The Earth is orbiting the Sun; so it is from our perspective on Earth that we say “the Sun is in” a particular constellation or zodiac sign, when actually the Sun is not in any particular sign but remains at the center of our solar system. When we say someone has ‘Sun in Aries’, for example, what we’re saying is that from our view on Earth the Sun is currently visible in the area of space in which the constellation Aries is the backdrop.
This is true, not just for the Sun at the center of our system, but for all of our planets in their orbits around the Sun. The animation below (from wikimedia commons) depicts how we view the Sun along the path of the ecliptic (the plane of the constellations) from Earth, with Earth the blue sphere and the arrow representing our visual direction.
Many of you may be clear about this, but too often astrologers and astrology students get caught up in the linear diagram of the birth chart and forget to visualize or understand the awe-inspiring astronomy of what they’re analyzing. In your astrology study if you are a student or when you receive an astrology reading, take a moment and try to imagine what the celestial scene looked like when you were born.
The Solar System Scope app offers a fantastic view of our Solar System and I recommend the app SkyView or SkyView Lite, which puts the solar system, constellations, and other items like the International Space Station in the palm of your hand. By moving your cell phone around your room, you gain a sense of where the zodiacal ecliptic is located from your current position. I snapped the images below from the SkyView app on August 11, 2018 at 5:45 p.m. Exalted Mars in Capricorn is in the direction of my front door. Debilitated Venus in Virgo is in the direction of my dining room/hallway ceiling. The Moon in early degrees of Leo is near Mercury in Cancer in the direction of my dining room/kitchen ceiling.
Those of you who are not clear about Vedic (Sidereal) Astrology vs. Western (Tropical) Astrology, you will notice that these Astronomy apps show the planets in their (sidereal) actual positions in space.
In whatever means you choose to observe the planets and constellations, remember to do so on a regular basis to enrich your astrology practice. If you try either of the apps mentioned here, leave a comment.
Feature image of Griffith Observatory courtesy pixabay