The Big 3: Sunmi

Sunmi (선미) is a solo Korean artist under Makeus Entertainment.

She first made her debut back in 2007 in the legendary girl group Wonder Girls under JYP Entertainment (JYPE). She left the group briefly in 2010 to finish her education. In 2013 she returned to the company as an independent artist with her extended play Full Moon with “24 Hours” and “Full Moon” as singles. After the Wonder Girls officially disbanded in 2017, Sunmi left JYPE and has since flourished.

I wouldn’t call myself a stan of anyone or anything really, but I do like Sunmi’s music despite most of her singles having what I call the “Red Velvet Effect” on me: a song upon first listening to is disinteresting or causes a turn off until subsequent listens makes you soften up on it and eventually even become a genuine fan of it. The only single of hers I liked immediately was “Noir” as I actually disliked “Gashina” and “Heroine” a lot while I was rather neutral towards “Siren” at first. However, I have since come around and enjoy Sunmi’s second EP Warning. With all of that out of the way, let’s get into her big three: her Ascendant, Sun, and Moon.

Disclaimer: This is a slightly modified and simplified version of what I offer in my paid readings, meaning that it is more to the point and shorter.


Virgo Ascendant

The Ascendant since the Hellenistic period represents when the soul merged with the body at birth. As a result, the Ascendant shows a person’s physical features, demeanor, and how they tend to approach new things in life. Basically, the Ascendant indicates what energy a person chose to come into this life with. Where the ruler of the Ascendant is shows which area of life is particularly meaningful or fascinating above and beyond other houses in the natal chart typically. Like Lizzo, who I wrote on last week, Sunmi Lee (이선미) is a Virgo rising.

With Virgo on the Ascendant, Sunmi came into this life to be of service to others. But unlike Pisces, Virgo is not trying to heal anyone’s soul; as an earth sign, Virgo wants to help people with their physical problems, which includes anything to do with the body and things in one’s environment. Virgo is the medic of the Zodiac, but also the strategist. This is the sign you go to if you ever have a problem with something and want an expert’s advice. People with Virgo on the Ascendant are often more than willing to offer their knowledge wherever it may be needed.

However, people with this rising tend to be on the shier side. They have to get accustomed to their surroundings before they commit to anything. Earth Ascendants tend to be reserved and cautious. They are generally unassuming and even tempered. However, with Virgo being ruled by Mercury, people with this rising can appear rather nervous and fidgety, especially if they have Mercury, Jupiter, or Uranus in the 1st house or aspecting the Ascendant. Sunmi has Jupiter conjunct her Ascendant by 6º and from a couple of variety shows I have seen her on, she does come off as a bit anxious throughout the programming when the spotlight is turned on her.

Something I forgot to mention in Lizzo’s post (or, rather what I was saving for a different post) is that all earth risings are extremely body conscious. Virgo probably experiences this the most acutely though. Because it is ruled by Mercury, people with this Ascendant are constantly picking up and focusing on every little thing that is going on both internally within their body and externally in their environment.

Every touch, every smell, every taste, every sound, every sight is heightened for earth Ascendants, and with Virgo in particular, these people can’t help but analyze what all these stimuli mean. “Is my face itchy because I switched cleansers recently?” “Is that spicy enchilada not sitting well with me? Is that why I keep farting? Or was it the ice cream I ate last week?” These are the types of questions Virgo Ascendant people ask, especially if they also have planets in Taurus like Sunmi and Lizzo do.

This body awareness can drive people with Virgo placements to be interested in health, medicine, and holistic healing. But this bodily consciousness can also easily slip into hypochondriac tendencies if these people aren’t careful. Often the root of their aliments is the inability to relax and calm one’s nerves.

But Virgo Ascendants would rather spend their time writing, speaking, researching, and analyzing whatever has captivated their minds than to ever slow up in life. There is always a problem that needs fixing and people with this rising are on the hunt to find them. People with Virgo Ascendants are good at discerning things. They are extremely observant and will zero in on anything that is out of place. They are detail-oriented, precise, and thorough. But this can easily spiral into an obsession with perfection that causes them to be constantly distressed in life until they can learn to decompress and see the bigger picture at times.

