Astrology can do a lot of positive things for us. One of them is to boost our mental and emotional health – and two very basic parts of astrology are responsible for that: the Sun and the Moon.
The Sun is not our entire personality, but it is the core of who we are. It’s also what we need to live to feel like we’re our authentic selves. And as everyone aware of some basic pop-culture psychology knows: if we aren’t authentic, our mental health suffers. So being authentic boosts our mental health! Not just that but living into the astrological sun reduces anxiety and depression and even helps prevent burnout since it gives us additional energy. When we live into the symbolism, we also feel like we’re doing something that matters. We feel like we have a purpose – which heightens resiliency and overall enjoyment of life.
The Moon in the nutshell is our bodies, our emotions, our unconscious, our hearts, souls, and happiness. When we live into our Moons, we feel healthy. Even if we have a broken leg or other types of injury, we feel like there’s nothing wrong with us and manage life’s ups and downs beautifully. We also feel whole, like there’s nothing missing in our lives or ourselves. Living into our Moons gives us a sense of life being joyful like we have something to get up for in the morning. We can enjoy things again and have healthy relationships with our emotions, our loved ones, and ourselves. While the sun helps reduce depression, the moon helps prevent it entirely.
So, in this series of articles, we’ll jump into the 12 signs of the zodiac and how your Sun and your Moon operate in them. Then, we’ll go over the 12 houses (mathematical portions of the sky derived from your exact birth time, each portion signifies an area of life) to show you where you need to put your focus for optimal happiness and mental health.
Let’s start with the Sun in the signs!
The Sun in the Signs
Signs aren’t everything. As a matter of fact, they are just one of three major criteria per placement! The other two things you’ll need to look at are aspects and houses. Signs bring how the planets operate, houses where they do their thing, and aspects modify the meanings and tie them into a more holistic context. So this section is just one puzzle piece, not the whole picture.
For reference, here are some shortcuts:
Read the Moon in the Houses here!
With the Sun in Aries, you need to be bold and take risks every once in a while. The Sun in Aries generates energy through competition (against yourself or others) and being a winner. It also generates energy through overcoming adversity and facing your fears.
Your self-worth rises every time you challenge yourself and your sense of purpose strengthens when you stand up for yourself and others. It’s important to listen to what you want to do and to let your creative fire out in a free and unfiltered way every once in a while. A.k.a., there are absolutely times where this is inappropriate, so please reference that nice thing called common sense you’re probably very gifted at.
When you feel like you’re in control of your own destiny, in a situation of your own choosing, able to do the things you want to do, and able to be somewhat independent while you make your choices, your mental health is good. If you feel like others control you too much or you ended up somewhere you never wanted to be (and can’t change that), your mental health suffers. Which leads me to one more thing: taking any kind of action is good for your mental health.
Physical activity and being out in the sunshine help boost your mental health. This goes especially for very intense physical exercise, such as weight lifting, exercise that brings out your competitive side, and sports that have to do with survivalist life skills (including but not limited to physical fighting).
Things that teach your self-mastery, allow you to prove yourself to yourself and others, risk-taking endeavors, leadership, and anything at all where you can follow the beat of your own drum also boost your mental health.
With the Sun in Taurus, your self-esteem and energy levels are dependent on your physical body and the way you treat it – and this is much more prevalent than for other people. If you feel down on yourself, ask: when was the last time you ate something? And was that “something” healthy and delicious? How much sleep did you get? Or, as someone I know with this placement said so eloquently: “Do you really need another round of psychotherapy, or have you just not had a good shit in the last 12 hours?” As weird as this sounds, your psyche and the way you feel about yourself are really, REALLY dependent on your body. This means that healthy, sensual, fun-bringing exercise (the kind you like, not the kind you force on yourself) helps you feel like you have a purpose and are a good, energized person.
Another thing this placement brings is a very powerful relationship with nature and animals. Your mental health may drastically improve if you have the ability to bury your face in a furry friend or take a walk through your local woods. But Taurus is a bit more complex than just that.
The Sun in Taurus also needs two things that are highly underrated in today’s society: stability, and quiet. People with their suns here need to feel like they’re safe and have the physical and emotional resources they need. If they don’t feel that way, they can get really hard on themselves and develop heavy anxiety. If they do have that, 90% of their problems aren’t so big anymore.
Peace and quiet is the last aspect I want to talk about: the Sun in Taurus needs to sometimes ditch the mental chatter – and the physical chatter of other people. Just listening (to music for instance, which Taurus loves) or just being silent and quiet is necessary for keeping up good mental health and feeling like life is enjoyable.
