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Everything You Need to Know About the Sun as a Ruling Planet

Andrea has a background in Myers-Briggs and Western astrology. She mostly writes about relationships.

The Sun plays an important role in a person's birth chart.

The Sun plays an important role in a person's birth chart.

Lessons About the Sun in Western Astrology

The Sun is one of the most important objects in astrology. Indeed, our astrological signs are based on where the Sun was located at the time of our birth. The constellation it was in at your birth is the sign that you have.

Basics About Ruling Planets

  • Yes, the Sun is a star and not a planet. However, in astrology, it is considered one of the ruling planets, or ruling planetary objects. The Moon is also considered one of these objects, even though it isn't a planet either. (And Pluto is now considered a dwarf planet by modern astronomers.)
  • There are 10 ruling planets: the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.
  • The Earth isn't a ruling planet in astrology.
  • The signs have all been assigned a ruling planet.

The Sun is the provider of life and energy. In astrology, it is the conscious mind and the ego. It is a symbol for our will to live and exist. It rules the fixed fire sign Leo. The fire element is about free-will, motivation, goals, and energy. Fire is the catalyst behind the big bang. The Sun is a tiny reflection of that big bang that set things in motion throughout the universe.

The Sun plays a central role in myths and legends. Without the Sun, there would be no solar system. The Sun knows it is everything, that it is our boss, so in astrology it represents the ego. It also represents nourishment, happiness, excitement, and joy. The Sun essentially represents our basic identity. When someone asks you what is your sign, they mean what is your Sun sign. (Remember in math: identity = 1. This also correlates to Sun sign = sign and Sun = 1.)

The Sun in Your Natal Chart

The Sun is the fulcrum of your natal chart. You can find your natal (birth) chart online for free. Those who can successfully identity with their Sun sign will have more happiness, peace, and harmony in their lives.

You don't want to feel like an opposing force to your Sun sign, you'll feel perpetually out of synch and in the wrong place.

  • Aries needs to go into the world and make decisions based off instinct. Aries needs to be an active leader, a passionate firebrand, and an aggressive player.
  • Taurus needs to be in his senses. He seeks out beauty. Taurus is drawn to relationships, and particularly wants a spouse. Taurus is an organizer to the things Aries leaves behind.
  • Gemini is an abundance of thoughts. The sign learns how to be with people by mirroring them. Gemini is known as the great mimic, a blast of intelligence, and is an admirer of beauty.
  • Cancer is moody, flirtatious, and charming. She seeks to be creative and nourishing. Cancer wants to help raise younger generations. She doesn't stay fixed.
  • Leo is proud, bright, showy, and courageous. They're social creatures who love to help people grow. They're excitable people. They're considered the champion of others.
  • Virgo is diligent, independent, and cerebral. The Virgo works hard, loves to perfect details, and wants to be both grounded and in the supernatural.
  • Libra is charming, amicable, and seeks to create harmony. Libra wants everybody to get along. The scales sign seeks for justice for all persons.
  • Scorpio wants everyone to be authentic. The sign is creative and wants to deeply go into emotions, stories, transformations, and disguises. The sign is based in the root chakra.
  • Sagittarius is based in wild and unpredictable energy. The sign is a risk taker and has a high propensity for luck. The sign likes to be unattached to things and is always on the go. They're constantly looking for excitement.
  • Capricorn is the survivalist. He wants to live as long of a life as possible. He isn't often seen as the hermit or a person who dedicates all their time to family.
  • Aquarius is a wild card. She rebels against the system. She is trying to get people to wake up to the big picture. She is a revolutionary and utopian.
  • Pisces is the martyr. They search the entire planet for true love and building stronger connections among people. They have faith that there is more to existence than their earth life.