This is the energy Sunmi came into this lifetime with.


Aspects

Ascendant conjunct Jupiter (degree)

Jupiter conjunct the Ascendant gives a person an optimistic slant on how they view and interact with the world. They like to see the good in everything and everyone. Faith is at the forefront of who they are. (Faith here can be either religious/spiritual or non-religious/spiritual in nature.) They like to believe that things will work out and that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. As a result, they are very enthusiastic about life and are moved to learn about the world around them.

Ascendant trine Sun (degree)

With the Ascendant and Sun in positive aspect to one another, Sunmi is someone who is very much herself when you first meet her. What you see is generally what you get. She is confident and tends to have a strong presence. It is not overbearing or haughty, however. She commands authority but most people are okay with that as she seems like someone who knows what they’re doing. She is authentic and a joy to be around. She always lights up a room.


Special Consideration: Chart Ruler in the 8th House

Sunmi’s chart ruler is Mercury, which is in Aries in the 8th house. This is an interesting placement as her Mercury is in a hidden house, but it governs two of the most public and prominent houses (i.e., the Ascendant and Midheaven) of the natal chart, effectively shining a giant spotlight on her 8th house.

With her Mercury in Aries, Sunmi has a bite to her when she communicates. It’s not always polite—it can be blunt, rushed, and without any refinement. This may be a bit of a shock to others as her Taurus Sun overall makes her personality rather diplomatic and thoughtful and her Ascendant gives her the appearance of being poised and intelligent. But most people will not see this Arian side in first meetings because her Mercury is locked away in the 8th house. Planets in the 4th, 8th, and 12th houses are private, almost obsessively so. When Mercury is in one of these houses, these people tend to keep their thoughts to themselves. In the 8th and 12th houses especially, this can be due to the fear of backlash and/or being ignored or put down by others for what they say and think. These situations have likely occurred in one’s childhood which taught the native that their thoughts should be held close to their chest. However, in Summi’s case, she’s a bit bolder in asserting what she thinks when she thinks it.

With her Mercury in Aries, Sunmi is motivated to express her most authentic self even if others do not like it. However, she can put her foot in her mouth when she does find the courage to speak her mind, especially since her Mercury is receiving a square from her retrograde Uranus, because she doesn’t always think before just outbursting. With planets in the 8th house and Jupiter in the 1st, Sunmi likes to share whatever she has learned but she may step over others to be the first to do so. Planets in Aries have a very hard time considering the feelings of other people because Aries energy is so self-focused. But her Mars is in Pisces in the 7th house, so Sunmi is a bit more aware of this issue of the self versus others than other Aries Mercuries. Nevertheless, she may still have a problem with speaking out of turn and causing controversy, especially since she is unlikely to back down easily, preferring to fight and double down on her positions.

But let’s move on to the more positive side of this placement. People with Aries Mercuries are often quick thinkers and problem-solvers. Their speediness is a double-edged sword, obviously, but in many cases their ability to make a decision with swiftness and stick with it (for the most part) is admirable. They are extremely witty and wordsmiths. Sparring with them is not for the faint of heart because they can easily throw things right back at you with twice as much force. Being in the 8th house, Sunmi also has the advantage of perhaps being intuitive and perceptive on a scary accurate level that ensures that she is already 10-15 steps ahead of you. She likely also has knowledge on hidden and taboo subjects that others are not even aware of that she can pull out of her hat at any moment as well.

Overall, with her chart ruler in the 8th house, Sunmi has an intense curiosity about anything that catches her eye. She is likely one of those people that can spend a whole day indulging in a subject and effectively become an expert the same day. She has a very profound and investigative mind that she may like to share from time to time as long as others can handle her passion.

