If one was asked to rate the celestial bodies by the measure of their importance, the Sun would have undoubtedly taken first place not just because of its size, but also due to its direct influence on every aspect of life itself. The Sun provides us with light and warmth, gives us food by making plants grow, and even dictates when to sleep and when to wake up. In most ancient cultures and tribal societies, the Sun is seen as the supreme deity. Even the first attempt at monotheism, led by the pharaoh Akhenaten, has placed the sun disk under the name Aten as the supreme god and the only one worthy of worship.
In western astrology, the position of the sun is considered crucial as it dictates the personality of a person from the moment of his birth. In contrast, vedic astrology considers the Sun as an indicator not of the personality itself but rather of the ego and even of the soul. In addition, it represents the confidence and self-respect of a person, as well as their self-control and willpower. The Sun also represents the person’s father, manager, landlord, his country’s leader and any other senior authority figure in his life. Anatomically, it also represents the heart, the spine, the stomach and digestion in general.
Soul? Sounds like religious nonsense!
While the concept of soul is mostly known from the realm of religion, in reality it primarily refers simply to the energy that keeps someone alive. In fact, in most languages its meaning is actually breath, which is understandable given the fact that usually if someone is breathing then they are alive and vice versa.
With this definition in mind it is easy to see why the Sun that wakes us up with it’s light, prepares us for action by warming us up, and helps grow the fuel that feeds us and keeps us going, is seen as the engine and the energy of life itself.
With this definition in mind it also becomes clear why the Sun became associated with the stomach, which burns food and turns it into energy, and with the heart which is the engine that delivers this energy across the body.
Isn’t the ego a bas thing? And what’s the story with inflated egos?
In most cultures and religions the ego is seen as something that Detaches us from spirituality and from the divine, yet many simply misunderstand what the ego actually is. In its most basic form, the ego is simply our individuality – the sense that we are separate and different compared to others. The ego is the “I” as seperate from the group, gender, nationality or species, and without it we have no identity and cease to exist as individuals.
The reason why ego is considered bad is twofold: In the social sense, when a person places themselves and their own needs above those of the group they can act against the interests of that group, hence the term egoism which describes people who care only about themselves. In the philosophical sense, the ego makes us see ourselves as separate from the rest of the world, and prevents us from seeing that we are only a part of it and that everything that happens within it affects us too.
The reason why the Sun instead of any other planet was chosen to represent the ego lies in its immense size and brightness as well as in its huge impact on our lives which separates it as the most distinct of all the planets, similarly to a person that distinguishes themselves from the rest through extraordinary appearance and noteworthy deeds.
So to have self-confidence you need a big ego?
People often confuse the terms ego, confidence, arrogance and self-worth. As was mentioned before, the ego is our sense of individual self. In contrast, self-worth is the measure if appreciation and value that we place on that individual self. For example, people that value themselves tend to avoid inappropriate behavior that can harm their image. On the positive side this means that he will refrain from criminal activity or harming others, but on the negative side it may lead to overemphasis on appearance or on cultivating the public image.
Confidence on the other hand is a measure of how much we trust ourselves and our abilities. It is tied quite closely to self worth as the more we appreciate ourselves the more willing we are to trust our abilities and vice versa. On the one hand confidence can give us the courage to try new things, but on the other any significant imbalance can lead to either arrogance or cowardice.
And the connection to authority figures is their tendency to smash our confidence, right?
No. The real reason why authority figures are related to our sense of self is because they serve as role models on the one hand, and on the other the way we interact with them is mostly dictated by the way we see ourselves.
In most cases, the father and his social status will directly influence how we behave as children and how we see ourselves as adults. With him usually being the first significant authority figure in our lives and the one to punish us when we misbehave, the father is responsible for setting many of our behavioural patterns in the same way that the Sun is responsible for setting our sleep cycle.
The way in which we learn to interact with our father will often dictate the way we will interact with other authority figures throughout our lives, as they basically take up his role of dictating behavior and punishing for disobedience. For example, our work manager dictates what we must do and can fire us if we fail to do it. Similarly, the leaders of countries dictate which laws must be obeyed and punish those who break them.
And how are all of these connected to digestion or the spine?
Unlike other bones in our body, the spine is composed of individual vertebras, connected with flexible cartilage that require constant use of the attached muscles to keep it straight, hence the connection to self-control. It is also directly connected to how we view ourselves, because a straight back signifies feeling confident while a hunched back and lowered gaze are a sign of feeling down.
This is actually an evolutionary defence mechanism, as people with hunched backs are percieved as passive and submissive hence not representing a threat and are more likely to be ignored. Likewise, A person with a straight back and head held high seems more impressive and of higher social status, which is one of the reasons that in the past higher class children were always taught to always keep their backs straight. Even today, soldiers are taught to stand in attention with straight backs and heads held hight to look stronger, more impressive and even more intimidating.
A similar but somewhat opposite connection can be seen regarding the stomach and digestion. When a person encounters the strong smell of sewage or manure, they might feel nausea especially if not used to such smells. A similar phenomenon can be seen when a person encounters a dead body for the first time. While at first glance a person of high status would seem more likely to feel nausea in these cases, it would show weakness and a loss of control on their part and in fact harm their image in the eyes of others while a person with a stronger stomach will be perceived as more courageous.