Ruling Planets

PlanetsModern AstrologyAncient AstrologyElement

Sun

Leo

Leo

Fire

Mercury

Gemini, Virgo

Gemini, Virgo

Air + Earth

Venus

Taurus, Libra

Taurus, Libra

Air + Earth

Moon

Cancer

Cancer

Water

Mars

Aries

Aries, Scorpio

Fire + Water

Jupiter

Sagittarius

Sagittarius, Pisces

Fire + Water

Saturn

Capricorn

Capricorn, Aquarius

Air + Earth

Uranus

Aquarius

Air

Neptune

Pisces

Water

Scorpio

Pluto

Water

The Sun and Your Identity

The Sun is about the core of your personality. It describes how you reason and interpret the world around you. The Moon governs your dreams and unconscious world; the Sun governs your waking life and your conscious. Aligning with your Sun sign will open you to your best self. Unlocking your Sun sign is essential to getting your life on track and to living a fulfilled life.

The Sun also represents masculinity; the moon represents femininity. The Sun in a tarot card reading could represent a man or boy in a person's life. The Sun is considered yang; the Moon is considered yin. You need both night and day for balance. You need to understand both who you are in your waking world and in your sleep.

If you have Leo in your chart, you'll gain a boost of courage, leadership, ego, and confidence. Leo wants to be worshiped like the Sun. Leo wants to feel he is needed, and he doesn't do well if he doesn't feel needed nor included. If you have Leo in your chart, especially your Sun sign, you will put more emphasis on your self image.

  • The Sun gives us a sense of purpose.
  • It inspires us to do our greatest work and to develop a sense of pride.
  • The Sun gives people passion, drive, and intensity.
  • The Sun fosters love in people to care about others. Leo is known as the champion of others. He may be demonstrative, but his heart is set on making life right for all. A Leo set on avarice is an inversion of himself.
  • Leos have to be careful and balance themselves out; they can be arrogant and have false confidence. They need to step out of their own light to see what else is happening around them.

Facts About the Sun

The Sun is the largest object in our solar system. It makes up 99.8% of the system's mass. Your life on Earth is well below less than 1% of the mass of the entire solar system.

  • Earth orbits 93 million miles away from the Sun.
  • The Sun is classified as a yellow dwarf star. It isn't nearly as big as some stars in the universe.
  • The Sun's magnetic field spreads via solar winds.
  • It is a hot ball of glowing gases.
  • Its gravity holds the solar system together.
  • Its gravity even keeps debris in orbit.
  • The connections between the Sun and Earth drive the seasons, ocean currents, weather, climate, radiation belts, and auroras.
  • There are billions of stars like ours scattered throughout the Milky Way.
  • The Sun spins every 25 days, but at its poles the Sun rotates once on its axis every 35 days.
  • The Sun has the right energy to allow for life on Earth. It is by far the most important energy to Earth.
  • The Sun's core is approximately 27 million degrees Fahrenheit.
  • It is a nearly perfect sphere of hot plasma.
  • The Sun has inspired mythological stories in cultures around the world from the ancient Egyptians, Aztecs, Mayans, the Chinese, Greeks, and Romans.
Sol was the Roman god that personified the Sun. Helios was the Greek version. The god was considered a minor deity overall, though a religion that rivaled Christianity did rise in relation to Sol worship.

Sol was the Roman god that personified the Sun. Helios was the Greek version. The god was considered a minor deity overall, though a religion that rivaled Christianity did rise in relation to Sol worship.

Roman Mythology and the Sun

The planets in our solar system are named after Roman gods, with the exception of Uranus which is a Greek god. Roman mythology comes into play when discussing ruling planets in Western astrology.

The zodiac we use actually dates all the way back to Babylonian times. Astrology was a way to create a calendar system and mark the seasons, which was critical for agricultural societies to know when was the right time to plant, harvest, and store foods. Astrology is based in math, early astronomy, science, myth / storytelling, and agriculture.

The Sun isn't named after a Roman god, but the Romans did have a god that was the personification of the Sun: Sol.

