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The Sun in Traditional Astrology
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Mark
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Posted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:43 pm    Post subject: The Sun in Traditional Astrology Reply with quote

One subject that interests me is the role of the Sun in traditional astrology.

In modern astrology the astrological Sun is seen as one of the focal points of psychological analysis. Psychological astrologers may look at the horoscope as a map of the psyche and the astrological Sun as a symbol for the journey of integration required for our personal growth and development. A good example of modern astrological literature on this subject is Liz Greene's book Apollo's Chariot: The Astrological Sun . Is there any common ground with traditional astrology?

Initially it appears not. Its true the Sun is used as a key personal point to calculate the Hyleg and the lots of Fortune and Spirit in the traditional approach. Still, the Sun doesn’t get emphasized in medieval astrology as a focal point for determining character in anything like the same way as in modern astrology. Certainly not in the same way as the Ascendant and the Moon. Naturally, we do look at the Sun as a house ruler and it having particular signification for that area of life. However, that is not something unique to the Sun. In temperament analysis astrologers principally look at the season of the Sun not so much its zodiacal sign as moderns would do. That doesn’t mean its not seen as important, just different in manifestation from the Ascendant, Moon or even Mercury.

All students of traditional astrology have studied the notion of planetary sect and are aware how crucial the sun’s placement above or below the horizon is in determining whether planets are weakened or strengthened in terms of their sect. Also, the relationship of planets to the Sun determines their phase and how they express their nature. It has also been suggested that the domicile rulerships reflect the seasons determined by the sun’s declination with high summer in the northern hempishere assigned to the signs ruled by the two luminaries while coldest winter is assigned to the two signs ruled by Saturn. Other techniques used in traditional astrology also relate back to the Sun. For example the Antiscia degrees relate to the points of identical declination for the Sun during the year.

Looking at Hellenistic astrology and particularly Valens though the Sun does seem to be a natural significator for the Nous or higher mind. Hence he describes the Sun as the ‘light of the mind’. There also seems a sense in which it can represent our expression of free will as opposed to the fated destiny of the Moon. We see this in the Hellenistic understanding of the Lots of Fortune and Spirit. The Lot of Fortune is said to be the Lot of the Moon and represents our predetermined destiny while the Lot of Spirit is the Lot of the Sun precisely because it reflects our exercise of freewill and our intellectual and spiritual potential. The spiritual association of the Sun and its links to the higher mind is no doubt part of reason it was believed to joy in the 9th house. Only the higher mind could commune with the divine. There are some interesting parallels there with modern psychological astrology and its understanding of the astrological Sun. So was this view of the Sun de-emphasized in medieval astrology? Especially, after its re-entry into western Europe when astrology became increasingly dominated by the intellectual influence of Claudius Ptolemy?

Mark
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margherita



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Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:29 pm    Post subject: Re: The Sun in Traditional Astrology Reply with quote

Hello Mark, interesting thread

Mark wrote:
There are some interesting parallels there with modern psychological astrology and its understanding of the astrological Sun. So was this view of the Sun de-emphasized in medieval astrology? Especially, after its re-entry into western Europe when astrology became increasingly dominated by the intellectual influence of Claudius Ptolemy?


to be honest I don't see the Sun so important in Ptolemy (and then in Renaissance authors) if not in the terms Astrojin so well mentioned in the previous thread about Sun, Moon and Ascendant.
At the center of Renaissance judgement of a birth chart, in my opinion, there is the lord of temperament and even more the ruler of the soul, which gives what now call psychological qualities.

On the other hand, modern psycho astrologers call Marsilio Ficino as "C.G.Jung forerunner" , which for me it's funny enough because it implies the idea that Jung is "more" than Ficino, and not that Jung re-read Ficino adapting the Figline philosopher to his view.


You surely know the famous letter to Lorenzo De Medici: "celestial bodies should not been searched outside us: the sky in fact is inside us, which have inside the strength of the sky, and celestial origin. First of all the Moon, which signifies inside us nothing else than the continuous movement of the body and the soul, Mars, then, signifies quickness, Saturn on the other hand slowness, the Sun God, Jupiter the law, Mercury mind, Venus humanity."

I would look there, even if I'm not sure Ficino meant what psycho astrologers say of him Smile , more than to Ptolemy, because as you told Ptolemy gives no room for the Sun let alone some surplus value when the ruler of the soul is configured with it.
At least I don't remember nothing one could compare with modern point of view,
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Olivia



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Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's funny, Margherita - I just had a similar argument with someone who claimed Ficino as a forerunner to modern Jungian and depth psychology. Uhh...okay.

