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Planet Series: The SUN

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Planet Series: The SUN


The Sun defines much of Astrology's format and structure. The Sun, along with its relationship to the Earth, defines our daily cycle and our seasonal cycle. We will explore some of these aspects as part of our understanding of the Sun's role in astrology.

The Earth's daily rotation brings the Sun into our daily experience, warming us and bringing light to plant, work and (long ago, especially) hunt for food. The loss of the Sun over the western horizon each day gave us pause to think about our day and to wonder about the next day. Recognizing that some days in the year were longer and others shorter, we sought to measure the difference. This was one of the factors that helped us to invent time in terms of hours and portions of hours.

The seasons of the year are set by the Sun-Earth relationship. And the sub-sections of that year were/are equated to the warming-cooling cycle, the activities that take place during the various seasons. A fined-tuned manner for splitting the seasons into increments that could be measured was based on the rising of specific Fixed Stars during the year. Now, we had a conflict. We could measure the seasons based on when the Equinox occured each spring -- or we could measure the seasons based on the Fixed Stars as a reference. We had a Tropical Zodiac (Seasonal reference) and a Sidereal Zodiac (another type of seasonal reference). With that, we gained a deeper understanding of orbital mechanics and mathematics and of time measurement. From the Sun we have learned much.

So, which zodiac is right -- the Tropical or Sidereal? What makes either/any zodiac work? Every cycle has three things to define it: The starting point from which we can mark or measure the cycle, the length of the cycle, and the integrity of the continuing cyclic structure. If the starting point of the cycle is called "Aries" and if the cycle repeats (as it does), then it has to have a logical sequence that is both "whole" and also leads back to the starting "Aries" point. The flow of the cycle is what gives it meaning, not the eight or ten or twelve or fifteen arbitrary divisions we assign to the cycle.

So, which zodiac is right? They both are. The Tropical zodiac, measured by the seasons and based on the Equinox as the start of "Aries" is a physical zodiac of experience and cultural activity. The Sidereal zodiac, measured in relationship to the fixed stars, is a connection to the universe, a spiritual path of growing thru events as part of the human condition. We won't discuss zodiac's more until some time has passed.

Given the logical progression of the seasonal cycle, whatever segments we use to mark portions of the cycle will take on an orderly meaning that reflects life. We have to consider this because the Sun defines the seasons for us and gives the progression of the seasons their meaning. We have spring and increasing warmth for growth and planting, we have summer and continued warmth for growing, we have the fall period for harvesting, the winter for rest and replenishment. The question is, "How do we seperate the Sun from the Zodiac Signs?"

The Sun is very powerful as an astrological symbol. It is itself. It really doesn't care much about the other astrological bodies as it goes about the process of expressing itself. It is ego, it is self-centered and focused, it is demanding and comanding, it integrates any planets it comes into aspect with but it always seeks the dominate role. It lends other bodies power and light. It brings the functions of other planets into focus and sharpens our awareness of them. We attribute "male" qualities to the Sun, perhaps due to the fact that the Moon is so obviously "female" in nature. We humans love polarity -- even if we have to invent it where it is not existant.

So, the Sun's key words can include Power, Focus, Determination, Maleness, Awareness, Authority (our or others), Recognition. But its primary function is that of integration of other planet's meanings into its own primal force. The Sun is Primal. Like Mars, the Sun seems to know no bounds or refinement, it just "is." It is self expression through signs, houses, aspects. Other than the functions given earlier as key words, the Sun can take on expressions of the planets it aspects. The Sun itself is not personality, it is ones basic idea of "self" and "self interests." It is a core identity but it is not all of our identity. It is the force and fierceness of life and living, the urge to be, to expand our own space and well-being, to luxurate in health and enjoyment.

The Sun isn't easy to pin down. It is so wrapped up in many parts of astrology that it is hard to strip its true identity out from all of the excess baggage, wrongly thought out, and overlapping concepts that we wrap it in. So, your thoughts and feedback are invited.

We need to consider the Sun and its role before we can go back to the Moon and its relationship to the Sun -- something which is both extensive as well as being critical to understanding our charts. Dave.
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Seeking the pure meanings of the SUN symbol


In my prior post I raised the question of how we can seperate the Sun from the pervasive "Sun-and-Sign" format of astrology as promoted in newspaper columns and many "horoscope" magazines. Consider this: If everyone knew their chart we could just as easily have a popularized a Sun-House form of astrology insted of a Sun-Sign astrology. "Oh, I'm a second-house Sun; I'm so "what's in it for me" that my best friend can no longer stand to be around me." We can see, using a contrary example of Sun-Sign meanings, just how misleading and stereotyping such a practice could be.

