Planets in Astrology
Planets in astrology have a meaning different from the modern astronomical understanding of what a planet is. Before the age of telescopes, the night sky was thought to consist of two very similar components: fixed stars, which remained motionless in relation to each other, and “wandering stars” (Ancient Greek: ἀστέρες πλανῆται asteres planetai), which moved relative to the fixed stars over the course of the year.
To the Greeks and the other earliest astronomers, this group comprised the five planets visible to the naked eye, and excluded the Earth. Although strictly the term “planet” applied only to those five objects, the term was latterly broadened, particularly in the Middle Ages, to include the Sun and the Moon (sometimes referred to as “Lights”), making a total of seven planets. Astrologers retain this definition today.
To ancient astrologers, the planets represented the will of the gods and their direct influence upon human affairs. To modern astrologers the planets represent basic drives or urges in the unconscious, or energy flow regulators representing dimensions of experience. They express themselves with different qualities in the twelve signs of the zodiac and in the twelve houses. The planets are also related to each other in the form of aspects.
Modern astrologers differ on the source of the planets’ influence. Hone writes that the planets exert it directly through gravitation or another, unknown influence. Others hold that the planets have no direct influence in themselves, but are mirrors of basic organizing principles in the universe. In other words, the basic patterns of the universe repeat themselves everywhere, in fractal-like fashion, and “as above so below”. Therefore, the patterns that the planets make in the sky reflect the ebb and flow of basic human impulses. The planets are also associated, especially in the Chinese tradition, with the basic forces of nature.
- Saturn: melancholy and apathy.
- Jupiter: hunting.
- Mars: soldiering and warfare.
- Sun: music and athleticism.
- Moon: association with water and travel.
- Mercury: money and commerce.
- Venus: amorousness and passion.
How do the planets affect you? Every planet orbits the sun at a different speed, going slower and slower the farther they are from the sun. Each one is said to affect a different part of your personality.
The “inner planets”— the sun, moon, Mercury, Mars and Venus—move quickly through the zodiac. As a result, they affect your day-to-day life, moods and habits.
The “outer planets” — Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto — move slowly, changing signs everyone to fifteen years. As a result, they shape the bigger trends in your life. In fact, Neptune, Uranus and Pluto orbit the sun so slowly that they’re said to shape entire generations. Each planet is associated with a zodiac sign, and that sign will exhibit traits of the planet. For example, turbo-charged Aries is ruled by warrior planet Mars. Cheerful Sagittarius is ruled by optimistic Jupiter. If you want to learn more about your sign, look no further than its ruling planet! (P.S. We still look at Pluto as a REAL planet, even though astronomers have recently diminished its status to “dwarf planet.” Its impact is undeniable in astrology.)
The sun rules your conscience day. It represents your true self, who you strive to become and how you shine. The sun is the giver of life. Your sun shows your identity, your pride and your self-confidence. Without the sun we would live in the shadows of others, we would have no drive, no direction and our lives would become repressed. As the sun breathes life into all living things, we too are given life through the light of our sun. The sun in your chart points to your life’s purpose, its challenges that must be overcome and the end to which you have been searching. The sun is masculine energy and represents the father; in a woman’s horoscope the sun represents her partner and the kind of man she is attracted to.
The Sun is Leo’s natural ruler and both are associated with royalty, dignity and authority. Strong solar types sometimes have boundless energy and vitality and many of the positive characteristics of the Leo character, which include courage and confidence, generosity, loyalty and good health. The sun rules the heart, your vitality and the back, especially the spine. The sun rules the right eye in a man and the left eye in a woman. The sun has ruler ship over Leo, the sign that governs the 5th house in the natural zodiac.
The moon is the fastest moving celestial body, moving through the zodiac every 28 days and spending approximately 2 1/2 days in each sign.
As the sun rules your conscience day, the moon rules your night. It rules all that is hidden and shadowy within us. The moon represents our needs, emotions (moods) and habits. People with a strong moon characteristics often have planets in Cancer, show much sensitivity and are often naturally inclined to nurture and protect those around them. The moons energy governs our emotions and how we feel about things. As the moon rules the tides, it is fitting that it rules all things that are fluid. The moon represents the things we want, how we feel about those things and in turn how they affect us emotionally. Whether our feelings are up or down, the moon shows us how we affect others emotionally as well. Our emotions set the tone for our daily lives and the moons influence tells us how we are affected by our past memories and how we process those memories. The moon is a powerful symbol of feminine energy and represents the woman in a man’s horoscope, the type of woman he would be attracted to and his partner. Universally it represents fertility, motherhood, womanhood and babies. The moon is most comfortable in its own sign of Cancer and the other water signs. The moons 28 day cycle also coincides with the woman’s menstrual cycle. It’s waxing and waning symbolizes conception, pregnancy, birth and corresponds to the growth cycle of every living thing. The moon rules the stomach and our gut reactions. It also rules the breast, the left eye in a man and the right eye in a woman. The Moon has ruler ship over Cancer, the sign that governs the
4th house in the natural zodiac.
