When the Sun and the Moon form an aspect in the natal chart, we are dealing with the interplay between our wants and our needs, our conscious and our unconscious, our actions and our responses, the present and the past, the rational and the irrational, and so forth. The Sun and the Moon are like day and night, and an aspect between them reveals the type of dialogue between these two luminaries.
Many astrologers feel that the relationship between the Sun and the Moon in the natal chart reveals the types of messages we received from our parents or parent figures. When the Sun and the Moon are conjunct or in a flowing aspect, we received generally harmonious messages from them. No matter what really went on between our parents (if indeed we experienced both), this is how we perceived them. In the same family, with the exact same parents, one child might have Sun trine Moon, another might have Sun opposite Moon, and another might not have any aspect between the Sun and the Moon. The message each child received from the same parents is invariably different and very subjective.
When we see the Sun and the Moon in opposition to one another, we see the opposition of the parents in the heart of the child. They may have divorced or stayed together and gave entirely different messages to the child. One parent may have been absent, and what the child perceived as role models was represented in the struggle of the parent against the world or against the imagined other parent. The parents might have had a rather harmonious relationship with one another, but wanted entirely different (opposite) things from the child, or the child perceived the messages to be contradictory. Whatever the case, the child lives with an internal struggle wherein the will and the emotional needs are at odds. Of course, because of this inner struggle that was set up since day one, people born under stressful aspects between the Sun and the Moon tend to be more complicated in terms of their needs and wants in life than those with flowing aspects between the luminaries.
In the same vein, those born under a Sun conjunct Moon aspect may have experienced their parents as presenting a united front. The messages and expectations they perceived were similar and uncomplicated. An example in my files is a man with Sun conjunct Moon in Taurus. When asked about his childhood, he quite easily remarked that he came from a happy home with few problems. His parents both pushed the work ethic on him, and he began working at an early age as a result. In later conversations, it was revealed that early family life was not so straightforward, at least from my point of view and not from some of his siblings’ perspectives! However, what existed in absolute terms, or in the eyes of others, simply doesn’t matter here. We are talking about what the child himself perceived and received. The message was clear to him, and the expectations were straightforward. Incidentally, this is not a client of mine–he’s an acquaintance. The truth is, very few people with Sun conjunct Moon have come to me for a consultation. They are generally not ones to examine their lives too closely!
When the Sun and the Moon form a challenging aspect with one another, any gratification earned through either the Sun or the Moon appears to be at the expense of the other. When the native satisfies the ego, it seems to be at the expense of the emotions; when the emotions are fulfilled, it is at the expense of the ego. With easy aspects between the two luminaries, the emotions and the ego do not compete with one another. Rather, they complement each other, so that satisfaction is more easily found.
Sun Conjunct Moon
Unless the conjunction occurs in different signs, those people born with Sun in conjunction to the Moon have a “double dose” of the same sign. That sign assumes more importance than usual. Because the wants (Sun) and the needs (Moon) are aligned, these people have marked singleness of purpose. Generally, they come across as rather uncomplicated in terms of what they want out of life and their means of getting to that place. They are able to make decisions without too much struggle, simply because it is not their tendency to spread themselves around in order to find all of their options. Some people with this aspect are self-centered, but this is not always the case. Subjective, yes. Decisive, yes. Focused, yes. But ignorant of others’ needs? Not likely. They might seem that way at times, especially when they’ve made a decision with such lightning speed that those around them can’t possibly imagine they’ve included anyone else’s needs in the equation! They might also seem that way when they offer advice that seems so very cut and dry. The truth is, they don’t usually struggle with options, and they tend to have their finger on the pulse of exactly what they need, want, and are willing to do. But these people are very much in touch with their need for others, or at least a significant other. They are sensitive creatures, especially the men. They live and breathe the Sun and the Moon in tandem, so the drive to find a partner is powerful.
Sun conjunct Moon people are creatures of habit. They are attached to the past and to their heritage. Yet they are also emotionally impulsive, as their actions express their emotional wants. They possess admirable vitality, and they don’t have much patience for people who go through a lot of physical and emotional ups and downs. Sun conjunct Moon people are highly intuitive. They are in touch with the moment, and they can actually “read” people and situations quite readily.
Some Famous People with Sun conjunct Moon: Annie Lennox (in Capricorn), Harrison Ford (in Cancer), Harry Hamlin (in Scorpio), Martin Sheen (in Leo).
Sun opposition Moon
People born when the Sun opposes the Moon have an internal struggle between their needs and their wants. In contrast to the Sun-Moon conjunction personality, the Full Moon personality is inclined towards lack of focus and indecision. Their ability to be objective is both an asset and a liability, simply because when they decide on one route, they are pulled in another direction at the same time. Something tugs at them, and they begin to question their stance. “But what if…” and “on the other hand…” are statements they can’t help making and that plague them. While Sun conjunct Moon people have an Aries style about them, Sun opposition Moon natives have a distinct Libra energy about them, in that they are always aware of the opposing point of view, the other side of the coin, and so forth.
