The Sun in astrology symbolizes all things related to the ego, the will, and the sense of individuality.
Just as the Sun in our universe shines his golden light on the environment and brings life to all plants and creatures, so too can the Sun in the natal chart be interpreted as an essentializing life force, a bringer of energy that we can rely on day in and day out as a characterizing feature of the psyche.
The Sun takes about a month to move through the 30° of each sign of the zodiac. In this span of time, the solar energy lights up a particular house in our natal chart, bringing us new focus each time he changes signs. Looking to your chart to see what house is ruled by the current Sun sign will give you some clues about the meaning of each solar “season” and how it impacts your own natal chart.
We identify with our solar sign as the essence of our astrological self. By this I mean if someone asks you “So, what’s your sign?” you’ll respond “I’m a Virgo,” and this is because the Sun was in the sign of Virgo at the time of your birth. Since we associate the Sun with the concept of “identity,” we say we “are” our Sun signs.
What’s beautiful to remember is that in ancient cultures, it is likely that people identified themselves with their Moon placement, rather than the Sun. Imagining a world where the Sun is not the emblem of identity means that we are imagining a pre-patriarchal world. Things like the planting and harvesting of crops, the breeding and maintenance of livestock, and even the most auspicious times to travel or marry were determined by the cycles of the Moon, and the Moon being a feminine, matriarchal luminary.
The Sun and Moon of course work in tandem, and we cannot imagine one without the other. The idea, though, of thinking of the Sun as identity as a post-patriarchal invention is compelling, a reminder that perspectives on such matters as the essential self are fluid, and often dictated by other forces.
Over the course of your lifetime, your progressed Sun will move from one sign to the one that comes after it, and depending on the degree of your natal Sun, the progressed Sun may even enter a third and final phase of expression. We see then that the identity and perspectives will change. You may be born a solar Scorpio, but spend the majority of your adulthood as a progressed Capricorn. The Sun indicates to us that elements of the identity shift over time in the progressed chart, something to consider as we tug on the idea of what having an essential self even means in this world.
Still, though, in terms of our approach to the natal chart, we see the Sun as that force of warmth, of growth, of fertility, of ego, and of the will. Keywords are as follows:
The Sun rules: LEO
Is in detriment in: AQUARIUS
Is in its dignity in: ARIES
Is in its fall in: LIBRA
Its element is: FIRE
Associated deity: Apollo, Ra, Helios, Sol to name only a very select few!
KEYWORDS: essence, identity, heart, growth, identity, willpower, ego, self