Conjunctions made by the Sun and Moon with any of the other planets merit very close scrutiny because of the utmost importance of the luminaries in shaping the life. The energies of the outer planets can dominate the life when in contact with the Sun or the Moon. In fact, not only conjunctions, but any Ptolemaic aspect of the Sun or Moon with Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto can put life on a very different track than the norm.
The Sun in conjunction with Uranus suggests a person whose driving energy (Sun) is linked inextricably with all things Uranian: independence, freedom, marching to a different drummer, and so on. He or she might find it difficult to conform to social mores, and will often find themselves living on the margins of society with like-minded individuals. To others, these Uranians might seem like a group of misfits, while the Uranians will see the rest of society as stifling and hopelessly traditional.
All Sun-Uranus conjunctions are not the same, though. The Sun’s sign becomes important because if the Sun is in a conservative sign (such as Libra, Cancer, or Capricorn), this will play out differently than if it is not. In such cases, the conjunction with Uranus might taking longer to manifest (perhaps later in life), and in such a subtle way that even when doing things that are different from the mainstream, there is a sense that the person is functioning within the system–he or she brings about change by working within existing structures (Cancer/Capricorn) or gets away with her outrageous (Uranus) behavior because, well, she is just so likeable (Libra).
While I am focusing on the conjunction aspect in this post, the same significations also apply to other aspects. Since the outer planets are such strong energies to start with, the difference between a conjunction, square, or opposition is not really material – they will all be felt alike, just differing in intensity. So, often I will simply say Sun with Uranus, or Moon with Pluto, instead of conjunct, because I want to convey that “with” means any of the Ptolemaic aspects, particularly the conjunction, opposition, or square which are felt more intensely than the trine and sextile.
Atwood has resisted the suggestion that The Handmaid’s Tale and Oryx and Crake are science fiction, suggesting to The Guardian in 2003 that they are speculative fiction instead: “Science fiction has monsters and spaceships; speculative fiction could really happen.” She told the Book of the Month Club: “Oryx and Crake is a speculative fiction, not a science fiction proper. It contains no intergalactic space travel, no teleportation, no Martians.” On BBC Breakfast, she explained that science fiction, as opposed to what she herself wrote, was “talking squids in outer space.” The latter phrase particularly rankled advocates of science fiction and frequently recurs when her writing is discussed.
Science fiction is particularly Uranian because the story is told outside of the traditional setting, literally transporting the reader to a place beyond earth. Atwood’s characterization of her work as “speculative fiction” that is different from science fiction because it “could really happen” itself is an inventive contrarian view, quite in keeping with the Uranian coloration of her Sun. Here’s a quote from her book, Cat’s Eye: “Another belief of mine: that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise,” a perfect snapshot of the Uranian oddness.
The Moon with Uranus will be rather more obvious and immediate about the Uranian qualities, because the Moon functions in an instinctive, unconscious manner. Abruptness, quirkiness, isolation, and detachment may be pronounced. Emotions will be fraught with unpredictability, excitement, perhaps hysteria. Asocial or anti-social behavior may manifest. Again, one must look at the Moon’s sign, just as you would for the Sun.
Singer and songwriter Billie Eilish has the Moon conjunct Uranus. “I’m not going to say I’m cool, because I don’t really feel that. I just don’t care at all, and I guess that’s what people think is cool.” This is the Uranian sense of being different, and just not giving a damn. Eilish’s Moon is in Aquarius, which doubles down on the Uranian quality because Uranus rules Aquarius.
Michael Richards, the actor who portrayed the character of Kramer in Seinfeld, also has the Moon conjunct Uranus. The famous zaniness of Kramer is dead-on Uranian. “I push the envelope, I work in a very uncontrolled manner onstage. I do a lot of free association, it’s spontaneous, I go into character.”
A conjunction of the Sun or Moon with Neptune brings the Neptunian qualities of sensitivity, impressionability, vision, imagination, bewilderment, etc. to the core personality. Such a person senses the environment in much more subtle ways than others, especially with the Moon-Neptune conjunction. The heightened sensitivity can make for an extremely thin skin, so that hurts are felt much more easily, accompanied by a tendency to escape harsh reality by transporting oneself to a fantasy world, with a lot of day-dreaming. Idealization and perfection dominate the personality, and can make the person be permanently dissatisfied or disillusioned with life. “Divine discontent” is what astrologers call such a marked Neptunian influence.
Here again, the Sun or Moon’s sign becomes important. The Sun in Capricorn conjunct Neptune is able to integrate Neptune’s influence better, since Capricorn is ruled by Saturn and provides the much needed grounding to prevent the person from being dangerously lost in Neptunian influence (e.g. addiction). On the other hand, a Pisces Sun conjunct Neptune can make for an extremely unrealistic view of life, and can invite disillusionment and disorder. It is as if life lacks a solid anchor, so that circumstances can toss the person this way and that, and it seems difficult to make headway down a clear path. As you may imagine, Moon in Pisces conjunct Neptune would require even greater reckoning since much of the Moon’s functioning is outside of conscious control. The person may see extraordinary visions, and may have a tough time integrating these with the reality of circumstances.
