This post is an excerpt from a career transition workbook I'm co-authoring with my friend Megan Miller, LMFT. It contains my own brief interpretations of the zodiac signs, which are complex and multi-faceted. Enjoy!
No matter what you believe about astrology, we can look at it like a language or way of seeing the world and learn from it. A map of where the planets were the moment you were born is called a birth chart or a natal chart, and if you know the time, location, and date of your birth, you can easily access one for free online.
For our purposes here, we’ll use the placement of the Sun when you were born and look at the strengths associated with each zodiac sign. If you don’t already know what sign the sun was in when you were born, you can look it up online using your date of birth.
While a full natal chart reading with an astrologer will provide the most information, we can learn a lot by doing our own exploration, and the Sun is a great place to start*. Elizabeth Rose Campbell writes in her book Intuitive Astrology, “the Sun’s placement in your birthchart symbolizes the optimal expression of your true center.” When we express the traits of our Sun sign in a healthy way, we have a balanced and functional ego, which ensures that we remain in the center of our own lives.
Find your Sun sign below and consider the strengths associated with it:
Aries: initiation, intention, willpower. The first breath of life, of Spring. Our will and individuality, optimally expressed through healthy channels. Professional expressions could include: starting projects, high achievement potential, the ability to inspire others to act, and ease in defining and clarifying intentions for a project, business, or team.
Taurus: stability, groundedness, silence. Deep connection to body, to Earth, and to the pleasure associated with meeting our needs. Professional expressions could include: accounting for and distributing resources, creating structures that provide stability for an organization, the ability to imbue work with pleasure and beauty.
Gemini: curiosity, a sharp mind, exchange of information. Trusting our perceptions and connecting ideas and people in the world around us. Professional expressions could include: translating and sharing information across teams, research and distillation of knowledge, marketing, the ability to take complex subjects and communicate them to other learners.
Cancer: nurture, flow, protection. Creating a healthy structure (or “home”) in which we can all grow and thrive. Professional expressions could include: empathetic caregiving, advocacy, the promotion of inclusivity and equity, building systems or structures that can promote emotional healing for self and others.
Leo: leadership, expression, joy. Being so full of our light that it inspires others to love themselves, too. Professional expressions could include: inspirational leadership, artistic performance, creating a work environment in which fun and joy are a means to greater productivity.
Virgo: refinement, service, discrimination. Knowing what is necessary and what needs to go in order for the temple of our lives to remain sacred. Professional expressions could include: process design and system nourishment, creating situations that promote bodily health and well-being, taking the “energetic pulse” of an organization or team and being able to identify what’s needed.
Libra: beauty, harmony, justice. “As within, so without.” Being in right relationship with ourselves and the world around us. Professional expressions could include: conflict management, the design of a beautiful workspace, the just enforcement of agreed-upon rules, creating greater harmony between team members.
Scorpio: transformation, deep healing, release. The ability to get to the essence of something and the courage to not look away. Professional expressions could include: one on one healing work, the ability to identify the root cause of issues quickly, a staunch commitment to a cause or goal.
Sagittarius: big picture thinking, optimism, philosophy. Taking what is True for us and sharing it across cultures and worlds. Professional expressions could include: taking seemingly disparate parts of something and combining it into a coherent vision, cross-cultural engagement, creating momentum among teams and organizations.
Capricorn: discipline, accomplishment, teaching. Determining the right mountain for us to climb and traversing it with steady grace. Professional expressions could include: project management, leadership amidst a great challenge, teaching others the benefits of steady dedication.
Aquarius: liberator, revolution, truth. Destroying illusions in the name of growth and freedom. Professional expressions could include: the ability to identify future opportunities, intra/entrepreneurship, knowing when to reinvent, standing up when something is harming the team, organization, or community.
Pisces: compassion, spirituality, visionary. Approaching all things with Love at our center and transforming them as a result of that orientation. Professional expressions could include: the ability to see and hold space for the suffering of self and others, building networks based on compassion and care, imbuing work with a sense of spiritual meaning and depth.
Do the keywords next to your sign resonate with you**? How have they shown up in your career or your life thus far?
Consider the time of year you were born and the zodiac sign associated with it. What was Nature doing or not doing at that time? Were the plants and animals bursting with activity or preparing for Winter? Was the fruit ripe, or were the leaves falling from the trees? What natural patterns were at play and how do you see those reflected in the way you move through your life?
If you’d like, spend some time researching the traits associated with your Sun sign or meditate on what you know already. Notice what else you can discover about your strengths.
*Special thank you to Aubrie de Clerck, who initially showed me that we can start with the Sun as we explore astrology and career.
**For 30 years, I thought my Sun sign was one thing, but it turns out I was born on a "cusp" day and it's actually another, which resonated much more. If you were born on a day between signs, you may want to find your time of birth and look it up in a natal chart, which is more precise.