The Sun in Gemini is someone who is very multi-faceted and needs to have experiences that allow them to live out those different facets – all of them. With the sun here, you like to dance between different aspects of who you are, especially when talking to different people or in different situations. You also love exploring different points of view by taking them on, like hats, until you get them and find your own conclusion.
With this placement, boosting your mental health comes from journaling and getting to know yourself, asking questions as if you’ve never met the person you see in the mirror, and questioning the deep-held mindsets and belief systems people give you. Talking things out with others is extremely important for you, as is cracking a book and learning something new.
When you follow your curiosities and learn something, you feel like you gain energy. You also gain lots of energy from doing many things at the same time – either literally (multi-tasking), or in the sense of “she got three jobs, two places she volunteers in, and probably ten kids and a farm at this point.”
The biggest boost for you to feel good about yourself is to never get too set in your ways and to always seek variety – within reason, obviously (please don’t get too extreme with this.) Having a big community of friends and people you can exchange with around you is super-important for your mental health. Not being able to talk would cause depression.
With the Sun in Cancer, you need alone time, a safety net of people who love you, a good home, the permission to be your big-hearted, sensitive self, and the tools to make your sensitivity safe. What does all of that mean? Everyone who feels deeply knows that being sensitive can hurt. It’s deeply rewarding, but also not always fun. The same goes for having a big heart. With this placement, you have both: and you need to lean into both while making sure you don’t get overwhelmed. The tricky part is that both being overwhelmed and being underwhelmed, a.k.a. locking up emotions, sensitivity, and care, can burn you out and lead to mental health issues. You need a balance.
Having a good home and loving people around you who get you, as well as the ability to hide from the world whenever you need to, are (some of) the tools you need to be happy and have good mental health. Lastly, someone with their Sun in Cancer needs to nurture and protect other people. This looks different for different people, but Sun in Cancer individuals receive a lot of energy from being there for others. Many are drawn to parenthood or becoming “parents” of friends, pets, coworkers, students, or plants.
Lastly, when a person with the Sun in Cancer has mental health issues, it’s almost always one of three things. 1) Lack of alone time – which is necessary for you to process the things you’ve experienced on any given day. 2) Being surrounded by the wrong people: people who don’t love you, people who are cruel or insensitive, etc. or 3): Your own ability to self-sacrifice to make your loved ones happy. Remember, the first person you need to protect and nurture is you. As much as you need to love other people, you also need to fill your own cup/put your own oxygen mask on, first.
The Sun in Leo is pretty straightforward. In order to feel like your best self with the best mental health, you need to be who you really are. You need to be authentic, express yourself in all of your richness, and find the people who love you for just that. The pitfalls that often burn people with this placement out are to a) chase approval from other people or b) build an entirely new personality to get love and validation. That’s the quickest way towards Mental Health Issue Land, population: you. Instead, you need to get clear on what’s really there and then you need to show it to other people.
Being able to praise and cheer for others, to be your generous self, and to create things for the sake of creation is also key for a Sun in Leo individual. There’s also one more thing: people with this placement need to be able to put their big emotions into the world in some way. This can be through art, telling stories to other people, crying on someone else’s shoulder, or becoming the town’s resident Drama Llama. Fact is, you need to find ways that allow you to not censor yourself too much (in ways that don’t impact other people negatively, if at all possible).
Another thing that the Sun in Leo desperately needs is play – and laughter. If you can’t laugh at yourself and your life every once in a while, it’s the quickest way to depression – and if you can, it’s the quickest way out of any and every mental health issue. Lastly, allow yourself to feel special every once in a while and find people who love and support your brand of special, while you support theirs.
As cliché as it sounds, we’re all special snowflakes and we all need to shine. If you can’t, that’ll weigh you down and make you feel like you don’t have a purpose. And that’s the second-quickest route to Mental Health Issues Land, population: hopefully never, ever you.
Someone with a Sun in Virgo needs to let themselves be a work in progress. This placement is uniquely gifted when it comes to any and all healing arts. You have great instincts on what areas of life need to shift, and how, for you to reach your maximum potential. What’s necessary for you to feel sane and have good mental health is to listen to this, but also to reach beyond that: you have to learn to love your own mistakes instead of trying to eradicate them.
You also need to have a good job where you do work that you’re proud of, preferably ones with some sort of routine and structured processes that allow for neat, efficient work. Having something to do, especially something where they’re in service of a higher cause and/or helping someone else, is key for having good mental health.
