Posted by: Donna Cunningham | October 6, 2010

The Dance of the Primal Lights –How the Sun and Moon Light Up the Personality

©2010 by guest blogger, William Schreib

Note: This is a two page section from the new book Dance of the Zodiac, Rhythms and Patterns of Creation just released by William Schreib. His column “Celebrity Snapshots” has been featured in DELL HOROSCOPE Magazine for 15 years this January. He claims that his huge collection of celebrity facial photos and his research for the article inspired this book. This 86 page letter-sheet sized booklet is available on the Schreib’s web site at The spiral bound book is $12.95 plus S&H.

To clarify the importance of the luminaries, we will demonstrate how the Sun’s projecting rays and the Moon’s reflecting beams operate in unison, to shape and define the personality.

When a certain Sun sign projects its solar nature and then responds with a certain lunar reaction, we get the primary dynamics, i.e., the mechanism of animation that shapes and defines the individual’s personality. These projective/reflective lights are determined by the astrological signs in which the Sun and Moon are placed.

Using groups of common modes and elements, we will show how these two primal lights define the “inspired soul”, the psyche and the psychological motives of each and every individual.

Note: For all of us, these lights are altered and re-colored by the angles and positions of the other planets– not only on the day of our birth, but also by their current transits.

Luminaries in the Same Mode (Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable)

The modes  are the “designing patterns” or forces that drive, mold and change all creation. Here are examples of celebrities whose luminaries are driven by one of these three modes:

Sarah Jessica Parker, Cardinal Sun and Moon:
With a Sun and Moon in cardinal signs, Sarah’s personality is highly driven, distinctly impetuous and tenacious.
Sarah’s Aries Sun gives her the instant impulses, the fiery temperament and the seemingly unstoppable drive that she displayed in “Sex in the City”. Her earthy Capricorn Moon reactions solidify her cardinal solar urges, as they drive her down a long, well planned path– to add structure and a sense of durability to her impulsive solar actions. Like the battery bunny, she keeps going and going.

Ed Asner, Fixed Sun and Moon:
The previous urge to “go” turns to “stop” when the fixed signs take control. This immovable nature was part of Ed Asner’s role as Lou Grant on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”. There, his Scorpio Sun constantly struggled to keep the emotional temperaments of his staff under control. With his fixed Taurus Moon, his reactions demanded even more control. This only brought more resistance, which fortunately, provided substantial comical relief.

Ben Stiller, Mutable Sun and Moon:
To break the pattern of “hold”, just give things a whole new twist! Expect big changes when this Sagittarius gallops into the room. His mutable fire will always keep things in an excited whirl.

However, Stiller’s enthusiastic solar sparks are often doused by the mutable water of his Pisces Moon. The stirring action didn’t quit, it just becomes liquid and emotional! In this slosh of uncertainty, Stiller often expresses a sense of bewilderment as he wonders if “everything that he sees” is the real truth.

Luminaries in the Same Element  (Fire, earth, air, or water).

Next, we will show what happens when the luminaries are placed in a common element.The quality, nature or “vibratory frequency” of their elemental expressions will not change. Only the mode or patterning action will change.

Tyra Banks, Sun and Moon in Fire
The most intense and sharpest element is Fire!
With fiery lights, this Sagittarius Centaur turns up the heat, stopping only briefly to remove the often-placed hoof from her mouth. Her animated mutable solar energies are sharpened and intensified by the directed forces of her cardinal Aries Moon. Unlike fellow Archer Ben Stiller, her reactions reveal little emotions and sensitivity. Instead, what we get is a barrage of forcefully driven opinions, and the overwhelming presence of Fire!

Gene Wilder, Sun and Moon in Air
The expansive energies constantly circulate, but not so intensely as fire, when Wilder’s Gemini Sun and Aquarius Moon display the flighty, highly mental qualities of air. When Gene skirts into a scene, he barely touches the ground, his Gemini hands fanning the air. His vaporous personality is enhanced by his Aquarius Moon, as his fixed air reactions bring intuitive flashes and outrageous surprises.

