In the moments before his arrival, the veil of night gently releases its hold over the sky and drifts towards the West. She turns and begins to shrink back, bowing out gracefully as the East lightens from black to deep blue, and dawn breaks over the horizon. A chorus of colours appears - pink and lavender, cherry red and warm orange - as his light crashes upwards into the sky. Thousands of stars are extinguished by his flames. The moon fades from yellow to lacy white, and blue sky sprawls towards the retreating night in the West. He crests the mountain's edge - bright, hot, and burning, a golden idol. He banishes the darkness and all that hides there, illuminating the earth so that all can be seen. The world awakens, and the day begins.
The Sun ascends to it's zenith and pours himself over the ground, giving his light and heat to mother Earth so her fertile heart may bear him children. The sun glories at his children, loving them, marveling in his own childlike wonder at what he has created. He is a powerful creative force, giving, and generous. But he is proud, and demands to be made king of the world. He gives his golden self to this world so we may live. And in return, he demands to be worshipped above all else. Spoil him with praise, and he will give you fertile valleys and hot summer days. But offend him, and he will burn so hot your soil turns to sand and nothing can grow there; or, he will turn his back on you and abandon you in the cold.
After he reaches his highest heights, he turns West and falls into his final act of song and colour. The night sprawls her veil of darkness up from the East, and her thousands of stars are lit once more. The Sun may be proud, and powerful beyond measure, but even he must cycle away at night so that others can occupy the sky. When he is present, he demands to be seen, to be the only star in the sky. But he is wise enough to know that too much or too little of him is violent. Mother Earth loves him, and needs him, but she and her children need a balence of light and dark, of cold and hot, in order to fully appreciate him. So, out of love for her, he shrinks over the horizon and disappears, and the night takes hold once more.
There have been many symbols for the Sun across time and cultures. But our modern one (☉) comes from the Renaissance, and is the alchemy symbol for gold. It is a circle with a smaller circle in the middle, sometimes referred to as the Seed of Potential. The circle element symbolizes divine spirit, unity, and wholeness. It can also be seen as a womb, thereby being a symbol for creation. The dot can be the sun and the outer circle as Earth's orbit around it. It can also be the ego which is the center of a person's personality, the soul contained within the body of a person, or an idea within the mind.
In astrology, the Sun represents your ego, your identity, the core of who you are. This is where you conscious mind is, and where many of your thoughts and opinions come from. The ego is a powerful, passionate, and prideful thing. It is a source of strength, vitality, energy, and willpower, imposing itself on the world like the brightest star in the sky.
Self-actualization and personal fulfillment are found wherever this planet lies in your Natal Chart. The Sun shows what is it you want to become, what you want to be known as, and what purpose you believe you have in this lifetime. Here, in the center of yourself, is your desire to create and make things which are a reflection of who you are. Whether it is through the art you create or the children you have, these things are a part of you, and you need other to take pride in them as much as you do. The Sun brings new opportunities for achievement and recognition. And ultimately, leads you toward the unique way you seek to provoke meaningful change in this world.
But before you can achieve your dreams and fulfill all your desires, you must make sure your Sun has all that it needs. Only then, when our own fires are stoked with pride, can we give our warmth and generosity to others. For a healthy ego, you need love, praise, and attention. You need to know that you are cared for, that you are special, that you are unique, and that others are as proud of what you do as you are. When the ego feels happy and fulfilled, it gives itself to others confidently. At its best, the Sun is generous and benevolent, warm and friendly, full of self-respect and self-love. It sees the future optimistically, walking proudly with bright eyes and an open heart.
To have a weak, unhealthy Sun, leads to insecurity, self-doubt, cowardice, and pessimism. Instead of being confident in our abilities and decisions, we feel weak and vulnerable. A sore ego which does not receive the praise and attention it needs will fuel its own shrinking fires itself, cutting others down to make themselves feel bigger. On the other hand, too strong of a Sun is no better. When and the ego grows large and out of control, it makes one selfish, self-centered, narcissistic, demanding, egocentric, and childish in pride and temper. Neither extreme, as you can see, will lead to one finding and achieve their purpose in life.