Sun in Taurus in the 9th House

Taurus’s mantra is “I have.” When Aries broke free from Pisces, it was motivated to differentiate itself from the collective by creating an individual identity. Now moving on into Taurus, the soul is looking around wondering what else it has going for it besides an identity. “What do I have?” Taurus asks repeatedly. For whatever reason, Sunmi’s soul decided that security, specifically physical and material security, and maintaining it, is what she is concerned about in this lifetime. This drive for seeking out stability and security in what she has—her body and her possessions— and the world around her often gives earth Suns the bad rap of being materialistic, especially Taurus. Of course, coming from a place of greed or narcissism, sure, materialism may occur. But the reason why earth signs are attracted to tangible things is because their mere existence gives them peace of mind. When something is “real,” we can be self-assured. In what? Our existence. And that is at the core of having one’s Sun in an earth sign: to be self-assured in their body, what they have, and the foundations they have built up around them.

With her Sun in Taurus, Sunmi is learning to become comfortable with her body and the material form. Taurus is ruled by Venus, enhancing the sign’s already sensual nature. Venus makes Taurus learn that there is pleasure in having a bodily form. We can experience things like taste and smell through food. Through touch, sight, and hearing we can take a part of the earth and turn it into something beautiful that likewise pleases these senses as well. Venus’s influence also makes Taurus the more laid-back of the earth signs. With the Sun here, Sunmi is learning to appreciate the finer things in life. Sunmi approaches everything from a slow, sensual angle that allows her to truly enjoy what she is doing and to be pragmatic and methodical in what she is doing as well. Yes, Venus can make Taurus lazy, preferring to take the easy route in life, but Taurus is still very much hard working.

With her Sun in the 9th house, Sunmi is learning the lessons of Taurus through religion, other cultures, and academia. As was mentioned at the very beginning of this post, Sunmi halted her career to complete her schooling, which is probably a bit uncommon for idols especially in such a popular group in one of the big three companies. (This move threw a monkey wrench into the group’s breakthrough into the American music market.) But it is likely because of her Moon also being in the 9th house that Sunmi has an innate desire to learn and grow intellectually. Being a singer, especially in a group where all of the executive decisions are handled by powerful people they’ve probably never even met before, it is practical (Taurus) to have a plan B and build up your foundations just in case you wake up one day and your group has been disbanded or thrown in the dungeon for the unforeseeable future. Sunmi is still a student now, reflecting how earth signs on the 9th house tends to slow down the activities of this house, especially Capricorn as it is ruled by Saturn and Taurus because it is fixed. One’s studies are not taken lightly here, especially in Sunmi’s case as her Mercury is in the fiery Aries.

Nevertheless, the 9th house is a house of self-discovery and -actualization, even more so when the Sun is here. Sunmi came into this life to build a stable sense of self through connecting with her body, what she has, and what she believes to be true. Like Lizzo, she may question if what Taurus desires will truly make her happy and fulfilled in life. She may have to travel and experience life in different places and cultures before she knows for sure. I’ve noticed that she tends to write in English a lot on her Twitter account and communicate with international fans rather regularly. So, it seems she is already down this path. I wish her well.


Aspects

Sun conjunct Moon (combust)

When a planet is within 17’ to 8.5° of the Sun, it is said to be combust. Combust planets are literally burned up by the Sun because they are too close to it. Additionally, these planets were unable to be seen in the sky as the Sun’s light was obstructing that planet’s own light. As a result, combust planets are debilitated or weakened. Vedic astrologers say in this particular aspect that the Moon is essentially agitated by the Sun. Consequently, natives are a bit restless and easily riled up. It is hard for them to simply be and just relax. Since the mother is represented by the Moon, they may also have a complicated relationship with them and a stormy childhood. However, on the flip side, these people’s wants and desires (Sun) are aligned with their needs and emotions (Moon). These types of people are rather comfortable with themselves and have a decisive energy about them.