In Greek mythology, Mercury (Hermes) was the winged messenger of the gods. Mercury symbolizes all things related to communication. Its ruler ship is of the masculine sign of Gemini, the sign that governs the 3rd house in the natural zodiac. Mercury also has ruler ship over the 6th house sign of Virgo, the feminine sign that rules the other functions of the mind that analyzes, defines and discriminates. As Mercury is symbolized by the planet of the mind it is also represents the planet of youth. It is in our early childhood that we learn to speak and to assimilate information, but as with a child its attention span is very short therefore, it represents early education and not higher education. Mercury governs everything we do to communicate with our voice or written materials whether it is computers, telephone conversations, books and media. Mercury’s position in your chart shows how you think, reason and express yourself. Mercury never stops collecting data for you and transmits that data to your central nervous system by which your eyes, hands and breathing collaborate. Mercury also rules language that is concealed such as our ideas, private thoughts and opinions.
The Mercurial type may be dexterous, clever and quick witted. Those with strong Mercury characteristics may be public speakers, writers or researchers. Mercury rules the hands and the quickness of the hands; therefore, a strong Mercurial type may be a magician or even a thief! Mercury rules all forms of transportation from taxicabs to bicycles. Mercury rules the lungs, respiratory system, speech impediments and other problems with the mouth and tough. It also rules the arms, hands, shoulders, the nervous system and illnesses related to them.
In Greek mythology Venus was Aphrodite the goddess of love and desire. The word aphrodisiac, meaning that which induces desire, comes from the word Aphrodite. Venus is feminine energy and rules the world of love, pleasure and all desires. Through Venus you experience joy, pleasure, lust and the nature of your own sexuality. Whatever you desire, whether it is chocolate or someone you find attractive, Venus will tell you how to get it. Strong Venusian types are wonderful lovers, but also lovers of beauty, art, music and food. Venus has rulership over the masculine natural 7th house sign of Libra, the sign of partnership. Venus rules over engagements, pairing and unions of all kinds and can also show the love of others outside of a relationship, as in our family and friendships. Venus is the Universal symbol for womankind and will show the type of woman a man is attracted to in his chart. Venus rules all things related to beauty, from physical attributes to make-up and adornments. In the personality, Venus indicates a loving affectionate person that is usually sociable and peaceable. Venus also rules sensuality and earthly pleasures which are seen through the feminine sign of Taurus; the sign that represents our need for the desires we want.
Venus rules the throat and kidneys, blood sugar and diabetes (Venus rules sugar), as well as illness related to sexual activity. Venus has ruler ship over Taurus, the sign that governs the 2nd house in the natural zodiac and Libra, the sign governing the 7th house.
Mars is assertive and aggressive energy symbolized by the Greek god of war Ares. Mars is an action-oriented sign that’s in charge of your defenses and aggressions and causes you to fight back when you’re under attack. Mars energy is spontaneous and can make you brave and fearless. Its energy is confrontational and rules strife, combat and weapons. Mars is masculine energy that is quick, sharp, penetrating, piercing and its nature is to attack. Mars rules sharp objects and those that work with them. Mars rules rage and how we are angered. Mars speaks of anger and passion and represents the color red that disguises itself in heat. Hot, spicy foods are governed by Mars and anything sharp, prickly, or stinging are Mars ruled. Mars has ruler ship over the 1st house of Aries in the natural zodiac. Mars is ruler of the head, blood and muscles. Migraines, injuries to the head, burns, inflammation, fevers and rashes are governed by Mars intense energy.
In Greek Mythology Jupiter was Zeus. As the largest planet of our solar system, Jupiter is the planet of expansion, abundance and growth. Jupiter rules the grand scheme of things and is considered the larger than life planet. Jupiter brings good things to the house it occupies in your horoscope. Where your Jupiter is placed is where you will find the side of you that is positive, generous and optimistic. Jupiter’s placement in your horoscope is where you are likely to experience excess; therefore, you must be careful not to become lazy. Jupiter is often described as the Benefactor planet. This planet rules wealth, financial and material gain. Jupiter will provide you with faith, wisdom, optimism and confidence in whatever area it is currently transiting within your horoscope. Jupiter – Higher consciousness Jupiter’s placement in your birth chart is where you think big and bold. This planet also governs loyalty and justice. Jupiter has ruler ship over the sign Sagittarius, the sign that governs the 9th house in the natural zodiac. Jupiter rules the hips, pelvis, thighs and the sciatic nerve. It also governs illness where too much of a good thing are contributing factors. Jupiter stays in each sign approximately 12 months and takes 12 years to complete its travels through the zodiac. During a Jupiter transit you can expect luck and benefits in a different area (house) of your life every 12 months and that energy will repeat itself every 12 years.
In Greek Mythology Saturn was Chronos, the god whose name means time. Saturn is also known as the Old Man, The Finger of God and The Father of the zodiac. Saturn rules old age, maturity, time and its effects on our lives. Saturn has long been viewed as evil; the planet that brings difficult limitations, separations, responsibilities and even death. Modern astrology has opened up a new window by which to view Saturn.