The loving Sun gives, and the angry Sun demands. The key is balancing of this Yang energy so there is enough ego to feel happy with oneself, but not so much that those around us feel burnt by our flames. Not too hot, and not too cold; not too strong, and not too weak. Just as the actual sun cycles between day and night, summer and winter, seen and unseen, so too must we grow and extinguish our ego so as not to over or underwhelm the world around us.
rulership AND EXALTATION
The Sun is Ruled by Leo and Exalted in Aries. In these Fire Signs, the Sun burns the brightest and the hottest it ever has. In these Signs the Sun is strongest, showing both its positive and negative qualities in full force. Both of these Signs are known for being egotistical, with pockets of selfishness dimpling their pride, optimism, friendliness and giving nature. They have a potent creativity, dress in flashy colours, laugh the loudest, and fall hard and fast in love. Both Leo and Aries feel very strongly about who they are, and have no bones about demanding to be seen and heard whenever they want to be. Both run the risk of too strong of a Sun, and must remember to scale it back for the sake of others.
The Sun is in Detriment in Aquarius and in Fall in Libra. Here, in these Air Signs, the Sun lacks a solid sense of self. Instead of being proud and confident in themselves in their own right, they identify themselves based on the relationships they have with other people. Always conscientious of what other people want, always in need of other people, they sacrifice a portion of their own ego to better get along with others. Libra speaks quietly and politely, never demanding to be put first. Without confidence in their own decisions, they second-guess themselves and need constant reassurance from their partner. And Aquarius run off to lose themselves in a crowd, dissolving their self of self into the community they are a part of. Both of them run the risk of a weakened ego, and need to work on making it bigger.
SUN THROUGH THE SIGNS
SUN IN ARIES is in its Exalted position. The full force of your ego is shoved loudly in the faces of everybody around them, and you get powerful reactions back. To be an Aries is to be very masculine in nature, quick to fight and never one to back down from a challenge. You are easily excitable, jumping impulsively into every new adventure without a second thought. Secretly, you are very sensitive to rejection, with a strong (violent) reaction whenever you are made to feel weak or inadequate. But as aggressive and demanding as you may be, you are also friendly, open-hearted, sentimental, and generous, and always right there whenever somebody needs your support.
SUN IN TAURUS makes you the strong, silent type, the kind of person with a steady routine and a low-key lifestyle. You know who you are and what you are all about, and nothing can change your mind once it is made up about something. Stubbornness and obstinance are evident in situations where your ego is locked in a battle against somebody else's - you know you're right, you're always right, and you'll never apologize. It is pointless to fight you on anything because your opinion can never be swayed from where it already stands. Once you have committed to something, whatever it is, you are committed and loyal to it for the rest of your life.
SUN IN GEMINI divides your identity into two separate halves, like twins occupying the same womb. Sometimes you may even feel like two different people vying for the same body! You see both sides of every issue, understand both sides of every argument, and often hold two opposing opinions at once. You have a hard time defining who you are because it changes so often, and so quickly, from one group of people to the next. You are talkative and social, but also an introverted, deep thinker. You are logical and rational in the way you think, but emotional when moods suddenly strike you. You are masculine and feminine, committed and freedom-loving, conservative and democratic - all the opposites things at once, and a very complicated person as a result!
SUN IN CANCER has very strong ties to the past and to your roots, building an identity around your childhood and your family. An especially large part of who you are comes from your mother and your relationship to her, making you naturally a very emotional, protective, and nurturing person. But it does not seem that way from the surface. On the outside you are cynical, dry, detached. You don't seem to care about much or be affected by anything. Look a little deeper, however - past that hard outer shell into the soft, squishy insides - and one can see all your sensitive, vulnerable, sentimental emotions, heavily fortified so that nothing can touch them. The only indication that you maybe more emotional than you let on are you sudden moods swings and your angry sense of humour. Other than that, you keep a tight lid on how you really feel.
SUN IN LEO is in its Ruled position. Having your Sun here makes your personality bright and warm, generous and loving, optimistic and proud. Creativity is at the center of your life, and you proudly show off your creations, for you think highly of yourself and expect others to as well. This has earned this placement a reputation for being self-centered and selfish, for hogging the spotlight and making everything about themselves. But there is no malice here. This is the child's ego: large, sensitive, unaware of the world outside of themselves, and pure in its intentions. See Sun in Leo as the child that it is, and you will understand it much better than you otherwise would.
