Global searching is not enabled.
Skip to main content

Ascension: long and short / direct and crooked

In the northern hemisphere:

signs of long or straight or direct ascension are: Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius
signs of short or crooked ascension are: Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini

Reverse for the southern hemisphere.

Due to the obliquity of the ecliptic, not all signs of the zodiac rise over the ascendant in an even span of time –  signs  of "long" or "straight" ascension rise at a greater angle to the horizon, which results in longer ascensional times; signs of "short" or "crooked"  rise at a more acute angle, so they ascend over the ascendant more quickly. The difference becomes more dramatic the further from the equator the observer is, and the effect is not observed at the equator, where the signs rise at approximately equal times (2hrs per sign).

Signs of long ascension are generally associated with longer durations and more direct paths; those of short ascension are associated with shorter durations and more crooked or unclear paths. 

→ This video, set for London, has the Sun near 0° Aries (a sign of short ascension) and the Moon near 0° Libra (sign of long ascension). Note that when the Sun rises (i.e., when Pisces/Aries is rising), the angle the ecliptic makes to the horizon is sharply acute. But by the time the Moon rises (i.e., when Virgo/Libra is rising), the angle the ecliptic makes to the horizon is at its greatest.

» Glossary of terms