Astrological Planets
Traditional astrology traced the movement of the planets,
the seven wandering celestial bodies, through the heavens and
pictured them abstractly in the horoscope chart. In the horoscope
the planets traversed both astrological signs and astrological
houses, divisions created as a map of meanings in the
heavens. Astrologers saw in them the major variables in the astrological
chart. The seven traditional planets were the Sun, the
Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. As other
planets were discovered (Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto), they
were added to considerations of the horoscope.
Modern astrologers are, of course, fully aware that the Sun
and Moon are not planets, but they generally keep the traditional
terminology. The Sun is the most important planet in
the chart. Individuals are primarily designated by the sign in
which the Sun is located in their birth chart. The Moon is second
only to the Sun in importance. Whereas the Sun represents
the active individual, the Moon, whose light is reflective, designates
the more receptive and passive qualities of the person.
Some contemporary astrologers also give consideration to
asteroids, particularly to the largest (Ceres, Pallas, Juno, and
Vesta, which can be found in the asteroid belt, between the orAstrological
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bits of Mars and Jupiter), as well as to Chiron, a large comet orbiting
between Saturn and Uranus.
The practice of astrology is based on the premise that the
planets can be related to significant personality traits and correlated
with major events on Earth. The traits most often associated
with specific planets, beginning with the outermost planet
in the solar system, are as follows
Pluto. The slow-moving outermost planet represents a powerful
transforming energy whose effect is relative to its position
in the chart. Pluto’s qualities are power, elimination, latency,
eruption, annihilation, renewal, and regeneration. It is seen as
related to subtle underground forces that lie dormant for a
time and then suddenly burst forth. The discovery of Pluto
came at the same time as the rise of Nazism, the discussions on
splitting the atom, and the rise of mass media. Pluto’s power
is the power of the atom, the power of the masses, and the
power of the unconscious.
Neptune. Neptune has come to be associated with those
forces that tend to do away with such artificial barriers as time,
space, ego, and national borders. It might be seen as the
higher, more spiritual, form of Venus. Its qualities include universality,
idealism, compassion, spirituality, formlessness, elusiveness,
secrecy, mystery, fantasy, and delusion. All states of
consciousness that destroy the limitations of normal waking
consciousness indicate Neptune’s influence.
Uranus. Uranus is by nature extremely cold, dry, and melancholy.
Natives with a strong Uranian influence are of small stature,
dark or pale complexion, rather light hair, highly nervous
temperament, and sedate aspect but have some striking physical
feature, light gray eyes, and a delicate constitution. If the
planet is well dignified (i.e., there is a high degree of harmony
between the planet and the sign it is in), the native is a searcher
of science, particularly chemistry, and remarkably attached to
the wonderful. The person possesses an extraordinary magnanimity
and loftiness of mind, with an uncontrollable and intense
desire for pursuits and discoveries of an uncommon nature.
If the planet is ill dignified, the native is weak, sickly, and
destined to have a short life; is treacherous, given to gross imposture,
unfortunate in undertakings, capricious in tastes, and
eccentric in his conduct. The effects of Uranus are of a totally
unexpected, strange, and unaccountable character. The planet
rules over places dedicated to unlawful arts and laboratories.
Uranus governs Lapland, Finland, and the Poles.
Saturn. Saturn is by nature cold and dry, a melancholy,
earthy, masculine, solitary, and diurnal planet. When Saturn
rules the ascendant (rising sign), the native is of average stature
and dark or pale complexion, has small black eyes, broad
shoulders, and black hair, and is ill shaped about the lower extremities.
When Saturn is well dignified, the native is grave and
wise, studious and severe, of an active and penetrating mind,
reserved and patient, constant in attachment but implacable in
resentment, upright and inflexible. If the planet is ill dignified,
then the native will be sluggish, covetous, and distrustful; stubborn,
malicious, and malcontented.
Jupiter. Jupiter is a diurnal, masculine planet, temperately
hot and moist, airy, and sanguine, the lord of the air triplicity.
If the planet is well dignified, the native will be of erect carriage
and tall stature with a handsome ruddy complexion, high forehead,
soft, thick brown hair, handsome shape, and commanding
aspect; his voice will be strong, clear, and manly, and his
speech grave and sober. If the planet is ill dignified, the native
will still be a good-looking person, although of smaller stature
and less noble aspect. In the former case, the understanding
and character will be of the highest possible description; in the
latter case, although the native will be careless and improvident,
immoral and irreligious, he or she will never entirely lose
the good opinion of friends.
Mars. Mars is a masculine, nocturnal, hot, dry planet, of the
fire triplicity. It is the author of strife, and the principle of assertiveness.
The native is short but strong, having large bones;
ruddy complexion; red or sandy hair and eyebrows; quick,
sharp eyes; round, bold face; and fearless aspect. If Mars is well
dignified, the native will be courageous and invincible, unsusceptible
to fear, careless of death, resolute, and unsubmissive.
If the planet is ill dignified, the native will be a trumpeter of his
own fame, dishonest, fond of quarrels, and prone to fights. The
gallows is said to most often terminate the lives of those born
in low circumstances under the influence of Mars. Mars signifies
soldiers, surgeons, barbers, and butchers.
