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Sidereal Gender and Universal Symbolism

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Therese Hamilton

Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 1219
Location: California, USA

Posted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:17 pm    Post subject: Sidereal Gender and Universal Symbolism Reply with quote

Sidereal Gender and Universal Symbolism

I’ve stated elsewhere that sign gender in the sidereal zodiac is based on the universal symbolism of the Sun and Moon. I'm opening this topic to emphasize a recent post by Deborah Houlding on the "Do Tropical Traits Reflect Underlying Sidereal signs?" topic. In that post we have seen an example of the principles of sidereal sign gender. Deb's birth chart is public, so I hope I'm not crossing any lines in pointing out only the gender sign emphasis of her chart.

The sidereal zodiac in general relies on standard cross cultural ‘through-the ages’ symbolism which is one of the reasons that zodiac “spoke” to me after ten years using the tropical zodiac in my astrological work.

First, a brief outline of the universal understanding of solar/lunar male/female principles is helpful. (I’m keeping this outline very brief as it’s an extract from a longer to-be-published article.)

General Symbolism
Notes on Solar and Lunar Symbolism from A Dictionary of Symbols by J.E. Cirlot, Philosophical Library, 1976 (translated from the Spanish):

Historical: When patriarchy superseded matriarchy, a feminine character came to be attributed to the moon and masculine to the sun.

The psychology of the moon represents apparent changes in its surface that accompanies its phases. (the principles of change and adaptability)

In alchemy the moon represents the volatile (or mutable) and feminine principle, and also multiplicity because of the fragmentary nature of its phases.

Sun: “An heroic and courageous force, creative and guiding–this is the core of solar symbolism.” (p. 319)

Chinese I Ching:
Solar/male, The Firm: primal power, light-giving, strength, persistence, duration

Lunar/female, The Yielding: receptive, the principle of complementary relationship; the task is to let oneself be led

Indian astrology:
Male or odd signs are called cruel, firm and resolute.
Female or even signs are termed soft, gentle and mild.

Deb’s sidereal Sun is in the final degree of (solar) Aries (Krishnamurti). Otherwise in the case of universal lunar symbolism, personal planets are in lunar signs: Mars (Pisces), Venus (Taurus) and the Moon (Virgo) are in signs of their own triplicities, and Mercury (ascendant lord) is with Venus in Venus-ruled Taurus. Deb obviously attempts to keep harmony on Skyscript and as much as possible allows divergent views that hopefully will avoid open warfare. Deb wrote:

Phil, I understand your concerns...

Although I employ the tropical zodiac myself, and have stated that it is the perspective that the site generally adopts and uses to show example charts (unless otherwise stated), we have to accept that the sidereal approach has had an important place in astrology historically, and remains the zodiac of choice for some very well-informed astrologers...

I think that [the Philosophy and Science forum] should be a place where all intelligent contributions are welcomed...

But in the meantime, it remains the case that each forum keeps its stability because the ultimate word rests with its appointed moderator. I have chosen to put myself under the direction of the moderators too, because sometimes I get very passionate in astrological debates, and can need a moderator's reminder to stay on-topic as much as anyone.

Based on gender as I have attempted to articulate its universal symbolism using diverse sources, these statements reflect a lunar perspective. Deb's Sun is in the final degree of (solar) sidereal Aries. After all, she inaugurated this forum and is a very visible respected authority among astrologers (the solar leadership or initiation of Aries, the exalted sign for the Sun). Mars, the Sun's dispositor is at the Nonagesimal (equal 10th house cusp), so the Sun's energy is moved to the public area. But then she places herself under the direction of moderators. (I Ching: The Yielding, the willingness to be led)

We can contrast this with the attitude displayed on the Traditional forum which correlates with the I Ching ‘The Firm’ or the solar principle of taking control and firmly dictating the discussion of principles. In theory, the birth chart of the individual (moderator) in charge of that forum should have prominent planets in Odd or Male sidereal signs while female signs would be in the background or not hold prominent (angular?) personal planets.

