An Introduction into the Astrological Planets
and Other Heavenly Bodies, Part Two
The Planets on the Horoscope
On the horoscope, the heavenly bodies—the planets, sun, and moon—appear on the ring inside the zodiac ring, represented by symbols:
The Sun (Apollo)
In the Roman and Greek mythology Apollo was revered to as the deity of Sun and light.
The Sun is a decidedly male heavenly body. It is the ruler of our universe and the source of all life and consciousness on Earth—our father. Life is consciousness! Because it is the center of our universe, it is associated with the center of our conscious selves—our self awareness, ego, personality, identity, and spirit. This is a most creative, powerful, and energetic heavenly body, giving us our life force, health, and vitality, our strength, willpower, and determination.
The male quality of the Sun is associated with authority figures, leadership, husbands, and fatherhood. The creative power of the Sun is associated with all creative endeavors, including the arts, procreation, and even commercial enterprises. In the horoscope the Sun lends its energy to the other planets.
The Sun rules Leo and the 5th House (Children & Creativity). In medicine it rules the heart and circulatory system.
The Moon is the feminine counterpart of the Sun: our mother, giver of life, and the queen of the universe. The Moon nourishes us both physically and spiritually. It is associated with our emotions and unconscious—and hence with creativity and imagination—as well as our maternal instinct, childhood, the home, and our need for safety.
The Moon rules Cancer and the 4th House (Home & the Unconscious). In medicine it rules the female body parts and also the digestive system and bladder.
Planets in Space
Here is how the planets are situated around the Sun. Pluto would be further out then Neptune…
In Roman mythology Mercury, the god of commerce, travel, and thieves, carried messages among the gods, and thus Mercury is strongly associated with everything involving communication—speaking writing, the media, even our internal communication. Mercury rules all things related to the mind and our internal life: rational thinking, intellect, intelligence, curiosity, learning, and memory.
Mercury with his winged feet moved swiftly among the gods, and the planet Mercury is the fastest moving planet in the Solar System. Therefore Mercury is associated with movement, transportation, and journeys, and by extension, our personal and spiritual progress.
Mercury rules Gemini and Virgo and the 3rd House (Communication & Excursions). In the body Mercury rules the nervous system, lungs, shoulders, arms, and hands.
Venus is the Roman goddess of love and beauty. It is the brightest planet, after the Moon, in the night sky. This is a most sensuous planet, associated with all of our feelings, passion, romance, sex, and marriage. In relation to beauty Venus is associated with harmony, balance, and all the arts.
Venus rules Taurus and Libra, the 2nd House (Finances & Property) and 7th House (Partnership & Relating to Others). In the body Venus rules the throat, kidneys, lower back, and veins.
Mars is the Roman god of war— the actual red color of the planet represents the bloodshed of war. This is an aggressive masculine planet indeed, a true warrior in all matters involving the life force, will, and courage.
The personality of Mars is highly energetic, strong, sexual, and confident—qualities that are especially associated with aggressive sports and other competitive activities. In all life areas Mars is the initiator and conqueror who goes about achieving his goals with single-minded determination.
In the old astrology before Pluto was assigned to the 8th House, Mars ruled Aries and the 1st House (Personality & Self-Expression) and 8th House (Death and Regeneration). In the body Mars rules the genitals, adrenal glands, gallbladder, and muscles.
Jupiter (Greek: Zeus) is the Roman king of the gods, ruling over the heavens and Earth. With its immense size Jupiter is also a king among the planets. Being very far from the Earth, Jupiter is associated with long-distance travel and our longing to explore distant horizons both physically and spiritually—and by extension, our need to grow and live a larger life, to move beyond limitations, and to expand in all ways, including in our thinking, our connection to God, and even our finances. Jupiter also represents our value system and beliefs, ethics, and morality. That orientation is connected to religion, philosophy, the search for meaning, and order in how we conduct our lives.
Jupiter rules Sagittarius and the 9th House (the Higher Mind & the Search for Meaning) and secondary the12th House (the Personal Connection with the Divine & the Invisible Realms) before Neptune was assigned to it. In the body Jupiter rules the liver and fat.
Saturn was the mythological father of Zeus (the king of the gods) and the Roman god of agriculture. Because agriculture led to the foundation of human society, Saturn is associated with social order. Saturn is a father figure, but not necessarily a benevolent one—he is associated with restrictions, limitations, and fear. But those qualities have their purpose, as they call us to examine those self-imposed limitations within ourselves and free ourselves from them.
This is a highly practical, unemotional planet, associated with concrete reality, material things, rules and laws, and authority. Saturn is not a creative influence; rather it reminds us of our duty to act responsibly to maintain the established social order, and to develop self-discipline for order in our life and to persist during times of hardship. Those qualities, in turn, are associated with ambition and careers.
Saturn rules Capricorn and the 10th House (Public Image, Career, & Destiny) and secondary Aquarius and the 11th House (Friends & Vision) before Uranus was assigned to it. In the body Saturn rules the bones, skin, and spleen.
While order and balance are important in the world, the other side of that coin—change and evolution into greater love, freedom, and well-being for all—is just as important. Human society cannot evolve and expand unless there are individuals who challenge the established order. An odd fact about Uranus is that it boldly dares to rotate on its side, thereby breaking with convention, and indeed Uranus is highly unconventional and always ready to challenge things as they are.
