The Sun and Moon: The Male and Female Archetypes

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The Sun and Moon are usually considered the two most important planets in understanding one’s astrology.  They represent the male and female archetypes—the Sun shows how we project our will and the Moon shows our personality and emotional nature.

The Sun in popular astrology is well-known.  Nowadays people usually call themselves by their Sun sign, thinking that this encapsulates their astrological essence.  And, oftentimes, the Moon is neglected in mainstream Western Astrology. 

But, if we are seeking a simple way of understanding our personalities, there are good reasons for focusing more on the Moon than on the Sun.

Going through daily life—experiencing our moods and seeing how we interact with others—we are more than likely feeling our Moon energy much more than our Sun energy.  When we are planning out our life or willing ourselves to some action or project we are then feeling our Sun energy.  So the Sun is our focus and ambitions in life but these are not always readily apparent. 

The Moon, conversely, shows the nature of our personality and indicates how we are feeling on a day to day basis.  When we run into a friend of ours, our initial read on how they are doing that day is our impression of their Moon energy—we can see immediately if there is something wrong in their personal life making them grumpy or if something great happened to them making then ride an emotional high for some time.

The Sun, containing the energy of self-projection and purpose, is the planetary male archetype while the Moon, as the planet of emotion and receptivity, is the female archetype.  We can also call them the father and mother planets. 

The Male energy seeks to go out and to plan—to fulfill a purpose and to accomplish a goal.  With a goal in mind it is ideally helped by the discipline of Saturn, the fluidity and generosity of Jupiter, the intellect and communication of Mercury, and the energy and fire of Mars.  But it is also helped by the female planets for Venus makes endeavors more effortless by endowing them with grace and beauty and the Moon gives the project empathy and sensitivity.

But while each planet has the ability to help a mission they also have the potential to hamper it as well.  Mars can be too pushing and cutting, Saturn: too rigid, Jupiter: too profligate, Venus: too materialistic and superficial, the Moon: too sentimental, and Mercury: too loquacious and shallow. 

While the Sun is focused on goals and the projection of our will, the Moon, as the manifestation of the Mother energy, can be satisfied by caring for those around it.

The Moon, in its primary motivation of finding contentment for itself and those around it, is also helped or hurt by the other five planets.  Mars gives energy and focus but it can also make us trapped by jealousy, lust, and personal attachment.  Saturn can give wisdom in how we deal with others but, when unhealthy, it could also make us callous.  Jupiter can make us expansive enough to care for many but it could also make us spread ourselves too thin and burn out.  Mercury helps us communicate with others and to counsel them but without being backed up by something deeper it is just words.  Venus, as before, can make everything we do for others more graceful and beautiful but we can only experience this kind of exalted Venus when we eschew materialism and guide our life by high principles. 

The Sun and Moon represent many things and we would do well to remember the different roles of the two planets if we are to seek a deeper understanding of ourselves through astrology.

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