Sun square Saturn (degree)

Although Saturn is Sunmi’s moderate malefic because her chart is a day one, Saturn in hard aspect to her Sun still throws challenges and obstacles her way. Sunmi’s life may have always been about struggle, especially when it comes to expressing her authentic self. It’s as though the universe was intentionally holding her back from being herself, and as a result, she struggles with self-esteem issues potentially. She may be very hard on herself, which would not be surprising as Virgo Ascendants are often harshly self-critical. She may feel as though others are luckier than her and she had to fight tooth and nail to get where she is today. And that could very well be true. However, Sunmi may need to watch out for the ways she constantly puts herself down. Success rarely occurs overnight, so she should be kinder to herself if she does think this way about herself.


Moon in Taurus in the 9th House

With the Moon in Taurus, what a person has provides them with a sense of emotional security. Taurus especially, but the other earth signs too, is often characterized as materialistic but when the Moon is here, these people just feel at ease knowing that they are physically (e.g., in the body) and materially (i.e., money, possessions) taken care of. Taurus is all about making sure it can enjoy life comfortably and this is often achieved through maintaining a certain degree of stability and predictability. Surrounding oneself with one’s possessions, having money in the bank, and eating one’s favorite foods is how Taurus Moon people nurture themselves. In fact, this is the lesson of the Moon in Taurus: Becoming in tuned with one’s body and its fundamental needs, and knowing, and more importantly, allowing, oneself the pleasures of life.

With her Moon in the 9th house, Sunmi is emotionally drawn to academia, religion, and seeing the world. These things just speak to her soul. It could also be possible that both of her parents are well-cultured and traveled and she is simply following in their footsteps. In either case, Sunmi is fascinated by learning and teaching what she has learned. She has an intuitive grasp on certain subjects, which is corroborated by her Mercury being in the 8th house. She likely doesn’t have to work super hard to understand high brow topics but since her Moon is in earth and her Ascendant in Virgo, she may like to be thorough and take her time to really understand what she is learning. As a result, when people really get to know her, they realize that she is very well-read and has seemed to have studied a myriad of subjects that may not be expected of an idol. (Apparently, she is into astrology, for example, lol, which was assigned to the 9th house, not the 8th house, by the Hellenists.)

Aspects

Moon conjunct Venus (degree)

When the Moon and Venus come together, it makes a person very affectionate and compassionate. They love to love and be loved. As a result, they are often extremely receptive to others, which makes them rather popular. People with this aspect are charming and friendly. They truly care about the people in their lives and they want to be sure that they are well taken care of. Natives will go above and beyond to ensure this.

Moon square Saturn (sign)

Like the Sun square Saturn aspect, the Moon square Saturn aspect can cause a person to be more on the melancholy and serious side. They feel down on themselves because their life has not been easy. They feel as though they have to work twice as hard to achieve even an iota of success that others seem to be granted with more swiftly and with less effort. But these feelings are often locked away with their other emotions, making them appear rather cold and aloof to others. People with this aspect find it difficult to open up to others and would prefer to “just suck it up” alone. They want to appear tough, perhaps to offset how sensitive and vulnerable they feel inside. But this doesn’t serve them well and they will have to learn how to break the cycle of negative thinking and closed off energy if they truly want to be happy.


So, that was a brief look into Sunmi’s big three. She had many similar placements and aspects to Lizzo but obviously has a very different life than hers. Let me know in the comment section how this reading compared to Lizzo’s. Do you like these smaller readings? Do they give you a better picture of what to expect from a paid reading by me? I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts!


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References

Brennan, Chris. (2017). Hellenistic Astrology: The Study of Fate and Fortune. Denver, CO: Amor Fati Publications.

Burk, Kevin. (2001). Astrology: Understanding the Birth Chart. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Publications.

Miyayeah [@miyaohyeah]. (2018, May 4). Okay, this is mine [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/miyaohyeah/status/992463923478646786

Sunmi. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.astro.com/astro-databank/Sunmi

Wonder Girls. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonder_Girls

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