Will Ferrell, Sun and Moon in Water
In the feminine elements, the energies are consolidated, but rarely contained in the liquid medium of water.
Ferrell’s cardinal water pulls the tidal surges back and forth in a fluid, churning environment. Ferrell’s Cancer Sun feels the insecurity of his unstable surroundings, which he constantly tries to contain. In unanchored moments, his reactive Scorpio Moon places the churning waters on hold, as he focuses his emotions to empower some sense of control. Comically, Ferrell’s “control freak” impulses often bring a bloated sense of self-confidence that, with his resurgent solar light, quickly washes away.

George Clooney, Sun and Moon in Earth
The most solid of any grouping would be those with Earth lights. Appropriately, Clooney appears to be the “rock” of this bunch. George’s fixed Taurus Sun keeps him locked in the here and now, contentedly enjoying life’s physical pleasures. All the while, a tenacious Capricorn Moon is cautiously calculating all of his future movements. George has the same Moon as Sarah J. Parker, but it is clear that the lack of fiery lights makes his nature and demeanor far more grounded.

Note:  To order William Shreib’s Dance of the Zodiac, Rhythms and Patterns of Creation, go to  Schreib’s web site at  The spiral bound book is $12.95 plus S&H.


  1. Hello everyone and thank you Donna for placing my “article” on your blog.
    With this response, I will signing up to receive all of your comments. I hope to respond and answer any questions you may have.

  2. Wow, this is really cool!
    It’s interesting to know.
    I don’t think I’m entirely surprised though. 🙂

    I have to ask though, what about mixed elements/modalities? or are you just emphasizing people with extreme qualities?

    What about fixed and mutable, cardinal and mutable,fire and water, earth and fire etc.?

    I hope I’m not being a pain…I’m just being my curious/nosey self. lol!

    Thank you for the wonderful article Donna =-)

    • To make a point, this article shows “groups” of the same modes and elements, which in a way are “extremes”… since I believe they more readily display the impact of the elements and the modes in the Sun and Moon.
      Yes, there can be any combination, made up from the possibilities demonstrated in these facial photos (and you can also add the energies of Leo, Virgo and Libra which don’t appear in this grouping). The key thing is to visualize the qualities of the sign on each luminary. Consider its mode and its element. That quality should appear when the Sun projects and the Moon reflects.
      Hope this makes it a little clearer.

      • I’m really sorry William, that’s embarrassing. I took it for granted that Donna wrote this. Thank you for correcting me. 🙂

        Yes, I think it’s clearer now.

        Thank you for explaining. 🙂

  3. What happens if the sun and moon are in the same sign? Does that strenghten/weaken the connection between them? I my case Virgo/Virgo.
    Very interesteing btw!

    • That would happen at the dark of the Moon or New Moon (like right now), and that is an extremely strong connection, especially if they’re in the same house. Donna

    • conjunct in the 9th. So New Moon.

  4. I have both in earth, Sun Cappie cardinal and Moon Taurus fixed. I’m not firey but have been called a rock.

  5. Adrienne,
    You are a reverse luminary arrangement to what I described with George Clooney. Yep, solid as a rock! However, when you are reacting to others, it is likely you become more inflexible as the emotional responses of your Taurus Moon build. In extreme emotional states, some Taurus Moons have even been known to be extremely stubborn!!! And this can happen with most people with fixed Moons.
    Would you agree that you get more “fixed” as you become more emotional? Positively, these emotions work well with your solar energies and that is a gift you can use all of your life.

  6. Sag Sun and Scorpio Moon?

    I feel like my Water Moon is forever dousing my Fire Sun. 😦

    See, if I could get it just right I’d have steam power – like a locomotive!

