Written by Robert Wilkinson
We are both, and each serves to teach us who we are in their own way. That’s why if we don’t know our time of birth, we can still learn a lot about who we are and how we can best approach what happens in our lives, since our Solar chart offers keys to our character, illumination, and higher destiny.
Ultimately, the difference between a Solar (sunrise) chart and a natal chart is determined by the time of day we were born. It’s a different between the chart for how we project our Light into our world, the potential for that day, and the chart for our self-image and how we view our world. The difference between solar charts and natal charts can help us distinguish the difference between who we are and who we appear to be. If you’ve even wondered why a person’s self-image is wildly different from who they really are, this article will clarify why this is.
The Sun is a planetary Light. It is who we ARE, our Light, Life, and Heart we radiate as we stay steady on our course throughout our lives. The Sun is " what you are, a superstar," our Eternal Radiance where "we all shine on and on and on." The sign our Sun is in how our Light/Life radiates, how we express our illumination, and symbolizes how we view what it integral to our lives, our integrity, and how we integrate various parts of our reality within an ever greater Light field.
The rising sign, or Ascendant, is the sign on the Eastern horizon the moment we were born. That sign shows the particular lens of how we view various life areas. It is our horizontal axis where we move through the “I-Thou” of our life. The Rising sign, or Ascendant, is determined by what time and where you were born, as is the Midheaven, which is our vertical axis of “roots and flowers.” All signs are on the Ascendant for some period each day, as are the signs on the Midheaven.
The Rising sign is part of our mystery of how we view our self and our world. The Ascendant and its opposite point, the Descendant, offer us a view of “self-non-self,” and the Midheaven and its opposite point, the Nadir, show how we view our “roots” and what types of “flowers” we aspire to show our world. The Nadir show how our early subjective experience are related to our adult objective public self-image, shown by the Midheaven.
All house systems, how we divide the area between the Ascendant and Midheaven, determine what sign is on which house in our chart, which symbolize our orientation toward the various outer life affairs associated with the houses. There are many houses systems, but ultimately we have the 12 distinct life areas shown by the houses, with zones where two life areas overlap.
The question about the relative importance of the planets versus the houses compels us to examine the individual functions of the planets and the houses, so that we understand the different meanings associated with these different essential factors in astrology. When it comes to placing “more importance” on the Sun sign, or Moon sign, or rising sign, each building block in the craft has its unique and specialized “meaning,” or “department of influence.”
The Sun has a much different function than the Ascendant, and each are important in their own way. So is the Moon sign, as well as every planet in every sign and house. It’s not so much a matter of “which is more powerful,” as how we relate to the planetary function expressed in a life area indicated by the houses. The planets are our inner “Lights,” each with its own department of expression. The signs are the filters through which the Lights shine, and the house is the part of our life where that Light is expressing that sign quality.
Over the years I’ve been asked how the Sun in a certain sign is different than having a rising in that same Sign. Here’s an example, using the sign of Scorpio:
A Scorpio Sun is illuminated by Scorpio people and experiences, and illuminates their world using shining Scorpio energy. They are the radiance of enlightened magnetism, of understanding that letting go precedes attracting new material, and always seek to penetrate into the depths beyond the image.
On the other hand, Scorpio rising has a Scorpionic self-image and physical instinct, and sees their world through a Scorpio lens. They identify with attraction and repulsion, loss and gain as part of the way they see themselves and their interactions, and being the Ascendant, always put a lot of pressure on themselves, usually held in their body.
The Sun in Scorpio represents the engine that pulls the train, while a Scorpio rising is more about the view of self as the primary “I am” reference point in the affairs of life in the world. I believe both are extremely important in getting an understanding of who a person IS, as well as how they see themselves.
So primarily, the Sun is how we are illuminated, illuminate others, and derive power and vitality. The rising sign is the lens of how we see ourselves and our bodies relative to our external world. It is said that the Sun is who we ARE as a self-generating, self-perpetuating Light in the World, and the Ascendant is the mystery of who we are among all others with the same planetary positions as we have.
In other words, of all those with our same planetary "vintage" (those born at or near the same time and day we were wherever we were born), our special way of being in the world is shown by our Rising Sign, with its special take on the various departments of life shown by the other signs and houses. It is what makes two people with similar Suns, Moon, or any other significant parallel placements so very different in their approach to the affairs of life.
Still, despite the differences in (for example) a Sun in Leo with Scorpio rising versus Sun in Scorpio with Leo rising, we see that in a Solar chart (a chart done for sunrise with the Sun on the Ascendant creating 12 sectors from that point) there are interesting similarities between those with similar Sun and Ascendant signs. In practice, all Suns in Leo have similar orientations as Leo risings, and all Suns in Scorpio have similar orientations as Scorpio rising, if they are living any kind of illuminated existence at all. (If they’re not, then often they seem more like their Moon sign, but that’s another article entirely.)
Both a Sun in Scorpio and a Scorpio rising take a Sagittarian view of resources and values (Sagittarius being the 2nd house/sign from Scorpio), a Capricorn view of information, the environment, and sibling relationships (Cap being the 3rd house/sign from Scorpio), an Aquarian view of the early home life (Aquarius is the 4th house/sign from Scorpio), a Pisces view of creativity, children, and spontaneity, and so forth around the wheel. The difference is that the Solar chart shows our Sun's approach to those life affairs; the Ascendant shows our self image's approach to those life affairs.
To offer a few more examples, Libra Sun and Libra rising have a Scorpio approach to resources and values, a Sag lens on their siblings, a Capricorn view of the early home life, an Aquarian view of children, etc. However, Leo Sun and Leo rising approach money and values through the Virgo lens, the local environment and their siblings through a Libra lens, and the early life through the Scorpio lens.
The Light of my Sun in Aries values Taurus things, people, and experiences, while my Leo self-image values Virgo things, people, and experiences. So my light values what is easy and enjoyable, while my self-image values that which is functional and useful.
Extending this further, the Light of my Sun in Aries is grounded in Cancer, but my Leo self-image is grounded in Scorpio. So my light grounds in intimacy and security, while my self-image grounds in intensely shared experiences.
You can apply this formula to all the signs, regardless of which is on the Ascendant. Learn the order of the signs, and you'll immediately see the connectedness of all the departments of our outer affairs symbolized by the houses.
In part 2 we’ll continue the theme, elaborate on some key concepts, and introduce other important factors when examining the Ascendant and Sun sign in a chart.
Reprinted on crystalwind.ca with written permission from Robert Wilkinson. Copying this article to other blogs is strictly prohibited. It is copyright protected.
© Copyright 2023 Robert Wilkinson
© Copyright 2023 Robert Wilkinson - https://www.aquariuspapers.com
About the author:
Robert wilkinson An internationally-known astrologer, author, public speaker, metaphysician, and futurist, with over 25 years experience as a counselor and educator. He has presented hundreds of public talks on all aspects of Astrology, the Eastern Wisdom tradition, the Western Wisdom tradition and promoted many mass gatherings and cultural events. Some of his specific areas of interest and expertise include personality profiles, degree patterns, integrative astrology, various aspect harmonics, among others.
Reprinted on crystalwind.ca. with written persmission from Robert Wilkinson.
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