Posted by: Donna Cunningham | July 4, 2011

Aspects to the Sun—What They Show about Self-Esteem and Confidence

©2011 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 In our recent contest for finding new article topics, Alice suggested, “I would love to see an article about the astrology of self-acceptance. Believing that self-acceptance is an important pathway to personal happiness, I’ve been fascinated by what indicates the lack of it in a chart (what aspects, placements?) and how to work with those difficult bits to move away from self-rejection to healing and embracing the self. “ 

Well, you’ve got it, Alice, and your entry is upgraded to an ebook winner! 

The 2nd House and False Self-Esteem vs. True Self-Worth

Let me start by repeating one of my pet peeves in current astrological interpretation. I find myself at a loss to understand why self-esteem would be attributed to the 2nd. To me, the only way the 2nd house tells you about your self-esteem is if your self-esteem is dependent on how much money you have.

It’s true that vast numbers of people today gain a false self-worth from their net worth, but that’s very different than truly feeling good about yourself, especially in an economy as volatile as ours.

True self-esteem is a function of the Sun, along with self-worth, self-confidence, and other self words.

The house placement of the Sun and the matters governed by that house are important clues to the things that make up our sense of self. Our competence and success or lack thereof in addressing the matters of that house has a huge effect on our self-esteem. In the 6th house, we base it on the quality of our work; in the 7th, it comes from our partnerships; and on.

Aspects to the Sun and Validation from our Parents 

The first and most enduring source of feeling good or bad about ourselves comes from our parents and whether they welcomed and loved us or whether they taught us that we weren’t worth much.  

The Moon represents the mother, and the various aspects of the lunar cycle show much about where we stood with her—whether she was able to nurture and support our basic nature.  

The conjunction (New Moon) shows a good deal of merging and of difficulty in separating our self-concept from who she was. The two squares (First and Third Quarter) show a disharmony between your essential nature and hers.  

Being in the same element, a Sun-Moon trine shows important shared qualities that create a sort of natural affinity and mutual support. The opposition (Full Moon) can show a relationship of opposite types, and yet that you each provide a certain kind of balance for one another. 

 With the quincunx, there’s no common meeting ground. Were you perhaps a bundle left on your parents’ doorstep? I can almost hear your mom saying, “You’re not from around here, are you?” 

The Sun represents the father, among other things. Sexist or not, you do get a great deal of self-esteem from the way he treated you and how much or how little you’re able to identify with him. 

For instance, my father was a Pisces, and my Sun is in the 12th house square my Moon. I was strongly identified with my Dad and very alienated from my Mom. (See How to Survive a Pisces Dad—and How I Survived Mine. ) 

When a planet is conjunct the Sun, there’s a fusion between you two and some quality or characteristic of his—it’s part of your core identity. With squares or oppositions between the Sun and other planets, there’s little similarity between your basic nature and his. 

He couldn’t fully relate to you and your hopes for yourself—he may have even actively opposed your career plans. With trines, it was an easy match, and there were qualities of his that supported your goals. I can almost hear him say, “That’s my boy!” (even if you were a girl.)   

One thing I’ve noted about major transits to the Sun (from Saturn on out to Pluto) is that it’s a period of grappling with the relationship—outer or inner—with the father.  It may be that he’s going through a crisis due to aging, and it changes your relationship. How you view him changes along with it—you see him as the older adult he now is, rather than the all-powerful being he seemed when you were little.  

In the process, you often finally own up to the  ways you’re like him and come to see that he’s been a role model—good or bad—in important areas of life like the matters of the house involved.  

If your parents didn’t leave you with a lot of self-esteem, don’t conclude that you can’t ever develop any.  Achievements, respect, and loving connections that develop in adult life can build your confidence and self-worth. 

 I’m living proof of that, as I was shy and self-conscious in childhood, teens, and young adulthood, but my accomplishments and the fact that people who shared my interests seemed to like me made all the difference. 

More to Come about the Sun 

This is all for today, folks. I’m still struggling with an injured wrist. You need information about specific aspects between the Sun and other planets. I’m going to look for a good guest blogger on that. 

You’ll also learn important influences on your Sun by taking this test: How Strong is your Sun? Here’s the Score!

One thing I do want to leave you with, however, are some tools to use to work on confidence and self-esteem issues.

There’s none finer than the flower essences, and especially Sunflower essence. If you never try any other, try that! 

Below is a list of links to articles about essences for self confidence and self-esteem that my coeditor, Deborah Bier and I published in Vibration Magazine. 

For those of you who aren’t familiar with flower essences, download the introductory chapter of my ebook, Flower Remedies—How Plants’ Energies Can Heal Us: flower essence information-ch1. (You can order the book itself here:

And for those of you who’d be more comfortable with the whole idea if there were a bit of proof, download this research project:  Photographic Evidence of Essences–Deborah Bier

How about you, Readers?  Do the aspects of your Sun to the Moon and other planets reflect your relationship to your parents, and specifically how did that affect your confidence?  

Articles from Vibration about Flower Essences for Confidence and Self-Esteem: 

Posts about the Sun and Leo:

Ifree astrology booklet by Donna Cunninghamf you’re enjoying this blog, sign up for a subscription, and get a FREE EBOOKLET for Skywriter Subscribers: Mothers, Daughters, and the Moon, a 50-page excerpt from The Moon in your Life. Read more about it here: New: Free Booklet For Skywriter Subscribers! 

To sign up for a subscription, go to the top right hand corner of the blog and click on “Subscribe.” Then send me an email with your subscription confirmation or an email post and ask for the booklet in the subject line. If you’re already a subscriber and want a copy, forward the most recent email post to me at


  1. My Sun receives two angles: one is a conj with Asc ruler Venus, the other is a trine from Saturn and it sits on the 2nd house cusp. My Sun score is 19.

    Definitely did not receive any support from my parents on self-esteem issues: nothing was good enough and my father has never had to much self-worth ever…

    But! I have no problem with my own self-acceptance! I used to have problem prooving others what I’m worth (no planets around Dsc). And I am not materialistic (no earth sing)! I’ve never made that little money that I make now, and it does not affect my self-esteem at all.