It takes some self discipline and awareness to realize how we misuse astrology and slant our perceptions of what a chart means when we immediately try to build an interpretation on the Sun-in-Libra or Sun-in-Scorpio placements in our charts or the charts of others. WE NEED TO JUST FIRST LOOK AT THE SUN AND WHAT IT CONNECTS TO IN THE CHART!

First of all, I suggest that we need to remember just what the Sun can mean in a chart. I gave some keywords in the prior post: Personal Power, Focus, Determination, Maleness, Awareness, Authority (ours or others), Recognition, Vitality, Self and possibly "Identity", the Heart, the expression of Desire but not the basis for a desire, Self Assertion as a way of life (unlike Mars which is a physical action or a passionate action).

Second, we need to keep these word/meaning concepts in mind while we consider those things that the Sun links to. Remember, I made the point that the Sun "integrates" other factors in the chart. So, we immediately look to see what the Sun relates to in terms of its aspects to another planet or a significant point such as the Ascendant or MC degrees. If the Sun does not have major aspects to other planets, all is not lost.

We can consider the Sun in terms of its phase relationships to other planets. Consider this: the Sun moves at a regular rate through the seasonal cycle, through the zodiac, and through the parade of planets -- no matter what their position, sequence or spacing. Within a year or so, the Sun will mostly contact every point in your chart. At the time of ones birth, we cast a chart which is a "static" picture, a portrait of local/distant space that seems to "imprint" us with certain characteristics. Yet, this local/distant space picture is always changing. We didn't just ARRIVE at a certain time and place as a "people" entity, we DEVLOPED our place in the world for ourselves and with others.

This developmental process brings with it the importance of "when the Sun last contacted each planet" and "where the Sun last contacted each planet." If we take the time to see where the Sun (as well as Mars, Jupiter, Saturn) made those conjunctions prior to birth, and then assess where the Sun was at birth in terms of its "phase" from that starting point for each Sun-Planet cycle, we would learn a lot about our chart that we would otherwise miss. I will explore this in a seperate thread a little later. It will be an eye-opener, I promise you.

So, back to the Sun conjunct another Planet or the Sun aspecting another Planet. This is how the Sun expresses itself. I would strongly suggest to each of those reading this post, based on my 35 years of experience, that this is more important than first looking at the sign or house placement of the Sun! AGAIN, THIS IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN FIRST LOOKING AT THE SIGN OR HOUSE PLACEMENT OF THE SUN. There, I've made my point.

As an example, Sun aspecting Mars. This emphasizes the experience of life, a high level of energy, determination to force or achieve what one desires, the expression of courage and leadership. It can also mean hastiness, being prone to arguement, spontaneous inclinations. Realizing this "specificness" of the Sun in a chart will help you far more than accepting a broad generalization of Sun-in-Sign meanings. YOU ARE ALWAYS BETTER OF REALIZING ONE OR TWO SPECIFICS THAN TRYING TO BLEND A ZILLION GENERALITIES. We need to keep astrology simple in order to make it effective. This is a highly important statement -- simplicity and directness equals effectiveness, while generalities placed upon other generalities equals blah, blah, blah.

Only after understanding how the Sun and the Sun-plus-another-planet will tend to express itself should we start to look at other things. Those other things should be, I would suggest, HOUSE POSITION first and SIGN POSITION a distant second. Many of you will disagree with this, Yet, I will tell you that I can do a deep chart interpretation without using Signs. But, each of you have to develop your skills, your astrological tool kit based on your beliefs and your experience and your abilities. I can accept that, I'm just trying to give those who read this and disagree with me a chance to break habits that might be slowing up their growing understanding of astrology. Keep it simple. Dave.
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The progressed Sun


A secondary progression chart paints a picture in terms of time as to when and how we grow our Sun-symbology. As the Sun move ahead, about a degree per year in this type of chart, it slowly departs from some aspect patterns and approaches other aspect patterns. During our lifetime the Sun may only move through a portion of one quadrant of our chart. This isn't much, but it is significant.

Consider a natal 10th house Sun. By the time we are into adulthood we may find our progressed Sun in the 11th house, changing the potential focus from self achievement to working with social groups, building contacts and long-term friendships. Later in life, our Sun may enter the 12th house, urging us to then consider a legacy that we can leave for others. Along this journey the Sun will have dropped out of some aspects and entered into others. Unlike the Moon, the Sun will not go aspect-crazy and touch everything in your chart. In a life time it may drop out of four or five major aspects and then make a few new ones. These will set a theme for those phases of your life in terms of where you decide to go in life, your attitude and ability to take on challenges, to enjoy life in different ways then you enjoyed in your early life.

