Dawne Kovan

Sky Watching Wisdom , Astrology

Sun signs and their significance in our lives

As an avid reader of the obituary column in ‘The Guardian Newspaper’, I always check the birth date given at the bottom of each piece. This will obviously only give the day, month and year of both the birth and death of each subject. However, it means that I can check the Sun Sign of whoever has died. And I find that the lives of those who are deemed worthy of having an obituary written, are most clearly described by their Sun Signs.

When I was Chair of the Association of Professional Astrologers at the turn of this century, I was surprised by the loathing of the idea that the Sun Sign meant anything, by many members of the organisation. In fact, at the time, the rule was that no one sitting on the council could write a Sun Sign column. This I saw as a deliberate prevention of livelihood of we who were running the organisation as a voluntary pursuit. Together with another council member, we lobbied to delete the regulation and succeeded.

So, I pursued my private interest in Sun Signs through reading obituary columns. And I kept quiet lest I was thrown out of respectable astrological society and banished to the woods for my sins.

The reason that I tell you this is to alert you to the fact that I am coming to think the sign in which our Sun shines could reveal our Life Purpose. And maybe that is all anyone would need to know about themselves. The Zodiac Sign where the Sun is placed shows how that person “shines” – whether brightly and loudly in Aries, or quietly and gently in Virgo, stubbornly in Taurus or wilfully in Scorpio.

We must remember that the Sun is central to our system around which everything else orbits; which is why we call it the Solar system. So the Sun Sign could be the most important factor – after all, the Sun gives its light to all the other planets, which is how we see them in the sky in the first place. Maybe each planet could be read as being modified by the Sun’s light that it reflects. For example, Sun in Sagittarius with Venus in Capricorn – could it be that the reflection of the positive elements of Sagittarius will warm the coldness of Capricorn on Venus? So that the planets could be understood to support and augment the power of the Sun, rather than fragmenting the psyche away from it.

And yesterdays’ obituary subject was just such one of those. The death of Augusto Odone was announced with his birthdate given as 6th March, 1933. He was famous for an oil that he made to help his 6 year old son Lorenzo’s neurological disorder that causes the degeneration of the brain in young boys. “We were told to go home and watch Lorenzo die,” Odone recalled.

A determined man – who said Pisceans are wimps? – Augusto went away and researched the disorder. He came up with the information that it was due to a lack of certain oils without which the child’s brain would deteriorate, and so he set about to make up a potion of these oils. Which, after many setbacks and trials, worked and Lorenzo lived until he was 30 years old.

The sign of Pisces is associated with tireless self-sacrifice to a cause, at its highest expression – his desire to give his son a chance of life. Pisces is also associated with oil, from its rulership by Neptune. In fact, his Sun was opposite Neptune in Virgo, the sign of chemistry.

The story of this family was made into a film “Lorenzo’s Oil” starring Nick Nolte and Susan Sarandon as Augusto and his wife Michaela. It was a moving tale of parental love and determination to save their son’s life and those of other children suffering from the condition.

I have always been fascinated by the idea that a million babies are born worldwide on the same day and will share the same characteristics on their charts. This goes without saying. The Sun represents the “I am”, the identity on a chart. Ask anyone in the street what their Sun Sign is and they will tell you because they know it. However, they will reply by saying “I am a Taurus/Gemini/Capricorn” not “I have my Sun in Taurus”. In other words, they identify themselves with their Solar position along the circle of the Zodiac.

However, what was it that made Augusto Odone, who was an economist by profession, stand up to experts in the field of genetic disorders, risking ridicule from them and still holding to his avowed path – i.e. to help his son and the other boy sufferers in the world?

Eventually, he won through and succeeded and his oil was recognised as a valid treatment. But why him? If an oak tree produces a hundred acorns, why will only one of them grow to magnificence?

This is a question that I have long asked myself – and am still working on.

There may be no such thing as a “strong” Sun Sign. There may simply be your inner directive to fulfil the demands of your sign. In astrology there are many “rules” to judge a chart – even the word “judge” sets my teeth on edge. However, the rules will tell us that to be a Sun Aries is a wonderful thing as it produces warriors; and to be a reasonable Libran is a bad thing as we don’t need diplomats as much as we need soldiers. Really? Maybe 2000 years ago – but now in a world that still glorifies war and pursues it without thought , we really do need Librans, Pisceans and Aquarians to create a brave new world to raise our children in.

Perhaps I could suggest that our Life Purpose could be to live our lives to the best and greatest expression of the bright shining Sun in the sign of our birth and raise it to an art form. Each one of us could become the best outworking of Leo, or Aquarius, or Cancer in order to fulfil the demand made of us by the Cosmos. If the idea that we choose our lifetime in order to experience this life in all its flavours is correct, then we had better get on with it and not waste time messing about.

And yes, I do know that there are the rest of the planets operating in our lives, but they must serve and reflect the Sun Sign, not usurp it. If that happens it is like the patients taking over the hospital – which will always result in chaos.

I look forward to your comments as I think that this is worthy of discussion.


  1. Dear Dawne

    A thought-provoking piece of sky-watching wisdom. I was deeply moved by Lorenzo’s Oil and as much by the singing of the African friend at the young boy’s bedside as by the research and dedication of the parents. A little touch of the magic of sound healing, perhaps, to give spiritual support while the oil did its work?

    When the sun has given its life-giving light by day, how do you view the Queen of the Night as she guides people on their way when the light of the sun has gone?

    While, as you suggest, the Sun Sign may reveal our Life Purpose, I think that the Moon, with her influence on the tides and feminine cycles could provide the fluidity that is necessary to keep us motivated and flexible and therefore able to sustain and nurture the new ideas to which we give birth.


