That is a common misinterpretation of what your Ascendant (or Rising Sign) indicates. It does NOT indicate your physical body. It indicates the "appearance" of your superficial SOCIAL BEHAVIORS. The behaviors we hide behind when first meeting someone, or not yet comfortable in a social setting. And the more uncomfortable we are, the MORE we hide behind the style of those behaviors indicated by our Rising Sign.
And as soon as we become comfortable, we drop that "act" and our actual personality starts to show through.
Sun = how we try to find inner self-fulfillment, a sense of wholeness about ourselves. The Sign is the general style of behaviors we use to try to achieve that sense of wholeness, the House is where we look in life to seek that sense of wholeness. And MOST IMPORTANTLY, how Sun "aspects" with other planets indicates how this need interacts with our other inner needs.
If the interaction is harmonious (according to the type of aspects/distances/interaction), we express the positive side of that Sign's style of behavior, and this makes it easier to feel good about ourselves.
IF the interaction is discordant, we express the negative side of that Sign's style of behavior, and this screws up our attempts to find that inner wholeness ... at least, until we learn to become self-aware and then set about changing ourselves. NOTHING in the chart CONTROLS us. It is only an influence and it indicates how we will LIKELY be IF we do nothing to change or grow.
And for EACH planet/inner need, first we look at how it is aspected to other planets to see how well it is likely to function.
Only then do we consider the Sign it is in, the House it is in, and what houses it "rules". (For instance, Sun "rules" Leo, so if you are studying the impact of the Sun-need on you, and your Sun is in Leo, then you will also study whatever house has Leo on its cusp ... as well as Sun's aspects, Sign and House position).
Sun = self-esteem needs
Moon = emotional needs and automatic emotional reactions
Mercury = our mind .. how we form opinions, how we communicate (not HOW intelligent we are but how we USE whatever intelligence we have)
Venus = our relationship needs. What we value about relationships, what we want from them and offer to them. All relationships and not just love. Look to specific houses for specific types of relationships. It is also, to some extent our aesthetic tastes.
Mars = desire. Desire for ANYTHING. And when we want something, we try to get it. And if we are blocked we get frustrated, and perhaps even angry.
So Mars is about how we respond to have a desire of any kind, how we take action to get it, how much initiative we have, how we are assertive or even aggressive, how we handle frustration and anger, etc.
Jupiter = how we try to include more of the world into our life. It is how we reach out. Our optimism, our networking with others. Possibly our tolerance and generosity.
Saturn = how we handle reality ... which includes limitation. We define ourselves partially through by focusing on what we are NOT. And if we see ourselves realistically, we can avoid wasting time on things we cannot do, and can succeed at what we are skilled at. But if Saturn is badly aspected, we find reality to be restrictive and depressing ... self-esteem problems (especially if Saturn is in a square or opposition aspect with our Sun), negative thinking, even depression.
The 3 outer planets are a need to change ourselves:
- Uranus seeks self-change by becoming MORE of an individual. So this is our uniqueness, our individuality, and sometimes our rebellion.
- Neptune seeks self-change by becoming LESS of an individual. By focusing on others, we take our focus off ourselves. So this is out empathy and spirituality. And it is also about anything that is NOT our conscious self: subconscious factors that, positively aspected, can produce intuition, compassion, artistic inspiration. If negatively aspected, it produces escaping from a too harsh reality into drugs or self-delusion.
- Pluto seeks change through sheer will-power. If we turn it inward, we find great courage to face ourselves and transform ourselves into the best, wisest, and happiest we can be. If we turn it outward, we try to manipulate others and force them to change.
All astrology indicates is our internal psychological dynamics. Physical appearance is controlled by DNA. And even the inner influence of astrology on us can be changed and outgrown.