The Planets, Part II - July 2015 Lesson
"Astrology doesn’t declare that planets have any direct impact on individuals in any way whatsoever. Astrology works because the same forces that move the planets also move us." Marco Reyes
In our last lesson, we cited that the ten planets used in astrology are broadly classified as inner planets and outer planets. The seven planets visible to the naked eye are the inner planets. Before 1781, when Uranus was discovered with the use of a telescope, there were only inner planets identified. The outer planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are only visible with a telescope.
Inner planets are further divided into personal planets and social planets. The personal planets are the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Mars. These planets have the greatest influence on the expression of your unique personality as an individual. Jupiter and Saturn are considered social planets; they have longer orbital rotations, and a major impact on how you as an individual connect to the world and with society.
The outer planets have the longest orbital cycles around the Sun and as a result they express fewer changing forces over individuals than the inner planets. The Earth is not considered a "planet" in astrology because it is seen as the center point of the universe from which we view all the other planets.
Understanding astrology can be very exciting, just like the pleasure of learning a foreign language and then traveling to places where that language is spoken. In ancient times, the planets were named after gods and goddesses and represented their influence over human behaviors and tendencies. Modern astrologers define the planets as the most important part of astrology; everything else in astrology is related to the planets.
Planets express themselves with unique qualities and energy depending on their individual placement in the twelve zodiacal signs and in the twelve houses. Without the planets and their unique positions, there would be no influence from the signs or houses. Each house represents an aspect of your life, such as romance, career, family, etc. Also, all of the ten planets have positive and negative qualities or traits determined by its unique position, and particularly by the combination it makes with other planets (aspects).
In Astrology, it also helps to understand the fundamental nature of the planets. Each of the seven inner planets are also classified as diurnal (day) planets and nocturnal (night) planets. The more diurnal a planet is, the more it shows its true nature. The Sun, for example, is the most diurnal planet and it can never be anything other than exactly what it is. The more nocturnal a planet is, the more it shows its “appearance” (or reflection), but looks can be deceiving. The Moon is the most nocturnal planet and is all “appearance”. It doesn’t have light of its own, as it only reflects the light of the Sun. While the Sun is completely constant and never changes from day to day, the Moon changes its appearance every night.
Each planet also rules one or two of the zodiacal signs, meaning that there is a certain connection between the sign or signs and that planet. The Sun rules Leo, for example, meaning that the principles of the Sun are more related with Leo than any of the other zodiacal signs.
Universal energies represented by the planets are filtered, combined and focused in a unique way to manifest your personal power and faculties. Each planet shows a different part of someone’s personality since basically we are all multifaceted.
Below is an interpretation of each planet, explaining with some significance how each heavenly body can manifest its qualities in your astrological chart and life.
The Sun Character, Inner Self
The Sun is the heart and the ruler of our entire galaxy. It is the ultimate source of all energy, health and vitality. The Sun is also the most diurnal planet, it can only show its genuine makeup and it has the most masculine energy in the chart. It is entirely expressive and outgoing and expresses itself in a focused, directed manner. The Sun represents how you express yourself and delineates your unique identity, your self-esteem, and your natural urge for recognition, your self-admiration and the facets you consciously express. When your Sun is vigorous and cherished, you are full of energy. When you stop feeding your Sun, you become weak, apathetic, and unhappy. The Sun in your chart represents the hero, and the star you are trying to become. It also indicates your capacity to be forceful, to assume leadership and to be proud of yourself. The Sun energizes your entire chart, and planets in close relationship to the Sun (by planetary aspects) are emphasized in your personality. The Sun is the core of who you are, your consciousness, and your integrity.
Negative qualities: Self-centered, narcissistic, and arrogant.
Orbital Cycle: One Year (365 days)
The Sun rules: Leo
The Moon Emotions, Response
The Moon is the second most significant planet in the chart. While the Sun corresponds to the seed; the Moon represents the soil that seed is planted in. The Moon represents the most feminine energy in the chart and represents the power of waiting, receiving, encompassing and responding. The Moon is also the most nocturnal planet, is all appearance, and is constantly changing in nature, from new Moon to full Moon and back. The Moon portrays your unconscious, receptive, emotional side. It displays your particular temperament and how you react without thinking. It represents your feelings and your emotional responses based on past experiences that are often spontaneous, and inherited. It also represents your memories, prior experiences, your inner wants, doubts and expectations. The Moon also represents the mother, the wife and the public. The Moon in the chart can reveal a lot about the kind of parenting you had, as it is very much associated with the mother and with maternal instincts. It also indicates the area of life where you tend to be the most emotional, and where you often experience changing conditions. The Moon also shows how comfortable you feel about your physical body. It is the custodian of all your needs and points out where and how you want to be nurtured and cherished. Like the Sun, the Moon highlights the house of the horoscope in which it is located. The relationship between the Sun and the Moon in the chart shows the relationship between our conscious, rational, logical nature, and our unconscious, emotional and spiritual nature.
