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THE METAPHYSICAL SUN - PATH TO UNITY

by Gary Brand - written June 10, 2007 and July 10, 2007,
published in the July 2007 edition of Echo* newspaper

Image of the Sun in extreme ultraviolet light taken on
September 11, 1997 showing the solar corona, the Sun's outer atmosphere.
Image of the Sun in extreme ultraviolet light taken on September 11, 1997 that shows the solar corona, the Sun's outer atmosphere.  Also visible in this deep blue image are white "hot spots" surrounded by magnetic swirls many times larger than Earth.  Courtesy of the Solar & Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) NASA/ESA.

This is a 1491 woodcut of the personification of the
Sun riding a chariot pulled by four horses. This is a 1491 woodcut of the personification of the Sun (Sol in Latin) riding a chariot pulled by four horses.  He wears a radiant crown and holds a staff of power in his right hand and the reins of his steads in the other hand.  Leo, the sign that he rules, is depicted by a lion in the wheel of the chariot, which is also radiating sunlight.  From the 1491 edition of Guido Bonatti (G.B. (c. 1282/1491)).
ith this issue of Echo*, I am beginning a series of articles on the metaphysical and esoteric meanings of the planets, which follows the series I recently completed on the metaphysics of the zodiac signs.

The Sun is so massive and so huge, comprising more than 99% of our solar system's entire mass, that the centers of the eliptical orbits (which have two foci) of most bodies in the system are within the Sun's diameter (the moons and rings revolve around their respective planets but planets, dwarf planets, many asteroids and all comets revolve around the Sun).  It is not only the largest and most massive body but the most important as well, because it is the only star in our solar system - the heat and light it generates sustains life on our planet.  The Sun is the only star universally included in every birth chart and interpreted by every astrologer and, although other stars are sometimes included and interpreted, they do not have as great a significance as the Sun.  Its central predominance and its stellar significance symbolize its metaphysical importance in a birth chart.  In metaphysics, the Sun represents the center of our being - our soul or Divine Self (more about this later) and, by analogy, it represents our physical heart - the most important organ that is at the "center" of our body.

The Sun's glyph or pictograph is a circle with a dot in the center.  The dot is a metaphysical symbol for the Sun as the greatest body of the solar system and at its center.  The circle is symbolic of the planets and most other bodies gravitationally captured in endless orbits about it.  Like a circle, their orbits seem to have no beginning and no end.  From the perspective of metaphysics, the circle is a good pictograph of a cycle of any kind and astrology (whether regarded from a metaphysical vantage point or not) is primarily the study of planetary cycles around or in relation to the Sun (cycles in relation to the Sun are called synodic cycles).  Furthermore, the calculation of the area circumscribed by a circle requires use of pi, a number with an infinite series of non-repeating decimal places – symbolic of the seemingly infinite number of cycles that are made by the planets continuously moving around the Sun in elliptical orbits, most of which are nearly circular.  The circle also represents the solar disc, the only constant circle in the daytime sky, despite the fact that we usually can't look at it directly.  The horizon forms a perfect circle only at sea and the Moon forms a perfect circle only when completely full.

Ancient astrologers placed the Sun’s "orbit around Earth" in the orbital position between Venus and Mars because the ancient Chaldean or Egyptian order of the seven “planets” of antiquity is according to speed (from slowest to fastest):  Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, SUN (in the position of Earth's orbit because the apparent "movement" of the Sun through the signs of the zodiac is a reflection of Earth’s movement), Venus, Mercury, and Moon (fastest and closest to Earth).  In traditional astrology, these were known as the "spheres" of the planets because the planets vacillate above and below Earth's orbital plane (the Sun is the only exception because it appears to move along the ecliptic, which is Earth's orbit projected onto the sky).  Note that the Sun's sphere was not only at the center of all seven of the planetary spheres but it separates the spheres or orbits of the superior planets above it (Saturn, Jupiter and Mars), from the spheres or orbits of the inferior planets below it.

The position of the Sun above or below the horizon defines whether it is day or night (disregarding twilight) and whether an astrological chart is diurnal (during the day) or nocturnal (at night).  This, in turn, is a general indicator of whether the basic nature of a personality is extroverted (diurnal) or introverted (nocturnal).  During the day, the Sun dominates the sky and makes all other stars and most of the planets of antiquity invisible.  Genesis 1:16 says, "and God made two great lights; the greater light [the Sun] to rule the day, and the lesser light [the Moon] to rule the night" (Bible).  Note that the word "rule" is used in the same manner that astrologers use it.  The proximity of the Sun as the nearest star, the fact that it is responsible for the cycles of day and night and the seasons of the year, and that without it, all life on Earth would quickly perish makes it the most powerful body in the solar system.  In a birth chart, it is often the most powerful influence, unless it is debilitated or another planet supercedes it in essential dignity strength (a traditional astrology method of evaluating planetary strength in an astrological chart).  Because of its inherent power, some of what is referred to as “Sun sign astrology” (which is based only upon what sign of the zodiac the Sun was in when a person is born) has meaning, though it is very simplistic.

As mentioned earlier, the Sun in a birth chart symbolizes the very center of all life forms, the Divine Self.  Each living being, from the smallest bacterium to the greatest avatar, is born and ergo has the Sun in their birth chart.  It symbolizes the life force that animates the Self of the organism (just as Sol "animates" our solar system).  Hence, every life form is a representation of God assuming physical form.  But it is also this Divine Self or Center, represented by the Sun in a birth chart, that each human being and ultimately each creature on Earth is seeking to move toward.  For human beings, our spiritual task is to transform our consciousness from identifying with our body (meaning the desires driven by our ego and senses) to being reawakened so that we identify our consciousness with our Divine Self.  In other words, our life mission is to identify with our Divine Self to such an extent that, metaphorically, we shine as bright as the physical Sun in the sky (like the angels depicted in the Bible who are so brightly illuminated that most humans cannot look at them directly).  Since everything with specific form is born like us and has a Sun in its birth chart like us, when we identify with our Divine Self, we are able to become one with or recognize the Divine Self of other creatures or even objects – to recognize ourselves in everything and everything in ourselves.  The practice of recognition of the Divine in everything and, especially in every human being, is the path of the return to paradisiacal unity, the reunion with God.  Pythagoras said that the seeking of an understanding of the source or cause of all things through observation leads to an ability to look beyond the physical form and identify with the spirit of a thing or person (M.P.H., p. LXVI).  So, inherent in our birthright (represented by the Sun in our birth chart) is the potential to identify with our Divine Self and recognize the Divine Self in every creature!
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Reference Citations. Printable version (without images)

See related article Metaphysical Leo.

*Echo is a monthly newspaper about community, the environment, health, cuisine, and spirituality that is distributed in central Virginia.
Good Timing and Location are Keys to Success

Gary Brand, Traditional Astrologer
Tallahassee, Florida
850-656-5758


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