Sun and Moon sign combinations:
Brief chronological list of English-language Astrology Books Delineating Character from them

– Written by Philip Graves, 26 May, 2009

The delineation of human personality with reference to the 144 different combinations of tropical zodiacal signs occupied by the Sun and Moon became popular in the late 19th century. Here is a simple, non-critical chronological list of books I am aware of that have pursued this theme as a major (though not necessarily exclusive) focus:

1. Butler, Hiram E. ‘Solar Biology’ – Esoteric Fraternity, Publishers, 1887 (reprinted many times, text unaltered)

2. (a) Leo, Alan ‘Astrology for All’ No Publisher Stated, 9, Lyncroft Gardens, 1899;

(b) Leo, Alan ‘Astrology for All Part I: Individual and Personal Characteristics as Represented by the Sun and Moon’ Third Edition, Revised – The Office of Modern Astrology / L. N. Fowler & Co., 1908

3. Scorpio ‘Heaven Knows What’ Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc., 1935 (reprinted many times, with the author’s name represented as Lewi, Grant on all editions printed after the late 1930s; curiously enough, this, and not ‘Scorpio’, was his real name)

4. Hughes, Robert A. ‘The Sun and Moon Polarity in Your Horoscope’ Hoover’s, 1977 (reprinted AFA, 1988)

5. Andersen, Jefferson ‘Sun Signs Moon Signs’ – Dell Pub. Co., 1978

6. Harvey, Charles & Suzi ‘Sun Sign, Moon Sign: Discover the Key to Your Unique Personality Through the 144 Sun-Moon Combinations’ – Thorsons, HarperCollinsPublishers, Hammersmith, London W6, 1995

7. Parker, Julia and Derek ‘Sun and Moon Signs’ DK, 1996

8. Ridder-Patrick, Jane ‘The Aries Enigma’; ‘The Taurus Enigma’; etc. … ‘The Pisces Enigma’ – Mainstream Publishing, 2004 (12 separate small mass-market-sized paperbacks; each interprets the sun sign of its title in combination with the twelve different Moon signs, and the various possible Mercury and Venus signs, etc.)

Most of the above remain either in print or easy to obtain second-hand. There may yet be others.

I find this whole literary genre interesting for various reasons. One is that it is based upon a level of astrological technique so very simple and elementary that, as with Sun sign guides, it has been argued by some astrologers not to constitute real astrology at all. Nor does it appear to have a strong basis in astrological tradition prior to the work of Butler and the Esoteric Fraternity. Yet on the other hand, its exponents have included serious-minded astrologers such as Charles Harvey, who himself sought to use it as a demonstration of the truth of natural astrological influences of the Sun and Moon in isolation from all other more complex astrological considerations.

If Harvey could be shown by analysis of his portraits against real life to have been correct, could this not be argued to constitute a vindication of at least one of the innovations of modern psychological astrology, however murky (an esoteric order in the 1880s) the source of the idea?

Also worthy of note is the following, which instead delineates based on the 144 combinations of horoscopic houses tenanted by the Sun and Moon:

Jayne, Vivia ‘By Your Lights’ American Federation of Astrologers, Inc., Tempe, Arizona, 1986.

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1 Comment

  1. A thoughtful post. I enjoyed Grant Lewi’s book back in the day, and I still find these explorations have an interesting quality.

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