    I think 1st house planets also play an important role in self-acceptance, since they provide great energy that we can identify with. I think 1st house planet people learn more to rely on themselves, which support self-acceptance.

  2. I tend to have brief encounters with self confidence and self esteem,but then I realize that I’m fooling myself and I go back to being very unsure of myself and judging myself. 🙂

    I’m not sure where that shows up in my chart.

    I guess sun square saturn would be the best explanation for my lack of self confidence.

    I have….

    Sun Scorpio quintile Moon Virgo 3’17

    Sun (Sco 23°53′) Mercury (Sco 28°57′)5th house sep. conjunction (0°00′) orb: 5°04′

    Sun (Sco 23°53′) Mars (Sco 26°32′)5th house app. conjunction (0°00′) orb: 2°39′

    Sun (Sco 23°53′) Jupiter Rx (Tau 26°26′) 11th app. opposition (180°00′) orb: 2°33′

    Sun (Sco 23°53′) Vertex (Sco 17°03′)5th house app. conjunction (0°00′) orb: 6°51′

    Sun (Sco 23°53′) 5th house Saturn (Leo 16°45′) 2nd house wax. sep. square (90°00′) orb: 7°08′

    I have other “rare” aspects,but I suspect that they wouldn’t be useful here.

    What in a chart shows the difference between a stepfather and father? Is it just the one who raised you? My stepfather and my natural father were both in my life off and on at different times.

  3. My Sun makes a ton of aspects: it’s conjunct Sat-Jup-Merc-Pluto, and square Moon. It’s also sextile Mars, and Neptune/MC. Hard to tell who is on first, but I had a not good relationship with my father. He was distant (although definitely around) and not affectionate, no positive words ever (even though I was a standout athlete, scholar, musician, artist, I can go on- nothing ever good enough), but plenty of negative words and hitting, even if I had done nothing wrong. I went through a lot of pain as a kid and of course that affects my interactions with others to this day. I realize now that there was a problem with his brain chemistry because once he went on blood pressure meds when I was around 12, he stopped the physical abuse (I also ran away and finally stood up for myself, as my mother wouldn’t, or was too afraid to as she was very tiny and my dad was much taller. Luckily I inherited the tall genes!)

    My self-identity is tied into a lot of things, but with that stellium I mentioned in Libra, and all of those planets in the 7th minus sun, a lot of my self-worth was coming from my relationships- or lack of them, or what others thought about me. Studying the esoteric (astrology, Gurdjieff, hundreds of self-help books) has at least helped me make some sense of all this even if I’m not 100% healed yet. A big thing for me was that I had to break away from the negative family vibe- both socially and physically- to start to find myself again.

    My sun score was very high, I think 70s? but moon actually was my highest at 90 something. My moon is in Cancer which is a quite sensitive placement, but I guess it’s been covered up or denied (not so much consciously, but no outlet for it, other than things like music or cooking) all these years!

  4. A very interesting choice of topic. I like to think of my Sun conjunct with Uranus in Cancer as representing my Mom, a Leo who played more of a masculine role in my family, was the one to chase away the spiders, pay the bills at restaurants, had the big booming voice and display of exuberance with blue hair to boot. Maybe my Dad was represented by the Neptune square to the Sun from Libra, a fairly good looking, but painfully shy retiring man? Most certainly I did not feel nurtured by my Dad as one might reasonably expect with a Sun in Cancer, or would the square and opposition have to take the blame? My own sense of self confidence lies in trusting my feelings, Sun in 8th house. As regards self control, I have none, which is one reason to stay away from addictive substances; no drugs legal or over the counter for me if I can help it.

  5. Does a sibling acting as a parental figure count as a Mother/Father influence?
    Therefore feeding into whatever self worth might have been fostered?

    I was raised the first third of my childhood in foster homes (nearly) from birth, and the following (2/3rds ) reunited years were still quite estranged from parental figures.
    The only common denominator was siblings.

    Sun: 1st house square 5th Neptune, trine MC & sextile jupiter in 4th.
    Moon: 9th house oppose 3rd Pluto & square 6th house Rx Saturn.
    I scored 59 on the Sun test.
    My 2nd house has 5 Leo planets if you read it in equal houses (or 4 if read Koch).

    Since I feel I do have a strong sense of self-esteem when it comes to a can-do-spirit, if it is wobbely when pointed at myself.
    How would I track that influence back via my chart? Back to 3rd house w/ that Leo Pluto opposition to the Moon? Or another house? or the Sun trine MC?

    • I didn’t know that about you, EJ. From experience, a sibling serving as parent would show up in several ways with connections between Mercury and Saturn (Saturn in the 3rd, Mercury near the MH, sometimes Moon in the 3rd or in Gemini). About foster care, I don’t know….haven’t seen enough charts. Donna

    • I suspect the strong self-esteem would track back to your Leo stellium. I have a lot of Leo in the 1st, and I am confident as an adult despite being very poor and self-conscious as a child, teen, and young adult. One other point I wanted to make in the article is that we can grow our self-confidence in adulthood, often through positive achievements. Donna

  6. Dear Genevieve, I don’t mind all things metaphysical–particularly healing tools and ideas,and made of those a second career (well, 3rd, after social work). In terms of house associations, the 2nd is most related to Taurus, while the house most related to the Sun and Leo is the 5th.

    But when we try to make strict, linear relationships between astrology, Tarot, numerology, gemology, etc, etc, it seems like they don’t jibe perfectly and we wind up bending or losing things in going for a translation. Thanks for grappling with these questions, Donna

  7. I’m worried about my 10-year old son’s self-esteem – & astrologically I’m confused by the measurements.

    On the up side for his confidence & self-esteem rating is highly aspected Sun (score 65), trine Jupiter, oposition Asc in Leo.

    What obscures the shining on his Son is the conjunction with Neptune, the 7th house tenancy, trine with Saturn (retro), semi-squares from Venus & Pluto (Sun is at the midpoint).