  7. For Natalie with the Virgo Sun and Moon:
    I find that people who have the same Sun and Moon often appear to have much less “conflict” in their personality, since their projective solar expressions and lunar reactions are identical. Earlier in life, particularly when we are forming our identities, others often see such individuals as being “more together”, since they appear to have little conflict in their basic nature. (Others, with strong Ascendants, may also be able to mask the conflicts in their luminary makeup– but that’s another discussion).
    However, I believe that these “Same Moon/Sun People” will show hard-to-see dynamics, since th`e tend to demonstrate the conflicts in their chart’s other “personal components”– those seen in their Ascendant, Mercury, Venus, Mars and/or the ruler of their luminaries. It’s not as obvious as the Sun and Moon.
    Conflicts, opposition and duality helps us shape our personalities, as we learn the lessons we need, to make our personal creations possible. Astrology helps us understand that we are all facing the same challenges. It also helps us to understand the timing of these events.
    I hope this makes sense since the concept had to be simplified greatly. Comments?

    • Thank you for the great answer. Growing up I did appear to be more together and balanced. Virgo is very strong in my chart (Pluto and Uranus is conj this Moon/Sun), and I tend to express the good and the bad from that sign very much. The conflict comes very much from opposing Jupiter.

  8. Hi there!

    Cancer Sun, Aries Moon (wide trine to Leo Ascendant).

    Moon feels strong and overpowering and sometimes Cancer Sun can’t seem to cope with it.

    I swing between the ‘lots of ideas/get up and go/want to do it all’ energy versus the ‘don’t want to leave the house/just cosy up/almost lazy’ energy. Conflict at its best ??


    • Hi, Jen, I also have Cancer Sun (in the 12th, no less) tightly squared by Aries Moon on the Midheaven. For sure I never wanted to be out in the world or in the public eye, but my Aries Moon took me there all the same. Sometimes I feel like my Aries Moon gets me all the way out on a limb and then my timid Cancer Sun has to cope with it. But I never would have accomplished half of what I have without that Moon. Donna

      • Yes Donna! Oh! I’m in good company then.

        Absolutely agree. Although not a tight square with 6 degrees between them, Cancer Sun is in 11th and Aries Moon in 9th.

        Aries Moon does make me do things that Cancer Sun would never entertain. I am definitely prone to ‘act first and think after’ in a lot instances. This spontaneous streak has taken me on many fun adventures but also gotten me into ‘hot water’ too, especially around speaking my mind and being too direct. On reflection absolutely horrifying for Cancer Sun who likes to be safe and quiet.

  9. Hi, William, enjoying your responses. Thanks so much for the excerpt. He sent me a copy of the book, folks, and what was the most fun were his caricatures of the celebs and their signs. So original and priceless! You can see some of them and sign up for his newsletter on his site at the link above. Donna

  10. My son has a Cancer Sun and a Libra moon both cardinal and my daughter has a Libra Sun and Virgo Moon. They are very very different. Since they both have Libra one Sun one moon how different does the Virgo Cancer make?

  11. A nod to comments from certain bloggers…
    Parin Stormlaughter: I like that last name… fits the comedy of Sag and the intensity of Scorpio! I love your comment on how you find that you have steam power like a locomotive. Is it a circus train, filled with clowns and animals?

    Natalie… that conflict from Jupiter opposing your sun/moon… Did your Pisces Jupiter often encourage you to take “leaps of faith” that seemed irrational to your practical Virgo?? Though it’s not a personal planet, its aspect may have been a plus, since (like we see with Donna and Jen’s Aries’ Moon) it “forced” you to go beyond your comfort zone.

    • I depend on it! When there’s something I want to do, I fret and worry and find a million reasons to why I shouldn’t even try, and at some point Jupiter kicks in and says let’s do it and to hell with the consequences. And without that push I would live a very cautious and boring life. Now I make my living as a fiction writer and I’m happy every morning. So absolutely pushing me out of my comfort zone – it’s like being pushed off a cliff by someone with a mad laughter. It’s not always clever or practical, but it’s always interesting and fun.

