An Introduction into the Astrological Planets and Other Heavenly Bodies, Part One
Seen from the Earth the planets may appear tiny and insignificant. And yet humans have always been fascinated by these bodies that appear as points of light in the night sky, and wondered about their movement through the heavens. The ancient Greeks noticed that some lights in the sky stayed in the same place in relation to each other—those are the stars in the constellations—while others moved around the sky in the course of the year. The Greeks called these moving lights asteres planetes, or “wandering stars.”
A planet is a celestial body that orbits a star and is large enough to have its own gravity. It was only in the 17th century that Galileo determined that Earth is part of a system of planets that revolve around our Sun. Ours is not the only solar system—at least 70 systems of planets revolving around stars have been discovered just in our own galaxy. Scientists believe there are more than 100 billion galaxies in the universe!
As currently defined by scientists, there are eight planets in our solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Ceres and Pluto, which are important in astrology, are considered dwarf planets. There are other small heavenly bodies, such as Chiron, that have an important role in astrology.
Everything Is Part of the Universal Energy Field
The most remote true planet in our solar system is Neptune, which is 2.68 billion miles from Earth. Only Pluto is further out. How can something that is so far away have an effect on life here on Earth? It is because all things in the universe are part of one and the same energy field. Events in one part of the universe radiate outward and eventually their energy reaches the far corners of the universe. Nothing is independent of this web of energy. Again and again in astrology you will be reminded of the interrelation among all things in the universe. Everything in the universe—including human beings—consists of energy, and energy fields interact with one another.
"As Above, So Below"
Astrology also teaches that events, patterns, and relationships are repeated throughout the universe, from the macrocosm to the microcosm. It is easy to see the similarity between electrons swirling around the nucleus of an atom, and planets revolving around the sun. Both are energy systems held together by attractions among the elements of the system.
This relation between the macrocosm and the microcosm is expressed as “As above, so below.” In modern astrology the movements of the planets and the relations among them are used as analogies to understand life on Earth.
The Planets in Antiquity
The planets played an important role in early mythology and religion and were thought to be divine beings. The names of the planets (except for Earth, which was not understood as a planet by the ancients) come from Greek and Roman mythology. The Greeks, Romans, and later cultures associated each planet with a specific god. For example, the planet Venus is associated with the Roman goddess Venus, corresponding to the Greek goddess Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. That ancient association with the deities heavily influences the interpretation of the planet Venus in modern astrology.
The Planets in Modern Astrology
Astrology is derived from ancient knowledge and beliefs, but it has evolved over time as our understanding of the universe and of life has evolved. The modern understanding of the influence of the planets relates to how we conceptualize the human psyche, as consisting of basic drives and impulses. Those aspects of the psyche or personality are influenced by the characteristics of each planet and also by the movement of the planets through the 12 signs and houses (spheres of life) during the astrological year. The planets relate to each other as part of the same great energy system (the solar system). As they change their position, the angles they form in relation to each other change. Those angles are called aspects. The aspect between two planets changes how each body’s energy is manifested.
The Celestial Drama
It should come as no surprise that some people’s lives—perhaps your own?—are full of drama. Photos taken by the Hubble telescope reveal that the cosmos is full of drama—whirling galaxies racing through space at thousands of miles an hour and sometimes even colliding, exploding stars, planets racing around their stars. And yet the reverse is also true: there is tremendous order and beauty in the universe. Remember: “As above, so below.” There is a relation between the cosmic drama and beauty, and the drama and beauty of our lives.
It can help you understand astrology to conceive of the events within our own Solar System as a dramatic play with a stage, actors, and a story. The planets are the main characters in this drama. Their stage is constantly turning, so that from where you are seated in the audience, each month you see one play ending and another beginning as the year moves through the twelve signs of the zodiac. The same actors—the planets—are present on each of the twelve stages, but their role changes with each new play, or sign. So, for example, the Moon in Aries will have a different impact than the Moon in Capricorn. And the Moon at the beginning of Aries will be different from the Moon at the end of Aries.
Each planet has its own unique characteristics, like a personality. Taken together, the planets span the whole gamut of personality, both the light and dark sides, conscious and unconscious, from the lower self to the higher self. By learning about the personality aspects of the planets you can use astrology to understand the forces at work in your own personality and to direct your life energy. So there is a way to manage all that drama!
In my book Jewelry and Gems for Self-Discovery: Choosing Gemstones that Delight the Eyes & Strengthen the Soul I teach you about how to read your horoscope and how to find the main themes in your chart. Then you will be able to balance yourself with your 12 main healing gemstones, you could call your true birthstones.
You can also visit me at the Astrological Signs Weather Report & Healing Gems Blog where I discuss the actual universal, astrological forces and inspire you to use them wisely for a successful and joyful life. Healing gemstones are suggested as tools to balance and come into alignment with the cosmic flow and can be used to create custom designed soul jewelry.
I hope you enjoyed this look into the mysterious planets and their interconnectedness with us.
Aloha and many blessings,