Many other practical examples of sign gender are available in the charts of well known individuals. I can post more examples with biographical notes as time allows. I wasn't thinking of this topic so much for debate as for providing examples of how sidereal sign gender applies in the practical sense. That is, a demonstration of sign expression for those who may be interested in the sidereal zodiac.
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Therese Hamilton

Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 1219
Location: California, USA

Posted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 7:05 pm    Post subject: Solar and Lunar Traits Reply with quote

Continuing with universal symbolism I’ve tried to demonstrate in an article on my web site (First Principles: Symbolism of the Sun and Moon) that it is the Moon rather than the Sun that solicits attention and ‘plays to the crowd'. Even in Benjamin Dykes' ITA it’s noted that the Moon “desires joy and beauty and being praised.” (Abu Ma’shar’s Gr. Intr., p. 262)

This trait correlates with the fact that the Moon has no light of its own, but must reflect light from the Sun. This is another aspect of the universal symbolism of the sidereal zodiac. Below I have given excerpts from my article on solar and lunar traits. This symbolism relates most directly to sidereal Cancer (tropical Leo) and sidereal Leo (tropical Virgo).

The Moon is related to traditional feminine behavior, i.e. socializing, helpfulness, interest in relationships, liking the exchange of conversation and companionship. In short, the Moon looks outward from itself and finds inspiration and comfort with others. In today’s world these traits are more noticeable in less technologically developed cultures. However, they exist in the more universal sense everywhere.

The Sun is the ancient symbol for the soul. The soul lies deeply hidden beneath our daily restless thoughts and changing emotions. The Sun, therefore, represents a point of stillness, the center of the wheel so to speak. As such, the Sun relates more to the prototype of masculine behavior: satisfaction and a sense of self found in its own work, the enjoyment of personal creative endeavor, inner drive and concentration directed toward a concrete goal.

In the examples below I am staying with planets that are either conjunct the ascendant or elevated (conjunct the nonagesimal) and square the ascendant. The times for all the charts in the cited book were taken from birth certificates. I did not use the MC as a reference point since it is often in the 9th or 11th sign from the Ascendant. I have used Tropical longitudes so that Tropical readers can easily grasp the energies of the signs which hold the Sun and Moon. Overall the nature of these very prominent Suns or Moons overshadows their sign positions in either zodiac.

The italicized quotes are taken directly from The Gauquelin Book of American Charts (Astro Computing Services, 1982), which in turn were taken from biographies. (This is an excellent book for the study of astrology and personality.) All longitudes have been rounded to the next highest degree. Apologies that some of these once popular names are now somewhat dated in the 21st century! I had planned on a new set of biographies of people we easily recognize today, but simply haven’t found the time to gather these together.


Erma Bombeck, writer: Asc 26° Capricorn; Moon 24° Libra (2° square); Sun 2° Pisces (cadent)

Most popular woman...comic writer...humor arises from such mundane matters as everyday life dealing with housework...somehow expectant

Eleanor Clark, writer: Asc 28° Leo; Moon 18° Leo [sid Cancer] (10° conj); Sun 14° Cancer (cadent) (Venus in Taurus—Trop and Sid—is square the Asc from 10.)

delightfulness in style; wit; charm...a, entertaining, friends....

Doris Day, actress: Asc 26° Virgo; Moon 28° Gemini (2° square); Sun: 14° Aries (succedent)

Popularity; versatile;...sunny; exuberance; any girl in the world could be Doris Day and she could be any girl...

Billy Graham, evangelist: Asc 5° Aries; Moon (with Mars) 29° Sag (6° square by Sidereal sign—Sag/Pisces); Sun 12° Scorpio (cadent)

...charisma...enthusiastic...extravagant gestures...the preaching windmill; genuine warmth...relaxed humor...engaging conversationalist

Dorothy Hamill, skater: Asc 24° Pisces; Moon (with Mars) 21° Pisces (3° conj); Sun 5° Leo (cadent)

...skates with finesse; graciousness; genuine; refreshing; enjoying her fame; excited to be on the cover of Time; she tries never to refuse an autograph seeker...

