From the section on the Zodiac Wheel we are aware that as the Sun appears to travel its daily path around us so the wheel of the Zodiac appears to turn with it.
If the Sun rises in the East in Aries, it is Aries that is known to be RISING over the horizon at DAWN – diagram 1
At midday, the Sun (still in Aries) will have moved to its height overhead but, as Aries moves across the sky with the Sun, so ANOTHER SIGN will be rising in the East over the horizon. In diagram 2 we can see the sign rising over the horizon, in the East, is now Cancer.
As the Sun moves, so the complete Zodiac moves, and a different Sign will continuously be seen to be RISING in the East. This occurs right up until dawn the following morning.
This whole process then repeats itself again, with the Sun moving approximately 1 degree through the Sign each day until it finally moves into the next Sign after about a month.
For greater understanding why not try this exercise?
On a clear night, go ouside and look up at the galaxy overhead. Imagine how small we are in this infinite scene.
Now, turn to face the East – where the Sun always rises – and imagine it is your birthday, and the Dawn is beginning to break over the horizon. As this happens, the Sun will be seen in the part of the Zodiac that you know as your BIRTH SIGN or SUN SIGN (Aries, Taurus etc).
In your mind’s eye watch the Sun AND your Birth Sign rising untill it shines, warm and bright, high in the sky as if directly over your head. This is the point at midday, when the Sun is at its height, and the part of the Zodiac which is your Birth Sign is STILL behind it.
Imagine BOTH the Sun and your Birth Sign moving together, swinging slowly down to dip beneath the horizon as they set in the West.
All through the night they continue to move onward – reaching the lowest point at midnight – and rising together at Dawn the next morning (see diagrams above).
At some point during the day or night is the MOMENT of your birth, for we have been visualising this picture on your birthday.
When the Sun and your Birth Sign reach the exact time you were born, imagine it held there, locked in a moment of time, like the flash of a photograh. The print produced is a picture of the exact position of the Planets and Zodiac as they are at THAT MOMENT of your birth.
In the diagrams you have been looking at the Sun position in Aries, but the same process applies wherever the Sun is in the Zodiac Wheel.
To illustrate this, let us imagine you are a Leo, and born a couple of hours into the evening, but before midnight. If we could take a flash photograph of that moment, the zodiac and the Sun would look something like the diagram below.
If we look now to the EAST, we would see another sign – locked in position – and rising over the horizon.
This Sign is known as the ASCENDING SIGN or RISING SIGN, for it is the sign that is RISING over the horizon in the East at the MOMENT of birth.
In the above example, the Sun is in Leo and the Rising Sign (or Ascendant) is Aries.
The Ascendant is very important in Astrology. Click here to find out what it means in the chart.