Sun As Singleton
Before continuing on with the Sun Singleton, it is important to mention that in cases where the ruler of the Ascendant, or the Mid Heaven (MC), in cases of public figures, is a singleton, then that planet becomes even more significant. The person’s personal identity, individual “persona,” or public image if it is the MC ruler, is so firmly anchored to the psychodynamic functions signified by the singleton.
An example is the chart of the great British actor, Derek Jacobi. He has a 29-degree Virgo Ascendant and a Gemini Mid Heaven. Mercury is in Scorpio, the only planet in a water sign, in his second house. His genius for communicating the psychological depths of his characters has lead to immortal performances. Just watch “I, Claudius” and see!
Note, too, that our potential next president, George W. Bush, has an Aries Mid Heaven and a Mars in Virgo (only earth sign planet) in the second house. It is significant that he chose for his running mate the man who used to be his father’s Secretary of Defense (that position was formerly called Secretary of War.) “Dubya” is not likely to go down in history as “a uniter, not a divider.” Mars “unites” with sword, gun and military might, with the use of force and violence.
When the Sun is a singleton in the natal chart, it presents extremely important issues in the person’s life and psychology. The Sun symbolizes the awakening of consciousness of oneself as an individual identity. The ego, as defined by the Sun, is very aware of the self as a separate autonomous entity.
While the Moon represents the urge to cling and merge in an umbilical relationship, the Sun represents the drive to become aware and conscious of our unique individual identity. This demands the development of the ability to stand alone and to be alone. As one becomes aware of his individual uniqueness, he becomes capable of forming conscious intentions. He acknowledges that he is responsible for who he is and what he does. In a word, a solar person is an adult. He has learned to define the boundaries between himself and his intentions and those of other individuals or of society at large.
A conscious person is powerful, both attractive and frightening. He or she is centered in his own being. He knows his purpose. His sense of identity does not depend on external pressures and social definitions. Therefore, he or she is difficult to be around for many people. A conscious person cannot and will not tolerate unconsciousness in others. Most of the world’s population is stuck on the lunar level and does not want to wake up and face the light. Most would much prefer to “muck around” in the dark swamps of feelings and emotions than make the effort to develop the conscious mind and the ability to think and to reason.
There is a price for becoming conscious. It is the risk of discontent. Consciousness demands that a person come face to face with himself. Then he must accept himself as his is and do the hard work of changing. Most people would rather die than change, for change means death to the emotional ego.
With the Moon Singleton, we saw issues around the archetypal feminine, the mother/child dynamic with its emotional dependency or umbilical issues, and the “anima complex,” just to mention a few. With the Sun Singleton, we find issues connected with the archetype of the hero, the king or glorious leader, the father/adolescent dynamic, conscious independence and the inner adult who is creative.
When we look at the charts of famous people who have natal Sun singleton, we find some very peculiar individuals. They tend to think of themselves as special. Their inner adult that is so creative is uniquely special. They tend to see themselves as misunderstood, misplaced and/or displaced. They see themselves as the right person at the wrong time, the wrong place. This leads the person to cast himself as the loner, the lone wolf, who knows no one is going to understand his or her specialness.
A person with a Sun singleton may appear quite Uranian. But where Uranus intends to be bizarre, the Sun intends to show his specialness and uniqueness. The effect is similar, but the motivation is different. The Sun and the sign Leo are fundamentally “conformist” while Uranus and Aquarius are basically “radicals” and “revolutionaries,” “bohemians” and societal “deviants” or “rebels.” This brings us to the Sun singleton’s greatest tendency and worst fear: to fall into the qualities of it’s opposite. For example, a Sun singleton in Cancer may become an absolute dictator, or fall into the Capricornian archetype, while a Capricorn singleton Sun may become the eternal baby, the Cancerian archetype. With all singletons extremes of expression, or extremes of repression, are to be suspected.
Looking at the names of people with natal Sun singleton, we find among the men: King Henry VIII of England, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, actors James Dean and Montgomery Clift, and Senator Joseph Lieberman. The women include Helena Blavotsky (“Mother” of the New Age), Maria Montessori (innovative educator), Isadora Duncan (dancer, genius and flamboyant personality), and actresses Lisa Minelli, Shirley Temple and Dinah Shore.
