The earth rotates on its axis a full 360 degrees in twenty-four hours. If you face east at night when the light of Sun doesn’t block your view, you can watch the parade of zodiac constellations slowly coming up over the horizon. Each takes about two hours (24 divided by 12 = 2) to rise. The sign that was rising at your birth is your rising sign. It starts the beginning of your chart and the planet which rules that sign (is most strongly associated with it) is said to rule your whole chart.
Each portion of a chart, like a slice of the heavenly pie, is called a house and corresponds with a department of your life. The first slice (just below the eastern horizon) relates to very personal matters such as your genetics, body, appearance, outlook and key personality traits. You will know yourself much better by learning about your rising sign. You can get a lot of helpful hints about your health by following what’s going on with your first house and your ruling planet.
If you like to read horoscope forecasts for the zodiac signs, you’re familiar with looking at your Sun sign. That’s the sign for the time of year you were born. You share it with everyone born during that Sun sign period (which you have noticed does not correspond to an exact calendar month). To read a forecast that applies more personally to you, check according to your rising sign. When astrologers write forecasts, they look where the moving planets (called transits) are travelling and interpret them according to the meanings of the house departments. Your life will be better described by matching up with your real house departments, and unless you are born around sunrise, your Sun sign will not be rising. Therefore your Sun sign forecast does not describe your department conditions as accurately as the forecast for your rising sign would.
How Do I Determine My Rising Sign?
Your true “horoscope” (meaning a “look at the hour”) is based on your exact time of birth, as well as the date (of course!) and the place. Those are the three components used to construct a chart and that process identifies the sign that was rising in the east at your birth. Look for your birth time on your birth certificate or in a baby book. That’s better than relying on the memory of one of your relatives (although they may have a story that helps in case the birth certificate or baby book does not have your birth time). You can also try contacting the Vital Statistics or Records department at the town or city hall in your birth place (not the hospital, which turns birth and death records over to the municipality). The doctor had to file a “Record of Live Birth” (since you were not stillborn) and that almost always has the birth time. Even if your birth certificate does not state the time of birth (look at it carefully – the time does not always stand out), there’s a good chance it will be in your file. Don’t just request a birth certificate; make it clear that you want the time. You may be asked to send a self-addressed stamped envelope and a payment to find out but it’s worth the cost and effort.
Once you have the time, go to a website that offers free chart calculations, such as alabe.com and fill in your information. When the chart circle appears, your rising sign is shown at what would be the 9 o’clock position on a clock face (the middle of the left side). It will be the dividing line between the 1st and 12th houses. (Houses go counterclockwise around the circle, starting at this eastern horizon.)
If you absolutely have no way to find out your birth time, there is one last resort: rectification. That’s a lengthy and grueling process where an examination of what was happening astrologically at the times of major events in your life thus far points to a likely birth time and a workable chart for you. Many astrologers won’t undertake such a task but yours truly will, for a price, a high price. Which is a good incentive for you to go to great lengths first to find out your birth time if that’s at all possible.
Without a birth time, an astrologer is limited in the detail she can provide to you. Your birth time is a key to unlock the treasure chest of information about your life that lies in your true horoscope.