There are other tools that also have a strong impact on changes in your life span. Transiting Saturn and Jupiter, individually and as a pair. Progressed Moon -- which travels through your chart as fast as Saturn transits it. Together, progressed Moon and transiting Saturn work together to shape your life -- something we will go into much later.

So, progressed Sun represents the possible growth and change in your spirit, your health, your attitude and the level of vitality that your perspective on life gives you or takes from you. The progressing Sun learns to integrate new types of energies into you understanding, fueling new inspiration and ideas. Your conscious will is changed by these planetary contacts -- how will you use these new perspectives over time? Dave
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Keywords for the Sun: positive/masculine, individuation, consciousness, creativity

Personification: Apollo, Horus

Primary symbolism: Fire, the Hero

Thanks to pop astrology books, there is the misconception that we come into life with a sun-sign, ready made and fully describing our personalities. This is useful for discussing in bars, perhaps, but that's the end of its meaningfulness because the basic concept is WRONG. The Sun represents our unfolding as individuals over a lifetime and does not come in a neat, tidy package. As Steven Forrest said, you are not a Capricorn, you are Capricorning.

We come into life born in the cup of the Moon and surrounded by that matrix. But we know that each child in the family is different, with different inherent capabilities and potentials. One will prefer to read, another to make great piles of dirt and call them castles. This is first glimmering of the possible direction a fully matured and developed individual will take.

Jung coined the word "individuation" to describe the process of becoming, of living up to our desires and potentials. The Sun in a horoscope is the symbol of the creative journey we call a lifetime. It is the outpouring of energy that leads us to become what we, personally, are meant to be. Not what our society or family thinks we ought to be, but what we are destined to become. Sometimes there are such tremendous barriers to overcome in reaching our destiny that the individual becomes stunted, forced to fall back into a mold created by circumstances. In that case, it is a good bet that you will see a more lunar personality and the Sun may be projected onto a partner or family member. In my example of a woman in a traditional society with a powerful Sun, not being able to live out her Sun, she might marry a freedom fighter, race car driver, etc. She would want sons and push them into typically masculine pursuits. If the Sun can't express itself directly, it tends to live through others to the detriment of both.

Only a few lucky people know from a young age where they are going in life. These folks probably have very well aspected and integrated Suns. Most of us flounder around in life before we discover what we really want to do, who we really are. And the process never really stops because the Sun is always in a state of becoming. This is its most creative aspect. We are driven to be a little more, do a little better, explore another corner of the world or ourselves. Finding our Sun can be tremendously upsetting because we suddenly discover that we don't want to be a banker but would rather paint pictures in the South Seas a la Paul Gaugin. From the standpoint of duties and obligations, this can appear selfish and irresponsible, childish even.

The primary function of the Sun is to create. We all create a life. But we also create many other things such as children, careers, art, etc. We often create best when at play and the occasional Peter Pan quality of the Sun is a reflection of this fact. In order to create well we need to be fully conscious and capable. The Sun uses the receptive qualities/experiences that come in via Moon and turns them into something unique and individual. It is through the energy of the Sun that we make things our own. Therefore, the Sun will also show what we identify with closely. Depending on aspect, sign and placement, we might identify with a cause, our job or even a deck of tarot cards. "Hey, these are MY cards and the only ones that really matter." That is the Sun speaking.

Dads spoke of the integrating function of the Sun I certainly agree that the Sun integrates, which I see that as necessary adjunct to the creative process. I mentioned consciousness as a keyword and that is the subjective side of creation. Hopefully, we all become more conscious as we mature and our consciousness is raised to higher levels. Our Suns usually start out fairly self-absorbed, the Peter Pan effect again. But as we go along our Hero's journey, we, hopefully, develop so that we can see ourselves both as individuals but as contributing members of our world. It is through the development of ourselves that we can integrate our gifts for the benefit of others as well as ourselves. As our consciousness develops, we see things in new ways and may realize that our old thoughts and behavior patterns are inappropriate. It is this new state of consciousness that we externalize as a new creation, be it a new job, a work of art or whatever. Consciousness and creation are really two sides of the same coin.

(to be continued)
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Man, this is like doing term papers

I sure hope it's somewhat helpful. And while it's nice to read a paper, it's a whole lot better to cough up a few thoughts of your own so I encourage everyone to add your own thoughts like we do in the tarot study groups. What personalities do you find particualarly "sunny"? How about a food you associate with the sun? Which tarot decks have the best Sun card? How about minor cards that you associate with the Sun? There are tons of symbols in art for the Sun. You could share your thoughts on some that you've seen that remind you of solar qualities.

