Recently I was reading an old book from 1911 by Alfred John Pearce, his Textbook of Astrology. In Book I of the anthology, Pearce gives descriptions of individuals based on which sign is rising in their birth chart. I have reproduced them here because they are often amusing and also interesting to test in the charts of people you know. He cautions that the rising sign alone is not definitive. One must also take into account any planets that conjoin or closely aspect the Ascendant degree.
Here is the quote from Pearce:
“Modern authors have described the special influences exerted by the respective signs of the zodiac. The following may be accepted as a fair description of them:
ARIES produces a spare and strong body, of stature rather above the average; face long; eyebrows bushy; neck long; shoulders thick and powerful; complexion sallow or swarthy; hair black or sandy; disposition irritable. The first half of the sign gives a stronger constitution, and a greater muscular development, than the latter half.
TAURUS gives a middle stature; a thick, well-set body; a broad forehead; full face and prominent eyes; neck and lips thick; nose and mouth wide; complexion swarthy; dark or black hair, often curly; dis-position melancholy; slow to anger, but, when provoked, furious.
GEMINI usually produces a tall and straight body; complexion dark sanguine; hair blackish; eyes hazel, sight quick; a smart, active appearance; disposition fickle, understanding good.
CANCER — Moderate stature, upper part of body somewhat large; small round face, with pale, delicate complexion; brown hair; small gray eyes; effeminate in constitution and disposition, subject to chest affections.
LEO — A large, fair stature, broad shoulders; prominent and large eyes; hair generally light, and often yellowish; oval, ruddy countenance; of a high, resolute, haughty, and ambitious temper.
VIRGO — Middle stature, rather slender, but very neat and compact; dark sanguine complexion; dark hair; small, shrill voice (but if Mercury ascend in this sign, the native will be a great orator), witty, ingenious and studious, but of a fickle disposition.
LIBRA — Tall and elegantly formed, rather slender; hair brown, smooth, and glossy, yet sometimes jet-black; face having generally great beauty; fine clear sanguine complexion; blue sparkling eyes; good tempered, amiable, and high principled.
SCORPIO — Strong, corpulent, robust body; of middle stature; dark complexion; dark brown curling and bushy hair; neck thick; mind and disposition active, yet reserved and thoughtful.
SAGITTARIUS — A well-formed person; inclined to tallness; sanguine complexion, oval face and handsome; high forehead; chest-nut or bright-brown hair, growing off the temples, bald early in life; long Grecian nose; fine, clear eyes; jovial, active, and intrepid disposition, very fond of horses and hunting.
CAPRICORN — Slender make, in some cases ill-formed or crooked; a long, thin face, generally plain; thin beard; chin long and protruding; black, lanky hair; narrow chest; disposition subtle, collected, calm, witty, and yet melancholy.
AQUARIUS— Middle stature, stout, well-set, robust, and strong; long and fleshy face; good, clear, delicate, and sanguine complexion; sandy or darkish flaxen hair; hazel eyes; of prepossessing appearance, and good disposition.
PISCES — Stature short, body fleshy, crooked, or stooping, round shouldered; brown hair, large, round, pale face, (but if the Sun he rising, a good complexion); in disposition indolent and dull, prone to drinking, more or less.
The foregoing descriptions rarely answer exactly. For the ascending sign (although it has chief influence over the form of the body), will, if a planet be within 5° of the Eastern horizon, or in close aspect with it, have its influence considerably modified thereby.“