Someone with this placement also needs to do something we don’t talk about in society: devote themselves, body, mind, and soul, to a worthy cause. Another thing that’s maybe a bit cliché, but true, is that with the Sun in Virgo, your lifestyle is important. Keeping a reasonably clean house and a healthy diet will work wonders for your energy levels and overall happiness and sense of self.
Lastly, this placement needs a growth mindset. Nothing makes a Sun in Virgo feel worse than going long periods without any kind of improvement to show for in their skills, their lives, themselves, or their work progress. If this is you, build a life that allows you to grow. But also, let who you are right now be beautiful and enough. Virgo reminds us that we’re all whole unto ourselves. Let that knowledge sink in, cultivate it, and let your inner perfectionist realize that even having an inner perfectionist is not a failure. You are enough. Right here, right now. You may see all the things you could or should be, but you have time to get there.
And even if you never will? You’re still enough, and making a difference. Let that anchor you and bring you mental health.
With the Sun in Libra, what you need to have good mental health is high-quality relationships with an equal, balanced exchange of power and commitment. Both people need to be invested in the relationship and willing to hear the other side of the story. If this is not a given, many people with this placement fall into a codependent, passive-aggressive, resentful, or perpetually over-giving style of relating that drains their energy and feeling of self-worth, which damages mental health.
Another thing they need is fairness and harmony! The Sun in Libra is very aware of the differences between people, points of view, and self/other. These differences need to be navigated in a healthy way that makes room for seeing both sides and lets both sides be equally right (if and when applicable, obviously). People with the Sun in Libra need some relationships where the peace of “agreeing to disagree” is achievable, where others extend the same courtesy they extend towards others, and where healthy compromises and harmony are the norms.
There’s one more thing to note with this placement: the Sun in Libra needs fairness and honesty but can tend (in its shadow sides) to hold back on sharing its truth (or asking for it) in order to keep a surface-level peace or harmonious relationship. This affects your mental health and relationships negatively, even if it seems to “work well” in the moment. Libra has to do with justice, and justice can’t happen without truth: if you can’t give yours, you’re not living into your Sun – and that will slowly, quietly erode you from the inside out.
Lastly, the Sun in Libra also has another dimension many people forget exists: beauty. When we see beauty around us or receive some sort of pleasure from ourselves, our environments, or others, there’s an innate sense of letting go of stress – for any human being. For someone with a Sun in Libra, this is amplified. To have good energy, a good relationship with yourself, and overall good mental health, you need to make space for these magical stress reliefs through beauty.
This means dressing in ways you enjoy and find beautiful (YOUR view is key, not someone else’s!), and keeping a home you love looking at. Engaging with arts of all kinds is also part of this if the forms of art involved are ones you enjoy. The key here is that we all experience beauty differently, so there is no one-size-fits-all.
The Sun in Scorpio has a bad rep because it needs one thing to be happy, healthy, and secure in itself: TRUTH. And I don’t mean the “who ate the last cookie?”-kind of truth, though that’s part of it. The Sun in Scorpio does not respect or want superficial, surface-level answers: they want the whole thing, down to its deep and dark and intense roots that most people shy away from. That’s obviously a lot to handle! This is why the topic of good or bad mental health is incredibly important for someone with their Sun in Scorpio, which is why this section is much longer than the other combinations.
With this placement, you need to remain aware of the darkness in the world… but you also need to balance your desire to not look away from the hard and intense truths with the fact that hard, deep, and intense truths are just one aspect of life. There are still things in our world that are easy, beautiful, innocent, fun, and good. While no one with this placement should ever be a Polyanna (that’s the quickest way for someone with this placement to lose their marbles) you still need to cultivate your awareness of the beautiful and easy things in life. Think: both/and, not either/or. Or, esp. for people with this combo in their 3rd house: think 1:2 ratio, which means name one good and easy, positive thing for every two negative things in the world you notice. (Of course, you can shift the balance at any point in time, I simply found that 1:2 or :3 is a good place to start out on. Also note that the ratio doesn’t ever need to become equal, just equal enough to work for you).
Another thing people with the Sun in Scorpio need to have good mental health is a very specific type of interpersonal relationship. Mainly, you need people around you with whom you can exchange absolute honesty, especially when it comes to taboo topics. The type of relationship doesn’t matter, what does is the honesty, openness, trust exchange, and consent involved. This leads me to sexual intimacy: this placement needs to ditch sexual shame ASAP and find sexual partners with whom they can be intimate in every imaginable way: emotionally, physically, etc. This doesn’t have to include becoming kinky and it DEFINITELY doesn’t mean not having boundaries: that would be seriously unhealthy. But it does mean that nothing can be so taboo that you don’t talk about it at some point.
