Please read the first three parts of this series before this on(beginning with The Mystery of Solar Fire (part 1). Some fundamental concepts must be understood before the following paragraphs make clear sense.
I wish I could remember where the quote is from, but an eminent psychologist once said that the Self is not something that can be found. It is something created by continual action. (Even non-action is an action. In spite of ourselves, everything moves forward.) In astrological terms, while the Sun is not “I,” (its energy is too great to be contained in so little a thing as an “I”) it is the energy that creates the action by which we can define the “I”. In astrological terms, depending on the position of the earth in relation to the Sun, the Sun has twelve ‘flavours’ of creative energy, the signs, which urge action in the lunar sphere (the Moon, the angles, and all the planets and bodies we chart). It is the engine of our being.
As the Sun illuminates the Moon, the Sun filters its energy through our physical lives. It instigates the process by which we move forward. It is the compulsion to life, the purpose behind the initiating energy. Can we know where it’s taking us or why? No, we can’t. Ultimately, we don’t know why we were born for this particular journey. Astrologically, we can only know and analyze the tangible elements of the chart. We can define the areas where the Sun’s energy is most easily accessed, but the purpose of the Sun itself remains a mystery. Once we know the landscape and can develop clear choices, we can then do what feels to be right, and this rightness is our alignment with the Sun. Like truth, the Sun’s force can only be felt, not seen. Its light illuminates our world, but take the world away, and what do you have?
We cannot ‘be’ our Suns, because the Sun is a process. The sign and position of the Sun indicate the way in which we create and consolidate experience. This process is behind our entire existence, behind the circumstances that we create for ourselves. A Sun via its sign may manifest in certain behaviours, but often, the people most in alignment with their solar energy have no awareness of it, and deny the validity of it. This is because they are too busy living it to notice it. When the solar light flows through us, it manifests in action. Astrologically, we often blame our Suns for particular traits, but often if we look closer, other aspects are to blame. If Ihave Sun in Virgo and I am constantly over-analyzing and over thinking, is my Virgo Sun really to blame, or is it my first house Mercury? If the Sun is in Capricorn, can I blame the Sun for my lack of social skills or is Saturn on the Descendant? The solar energy itself is never a destructive energy. We may not access it properly, leaving us in the darker realm, and we may mis-use its creative energy. But, as the poet Fredrich Holderlin once said, “Where there is darkness, the saving powers also rise.” The Sun is that saving power.
Ways to Access Solar Fire
The Sun is our direct link to our own creative expression. It is the link between the unmanifest and the manifest worlds, and can be, if the energy is consciously used, our route to spiritual satisfaction. If we understand the ways in which it is most easily accessed and understood, the more it is consciously available for our use.
The Sun’s placement by house will reveal a ruling theme in life. I find lately that, among students, there is a general confusion about the meaning and function of the houses. (There is no better book on this topic than Dane Rudhyar’s book, The Twelve Houses, which looks at the houses from a holistic point of view, and makes sense of the different levels of meaning attributed to them. For example, how the sixth house can represent seemingly unrelated areas of work, health, and employees.) The house that holds the Sun will tell us more about the purpose of the solar energy, and the style in which it creates, and will adequately define a general theme to the life. A first house Sun will have a life of creating an identity according to a higher mission. A twelfth house Sun’s energy will create a life that will die to itself and be reborn (with luck) over and over again, each time closer to a fundamental truth. A ninth house Sun’s purpose will be to explore; a second house Sun will discover what ownership really means. House positions of the Sun are often ignored, but are absolutely crucial to interpretation. Again, the house position will reveal the nature of the most fundamental life experiences. Imagine a solar Aries, with its forward-moving creative impulse, placed in the meditative, sometimes self-lacerating 12th. Not a natural fit, by any means. How different would the life circumstances be from an Aries with the Sun in the more compatible, adventurous 9th?
The dispositor of the Sun is fundamentally important in a chart, as it is a direct and specific channel for solar energies. Where the dispositor is placed cannot be ignored if life is to have any kind of satisfaction. The area where the dispositor falls is capable of filling with solar energy, and is an area that must be developed. The Sun’s dispositor is usually a clear path to the heart. (Truthfully, the Sun should never be interpreted without the dispositor. An Aries with Mars in Capricorn is a very different being from one with Mars in Leo.)
Aspects to the Sun are more complicated than they’re given credit for. Again, given the blinding nature of the solar light, the only truly constructive access to the Sun is through the planet in question (and the houses involved). The Sun lights up and gives preference to any planets that aspect it, but it is difficult to access this energy with any kind of clarity, particularly with the harder aspects. If my Sun is aspecting a 10th house Venus, then my love of art/beauty/fairness/relationship is a creative force and should be focused on my outer world/career–the channeled and focused solar energy can be used to great advantage. Sometimes the Sun’s blinding factor is harder to work through, particularly with the outer planets. Solar energy pouring through outer planets can create experiences outside of the readiness and/or comfort zone of the person involved, with little or no clear way to resolve the situation. Depending on the level of awareness, these experiences are often instinctively felt to be necessary, or fundamental for the soul’s growth, no matter how difficult. Transits and progressions of and to that outer planet will always reflect back to the Sun. (In these cases, going back to the Sun’s dispositor may provide some comfort and guidance.) Usually, after many experiences involving the outer planet, great knowledge and power of the Sun can be tapped.
The other important function of the Sun in astrology is as a consolidating energy, in its function via transit and particularly by progression.