  2. I would love to hear more about your insights about each individual Sun Sign’s Life Purpose. So many of us are in transition now, I’m hoping you will share any ‘clues’ you may have gathered to help us become more clear.

  3. This is a lovely message, Dawne. In the 20th century we all had to become the rulers of our own lives rather than simply obedient exponents of our predestined role in the collective, and so the Sun, planet of the authoritative ruling principle in our universe, began to signify the Self and thus sun-sign astrology was born.

    In this modern interpretation of traditional astrology, the Sun therefore symbolises the fullest expression of our mature adult self in the universe. We may project it onto other people – employers, powerful family members and so on – but ultimately the responsibility for embodying it is our own.

    This interpretation, developed by Alan Leo and then Alice Bailey from Mme Blavatsky, is ultimately Neoplatonic, and in its strongest form it sees the Sun as representing the creative spiritual principle of the universe, which each of us embodies in our own tiny way through our Sun sign. The Moon, according to this stronger version, is only the dead force of habit, the inbuilt instincts and DNA which date from generations before our own birth.

    Although Blavatsky and Bailey are rather rude about the Moon’s significance, this seems unfair. What is habitual and instinctive is what supports our conscious endeavours, and the beautiful Moon in the night sky draws our eyes up to recognise the structure of the cosmos; it can be viewed without damage to our eyes and it measures time so that we can be consciously present in the unfolding of planetary cycles and not simply passive slaves of our instincts. Its reflected light offers us the gift of mindfulness, poised between the future we are creating and the past which reliably carries us along.

    So I think we can update the interpretation of the Moon in a similar way to that in which the Sun was reinterpreted by Alan Leo in the early 20th century. Space here for more posts!


  4. Haha,yes Dawne, a warrior, bright and loud I was, not so loud these days though ( age catches one up )and apart from weilding Archangel Michaels sword now and then most of the warrior in me is through the pen, it being mightier than the sword. Keep well my friend 🙂 xx

  5. Much to enjoy about your thoughts as usual Dawne, I am fascinated by the statement of one’s life’s purpose being so clearly defined, Some how though I would imagine that the influence of the Moon and the Rising Sign, complement and compromise the individual in their task, or attitude. All of which makes your science so intriguing…

    Perhaps in evaluating the sun sign and the birth chart there is more to be done in identifying the opportunities we so often flirt with before applying ourselves to being square pegs in a round hole. a more motivated and well oriented population can only be a good thing…. follow your bliss!

  6. Hi Dawne, if you remember I am the scorpio like you but I live in Thailand for the past 20 years. I do not look at obituarys but usually when a famous person dies and such and looking at wikipedia I have sort of noticed that many people die on the opposite of there sun sign. Say if your Pisces you might easily die in Virgo and the same for all of them. As for the sun really making you who you are then why with a Virgo Rising in my chart in the first house with Jupiter makes me like cleanliness and even had a job for the U.S. state gov. in Boulder,CO as a janitor. I look also ten years younger then my age coming soon of 57. I like your thought because someone said having a pisces moon can weaken you but scorpio if you put some focus on that will make you stronger. Thanks for your educating insights.Peace

  7. Dearest Dawne,

    Thank you for sharing this lovely and inspiring story about Augusto Odone. I also like the way you bring the question to the fore why one person in a certain sign reaches brilliance and another doesn’t. And your suggestion to live our lives to the full and be the best we can be. I agree totally.
    I see it as that we are a Soul on a journey and at a specific point in our travels we are a scorpio or a pisces or whatever our sign is. But the level of consciousness with which we are born under the influence of this sign determines how we use that energy and the energies of the other influences of our horoscope or at any time.
    Give gold to 10 people and each will do something different with this. Some may hide it, some may hoard it, some may use it to pay things with, someone else may make a beautiful piece of jewellery and another may use it to benefit the poor etc.. It was the same gold, but depending on the soul quality of the person who received it it was used in a different way. I believe we are born under the star sign and with the horoscope we have to work through our lessons and challenges for growth and expansion. To express ourselves and serve in this world on our journey to total awakening into the Soul or Godhood which we truly are. Each life is a reflection of where we are in this journey and an opportunity to arise to grandness. Odone just did that! Why does it move us? Because we all have this soul call within us to arise to what we truly are. Our sun sign and horoscope facilitate us with the specific energy available to us and specific service we can give . Where I am very grateful to you is that your insights throw a fantastic light on how that specific energy which is available to us actually looks and works. This makes it much more possible to work with this energy in a conscious way. Thank you for the light and clarity and wisdom you bring!
    With my love,

  8. Thank you so much for your clarity, Theresiu. The light you express in your words is truly beautiful – much like your poems. As you can see I am aiming to find the essence of each Sun Sign and how it impacts on Soul development.

  9. Thank you David. I do think our life purpose is defined – simply by the fact that we are alive. However, to work with it consciously is a whole different ball-park – once we know what’s available we can be more pro-active.

  10. Yes, Mr Fire – out there wielding your firebrands through your words. Long may it continue.

  11. Thanks P for that wonderful message. I have been thinking a lot about the Moon’s influences, too, and keep reminding myself that the light of the Moon, fluctuating as it does, is really a reflection of the Sun’s rays bouncing from it to the Earth. The Vedic astrologers have a lot to say about the Moon Signs – all 27 of them! – preferring them to the Sun, which they see as a malefic.

  12. Thank you Alicia – I feel a book coming on – my attempt to enlighten others as to the path they chose before coming here and sort of forgot along the way.

  13. Thank you for your comments, dear Dot – I am in agreement with everything you have said….