Which leads me to: TRUST. With this placement, you need to surround yourself with at least some people that you can trust deeply and who won’t take advantage of you. This also means that you need to listen to your intuition about people and life in general – which, in and of itself, boosts your mental health because intuition is a huge part of who you are. If you don’t listen, you ignore parts of the real you – and that’ll hurt. Lastly, make space to have interests in odd topics and the ability to really do deep dives on the topics of your choice in life (including but not limited to birth, death, the occult, etc.). If any of the above is missing, you’re setting yourself up for mental health issues. If you cultivate the above in your life, you’re off to a good start and a healthy life.
With the Sun in Sagittarius, what you need to do to keep up your good mental health is rely on faith (not necessarily religious, could just be good ol’ optimism), seek out adventures, take a risk, make new experiences, and just get a move on. Most importantly, what you need for good mental health is freedom. You need to feel like you can do whatever it is you really want to when you really want to do it – as much as is possible in our society, obviously. This may mean not being as tied down physically as most people are, or having a job that fosters much independence. It can include travel, and it definitely includes acting like your comfort zone is a hypothetical, not something that really exists. Stagnancy is the biggest killer to your energy and mental health, so move (also physically), act, repeat.
Another thing you need for good mental health is belief systems that really work for you. This is the case for most human beings, obviously, but no one is as impacted by the story they tell themselves as a person with a bunch of Sag (hint: you’re that person). So, question your psychological, political, spiritual, religious, and other beliefs enough to make sure they’re healthy and good for you. Exposing yourself to different cultures, countries, ways of life, and people do wonders for you on that count.
As does the next point: ongoing education. With this placement, you’re naturally drawn to learning, but not necessarily in a “let’s crack a book” kind of way (though that can be part of it). More importantly, learning through seeing others live, learning through higher education, and through collecting life experiences is part of your journey – and boosts your mental health. The other side of this coin is leaving something of your experiences where others can find them. Teaching people, writing a book, etc. – your wisdom is not just for you, and by sharing your stories with others, you both improve your mental health and have fun! Which brings me to my last point: fun is its own medicine, especially for you. Go have some, and your world will look hunky-dory tomorrow.
With the Sun in Capricorn, what you need for good mental health is to work really, really hard for a purpose that’s worthy of your energy. The key word being: WORTHY! If the cause in question is something you believe in or really enjoy, burnout will be a far way off, even if you do work a lot. Which leads me to the second point: purpose. With this combination, you need to have a job or goal of some sort (it doesn’t need to be career-oriented) that you’re working toward. If you don’t have that, you may fall into existential dread and massive anxiety. If you do, even the worst things can’t shake you too much.
Another important point is self-worth through mastery and restriction. The Sun in Capricorn has the unique quality of thriving when things don’t work perfectly. If it’s hard for you to bake a cake because you’re missing ingredients? You’ll accept the challenge and create something that’s still great, just different – and while the process is a b-word, the self-respect and sense of satisfaction you get out of it are massive. Which, again, is a great combatant against mental health issues, as self-respect keeps up the morale. Another side of the same coin is self-restriction. People with this placement can amplify the sense of purpose for someone with their Sun in Capricorn, however: this can be dangerous if things are restricted that you need for health or survival so please practice caution.
To continue, another thing that boosts this placement’s mental health is commitment and playing the long game. Commitment, especially to a cause, but also to other people, sets someone with the Sun in Capricorn free in ways many options never will. So having worthy causes and people to commit to feel amazing and help you keep up your good mental health. This is especially the case if a commitment can potentially last for a long time.
Lastly, we’re going to go over four important points: success, giving back, wisdom, and age. For someone with the Sun in Capricorn, creating something great (which also means something successful!) is paramount and this is what gives them the feeling of having a purpose. As does helping others, taking responsibility for other people, and giving and receiving respect (which I’m summarizing as “giving back”). No one is a deserted island, and even if Capricorn is a bit more self-contained, they thrive a lot when they get to help others and make an impact in some way. This brings me to the last two points: wisdom and age.
Capricorn Suns are people who are born old and born wise, or at least cautious, in most ways. Cultivating and being validated for this makes a huge impact on their mental health, as does growing older. Even if a Sun in Cap person never reaches old age or elder status: Life does get better for you mental-health wise if you just give it time… and don’t screw up by putting your commitments in the wrong placements.
With the Sun in Aquarius, what you need to be at full mental health is to break out of any mold you don’t fit in. The Sun in Aquarius is the true individualist, so you’re likely different from other people, often in very obvious ways… and your job is to embrace that. Trying to fit into the status quo or become a person that’s as mainstream as possible is akin to pushing metal thorns under your nails: not fun, not smart, and certainly not healthy. You’re different from other people for a reason and that reason is to bring some kind of innovation.
