There is a big difference between the Sun Sign and the Ascendant. Sun Sign is individual integrity, and Ascendant has a lot to do with appearance, and how we are perceived.
Those with Sagittarius rising often experience life as a challenge, a quest, or a search for adventure whose prize is the discovery of meaning. When Sagittarius is found rising, the need to develop self awareness comes about through expanding one’s horizons- either physical, mental or spiritual. Life is often approached with a sense of optimism and expansion, with an expectation of success. Along the way, you are likely to encounter the duality of human nature, the lower and higher dimensions of self, the animal and human nature. In this contradiction you will seek to answer the question “WHY”. The search for meaning, for truth, for a proven belief system based upon experience is the deeper implication when Sagittarius rises.
“You are driven by especially human motivations as you pursue your spiritual life. Your rising sign, Sagittarius, governs the hips and thighs. It is the arrangement of these parts of the body that allows humans to stand upright and walk. Translate this metaphorically to your spiritual life – upright thinking and attention to your spiritual path are a reflection of your capacity to maximize human potential on the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels.
In addition to the above capabilities, you have the capacity to use intuition in your life. You can envision the future better than most people. When you match your intuitive sensibility to your spiritual aspiration, you find that your path becomes easy to identify and to follow. The more you use your intuition, the more useful it becomes. Your intuitive ability rests in your intellectual development, so it is important to educate yourself well. In your studies you are often able to leap to the answer. It is important for you to fill in the blanks, even if it means going back, so that you learn how to solve more and more difficult problems.
Alan Oken take on Sag rising can be inspiring:
A person with Sagittarius rising is devoted to his aims and to the realization of his inner truth. He undertakes his journeys and adventures in order that these subjective realities may be fulfilled in his outer life through a concrete form of expression. Jupiter, the traditional ruler of this sign gives Sagittarius the urge for expansive experiences but it is the Earth, the esoteric ruler of this sign that commands. The Earth requires that one’s ideals and dreams be concretized and made practical. Service is not only an idealistic vision. On the Path of soul-influsion, service has to be anchored in one’s daily life. Sagittarius rising has as its purpose the need to find and formulate a “field of service”, through which one’s abundant creative fires of mind may take root and flourish. In this respect, Sagittarius rising becomes a Knight who holds on to his quest and purpose no matter what obstacles may assail him. His “shining armor” is the Light of the Soul and his purpose is to find the Hold Grail.
Sagittarius rising produces a longer head than normal, or at least a narrower one, and often with a back-sloping forehead or a noticeable ridge at the brow. Sometimes the head simply tapers from a wider forehead to a narrower chin in a V-shape like Virgo.
The energy is expansive, believing, outgoing, friendly and open, but many have “fled-to-the-head” with their expansive energy. The voice bears the same quality and the laughter can be especially uplifting, infectious and attention getting. The speech can sometimes involve stuttering because of enthusiastic thought energy that is so rapid it cannot be translated into words. At the very least excitability shows unless there is adequate earth, fixity or water to calm things down.
The ears and lobes are long most often and this distinguishes them from Capricorn, which has little if any ear lobes. The distance from mouth to chin is often elongated. The eyes can be especially brilliant, sparkling or twinkling and the energy is close to the surface nearly all the time. They are of the tallest in the zodiac, and the most extroverted. These people love freedom and truth, and are adventurous in their exploration of people, nature, philosophy and lands. They are actively open to the world, optimists, but oddly, often hypochondriac. The build is athletic, slender most often, but sometimes with more width. Even if short, the extroverted nature and breezy, friendly, open attitude gives them away. Their vision is farsighted and they must reach what captures their interest. They are restless and need to move and travel. The women are often tomboys in youth, going along and doing what the boys do, but can settle into womanhood to be quite appealing.
People born with Sagittarius rising are even taller that those born under the opposite sign, Gemini, the men in particular having large hands and feet. The size and weight of the bony frame is often too much for the ligaments of the spine to support, so these people often develop a decided stoop in later years. The face is long and well formed, the nose well proportioned, dark kindly eyes and dark chestnut hair. The body is very active, but requires much rest, as the recuperative powers are below the average.
The symbol of this sign shows that there are two widely different classes born therein. One, designated by the animal body of the Centaur, is frankly in for “a good time,” they are sporty, soldiers of fortune, of roving proclivities, fond of games of change, and ready to risk their all on the turn of a card, the speed of a horse, or a game of ball, while Aries or Scorpio people may become pugilists, and Taurus people take up wresting as a profession. The sports of Sagittarius have no element of cruelty in them. Sagittarians when afflicted may become criminals, their crimes are never violent, however, but rather results of their indulgence of the animal nature.
The other class is the extreme opposite, symbolized by the human part of the sign. Here is the man rising above the animal nature, bending the bow of aspiration and aiming at limitless space, signifying the loftiest longing of that immortal spark of incipient divinity we call the soul. This class is law abiding and of the highest morals; from it come the pillars of the church and beloved rulers of state famed for integrity, benevolence and justice.
The Sun rising in this sign is sure to bring preferment even to those born in lowly and obscure circumstances, and accentuate all good shown in the sign; so will Jupiter, the ruler.