All these people have manifested their Sun singleton in different ways. Some have been tyrannical, most very creative, others tragic and even absurd. But they have all been creative and special. With all of them, there was the archetypal Sun/Leo flair for the dramatic, even histrionic, presentation of self.
Henry VIII’s chart (July 7, 1491, but adjusted to Jun 28 to account for calendar change) illustrates perhaps the purest archetype of a Sun singleton. It is the only singleton in the chart, and it is posited in the tenth house of public reputation for the entire world, present and future, to see! He was an actual king, an absolute monarch. That is the Sun singleton’s deepest desire. Other factors in the chart point to the abuse of power, but that is the subject of another article.
General Douglas MacArthur has a Uranus singleton in addition to the Sun. He was a brilliant and dramatic star in the theater of war. He probably could have been president of the USA. However, Sun singleton tends to be the “right man at the wrong time.” Or, as Henry VIII’s wives probably thought, the “wrong man at the right time!”
Mme. Blavotsky has Sun singleton in Leo, its own sign, opposing a Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in Aquarius in the eighth house of the occult. She created the “New Age,” as we know it. She was more the “Father” of the New Age than the “Mother.” She also has a Pluto singleton in the tenth house, indicating a compelling and powerfully charismatic public figure.
Isadora Duncan has four singletons including the Sun in Gemini, the only planet in a Mutable sign. Three or more singletons in a natal chart describe a personality that is, if not a bit crazy, certainly unusual in the extreme! Her Sun is in the second house of values and rules the fifth house of creativity, and she was a great artist. However, remember that singletons tend to come out under stress and to be dealt with through the psychological defense mechanisms (see Introduction). It is a given that a Sun singleton is always under stress. Her Gemini Sun demanded new things, lots of men and travel. She needed lots of men to approve of her as a woman. She was always looking for “true love” but tended to get bored with men rather quickly. She was fickle. The men who did not bore her left her first. She was emotionally tied to her brother all her life. She felt she was very special, and she truly was. She saw herself as alone, isolated and separate. She was a tragic heroine with a quest for her own identity as well as for the ideal man (“animus complex”). Mutable has a sense of impermanence in everything, and Mutable Air tends to build castles in the air. Mutable also tends to dissipate energy and fall apart. Under stress Isadora became hysterical, would fall apart, get disorganized, loose all her money and have a nervous breakdown. Her ego fell apart regularly, and she depended on a lover or her brother (some man), to put her back together.
There also can be a tendency with a Sun singleton to consider oneself as an “Avatar,” a divine incarnation. Henry VIII may well have done so, and Blavotsky had her followers thinking so. Gen. MacArthur defied his president (and commanding officer, Harry Truman), and he got fired for it. Even in disgrace he gave a vainglorious farewell address that put an old and maudlin song, “Old Soldiers Never Die, . . . they just fade away . . .” on the hit parade.
Where the Moon singleton can manifest the worst and sometimes the best of Cancerian traits, so the Sun singleton does with Leonine characteristics. With the Sun singleton there are ego problems. The ego can be inflated beyond all reasonable bounds as in the cases of Henry VIII, Douglas MacArthur, Helena Blavotsky and Isadora Duncan. Or, on the other hand, there is a sense of egolessness or questioning of one’s identity and worth as an individual. Perhaps that was the case with Lisa Minelli (daughter of Judy Garland, both parents were famous), James Dean (absent father, was raised by his grandmother), and Montgomery Clift (closet homosexual and substance abuser).
The people with natal Sun singleton often seem to be fated to experience crises in the search for identity. They must resolve those crises through finding a creative outlet for their special genius. They must become the star and the hero of their own life’s drama. The person may sense himself to be royal, a king or queen. And yet, the world does not see or know who they truly are!
