols and their own language and interpretations [ed.: and recent space technology may soon verify their existence to the astronomical establishment.]  They have proven most satisfactory not only for rectification, but also for prognosis. Their names were derived from the divinities of antiquity and are clarified and described in sequence in the 1994 book Uranian Techniques of Hamburg Astrologers by Ruth Brummund.

Now, two examples for consideration, gleaned from my 40 years of practical experience:

1.   I had learned that, according to German astrological traditions, we are inclined to have many contacts with those whose Sun sign is the same as that of our Ascendant.  A certain native had had a significant number of important friendships with people born with the Sun in Sagittarius, ranging across all three decanates.  These friendships included two mutually unacquainted Dutch friends born in Surabaja, a Dutch married couple, and an aunt and her daughter.  All these people had Sun in Sagittarius.  Yet the native has a Capricorn Ascendant.  This contradicts the traditional teachings. 

2.  A mother had difficulty distinguishing between her two Aquarian twin daughters.  She wished to know why she had problems with the one born 5 minutes earlier, but not with the other.  The girls were 16 years old, and the problem had become too obvious.  

At first glance, I noticed that in the girls' charts that the Ascendants and Midheavens were in the same signs and stood a little over one degree apart.  Their Ascendants were therefore conjunct.  The elder had the Ascendant clustered with Kronos, which indicated self-confidence, or even dominance.  The Ascendant of the younger rose with Saturn, which meant self-restraint, or even inhibition.

As I had worked for a number of years with Ebertin methods, the Ascendant had been presented to me as the ego.  In the Hamburg School, however, I learned that the Midheaven symbolizes the ego.

I found myself in a dilemma.  Which is which?  I had never seen the mother or the twin girls, and had obtained birth data only by telephone.  My analysis was to be delivered in writing, and I had to decide.  After a series of investigations, I found the Ascendant as "others" to be more pertinent, and this was verified by the mother.  Later she gave me photos of the girls, where the one with AS=KR appeared inhibited, meaning the Ascendant signifies others.

Those who engage more often in astrological research know that we first of all start with scientific methods.  We expect tolerance from scientists, yet where is the tolerance of new ideas in our own field?  The danger lies where, when at our wits' end, we flee into explanations by means of esoteric, philosophical, psychological, or mythological realms only, to explain what is not provable.  We should not withdraw, but stand with our feet firmly on the ground if others are to take our work seriously.  Our astrological work nearly always lies in the assistance of those seeking advice.  

Others, which for me are symbolized by the Ascendant, manifest in associations of both personal and professional nature, and sometimes through common interests, which I hope to be contributing to through this presentation.

Hamburg, 20.September.1998

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