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Planets in Astrology, Chapter 1. Sun as the Inner Self, and Sun Worship through the Ages

solarfaceFor a man to be fully conscious, all of his parts must become fully conscious. For a Sun to become fully radiant, all its planets must become radiant. For the Absolute to remember itself, all beings must remember themselves. To those who ask, ‘what is the purpose of the Universe?‘ we can thus reply that the task of the Universe, and of every being within it, from Sun to cell, is to become more conscious.
Rodney Collin

Just as our Heart is the core of our physical being, the Sun is the Heart of our Solar System. In Astrology, the Sun represents our center, our Higher Self and Ego, and our innermost Nature. Sun in a Birth Chart tells us how the native “shines”, the traits he or she needs to express in order to feel alive and fulfilled, what’s his or her basic identity,  the realest part of his or her Soul. Thus living our Sun, being in harmony with our innermost Nature, holds the real key to Happiness in Life. As I stated in the First Chapter of my Introduction to Astrology serie, a person is more than just his/her Sun Sign – we all know that there are other basic psychological and personality functions that are embodied by the other planets of our Solar System – but our Sun, imbued and coloured by the energies absorbed from the Sign he occupies, represents the Spirit’s Light shining through us and the part of us that tends to remain constant throughout our earthy existence. Still, it blends with the traits symbolized by the other planets (Mercury, Mars, and so on) to provide an unique cosmic blueprint of the individual.
So, when someone asks us what our Sign is, they’re referring to the Sign our Sun is in. Sun is quite possibly the most basic element to learn about in Astrology, and the reason to this is simply because it’s the easiest planet to figure out. This luminary, which is actually a Star, spends an average month transiting through each sign, and it takes a year for him to complete his journey through the whole Zodiac; his passage through each sign is connected to seasonal cycles, and his position by sign for a given day of the year can be easily looked up (although a proper Birth Chart drawing is necessary in order to know the exact degree of the Sign):

  • Aries: March 20th to April 20th
  • Taurus: April 20th to May 21st
  • Gemini: May 21st to June 21st
  • Cancer: June 20th to July 21st
  • Leo: July 22nd to August 23rd
  • Virgo: August 23rd to September 23rd
  • Libra: September 23rd to October 23rd
  • Scorpio: October 22nd to November 22ndth
  • Sagittarius: November 22nd to December 22nd
  • Capricorn: December 22nd to January 20th
  • Aquarius: January 20th to February 18th
  • Pisces: February 18th to March 20th

Solar deities and Sun-related cults are found throughout mankind’s recorded history. Ancient populations accepted the Sun as a supernatural manifestation of vital energy, and it’s since the earliest days that this celestial body came to be identified with a circle as its symbol. Sun worship is a fact associated with the primal condition of the existence of primitive man, and it has always been an universally recognized worship, as universal is the glyph of a circle with a centre point (natural and spiritual consciousness).  (Thoughts on the Sun and Cross Symbols, Richard Vaux. Source: Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 26, No. 130 [Jul. – Dec., 1889],pp. 476-481).
An earlier proto-Indo-European Sun deity is supposed to have passed on to Vedic and Iranic culture way before the advent of Christianity. We have a number of Solar elements associated with the representation of divinity in early Buddhist Art, which represents the onset of Indian Art altogether (History of Indian and Indonesian Art, Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, Leipzig, 1927). Eighteenth Dynasty pharaoh Akhenaten is known for his attempt to introduce monotheistic worship centered on Aten, the Sun (the Sphynx itself is a Solar archetype), whereas later, Greek Stoic philosopher, politician, astronomer, geographer, historian and teacher Posidonius advanced the theory that the Sun emanated a vital force which permeated the world. The principle of knowledge, vital force and Energy embodied by theApollo Sun was soon to become humanized; thus we have manifestations as Apollo, the Greek deity of the Delphian Oracle, on which forecourt the famous maxim gnōthi seauton, “know thyself”, was inscribed. Apollo has been recognized as a Sun God of Light, Truth and Prophecy, and his twin sister is the chaste huntress Artemis/Diana, the Moon. Moon and Sun together form the Yin/Yang polarity of the Zodiac, the Feminine and Masculine principle. The two luminaries are closely tied together as they’re the two main Lights of the personality.  This dualism was strongly rooted in the folklore of Danubian lands, where the worship of Sun and Moon and their associated magical-religious practices were especially seated. In these lands, the Sun worship originated a cult of medicine that would have found its way onto the Greek world (Sun Myths and Resurrection Myths,  Grace Harriet MacUrdy. Source: The Journal of Hellenic Studies, vol. 37 [1917], pp. 160 – 167).
Speaking of Apollo, this was also the only Greek-named deity worshipped in Ancient Rome, where he gradually overtook the role of Jupiter Optimus Maximus. (Literature and Religion at Rome: Culture, Contexts and Beliefs. By Denis Feeney. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998 ). A Sol Invictus cult was also introduced in Rome under emperor Aurelian (274 AD).
So, the Sun has always been connected with vital force, divine power and awareness – as the Delphian Oracle shows us. From this perspective, attuning with our Sun and harnessing his energy to leave our mark in the world can be thought of as our very Life mission.

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