The solar urge implies the ability to stand alone as an autonomous adult. That urge gone awry leads to the loner syndrome. “Nobody understands how special I am; so I’ll just go off alone and do my heroic life for myself.” At the bottom of this lurks total self-centeredness. “I alone shine and am special!” The ego can be very fragile and in need of stroking and support; there is a constant hunger for applause and validation especially from the father, males and authority figures.
The Sun singleton represents the Father Complex, just as Moon singleton was the Mother Complex. Women tend to project the Sun on men in general and father in particular. Men may feel compelled to follow in father’s footsteps or have a weak or absent father. There is a paradox, especially for a man. If he follows Dad’s path, he may exceed him, and risk loosing Dad’s love. Yet, if he fails to be a replication of father, he looses Dad’s love anyway, because he is not good enough! We sometimes see a similar dynamic with Sun-Saturn and Sun-Pluto in hard aspects. Both genders have a compelling need for connection and identification with Father.
Two clients, “JoAnne” and “Soren,” have Sun singletons in their natal charts. In Soren’s case, he is umbilically tied to his father. He feels all his troubles in life are the result of a bad relationship with Dad who still treats him like a 14-year-old. (Soren is in his late 40’s)! When he is around his father, Soren acts like a teenager. He feels he cannot grow up so long as Dad is alive! It has been interesting to overhear conversations between Soren with his Sun singleton in Capricorn and a close male friend with a Moon singleton in Capricorn. Soren complains about Dad, but Mom is a saint. Then his friend chimes in, “Oh, I know, only with me, Mom did that! Dad was OK.” In both cases, the outside observer could see that the parents were equally functional or dysfunctional, as the case may be! Their sons’ perceptions of them are reflected in the natal charts.
Soren seems to have a great fear of maturing, of leaving the adolescent state behind, and of assuming adult responsibilities. He has never had a career or even a steady job. Since his family is genetically predisposed to longevity, it remains to be seen who survives whom in this case: the son or the father! Soren needs to learn how to nurture (Cancer) his inner child and to become a strong, supportive father (Capricorn) to himself.
JoAnne‘s father is a very strange person. He is a Sun sign Leo and an alcoholic with Moon in Pisces. According to her mother and family acquaintances, the father is a self-proclaimed prophet, mystic, and visionary. He is also said to perform interesting magic or yogic “tricks.” The mystic-magician-alcoholic father is symbolized by the Sun singleton square the Neptune singleton in JoAnne’s chart. Neptune is near the 9th house cusp. JoAnne is still quite young, so it is too early to know how she may manifest and resolve her Solar issues. Since she also has a Moon singleton, I suspect she may choose to identify herself with the feminine archetype. This would be especially easy, for she is very beautiful. She has already projected the Sun onto some rather pathetic young men who claim to need her “help” to “save” them. Sun in Virgo can be very vulnerable to savior/victim games.
Until Dad is out of the picture, JoAnne’s maturation may be retarded, too. She could benefit from psychotherapy; Jungian analysis would especially suit her Neptune singleton. (Anyone with three or more singletons probably needs therapy even more than the rest of us.) Unfortunately, she has been infected by the father’s bias against psychoanalysis. For JoAnne, adulthood and maturity depend on building her own identity through many life experiences, through trial and error (Virgo), until she develops discrimination and discernment. With those qualities mastered she can be of real service to others, fulfilling her true purpose in life.
The brighter the light, the deeper the shadow…
The “shadow” cast by the light of the Sun singleton lurks in the sign opposite the Sun. That shadow has to be integrated before the Sun singleton person comes into his or her own. A Sun singleton poses an especially significant challenge to become conscious, totally conscious or illuminated, in this lifetime, and to become a beacon of light for others in order to guide them, by example, toward their own fuller potential.
Soon we will look at the “Preceptors,” Mercury and Venus, as singletons. They are as rare as Sun singletons and reveal some very unusual styles of thinking, perceiving and relating to the world.
About the author:
Eleanor Buckwalter has studied, practiced and taught astrology in Los Altos, CA for more than twenty-five years, including three years with the late Richard Idemon, a psychological astrologer. Her primary astrological focus of interest is parent-child relationships and family dynamics.