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Angela Merkel and the Two Faces of the Sun

Time magazine’s choice of German Chancellor Angela Merkel as their Person of the Year may have surprised some in U.S. We’re so used to politicians who either pepper us with thrilling promises, or berated us with prophecies of doom that a political leader who keeps quiet and does her job seems sort of boring. And yet, despite her quiet demeanor, Merkel has managed to make herself the most important leader in Europe, and to do things that have impacted the world.

When I first saw Merkel’s horoscope I have to admit I was a somewhat surprised. (Click on Angela Merkel to see the chart.) The little bit that I knew about her didn’t seem to match what I was seeing. The chart is rated “C” for caution in the Astrodatabank because the original source of her birth time is unknown, so I was a little suspicious. However, after I read more about her life and her style of leadership, the chart began to make sense.

There are a lot of things I could write about in this chart, but I’m going to focus on Merkel's Sun. She is a Sun sign Cancer, but not a particularly typical one. That’s because her Sun is in a close conjunction with Uranus. This is the aspect of a person who sees herself as different. She’s not as sentimental as most Cancer people, and much more inclined toward clear, logical thinking. People with Uranus strongly represented in their charts often favor the sciences. Merkel has a Ph.D in quantum chemistry.

Ambition is another attribute we often see with the Sun conjunct Uranus. Seeing themselves as unique, these people feel that have a special gift or talent to share with the world. Unfortunately, the world of Merkel’s youth wasn’t interested in individual accomplishment. She grew up in communist East Germany, where too much ambitious could be dangerous. That’s one reason Merkel started out as a scientist rather than a politician.

Merkel began her political career almost immediately after the Berlin Wall came down, but she did not do it in the manner typical of a person with the Sun conjunct Uranus. Instead of asserting her individuality, Merkel stayed in the background. She apprenticed herself to a more powerful (male) political figure and quietly attended to the tasks assigned to her. She served as a Cabinet Minister and patiently waited.

This is where the second issue involving Merkel’s Sun comes into play. She has the Sun in the Eighth House (along with Uranus, Jupiter and the South Node of the Moon). At its best, the Sun in the Eighth House describes a deep thinker, someone who wrestles with the big questions of life and death. At its worse, this placement can also indicate a ruthless lust for power.

Merkel was ruthless at least once during her rise to power. When the man who had been her mentor was accused of financial impropriety, she was among the first to call for his resignation.  His fall cleared the way for Merkel to eventually advance to the Chancellorship.

The article in Time mentions two reasons why Merkel was named Person of the Year, and each represents a different side of her Sun. The first has to do with her strict handling of the fiscal crisis in Greece. The Greek government had built up an enormous debt to the rest of the European Union, and could not hope to pay it without resorting to a drastic program of austerity. Led by Merkel, the other countries in the Union refused to give in to the pleas from both the Greek government and the Greek people for a better deal.

People with the Sun in the Eighth are tough. They never back away from the hard questions in their own life, and they tend to expect the same kind of toughness from other people. Also, the Eighth House has to do with debt and dealing with other people’s money. For Merkel, the proper management of finances isn’t just about money, it is a moral imperative.

The second issue that got the attention of the editors at Time (and the world) was Merkel’s decision to open Germany’s borders to the flood of immigrants coming out the war torn areas of the Middle East, especially Syria. This is a decision set Merkel apart from many other European leaders, who were busy closing their border and expressing fear and hostility toward the Syrian migrants. But, with the Sun conjunct Uranus, Merkel isn’t afraid to be different. Nor is she shy about acting on her ideals. Having grown up in the closed world of East Germany, she treasures the openness of the new Germany.

This decision also brings us back to her Cancer Sun sign. The article in Time recounts an instance, previous to the current immigrant crisis, in which Merkel was approached by a Jordanian girl who was living in Germany. The girl pleaded with Merkel to make it easier for people like her to stay in Germany, and she broke out in tears when Merkel was unable to promise her a change in policy. An event like this might not have fazed most politicians, but for a politician with a Cancer Sun, it became a powerful emotional memory.

Her willingness to allow such emotions to drive her actions is a perfect representation of Cancer as a Sun sign. Of course, Merkel's actions have cause controversy, and energized the right wing in German politics. But for a Sun sign Cancer, if it feels right, it is right, so no one should expect Merkel to back away from this decision.

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