The Lights of the Sun and Moon

During a recent mindfulness retreat, my meditation drifted to the significance of the Sun and Moon, which, for convenience, modern astrologers refer to as ‘planets’. Traditional seers called them ‘Lights’.

sun and moonI see Sun and Moon as both guiding and protective lights. Remembering that astrology has influences from multiple ancient cultures, including Greece, the two main inscriptions at the entrance to the Oracle at Delphi are also helpful to remember:

1) Know thyself

2) Nothing in excess

Zodiac signs in which the Sun and Moon are placed can help us to know ourselves and our lives can be simpler, safer and more fulfilling if we can find balance with their characteristics – which might sound simple, but not always easy.

However, we can keep in touch with what the Sun and Moon represent and involve, since they are symbols for natural processes and human attempts to work well within them – things like:

  • the unfolding process of the Sun, as light is shone on the path we travel
  • the natural pattern of seasons
  • the regulation of habits suggested by the Moon, contributing to ongoing self-care and how we relate to others
  • observation of the pattern of light and dark given by the relationship between Sun and Moon on a daily/nightly basis.

The Sun as a spotlight on our path

We humans, in increasingly busy modern lifestyles, can lose sight of simplicity, but finding a simple, personal system helps with forging a path through the options available – bringing you closer to what matters and helping to filter out whatever is not needed, or an unhelpful distraction. We each have a natural association with the sign(s) of the ‘Lights’, from their positions on our birthdays and so can develop an understanding of our own particular set of guide and protector.

With the unfolding path, it’s possible to see the Sun as both like a torch and a spotlight, related to an exterior search.  It can encompass an attempt to fulfil an ambition, or find greater meaning in life but is often to do with wanting or being something more than we already have or recognise. Life offers us options to grow; we can see where the spotlight shines and step into it.

The Sun invites us towards change and renewal, represented by the seasons; we can’t usually just stay still in one season. We need to move forward with nature’s weather pattern and adapt to it, but can look for what excites us about each season and make plans accordingly, making the most of the conditions.

The energy of the Sun, symbolically, often represents that state of being ‘out there’ in the throng of life, taking in all we can, enjoying new things, connecting with others, etc. But remember the Delphic Oracle inscription: Nothing in excess. If we only focus on ‘up’ time and don’t have any ‘down’ time, things can get chaotic and exhausting and we may neglect something that needs attention.

The Moon provides pattern and routine

Here the Moon can remind us to get back to good habits, whether unique to circumstances or as part of common sense self-care. We probably have all been exposed to ideas to do with good eating patterns and helpful sleep routines, notions of kindness to self and others, as well as contributing and receiving, and sharing as well as taking care of our own needs.

Sometimes, in the demanding pace of life, though, things can get mixed up and balance may lack. That’s when our consultation with the Moon comes in handy. In general, we need only know that the Moon’s Light turns inward and requires us to enjoy down time and self care, to make sure that we’re functioning well. In a more detailed way, if you know your Moon’s zodiac sign and attribute knowledge of that sign, you can know more about inner needs and the way to restore balance.

The Moon sign is based on date of birth and can be found using astrology calculation software, online or via an astrologer, or by looking it up in an astrological ephemeris. Once you’ve entered year and date, you will see the Sun zodiac sign symbol in the second column and Moon sign in the third.

The Moon moves through the 12 zodiac signs in rotation, so when you see the Aries ram’s horns symbol, the next one is Taurus, then Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces, then on again with Aries etc, across the month. So, for example, for Christmas Eve 2016: by December 24th, on column three is an M-like symbol, with tiny hook outwards, bottom right – that’s Scorpio. The ‘arrow’ on 27th December is Sagittarius; below on the 29th, Capricorn, which also appears further up on December 2nd. Below that, the wavy lines for Aquarius on the 4th and ‘reversed bracket bookends’ on December 7th are Pisces, followed by Aries ram’s horns on the 9th – and so on.

Once you know the Moon sign for your birth date, you can check below for clues on inner nature, focuses and needs:

Moon Sign Nature/Focus Needs
Aries Impatient, excitable to find something new to get going with
Taurus Grounded, sensual to find comfort through feeding the senses
Gemini Flighty, restless to have variety and choices lined up
Cancer Caring, reflective to focus on action and resolution instead of brooding
Leo Dramatic, dignified to find something to be boss of and develop personally
Virgo Detailed, selective to put things in order and work within a healthy pattern
Libra Relational, balance to find equal partnerships whilst allowing for others needs
Scorpio Intense, power to appreciate life’s depths without sinking in them
Sagittarius Expansive, universal to find common ground across cultures and knowledge
Capricorn Executive, ascension to find safe limits and progress upwards gradually
Aquarius Systematic, objective to appreciate uniqueness whilst addressing fairness
Pisces Merging, freedom to integrate and connect without getting trapped

October 2016 has two new Moons, one in Libra – the sign naturally associated with balance and rapport – and the other in Scorpio, to do with elimination and bouncing back.  It is the perfect month for assessing which bad habits to get rid of, and healthier approaches to introduce, in order to bring greater peace, harmony and resilience into our lives.

Diana McMahon Collis

About Diana McMahon Collis

Diana McMahon Collis is a freelance, professional writer and consulting editor, astrologer and tarot reader, with over 26 years experience as an expert in the mind body spirit and health fields. She began writing for the media in the Docklands in 1990 and has been widely published across a range of digital and print outlets. Diana holds a BA honours degree in Film, Drama & English, from Reading University and is a non-fiction editor with WritersWorkshop.co.uk, the UK’s leading editorial agency. Her certified training, in modern and traditional astrology, was completed in London in 1996 with the Company of Astrologers, after which she went on to co-found TABI, a national association for tarot practitioners, where she has trained and mentored readers and sits on a review panel. She has created weekly, regional radio material and worked as the in-house astrologer for various newspapers and magazines, including Manchester Evening News, Birmingham Evening Mail, Chester Evening Leader, East Anglian Daily Times, Observer Preview magazine, Easy Jet's monthly in-flight magazine and the glossy, 5-star resort title, Spa World. In 2012 she began providing a weekly tarot talk and readings to clients in the ‘Wellbeing’ division of Champneys Forest Mere, Hampshire's famous health spa resort. She is currently working on a number of publishing projects and continues to provide a private, spiritual consultancy practice online. She maintains a blog at Celestialspot blog, and details for arranging personal email and Skype readings are detailed on her website at Mindbliss.co.uk.