The ascendant (, Asc or As) is the astrological sign (and degree of that sign) that is ascending on the eastern horizon at the specific time and location of an event. According to certain astrological theories, celestial phenomena reflect or determine human activity on the principle of 'as above, so below'. Thus some astrologers believe that the ascendant signifies a person's awakening consciousness, in the same way that the Sun's appearance on the eastern horizon signifies the dawn of a new day.Because the ascendant is specific to a particular time and place, to astrologers it signifies the individual environment and conditioning that a person receives during their upbringing, and also the circumstances of their childhood. For this reason astrologers believe that the ascendant is also concerned with how a person has learned to present themself to the world, especially in public and in impersonal situations. To astrologers, in some circumstances, it can function as a shield or mask to guard a person's real nature. It functions as an interface between the many levels of personality makeup and the external reality. Astrologers believe the ascendant also has a strong bearing on a person's physical appearance and overall health. It is the 3rd most important influence in a horoscope. The Ascendant is thus considered to be of great significance in all schools of astrology because it in effect serves as the filter through which everything in a horoscope is expressed. Most astrologers believe that the Rising Sign and especially planets on it or within a few degrees of the Ascendant exert an influence equal to or more powerful than the Sun and Moon. In Jyotish (Hindu astrology), the ascendant is without question the most individual and defining element in the chart.