    Most of his planets are on the western side of the chart with the Sun – Neptune in the centre (opposite the Leo Asc.)

    It seems that his self is “given away” to other people????

    He appears to be very confident, the Leo Asc. is what you will notice first. But I know his ego is not big – he’s all about merging with others.

  8. I understand your concerns, Alicia, but I do firmly believe that our charts are our perfect design for our lives. In a number of ways, his chart is saying that being able to work closely with others in partnership is an essential part of his life plan. That might be an artistic/creative partnership or in service to the suffering (e.g. as a counselor–one of the vocations associated with the 7th house) or in any number of ways we have yet to fathom.

    If you feel he needs some work on self-esteem, children respond really well to flower essences as they don’t have deeply encrusted complexes at that stage. There’s a beautiful book on essences for children by Barbara Mazzarella and there are a number of essence practitioners who are really good with children. Look for a Virtual Booklet about Essences and Children on Vibration’s site. Donna

  9. Thank you Donna for your kind reply. I’m resolved to look into those flower essences…

  10. My mom isn’t the sun archetype she is most definetly the moon. I have Sun aspects with Pluto, Saturn, and Uranus. I am EXACTLY LIKE MY DAD.
    With my Sun conjunct Pluto I have a bit of a Scorpion influence. I’m very good at reading inner motives and I feel peoples vibes. I swear my dad has a Scorpio Asc. I don’t know his birth time but he has this intense, stubborn, and evil appearance about him. I can be stubborn when nessecary. I also have that intense gaze but that’s just how my face is. :\
    With my Sun trine Saturn my dad is VERY cold. His sun actually forms a very close conjunction with my Saturn. He doesn’t give hugs. He’s more of the ‘tough love’ guy. He’s also pessimistic and he’s firm on discipline. He’s most definetly the father not friend parent. As for me, I have a 5 planet stellium in Capricorn, and Saturn is sextile my ASC. I am very cold and critical. I’ve also been very wise beyond my years. Talk about persistant.
    Now for my Sun sextile Uranus my dad is not unpredictable but hes definetly not one to be pushed around. He is an Aries afterall :P. He is pretty creative and VERY stubborn. He’s more of the creator. He’s a go getter not a sit abd wait around. Even though he is psycho and bipolar, so I guess unpredictable, he would give the shirt off of his back for his family. I got the mor stable Uranian traits. I like routine BUT I HATE authority. If I’m not in charge then I’m not apart of it at all. I’m aslo very independent. With my quirky Auquarius MC and my obvious intrest in astrology, this aspect gave me and my old man originality.
    Id say all in all, I have a very developed sense of self. I’m very confident. I think the archetype that the father is the sun and the tenth house true. Even though he wasn’t the BES father, his Saturn approach only made me stronger and with my Mommys lovin I gained high confidece and self esteem.

  11. I have Sun conjunct Jupiter and square Pluto. I never wanted to admit that me and dad are different because I thought it to be arogant of me (after all, I am his daughter) but what you said confirms my feelings. I always thought he was passive, not fighting enough for his family, more like fighting with his family. In my heart I want to believe that I’ll do better, even if I have his blood, I want to be a better fighter and have less fears, and even if I am wrong and we are similar, I want to learn from his lessons.
    I also have Sun conjunct Jupiter, but I don’t think I have integrated this energy very well and, I identify my mother with Jupiter more.

  12. A funny coincidence, or perhaps synchronicity… just yesterday I had a conversation with a friend who tole me for the umpteenth time “There is nothing wrong with you, the only thing you need is more self-esteem”.

    My Sun is in the 12th and forms a part of a Great Cardinal Cross (with Moon, Saturn and Pluto). The only smooth aspect it receives is a trine from Neptune.

    • A tough pattern, Tatiana. Do work with the flower essences if you can get them there. If not, grow some sunflowers and make an essence yourself. (There’s a booklet of articles about how to do that here:

      It’s starting to sound like I need to do an article on healing tools for self-esteem. Donna

      • Thank you, Donna. It’s hard to get flower essences where I live – some Bach products appear on local Internet auction sites but the choice is very limited. Making my own essence seems to be a much simpler option and does not seem to be that difficult.

      • Essence making is all about creating a contact with the spirit behind the flower (or tree) and asking it to impart some of it’s nature into the water. It’s a wonderful feeling when you connect. Do read the articles in that Virtual Booklet on Vibration Magazine–they’ll explain more. Donna

  13. Thanks for sharing such an informative post on the Aspects to sun, i have been through a Solar Eclipse recently in my zodiac sign.i.e., Cancer. I was so eager to know about what all impact the Sun’s transit is going to have on me. This article of your made the doubts all cleared, Nice Share…!!

  14. Dear Donna, I’m absolutely delighted to see this article here. For me, it is perfect timing as Saturn is getting ready to oppose my Sun in a series of hits.

    My own natal Sun is in Aries, in 3rd house (on 4th cusp), conjunct Mercury and Chiron and opposite Uranus.

    My self-esteem has been through a lot of ups and downs but beneath it, all there has been this basic will to assert myself and “try anyway”, despite the risk of setbacks. My personal enthusiasm has helped me to overcome the insecurities.

    My Dad was an incurable dandy (during Communist times on our country, he was something of an oddity with his almost aristocratic ways, for better or worse) and spent a lot of his time trying to get away from the family and social environment he found too stifling. I was raised basically by two females (mum and grandma) who saw his ways as “wrong” and tried to prevent me from resembling him in any of my ways and values. This put my relationship with Dad (by then separated from us) under a lot of strain.

    But during adulthood, we have became closer again, and now I no longer regard my similarities to him with “horror”. I admire his daredevil nature, his courage to go against the flow, his philosophical nature and English type of humor.

    The only thing I’m still struggling to come terms with is his “macho” view of women … he has always put too much emphasis on good looks in women, and this has left me feeling inadequate since childhood. However many compliments I may get from people these days, the basic feeling is “but Daddy would find me ugly”. Once I get past that, my self-esteem will mend greatly 🙂

    • Quite the story, Alice–the stuff a novel would be made of.