Famous portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz has Sun conjunct Neptune in Libra. Photography is a particularly Neptunian activity as a vehicle for non-verbal communication par excellence. A picture is a subjective medium that evokes different emotions from different people, who might read very different things into it. Like poetry, another Neptunian form riding on metaphor and lyricism, a picture is often something other than it seems. “In a portrait, you have room to have a point of view. The image may not be literally what’s going on, but it’s representative.”
Pluto, in conjunction with the Sun or the Moon, brings in a large dose of power, relentlessness, the big picture perspective, and a keen survival instinct. The aura and sense of power in these people is unmistakable, even if that power be played out in a small setting. Willfulness is a dominant trait. There is a drive to delve beneath the surface of everything; it is as if nothing is accepted at face value. Emotions are magnified several fold, especially with the Moon-Pluto conjunction—no one can possibly feel better/worse, or more deeply or more strongly than the Moon-Pluto person!
Pluto can be both overly outward in expression, as well as extremely inwardly directed. Which makes it attach itself to the Sun or Moon in any sign position with equal effect. The Sun in Cancer (which is retiring and shy) is as likely to get a big push to direct its energies in a determined, intense manner to the pursuit of outer goals, as is the Sun in Aries (which is fiery and gregarious) directed inward by Pluto to examine the inner life. In this way, the Plutonian energy is itself capable of being displayed and integrated in a spectrum of possibilities.
Actor, director, producer, and screenwriter John Krasinski has Sun conjunct Pluto in Libra. With the Sun in Libra, there is a drive to be likeable. This particular quality comes through pretty clearly in his portrayal of the character Jim in the TV show “The Office.” (Very often the best casting in shows and movies is when the character’s personality closely mirrors that of the actor, because then there is an obvious authenticity that is appealing and believable). With the Pluto conjunct this Sun, the Sun’s quality gets exaggerated because Pluto signifies extremes. In YouTube videos of Krasinski on chat shows, I feel that he goes overboard in being gregarious and friendly, which comes across as an almost desperate need to please.
Also with the Sun in Pluto there is often a drive to deeply explore aspects of the world, either outer or inner, because Pluto wants to get to the bottom of things, no matter what it takes. Hence, his horror thriller movies “Quiet Place” and “Quiet Place Part 2” that he wrote, directed, and produced, and he acted in the first as well. The subject and tone of these movies is not something you would expect of “The Office” Krasinski, but is very much the Pluto influence in its exploration of naked fear, horror, helplessness, and power. “We can appear to be tough as nails, but guys have a level of insecurity and vulnerability that’s exponentially bigger than you think. With the primal urge to be alpha comes extreme heartbreak. The harder we fight, the harder we fall.” The boldfaces are mine, illuminating that Sun-Pluto conjunction.
Actress Jodie Foster has Moon in Virgo conjunct Pluto, as well as Uranus. All of these come through in her own words. Boldfaces are mine. “Normal is not something to aspire to, it’s something to get away from” (Moon conjunct Uranus, normal is for the birds). “I don’t know if I see myself as really an action hero, but I like doing physical movies and I like doing movies where the writing is very lean.” (Moon in Virgo, a need for simplicity, refinement, spareness.) “I think ‘destiny’ is just a fancy word for a psychological pattern.” (Moon conjunct Pluto, the need to explore the inner world, hence psychology.) More of the Pluto influence: “…But I think my abilities were about perceptiveness, and they were about examining psychology and examining people and relationships.” And here’s the darkness of Pluto, similar to Kransinski’s take: “Julia Roberts and Sandra Bullock do romantic comedies. I do dark dramas.” In particular, “The Silence of the Lambs”, “Panic Room”, “Flight Plan”.
Mom and Dad
With any of these conjunctions, the energy of the outer planet often finds its way into the innermost recesses of the personality via the father/father figure (Sun signification) or the mother/mother figure (Moon signification). Father figure could be the mother herself if she doubles as father, or an uncle, or older brother. etc. Mother figure could be the father himself, or an aunt, or grandmother, etc. Here are some possible manifestations:
- Sun/Moon conjunct Uranus: The father/mother is unusual in some respect- (s)he was taller/shorter than everyone else in his family, the first one to go to college, father exclusively works night shifts in a community where that was rare, mother is the bread-winner of the family while father stays home, etc.
- Sun/Moon conjunct Neptune: Father/mother is super-sensitive, imaginative, absent most of the time or left long ago (Neptune is famous for “not being there”), is an alcoholic (addiction), etc. The father or mother might themselves need to be parented by the child because they are incapable of taking care of herself, or is super needy.
- Sun/Moon conjunct Pluto: Father/mother is extremely dominating, controlling, intense, fearsome, etc. The individual may need to put up a struggle to be free of the parent’s influence.
Conjunction, and also Square and Opposition
To reiterate what I said earlier in this post, I have dealt here with the conjunction aspect, but you can pretty much read the other aspect the same way in terms of the ways they might show up in the life. The only difference being that the outer planet energies are less intensely felt if they are in trine and sextile to the Sun or Moon while conjunctions, squares, and oppositions are felt much more intensely, and the individual possibly spends years trying to come to terms with these energies.
All said and done, contact of the outer planets with the Sun or Moon can be extremely challenging, but with full awareness and the mental and emotional resources (shown elsewhere in the horoscope) to harness the outer planet energies, the life can be extraordinarily rewarding.