We all grow up knowing our ‘star sign’. It is always holds a spot in a newspaper, and it’s ingrained in the memory of even the most sceptical critic. Yet oddly enough, the first thing you realise when you first learn astrology is that you are more than just your star sign. This sign which dominated your understanding of astrology suddenly becomes one of many different and complex elements to understand. When you first have your chart read it is a like a torch has been shone into your life; your behaviour becomes meaningful and a full picture of your personality comes out. Suddenly astrology becomes an important and applicable psychological tool.

This is why many astrologers and astrology enthusiasts resent ‘star’ or Sun signs for the shallow picture they paint. As an astrologer myself, I have seen how Sun signs have often held back a positive conception of astrology, making it appear much more reductionist and arbitrary, as I discussed in my article ‘Why Astrology?’.When you know that astrology tells you so much more, it is frustrating to see everyone judge it on such a basic level.

That is why it may come as a surprise to many when I say that your ‘star’ or Sun sign, whilst one of many factors, is still the most important and influential part of your chart. No matter what your rising sign is or the house where you find your Sun, the actual sign sets the attitude which will dominate your life. While you are more than just your sun sign, it is the core of your identity– whether you accept it or not.

Think of your personality as a painting. If the houses are represented by a different colour, then a lot of blues or purples and a lack of pinks will tell you where your focus lies. If the planets and their aspects are represented by the objects in the image then again you will see which bits draw the most focus. The house of your Sun has a special role as the brush in which everything is painted. It taints every area of the painting with its own distinctive style. However, it is your Sun sign which represents the actual painter.

Deep down it is all our little differences and details that make us who we are. It is what makes us individual. It is also true that you’ll feel your Sun’s house, and Moon’s sign/house on a much deeper level. But being one of 12 zodiac signs is what gives us a grander sense of connection. Often, thinking on a broader and more general scale allows us to connect with others. The more we get caught up in details, the easier it is to feel our differences from one another. It is like belonging to a culture—it grounds us and serves as the set up from which we can grow. It shapes our values, while allowing us to work out which ones we want to keep, and which ones need to go. However more so than this it sets a higher purpose—it brings order and meaning to the house of our Sun. Throughout your chart it is always the sign which first sets the scene. It sets the tone and attitude, while the planets bring different energies.

Though some people find it difficult to associate with their ‘star’ or Sun sign, this is really representative of a deeper issue in which they do not feel proud of themselves for who they naturally are. Family, early environments and society can often favour and value certain kinds of people and see them as more successful contributions to society. This is why Pisceans and Librans often find it harder to really know themselves. Initially a lot of their natural traits are regarded as too dreamy and sensitive, or other-oriented and co-dependent to be acceptable. They do not naturally fit in with a more dominant and work oriented larger social order. However, repressing your natural sun sign can have a much worse effect.

While Sun sign astrology has its downfalls as a simplified version of a complex art, it has remained relevant for so long for a reason. It shouldn’t be the only thing we know when we think of astrology, but we should all find a way to be proud of our own star sign. The more we can embrace it, the more we can find value in the way that we naturally are. Deferring to the Sun’s house alone robs us of the higher purpose we bring to those activities. Maybe sometimes it’s not so bad to generalise after all.