Courage is also an attribute of the Sun, so here's your chance to exercise it. Be brave. Add a post.
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Wizzle,
when you speak of the sun in tarot, I personally love how it is presented in the RWS. It is my first and only deck that I am familiar with. So the RWS sun is just hopeful that whatever difficulties experienced in early life can be overcome. So now it has me thinking of my own sun and how I have found ways of healing certain hurts.
I really appreciate how you mentioned that the Sun position in the astrological sign/house is about an evolutionary process throughout one's lifetime. This is something that I will be mindful of when I look at my own chart. So I don't feel like I have missed the boat on fullfilling the textbook interpretation on my sun and do feel like I am growing into it. Very interesting food for thought Wizzle. Thank you.
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Im so glad you started these series dave. I was wondering how I was going to find a way to look at each planet in isolation, and I finally found my answer. Going to print these out and get back to a reply.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wizzle
And the process never really stops because the Sun is always in a state of becoming.
In Tarot of the Old Path ... on the Sun card ... there is a phoenix rising at the bottom .... looking towards the past ..... so I would say that this state of *becoming* is a form of transformation ..... constantly adapting and going through *rebirth* every so often as we evolve?
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This is a great idea --I am applying astrology to tarot and I need this information.

Will we be studying each planet one-by-one, I hope?
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As long as . . .


As long as there is interest and participation, I and Wizzle will continue to post views about the planets 1) in isolation, 2) in pairs or aspect to other planets, 3) as part of a shorthand to quickly understanding the charts basics, 4) in houses, 5) in terms of building up an interpretation based on specific details while avoiding a lot of generalities and astro-babble.

When you need to read a chart, for yourself or for another, you can often help by keeping your discussion to a few salient points. You don't have to be "all knowing" before going into a reading. After all, the client may use his/her symbology differently then what you anticipate. If you start of with a few correct views, have a dialog and corroboration, then you adjust what you know so that it becomes much more specific to the client. In this way you both benefit. You don't have to resort to astro-babble to cover up your mis-conceptions, you gain confidence because you are mostly specicific and correct, you understand better how the client expresses his/her chart, and the client gains insights into how they can use their chart constructively.

RELATIVE TO USING ASTROLOGY WITH TAROT OR ORACLE CARDS
These are different systems. They share overlapping mythology, history, cultural symbols and icons, but they are not the same.
** ASTROLOGY is a complex symbol system (planets, houses, signs, aspects, rules, etc.) which depends upon a great deal of training, reading, self-education and extensive practice before you can use it competently -- and that's just for natal charts. Its strengths are that it can show quite exactly the conscious and sub-conscious drivers behind our actions, it can show us a series of events and developments over any span of time, in the future as well as in the past, and it can "time" events to the day, even to the minutes and hours.
** TAROT is another symbol system in which each symbol (card) by itself can carry a complex story or concept, and inconcert with other cards within a spread, can answer a specific question. Tarot does not depend upon a birth time and place, does not require chart calculations, etc. But, Tarot cannot well show the span of development and events over a life time nor can it well tell "when" something may happen with the certainty of astrology.
** ORACLES are also symbol systems which use card symbology to both offer a complex story in themselves as well as offer a focused "keyword" or description of a development or event or experience. Depending upon the design and creative concept of the Oracle deck in question, it can offer both tarot-like and astrology-like answers in some or many areas.

But, in all cases, these are all different systems and you can't just accept that the symbols in one system fit neatly into another system. They don't. One of the participants in these Planet Series posts seemed to quite upset at my comments about a symbolic meaning in an Oracle card. I had taken exception to the card's meaning being applied to an astrological meaning. We can take our symbology and our use of it very personally. But all I am doing is trying to offer some experience gathered over several decades of practice to help others see that astrology can be simple. Again, one system is not able to be fully "plug-in" capable with another system.

Take Numerology for example: The meaning of numbers does not fit the meanings of aspects (one circle divided by a whole number equals an aspect). The conjunction (one) in astrology means a blending of two or more factors while numerology gives the "one" a unity or entity meaning that is singular in nature. The opposition (two) in astrology means confrontation, partnering, differences while numerology focuses more on awareness and separation. Three in astrology, the trine, means ease of using different factors while in numerology it refers to a third party coming from two-ness and the experiece of seperation and letting go. Etc. etc. So, we do have to keep the many differences in mind. Dave.
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