  12. Natalie… Your choice of words really highlights the wonder of the astrology language. When Jupiter expands your horizons, you feel …pushed off a cliff with mad laughter in your ears! And it’s fun, too. (Fun? My goodness!). You seem to let the worry of Virgo go as you expand the beliefs of Pisces. As Pisces’ Bobby McFerron said: Don’t worry, be happy!

  13. I’m a little late to this column so I hope you’re still answering comments. So, I have a moon in Aquarius conj Saturn in the 10th house (planets conj MC) and my sun is in Scorpio, on the 7th house cusp (therefore opposing Gemini ascendant). In light of the subject matter, how does that play out in terms of being a luminary?
    I’m a dreamer and have managed to put some of my creative ideas/thoughts/visions into action, but lately having a really hard time figuring out which way to go next. I feel that my slow and deep, emotionally intense sun is often at odds with my cooler, analytical moon and outer personality of wanting things to happen faster than it has been over the last few years. at the same time, risk taking has definitely gotten harder but I dread ending up living a life of unfulfilled quiet desperation.

    Really interesting post! Thanks William!

  14. Marie-Francoise,
    With your luminaries both in fixed signs, your emotionally intense sun is altered when you become “emotional”– afterall, our Moons form our emotional reactions. With Aquarius there, you becomes cooler, as you “fix” unto the “mental emotions” forming in your head. Positively, as you say, this speeds up and expands your “emotional state”. YOU likely are lifted out of Scorpio’s bio-microcosm into more universal concepts– seeing the connections between the two. (Boy, this is getting ethereal!)
    The tendency is to become too fixed, unadaptive and incapable of creating direction. I.E., learn to use the mutable and cardinal energies in your chart. All three are needed to be creative.
    With Gemini setting the cross in your chart, this piques your curiosity as it opens the door to an endless mix of stuff to observe. Your luminaries placement on the angles should make you quite an “achiever” but now is not the time… with Gemini rising, Saturn is now transiting near the bottom of your chart. You may becoming “invisible” to others, receiving little recognition. Once Saturn passes the nadir, that will be the time to begin “your climb” again.
    Good luck.

    • Thanks for the reply William. Very insightful. Yes, I have been experiencing being ‘invisible’ despite my efforts. Any idea when Saturn will move on pass my nadir and give me a break? That also brings up an interesting question I’ve had unconsciously for awhile now, which is “when will it be my time to shine?” Which also kind of ties in with the theme of light and luminaries, I feel. Thanks again!


  15. Judging from your comment that your Sun (Scorpio) is near the 7th house cusp, I gather your Ascendant is in very late degrees of Gemini… therefore, the 7th is in the late degrees of Sagittarius.
    Saturn is now around 8 degrees of Libra, and I assume the nadir (bottom of your chart) is near the late degrees of Virgo. Likely, Saturn has already passed your Nadir!!! Go and be recognized for your light!!!
    Duh… Saturn is squaring my Sun and transiting Pluto. Subconsciously, I am refusing to recognize Saturn is there already. (I digress).
    Remember Saturn is long term projects… think ahead… build your mountain. This growing of recognition will reach its peak once Saturn hits your midheaven … that will be in about 14 years.

  16. To Marie… opps.
    Your Ascendant has to be early degrees of Gemini, putting your 7th in early degrees of Sag.
    Scorpio in the 6th house, right??
    You should have been out of “Saturn’s fall” for a year or so. It’s light is now building. So should yours.

    • hi William

      Yes, my AC is in the early degrees of Gemini (~ 5 degrees) and my sun is 29’55” scorp in 6th house. thanks for the clarification.

      Was told that I would be a late bloomer (saturn 10th house) but I just hope I don’t have to wait until I’m 61 to experience success – heck, I may not even live that long!

      thanks again William.


  17. 8th house Aries Sun & 12th house Leo Moon. I can’t help but think of the Ohio Players song “Fire” from back in the day but that fire has been burned out for awhile now. May not be such a bad thing though as it’s probably kept me out of a whole lot of trouble. lol

    Neptune going through the 6th has doused the flames.

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