Every part of your birth chart shows something about yourself and your life, and each position rules something different. The three aspects of your Primal Triad– your Sun sign (your inner self), your Moon sign (your emotional self), and your Ascendant sign (your outer self)–forms the basis of who you are as a person.
But what about who you’re not– at least on a conscious level?
The sign opposing the Ascendant is a position called the Descendant. It correlates to the people in your life and is usually linked to the 7th house.
There are twelve houses in astrology, each ruling a different part of our lives and personalities. The 7th house is often dubbed the house of relationships since it shows the kind of relationships you have and partners you attract.
The Descendant and 7th house are other-people oriented–it’s what you see in others, not in yourself. This doesn’t mean that your Descendant and 7th house aren’t present in your personality and life. It just means you tend to project the energy of your Descendant and 7th house on others until you eventually learn to infuse it into who you are.
Don’t know your Descendant sign or 7th house? Make sure you use our free birth chart generator to find out before reading on!
The Basics of Descendant Astrology
So, you now know that the Descendant is opposite the Ascendant. That means they lie on an axis of opposing zodiac signs.
In case you don’t know what the opposing signs are, here’s the list:
- Aries opposes Libra
- Taurus opposes Scorpio
- Gemini opposes Sagittarius
- Cancer opposes Capricorn
- Leo opposes Aquarius
- Pisces opposes Virgo
The Ascendant or Rising sign is your outer self–the “you” that you present to the world and the way you appear to others. Your Ascendant is usually in a different sign from your Sun sign (there’s a one in twelve chance they’re in the same sign), so this explains why most of us come across differently from who we really are.
We’re pretty consciously aware of our Ascendant because it’s how we come across. In fact, we tend to play up the best parts of our Ascendant sign because we want to come across as better than we actually are (ah, humanoids!).
All of this means that the opposing sign to the Ascendant, the Descendant, is something we may reject in ourselves.
It’s almost a shadow side to our personalities and lives that comes out when we’re dealing with other people. It’s a part of ourselves that we can see quite easily in others, but not in ourselves. We may be projecting or mirroring because we don’t want to see it in ourselves, or we may admire the qualities in others but be afraid of embracing them in ourselves.
Since the Descendant is who we attract and the relationships we have, this helps explain why we’re often attracted to people who we feel have traits that we wish we had or who have strengths where we perceive ourselves to be weak. It also explains why we often attract people who represent our shadow selves.
This is all a matter of perception and choice, though. We don’t have to reject these traits in ourselves and can focus instead to strike a balance!
Make sure to read: The 12th House: What You Don’t Even Know You Hide
Ascendant & Descendant: The Axis of Balance
The Ascendant and Descendant are the axis of relationships, with the self (Ascendant) and with others (Descendant).
When you’re looking at a birth chart wheel with the houses and planets, and different positions all plotted out, the Ascendant and Descendant form a line that cuts right through the very middle of your chart, which means this axis is also super focused on balance.
When the energy associated with these two signs is out of balance, your whole life is probably out of balance.
Therefore, it’s important to, at some point in your life, recognize that Descendant of yours consciously, just like you have your Ascendant. Embrace that shadow side and see what you’ve been rejecting.
Have there been common traits in the partners you’ve chosen or attracted in life? Maybe these are traits you have but haven’t wanted to see and need to work on, or you want to have but have been afraid to embrace and need to find the courage to do so.
Check out: Understanding Yin & Yang: A Philosophy of Balance
Accepting What You’re Rejecting With Your Descendant
This gives you a Libra Ascendant, so you’re someone who comes across as compromising, charming, and pleasant.
With Aries Descendant, you may attract people who are fiery, assertive, and natural leaders. These are traits you can work on utilizing in yourself. Recognize your own leadership skills, take charge without being aggressive, and find the fire within you.
This gives you a Scorpio Ascendant, so you’re someone who comes across as mysterious, deep, and intense.
With Taurus Descendant, you may attract people who are laid-back, present, and practical. Find this energy within yourself, and learn skills that will allow you to control your passionate energy, become more productive, and start being more in the moment.
This gives you a Sagittarius Ascendant, so you’re someone who comes across as adventurous, optimistic, and free.
With Gemini Descendant, you may attract people who are more connected to their immediate environments, curious, and engaging. Learn to shrink your view a little to get a better idea of what’s going on around you and connect with your daily life.
This gives you a Capricorn Ascendant, so you’re someone who comes across as disciplined, responsible, and mature.
With Cancer Descendant, you may attract people who are nurturing, sensitive, and in tune with emotion. Connect with your emotional self, and recognize the strength within your emotions. Nurture yourself and be sensitive to your own feelings and desires.
This gives you an Aquarius Ascendant, so you’re someone who comes across as independent, open to change, and inventive.
With Leo Descendant, you may attract people who are fun-loving, creative, and affectionate. A strong creative mind may lie within you, ready and waiting to be embraced, and this may be accessed when you allow your walls to come down and connect with your heart.
This gives you a Pisces Ascendant, so you’re someone who comes across as sweet, adaptable, and intuitive.
With Virgo Descendant, you may attract people who are detailed, hard-working, and practical. Embracing more of that energy yourself can help you make more of your imaginative and intuitive energies, and you can have an easier time focusing on your life.
This gives you an Aries Ascendant, so you’re someone who comes across as assertive, energetic, and ready to go.
With Libra Descendant, you may attract people who are fair, compromising, and considerate. Learning how to be more compromising and considerate can be of help to you when pushing things your own way doesn’t work, and you can create more harmony in your relationships.
This gives you a Taurus Ascendant, so you’re someone who comes across as easy-going, reliable, and calm.
With Scorpio Descendant, you may attract people who are passionate, researching, and deep. Become more comfortable with your own passionate energy, and work on digging deeper into yourself so you can transform in beneficial ways and find your own inner power.
This gives you a Gemini Ascendant, so you’re someone who comes across as curious, sociable, and likable.
With Sagittarius Descendant, you may attract people who are adventurous, daring, and wise. Recognize you’re capable of this as well and work on taking your knowledge and turning it into wisdom through life experience and controlling some of your anxious energy so you can become bolder.
This gives you a Cancer Ascendant, so you’re someone who comes across as nurturing, supportive, and understanding.
With Capricorn Descendant, you may attract people who are ambitious, practical and focused. Connect with your inner ambitions, and recognize that you deserve to have everything you desire just as much as everyone else does and that you’re capable of achievement.
This gives you a Leo Ascendant, so you’re someone who comes across as creative, dramatic, and fun.
With Aquarius Descendant, you may attract people who are innovative, change-makers, and objective. Learn how to take a step back to get a wider view of your life and the future, and connect with the masses as a whole to make the kind of change and have the kind of impact you want.
This gives you a Virgo Ascendant, so you’re someone who comes across as practical, detail-oriented, and structured.
With Pisces Descendant, you may attract people who are guided by intuition, imagination, and compassion. Embrace your intuitive side, your soulful side, and your sensitive side. Don’t be afraid of getting lost in it; you’re too practical to let that happen, so you’ll stay grounded enough.
Connect to Your Descendant
Noticing dominant traits in the people you attract to you means you actually see a part of yourself. We are attracted to people who have the traits we want to develop in ourselves or that we need to recognize in ourselves for our souls to grow.
The truth of your soul comes through to you in your relationships, and if you consider the traits you really see in your partner as your own “other side,” then you are able to use those traits because you have them, too.
If you perceive them as negative, find a positive expression in them to turn the trait into power.
Now go use your Descendant power!
Related article: The Relationship Houses: How the 3rd, 7th, & 11th House Affect You