      Thanks so much for suggesting this topic in the contest–I think it will help many people. I can see that I’ll need to write another about healing tools for self-esteem. Donna

  15. Hi Donna,
    8th House Sun in Cap. No major aspects. Semi-square to Neptune, semi-sextile to Moon and Quincunx to ASC. My father never wanted me – it was one of those had to get married because my mother was pregnant scenarios. They divorced when I was very young and he was out of my life, save for a very brief reunion more than ten years ago. I have zero good memories of him. I did have a wonderful stepfather though, who sadly has now passed. Do you use the same significators for step-parents? I’m about to get a new step-dad soon, although in middle age, that’s a very different prospect to getting a step-dad when you’re a kid.

    • Yeah, I got a stepdad when I was about 30–one of those crusty old Crabs that give Cancer a bad name–and I just never really let him into my life.

      I honestly don’t know how stepparents show up in our charts. They may be part of our Sun and Moon–or the 4th and the 10th–if they play an important role. (Probably devotees of the derivative house technique would have a house for the first step parent, another for the second, and so on if you have serial step parents.) Donna

      • As I understand it one would take the 7th house from the one that represents the mother (moon) or the father (sun) as the case may be and there one would see the step parent represented. If there is more than one step parent they would variously take on the nuances of that house, ie. for a 9th house sun one would look for the step mom in the 3rd etc.

      • That sounds right, U. Donna

  16. Hello Ms Cunningham, thank you for the shares, I hope your wrist get to feeling better.

  17. First things first: Happy Birthday Donna! Hope you have a Blessed day and Solar Return 😉

    My sun is in pisces and has hardly any aspect (which makes it very different from the rest of my chart, all the planets are very connected) It does make two really wide squares, one to saturn in gem (8 deg orb) Sat is conj MC, and another to neptune in sag (10 deg orb) and one semisquare to venus in aq.

    I know deep down I’m very capable, but I’ve had problems believing in myself (does it make sense??). My dad was a mixture of encouraging and critical, so I really never new that he was actually very proud of me until he passed away, many years ago.

    p.s You’ve mentioned the Sunflower essence before so I’ve tried it at home, is a beautiful essence!

  18. I have had self-esteem problems all my life, and feel as though I am just now, at 54, getting a handle on things. My Sun in Taurus is squared by my Moon in Leo, and gets a quincunx from Saturn, which I think is the main factor. My Mars is in Cancer, and I (perhaps mistakenly) blame that weak Mars for some of my problems.

  19. Happy Birthday Donna! Hope it’s a great year for you! What’s strangely bizarre is that your solar return chart for Portland mirrors the transits to my natal chart (by house) almost exactly. Very weird.

    My sun is conjunct Mars, Mercury and widely (10 degrees) Jupiter. So that’s a lot of talk, action and big thinking. But it’s squared by my Moon-Pluto conjunction in Virgo, which is a lot of analysis (did I say *a lot?*). Therefore there are times I’ve been way too overconfident (fools rush in where angels fear to tread) and times I’ve been not the least bit confident due to analysis paralysis, worry, etc. And then there are those lovely transits to your Sun & all of its conjunctions / squares that can just leave you questioning yourself to the point that confidence is just something you fondly remember.

    • Those squares are a perfect correction for the two groups of planets–not easy to live with constant “yes buts”, though it ultimately makes for a wiser person. Thanks–I haven’t done my SR chart officially, but did notice a series of trines that I liked the sound of. Donna

  20. I have a Sun square Neptune aspect. I knew who my father was but he was a myth to me. I grew up only hearing about stories & sightings. My midheaven is Aquarius; yes, Pappa was a rolling stone, as the song went. The other piece I’ve had to work quite diligently with creating boundaries; once in a while my delusional side needs to be kept in check!

    I was a late bloomer in life and I can attest to friends, experiences and accomplishments as becoming stand-ins to what was lacking at home. The funny thing is Chiron in Aries in my my 11th house; although I’ve had some terrible friends, peculiarly enough, other friends were often the ones who healed me.

  21. I scored an unassuming 28 on the Sun test; unsurprising, since I have always been more the shy and retiring type (Sun in Capricorn in the 4th house). But I look a great deal like my father’s side of the family, most of whom I only know from photographs, since my Dad immigrated with his mother to the U.S. from Eastern Europe shortly after WWII. He was a Gemini; my midheaven is in Gemini. He was a dyed-in-the-wool eccentric; my natal chart has Sunsquare Uranus, and I can be pretty odd, myself.
    But I never had much of a chance to get to know him (perhaps unsurprising, with that 4th house Sun). His marriage to my mom crumbled when I was quite young, leaving behind my three sisters and myself, and our five very disgruntled half-sibs who are even now very angry at my dad,their stepdad. They used this anger as an excuse to abuse my dad’s “real” kids; physically, emotionally, and one of my sisters was even sexually abused, all because they despised us for being somehow like him…their abuse, more than any parental factor, was the most damaging to my self esteem.
    My Aquarian mother has always thought that it is a shame that her two separate broods of kids couldn’t just learn to get along. She was confounded when my sisters and I banded together to care for our father during the last couple of years of his life (we are two Capricorns and two Virgos; what else were we going to do?). He died when transiting Pluto was conjunct my IC, and transiting Pluto has hit my Sun a couple of times in the several years since his death. I am slowly trying to figure out how to accept the parts of myself that are like him; it makes it easier when I see and accept and love some of those physical and temperamental traits in my own kids-Pluto regeneration at its most literal, and finest.

  22. ….its hard to relate to this question as a developed , 29LEO Sun in the 11th house . It was never a factor. Sun conjunct Mercury and quintile the Uranus/ Mars conjunction. Approaching the Full moon in Aquarius. Mars/Uranus in exact trine to the moon.

    My brother who was an earlier degree Leo was extremely shy as a child and lacked self confidence. He was brave and went on adventures but always a lone. We were both loners in different ways and that is the ONLY thing we had in common. I had lots of friends and led groups easily. He could not make friends because of being so shy. An undeveloped Leo is TOO self conscious. They are driven inward to discover the Heart and uncover the Soul; a painful process for the new Leo.
    I was not quite a year older so I demonstrated the way to him .