Saturn does set boundaries and limitations in your horoscope. Saturn in your chart will show where you are most resistant to change, but also where you are most disciplined. Saturn can be a great teacher as it is through limitation and responsibility that we mature. Saturn is a crucial planet in the overall development of mankind. Without Saturn there would be no limitations or boundaries. Saturn denies us self-gratification and forces us to wait. You should expect hard work and discipline to be a major theme during your transiting Saturn period. Though often challenging, the energy of Saturn will force you to grow up wherever it touches your chart and those that play by the rules will find their Saturn period personally rewarding once the intense energy has passed. Saturn has ruler ship over the feminine sign of Capricorn; the 10th house ruler in the natural zodiac and the ambitious and practical planet of achievement. It signifies determination, hard work and the perseverance we need to achieve our goals. Saturn rules the bones, teeth and skin. Saturn stays in each sign approximately 2 1/2 years and takes an average of 29 years to complete the zodiac. Most of us will experience our first Saturn return (where Saturn was at your time of birth) between the ages of 28-30 and have no more than three Saturn transits in our lifetime. Wherever Saturn is currently transiting in your chart, you should expect those themes to be repeated every 29 years.
Uranus was discovered in 1781. Before the discovery of Uranus, Saturn ruled both Capricorn and Aquarius. Traditional Astrologers do not use the newly discovered planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) as they are only seen in the sky by modern methods and not by the eye, although Uranus can be seen with keen eyesight on a clear night if you know where to look. Modern Astrologers utilize these planets, as there is overwhelming evidence of their significance in the horoscope. Uranus is known as the rebel of the zodiac. Whereas Saturn plays by the rules, Uranus says rules are made to be broken regardless of the consequences. Uranus is the planet of independence and personal freedom. Uranus can show you where you dare to be different by its placement in your horoscope. Uranus is the planet of surprise, ruling all things unexpected. Uranus in your chart will show you where you are determined to have freedom of expression. Where Uranus transits an area (house) of your horoscope, is where you will surprise even yourself at the things you will do. Strong Uranus types have been called the wild cards of the Zodiac, different, eccentric, unconventional, brilliant and even unstable. As with all of the planets, the effects of Uranus and how its energy is manifested depends on the planetary aspects and the horoscope as a whole. Uranus rules earthquakes and other natural disasters. Originality, inventions, cutting edge technology, future events, revolutions, science and electricity are all governed by the planet Uranus. Uranus has ruler ship over Aquarius and 11th house in the natural horoscope. Uranus rules the circulatory and involuntary nervous system. Uranus spends an average of 7 years in each sign and takes approximately 84 years to complete the zodiac. Once you have had Uranus in an area of your chart, it is not likely to transit that area again in your lifetime.
Neptune was discovered in 1846 and is another slow orbiting planet. Due to the nature of the slower orbiting planets, they influence entire generations. In Greek Mythology Neptune was Poseidon, God of the Sea. Neptune rules all things related to the ocean such as boats, fishing and marine life. It rules mist (of water) and things that are hidden. The next time you are daydreaming, think of Neptune. Neptune represents the side of you that delights in illusion. As the modern ruler of the feminine sign of Pisces, the sign that governs the 12th house, Neptune has a spiritual side. Spiritually and what we believe in is often hidden and yet we have faith in that which we cannot see. Neptune can offer us inspiration and the ability to see beyond our own eyes. Neptune can cause confusion as often we do not see the complete picture, as is the case when we wear “rose colored glasses”. Neptune in your chart is also where you will find an amazing sense of compassion for the less fortunate. Neptune governs dreams, trances, hypnosis, drugs, alcohol, illusion and escapism. There are two sides to Neptune, illusion and disillusion; life is either full of meaning or it’s pointless and it is Neptune that wears that mask. Neptune spends approximately 14 years in each sign and takes 165 years to complete the zodiac.
Pluto was discovered in 1930 and another of the modern planets. Traditionally, Mars ruled the sign of Scorpio, but since its discovery Pluto has been given dominion over Scorpio.
In Greek Mythology, Pluto was Hades the God of the underworld. Pluto – Complete transformation Pluto is the planet of rebirth, regeneration and transformation. Think of the symbolic Phoenix rising up from the fiery ashes reborn. Pluto rules obstruction, decay, death and rebirth. Pluto’s place in your birth chart is where you may find a constant state of turmoil and continual change and is where you realize that life goes on no matter what you must endure. Whatever area (house) in your chart that Pluto transits will be completely transformed. The transformation may be tremendously difficult, but the results will prove worthwhile. Pluto knows how to push our buttons, to transcend that which we know while destroying that which is not necessary in order for us to be transformed. Pluto can be another powerful teacher and may strip us bare to the bones in order to become powerful achievers and the transformation may be a long and painful process. Pluto has ruler ship over Scorpio the 8th house in the natural horoscope. Pluto governs all forms of destruction and recuperation, which include medicine and healing. Pluto rules the reproductive organs, as this is where the process of life begins. Pluto also rules puberty and sexual maturity. Pluto stays in each sign between 12 and 31 years, taking 248 years to complete the zodiac. No one can deny the intensity and power of Pluto’s energy.