I'm pretty sure modern psychology doesn't advocate the creation and/or wearing of astrological talismans - I've always considered Ficino as more amongst the magicians.

Was just able to refind his books, so I'll give then another read when I'm through with my Abu Ma'shar/al-Qabisi doubleheader. So much to read this year.

It's decades since I read Jung, but a couple of things come to mind. I don't recall which passage it was, but it hit me that as far as Jung was concerned, theology and philosophy pretty much didn't exist before the Protestant Reformation. This would actually be somewhat consistent with his father being a Lutheran pastor. Regardless, his work makes more sense when seen in that light.

The other was the way he completely ignored Aristotle's conception of the elements (was he even aware of it? seems doubtful) and went on to cut them down to four singular qualities, instead of one constant and one changing quality that you could see in the cycle of the year.

Why are we talking about modern psychological astrology in the trad forum again? Shouldn't this be in general astrology?

I think it's safe to say that traditional astrology doesn't take a page out of modern psychology, and vice-versa.

If we could get back to what traditional astrology says about the Sun, I, for one, would appreciate it, and it's what Mark asked in his opening post, too.

Mark, have you read Ben Dykes' article (it's on the site someplace) about happiness in traditional astrology? It isn't solar-orientated, but it does give a good background into the philosophy used in trad astrology about happiness and having a good life.

We're still asking the same questions lo these hundreds, even thousands of years later, but the tradition deals with them in a far more practical way.
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Tom
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Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Why are we talking about modern psychological astrology in the trad forum again? Shouldn't this be in general astrology?


Yes it should. Let's move it there. I"m nly referring to "Mike's" post.

Tom
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Mark
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Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
to be honest I don't see the Sun so important in Ptolemy (and then in Renaissance authors)


That was kind of my point! Although overall there are the major caveats of its role in planetary sect, phases, antiscion , and arguably domicile rulerships. However, in these respects the Sun is rather like the Director behind the scenes rather than an active player in delineation.

Notwithstanding these important factors dictated by the the role of the Sun Valens seems to be adopting a fundamentally different approach to the the natural signification of the Sun compared to Ptolemy and therefore the medieval and renaissance tradition by implication.

Quote:
At the center of Renaissance judgement of a birth chart, in my opinion, there is the lord of temperament and even more the ruler of the soul, which gives what now call psychological qualities.


Well no arguments about the the centrality of the birth chart. Although with the 'ruler of the Soul' or Lord of Manners' in renaissance astrology we are relying on Ptolemy as our sole arbiter of what constitutes psychological qualities. I am not advocating Sun sign astrology.

All I am suggesting is that Valens seems to offer a different notion of what the Sun represents that seems completely missing in Ptolemy and the European medieval tradition. Other factors such as the Lot of Spirit being the lot of the Sun and the Sun having its joy in the 9th seem to support the idea that other hellenistic astrologers may have shared his view of the astrological Sun too.

However, I am not using this as a trojan horse argument to throw out traditional delineation or advocating we all embrace psychological astrology. I just think this difference of emphasis is interesting and quite intriguing. Its no doubt a reflection of the different phillosophical and religious framework Valens was operating from.

Quote:
You surely know the famous letter to Lorenzo De Medici: "celestial bodies should not been searched outside us: the sky in fact is inside us, which have inside the strength of the sky, and celestial origin.


Actually I haven't studied Ficino. Embarassed

Quote:
First of all the Moon, which signifies inside us nothing else than the continuous movement of the body and the soul, Mars, then, signifies quickness, Saturn on the other hand slowness, the Sun God, Jupiter the law, Mercury mind, Venus humanity."


Maybe I overstated my case. That does seem consistent with what Valens discussed although he was no doubt a polytheist or pantheist. Is this kind of viewpoint genuinely representative of medieval and renaissance astrology though?

Mark
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Last edited by Mark on Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:53 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Olivia



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Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark, have you had a look at the Hellenistic Wiki Project?

It's still very much a work in progress, but you'll find some translations of Valens, Dorotheus, Porphyry, Serapio, and more, along with the original Greek.

