Unlocking the Sun as a planetary archetype:
This article discusses how I brought the symbolic element
of the Sun’s energy to my student’s consciousness via a group process, potentially
unlocking the Sun’s stored energy in their individual lives.”
The central theme
While teaching an experiential course on ‘the inner planets’, I created a centre-piece of orange and gold cloth to emulate the energy of the Sun with the following objects and images:
- a king
- a crown
- a variety of photographic images of the sun
- a lion
- a medal
- a sunflower
- the glyph of Leo
- a Buddha
- a heart
- gold jewels
- and a picture of Ularu
- a chalice representing the grail
- I also included a cartoon of a depressed and downtrodden man with a briefcase attached to the sparkplugs of a car.
In small groups the participants brainstormed and explored:
- What the various objects and images evoked in them?
- What role had they played in fairy tales, myth, popular culture, nature and in ceremonies?
For example the students had these associations with ‘King’.
- one who presides over others
- a leader
- an authority
- having power
- fame and riches
- the most omnipotent person of the land
- separate and higher up from others
- someone of great influence
- good king/bad king story themes
- representing a group of people
- old king/ new king story themes
- one who may be dethroned and one who is in the limelight
The nature of the Sun:
Through more discussion we explored what the above might tell us about the nature of the Sun archetype in the chart; they made the following connections:
- Someone who presides over others – like a conductor or an orchestra central part of us that is the integrator of various aspects of the psyche (planets in chart).
- A leader/authority – when we express our sun our natural authority and leadership qualities come to the fore.
- Special – connected to our individuality and how we can stand out from the crowd, positive sense of our worth, ability to appreciate the specialness in others and ourselves.
- Power, fame and richness – the external reward that may come as a result of developing our unique talents.
What happens when the Sun archetype is over-developed?
We also explored the implications of those qualities being over-developed; – potentially bossy, dominating, self-important, narcissistic, thinking one is above rules and regulations, prideful and lacking in humility.
What happens when the Sun archetype is under-developed?
When the Sun’s energy is underdeveloped – potentially a lack of focus, not knowing who they are, be scattered, a follower, a wimp, a wall flower, afraid of standing out, self limiting, fearful, dependent on others and low self-esteem.
Unlocking the Sun’s energy in the student’s personal life
The group members were able to see the different responses by the participants to the Sun’s energy and symbols, some identified strongly with this archetype and gave us examples of how they expressed this in life; others felt repulsion or fear.
Samantha1 – spoke of loving being the centre of attention but being part of a large family who owned a busy hotel she did not get it. She described how this pattern repeated itself in relationship, wanting to be special to someone but having that need unmet. She loved to have celebrations and parties in her home and was also discovering how much she enjoyed lecturing to students on the subject of her passion.
Greta1 – had a repellent response to the notion of royalty. In her family of origin showing off was frowned upon and she was taught never to appear better than others and praise and recognition were sparse. This was illustrated in her chart by her twelfth house Sun and Neptune conjunct the ascendant. She had recently been involved with a lengthy legal dispute at her work in a hospital, (Neptune’s domain) which was essentially about lack of recognition. (Mars in Leo in the 10th) The class discussion prompted her to re-examine her relationship with this energy and one of the steps she took was to create an altar at home that celebrated the Leo energy.
In ‘The Planets Within’ Moore states “ any image, perhaps a statue, that represents characteristics of a planetary deity may collect, hold and bestow the power of that deity on the person using that image”2 We do this quite naturally when we are drawn to particular images, objects or colours that symbolise planetary energy that needs to be strengthened.
As the above examples illustrate the Astrology teacher can assist and stimulate student’s exploration of astrology by providing concrete examples of astrological symbolism. Another way of clients or students deepening their understanding of the Astrological archetypes is to provide experiences that facilitate the emergence of images from their unconscious.
- Names changed to ensure anonymity.
- The Planets within Lindisfarne Press 1990 pg 38