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Reflections on the Sun

by Michael Laughrin (

The Sun is the most important heavenly body in our solar system.  Western astrology emphasizes this a good deal -- perhaps too much.  Jyotish seems to give the Moon more importance than the Sun. 
In this article, I will cover three topics:
1.    The Sun in each sign,
2.    The "lucky" and "unlucky" halves of the year, and
3.    Sandhi, that is, when a planet is at the 'juncture point' between 2 signs.  We can take it to mean between 29 degrees of one sign and 1 degree of the next sign.
A.    The Sun in Capricorn is a cold time of year for those of us in Northern climates.  This is because Capricorn is ruled by that coldest of planets -- Saturn.  This time occurs, roughly, from January 15 through February 14.  By the way, the exact moment when the Sun enters sidereal Capricorn is one of several Vedic New Year times.  It is also the best time to take a bath in a holy river during the huge celebration of Kumbha Mela that occurs every 12 years. 
B.    Sun in Aquarius is from February 15 through March 14.  It is still a very cold time here in the North and the Sun is in the sign of its bitter enemy Saturn.  Furthermore, the Sun is directly opposed from its natal sign Leo (perhaps one of the hottest times of the year).
C.    Sun in Pisces is from, approximately, March 15 through April 14.  Pisces is ruled by the Sun's good friend Jupiter and also Pisces stands for the ocean.  Therefore this month is quite wet with a little snow and a lot of rain. We start to feel the warmth of spring.
D.    Sun in Aries is from April 15 through May 14 and the Sun is exalted here.  The temperature really starts to heat up now and new life of plants start as Aries represents new beginnings.
E.    Sun in Taurus goes from about May 15 through June 14.  In most northern climates, gardeners are told to not plant until May 15, when any danger of frost has passed. Taurus stands for fertility and fecundity and we see flowers, trees, shrubs and small wild animals everywhere. Perhaps this is the most beautiful of months.
F.    Sun in Gemini is from June 15 through July 14.  Gemini represents fun, frolicking, dancing and games.  Many people get married in this time period.  Also, summer vacations start for students and workers alike.
G.    Sun in Cancer goes from about July 15 through August 14.  Here the Sun is in the sign of its good friend the Moon and, therefore, the Sun can express himself fully.  That means heat, energy, and brightness.
H.    Sun in Leo is from August 15 and September 14.  The Sun is in his own sign here and, at least in the second half on August, may be at his strongest. 
I.    Sun in Virgo is from September 15 through October 14.  Virgo represents the green of forests, lawns, vines and all of Nature flourishing.  Virgo is also studious so, generally, schools start up again in this period.
J.    Sun in Libra goes from roughly October 15 through November 14.  The Sun is "neecha" or debilitated here because the days are getting shorter and colder and the Sun shines less brightly each day.  Deepavali (also known as the Festival of Lights) often occurs during this period and it is yet another Vedic New Year.
K.    Sun in Scorpio is from November 15 through December 14.  Even though the Sun is in the sign of its friend Mars it is getting weaker.  The Jyotish explanation for this may be because Scorpio represents caves and hidden places.  So the Sun is becoming more and more hidden from us as each new day comes.  The scorpion is an animal that likes to sting for no reason and during this month we experience, more and more, the sting of cold weather, freezing rain and even snowstorms.
L.    The Sun in Sagittarius goes from December 15 through January 14. Here the Sun is in the sign of its great friend Jupiter, the planet of expansion, generosity and growth.  Indeed, during this month we have many parties as we celebrate Christmas, sometimes Hanukkah, and the New Year. But, we must remember that even though Sagittarius is Jupiter's own sign, it is also the sign just before the debilitation sign of Jupiter -- Capricorn.  Therefore, this would seem to explain the increasingly colder temperatures and worse weather occurring in this month.
I hope that this sheds a little light concerning the Sun in each sign.  My wife and I feel the different 'taste' of the Sun as it transits from sign to sign.
The 'lucky' half of the Year begins when the Sun enters the sidereal sign of Capricorn on or about January 15 each year.  Why? 
Well, if you have a house that faces due east like we do, and if you watch the Sun come up each morning, like we do, you would see a very interesting phenomenon.  On January 15, the point at which the Sun rises in the morning is far to the south - in the southeastly direction, as it goes.  And then, if you continue to watch the Sun rise each morning, you would see that the point at which the Sun rises on January 16 is 1 or 2 degrees further north than it was on January 15. This 'march toward the north' (uttarayana [uttara means "north" in Sanskrit]) continues until about July 15.  Then, the Sun takes an about face and starts 'marching South'.  Now, we all know that the northerly direction is far luckier than the southerly direction -- at least according to the Vedic tradition.  So, that is why January 15 through July 14 is the Lucky Half of the Year (almost all Hindu weddings occur then).  Therefore, July 15 through January 14 is the less lucky half of the year.
Last, but not least, we will discuss the concept of "sandhi" as it applies to heavenly bodies.  "Sandhi", in Sanskrit, means 'juncture point.'  In Jyotish, it refers to the juncture point between signs.  For practical purposes, any planet between 29 degrees and 1 degree of the following sign is considered to be sandhi.  I, however, consider that the last half degree of the previous sign and the first half degree (30 minutes of arc) of the next sign comprise "very sandhi" -- DANGER!  Now, among other significations, the Sun stands for vitality, health and strength.  It seems to make sense that, if the Sun is weak, you will feel weak.  If the Sun is VERY weak, like when it is sandhi, one should not travel, should stay in the house, should go to bed early, meditate, pray and read scriptures.  It is not the time for travel, parties, staying up late, or imbibing alcohol or other controlled substances. 

Here is a table of the days when the Sun will be "sandhi" in the next year:
  1. March 14-15, 2011
  2. April 14-15, 2011
  3. May 15-16, 2011
  4. June 15-16, 2011
  5. July 16-17, 2011
  6. August 17-18, 2011
  7. September 17-18, 2011
  8. October 17-18, 2011
  9. November 16-17, 2011
  10. December 16-17, 2011
  11. January 14-15, 2012
  12. February 13-14, 2012
These days are not exact but are offered here to give the reader a rough idea of which days one should have a "mini-retreat" at home. 
I hope that these points about our Sun have been useful and titillating.

(c) copyright 2011 Michael Laughrin.

From the Feb/Mar, 2011 issue of Michael Laughrin's North American Jyotish Newsletter. Click to subscribe to this free Jyotish newsletter.

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