Astrology 102: The Nine Planets
Previously in Astrology 101, we covered the basic fundamentals of astrology, focusing on each of the twelve Zodiac signs, their qualities and correlating elements. In this article, we will discuss the different planets in our solar system and how they play an influential role in astrology.
As we explored before, the Zodiac signs represent how we express ourselves, and the planets represent what exactly is being expressed.
In astrology, the planets symbolize our human drive, our needs, and the different forms in which we express ourselves. Planets do not necessarily cause anything to happen, but can influence and indicate certain outcomes.
They are a piece of the cosmic puzzle which helps us better understand deeper aspects of ourselves. When reading a natal chart, which is your astrological birth chart, seeing where planets fall dictates certain qualities of your personality. We will cover more about reading natal charts in upcoming articles, but for now let’s take a closer look at the heavenly bodies.
The 9 Planets
The Planet of Self
Ruled By Leo
The Sun represents the fundamentals of who we truly are. Just as the planets orbit around the sun in our galaxy, astrologically the sun represents our centered self.
The Sun is usually likened to the broad paint strokes on the canvas of our life. It is the foundational outline of our being; the basis of our character.
The Sun is our willpower, our sense of identity and what we project outwards. It determines what kind of person we are at the true core of our being, and this translates to how we interact with the world around us.
The Planet of Emotions
Ruled By Cancer
While the sun is our outward projection onto the world, the Moon symbolizes our internal selves. This is a part of us that we only express to ourselves or to those who we really trust. The Moon represents our heart; it is our intuition, our emotional nature and the desire to feel safe and nurtured.
The term “reigning emotional need” is commonly used to describe the energy of what the Moon symbolizes. When we experience a “gut feeling” or a hunch about something, usually those sparks of intuition are governed by the Moon.
If you were a house, your Moon sign would be the bedroom of the house; the most private and personal space. It is the innermost part of our being and we can be inherently protective of this vulnerable place within us.
There is also a relationship between the feminine energy and the Moon. This can represent what your mother was like, how she treated you, and in turn, how you treat people now based off your childhood. The Moon reflects back to us how we were nurtured as a child and how we take care of others today.
The Planet of Communication
Ruled by Gemini & Virgo
Mercury was the Roman name for the Greek god Hermes, known to be the messenger of the gods. Astrologically, Mercury is about communication of all kinds. This is generally centered around our intellectual mind and our voices of expression.
This planet governs the way in which we process information, what type of information we find interesting, and how we express it outwardly. Mercury represents the rational mind, our perception, and our ability to reason, collect and sort the knowledge we gain.
Mercury can represent any form of communication, whether it be verbal, on the phone, texting, fax machines or emails. This is why forms of communication can become misunderstood when Mercury is in retrograde; people may even tend to stay away from technology during this time.
The Planet of Love
Ruled By Libra & Taurus
Venus is known to be the planet of love, beauty and pleasure. It is also known as the relationship planet, as it heavily governs our desire to relate to others. Venus dictates how we connect to other people, and ultimately how we connect to everything in our lives.
This planet represents our ability to enjoy the beauty in life, and express affection towards others. It also holds the quality of value; as what we find beautiful we will usually find to hold worth as well.
Traditionally, Venus is considered to be a feminine planet, but the true quality of Venus is receptivity. When we are open to others, we become softer, more gentle, and a deeper connection can be made.
This is not solely a feminine characteristic, but rather the representation of the nurturing nature of the female energy.
The Planet of Passion
Ruled By Aries
Mars is opposite of Venus, embodying a more aggressive male energy. Mars represents the will to create and assert action in our lives. Traditionally representing conflict, Mars symbolizes the clash of wills, resulting in a type of argument or conflict between two energies. It governs our passions as well, either fueled by anger or excitement.
Mars is that passionate energy behind desiring something, and actually creating the physical action to get it. While Venus represents the emotional connection between people, Mars represents the physical action of attraction. Driven by assertiveness, Mars pushes us forward to allow us to get what we want.