Sun. The Sun is a masculine, hot, dry planet with usually favorable
influences. The native is very much like one born under
Jupiter, but with lighter hair, redder complexion, fatter body,
and larger eyes. When the Sun is well dignified, the native is affable,
courteous, splendid and sumptuous, proud, liberal, humane,
and ambitious. When it is ill dignified, the native is arrogant,
mean, loquacious, and sycophantic, resembling the native
under Jupiter when ill dignified, but even worse. The Sun indicates
that which is most seasonable; professions (kings, lords
and all dignified persons, braziers, goldsmiths, and persons
employed in mints), and places (kings’ courts, palaces, theaters,
halls, and places of state).
Moon. The Moon is feminine, nocturnal, cold, moist, and
phlegmatic. Its influence in itself is neither fortunate nor unfortunate.
The Moon is benevolent or otherwise according to
how the other planets conflict or are in harmony with it, and
in all circumstances it becomes more powerful than any of
them. The native is short and stout with fair, pale complexion,
round face, gray eyes, short arms, and thick hands and feet; is
very hairy but with light hair; and is phlegmatic. If the Moon
is affected by the Sun at the time of birth, the native will have
a blemish on or near the eye. When the Moon is well dignified,
the native is of soft, engaging manners, imaginative, and a
lover of the arts but is also wandering, careless, timorous, and
unstable; loves peace; and is averse to activity. When it is ill dignified,
the native is of an ill shape, indolent, worthless, and disorderly.
Venus Venus is a feminine planet, temperately cold and
moist, the author of mirth and sport. The native is handsome
and well formed but not tall, with a clear complexion, bright
hazel or black eyes, dark brown or chestnut hair that is thick,
soft, and shiny; a soft and sweet voice; and a very prepossessing
aspect. If Venus is well dignified, the native is cheerful, friendly,
musical, fond of elegant accomplishments, and prone to love
but frequently jealous. If it is ill dignified, the native is less
handsome in person and in mind, given to every licentiousness
and to dishonesty.
Mercury. Mercury is masculine, melancholy, cold, and dry.
The native is tall, straight, and thin, with a narrow face and
high forehead, long straight nose, black or gray eyes, thin lips
and chin, scanty beard, and brown hair; the arms, hands, and
fingers are long and slender. If Mercury is in the east at the
time of birth, the native is likely to be of a stronger constitution
and have sandy hair; if in the west, the native is prone to be sallow,
lank, slender, and of a dry habit. When mercury is well dignified,
the native has an acute and penetrating mind, a powerful
imagination, and a retentive memory; is eloquent; is fond
of learning; and is successful in scientific investigation. If engaged
in mercantile pursuits, the native is enterprising and
skillful. If Mercury is ill dignified, the native is a mean, unprincipled
character, a pretender to knowledge, a boastful impostor,
and a malicious slanderer.
Asteroids represent highly specific principles and influences,
in contrast to the planets, which are associated with a
broad range of attributes, personality traits, and principles.
The ‘‘big four’’ asteroids are Ceres, Juno, Vesta, and Pallas.
Ceres represents the attribute of nurturance, either where and
how one is nurtured, or where and how one nurtures others.
Juno represents the principle of marriage and indicates traits
of one’s marriage partner, as well as features of one’s marriage-
(s). Vesta represents the principle of dedicated work. Pallas
represents the principle of creative wisdom. Chiron, a large
comet in orbit between Saturn and Uranus, has a wide variety
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105
of associations but seems to have a particular link with healing
and counseling.
Aspects and Relationships
As can be seen from the foregoing descriptions, each planet
has picked up a host of associations through the centuries. Each
one has also been assigned ‘‘rulership’’ of different astrological
signs with which it has a particular affinity. The rulerships are
as follows
Mars and Aries; Venus and Taurus; Mercury and Gemini;
Moon and Cancer; Sun and Leo; Mercury and Virgo; Pluto and
Scorpio; Jupiter and Sagittarius; Saturn and Capricorn;
Uranus and Aquarius; Neptune and Pisces.
Planets ‘‘project’’ certain qualities as they assume geometric
relationships to other planets in the birth chart. The major
geometric aspects of the planets are thus distinguished
Conjunction. When two planets are in the same degree and
minute of a sign, which may be of good or unfortunate import,
depending on the nature of the planets and whether their relationship
is harmonious or conflicting.
Sextile. When two planets are 60 degrees distant from each
other; it is called the aspect of imperfect love or friendship and
is generally a favorable omen.
Square. When two planets are 90 degrees distant from each
other, making the aspect inharmonious and inclining to conflict
and difficulty.
Trine. When the distance is 120 degrees, promising harmonious
cooperation and the best blending of energies.
Opposition. When two planets are 180 degrees apart, or exactly
opposite each other, which is considered an aspect of tension,
implying conflict and difficulties.
Aspects need not be exact, but can be within three to eight
degrees of the foregoing geometric relationships, depending
on the particular aspect and the planets involved. The closer
an aspect is to being exact, the stronger it is.
Sources
George, Llewellyn. The New A to Z Horoscope Maker and Delineator.
Rev. ed. St. Paul, Minn. Llwellyn Publications, 1987.
Lewis, James R. The Astrology Encyclopedia. Detroit Gale Research,
1994.
McEvers, Joan. Planets The Astrological Tools. St. Paul, Minn.
Llwellyn Publications, 1989.
Mayo, Jeff. The Planets and Human Behavior. 1972. Reprint,
Reno, Nev. CRCS Publications, 1985.