Gloria Steinem, feminist leader: Asc 13° Scorpio; Moon 8° Leo [sid Cancer] (5° square); Sun 5° Aries (cadent)

Persuasive, articulate; attractive...the glamour girl of the women’s lib; stylish mod manner...capable of pleasantries at her own expense


Maureen Connolly, tennis player: Asc 17° Sagittarius; Sun 25° Virgo (8° square); Moon 12° Capricorn (succedent)

Ability to concentrate; deliberately unspectacular...complete lack of expression no matter how the game goes; calm...fierce desire to be best...self discipline

Miles Davis, trumpet player, composer: Asc 8° Gemini; Sun 4° Gemini (4° conj); Moon 9° Scorpio (cadent)

Detachment; refusal to acknowledge applause...seldom grants interviews; almost never appears on radio or TV; concessions to his audiences; plays more for his own pleasure

Arthur Robert Jensen, educational psychologist: Asc 1° Virgo; Sun 1° Virgo (exact conj); Moon 8° Aquarius (cadent)

...almost somber figure; dark attire; aloof dignity; mild manner... cloistered life style; dedication to work...unworldly; lonely...

Kirk Kerkorian, corporation executive: Asc 18° Virgo: Sun 16 Gemini (2° square); Moon 3° Capricorn (succedent)

...overcomes incredibly difficult odds; overcomes the many obstacles; calm throughout behavior...soft spoken

Makio Murayama, biochemist: Asc 21° Leo; Sun 18°· Leo (3 degree conj); Moon 16° Cancer (cadent)

A lonely boy; worked alone; a loner

In scanning the above biographical notes, there is consistency in behavior, depending on whether the Sun or Moon is the most prominent (square or conjunct the ascendant) in the natal horoscope.

In summary, the Moon is popular...expectant...has wit and a character...loves sunny...exuberant...has charisma...enthusiasm...relaxed humor...enjoys fame...tries never to a glamor girl (i.e. welcomes attention)...has style

The Sun is concentrated...unspectacular...self-disciplined ...detached...seldom grants reserved... aloof...dignified...mild mannered...dedicated to work...overcomes alone

In short, the Moon fulfills our expectations as one who wants to please others, is outgoing, often humorous and blatantly sociable. The Sun is removed from ostentatious behavior and seems far more dedicated to work and discipline than to cementing human relationships.
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Therese Hamilton

Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 1219
Location: California, USA

Posted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last week American television had a series on the Roosevelts, a prominent family which produced two presidents, Theodore and Franklin. During the broadcast it was noted that Franklin loved to be surrounded by people with himself always at the center. When I calculated his birth chart I was pleased to see that Franklin’s Moon was elevated in the 10th house (Gemini, terms of Jupiter) with Mars. The Sun and Venus are in female Capricorn, under the earth in the 5th-6th house area.

Mars most closely aspects the ascendant. We tend to think of Mars mainly as accidents and sports related, but Benjamin Dykes’ ITA gives a much broader perspective for Mars (Abu Ma’shar’s Gr. Into., p. 244):

...a king of power and cleverness, and the commands of leaders... and endurance and the lust for power and having his name be remembered, and being raised up high, and the instruments of war...
[Franklin took the United States into World War II.]

Jupiter in Aries in its own triplicity in the 9th house trine the ascendant helped to raise Franklin to power.

Franklin was elected president for an unprecedented four terms, but died in his 4th term. Throughout his life he kept close to him women who idolized him, first an affair with Lucy Mercer and later two secretaries and a young relative, Daisy. His wife Eleanor did not place him on a pedestal as she had her own personal and political views. She and Franklin shared a mutual respect, however, if not a close emotional relationship in later years.