  23. I have a Sun-Neptune-Saturn-Uranus conjunction in Capricorn( late 89′ baby) and I have only begun to decode the mystery that is my Dad as he was not physically apart of my life growing up. My mother told me besides looks, I’m stubborn like my Dad(he’s a Cap too) and I have a temper like him as well, all in all we have a similar temperament. Since he’s a Cap, I guess he represents Saturn quite literally in my chart. My moon is in Capricorn so I guess Mom could be Saturn and the Moon since she raised me on her own and had to fulfill both roles(mother/father).

    Growing up I was a sensitive and shy child always seeking validation through others. My self-confidence is still something I struggle with today, but I’m getting better as I achieve more(like you’ve mentioned Donna) it doesn’t have to be a huge accomplishment either, I’m learning to find value and worth in everything I do that works towards building a future.

    That Cap stellium in the 8th opposes Jupiter and Chiron in the 2nd/Cancer, so it looks like self-confidence and self-worth is a lesson I’m meant to master this time around.

  24. “They are driven inward to discover the Heart and uncover the Soul; a painful process for the new Leo.”

    Barehand, could you please-please elaborate on this issue (if it’s the last thing you ever do!) so that we non-Leos can grasp it?

    • I was never shy but did witness how my brother turned red and shook all over when he was asked his name. I felt his suffering. Surely he would have to ask himself WHY? He spent a lot of time alone in his room.
      Self searching would eventually lead one into deeper thinking. It did for him. I could tell that by his poetry he wrote much later. Because he was too shy to participate he became a great observer and reader of many books .
      Leo rules the Heart in the human body and is ruled by the Sun. The Heart is about Compassionate Wisdom , only acquired by experience and the making of mistakes. This could take more than one lifetime. Eventually the Lion must emerge from their cozy den ( be self confident )and begin to condition their environment. Only then will they grow self esteem, reflected back to them as successful or not Some could go off the deep end on this and become little dictators. Lack of self esteem turned inside out, compensating for it by oppressive dominance.
      They also must eventually say to themselves , ” Not my WILL but thine be done”…talking about the Great Mystery. In other words one has full confidence in Life and ones life plan.The Heart center grounds the Life force and one must have a peaceful heart…not an anxious constricted heart.
      A developed Leo will become as the Sun to a group of people , or groups of people, and begin to serve that group with leadership. Obama is a Leo in a Leadership position.
      Or like The Goat which rules the knees, kneel down in humility on the Mt. Top. and then begin to inspire ” the People” . Martin Luther King was a great Capricorn example of this initiation.
      All signs have their path and they all lead back to the source. Whatever the path, it ends in SERVICE to the Whole or for the Greater Good as motive ; not self interest . Its all in process…..hope that helps.

      experience and mistakes we make.

  25. I have always been curious about this as the parental influences in my life have drawn me away from familial bondings. The father was abusive or withdrawn; the monster in the den to be avoided. the mother was overwhelmed and evasive emotionally and turned a blind eye (They were either avoiding eachother or fighting). I left the family circle as soon as I could. This above is an extreme oversimplification. The sun is on the cusp of 8th and 9th houses (depending on the system, 9th for placidus, 8th kock). the sun makes all soft angle contacts, no hard ones. a sextile to a moon/saturn conj., a trine/sextile to the nodal axis, a trine to mars. It’s rating scores 29. All (except mars and north node in 1st) taking place in the north hemisphere of the chart. The influences that more drew me were teachers and kind strangers who I would study with intense curiosity and more readily developed positive transferences with. So with these soft angles it has always made me curious how to jive the natal promise on paper and the situation on the ground. I am sure I am misreading something but not sure what. How this relates to self esteem? I feel like I was invisible enough to the parental influences, that the journey of self through the pathway of becoming and self awareness have been mostly of my own making, once I understood the process of that making. Could it be that, say, an angular mars or some other planet could P/U the slack of a weakened sun or would this count as a secondary formation, psychologically and not “true” self worth? Perhaps a compensation mimicking self worth via what that angle/planet represents?

  26. My Aquarius Sun (10th) is squared by Neptune (7th) and gets an opposition from Uranus (5th) An “Outer Planet Father”? He was the dark side of both planets: evasive, disappointing (Neptune) violent and techy (Uranus). I have worked many self-esteem issues and I feel I have improved but I still find is hard to live due to a lack of self-worth. Thanks for your advices on flower essences and…YES, an article on healing tools for self-esteem would be very welcome. magda

  27. Interesting tidbit that has stayed with me from reading. I think this is from “The fountains of Paradise” By Arthur C. Clark. In it is mentioned an alien intelligence that interacts with man via a galaxy roving AI. It is asked about “God’ and his/her existence. The AI searches it’s data banks as to the presence of God among the denizens of other planets. It reports back that where there is a extended parental influence and care – and not full (or nearly so) independence from birth – there is the belief in such as God. The more so the more helpless the new born creature and the prolongation of it’s helplessness and it’s reliance on the parent or adult remedial intervention.

    • Interesting indeed–and most likely true that we create our God concept based on our own Father figures. I’ve long suspected that ScyFY writers are tapping into higher sources of information when they “make up” their universes. Donna

      • sc fi writers are fertile ground in which to seed ideas to run with. The god figure could as easily be feminine, too. Consider the Venus of Willendorf and other fertility Gods. which are from a time when the male role in birth was a hazy concept at best and matriarchies were the rule of thumb. Perhaps on planets with multiple moons there may be multiple parental input models.