I remember what first intrigued me when I stumbled across it was the passage from Rhetorius on the places (which, of course, are based on the Sun's rising) and how much it mirrored the Exodus story. Maybe you'd have to be something of a geek in the study of Jewish sacred literature (raises hand Wink ) to see the connection. Still, it, and some of the other things over there are definitely worth a perusal.
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margherita



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Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Olivia

Olivia wrote:
That's funny, Margherita - I just had a similar argument with someone who claimed Ficino as a forerunner to modern Jungian and depth psychology. Uhh...okay.


I made my opinion since longtime that if poor C.G.Jung could hear some of his/her disciples would rise from his tomb in desperation.
Every time I searched in Jung some of the ideas of modern astrology which don't fit with tradition who are put in his mouth I cannot find, but obviously mine is not an ultimate word.....

For example I could not find about the topical point where Jung associated elements to his psychological types (I'm writing a lecture so if someone can show me, I will be grateful),


Quote:
Why are we talking about modern psychological astrology in the trad forum again? Shouldn't this be in general astrology?


I'm sorry, I saw that Tom already closed for the same reason the previous thread, so please him to forgive me, but I believe because in traditional astrology there is nothing like this, so it's impossible not to mention modern stuff.

I re-read the article from Dykes, and obviously there is nothing about what Mark asked. The same Ficino mentions the ruler of the nativity, not the Sun.

I read Valens here and there so I ask Mark if there are some examples, or just general information? If so please, can you give some reference so I can read them to better understand the point?

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Mark
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Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Margherita wrote:
Quote:
I re-read the article from Dykes, and obviously there is nothing about what Mark asked.


Of course. He is a medieval astrologer so I wouldn't expect him to.

Margherita wrote:
Quote:
I read Valens here and there so I ask Mark if there are some examples, or just general information? If so please, can you give some reference so I can read them to better understand the point?


Unfortunately, I have no time to offer any further information at the moment due to work pressures. I am not suggesting a radically different approach to delineation. My point is a fairly modest one on the natural signification Valens gives to the Sun. Valens's Anthology can now be accessed freely via Mark Riley's translation. The relevant section is Chapter 1, Part 1 where he describes the meaning of the planets. I have not studied the full Anthology deeply enough to spot if Valens makes other relevant comments in his delineation of charts.

Mark
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Eddy



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Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to hear about Ficino. I was suddenly reminded of the fact that I always found the natural astrology ideas of Ficino very attractive and perhaps I should take some of my recent views on testability in reconsideration, baby and bathwater stuff etc.

About the Sun, I don't know a lot of all the traditional texts but one thing that comes in mind is that in Indian astrology the Sun (Surya) is undoubtedly a malefic (Brihat Parasara Hora Shastra). Somewhere else I saw that this is because in India, the Sun is related to heat and drought and the return of the monsoon rains liberates from the damaging effects of the Sun. But there might be more.

Here's an article about Varahamihira. http://www.iranchamber.com/personalities/varahamihira/varahamihira.php
He was born and lived in Ujjain, India but was of the Iranian people who mainly were Sun worshippers. The indigenous people of India didn't like the Iranians which can be seen in their religious ideas as can be seen in the following:
the article wrote:
The Irano-Aryans were Aryan Sun-worshippers of Surya, representative of the forces of Light and Day, while the Vedic Brahmins were adherents of the Semitic Moon-cult of Sin or Chandra, representative of the forces of Darkness and the Night. It must be recalled that the prime god in the Vedas is Indra, a derivative of Indu, the moon-god, while the Irano-Aryan sun-god Surya is cursed in the selenolatric (moon-worshipping) Vedas and Puranas as "Asura" or demon. Instead, the Vaidiks worship the "devas" (a term cognate with the English "devil"), while these "daivas" are considered malevolent spirits in the Iranic tradition. Indeed, the Vedic cult is the very opposite of the Aryan or Iranian religion, and is anti-Aryan in spirit, one of the main proofs for the non-Aryan origin of the Vedic Brahmins.

So perhaps in the astrology texts of Iranian/Persian origin one can find traces of the importance of the Sun.

Perhaps the importance of the Sun in modern astrology may be because of the acceptance of heliocentrism and also the developed idea that the planets reflect the light of the Sun. For the moderns this could have been an analogy of the Sun being the center of one's 'self'. But I think this idea probably is a late 19th century concept. Still it looks like there's an emphasis on the Sun also in Western traditional astrology (at least in the technical sense): Solar returns, secundary progressions, solar sign zodiac. While Indian astrologers mainly use the Moon as 'pointer' and in the dasha systems of prediction and the lunar mansions/nakshatras are of great importance. Although in a crude way for prediction of lucky days, these were in use before the 12 signs were introduced.