In the last 25 years of his life Franklin’s legs were completely paralyzed from an attack of Polio. This can be seen by the ascendant lord Mercury, on the equal cusp of the 6th house receiving the trine from Mars in Gemini. Mars disposits 6th lord Saturn in fall in Aries. For those who use the outer planets, Uranus as 6th lord is above the ascendant. Franklin broke many precedents during his long term as president.
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Joined: 02 Feb 2014
Posts: 82
Location: Tasmania!

Posted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting Therese, I can relate to the Sun as dominant in my personality structure overall. Hence my absence from these forums for some time.
A kind of 'Miles Davies' type of attitude to life is what I'm applying in my pursuit of fine art painting as a career choice from now on. However I still hold a universal curiosity of life, the universe and everything in it.. Smile

Your writings are always fascinating to consider.
Libra Sun/ Pisces Moon/ Sagittarius Rising
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Therese Hamilton

Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 1219
Location: California, USA

Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RodJM wrote
Very interesting Therese, I can relate to the Sun as dominant in my personality structure overall. Hence my absence from these forums for some time.

Nice to see you back, Rod, if only temporarily. (I've mostly been absent as well. Life happens.)

A kind of 'Miles Davies' type of attitude to life is what I'm applying in my pursuit of fine art painting as a career choice from now on. However I still hold a universal curiosity of life, the universe and everything in it..

If you have time, could you elaborate on a "Miles Davies" attitude? Fine art oil painting? That’s rather unusual in today’s acrylic world. I painted with oils for a number of years before devoting full time to astrology.

Your writings are always fascinating to consider.

Thank you! I’ve spend many long years studying and collecting symbolism in order to apply it to astrology. Just recently I’ve come across another verification for Solar and Lunar (male/female) symbolism: Geomancy, a Medieval and Renanssance divination system. A short time ago Keper College had a webinar on this topic (Donna Woodwell's presentation), and I did some research afterward. Each planet has a primary and secondary expression. For the Sun and Moon:

SUN, primary: Greater Fortune, diurnal, fixed, inward victory, happiness, success in all domains
SUN, secondary: Minor fortune, nocturnal, mobile, outward victory, moderate success

MOON, waxing: via, way; route, waterway, journey, the traveler, means of transport, to roam, to visit
MOON, waning: populus, people, crowd, large collection of people, to bring together without order
(Sometimes waxing and waning meanings are reversed in the literature.)

Geomancy References:
Henry Cornelius Agrippa, His Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy.
“Of Geomancy”
Translated into English by Robert Turner.

“Astrological Origin of Islamic Geomancy” by Wim van Binsbergen
Note the chart on page 15. (The article is 63 pages long.)

The tropical zodiac of today is a unique construct, set apart from universal symbolism of ages past. In this respect it's a modern invention lacking connecting links to what has come before in the various occult disciplines. This is the primary reason I've personally rejected this zodiac in my work, though I'm aware that it can be made to work in counseling situations with clients.

A problem is that sign traits have been transferred to the planets. So because tropical Leo seeks attention and plays to the gallery more or less, these traits have become connected to the Sun. But these are reflecting Lunar traits. The Sun is secure and has no need for verification outside itself.

Using classical symbolism, from the sidereal viewpoint, much symbolism is being mis-applied in today’s tropical zodiac. Almost all ancient astrological symbolism had its origin and application using sidereal measurements. As far as I know, no one has done a comparison study of planets in their domiciles, triplicities, exaltations and terms in both zodiacs.

EDIT, 12 March 2015
In a recent presentation for Kepler College western (Fagan school) siderealist Kenneth Bowser did emphasize comparison tropical/sidereal charts. He concentrated on individuals known for their physical beauty and also political charts. He emphasized the zodiac difference between planets in their domiciles and exaltations. The well placed planets by sign appeared in the sidereal zodiac. As we all received downloaded handouts after the presentation I will be able to post some of his comparison charts.
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Therese Hamilton

Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 1219
Location: California, USA

Posted: Fri Mar 13, 2015 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With the Moon’s South Node/Ketu returning in transit to its natal place I found myself looking through and organizing my past writings. In 1985 I had completed a 310 page book on sidereal signs, Gods of the Zodiac. This was about ten years after I had made the tropical to sidereal change. These were the days before computers and desktop publishing. Manuscripts were laboriously typed on typewriters and submitted in hard copy to publishers via snail mail. Samuel Weiser in New York was interested in the manuscript, but wanted me to add more material on India’s lunar mansions.

