Roles: our ego; the center of our personality; our pride; how we act on a conscious level

Designation: Luminary

Speed Through a Sign: 30 days

Speed Through the Zodiac: 1 year

Dignity1: Leo/5th House

Exaltation2: Aries/1st House

Detriment3: Aquarius/11th House

Fall4: Libra/7th House

Retrograde5: None

When you say, “I’m a Taurus,” you’re not saying, “I’m 100% Taurus.” What you’re really saying is, “I was born when the Sun was transiting through the sign of Taurus.” You may not talk or love like one, and it’s likely that you don’t express anger in a Taurus way either. And it’s very likely that you don’t express emotions like a Taurus. But at your core, you have a Taurus-like personality. Even if you have planets in signs like Aries or Gemini, you’ll generally have a calmer demeanor, appreciate physical comforts, and be very stubborn.

The Sun is one of the three main components of your chart. It represents your general personality traits, the things that make you stand out, and what you take pride in. It’s your ego, your confidence, your expression. Your sun sign gives you the characteristics that lay at the heart of your identity. Your sun sign’s traits are the ones you express when you’re around people you know relatively well. Other parts of your chart—like your Moon and your Ascendant—come out around different people. Your sun is your all-around energy; your heart, if you will. It’s your trophy. Your sun sign encompasses the things that make you feel shiny and sparkling. It’s where you’re the Featured Actor or Actress in life. For example, if you have your sun in Capricorn, you gain pride from doing well in your career, being an authority, and gaining security through responsibility. If you’re a Libra, then you shine at your brightest in one-on-one relationships, artistic endeavors, and intellectual things such as literature and plays.

The Sun is its freest in Leo and Aries, and at its most restricted in Aquarius and Libra. Why? It’s because Leo and Aries are very focused on themselves, whereas Aquarius and Libra place most of their focus on other people. I don’t want to say the Sun is selfish or narcissistic. It’s just that when it comes to the Sun, there’s not much room for others. In most things, if not all, you have to start with yourself before you can really handle anyone else. When the Sun is in less self-focused energies, it tends to feel a little… insignificant. Why should it put the spotlight on someone else? I’m just picturing a sad little violin piece playing to the sight of the yellow sun greening into an icy blue. That doesn’t mean being a Libra or Aquarius is a bad thing. It’s just that the sun isn’t used to playing a minor or supporting character. The same goes for houses: the sun is at its freest in the first (Self) and fifth (Self-Expression) houses, and in its tightest quarters in the seventh (Close Relationships) and 11th (Friends and Acquaintances) houses.

When you assert the sun’s energy well, you become confident, happy, and true to yourself. You make sure that your wants are met, you stand tall, and at the end of the day you are content with your strengths and flaws. When you utilize the sun’s energy negatively, you become self-absorbed and egotistical. You scoff at others and feel the need to take up the entire room. There is a stereotype that Leos (whom the Sun rules) are narcissistic and vainglorious. It’s only true of people who have a strong Sun and utilize its less endearing qualities. When you use your Sun at its best, you can have truly high self-esteem while being kind and receptive to others.

Next Article: “The Moon: Have You Had Your Needs Met Today?”

1-5For the definitions of these terms, please look to the previous article, “Astrology Basics Part 2: Planets