Negative qualities: Changeable, unstable, weak.
Orbital Cycle: Approximately 27.33 days
The Moon rules: Cancer
Mercury Intellect and Communication
The mythological Mercury was the messenger of the gods; he was forever flying here and there. He was a messenger of trade, profit, and commerce. Mercury is equally diurnal and nocturnal and represents the balance between masculine and feminine energy. Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun and is the second fastest moving planet in the solar system; therefore Mercury functions as a messenger of the other planets. Mercury rules the conscious side of the mind; it is the planet of intelligence and communication. Mercury rules your unique expression, logic, and your mental faculties. Mercury is your ability to perceive, to reason, and to make sense of the world. Mercury not only shows how you communicate with others, but it also shows the way you communicate with yourself, as you must first learn how to make sense of your perceptions. Mercury represents the mind and intellect, and reveals a great deal about your intelligence, language, speech, writing and all forms of communication. Mercury receives input from your conscious and unconscious mind, and combines these perspectives into a consolidated understanding. Mercury in the chart will show your desire to communicate, as well as your chosen manners of communication and learning.
Negative qualities: Inconsistent, unstable, and argumentative.
Orbital Cycle: 88 days
Mercury rules: Gemini and Virgo
Venus Love, Harmony
Venus was the mythological Roman goddess of love and beauty, and Venus governs these forces of attraction. Venus is the planet of romantic love and reveals much about your desire and need to find balance and harmony. Venus shows the things that you value in life, whether they are emotional, physical, material, or spiritual things. Venus is moderately nocturnal; it is more appearance-oriented than showing forth. Venus in the chart indicates what you worship in life and your personal tastes and values and your sense of appreciation. If you are in a relationship, Venus shows how you express love and affection, and also how you want to receive it from others, and therefore, accomplish a harmonious relationship, mostly in love and marriage. Venus also covers the non-sexual attraction among people, and rules anything of a social nature, arts, beautiful things, and friendship. In a man’s chart, Venus may represent an important woman or the type of woman who attracts him. In a woman’s chart, Venus may show the elements that she uses to magnetize lovers. Like the Moon, Venus is a feminine planet, but Venus is more sensual and more captivated to the pleasures life has to offer. Venus is the planet we use to reconnect with the universe, to rediscover our relationship to all creation.
Negative qualities: Lazy, greedy, dependent.
Orbital Cycle: 225 days
Venus rules: Taurus and Libra
Mars Energy and Action
Mars is the planet of action; it shows your capacity to turn ideas into action. Mars is also the planet of outward activity and animal passion including your sexual drive, aggression, and anger. It describes how you typically go about earning the things you want, it represents the urge to get, to take by force, if necessary. Mars is totally opposite to Venus; it is a masculine planet and it was the mythological Roman god of war. Mars represents your aggressive nature; it symbolizes virility, violence, courage and fearlessness. Mars also rules your energy levels, your libido, and your urge to be first. Mars can also show the part of life where friction can be expected and how you guard yourself from menace. When Mars communicates firmly and emphatically, it can make it possible for you to achieve your goals, and to express and assert your individuality. Mars in a woman’s chart can represent her lovers and the type of man who physically attracts her. When Mars is strong in the chart it can indicate a volatile temper, and also great courage.
Negative qualities: Cruel, selfish and destructive.
Orbital Cycle: 688 days
Mars rules: Aries
Jupiter Abundance, Excess
Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system and represents your desire for growth and expansion, success, and freedom. Jupiter is the first of the commonly named “social planets”. Jupiter is the planet of faith, positivism, hope, and morality. Along with Saturn, Jupiter has a very strong influence on how you relate to society as an individual. Jupiter is about linking to something bigger than the self; faith and spirituality. Jupiter is also the planet that relates to our experience of religion. Jupiter is the planet of generosity, enthusiasm, compassion and blessings. Jupiter is a very diurnal planet and emanates warmth, generosity, and love, much like the Sun does. Jupiter at his best is about breaking out of your limitations and seeking new areas of knowledge. Jupiter loves traveling and exploration of all kinds. When Jupiter is expressed positively in the chart, the individual is generous, outgoing, fun and enthusiastic. Jupiter represents public persons who offer support and protection, as well as lawyers and politicians. The main disadvantage of Jupiter can be a huge invitation to change abundance to excess.