Life happens, and as a mother of three young children I never made the additions Weiser asked for. Years passed, and condensed chapters from the book have made their way into articles on my web site. Re-reading what I wrote 30 years ago I see that my understanding of sidereal signs has remained essentially the same, but recent translations of classical material which brought to light concepts such as triplicity lords have added necessary depth to the understanding of sidereal signs.

I was to see much of the material in this book re-surface in Ariel Guttman and Kenneth Johnson’s 1998 Mythic Astrology. They had obviously used similar source material to what I had studied 13 years earlier. It remains to be seen if a revised edition of my early book will ever see hard copy publishing, the mythology sections much diminished due to the Guttman/Johnson book.

But to continue, I had almost forgotten that Margaret Millard had written a beautiful and complimentary forward to my book. Older astrologers will remember Margaret as a physician, astrologer and author (and mother of six) who published three books on astrology from her medical viewpoint. She passed from this earthly realm in 2004.

Since part of Margaret’s Forward referred to male and female energies, I’m reproducing her words here. Later I may place the entire forward on my web site as referring to the articles (compressed chapters) of the book. The only change I have made here is to substitute my current name in place of my married name which I used back in 1985.

In her Forward Margaret Millard wrote:

“A very important concept about the difference between male and female energies has been beautifully expounded in these pages. In Chinese acupuncture–which also stems back to an ancient tradition, and with which I have had extensive experience–the Yin or female meridians contain circulating energies. The Yang or male meridians contain stable and persistent energies.

“This is quite different from what we have been taught to accept. The male goes out into the world to earn the living; he is active. The female keeps house and looks after the family; she is passive, says our western viewpoint. But to paraphrase Isabelle Pagan (who is much neglected today), “If you need to develop or perfect some talent, you will be born as a man, for men excel at steady one-pointed effort, letting nothing distract them from the task at hand.

“If, on the other hand, you need to learn a variety of skills and flexibility, you will be born as a women, for women have so much to do that they must learn to juggle their tasks, turn their hand to anything that comes up, and do several things at the same time.”

“Therese Hamilton has explained the true basis of the masculine and feminine energies of the signs...

“Many of the best astrologers in the West no longer place emphasis on signs. Instead they use planets and planetary pictures. Few give much attention to planetary rulers. Yet in the old days astrologers used signs and rulers with success. What has happened? The answer seems to be that they worked when the Tropical and Sidereal zodiacs coincided. But now the two zodiacs do not synchronize. Traditional uses of planets no longer seem to be valid. Therese Hamilton shows us how to use planets and signs properly, and this is bound to add much to our astrological capabilities.”

Margaret Millard, M.D.
February, 1985

In reviewing my files I found encouragement and many compliments from women astrologers of note, including Françoise Gauquelin who kindly exchanged much correspondence with me from France. (Those were the days of the little blue airmail letters that had to be handwritten and sometimes typed.) I found very little from male astrologers. Does this mean anything, I wonder?

Here on Skyscript I've met much criticism and questioning (nothing wrong with polite questions) from men who use the tropical zodiac. I wonder if these reactions occur because I happen to be female? Or because I sound definite in what I say due to the masculine energies in my own birth chart? Perhaps its only because women are kind to each other, and consider the work of others as important as their own. Lunar energies: flexibility and including others in their personal circle.

P.S. Isn't astrology wonderful? I just set up a chart as I'm submitting this post. The Moon is in feminine Scorpio on the descendant in partile square to the Sun in masculine Aquarius (sidereal) in the 10th.
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