The 1st House represents self, appearance, individuality. The cusp or beginning of the 1st house is the ascendant or rising sign. The natural rulers are Aries and Mars.
The Rising Sign: Your Astrological Mask by Jeanne Avery
The Ascendant: Your Rising Sign by Jodie Forest
The Ascendant: Your Karmic Doorway by Martin Shulman
Learn more about the Ascendant, Rising Sign and 1st House with Steve Judd