Furhtermore, since the theosophists dabbled a lot in mixing and inventing myths and speaking of creatures of light and darkness, which easily paved the path to racism, manicheism and the anti-semitism of Alice Bailey ( http://www.pinenet.com/~rooster/bailey.html ), this must have lead to the concept of the Sun as indicating the ego and higher self and the outer planets as darkness, subconscious etc.

By the way, when discussing newspapers in the UK, 'The Sun' is probably a malefic to most Wink .
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yuzuru



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Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
For example I could not find about the topical point where Jung associated elements to his psychological types


It has been ages since I read "Psychological types" but he makes association with almost anything on the universe, I am afraid you will have to search for yourself.

By the way "Jungian" astrologers, specially the ones who are after quick "symbolic" excuses for astrology, usually never read his work, only the interpretation of his work (and usually did by astrologers, not by real followers). It is a heavy book by an already hermetic writer.
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Mark
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Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Good to hear about Ficino. I was suddenly reminded of the fact that I always found the natural astrology ideas of Ficino very attractive and perhaps I should take some of my recent views on testability in reconsideration, baby and bathwater stuff etc.


I hope you still find inspiration in astrology Eddy. Your too good to lose!

Quote:
About the Sun, I don't know a lot of all the traditional texts but one thing that comes in mind is that in Indian astrology the Sun (Surya) is undoubtedly a malefic (Brihat Parasara Hora Shastra). Somewhere else I saw that this is because in India, the Sun is related to heat and drought and the return of the monsoon rains liberates from the damaging effects of the Sun. But there might be more.


An excellent point. Its not just an Indian idea though. Its fundamental to ancient and medieval astrology that the Sun can operate as a malefic when it obscures the light of the planets through combustion. However, this is not a natural signification for the Sun at all times. The Sun can also operate as a benefic when planets such as a the Moon form a trine to it.

Not sure how helpful Indian astrology here is though. A quick scan of Indian astrology sites came up with the following:

Moon, Jupiter, Mercury and Venus are Natural Benefics.
Sun, Mars, Saturn, Rahu, and Ketu are Natural Malefics.

Like western astrology this is a highly broad general division and gets vastly modified based on the planets placement by sign, house and aspectual relationship. I dont know how ancient this approach is in Indian astrology. However, its certainly very different from how western medieval astrology arranges the planets.

Since making my original post a few days ago I have received a copy of the excellent new book The Heavenly Spheres: A Treatise on Traditional Astrology by Helena Avelar and Luis Ribeiro.

Looking at their definition of the astrological Sun I do feel that the dichotomy I suggested between Valens and the later medieval tradition may have been exaggerated somewhat. Here is their definition of the Sun:

Quote:
The Sun, the lord of the day, is masculine and its nature is moderately hot and dry. The Sun is the King of the stars, the greatest luminary. It is the giver of light, heat and life, a symbol of radiance, power and force. It represents the creative principle and is a symbol of the divine. It is also a symbol of sight since its light enlightens , revealing the truth. It represents dignity, nobility, and authority figures in general , the father in particular.

Its element is fire. But the fire of the Sun is moderate: it illuminates and warms in contrast with the fire symbolised by Mars , which destroys. Due to its qualities of moderation and light ,the Sun represents vital energy and spirit, the principle underlying all things. However, if the Sun is too close , it becomes excessive : its light blinds and its heat consumes.

When dignified, the Sun represents fidelity, promises kept, and the ability to govern. It symbolizes prudence , good judgement, majesty, and status and the search for fame, honor and riches. It also indicates sumpuousness and magnificence. If debilitated, the Sun indicates arrogant, prideful, and disdainful behaviour, when its nobility is false and its discernment weakened. Its manifestations are restless , disorderly, dominating, and inconsequential, and there is an underlying feel of personal entitlement.
The Heavenly Spheres: A Treatise on Traditional Astrology by Helena Avelar and Luis Ribeiro p32-33.


Whatever, Valens may have said about the the Sun's role as a natural significator Avelar and Ribeiro make the crucial point that a debitated planet will not be able to fulfill the higher expression of its nature.

