The Ascendant, Sun, and Moon are the three most important factors in an astrological chart. They represent superconscious soul, conscious ego, and subconscious habits or complexes respectively.
• The Moon represents influences erupting from our past lives and childhoods, from the human-animal instinctive nature, and from all the habits we retain from training over many lives.
• The Sun represents the everyday consciousness of the standard ego, which allows us to perceive some qualities and circumstances while filtering others out – depending on stage of consciousness and the present life polarization and focus.
• The Ascendant represents the striving of the Ego or Soul to grow, evolve, and transcend its own conditioning and limitations which present in the form of the ego, or little self. • This self-resurrection of the Ego or Atma is achieved in seven Ways, in much the same way the seven Ray types qualify the everyday self, ego, or personality. • The key to the work of the Soul is represented by the sign which is rising (the Ascendant), and that sign's three planetary rulers, their house placement and aspects.
• For spiritual students and workers, both the Orthodox and Esoteric planetary rulers have a strong impact on the life. • For 1° aspirants, the Esoteric ruler indicates possibility; • for 2° probationers, it indicates the strong experience of conflict in the life of the mystically oriented; • for 3° disciples, it represents the challenges and responsibilities of spiritually-polarized work; • for 4° initiates, it indicates the sometimes drastic apparent division between inner and outer lives and work, and the phantasmagoria of living in the human world and its events brought on by immersion in the Great Illusion.
• By contrast, the Orthodox ruler of the Ascendant, in all these cases, represents the opportune challenges and work to be done in the external world (spiritually considered) of humanity's status quo establishment or society at any given point in human evolution or history. • Orthodox astrologers usually assign outward personal appearances to the Ascendant. This is probably accurate and sufficient for average humanity, when considered in adjunct with the Sun's sign and position. This does not apply so well to intermediate groups, but is quite often emphasized in those polarized as souls.
• For the spiritual student, the Ascendant has another meaning. The striving of the Soul to utilize the human personality automatically creates an appearance of fully-developed traits in that personality – perceivable and interpreted in various ways by others in the environment – but which traits are not yet deeply rooted. Since these qualities are part of a spiritual process of self-regeneration in progress, they may not always be relied upon by personalities in the outer world. However, they can be relied upon by souls to indicate lines of cooperation, and mutual help and learning among groups of spiritual students themselves. It is important to remember that most spiritual groups are not organized as such on the physical plane. Their mutual connections are on inner planes. Such groups are also more inwardly-oriented at first, waiting for what has been called "occult recognition" of like-minded principles and people in their environment.
• The keynote of the soul and spirit is autonomous intelligent and compassionate cooperation with the soul principle in others, and so independence tends to be emphasized in the evolved. Also, with the growth in the sense of responsibility for conscious living in our world, the haphazard personalized self-consciousness of the purely self-interested little ego eventually becomes submerged in the purposeful and highly individualized group consciousness of the Ego at work.
• Both Soul and personality can be said to be generally either mentally or emotionally polarized.
• Other means of discerning stage and/or focus of consciousness include questions such as:
Will : . . does the person use self-will (personal), determining will (integrated personality), or conditioning will (soul) — is this applied to persons, or to conditions and the environment holistically considered?
Love : . . does the person characteristically indulge in sentiment or the polar opposites (pain/pleasure, attraction/aversion, fear/hilarity), do they impose a devoted and personalized service-orientation accompanied by roles, or do they express and actuate impersonal compassion?
Mind : . . does the person utilize rank intellect or robotic logical rationality, an intelligent reasoning which blends heart and head, or pure abstract and holistic intuitive reasoning in organizing their lives and affairs?