SUN IN VIRGO often suffers from a weakened ego, overly dependant on others for approval and validation. You are selfless in service to others, contorting yourself to become whatever it is other people want or need you to be. Your identity, then, is constantly shifting, as you need to be what your parents want, what your spouse wants, what your friends want, and what your society wants, all at once. Working hard to please other people can make you anxious and insecure, even though you usually receive a lot of pride and praise for being who (other people think) you are. Not that anyone would know it, though. Like Cancer, you have an "outer shell" that appears tough and cynical, cold and uncaring, that protects those softer and more vulnerable emotions underneath.
SUN IN LIBRA is in its Fall position. You lack a solid sense of self, and you require the mirror of a relationship to discover who they truly are. Your ego is stunted, not allowed to grow as full and as proud as it would like to, for you are always considering how your actions affect other people. You sacrifice your selfishness and pride so others will like you more, receiving love and attention by being cooperative, polite, and nice. But putting yourself aside for the sake of other people's comfort weakens your ego. And you lose a portion of your independence, confidence, decisiveness, and self-esteem in the process. In this lifetime, you need to strengthen your ego with self-love, self-respect, and kindness to yourself, thereby growing into a stronger, more powerful individual on your own.
SUN IN SCORPIO strongly identifies with the darker side of human nature. Your ego is intense and powerful in this Sign, brimming with fiery creative energy. People are drawn to you for your sexy, magnetic allure, but you respond with cool detachment and a return to your private, inner world. Deep down, you possess an extremely volitive, emotional, passionate disposition, and an ego that is hungry for power and control. Whether because of wisdom or shame, you keep this side of your personality hidden from others, so that you may better maneuver your way to the top unseen and unexpected. This is a Sun that craves fame and adoration, just as any other...but that is willing to do what others won't in order to achieve it.
SUN IN SAGITTARIUS is free-spirited and highly independent, born to travel and see the world, always a restless wanderer. You strongly identify as an intellectual and a teacher, someone with inherent wisdom that is infinitely valuable to those around you. At your best, you can use your optimism, creativity, and generosity to make the world a better place. In the way is an ego that burns bright and moves fast, sometimes getting so hot that you become careless to how you are affecting other people. This is a Sun that runs the risk of growing too big and burning those around you with foolish pride and selfish intentions. But if you remember to cycle near and away, your loved ones will only know your warmth and generosity.
SUN IN CAPRICORN ties your ego to what you have achieved, making you a driven and goal-oriented person. But you feel as though you are forever climbing and never reaching the top - forever seeking other people's approval, but never getting it. Only taking pride in your accomplishments, and never feeling as though you've accomplished anything, means that your ego is usually cut down to size by your own self-doubt. Blowing past milestones and orientating towards new goals when you've achieved old ones, you hardly take a second to pat yourself on the back before setting off up the mountain again. You need to find more things to be proud of besides what you own and what you've done - deeper, more personal things, that are more reflective of who you are as a person.
SUN IN AQUARIUS is in its Detriment position, caught between needing to be different and needing to belong. You take pride in the fact that you aren't like everyone else. You're smarter, wiser, more aware of the world, and you dare to be unique in a society that demands conformity. But you also have an equally strong desire for other people to like you, to lose yourself in a crowd and become a part of something greater than yourself. This constant battle is what makes your ego burn too hot and too cold at the same time, making you intellectually egotistical but emotionally vulnerable and in need of other people's validation. You need to find a balance between both of these ego needs and a healthy compromise, such as belonging to a fringe group of other outsiders who feel the same way you do.
SUN IN PISCES means you lack a solid identity altogether, always changing to match the people around you. Your ego is permeable, sensitive, easily affected by what other people want and need for you. Your compassion and your empathy erases the boundaries between you and other people, and you offer up a portion of who you are so you can become whatever other people want you to be. In turn, you suffer silently from a weak ego that is overly dependent on others for everything. This is a placement that almost always takes pride in their lack of an ego, but who especially needs to grow their Sun to the right size by becoming their own person.
So far, you've been learning about your Sun Sign non-stop. But in our next article, we will be moving onto the other planets, starting with the Moon and your emotional nature. In the meantime, if you are excited about learning about your other placements and want to read about them more in-depth, you can purchase a reading from me in my store. Otherwise, I will see you in the next article!