Quote:
Perhaps the importance of the Sun in modern astrology may be because of the acceptance of heliocentrism and also the developed idea that the planets reflect the light of the Sun. For the moderns this could have been an analogy of the Sun being the center of one's 'self'. But I think this idea probably is a late 19th century concept. Still it looks like there's an emphasis on the Sun also in Western traditional astrology (at least in the technical sense): Solar returns, secundary progressions, solar sign zodiac. While Indian astrologers mainly use the Moon as 'pointer' and in the dasha systems of prediction and the lunar mansions/nakshatras are of great importance. Although in a crude way for prediction of lucky days, these were in use before the 12 signs were introduced.


Good points. What is interesting is that even operating from a geocentric cosmology and an astronomy of epicycles ancient astrology gives so much attention to the role of the Sun. To summarise:

1 calculation of the tropical zodiac
2 The domicile rulerships in relationship to the seasons (according to Ptolemy)
3 The exaltations in relation to the seasons (according to Ptolemy)
4 Planetary Sect ie noctural or diurnal
5 The phases of the planets in relation to the Sun
6 Days of equal daylight (ie declination of the Sun) give Antiscion or Solstice points for planets.
7 Planets equally distant from the Sun's Aries/Libra equinoctial axis are seen as connected through Contra-Antiscion. Such degrees are equal in ascensional time.
8 The position of the astrological Sun for Hyleg calculation
9 The position of the astrological Sun for calculating Lots/Parts of Fortune and Spirit

Mark
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Mark
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Posted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Their Sun is very similar to Psychological Astrologers.


Its true I mentioned Liz Greene at the start of this thread. I am beginning to regret that. I opened this thread to discuss the place of the Sun in traditional astrology.

I began this thread with the comment:

Quote:
One subject that interests me is the role of the Sun in traditional astrology.


I dont mean to appear dismissive but you dont seem to have grasped that point. Or you dont have any relevant knowledge to contribute to the theme. This thread wasn't an open invitation to get into a discussion of modern astrology (again!) here. You do have a tendency to bring every thread back to your favourite theme ie modern psychological astrology. Naturally modern astrology still has links to its originating tradition. That doesn't mean the two are synonymous in content or practice. I am not really interested in setting out the differences in approach here. Its been done time and again on Skyscript over the years. Those differences do exist whether you are aware of them or not.

Mark
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Eddy



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Posted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Mark, initially I just wrote a reply which somewhat turned into Blavatskybashing, but I erased it since the purpose of the thread is indeed the Sun in classical astrology. A few short remarks about modern astrology though are useful to point out the differences between modern and traditional so I wouldn't regret it too much for having mentioned Greene.
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Tom
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Posted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I point out it is similar and ask for a date


This is a nonsensical approach. Obviously no one writes down "Well here is a new idea and today's date is ....." And no one has researched this and for good reason. It doesn't matter. This board exists to discuss traditional astrology not do research for others.

The only reason to continually ask for a date is to pretend that this conversation belongs on a traditional list and the purpose is to discuss psychological astrology where it does not belong. Therefore all of it has been deleted, and will continue to be deleted as I see fit.

Tom
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pankajdubey



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Posted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sun in Vedic astrology- quite consistently denotes -"Atman" or the Soul.It also means self or individual.

http://spokensanskrit.de/index.php?script=HK&tinput=atma&country_ID=&direction=AU

From Brihat Parashara Hora:

Quote:
12-13. Planet governances. Sun is the soul of all. Moon is the mind. Mars is ones strength. Mercury is speech-giver, while Jupiter confers Knowledge and happiness. Venus governs semen (potency), while Saturn denotes grief.


Now, bring in the Theosophists and their study of Srimad Bhagvad Gita and the Upanishads and the various ways Atman has been used in texts :

http://vedabase.net/a/atman

and you have a ground for Sun-sign astrology.
Traditionally, an afflicted sun- would give a troubled eyesight, short stature or trouble with bones, troubles to father and from the King etc.

Most of the predictions about individual in India is done by the sidereal Moon sign: the names are given by the alphabet ascribed to the quarter of the Lunar mansion, the nature described by the Moon sign and transits of Jupiter, Saturn and Nodes predicted by Moon sign itself.The Lunar masion numerical tally is also done for compatability testing.

It seems as if whatever there was for Moon in Traditional Indian astrology was switched over to the Sun because Theosophy and related groups are primarily Sun worshippers.

But this is purely my speculation.

The influence of Theosophy and associated Occult masonry was very strong in India.Upanishads and Tantric texts have been translated by Theosophical leaning translators and they are quite good as well . They can generally be noted by their translation of certain words into "The shining one" or references to the "Master" and for giving an alternate viewpoint or theory or a new manuscript discovered somewhere.


PD
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