In a previous post, in answer to an “Ask Kevin” question submitted by Scott, I explored the meaning (if any) of the 29th degree in the chart, for both angles and planets. (Spoiler alert: it’s just not that big of a deal, especially in the context of the natal chart.)
At the end of that article, however, I hinted that there may, in fact, be some significance to having the Sun at 29 degrees in a natal chart … and then I made you come back to read this article to find out why.
I’m going to repeat my disclaimer here, that although this information may be interesting, it’s not possible to verify it, and it’s of dubious practical value. But it’s something that’s always intrigued me, and, more importantly, it’s something that’s shown up in two charts that I’ve been looking at over the past few weeks. (Edward Snowden’s Sun is at 29°25 Gemini, and His Highness, Prince George Alexander Louis was born with the Sun at 29°56’44” Cancer).
In order to explain why I consider the Sun at 29 degrees to be of potential significance, I’m going to have to establish a foundation.
We Don’t Automatically Express the Sun
First, let’s explore what, precisely, the Sun represents in the chart. The Sun is your “Big S” Self. It’s your ultimate potential as an individual, and who you came here to become. The Sun is who you truly are, but it’s not who you think you are (that’s Mars, which represents the ego/body and the “little s” self).
The Sun is the source of your health, vitality and happiness, so it’s rather important to be able to access and express it. This is one of the ways that astrology can help, because your unique birth chart provides a map of the kinds of experiences you need to have in order to embody your authentic “Big S” Self. All you need to do is to choose to pursue experiences that seem to fit with the element, modality, sign and house of your Sun, and by engaging in these activities, you will begin to form a connection to your true Self. You’ll also find that these activities tend to energize you, and call you to step more powerfully into your greatness (or at least to step more powerfully into integrity).
Most people have at least a basic sense of their authentic nature, and although they might not be able to explain exactly why they enjoy certain types of experiences, they at least know that there’s something about those experiences that is fulfilling on a deep and profound level.
Transits, Returns, and Progressions (Oh, My!)
We don’t become conscious of the energy of a planet, or have the ability to master that planet, until we’ve experienced a complete cycle of that planet. Each time a transiting planet crosses over the degree it occupies in the natal chart, it’s known as a return. The Moon is the fastest-moving planet, completing a cycle of the chart in approximately 28 days. This is why infants are so completely in touch with their emotions. Within the first year of life, you experience a dozen lunar returns, your first Mercury return (where you begin to learn how to communicate), and the first Solar return, where you begin to form a sense of self, separate from your mother. The so-called “terrible twos” are a factor of the Mars return, when we become aware of the “little s” self and the ego/body, and start to express our desires.
Any event that occurs before the age of two is profoundly important. The impressions that we form during the first two years of life shape all of our expectations about what’s to come. But what makes these experiences different is that they occurred before we had words to describe them. They are pre-verbal, and therefore they can’t be addressed with words. Healing the false beliefs that we created in the first two years of life is possible, of course, but it can’t be done with traditional talk therapy.
Returns and transits are pretty straightforward. But they’re not the only important astrological cycles. Progressions are systems of symbolic movement of the chart, where one day of actual time is mapped to either a month (Minor Progressions) or a year (Secondary Progression) of life. Transits relate to external events and experiences, but progressions seem to relate to more lasting, inner transformations.
Any applying aspect in the natal chart is important because it’s an event that was experienced multiple times — first by transit, then by minor and secondary progression. And if you have an applying aspect in your chart with an orb of less than two degrees, you experienced all three events (the transit, the minor progression and the secondary progression) before you were two years old, so the experiences are all pre-verbal, and therefore, extremely important.
So What Does it Mean When the Sun Is at 29 Degrees?
Everyone will experience his or her progressed Sun changing signs at some point before they turn 30. It’s one of the more significant astrological events, but of course, the timing of the event depends on the degree of the Sun in the natal chart. When a person is born with his or her Sun at 29 degrees, it means that the Sun will change signs by both minor and secondary progression before they experience their first Solar Return.
In other words, they experience a profound shift in their identity before they have the opportunity to become conscious of that identity in the first place. And of course, all of this is pre-verbal, so it is deeply engrained in the fundamental personality.
I’ve often wondered what this might mean. In many cases, I suspect it could make it more difficult to connect with one’s authentic “Big S” Self. The individual would be so familiar with the expression of the progressed Sun that they might not have any connection to their actual natal Sun.
But of course, there’s absolutely no way to test or evaluate this theory.
Edward Snowden’s Sun is at 29°25 Gemini, and it would have progressed into Cancer before his first birthday. But he has an abundance of Gemini energy in his chart, led by Mercury in Gemini on his Ascendant, so whether he’s conscious of the nature of his authentic self or not, he’s still going to “feed” his Sun with the Gemini energy it needs.
But I can’t help but imagine the story painted by Prince George’s chart, with his Sun at 29°56’44” Cancer. He only has a few hours of life where he gets to be an infant in his mother’s arms before he’s thrust into Rulership — literally and astrologically — as the future King of England.