Their inner struggle is most obvious in their vitality, as both the Sun and the Moon strongly influence the vitality. They have many ups and downs, and it is hard to know if it is physical or emotional. In fact, it’s likely both. These people might spend a week working hard, and the following week they lack motivation and find it hard to accomplish much. Their energy fluctuates more than most people, and it is very much a reflection of what is going on inside.
The messages they received in their early lives in terms of what was expected of them were conflicting, and even opposite. Some people born under the Full Moon viewed their parents as two very different and separate individuals who each wanted something very different from their child. Their parents or parent figures “stood for” two very different things, and their child internalized this. There may have been some emotional frustration in connection with the father and a stifling of the go by the mother.
It is hard for Sun opposition Moon people to find happiness within themselves. They tend to look outside of themselves for fulfillment. They are inclined to form serious relationships at an early age, simply because of this tendency to try to find an answer to happiness from an “other”. They are prone to divorce, partly because of this prematurity, and partly because their needs are complicated. Full Moon people are also more apt to seek counseling because of this need to find answers.
These people appear to be very self-aware. They entertain a myriad of different points of view and perspectives. They are excellent psychologists and are able to read character and uncover motivations–but with an important caveat: if they are too emotionally close to the situation, they fumble. The truth is, although they appear to know much about how people tick, they spend a good part of their lives uncovering more of themselves and learning about themselves. Generally, this is done through comparisons or through the mirror of relationships.
They can most certainly frustrate the people who are close to them with their indecisiveness and frequent changes of mind (and of heart). A word to those who deal with this on a day-to-day basis: their changes of heart are not a form of insincerity–they are the result of an internal struggle that is very real and very confusing to live with! Sun opposition Moon people can be temperamental, insecure, and very sensitive. The ability to put themselves in someone else’s shoes, and to consider other points of view, is a true asset. However, at some point in their lives, they need to uncover what it is they truly want. This comes easy to New Moon people, and can be a life-long struggle for Full Moon people. On the other hand, it is extremely easy for a Full Moon personality to understand others’ points of view–something that doesn’t come as easily to a New Moon personality. Sun opposition Moon people are generally interesting and complex. Born under a Full Moon, they can be a bit “loony”, perhaps manifesting itself in a unique sense of humor.
Look for a planet that might trine and sextile the Sun-Moon opposition for a way to release the tension the opposition creates. Somehow, some way, through that planet, its sign, and its house position, the Sun opposition Moon person can find an “answer” to the struggle. Look also to the sign polarity involved for more details of the struggle. If it’s Aries and Libra, for example, there is a conflict between two equal drives to be independent and to depend on others.
Some Famous People with Sun Opposition Moon: Lisa Bonet (the aspect is exact, or partile), Barry Bonds, Billy Ray Cyprus, Kirk Douglas, Alicia Witt.
Sun square Moon
What people who were born with Sun square Moon in their natal charts want and what they need are in conflict. The Sun square Moon aspect is similar to the Sun opposition Moon aspect in this sense, but there are very notable differences. Whereas the struggle between wants and needs is mostly played out on the inside and through significant relationships with Sun opposition Moon people, Sun square Moon people tend to confront obstacles that come from the outside. In truth, the struggle is within, as it is a case of being “one’s own worst enemy”. There can be a tendency to attract challenging situations into the life as an unconscious attempt to recreate the tension of early childhood. As well, specific habits and attitudes can hamper their progress in life.
These people generally have a need to achieve and accomplish something important, and they act out their internal struggle along the way. For whatever reason, these people didn’t feel needed or accepted. The clash between their parents or parent figures, if indeed there was one, made them feel unaccepted for who they were, and there can be a very real drive to prove themselves to the world (and/or to the parents). The parents may not have simply been opposite personalities, as is the case with Sun opposition Moon. It is more likely that their relationship was a continual struggle. Sun square Moon individuals internalized the tension in the cosmic air that they were born into, and felt out of place as a result. In some cases, they literally felt unwanted by one or both parents. Even if the parents didn’t clash, the early life was likely to have been over-stimulating and tense, causing the child to feel insecure.
These people experience a struggle between their need for nurture and their need for independence. When they get the autonomy that they seem to crave, they feel unsupported by others. When they receive the support they crave, they feel smothered. This internal clash is most apparent in the relationships they form, especially in the first half of their lives when they may not be aware of these patterns. Confrontations and challenges are frequent–not just with romantic partners, but also on the job, with friends, and so forth. However, these people have a lot of drive and spunk. They are resilient creatures who have faced conflict and who have survived it. Although they face a struggle with fluctuating energy, they are motivated to accomplish something. Ideally, they learn through experience to accomplish something for themselves rather than to prove their worth to others.
