What does it mean when you identify yourself (Ascendant) with your words (Mercury)? Let’s ask Taylor Swift! She is famous for writing songs about the highs and lows of her own personal experiences in the dating arena. She achieved such a strong reputation for this that she actually swore off dating for a whole year, favoring more time with her girlfriends.
Taylor has Mercury in Capricorn, the sign of ambition and making a mark in the world. Unlike other singers her age, she has the patience and discipline (Capricorn) that is needed to be a successful songwriter. And identifying so personally (Ascendant) with her songs is also unique.
There is more to the story with the Mercury however! Most of her material comes from life experiences in dating, and it comes as no surprise that Jupiter is conjunct the Descendant (relationships) and exactly opposite this ambitious Mercury. Jupiter gives us that feeling of enthusiasm and faith in life. Her Jupiter is in Cancer, so her faith is instilled in situations that give her emotional security. Being on the Descendant, these situations mainly play out in her close relationships. Sweetness with someone one day, and then boom! A breakup and in comes the tidal wave of emotional inspiration!
As a Sagittarius, inspiration is the primary fuel that she runs on, so this Jupiter is further elevated. And on the opposite end, Mercury is surrounded by Neptune, Saturn and Uranus. Uranus intensifying her drive to work hard (Saturn) and incorporate her imagination (Neptune) in her writing pursuits.
Her Moon is in Cancer as well (conjunct that powerful Jupiter), which really drives home that need for emotional “rightness”. She is famous for having a lot of friends, one of which is writer, Lena Dunham, a very mercurial girl! There it is again: faith from emotional bonding solidifying an identity as a words girl, with another words girl!
Taylor grew up on a Christmas tree farm. I love that detail with her Sun Moon combo: Sagittarius exuberant spirit serving a sweetness-craving Cancer Moon. Can we not practically see a lit up Christmas tree take form?
Planets conjunct the Ascendant are fun to study because they jump right out. They were literally on the horizon at the moment of your birth. The Ascendant is your own personal “dawn”. It is the way you dawn on others too. Everyone has this Rising sign to effectively project and best express the rest of the Horoscope.
When Pluto is on the Ascendant what might manifest is a kind of cultural icon-energy particular to the sign it’s in. This is because their identity (Ascendant) is merged (conjunction) with something much bigger than themselves (Pluto).
Ascendant troubles arise when you notice that you are not feeling so comfortable in your own skin, so to speak. I have Libra Rising and I notice that I will start to feel very un-myself when I’m frazzled (Libra likes peace) and also if I slip into the habit of being too anti-social (Libra needs to mingle).
Anybody with Leo rising will be settling into a style of self projection that is not shy of attention. Leo is the sun, it is bright and warm and radiant. Pluto in Leo is a whole generation of people (the Baby Boomers) who share a very deep perspective (Pluto) on what it means to stand out and be this radiance (Leo).
Christopher Reeve’s “S” on his Superman shirt may as well also stand for “Sun” because they both do the same thing. He saves the day, the Sun creates the day and saves every living thing again and again. Hulk Hogan embodies the King-like energy of Leo. He struts around in Royal costumes and golden belts to further intimidate his competitors and excite his fans.
Tim Curry gives us the taste of Rock n Roll as Dr. Frank n Furter in the Rocky Horror Picture Show. This is fire energy, more specifically FIXED fire energy. The sun blazes a constant fire, it sustains, it is FIXED. It is confident and it needs do nothing else but radiate in it’s own glory. The other fire signs need to take the energy forward (Aries, Cardinal) in the pursuit of something new, or let the energy change them into new ways of thinking or being (Saggitarius, Mutable). Leo just basks and lives for the day.
In the spirit of this present moment exuberance we have kids falling under the spectrum of Leo. Andy Kaufman and Eric Idle are sparkling images of the power of silliness and laughter. They pick our spirits up when things get too drab with the flick of a facial expression. The warmth of humor sustains us like the warm rays of the Sun.
As a Leo Sun, I deeply appreciate these cultural icons who remind us to dream big, lighten up or go for a little flair. After all — YOLO!