  28. I’d like to wish you happy birthday too! I’ve been a bit puzzled about where to find my father in my chart. He was a very sad man, (A Taurus born in 1929) with a very traumatic childhood, and never managed to have a relationship with me. He was an officer in the merchant marine for 25 yrs, so we never had a day to day life. When I was a kid I always felt he was avoiding me. My mother divorced him when I was 8, and after that he was just someone I would stop by if I needed some extra cash. He’d give me a soda, smile, give me some money, and I’d sit on the edge of the chair, trying to figure out when it would be polite to leave. I felt so uncomfortable with the whole situation, I avoided him as much as possible. My Virgo sun sits between Uranus and Pluto, with the Moon conj Pluto (the stellium), and since my mother was the very dominant parent in my life, I feel the sun represents her more than it represent my father. My father died last December when Pluto in Cap was excactly opposite natal Mars, so perhaps the weak Mars in the 8th house represented him in my chart. The Mars in Cancer is an energy I have problems expressing.
    I’ve struggled with self-esteem issues all my life, and now that I’m getting success in my work I see improvement in my confidence as well. (It’s okay for a writer to be eccentric). Or perhaps just getting older gives some perspective on what’s important.

    • Aren’t we lucky that it’s okay for a writer to be eccentric? We call it, “finding our voice.”

      I suspect that the Uranus-Sun-Pluto represents different facets of both your parents–that your father was both absent and detached from the family and there was a divorce early on is surely Uranian. Donna

  29. Happy Birthday, Donna!

    I have sun conjunct mars and uranus quincunx moon, and I’m convinced some aliens dropped me at my parents’ doorstep 🙂 The thing I do have in common with my dad was that he liked to travel. My mom and I have little in common, except for physical appearance.

  30. Wordy, perhaps, but how does one summarize a lifetime of growth and seeking in less than a thousand words? We are full of contradictions, are we not? Grandiosity is just the flip side of self-loathing–the pendulum swings back and forth wildly at times.

    But your path shows what I have come to see, that as we grow and become centered in our selfhood, we outgrow the opinions our parents, siblings, classmates, and home towns had of us. They didn’t see us at all, but measured us by their limited perceptions.

    It’s why so many Outer Planet People leave their home towns for the bigger cities. I know that if I were still living in Onawa, Iowa, I’d be seen as the town witch or weirdo. Donna

  31. Hi, I have many aspects to my sun but the most important are a grand fire trine (sun in aries in the 7th, leo mars cnj nort node cnj jupiter in the 11th and neptune in sag in the third) and a t-square (sun opposite pluto in the first and square moon in capricorn in the fourth). Generally speaking my self esteem is good, I had a hard time as a kid but as an adult I am much more confident. I was always very much my mother’s girl, my father was abusive and is a text book sociopath…I was on to him at an early age and the more distance I put between me and him the better I did. The first escape was when my parents finally separated when I was ten, I was so relieved that I got straight A’s for the first time and grew 4 inches! Like AG I also feel that my moon in capricorn shows my mother playing both mother/father parts but I also feel like I have been a father to myself. The grand trine gives me a lot of faith in myself, even when I was younger and going through hell I had a strong sense of selfhood.

    • Hello Vanessa, I liked very much what you wrote about being your own father, as I always felt the same way.
      I don’t really see the archetypes Sun-Father and Moon-Mother in my chart.
      I have a Sun in Aquarius 5th house trine Saturn conj Jupiter in Libra 1st house. A great trine! Some would say brilliant things about my father, but actually I never get well with him, I really hated him as a child, he had (and has) lots of personality problems: alcohol and escapist problems, immaturity and drama, ego and power issues.
      I consider that I simply had no father, that he was just a trouble at home and we all would live much better without him. I had a hard childhood because of my parent’s constant (verbally) fights. I can’t stand for fights and noise nowadays, I hate the TV or radio on and I always want peace around me.
      The Moon is in Sagittarius, conj. Neptune, 3th house, near the IC. Some sextiles and no bad aspects. I still don’t know if this is my mom.
      So, I feel I did my childhood alone, growing in responsibility and confidence of my own, doing homework with my parent’s fightings as the soundtrack, always the best at school with little questions or applauses from my parents, just willing to grow and get out from home to finally have some peace.

  32. My Sun conjucts my Saturn and Moon, and squares my Jupiter and Mars. I definitely have a hard time relating to my Dad. I cant stand spending more than 10 minutes at a time with him, even though he’s really nice and loving. He definitely contributed more to my self-worth than anyone else. He told me every day of my childhood how smart/beautiful/sweet/etc I was and he still says all those things when I see him. I’ve never had an issue of self-worth, unless its having too much. He was my hero as a kid but now he’s just pathetic and annoying 😦 Sad. My sun might actually be my mom though. She is 100x more “manly” than my dad. I used to not be able to stand her but now we get along well and I respect her. All my dislike for her was typical “I hate being yelled at and told what to do” dislike that kids have towards authority figures.

  33. As per the 2nd, I believe it refers to our values (among other things), what we value. This would have to include our view of our own talents as part of our “treasury” of things that belong to us and that we value as our own. Perhaps this is how the 2nd got mixed up with self esteem.

    • I can accept that definition, well done, Uhane. Donna

  34. Great post, Donna, and happy belated birthday!

    My Sun (Libra) conjuncts Pluto (Libra) in the 10th. I don’t even know where to start… I don’t know if I want to start. While I like looking back sometimes, there are just some trips down Memory Lane I don’t want to take…

  35. A propos your comment about sun quincunx moon, Donna, (Sun 19 Aqu; H3; Moon 17 Virgo; H10; Sun strength total 58–conjunct Merc; square Asc/Saturn; opp. Pluto; quincunx Moon, Jupiter; 45 degrees Venus and sextile Mars in H5; tight Sun-Moon-Mars Yod–with Moon at the apex.), my mother would often say to me that she didn’t know how it was I came to be her daughter. She meant it as a compliment; some kind of attempt to acknowledge my particular gifts and achievements that definitely set me apart from my 4 other siblings–but instead of being left feeling warm and fuzzy by this regular comment of hers, it simply intensified my sense of being an “alien” in my family of origin. Jungian analyst and writer, Clarissa Pinkola Estes called it the “misplaced zygote story”. That ,somehow, the stork goofed and one got dropped off into the wrong family……

    Interesting…my mom’s moon is conjunct my own at 17 Virgo and my dad’s Saturn is bang on my 20 Scorpio Saturn–tightly square my Sun. I grew up with a strong sense that my dad didn’t like me–My achievements were hard on him–while my mother fed on them in a vicarious kind of way.

