Sun Sign

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Sun Sign

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The sign of the zodiac the Sun is in, particularly in a natal chart, is the sun sign (sometimes also called the birth sign). From the viewpoint of Western astrology, the Sun, as the most important celestial body for Earth dwellers, is the most important influence in a horoscope. Consequently, the sign that the Sun is in at birth is usually the single most important influence on a native’s personality. Thus, when people say that they are a certain sign, they are almost always referring to their sun sign. Interestingly, the ancient Romans regarded the Moon as the most influential astrological body, so when they said they were a certain sign, they were referring to the sign the Moon was in when they were born. Similarly, in Vedic astrology, the Moon represents a more important influence than the Sun.

Sun-sign astrology, which is the kind of astrology found in newspapers and magazines, has the advantage of simplicity—a person’s birthday is all that must be known to figure out the person’s sign—but this simplicity is purchased at the price of ignoring all other astrological influences. These other influences make sun-sign astrology a hit-or-miss system that works sometimes but fails miserably at others. Professional astrologers tend to dislike sun-sign astrology because it creates a misconception of the science of the stars (i.e., the misconception that astrology is entirely about sun signs) and because its inaccuracy leads nonastrologers to reject all astrology as untrue.


Bach, Eleanor. Astrology from A to Z: An Illustrated Source Book. New York: Philosophical Library, 1990.
Gettings, Fred. Dictionary of Astrology. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985.