The Sun is our life-giver – everything from the food we eat to the daylight we live by depends upon its benign influence over our planet, so it’s no surprise that almost every ancient religion worshipped the Sun. In astrology, the Sun plays a vital role – your Sun sign, also knowns as your zodiac sign, is a pen portrait of who you are. It’s not the only factor in astrology – all of the other planets are important too, as are the aspects and relationships between them – but the Sun is a go-to shorthand for your astrological personality, and it’s a very good place to start.
What Are the 12 Sun Signs?
You probably already know that there are 12 Sun signs, also knowns as star signs or zodiac signs. The term Sun sign refers to the portion of the celestial sphere where the Sun was at the exact moment of your birth. In astrology, we divide the celestial sphere into 12 main segments, and each of these is named for a nearby constellation – Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. So, when we say that your Sun sign is Aries – or that you are ‘an Aries’, what we’re really saying is that at the time you were born, the Sun, as seen from earth, appeared to be situated within the sky segment called Aries.
In astrology, each astrological sign (sky segment) is associated with different personality traits and energy. The traits and energies which are associated with your Sun sign usually form a significant part of your personality.
How is the Sun Sign Determined?
The Sun follows a regular celestial pathway, so it is easy to look up your Sun sign. In fact, most people know their Sun sign, because this is the one astrological factor which can easily be determined from looking at a list of dates. Unless you were born on a day when the Sun changed sign, you don’t need to know your time of birth. Because it’s so easy for a layperson to find out their Sun sign, horoscopes are calculated around a person’s Sun sign – a piece of astrology that everyone can relate to.
What is the Importance of the Sun in the Birth Chart?
The Sun is a star, not a planet, but for simplicity it is treated in astrology like a planet. The astrological Sun represents ego, joy, creativity and health. As well as giving clues to your overall personality, the exact position of the Sun in your natal chart also tells us which areas of life you excel in and how you express your innate traits. It shows us who you really are – or who you are learning to be, since it’s often said that we have to grow into our Sun sign. When we find the Sun in your natal chart, we find your purpose in life, the impression you leave on others and your absolute individuality.
What is the Difference Between the Sun Sign and the Moon Sign?
The Sun sign represents your conscious, rational mind. Your Moon sign, on the other hand, represents your subconscious, instinctive, emotional self. Together with your Ascendant (the sign which was rising in the East at the time and place of your birth), the Sun and Moon Sign make up three key pieces of your chart.
How are Horoscopes Worked Out?
The horoscopes you read online or in a magazine are usually based on your Sun sign. There are many ways of calculating horoscopes, but typically an astrologer will start with Aries, placing the zodiac sign Aries at the Eastern horizon of an astrological chart, and then assessing where other planets fall in relation to the Sun. Moving on, the astrologer then turns the chart wheel to place Taurus on the Eastern horizon and again looks at where the other planets now fall. And so on.
Of course, the whole world shares the same zodiac signs, so you share your Sun sign with one twelfth of all humanity – for this reason, horoscopes are best used as a general guide to the energy around you at that time. For something more accurate and personal to you, you would need to provide your date of birth and beyond that for more detail, a time and place of birth.
Key Facts About the Sun in Astrology
Positive expressions of the Sun’s energy: confidence, vigor, vitality, joy, creativity, playfulness, self-esteem, optimism, generosity
Challenging expressions of the Sun’s: bossiness, arrogance, selfishness, dogmatism, pride, attention-seeking behavior
The Sun rules: Leo. A ruling planet in its own sign tends to be the purest and most positive expression of its energies.
The Sun is exalted in: Aries. An exalted planet is usually strong and works positively.
The Sun is in detriment in: Aquarius. A planet in detriment is typically quite weak, with its energy manifesting negatively or being misused.
The Sun is in fall in: Libra. A planet in fall is usually weakened, although positive aspects to the planet will help.
Understanding Your Sun Sign
What follows is a quick guide to the Sun’s energy as it manifests through each of the zodiac signs. Remember, there are many other factors at play in your whole astrological chart, so your Sun sign is a basic portrait. The zodiac signs can be further grouped into air signs, water signs, fire signs and earth signs, with each of those groups sharing some basic drives.
Sun in Aries (Fire Sign) – 21 March to 20 April
Aries people are energetic, courageous and pioneering, with a need to win and a desire to always be first. Confident and assertive, they can however also be overly impulsive, reckless, impatient and quick to anger.
Sun in Taurus (Earth Sign) – 21 April – 21 May
Taurus people are generally very patient and reliable, with warm hearts and an easy-going, placid nature. Very determined and tenacious, they can however also be jealous, possessive, resentful and inflexible – not to mention stubborn!
