The Meaning of the Sun in Astrology
In a birth chart, the Sun is the locus of an individual’s most foundational operational blueprint for this particular incarnation. It is a core motivational narrative for an individual’s existence in this life. It is not the only motivational narrative shown in the chart – but a key and overarching one.
The Sun is representative of the discriminative capacity in an individual. The sign in which it is placed is one of the core lenses through which the person receives information about the world, ingests and processes it, then turns it into a mode of operation.
The Sun also rules the house of Leo in the birth chart, and the areas of life that house represents will be filtered through the location of the Sun and its sign and aspects in the birth chart.
The Meaning of the Sun in Aries
Aries individuals perceive circumstances as challenges to be surmounted, and they invariably step up to the plate. As the ruler of Aries, Mars colors this sign’s expressions so that the Sun in this sign is about forging forward, taking initiative, making progress, and meeting challenges head on.
Aries are typically natural leaders, easily initiating new paths and directions. If not much fixed energy present in the chart, Aries can often be the ones who get new initiatives off the ground, then working with or handing it off to more fixed-prevalent people to see it through to completion. However, the mutable signs vacillate between fixed and cardinal energy and can sometimes supply fixed qualities in a person’s life.
Aries is usually first to the top of a cliff and sees the immense view beyond the current landscape. They can be visionaries. And being ruled by Mars, they can also be rash, quick-tempered, impatient, and confrontational. But this is often short lived, as the cardinal sign initiates an experience it is quickly ready to move on from, whether that is a fiery mood or the sprouting bud of a new idea (qualifiers apply! features from the rest of the chart colors the expression of the Sun). Aries is direct, fast, and to the point. They often have little patience for long meandering experiences and are appreciative when people provide high level overviews in a handful of key points. They are thinking, so what, and what’s next. They enjoy when things are distilled to their essence, and appreciate not being kept waiting.
The Sun is exalted in Aries
Exaltation is a condition where a planet is elevated, held in high regard, lifted to great honor. The Sun’s symbolism in the chart shows the area of life it has influence over. The exaltation could have to do with the actual individual themselves – so they are exalted in some way, or they had or will have an experience in which they have great influence or are raised to heights of rank and status. I have seen this where people who have exalted planets in the midheaven or rulers of the midheaven were widely recognized for their accomplishments in their careers and held a status of high rank in that sphere.
Maya Angelou – Sun in Aries
Prolific writer, poet, author, Maya Angelou was born as the Sun was transiting tropical Aries. The Sun is in the 9th house of travel, academia, and publishing, advancing on a conjunction with Jupiter in Aries.
Over the course of her life, Angelou published seven autobiographies, three essay books, several books of poetry, and more over. She was involved with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference during the American civil rights era, and was also a journalist in Egypt and Ghana during that period.
Angelou was honored by universities, government agencies, literary organizations, and other groups. She was awarded more than fifty honrary degrees.
From this pitifully brief recounting of a very small handful of experiences of a larger-than-life woman who forged herself in a blaze of a life that included great personal hardship, we can see the embers of her natal chart placements glowing.
The Sun in her chart is actually the planet that represents her as an individual, as with Leo rising, it is the ruler of her chart. (The chart and all the planets in it can otherwise be a commentary on individuals and experiences in life, so it’s informative to narrow down the planet that represents the individual to one planet — the planet that rules the ascendant) So even though she did not have an easy life, her latter years were be-speckled with esteem, recognition, and honor. And sometimes the dignities of exaltation and fall do paint this picture of stark oppositions of fortune…. but it might also more likely be a feature of the human condition… Who isn’t made high that was not once low? And is low an inevitable condition after being made high? In Maya Angelou’s case, if low means death, then maybe my last statement is true.