despite being the first thing most people learn about astrology, i have only just recently started to grasp what the sun feels like in someone's chart. it is strange to think of the sun as a mystery -- it makes itself very known! but when something is so present, and we take it for granted, it can be hard to distinguish what it actually does.
i think this is because of the ways the sun and the "ego" are used interchangeably in psychological astrology (which is the first school of astrology i was familiar with). and ego itself has many different uses -- it can speak to the id/ego/superego psychoanalytic framework, it can speak to psychological defense, it can relate to both healthy self-esteem and narcissism. some might say it is ideal to rid yourself of ego, others that you "make friends with it" or even feed it in a healthy way.
little did i know, i had been completely overthinking it. and i realised when i was thinking about the sun in aries as the exalted sun. aries doesn't think. aries just does.
the detriment and fall of the sun lies in air signs. this gives us some indication that easy solar expression doesn't come from abstract thought. when we think about what the sun gives us -- authenticity, self-esteem, energy and vigour -- these things are often undermined by too much thinking. trying to chase authenticity and self-esteem as a goal often invests too much energy in the abstract concepts of those things, taking away from energy that could be used simply doing things you enjoy.
the sun's strength is diminished by judgment. it is dimmed by critical thought. even favourable judgment: parents who overvalue and place too much emphasis on their child's abilities and talents foster insecurity in their child. it is parental warmth, appreciation, fondness, affection that gives children a stronger sense of self esteem.
it is this lack of warmth that creates unbalanced selfishness -- a belief in conditional self-worth and a need to prove, often at the expense of relationships.
the aries/libra and leo/aquarius axes can teach us about how to balance the self with others. we need the space to be our own selves, to know who we are, to be ourselves without thinking. finding the core of our energy is solar work -- even realising that we are tired, or that we prefer to be slow. bringing our honest self to relationship, stretching to create space for everyone, forming a sense of self that is interdependent -- that is the work of libra and aquarius. paradoxically, sun in libra and aquarius might find their solar energy comes from these processes of quieting or integrating the self with others, rather than assuming they need a super strong sense of self. that might be what is rejuvenating.
i spend a lot of time thinking about astrology, writing about astrology, relating to astrology. but i rarely think about what to do with it, besides talk to other people about it. my sun is a little complicated, with uranus and neptune cazimi, moon (sect light) and mars opposing, jupiter squaring -- an overcast sky. but i like clouds and rain -- they feel just as lifegiving to me as the sun. the soft light feels just as nourishing. what gives one person energy and life will be very different to the next person.
so, to practice astrology, i'm going to try to think less about who i am. i am going to remember that the warmth that emanates from my body, and the soft radiance of the sun through my window in the morning, are the same thing.
it is cute to me to think about how the sun generates the warmth we need to comfort each other. the sun and moon are interdependent in that way. we're all bouncing lunar and solar light off each other. that's how love moves around the world!
if you're like me and you're in the habit of having existential crises like clockwork, maybe you could join me in (1) having fun and (2) showing love and we can see what happens together. many blessings for the aries new moon 🕯