    I think my own story would be a good testament to the fact that a strongly aspected Sun brings celestial blessings of a resilient sense of self that can over-ride the–however unintentional–confidence-undermining behaviours of deeply wounded and consequently highly dysfunctional parents.

    I have done my work and I can honestly say today I love my parents and honour them for their role in my life. However, I live daily in a state of awe , reverence and gratitude for the celestial guidance and “parenting” that saw me through my childhood and beyond. I doubt very much I would have made it without my ethereal guides and guardians.

    • Yes, Judith, you have surely done good work on yourself. Perhaps I can say something that will help in the matter of your Saturn being conjunct your father’s. What that means is that you were born during your father’s Saturn return, a point in time when we are irrevocably grownups and now fully responsible for ourselves and our actions. So, forever after, you represented Saturn to him, and he must have felt the pressure to live up to those standards. If your achievements at a given age (especially those parts of the Saturn cycle at 7, 14, 21, etc.) outshone his, he may have felt chastened.

      In my family, I represented three Saturn generations. My Saturn in Gemini was conjunct my father’s Saturn AND his own father’s Saturn (my grandfather’s), so both I and my father were born on our father’s Saturn. My father was the “baby” of his family, so he may have been somewhat late to come into his Saturn. My Mom was considerably younger than him. (Both my mother and father had Saturn on the Ascendant, though, so they were a Saturnian bunch, not cockeyed optimists!)

      I was the oldest child–and an only child and only grandchild–for several years, so I was kind of a big deal for both generations until my siblings were born and I was charged with responsibility for them. Donna

      • Hi Donna,
        What you have written here is extraordinary, considering the events that occurred around the time of my conception and birth which I was not privy to until December 2008. My mother, who was at that time, living with me, was experiencing an acute deterioration in her cognitive functioning due to statin (cholesterol) medication.
        Funny thing about dementia–people often disclose old secrets in that state. My mother told me that she suspected my father was planning to leave her when my older brother was around 2. She stopped taking birth control(secretly) and became pregnant with me. Apparently, my father was furious throughout the pregnancy. However, when I was born, he immediately fell in love with me and was a doting daddy until I hit early adolescence. Three more children followed. His fate was sealed. How’s that for a Saturnian package?

      • Saturn for him, Pluto for you. One chapter of Healing Pluto Problems has a section called “Pluto and the Pregnancy Trap,” about the fallout for the child who is conceived as a way to trap the father. Donna

  36. Happy Belated Birthday Donna, and many Happy Returns!

    My parents divorced when I was a baby, so I never knew my father and have no memories of him. He played no role in my life whatsoever, but I found his death certificate online and have done a noon chart for him. Looks like his Saturn squares mine; his Leo Moon conjuncts my Leo 10th stellium, he had a 10thH Scorpio stellium which conjuncts my 1stH Scorp Saturn and Ascendant and squares everything in my 10th. I also have a 1stH Scorp Moon at 28 deg. I had a very painful and rocky relationship with my mother and I’ve always known she didn’t like me (Aqua 4th w/Chiron conj. IC) but never really knew why; I must have reminded her of him too much, which was something that’s never occured to me because I never knew him. Huh.

    Self-esteem has always been an issue for me, but you’re right – now that I’m older and have some accomplishments under my belt it’s better. Like another poster, I have Sun trine Moon, but don’t think that means my parents were a good fit :). Other natal aspects to my Sun include 6 conjunctions (Merc, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus and MC), 2 squares (Saturn and Asc), 1 opposition (Chiron). Whoa.

    Very eye-opening discussion here, thanks so much Donna. Strange getting to know your father this way . . .

  37. As regards the second house, which holds my North Node in Capricorn, I find myself continuously surprised and pleased with the fact that I own my own home free and clear. It is the one decision in my life that feels right, but was very scary at the time (1986) as I had no confidence in my ability to meet my financial responsibilities. My home has given me extra income as a rental and has afforded me a freedom I so greatly treasure. Self-employed it serves me as my office where I welcome clients. It has been conceived from the start as a small haven of healing and calm. In this sense it is a great contributor to my feeling of self confidence, not because of pride in things, but in my having made good choices that serve me very well. My home has green features like passive solar gain that leave me with minimal heating bills, and the simplest water catchment system has been put in place 2 decades before such became fashionable. Growing up in Europe home ownership in my working class family was never even an aspiration.

    In addition to my home I had bought some land with big aspirations of the creation of a healing center of my own. I wrestled with the building plans for so long, I lost my confidence, got cold feet and sold the land just before the economic downturn for a good profit. Once again my decisions to buy and sell were solid and do bolster my self confidence. Meanwhile my dream languished and may be beyond reach by now.

    I hope this does make a case for the 2. house, related to our values and our self confidence, not based on bling.

  38. I have never been able to see my Dad related to my Sun in Cancer, conjunct exactly to Uranus. If anything my dad was a conformist, he even once told me to sit when everyone else sits, and stand up with everyone else, so strange to me, who likely feels an urge to do the opposite.

    The Neptune – Sun square does paint the picture of an if physically present, certainly emotionally absent father adrift in his own inner private world. He refused to talk about his past and kept the nature of his work largely private and a mystery to me as a child, maybe due to shame.

    Tomorrow will be the day he passed on after I had the opportunity to stay by his side in his last few months and to care for him to the best of my ability (fending for my Dad’s comfort within institutional care.) I was right in my observation that my Dad was in pain when the doctor did not believe me and he had no longer the means or desire to communicate.

  39. …Developing Your Childs Self-Esteem ..Healthy self-esteem is a childs armor against the challenges of the world. These kids are realistic and generally optimistic…In contrast kids with low self-esteem can find challenges to be sources of major anxiety and frustration.

  40. what great words… as usual. Everytime Im in an atrological rut, Donnas words ring so true in the heart. Straight to the soul. 😉 This woman knows her stuff!!