Some Famous People with Sun Square Moon: Geena Davis, Michael Douglas, Ricky Martin.
Sun sextile or trine Moon
The emotions and the will are at peace with one another, suggesting a rather balanced personality. The “messages” received in childhood were not contradictory overall, and these people have a stronger sense of purpose and appreciation of harmony than most people. Many people with these aspects are personally popular, likely because they expect harmony in their relationships. Sun sextile or trine Moon people are generally very attracted to relationships and are attractive to others. A certain level of self-confidence and a sense of security make these people quite easy to deal with on many levels. Their relaxed, easygoing disposition puts others at ease.
When the Sun and Moon are in harmonious aspect, the natives may not be prepared for conflict and could be inclined to avoid rocking the boat. They may acquiesce a little too often, if only to maintain a feeling of balance and harmony, as conflict is something they not only dislike, it’s something they might fear. The tendency towards too much acceptance–of the self and of others–is most prominent with the trine. These people must be encouraged to question life, or they run the risk of taking things for granted.
Vitality is usually good and quite constant. These are not hard-driving people, unless other indications in the chart point to it, but the constitution is generally strong. At any rate, they are not prone to the kinds of ups and downs that plague those with challenging aspects between the Sun and Moon. This is because their goals and their emotional needs are in harmony, despite being different.
Some Famous People with Sun in Harmonious Aspect to the Moon: Sextiles – Jennifer Aniston, Matt Dillon; Trines – Sheena Easton, Kevin Kline, Tyra Banks, Dr. Phil McGraw, Oliver Stone.
Sun-Moon Aspects in Relationships
People born with a Sun-Moon tension can spend much of their lives struggling to balance the principles of the Sun and the Moon within their personalities, and will bring this struggle to some degree into their relationships. The urge to form meaningful relationships is generally powerful, but relationships can be as much of a struggle to these natives as the inner conflict is to themselves. This inner conflict occurs with the square, opposition, and quincunx. The desire to find meaningful relationships is stronger than it is when the natal Sun and Moon form a sextile or trine, and early relationships in particular can be challenging until the stressful aspects are recognized as an inner tension.
A woman with Sun opposition Moon, who had lived through her parents’ difficult divorce as a child, complained that her husband seemed to be quite complacent about their marriage, simply expecting that it would work out without much effort. His Sun and Moon form a sextile. When faced with a relationship problem, her instinct was to work on it actively, but her husband did not see such a need. In fact, he did not “see” the problems as clearly as his wife did. He felt that she was looking for problems that didn’t exist, while she felt he was taking the relationship for granted by not addressing problems as they arose.
A stressful Sun-Moon aspect seems to imprint the native with the (often unconscious) expectation that relationships can very easily fail, and the natives will be especially aware of conflicts in partnership, taking them to heart. The upside of this natal conflict is found in this sensitivity itself! Those with a Sun-Moon opposition, in particular, are generally willing to work out problems in a relationship due to their acute awareness and sensitivity to the conflicts that arise in their partnerships. However, if they face a partner who denies the problems exist in the first place, as in the example above, they can easily become frustrated. This is because learning and growing through relationships is a basic urge – so basic that it is a need. These natives are learning about themselves through their relationships, and need partners who are willing to be a part of that process. Sun square Moon suggests an internal “war” between two equally powerful desires: the desire for emotional commitment and the desire for autonomy. The native can be quite defensive and even belligerent with others, and often over-sensitive, which can take its toll in personal relationships. Partners may complain that the native often seems to be spoiling for a fight, and relationships can be turbulent until the native learns to compromise.
Sun quincunx Moon in the natal chart suggests an individual who seems to live life constantly making adjustments and concessions. There can be a tendency to offer too much followed by feelings of being taken advantage of. Passive-aggressiveness can be a problem as well. The native seems to expect that he or she has to make compromises in life in order to get what he or she wants, but in the process, undervalues his or her needs. Partners may complain that the native is indecisive, unsettled, and unfocused. The native needs to work on accepting both the Sun and the Moon in his or her personality in order to feel whole and to avoid sabotaging relationships (and life goals) with self-defeating attitudes.
When the Sun and Moon are sextile or trine, the native is unmistakably accepting, although rather strong-willed as well. There can be a tendency for the native to expect to get what he or she wants, simply because the desire nature is at peace within him- or herself. Complacency is a possibility and often a complaint of the native’s partners. However, the ease with which this native deals with others can certainly be an asset. People with these aspects who don’t go the complacent route are very much primed and ready for relationships.
Sun conjunct Moon in the natal chart suggests a strong-willed individual who is also rather subjective. The native is quite comfortable with him- or herself, which is helpful for focus and concentration, but can be challenging in partnerships because of a rather insular and self-reliant personality. Lack of objectivity can be a problem, as the native tends to take things quite personally and is rather self-involved and self-contained. In intimate relationships, there is a decided lack of flexibility in the nature that can be frustrating to partners.