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What is Taylor Swift's rising sign? Inside the biggest pop culture debate in astrology

We know her sun. We know her moon. But what's her rising?
TODAY Illustration / Getty Images / Dimitrios Kambouris

When, exactly, was Taylor Swift born? We don't know — and for astrologically inclined Swifties, the answer is of the utmost importance.

Swift's birthday is Dec. 13, 1989 in Reading, Pennsylvania, per her "1989" prologue. Much of her natal chart can be determined from that alone: Her sun is in Sagittarius, her moon sign is in Cancer, her Mars sign is in Scorpio. She has stelliums, or a word for three or more planets in the same sign, in Capricorn and Scorpio.

But there's a key ingredient of Swift's Big Three missing: Her rising sign, or the sign in her first house. Here's why it matters ... and why fans are "begging" for her to release that information and starting entire Reddit threads to get to the bottom of the starry mystery.

What is a rising sign?

A rising sign is the zodiac sign that is “rising” on the eastern horizon at the moment of birth. Rising signs switch every two hours. For comparison, sun signs switch every 30 days or so; moon signs, every two to three days.

Rising signs are thought to show the qualities a person presents to the world. Think of it as an astrological first impression.

Why do rising signs matter?

Rising signs organize a person's natal chart.

Birth charts are divided into 12 houses, each of which governs a separate section. The rising sign is in the first house, and then signs proceed from there in a counter-clockwise order.

Houses contextualize the signs and planets. If a person's sun sign is in the 10th house of public image, they may thrive in the limelight. If it's in the fourth house of home, they may prefer to spend their energy cultivating a space to relax.

With Swift's rising sign, astrologers would be able to get a more accurate picture of Swift's chart — not only the planets, but their placements in the 12 houses.

What is Swift's rising sign? People generally debate between 2

Swift has never shared her birth time, so technically, it could be any sign (the possibilities!). Generally, though, people debate between a birth time of 5:17 a.m., making her a Scorpio rising or 8:36 a.m., making her a Capricorn rising. Note that she has stelliums in each of those houses.

As an astrologer, I’m compelled to investigate both of the prevailing theories timed to moments in her career, and show how both would affect her chart.

The argument for a Scorpio Ascendant 

Scorpio risings tend to be deep thinkers, concerned with getting to the bottom of situations. They're forces to be reckoned with, using their intuition to move through life.

The water sign is one of the few with two planetary rulers: Mars and Pluto. Since Swift’s Mars is in Scorpio, having the action planet placed in the first house of self-expression fits, because she's a prolific artist.

Pluto in the 12th house of imagination and mysticism would mean that the art she puts out there is deeply personal and healing ... and secretive, explaining all those Easter eggs.

A Scorpio rising also aligns with some aspects in her recent history.

Swift released two studio albums, "Folklore" and "Evermore" in 2020. With the planet of creativity, Neptune, squaring her Sagittarius sun, the need to express oneself through artistry was high — especially with Neptune roaming through the fourth house of her chart, heightening these sentiments. Plus, her Cancer moon would’ve just gotten off the north node of destiny, making these successes fated. 

With Jupiter in Taurus currently transiting her sixth house of activity and moving into the romantic sector of her chart, along with the eclipses on the Taurus-Scorpio axis activating those areas as well, we can see the success of the "Eras" tour and her budding relationship with Travis Kelce. 

The argument for a Capricorn ascendant 

Capricorn risings are more serious and reserved, since their planetary ruler is Saturn. Success comes easily to Capricorn ascendents because they have the drive and motivation to be the best at what they do.

A Capricorn rising would place Saturn in her first house. This marks maturity at a young age and a desire to succeed — and she did sign a record deal at 15. The caveat is that it would make her shy in expressing her private life to the world — or maybe, doing it in her way (like in song lyrics).

"Red" came out in 2012, when Saturn was transiting her 10th or 11th houses, cementing her fame. The eclipses in Gemini and Sagittarius would’ve boosted her career further, as they would’ve impacted the public sphere of her birth chart. 

A Capricorn rising could point to her creativity soaring in 2023 and the success of her"Eras Tour," especially with Jupiter and the north node in Taurus galvanizing her chart. Even rebel planet Uranus is shaking up her life for the better, showcasing her many talents and ability to transform with every album.

As for which argument wins? We can't know for sure. But as an astrologer, I am more inclined to say Swift has a Scorpio rising. I think that the timeline and dates make more sense. Plus, Scorpio risings love to chase a mystery; Capricorns prefer to dispel them.