The First House is the House of the Self. It is “home” to your personality, character, manners, style, temperament, and (in classical astrology) physical characteristics. Since this House leads the chart, it has a special designation and is also known as the Ascendant and/or Rising Sign. If your Ascendant/Rising Sign is Cancer, then you have a Water Sign overlaying a Fire House. Below is the chart layout showing how you will be influenced on your twelve quests based on the Signs that rule each House, as determined by your Ascendant/Rising Sign.
The Chart Ruler
Each sign has a ruling point. The Moon rules Cancer. Because of the special nature of the Ascendant/Rising Sign, the point ruling the Sign that overlays the 1st House becomes the ruler of the entire chart. Someone with Cancer on the Ascendant/Rising Sign will have their identity guided by the energy of the Moon, wherever it appears in the chart.
As an example, consider a person who has a Cancer Ascendant/Rising Sign and the Moon in Libra, which would put Moon in the 4th House of Family. This individual will need to create a home filled with peace, harmony, fairness, and balance. According to Jodie Forrest, “Their homes should make it easy for them to rest, daydream, and indulge in flights of fancy.” (118)
The Quest for Identity
Cancer Rising individuals learn about their identity through their emotions and the emotions of the people around them. Often these individuals have empathic depths that require them to be very careful with their time and energy when around other people; ones they know, as well as strangers. With strong nurturing energy, they will attract people who want or need an emotional safe harbor.
According to Jodie Forrest in her book, The Ascendant:
Cancer doesn’t mean biologically female, but this is the Sign of the archetypal feminine, the archetypal Great Goddess, the lunar counterpart to the Leonine Sun God. Think of Cancer as the epitome of “yin” energy, that which is nurturing, receptive, and fertile – and dark, mysterious, inward, and unpredictable. (111)
Present Positively As: Caring | Negatively As: Smothering
Perceived Positively As: Caring | Negatively As: Passive Aggressive
Creativity and Mastership
The Signs ruling the creative (5th) and mastery of knowledge (9th) Houses are Water Signs also, so this individual will be emotional, intuitive, and compassionate when it comes to their own performance (Scorpio on the 5th House) and authority (Pisces on the 9th House). If they have any points in these Houses, there will be an increased emphasis on creativity, travel, scholarship, and worldly experience, which they will achieve with a sensitive and nurturing identity (Cancer).
The need to feel good about what interests them is paramount. If there is no way to connect emotionally, then they will not have any energy for work, the pursuit of knowledge, or relationships.
Finances, Work, and Career
The Signs ruling the finances (2nd), work (6th), and career (10th) Houses are Fire Signs, so this individual will be romantic and inspired about what they need to be secure at home (Leo on the 2nd House), skillful and helpful (Sagittarius on the 6th House), and ambitious and successful (Aries on the 10th House). If they have points in any of these Houses, there will be an increased emphasis on material success, which they will achieve with intuition and compassion (Cancer).
They need to be employed in creative and performance roles in an organization, where they can be the emotional hero/heroine that keeps everyone feeling purposeful. This chart layout is excellent for someone to work in performing arts and creative fields; after all, what better way to succeed than to use creativity to grab people emotionally so they will spend money on your services or products.
Communication, Relationships, and Community
The Signs ruling the communication (3rd), relationship (7th), and community (11th) Houses are Earth Signs, so this individual will have experimentation and invention as his or her way to learn (Virgo on the 3rd House), easily understand the motivations of others (Capricorn on the 7th House), and want to know where he or she can best fit into community and society (Taurus on the 11th House). If they have any points in these Houses, there will be an increased emphasis on intellectual development and the pursuit of wisdom, which they will seek out with a caretaking, mothering identity (Cancer).
They need to have practical and goal-oriented relationships with people who “eat their vegetables before they have dessert”. They are down-to-earth, valuing prudence and careful thinking above all else in communication situations. If you want consistent and practical beliefs from your friends and partners, then this individual will fit the bill.
Feelings, Intimacy, and Spirituality
The Signs ruling the feelings and family (4th), intimate partner (8th), and spirituality (11th) Houses are Air Signs, so this individual will be logical and analytical regarding family and emotional development (Libra on the 4th House), transformation with an intimate partner (Aquarius on the 8th House), and his or her search for purpose and faith (Gemini on the 12th House). If they have any points in these Houses, there will be an increased emphasis on emotional development, intuition, empathy, and sympathy, which they will pursue with a caring and emotionally supportive identity (Cancer).
They need intellectual, wise, and like-minded connections with people. Their constantly caring and nurturing identity can help them navigate and overcome emotional struggles because they are willing to work through and express emotions about any problem or difficulty. If you want someone with a willingness to be vulnerable, these individuals will open up if you open up to them.
Archetypes for this Ascendant/Rising Sign
(From – The Ascendant: Your Rising Sign by Jodie Forrest)
This person has come into the world wearing the mask of the Nurturer, the Healer, the Mother, or the Sensitive. Other images for Cancer include the Invisible One, Old Mother Hubbard, the Hobbit, and the Rememberer or the Homebody. Less than optimal manifestations of this Ascendant might include the Smother-mother, the Clingy One, the Hypersensitive One, or the Crybaby. (111).