In Western astrology there is a huge emphasis on Sun signs. You use a Sun sign to categorize someone. This emphasis is modern, and probably dates to the late Nineteenth Century. It was given added impetus by the advent of the Sun sign column, in the early 1930s. You want to be able to categorize someone yourself, without calculations. The Sun is the only planet whose sign you can immediately reference, by knowing someone’s birthday. At least in 95% of cases – there are issues when someone is born on the cusp, and you then need an exact time of birth to identify the Sun sign.
Aside from convenience, there is some logic in using Sun signs. The Sun is the star around which the planets revolve, and at every level its impact on our lives is massive. Yet for the vast majority of astrology’s history the Sun was not a deciding factor in describing someone’s personality and fortunes. Yes it was important, but it was also malefic – planets close to the Sun are regarded as being damaged. This is particularly the case in Vedic astrology, where all things being equal, the Sun is unfortunate. Additionally, in Vedic astrology the Moon is almost certainly more important than the Sun, in the sense that the Moon’s position at birth dictates how the nine phases of life unfold. It is also possible, in Vedic astrology, to make the sign of the Moon the first house. This system is often recommended for female horoscopes. It can also be useful when the time of birth isn’t available.
For myself, I am happy to categorize someone as a single sign. And usually I focus on the Sun sign. However I believe that there is a strong case for focusing on the Sun sign for adult males and the Moon sign for adult females. I know that we live in gender-fluid times, but the concept of male and female are intrinsic to astrology. The Sun and Mars are male planets, the Moon and Venus female. A man is likely to identify with his Sun and projects his Moon, and it is the opposite for a woman. And in my experience, it is usually not until adulthood that people start to live their gender-specific sign. A woman with the Moon in Leo and the Sun in Libra would have a tendency to act out her Sun sign in childhood and adolescence, and would only tune into her full Leo self when she hit her early 20s.
There are exceptions. Look at Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who recently made a highly emotional and subjective testimony to a Senate committee. He has Sun in Aquarius and the Moon in Cancer. His testimony showed a complete absence of Aquarian objectivity, and he was behaving as a pure Cancerian. One might argue that in spite of his education and experience, he is stuck in his childhood. Alternatively, one might look at his chart and notice that his Moon is much stronger than his Sun, and therefore dominates his personality. Then there is Margaret Thatcher, who had the Sun in Libra and the Moon in Leo. She had Libran traits, that were particularly evident in her early career, when by and large she did what she had to do to ingratiate herself with the people that mattered. But as Prime Minister, she showed herself as a real Leo – helped by the fact that her Leo Moon was conjunct Regulus, the royal star. I remember in 1989 when she announced that she was a grandmother outside Number 10, saying “We have become a grandmother”. Nice use of the royal we.
Still, when I try to guess someone’s sign, it is always the Sun sign I am trying to get right. It is instinctive, and perhaps shows that I can’t escape the Sun sign obsessed world that I am trapped in.