Introduction to the planets
The planets in the natal chart represent a symbolic archetype that embodies an aspect of our personality. The Sun represents our vitality and ego. The Moon represents our emotional nature. Each planet is associated with a zodiac sign, and that sign will exhibit traits of the planet. Venus rules Taurus and Libra and it symbolizes how we give and receive love or what we value. The concept of love and values are very closely linked with Taurean and Libran principles. The planets are divided into two classes: personal planets, (or fast-moving planets), and collective planets (or slow-moving planets). The personal planets are the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars. They represent the individual personality. The slower moving planets are Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. They express the collective consciousness and society at large.
The Sun is considered the most important planet in our chart. It is the giver of life in the chart and in the solar system. It represents our conscious mind, our vitality and our ego. The Sun indicates the stamp of the character and the person’s individuality. We derive our life purpose from the Sun in our natal charts. The position of the Sun by zodiac sign and house represents the native’s life purpose. The house will represent the area of life which the individual will express and focus their Sun sign qualities. The Sun also represents the father figure or dominant male figure in the natives life. The Sun is the ruler of Leo.
The Moon represents our deepest personal needs, our basic habits, reactions and our insecurities. It represents our reactions and how we respond to problems? It shows us what we need to feel safe? It is our deepest emotions at our core. It is also our past. While the Sun is rational, the Moon is irrational or the shadow. In the native’s life it represents the mother or the dominant female figure. The moon is the ruler of Cancer.
Mercury, the messenger of the gods, symbolizes mental agility and communication. In our charts it is our intellectual process or the way we think and communicate. Mercury’s action is to take things apart and put them back together again. It is an opportunistic planet, decidedly unemotional, curious and neutral. Mercury reveals our manual dexterity and mechanical skills. Not surprisingly, artists, sculptors and engineers generally have a strong Mercury influence in their natal charts. An afflicted Mercury can produce deception, trickery and dishonesty. Mercury is the ruler of Virgo and Gemini.
Venus is the Goddess of Love. Venus rules our sentiments, our love nature, what we value and the pleasure we take in life. Grace, charm, and beauty are all ruled by Venus. Through Venus, we learn about our tastes, pleasures, artistic inclinations, and what makes us happy. We look to Venus in the natal chart to see how we approach relationships of the heart, as well as what gives us pleasure. Do we enjoy the give and take of relationships?
Venus is social. It is how we attract and draw others to us. It also show us the attractiveness of the native in the chart. When afflicted in the chart, the individual can be self-centered, vain, superficial or socially awkward. Venus rules Libra and Taurus.
Mars is the Roman God of War. A masculine planet of instinctive, primeval drives. Mars rules our animal instincts for aggression, anger, and survival. Our sexual desires come under the rule of Mars. Mars governs male relationships and associations, risk-taking inclinations, and the physical challenges we are likely to encounter. While Venus is about how we draw things to us. It is yin. Mars is how we get things done. It is our competitive nature and drive. It is yang. It’s nature is revealed by house and sign. When badly aspected, Mars can be pushy, over-bearing and rash; or when Mars is in detriment the native can be indecisive or lack drive. Mars rules Aries and Scorpio.
Jupiter is the King of the Gods. Jupiter is the first of the social planets whereas Mercury, Venus, Sun, Moon and Mars are known as personal planets. The planet Jupiter is associated with good luck, expansion, bounty, optimism and growth. Jupiter determines whether your life journey will be smooth or rocky, whether you’ll be stingy or generous, and your overall level of optimism. It also reveals your ideals and beliefs. In the chart, the position of Jupiter by sign reveals how we express our generosity and tolerance. The more negative manifestations of Jupiter include blind optimism, excess, and overindulgence. Jupiter rules Sagittarius and Pisces.
In astrology Saturn was the Father of all Gods and one of the Titans. In astrology, Saturn is associated with restriction, limitation and boundaries. Where Jupiter expands, Saturn constricts. It offers insights into areas of life where you’ll likely face your most intense internal battles on the way to self-confidence. Saturn knows the limits of time and matter. Saturn reminds us of our responsibilities, and our commitments. It brings definition to our lives. Saturn makes us aware of the need for self-control. It is the taskmaster planet. If his lessons are applied and learned well, there are rewards to reap. Saturn’s lessons actually help us to grow. In the chart, the position of Saturn by sign and house reveals our own limitations, fears, and sense of responsibility. When in detriment, Saturn can be tyrannical and imposing. Saturn rules Capricorn and Aquarius.
Uranus is the God of the Sky and the Heavens in Roman mythology. Like thunder and lightening, Uranus is about the sudden and unexpected changes. It rules freedom, innovation and originality. In society it rules radical ideas and people, as well as revolutionary events that upset established structures. Uranus among all planets mostly governs genius.
Where we find Uranus in the chart is where we see some refusal to blend in with others (and situations), and some erratic life patterns. Negative expression of Uranus is rebelliousness without a cause and irresponsibility.
Uranus, one of the outer transpersonal planets, takes around seven years to transit one zodiac sign. In the chart, the position of Uranus by sign will be shared with other people in the same generation or age group due to the comparatively slow movement of Uranus orbit around the Sun. Uranus rules Aquarius.
In Roman mythology Neptune was the God of the Sea. In astrology, Neptune is considered the planet of inspiration, dreams, psychic receptivity, illusion, spirituality and ideals. By house, Neptune’s position shows where intuition, dreams, and psychic sensitivity come into play. Natives may be able to rise above the demands of the ego in the areas of Neptune’s influence by house and sign. Neptune is the master of disguise. Negatively it can represent guilt, persecution, confusion, confinement, abandonment and addiction.
Neptune, one of the outer, transpersonal planets, spends about thirteen years in each sign, taking around 164 years to move through all twelve signs. Neptune rules Pisces.
Pluto is the God of the Underworld in Roman mythology. In Astrology, the energies of Pluto are transforming. Pluto represents subconscious forces, ruling all that is “below the surface”. Pluto is associated with renewal and rebirth. It represents endings and new beginnings, as well as spiritual growth. By house, the position of Pluto shows where individuals search for truths and deeper meaning. This area of life may be associated with change, upheaval, power struggles, and issues of control. Where we find Pluto in the chart is where we either seek change and transformation, or have it thrust upon us if we refuse to accept our deepest needs. Negative expression of Pluto is an obsessive desire for power and control and general destructiveness.
Pluto is the outermost planet and is considered a transpersonal planet. The period Pluto spends in each sign can vary from twelve years to thirty-two years, due to the eccentricity of his orbit. Pluto is ruler of Scorpio.