Uranus is a progressive humanitarian, rebel and visionary who has no special respect for authority—he would rather exert his strong vision and will over authority in his idealistic quest for freedom, justice, creating opportunity for weaker members of society.
Uranus is the opposite of brother Saturn: where Saturn is concerned with limitations, Uranus rules our expansive, creative intelligence, calling us to inspired thought and action, and to uniqueness rather than conformity. Those qualities derive from our connection with the universal intelligence. Change is a keyword for Uranus—always change for the better, and the faster the better— toward an expanded life and the higher realms of consciousness.
The Uranus principles describe our greatest leaders and role models. “Revolutionary” is not too strong a term for Uranus. Uranus represents a very strong intellect, and intellect combined with ingenuity makes for great discoveries in the sciences and the most impressive artistic creations.
Uranus rules Aquarius and, with Saturn, the 11th House (Friends & Vision). In the body Uranus rules the nervous system, mental disorders, and pituitary gland.
Neptune is the Roman god of the sea (Greek Poseidon), reflected in the deep blue color of the planet. This is not a literal or concrete planet in its qualities. It is associated with many nonmaterial, sometimes nebulous and transcendent, principles: religion and spirituality, fantasy, imagination, creativity in art and music, idealism, compassion, love, higher states of consciousness and connectedness to the divine, mysticism, and psychic phenomena.
Individuals under the influence of Saturn may be drawn to careers and activities that afford withdrawal into the self, such as monks or nuns. Saturn at its best supports our strivings toward inspiration and insight, but its negative influence is associated with addiction, weakness, illusions, and deception.
Neptune rules Pisces and, with Jupiter, the 12th House (the Personal Connection with the Divine & the Invisible Realms). In the body Neptune rules the pineal gland, thalamus, psychological neuroses, and unresolved illnesses.
In 2006 Pluto was demoted by astronomers to the status of dwarf planet, but it remains very important in astrology.
Pluto is the Roman god of both the underworld and of wealth. The underworld is Hades, the realm of death. There are some dark aspects to Pluto, just as we all have a dark side. However, death is both inevitable and welcome, because it leads to rebirth in a never-ending cycle: Pluto is the Phoenix rising from the ashes.
Pluto calls us to understand the role of death and all endings and to use those unavoidable occurrences to renew our spirit and our life. While Pluto destroys, it also transforms and rebuilds what it touches.
Unfortunately we tend to resist the deep changes that we need most, and Pluto’s passage will likely be felt as quite uncomfortable as we are pressured to give up old identities and ways of being that no longer serve us. Pluto is not a gentle force: this planet’s presence will be felt as very strong and unyielding. It is better to learn to work with the positive aspects of the transformative process than to resist Pluto with our will—if a power struggle arises, Pluto will prevail in the end!
Pluto represents the deep unconscious, both individual and collective, and the needs and drives that are held there. It is in that deep realm that conflicts arise, pointing to our need for transformation. We must come to terms with those conflicts and accept our evolution to higher levels of consciousness and being. That process will always feel unsettling, even chaotic, but when the battle is over, you will feel deeply rejuvenated!
Pluto’s power struggle takes place both internally, as a quest for self-mastery, and in our relationships, where we must learn to share power with others. When this struggle goes wrong, despotism, massive criminality, violence, war, and ultimately the failure of an entire society may ensue. Now you can see why astrologers weren’t happy with the demotion of Pluto—this diminutive planet has great power!
Pluto rules Scorpio and, with Mars, the 8th House (Death & Regeneration). In the body Pluto is associated with regeneration and reproduction.
Chiron, discovered in 1977, is so small that it is called a “planetoid.” It is one of many small celestial bodies that have importance in astrology, and I have long valued the role and message of Chiron in the horoscope.
In Greek mythology Chiron was a centaur, with the torso of a human and the lower body of a horse. He was abandoned by his parents, and yet grew into a gifted healer. He later suffered an arrow wound that caused him great pain, leading him to give up his mortality in order to be relieved of pain through mortal death. Thus he is known as the “wounded healer,” meaning a person who is able to heal others as the result of his or her own suffering.
Chiron represents our deepest wounds, often going back to our childhood and buried deep in our unconscious, and calls us to seek our own healing. As we overcome our wounds and rise above our traumas, we learn to heal ourselves. The healing process opens our heart and fills it with compassion, giving us the power to heal others as well. As we give of ourselves to others and support their healing, we rise to a higher level of being.
By observing Chiron’s position in your horoscope you will learn which areas of your life are in need of healing before you can rise into your full human potential. Chiron often figures prominently in the horoscopes of doctors and psychologists.
In my book Jewelry and Gems for Self-Discovery: Choosing Gemstones that Delight the Eyes & Strengthen the Soul I teach you more about astrological concepts, how to read your horoscope and how to find the main themes in your chart. You will know how it all fits together into the bigger picture and you will be able to balance yourself with your 12 main healing gemstones, you could call your true birthstones. Have a look and see if you like it!
I hope you enjoyed this look into the mysterious planets and their interconnectedness with us.
Aloha and many blessings,