Generally considered to be the planet of war, Mars isn’t actually a representation of pure anger, but rather it holds a more protective quality. It wants to solve problems, and sometimes that is done through sheer assertiveness.
The Planet of Luck
Ruled By Sagittarius
Also known as the “King” planet, Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system. It represents higher knowledge, luck, optimism and honesty. While Mercury speaks to an everyday mental intelligence, Jupiter takes this understanding to a more philosophical level. It is the higher mind, the deep search for meaning and truth in the world.
Jupiter also symbolizes forms of learning such as religion, law, metaphysics and higher forms of education like university. This planet asks you: What do you stand for? What are your ethical, religious and philosophical views?
Typically, Jupiter influences feelings of optimism and, depending on where it is in your natal chart, can show you the ways in which you express generosity and happiness.
The Planet of Karma
Ruled By Capricorn
Saturn holds the qualities of organization, boundaries and restrictions, often in the name of safety. This planet is associated with limitations, seriousness, practicality and structure. This isn’t an inherently negative or limiting energy; it exists to create a solid foundation for creation to flourish.
In our reality, there always needs to be a concept of limitation to have the opposing concept of expansion.
On a physical level, Saturn governs our career, ambitions and the hierarchy of social structures. It pushes us to see our duty’s through; to be disciplined and responsible. There is little room for emotions here, it is very much focused on the logical and tangible world.
The energy of Saturn compels us to finish our projects with the utmost care, even though it can feel like an authority figure sometimes, Saturn pushes us to be our best.
The Planet of Rebellion
Ruled By Aquarius
The energy behind Uranus is like a sudden bolt of lightning shooting across the sky. Known as the planet of rebellion, Uranus represents the desire to become fully aware of our individuality, symbolized by the Sun. It comes in feelings of sudden realization, expanded consciousness, deep understanding and sparks of creativity. It is a quick and powerful burst of energy that brings new concepts to the table.
This can look like new inventions, original ideas and cutting edge creations. Unlike Saturn, Uranus has no need to conform to the status quo and breaks out of tradition with ease.
It’s energy is not subtle either, as it rules events like earthquakes and natural disasters! Uranus has an urge to break free, it embodies the energy of a revolutionary or someone who wants to shift the world out of it’s current structures.
The Planet of Illusion
Ruled by Pisces
Neptune, being represented by a glyph of the trident of Poseidon, God of the Seas, is very much about fluidity. This is the planet of dreams, abstract thought, illusions and mysteries. There are two sides of Neptune, one focusing on spirituality and heightened awareness, and the other focusing on a showiness that is essentially an illusion.
It rules things like movies, television, fashion and different forms of glamour. It creates this illusion, asking us to look deeper if we want to see the truth. Neptune also symbolizes our imagination, receptivity and confusion.
When placed in your natal chart, Neptune can create a sense of confusion or delusion in the astrological house it resides in. We can use this information to gain deeper clarity on aspects of our life that may seem foggy due to Neptune’s illusionary nature.
The Planet of Power
Ruled By Scorpio
Pluto has a subtle yet powerful energy when it is felt. Being the outermost planet, it moves the slowest around Earth and entire generations will all share the same Pluto sign because of this. It also holds historical importance because of this and large changes in civilization can be linked to Pluto’s journey through the Zodiac.
Pluto represents drastic changes, asking us to grow beyond what we know in order to become more than we were before. It governs destruction, death, crime and the underworld. While this may seem negative, Pluto is all about transformation, ultimately for the better, even if it seems scary at first.
It heavily governs what the masses are focused on and asks us to look inward for the answers. Pluto wants to destroy only so we can create again. It urges us to undergo difficult transformations in the name of healing and personal growth. Pluto’s energy may seem daunting, but it is ultimately in support of you.
In conclusion, understanding the role of the planets in our lives is a vital piece of the astrological puzzle. When we create the correlation between the planets and the Zodiac, we take our comprehension of their significance and influence on our lives to a much deeper level.
See you in Astrology 103, where we explore The Twelve Houses and their role in understanding the true depths of the Zodiac!