It’s interesting that the astrological Sun represents the father, and it also represents the Self. While the mother has traditionally been the source of nurturing and emotional containment and therefore symbolized by the Moon, the father has traditionally been the figure of power in the household and the giver of name and identity. In monotheistic society, the one god is seen as male, symbolizing that power.
In our modern world these roles are changing, such as when a father stays home to care for the children while the mother goes out to the workplace, and it is always interesting to see how this is reflected in the birthcharts of the children in these families.
Traditionally, though, challenging aspects to the Sun suggest a difficult relationship with the father. We see this in the chart of Barack Obama, with Neptune in a square aspect to the Sun, who later wrote a book called “Dreams (Neptune) of my father (Sun)” about his struggle to understand himself (Sun) through the legacy of the father. In my own chart Saturn and Neptune flank my Sun in a triple conjunction and Uranus squares the trio. I had a very difficult relationship with my own father and we have been estranged for about 20 years.
The role of the father is to help to define the Self, and without a father in one’s life that job becomes more difficult. Many of us search for years for father figures who will help us to find our Selves when they have become lost. In modern society, only 16% of custodial parents in single parent households are fathers, which means there are lots of children growing up without a father in the home.
Challenging aspects in the birthchart don’t doom us to unhappiness. Challenging aspects are stronger and carry more “oomph” in the chart – they create a crisis that pushes us towards self-improvement and self-awareness if we make the conscious choice to not give up. So while these difficult astrological configurations can suggest a father that is broken in some way, they can also push us to become stronger and more resilient, enabling the Self as represented by the astrological Sun to flower and blossom.
So I’d like to leave you with this thought: that adversity provides us with the fuel for our journey, and helps to enrich our lives in ways that simple ease and comfort can never provide.
And for all of you fathers out there, and those with fathers, a happy father’s day!
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