Modalities of the Sun and Moon

How does the modality of your moon sign and sun sign compare?

For a beginning student of astrology, the introduction of the moon by sign and house and the realization of its immense importance as a reflector of the sun is probably the first and most important step in astrology. Certainly, in the horoscope of some people, the moon carries a weight equal or superior even to that of the sun.
But how then does the moon modify the sun? As Noel Tyl point out in Synthesis and counseling in astrology, just as we can not behold the sun directly without damaging our eyes or being overwhelmed, we need the moon in astrology as a reflecting body which can transmit and help us to safely observe and analyze the sun. "We exist through the sun; we live through the moon".

I will take a quick look at a one aspect of the relation between the sun and moon: the lunar and solar modality. These descriptions do apply to Ascendant / Sun combinations as well, but be sure to remember the particular role of the Ascendant in this case, as the more tangible outer persona and force of character. (But by no means any less important.)

The modes or modalities of the signs are:
Cardinal: Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn
Fixed: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius
Mutable: Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces

Cardinal / Cardinal (Both sun and moon in a cardinal sign)
Here the being is so centered on attaining a particular end and projecting itself and its ambitions onto the world that it may easily loose perspective. This person is extremely energetic and focused, and will be a great asset in critical moments. Great enthusiasm for the moment at hand. They consider everything in life to be and issue of some sort or a problem that must be solved or dealt with. Ego, and the inability to deal with failure are likely problems.

Cardinal / Fixed (Sun in cardinal and moon in fixed, or Sun in fixed and moon in cardinal)
This combination shows balance of personality balance as well as initiative, but may have problems relating to the views of others and will persist in their opinions until proven utterly wrong. They are inclined to both push forward and try to conservatively harness what they are in possession of. Often a materialistic combination, but one that is presented with or simply create much opportunity in life.

Cardinal / Mutable (Sun in cardinal and moon in mutable, or Sun in mutable and moon in cardinal)
A mentally and physically very active and dynamic combination. These people get things done quickly and decisively, but are apt to overestimate their capabilities and energy resources. They communicate well and get their point across. Sometimes they rush ahead of things, and often their enthusiasm and force of spirit evaporates when obstacles are met. Patience is not their strong side. Probably argumentative, but open to the views of others.

Fixed / Fixed (Both sun and moon in a fixed sign)
While this typically is an extremely persevering and solid individual, the combination easily leads to extremism in thought and action since the beliefs are so strong. It is the most stubborn of all characters. They are highly loyal and devoted to whatever people or cause they feel worthy. Sometimes they are slow picking things up, and need time to filter everything. A great awareness of the self and its strengths and limits, as well as consistency in action. Sensual.

Fixed / Mutable (Sun in fixed and moon in mutable, or Sun in mutable and moon in fixed)
Is usually a harmonious combination with enough of both flexibility and perseverance / endurance. This person may not be very action-oriented, but rather inclined to reflection and considering the inner status and value of things (Not however in a combination such as Taurus / Virgo, where the practical side of everything is highly illuminated.) They can be vacillating and need to be "ignited" by someone else or an outside force to realize their potentiality. They need communicate some personal ideal.

Mutable / Mutable (Both sun and moon in mutable)
A restless and often difficult combination. Mental powers and imagination are high, but this type may be unable to finish anything, and keep too much going on at the same time. It is highly adaptable, but can show a surprisingly rigid mentality at badly timed, unpredictable moments. This is a communicator of something, whether in art, speech, words or simply in everyday life. They see most everything and are great observers of human nature, but often favor the world of ideas over the physical one.


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