For the Students of Hindu Vedic Astrology by Dr. A. Shanker

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The Sun, the Moon and Ascendant

moon GIFIn most social astrological conversations, the first question asked is: "what are your Sun, Moon and Ascendant? The questioner often seems to assume that these factors are almost interchangeable. In reality, they are three important, distinct, and non-interchangeable, influences. They are, however, interrelated. Let's examine them, one at a time, and ascertain the true implications of each.

The Ascendant represents the most spiritual aspect of the individual; it deals with the individual's self-awareness. Any student of psychology can tell you the importance of self-image in determining character. A person can only be what he or she is honestly capable of conceiving himself to be, and until the self-images in changed, the person cannot changes. Before there can be personal possessions, thoughts, a real home, creative self-expression, work, partnerships, joint resources, a philosophy a profession, friend or an awareness. This awareness of self and determination to survive is directly related to the Ascendant.

The Ascendant also determines how a person views reality. It indicates the fundamental capacity for awareness from which self-expression springs. The ascendant, in traditional Astrology, is said to influence physical appearance, and this is true. More important, however, is its influence on the basic consciousness, which is the individual.

Some older astrological texts state that the Sun in the horoscope represents the real spiritual essence and the Ascendant outer personality. However, in our experience, the view set-forth in the writings of alice bailey seems closer to the truth. Since a new degree of the Zodiac rises over the eastern horizon every four minutes, as compared to the approximate one degree per day of the Sun's motion, it is apparent that the Ascendant is associated with the now ness of each new moment. Therefore, it is associated with awareness or consciousness itself. Assuredly, the sun and the Ascendant are closely related. The Sun, which is exalted in Aries and accidentally exalted in the First House, gains its power of creative self-expression from the pure beingness or "I am"-ness inherent in Aries and the First House.

The Sun in the horoscope is the channel for the expression of active, creative energy. Through this creative activity and the expression of the will, an individual realizes his or her creative potential.

The Sun rules the dynamic expression of energy in the process of creation, and the Sun sign determines the manner in which this energy is expressed. Aspects to the Sun indicate the channels for its expression and the degree of harmony or disharmony which accompanies it.

The house position of the Sun, the Fifth House, and the house(s) on whose cusp(s) Leo is found indicate the practical affairs of life that are directly influenced by creative activity.
If the sun is weak in the horoscope, the individual may lack the dynamic drive and will power for creative self-expression. If the Sun is heavily aspected, elevated, or angular by placement, the necessary drive and will power to bring about dynamic activity will be in evidence. If many squares and oppositions, in conjuncts or exact minor aspect afflictions are evident, conflict, discord, obstacles, and ego confrontations may accompany such efforts. Generally speaking, it is better to have afflictions to the Sun than to have a weak, unexpected Sun, because, even if mistakes are made, something is accomplished and the individual grow by experience.

People usually do not begin to fully realize their Sun's potential until they reach astrological adulthood, or twenty-one year of age. Until that time, their typical behaviour is often characterized by their Moon sign, its house position, and its aspects.

The Moon's position in the horoscope represents those aspects of human behaviour that depend upon automatic responses, whether they be the familiar motions of driving a car or national stimulus-response based on past experience which the individual can't consciously remember. The Moon represents in-ertia or character or the tendency to go on behaving and living in the manner to which one is accustomed and familiar. A consciously directed effort of the will is required to change these automatic response patterns. Often, these patterns are inappropriate, and even dangerous, and serve only to impede the individual's success and progress. This is especially true if the Moon is addicted. Then, such response patterns are apt to be irrational and aberrant. Usually, they are based on past experiences that have been re-stimulated without the individual's conscious, rational awareness. Hence, the Moon in the horoscope represents something to be outgrown and over-come through a conscious awareness of all the reasons for choosing a particular path of self-expression.

The Moon has a great deal to do with everyday affairs, family and domestic matters, food and eating habits. When one stops to consider the extent to which most people's eating habits are dictated by irrational emotional needs, rather than by what is good for health and vitality, it becomes apparent that irrational responses to past emotional conditioning can dictate dietary habits that are actually detrimental to health and well-being.

The sign position of the Moon indicates the manner in which the individual's habitual responses are expressed. The house position of the Moon shows what department or affairs of life will be directly influenced by such responses (as will the Fourth House and the houses(s) on whose cusp(s) Cancer is found in the horoscope.

Shanker Adawal
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