  41. I have the Sun conjunct Jupiter. My dad has a very “Jupiterian” expansiveness and generosity. There’s also many conjunctions between our charts. My Sun/Jupiter conjunct his Mars/Venus. My Moon conjuncts his Neptune. I just thought it’s interesting. We’re both 8th house Pluto (Mine in Scorpio, his in Virgo).
    I have Sun square Moon…ironic how my mom was always trying to disrupt my relationship with my dad and causing fights between us.

  42. (Ooops…my dad’s Sun squares my Moon -little mistake here)

  43. Somehow I missed this topic first time around (or I don’t remember it!) and I’m so glad to have received a comment in my mailbox today that alerted me to it.

    Donna, you wrote: With the quincunx, there’s no common meeting ground. Were you perhaps a bundle left on your parents’ doorstep? I can almost hear your mom saying, “You’re not from around here, are you?”

    OMG-dess! Since I was little, my mother has said repeatedly, “I can’t believe you’re one of us”. Sometimes that was said when she was focused on what she saw as my “extraordinary” abilities, but that statement was as readily available when I was being accused of being “arrogant” or “selfish” or a “brat”. “You think you’re so smart!”, she would often say, following up in a day or two, with a hug and a sigh, as she flipped into pseudo-admiration mode. Throughout grade school, I was insistent with my school pals that my real parents had been missionaries in India; that they were killed when I was a baby and somehow I ended up with these people who say they are my parents!

    This experience is encapsulated in a song I wrote, entitled, “Who Do You Think You Are” that I’ve posted before.

    But that’s not the whole story—my mother has also tried to live all her unfulfilled dreams vicariously through me while deeply resenting my achievements at the same time and undermining them every chance she got. Talk about mind-messing stuff!

    Here’s the astrology:
    My Natal Sun H3 Aquarius quincunx natal Moon H10 Virgo. Moon sextile Natal Scorpio Saturn on Ascendent which is less than 1 degree square Sun.

    My mom’s natal moon and my moon are less than half a degree conjunct. Her natal Neptune sits exactly on my Virgo 1 Midheaven and her natal Jupiter is exactly conjunct my natal Sun.

    I was born exactly at the time of my dad’s first Saturn return. He had been making plans to leave my mom for quite a while. She intuited that, stopped her birth control, got pregnant with me, thereby terminating his plans to vamoose. Three more kids followed and they stayed unhappily married for two days shy of 50 years.

    I gave a talk once on Multiple Personality Disorder, predicated on an idea that was pretty young at the time but which subsequently grew into a philosophic and neuropsychological distinction between knowing and “knowing”. At that MPD talk years ago, I showed a cartoon of Dennis the Menace saying to Joey, as they were filling up the little backyard wading pool, ” The secret, Joey, is to know you’re a somebody without THINKING you’re a somebody.”

    It wasn’t until last year–at age 58, that I finally found my answer (in my head) to my mom’s “you think you’re so smart”. It is: “No, mom, I don’t think it, I actually know it and instead of being ashamed of being smart, I am going to start feeling proud and grateful for my gift. And I know you were probably just as, if not more, smart than me and I’m so sorry you didn’t get the chance in your life to fulfill your dream of becoming a nurse and I understand that my becoming a doctor was very hard for you to get a handle on but you did your best and I’m blown away by how much love and support you did give me, considering what profound inner conflicts you were dealing with, in having me as your daughter. I love you and will always be grateful and proud that you were my mom”.

    I’m sitting here crying, as I did when I finally “got it” last year. Two deeply wounded parents, both profoundly bereaved in childhood by the deaths of their mothers, did their best to raise their children. I owe them much.

    • What terrible messages to get from a parent. With the quincunx, even the good qualities create estrangement and a sense of not belonging anywhere. Donna

      • Ouch! That hits the nail on the head. It also made me think some more about the quincunx aspect itself. Somewhere among your threads, Donna, there is a conversation about quincunx as the aspect for comical dynamics or, perhaps another way of saying it, for “making not-funny things funny”. I wrote another song recently for my narcissist play that speaks to this. Maybe the subtitle could be: Quincunxin’ The Junk!

        Here it is:

        Workin’ The Hurt

        You gotta work the hurt;
        To get subversively funny;
        For what’s it worth;
        Aburdity is the monkey;
        On your back;
        All hunkered down, comfy;
        So send him packin’;
        Workin’ the hurt.

        Uh, huh,huh; snips and quips;
        Sarcasm and satire;
        Givin’ lip;
        With quick-witted backfires;
        Does the trick;
        Quizzical kick starts;
        To crackin’ up;
        That’s workin’ the hurt.

        You gotta work the hurt….

        Uh huh, banality;
        Is right on the money;
        That’s why it’s vyin’ for funny;
        Dig in deep;
        Transfigurin’ crummy;
        Craps to laughs;
        That’s workin’ the hurt.

        You gotta work the hurt…

        Uh, huh, huh, grins, guffaws;
        Giggles and chortles;
        Sniggers and snorts-oh;
        Levity beckons;
        From the wreckage;
        Workin’ your hurt.

        You gotta work the hurt…

      • Yes, Judith, there are several, including one about the British royals, who have a lot of them. Use the onsite search engine at the top right hand corner of the front page. Donna

    • You made me cry with that last part. You are wonderful!

      • Thanks so much, Gabby. When I get a deep emotional hit like I did this morning, I try to remember to check out where the moon is. Sure enough–it’s a couple of days post-full moon (the same stage as was my natal moon) AND sometime later today, it will form an exact sextile with my natal moon, creating a Yod whose apex is on my natal Sun.

        Five years ago, I wrote to my professional college to say that astrology was the most precise diagnostic/treatment tool I had ever come upon in my years of work as a psychiatrist/psychotherapist. I know, without hesitation, that without astrology and the wisdom of gifted and experienced astrologers like Donna, I would never have come this far.

        Have a great day, Gabby! I’m sending you some of that moon in Cancer good vibes stuff!

      • Came through! Thank you 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: