Your Astrology Chart Ruler: A Guide to Finding It and Its Meaning

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Our birth charts are full of different metrics to help us gain insights into ourselves, and can even give insight into our past lives. The particulars of your chart make up who you are and what you can expect in this lifetime, for example if you have a day chart vs. a night chart, so you’d do well to dig into it deeply, so the next time you’re looking to the stars for validation, look beyond your sun and moon signs. One key part of your chart in astrology that plays heavily into your day-to-day horoscope reading is your chart ruler, or the ruling planet of your ascendant or rising sign. This planet and its vibes play a huge role over your whole natal chart and learning about it can give you keen insight into your personality and life path.

Experts In This Article

Indeed, according to astrologer Alexandria Lettman, founder of spiritual wellness platform Jupiter Jewel, your chart ruler is the planet that governs over your birth chart and “depicts the overall flavor of a person's life path and the themes that will be most impactful, influential, and character-building.” It colors how you approach obstacles, challenges, opportunities, and how you construct your identity and forge your life path.

Think of your life as a TV show, where different parts of your birth chart play a role in the various plots that encompass the entire narrative—but there is an overarching theme to the whole series. “If you imagine that your life is a story filled with multiple plot lines, your ruling planet describes the underlying theme that is the same in all of the plot lines,” she says. “It’s lingering energy in the background of your life that sort of explains everything.” Learn all about how to find out which astrological chart ruler you have, and what it means.

How to find your chart ruler in astrology

Let’s zoom out for a second and recall that each astrological sign has a planet that’s most closely associated with it, or a ruling planet. This means that each planet has certain zodiac signs it particularly gets along with because they share a similar flavor. Just as you see the notable traits of your zodiac sign reflected in your personality, you also take on the overall vibes of this planet, too. For example, diligent Capricorn is ruled by taskmaster Saturn.

The planet that rules over your rising sign is your chart ruler. This is because your rising or ascendant sign represents your first astrological house in astrology, or how you interact with the larger world. It’s all about the first impression you give others and how you’re perceived, it plays a huge role in your life path and personality, says astrologer and intuitive healer Rachel Lang. You might even see that your chart ruler is a retrograde planet in your natal chart, in which case you should pay extra attention to what lessons you should heed from it. (You can use a birth chart generator to figure out this placement if you don't know what that is already.)

To determine your chart ruler in astrology, take a look at what planet rules your rising sign, according to Lang and Lettman:

Recall that there are specific meanings of planets in astrology, and that a planet’s meaning and its location in your chart is how it’ll affect you. To find out where, precisely, your chart ruler is illuminated, you need two additional pieces of information: "When examining your ruling planet, you want to note the condition of that planet (whether it is direct or retrograde), which astrological house and sign it’s in, and what aspects it has to other points in your chart," says Lang. "That will give you clues about how others perceive you, and how you face the world." When looking at which zodiac signs are in the houses, you might recall that the sign’s characteristics influence how you move through life in that specific realm.

To use myself as an example, I'm a Virgo rising. This means Mercury, which rules over technology, travel, and communication, is my chart ruler. My Mercury sign is in Aries; in addition to being in my first house, which is always your rising sign, Mercury also dwells in my seventh house of partnerships (look at the part of your natal chart that lists out which planets and signs are in the 12 houses to learn about your placements). One big takeaway is that relationships will always be of paramount importance to me, and the way I thrive at connecting with people, especially romantically, is with my quick wit. That's going to be a recurring theme in my life, and that's how I enamor myself to others.

"Each time there’s a transit or progression to your chart ruler, you tend to feel it strongly, as you’re sensitive to the overall influence of that planet—physically, mentally, and emotionally."—Rachel Lang, astrologer

But that's just one (notably self-indulgent) through-line. Getting a reading from an astrologer, or at least reading what your chart generator says, can provide more context to how your chart ruler plays into your life. One easy way to see your chart ruler’s significance in your own life, though, is by noticing movements of your planet in cosmic forecasts. "Each time there’s a transit or progression to your chart ruler, you tend to feel it strongly, as you’re sensitive to the overall influence of that planet—physically, mentally, and emotionally," says Lang. If you’re Virgo rising, expect to have a particularly tough time during Mercury retrogrades.

See below for a better idea of what each chart ruler means for your life path, depending on your rising sign.

What your chart ruler in astrology says about you, using your rising sign

1. Mars: Aries Rising

Mars, the planet of drive and action, is the planet of our need to individualize and carve a path for ourselves. Assertive, courageous, energetic, you may have a fiery disposition. In your life, you’re concerned with “overcoming obstacles and challenges and building endurance,” says Lettman. You also may find that competition is a major theme of your life—whether you are overcoming it, actively engaging it, or others trying to compete with you. She adds that those with Mars as their chart ruler are particularly resilient and capable, and that you may need to learn to prioritize your own wellbeing and rest more than others.

The influence of Mars can make you bold in the pursuit of your goals," says Lang. "Others might see you as a force for change. You’re not afraid to take action on behalf of what you care about and love."

2. Venus: Taurus Rising and Libra Rising

Venus is a harmonious planet associated with love (obviously) and self-worth, as well as finances. That means those ruled by it are always seeking beauty and fairness, and grounded by a need for stability. “Your life path is centered around love, either the pursuit of it externally or learning to love yourself through all your phases, and the impact of your positive and negative attachments,” says Lettman. You may learn your most impactful lessons through your relationships, especially your romantic partners.

"You have a unique sense of style and a desire for balance in your life, even if you don’t always experience it," says Lang. People are very drawn to you as a result, adds Lettman.

3. Mercury: Virgo Rising and Gemini Rising

If Mercury is your ruling planet, Lettman says your life’s story is about the pursuit of skills, information, and knowledge. “It’s about learning how to change your perspective to shift your attitude toward what’s happening around you,” she says.

This chart ruler also means you’re likely socially adept but naturally restless. "Your mind is always moving, and your body may be, too," says Lang. You might sometimes find yourself overintellectualizing your experiences and feelings, but generally you don’t struggle to communicate. "You have a lot of energy to exert, and exercise is important. You may even be fidgety. This gives you a mental quickness and even a sharp wit. You crave order and structure, even if you often feel disorganized and spread thin."

4. Moon: Cancer Rising

Think about how the moon regulates the ebb and flow of tides, and is simultaneously reflective and receptive. It's a sign of high emotions, so Cancer Rising has a sensitive visage: You may appear to others to be kind and caring. Lettman adds that having the moon as your chart ruler means your life path prioritizes seeking comfort and that the impact of not feeling safe and secure could greatly damage you.

"Others experience you as a nurturer, but it’s important you tend to yourself as well as others," says Lang. "You are sensitive to the moods of others and may be an empath. The moon gives you an intuitive and creative personality."

You also may receive many formative lessons and guidance from women and maternal figures, biological or otherwise, as the moon is associated with motherhood and considered by some to be the mother of the universe, she adds.

5. Sun: Leo Rising

You shine as bright as the sun in every facet of your life (but especially the house the star resides in). "You appear to others to be charismatic, even if you sometimes shy away from the spotlight," Lang says. "You may find yourself in the center of attention or being asked to step into a leadership role."

According to Lettman, having the sun as your chart ruler means you’re a naturally confident and strong leader. “The most hard-hitting lessons in your life are usually delivered through a parental figure, mentor, or male family member,” she adds, nodding to the sun’s association in astrology as a paternal figure and the father of the universe.

6. Jupiter: Sagittarius Rising

Jupiter is the planet of luck and abundance, so consider yourself both fortunate and most likely fabulous if that's your chart ruler. "Jupiter’s the brightest biggest planet in our solar system, and others might experience your optimism and brightness, too," says Lang. "This ruling planet indicates a mix of generosity and openness. It’s the great benefactor, and others notice your charisma, and tend to feel good in your presence.

Additionally, Lettman says your life path is closely aligned with sticking to your beliefs and morals, plus “developing wisdom from your learned experiences.” You’re quite spiritual, inspiring, optimistic, and hopeful, too. “You face more experiences that challenge you to grow and expand without abandoning who you are,” she adds.

7. Saturn: Capricorn Rising

With Saturn as your chart ruler, you may be more inclined to build a structured, ordered life, given it's the planet of our perceived limitations. But don't view this negatively because Lettman says this means your path is focused on “achieving big and working toward goals that take a lot of time, persistence, and discipline to achieve.”

You’re also a natural leader who has no problem getting down to business. "This ruling planet gives you a strong sense of structure in your life," says Lang. Your bone structure might be distinct, in fact, as Saturn rules bones, teeth, and skin. You’re not afraid of self-discipline."

8. Uranus: Aquarius Rising

Your life is colored by the pursuit of freedom and marching to the beat of your own drum. "This is the planet of independent thought and being uniquely you," Lang says. "Its influence suggests you may be more free-spirited and have a slight rebellious streak. You may not always want to stand out or be different, but others may see you that way."

You can be a thought leader, inventor, or innovator—because you are constantly finding new paths to follow, Lettman adds that “you are likely to experience more sudden and unexpected life redirections that force you to try something new.”

9. Neptune: Pisces Rising

Neptune is the planet of mysticism and dreams, imbibing its children with a highly spiritual and creative nature. Neptune also lacks boundaries; that means you need to protect yourself, because you're probably also an empath of sorts. "You might be more receptive to the moods and emotions of others," says Lang. "Neptune rules Pisces, the water sign, and you can sense you wear your heart on your sleeve."

You have a natural inclination to romanticize your life and may be “highly intuitive,” says Lettman. Something you’ll contend with during your life are the joys, lessons, and consequences of having faith when others don’t and of your delusions, she adds.

10. Pluto: Scorpio Rising

Since Scorpio casts a dark and intense presence, its chart ruler Pluto tends to give someone the impression of being powerful and deep. As such, others fall right in line when it comes to treating you with respect and honoring your boundaries.

"Pluto is the planet of rebirth and regeneration," says Lang. "Its influence suggests you feel a need to understand hidden motivations and truth so you can be a problem-solver for yourself and others. You appear to be deep and thoughtful."

FAQs about astrology chart rulers

Can my chart ruler change over time in astrology?

Your chart ruler never changes, says Lettman, because “the rising sign in your birth chart always remains the same.” No matter what is currently happening transit-wise to your chart ruler, it won’t change.

What does it mean when your ruling chart planet is in retrograde by transit?

As is the case with any retrograde planets in your birth chart, Lettman says that retrograde planets mean that their energy is a bit blocked and so you may have some trouble expressing in that area of your life—the same is true if your chart ruling planet is retrograde by transit. Because your rising sign is about how you present and appear to the world, when its ruling planet is retrograde she says “you’re more likely to experience bouts of self-doubt over your personal and body image and your direction in life. You may feel more hesitant and pessimistic about your life experiences and how to navigate them.”

Your personal life will feel more intense, too; you’re likely to feel more reflective and introspective about your life decisions and how to move forward as a result, she adds.

How does my chart ruler relate to my sun sign?

Your chart ruler isn’t related to your sun sign. Your sun sign is “solely related to your identity and sense of self,” says Lettman, while your chart ruler has to do with your life path.

Of course, both your rising sign and sun sign play an important role in your specific chart, as do all the various planets and signs in astrological houses that are present, so you should consider these too when looking at your overall story. But remember that your chart ruler is really only connected to your rising sign.

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