  • Often in myths throughout the world, Sun gods are masculine and Moon gods are feminine.
  • Often one of the first things humans worshiped in ancient cultures was the Sun. They also were prone to worshiping trees.

Sol in Roman Myths

The Romans actually had two sun gods: Sol Indigos and Sol Invictus. Scholars believe Sol Indigos' cult disappeared at an early period and was unimportant.

The Syrian Sol Invictus may have come from the influence of Mithraic mysteries. Some scholars believe Sol Inidgos and Sol Invictus were the same god. There isn't clear differences between the two.

The Latin sol for "Sun" likely originated in the Proto-Indo-European language. Sol is still the main word used for "sun" in several Romance languages.

Several words for sun are similar across Europe and western Asia.

Important Notes About Sol

  • The worship of Sol was introduced by Titus Tatius shortly after the founding of Rome.
  • Sol is Circe's father and Latinus' grandfather.
  • A shrine to Sol stood in Numicius on the banks. It was near other important shrines.
  • Sol had an old temple in the Circus Maximus. It was important in the first three centuries of the common era.
  • There was an old shrine for Sol in Quirinal. An annual sacrifice was held on August 9th. It was to recognize Caesar's victory at Pharsala 48 BCE.
  • Sol was also celebrated on December 11th and on August 28th.
  • Originally Sol was an agrarian god. He moprhs somewhat as Sol Invictus and appears to be mostly a Syrian deity.
  • Coins suggest Sol was apparent throughout Rome's imperial period.
  • December 25 was commonly noted as the date of the winter solstice, with the first detectable lengthening of daylight hours.
  • Sol was used to express imperial power.
  • In coins, the emperor's crown would look as if it was radiating like the Sun.
  • Depictions of the "radiate crown" were sometimes actually the Holy Nails, as in the case of images pertaining to Constantine I who converted to Christianity.
There are plans to recreate a new Colossus of Rhodes. The statue connects to myths around the sun god Helios.

There are plans to recreate a new Colossus of Rhodes. The statue connects to myths around the sun god Helios.

Sol is often associated with Mithras. Mithraism was viewed as a rival of early Christianity. In the 4th century, Mithraists were persecuted by Christians. The religion was suppressed and became extinct by the end of the century.

  • No written narratives or theology survive from Mithraism.
  • Only limited information can be derived, but he did banquet with Sol.
  • It is difficult to interpret the surviving items pertaining to Mithras.

Greek Sun God: Helios

The Romans adapted many of the Greek god myths and made them their own. In Greek mythology, Helios was the Sun god.

Helios was often depicted with a radiant crown and a chariot. He was a guardian of oaths and the god of vision / sight.

  • His parents were Hyperion and Theia.
  • His siblings: Selene and Eos.
  • Consorts: Clymene, Clytie, Perse, Rhodos, Leucothea.
  • Children: It's a really long list. It includes, but isn't limited to: Actis, Circe, Perses, Tenages, Horae.
  • Helios was considered a minor deity in Classical Greece. Worship of him grew in late antiquity.
  • The Roman Emperor Julian made Helios the central deity of his short revival of traditional Roman religious practices. This was in the 4th century CE.

Greeks depicted Helios as a handsome young man who drove the chariot of the Sun across the sky each day. He drove it into the ocean, and returned to the East at dawn. He was worshiped as a god of creation and life. Homer described Helios as a god who brings joy to mortals.

His horses all had fire related names: Pyrois, Aeos, Aethon, and Phlegon.

According to legend, when the gods divided the earth among them, Helios missed the meeting. He got no land, so he complained to Zeus about it. Zeus offered to do the division of portions again, but Helios refused. He saw a new land emerging from the sea, so he asked for the island to be named after him. He named it Rhodes, after his lover Rhode, who was the daughter of Poseidon and Aphrodite.

With Rhode, Helios sired seven sons, who became the first rulers of the island. He also had one daughter: Electryone. The island Rhodes was known for artistic advances because of a blessing from Athena.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2021 Andrea Lawrence

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