Negative qualities: Over optimistic, wasteful.
Orbital Cycle: 12 years
Jupiter rules: Sagittarius
Saturn Structure, Limitation
Saturn is the second social planet and has one of the worst reputations in astrology. The ancient astrologers called Saturn the “Greater Malefic”, indicating adversity and everything miserable in life. Where Jupiter has desires for expansion and growth, Saturn is about structure, restrictions, responsibility, and boundaries. Saturn is absolutely fair; you get exactly what you deserve. Saturn rules time, and this of course is one of the biggest limiters we humans have. Saturn rules old age as well; he represents older men, wise men, scientists and knowledgeable persons. Saturn lessons are some of the hardest to learn and the longest to master. Saturn is about growing up and taking responsibility for your actions. Saturn helps to delineate the areas in which you most need structure and organization, and is the planet that teaches through experience, challenges, problems and situations with frustrations and responsibilities along the way. When Saturn is a dominant planet, the person is kind of introverted, discreet, observant, and ambitious. The sign of Saturn also gives clues to the kind of work for which a person is fitted and the kind of career he or she is prone to pursue.
Negative qualities: dogmatic, strict, miserable.
Orbital Cycle: 29 1/2 years
Saturn rules: Capricorn
Uranus Change and Individuality
Uranus is the first of the outer planets. The outer planets usually affect groups rather than individuals, because they move so slowly through the zodiac. Uranus is frequently related with genius, inventors and agents of change. Uranus rules the Internet, magnetism, technology, electricity, and it is the planet of Astrology. Uranus is capable of creating original and innovative changes, and it has a strong urge for change and these changes are usually abrupt and unanticipated. Uranus represents the unexpected and disruptive; it shows the unusual and the new. Uranus lessons teach you to become aware of your attachments in life, as it point out the areas where you need to learn to let go, to be flexible and open to change. If you are not afraid to change, Uranus can be and energizing and refreshing experience as it comes with an unexpected chance at freedom and liberation. Individuals with a strong Uranus in their charts, have a strong desire for freedom and individuality, an urge to follow their own path and not to conform to the standards of society. Uranus also affects your choice of friends and the groups with which you are involved.
Negative qualities: eccentric, rebellious and obstinate
Orbital Cycle: 84 years
Uranus rules: Aquarius
Neptune Dreams and Idealism
Neptune is the second of the outer planets. The planet is named after the Greek God of the Sea, Poseidon. Neptune represents the unlimited and unimaginable possibilities of the universe. Neptune rules spirituality and everything that is foggy, intangible, and mysterious. Neptune is associated with universal love and considered in astrology the higher octave of Venus, which rules individual love. Neptune has the urge to dissolve all structures and boundaries and reveals the ultimate truth that reality is an illusion and shows that anything is possible. For the most part, people experience aspects of Neptune in the form of glamor, illusion, fantasy, and escapism. Neptune is related with both mystical and spiritual experiences and with psychic abilities. Neptune is also highly compassionate, idealistic, and imaginative. On a social level, Neptune represents the desires and hopes that people value; the collective dream, and works on an unconscious level to bring into reality. In a person’s chart, it shows the areas where there may be confusion or illusion, and also great creativity in the artistic fields like musicians, dancers, filmmakers, as well as a dedication to spirituality and religious pursuits. Neptune negative influences can make you feel as if you are falling apart and out of control. The negative manifestations of Neptune are deception, trickery, and addiction associated with drugs and alcohol.
Negative qualities: deceptive, manipulative, escapist.
Orbital Cycle: 165 years
Neptune rules: Pisces
Pluto Transformation and Regeneration.
Pluto is the last of the outer planets in our solar system. It is also the slowest moving planet. Pluto is related with transformation and regeneration, with a powerful force and with inexorable change. Pluto is an unstoppable force; we can do nothing to avoid it. Pluto rules obstruction, decay, and the process of death and rebirth. In your chart, Pluto shows the areas of your life where you will have to surrender control, to let go of your need to attach to your illusions, and to allow yourself to be entirely transformed. If you have personal planets in close contact with Pluto, you can become an agent of change and transformation and you will be drawn to positions where you can influence others. Pluto stays in each zodiacal 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
Negative qualities: controlling, destructive, possessive.
Orbital Cycle: 248 years
Pluto rules: Scorpio