Sun in Gemini (Air Sign) – 22 May – 21 June
Sun in Gemini people are vivacious, talkative and intellectual, always curious and always learning. Lively and versatile, communication is a strong point, but they can also be inconsistent, fickle and infuriatingly inconsistent.
Sun in Cancer (Water Sign) – 22 June – 22 July
Cancer people are caring, sympathetic and loving. With a strong imagination and powerful emotions, they can be prone to worry and moodiness, but they are also shrewd and surprisingly practical.
Sun in Leo (Fire Sign) – 23 July – 23 August
Those with a Leo Sun are generous, warm-hearted, cheerful and optimistic – we might say they have a ‘sunny’ personality. Loving and creative, these souls can however also be bossy, dogmatic and pompous – as well as very demanding and over-dramatic.
Sun in Virgo (Earth Sign) – 24 August – 22 September
Virgo people are hardworking, diligent and analytical by nature. Often modest or reserved, they are perfectionists who hold both themselves and others to high standards. Although loving and kind, they can be highly critical and fussy.
Sun in Libra (Air Sign) – 23 September – 23 October
Libra Sun sign people are typically charming, sociable and flirtatious. Known for their diplomacy and peace-keeping skills, these souls are also romantic and idealistic. However, on the flip side, they can be gullible, self-indulgent and evasive.
Sun in Scorpio (Water Sign) – 24 October – 22 November
Those with a Scorpio Sun are forceful personalities, determined, passionate and powerful, with a magnetic demeanor and a vivid emotional life. However, they can also be intensely jealous and possessive, as well as resentful, secretive and obsessive.
Sun in Sagittarius (Fire Sign) – 23 November – 21 December
Sagittarius people are open-minded, optimistic, honest and straight-forward. Known for their sense of humor, these souls are adventurous, sporty and intellectual too. However, restlessness is a problem, and they can be tactless and irresponsible too.
Sun in Capricorn (Earth Sign) – 22 December – 20 January
Capricorn Sun sign people are self-disciplined, ambitious and cautious. Typically reserved and quite serious by nature, they are very focused. However, sometimes pessimism, rigid thinking and a miserly attitude can create issues.
Sun in Aquarius (Air Sign) – 21 January – 18 February
Aquarius people are open, friendly, humanitarian and independent. Often quirky and always unconventional, these souls enjoy stretching their minds and intellects. On the flip side, they can be emotionally detached, unreliable and aloof.
Sun in Pisces (Water Sign) – 19 February – 20 March
Pisces people are super-sensitive, gentle, compassionate and intuitive. Imaginative and selfless, they are spiritually inclined and highly idealist. However, they are sometimes very gullible and easily led, as well as somewhat vague and unrealistic.
The Astrological Sun Through the Houses
As well as your Sun sign, the house position of your Sun is also very important in your birth chart. This shows us which areas of life you like to control and direct, and where your ego is most expressed.
Sun in 1st House
This is a very important placement for the Sun and in this instance, the Sun is likely to be the dominant planet in the chart. First house Sun people will express their Sun sign to its fullest extent and are likely easily recognizable as belonging to that zodiac sign.
Sun in 2nd House
Accumulating wealth and security is very important if your Sun is in the second house. You’ll devote your energy towards achieving your material goals.
Sun in 3rd House
A third house Sun means that the individual’s focus is on communication. A very expressive talker or writer, you are an eternal student who loves to learn.
Sun in 4th House
The creation of a happy family life is of paramount importance if your Sun is in the fourth house. You feel fulfilled through parenting and domestic issues, or through exploration of the past.
Sun in 5th House
The creative urge is extremely strong when the Sun is in the fifth house. You express your ego through your love life and through artistic talents – probably taking many risks along the way.
Sun in 6th House
Health is your primary focus when the Sun is in the sixth house. You are fulfilled by maximizing your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing and by working with others.
Sun in 7th House
Your ego is best expressed through partnerships and love when your Sun is in the seventh house. A strong need for a relationship is evident, but you may be at risk of losing your own identity.
Sun in 8th House
An eighth house Sun means a very strong sex drive and a desire for a very deep and intense relationship. There’s also a sense here of transformation throughout life.
Sun in 9th House
If your Sun is in the ninth house, travel and intellectual stimulation are vital for your positive ego expression. Higher education appeals as does law, justice and idealistic causes.
Sun in 10th House
A tenth house Sun means that a fulfilling, successful career is vital in your eyes. Status matters to you and you are very concerned with how others view you.
Sun in 11th House
With your Sun in the eleventh house, the focus is on community, friendships and your wider goals in society. Group activities help you to express your full potential.
Sun in 12th House
When the Sun is in the twelfth house, a spiritual quest of some kind is important. You are on a mission to grow as a soul, but you need time, space and peace more than most.