Every group consists of many different individuals that are meant to bring their unique gifts and point of view to influence each other and make the collective of the group better. This is you – only the “group” isn’t just your high school friends, but humanity at large. Your gifts here may be a bit odd or new or even weird to other people, but they’re meant to be heard, seen, and witnessed. With this combination, you need to bring your unique gifts out there if you want to feel high energy and with good mental health. This also means that you need friends and allies who are like you and who let you be yourself and celebrate your weirdness with you – this is as key to being happy, healthy, and “sane,” so to speak, as is the next part: being your own person.
With this combination, part of having good mental health comes from you walking your own path, to the beat of your own drum, towards a goal of your own choosing. You can’t have other people dictate who you are or what you’re doing in your life: as a matter of fact, these restrictions will make your mental health suffer and lead to an internal blow-up. But caution: just being rebellious for rebellion’s sake, or changing your own mind just so you’re “different” also damages your sense of self and mental health. Be you and embrace the differences you already have, don’t artificially add to them unless it’s authentic.
You also need to stick to your own guns when it comes to your opinions and belief systems. People with the Sun in Aquarius need to look an abuser of power dead in the eye and tell them what they’re doing – or that, sorry Emperor, but you’re naked. If you believe something is right, then sticking up for it improves your sense of self-respect, while bowing down against better knowledge feels suffocating. In general, rebelling against a societal norm, rule, regime, or specific person improves your sense of self-worth – obviously, committing crimes or ignoring common sense is not what I mean by this. Use your discernment, please.
The Sun in Aquarius loves debates, futuristic thinking, and any and all abstract mental constructs. This is a placement that loves the ideas that start with “what if?”, that wants to question and improve, have a vision based on ideals, and go on a bender, even if it’s not practical to do so. And if you want to have good mental health, you need to let yourself play in that realm – often. Suppressing these parts of you, or not being surrounded by people who understand, is the quickest road to unhappiness. Lastly, doing things that help humanity at large and that bring progress to the world is something that really makes you thrive. That being said, many people with this placement only like humanity when actual humans aren’t around, so you may want to help from afar rather than actually talk to people – and that’s fair.
With this placement, you need to learn the tools and build the life that fits being a highly sensitive and highly empathic person. The Sun in Pisces is a placement that’s deeply affected by other people’s emotions and energies or sensory/extrasensory input in general. The first step toward having good mental health is to make sure you have the time and space to process all of this and to come back to yourself. This means: Learn to be alone!
Another aspect of this placement is the impulse to surrender, merge, and adapt one’s identity. This can be beautiful and healthy! As a matter of fact, this placement needs an adequate outlet for this part of themselves to remain healthy and energized! Healthy outlets can be losing yourself in your daydreams, art, creative endeavors, theatre, books, movies, etc. as well as spiritual practices that include you and a higher power. Unhealthy outlets would be losing yourself in another person or power structure, which is why you need to cultivate discernment, boundaries, and the use of the word “No” without feeling guilty.
Without these three things, your ability to surrender, empathize, and be easily influenced by others may attract people who love influencing, emotionally manipulating and exercising power over others. A.k.a., beware of manipulative, draining, or abusive people and their access to you. Your best friend here is your intuition in two different ways. 1) Cultivating your intuition helps you avoid people who mean harm/are toxic. 2) You are intuitive by nature and feeding this part of you leads to high mental health on its own.
Another thing you need with this placement is a healthy relationship with the part of you that sees the beauty in other people. This part may cause you to play victim to an abuser that has “a good heart,” play savior to someone (who may not help themselves), or sacrifice yourself on an altar of unconditional love, even if such a sacrifice is unnecessary. All of the above erodes your mental health – but the core of this behavior is genuinely loving and accepting people as they are, trusting the universe, and seeing beauty wherever you look. This core is a good one and you need to find healthy ways of engaging with it to stay happy, mentally healthy, and fulfilled.
Last but not least, you need to cultivate a good relationship with both your own power and what isn’t under your control. Being very accepting of what isn’t under your control (a gift of the Sun in Pisces!) is extremely important for you to stay mentally healthy – it’s also an innate gift of yours. However, there comes a time when you can affect at least a little part of your circumstances, and that’s when you need to use your own power. Know when to change things up and that you can save yourself: that will boost your mental health, help you fulfill your purpose, and make you a happier, healthier individual.
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Also, watch out for The Sun in the Houses and The Moon in the Signs - coming soon! Also, here is The Moon in the Houses.