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The Esna Zodiac & Sphinx marking the Zodiac start

The Zodiac is a circular projection of constellations.  How does one mark the beginning of a circle?  But the Temple at Esna, near Luxor Egypt, displays the Zodiac linearly.  The Esna Zodiac shows us how the ancients marked the start and the end of the Zodiac. Below is the Esna Zodiac, showing the Zodiac constellations moving in a procession from right to left in the lower level with the procession on the upper level cycling from left-to-right behind, following the U-turn arrows.

Linear Zodiac on the Portico of the Temple at Esna. Zodiac Constellations are circled in red. The Sphinx (circled in green) heads the Zodiac procession. Virgo starts the procession and Leo is last.

The Sphinx heads the procession of constellations.  Sphinx means ‘to bind together’ and is a woman’s head joined to a lion’s body.  Directly following the sphinx comes Virgo, the first constellation in the zodiac procession.  The zodiac constellations then follow Virgo in standard sequence with the last constellation, at the upper left, being Leo.  The Esna Zodiac shows where the zodiac began (Virgo) and where it ended (Leo).

Array of Sphinxes – Woman’s head on Lion’s body, the first & last in the Zodiac

We read the Ancient Zodiac story beginning with Virgo and ending with Leo.