Come learn how the astrological planets exert their influence over our lives.
Defining the Astrological Planets
When the early astrologers peered into the sky thousands of years ago, they noticed that some objects in the heavens always seemed to appear in the same location, while others appeared to travel across the sky in a regular pattern. The fixed objects turned out to be the stars, and the moving objects became known as the planets.
Ancient astrologers tended to describe the influences felt from these planets as "the will of the gods", reflected by each planet's name. However, in modern terms, each planet's influence is thought of as a reflection of basic human impulses. Just as these impulses are expressed through the qualities of the various zodiac signs and astrological houses, so too are they expressed through the qualities and characteristics of each of the astrological planets.
Astrological planets can affect us individually, but they also form specific angles when looked at in relationship to each other. This is often referred to as "aspects". Aspects allow each of the planets involved to contribute their unique properties in concert at a given time.
Now that we've defined the role of the planets in the larger astrological sense, let's examine each planet individually. Of special note, although the Sun and Moon technically aren't planets, our forbearers still recognized them as exerting a powerful influence on our world, and so we still treat them as planets in astrology today. Earth is specifically left off the list because its influence is already assumed, and it wasn't one of the astral objects viewed from the sky.
The Sun really is the giant "star" of the astrological planets. It influences our basic character and our ability to grow. Our personal will power and ego, as well as our confidence and leadership abilities are all wrapped up in the Sun. Our very vitality depends on it; it is the outer expression of ourselves.
The Sun rules Leo, as well as the fifth astrological house of pleasure and creativity.
The moon governs our subconscious as well as our emotions. It's responsible for the ebb and flow in our world, and in our lives. The Moon is feminine in nature, and has a strong influence on our feelings and aspirations.The Moon rules Cancer, and governs the fourth astrological house as its "home" base.
Astrologically speaking, Mercury is a small, but very busy planet. It governs communications and thoughts, and even sparks our curiosity and desire for education.
Gentle, loving Venus brings diplomacy and harmony to all situations, especially those that involve romance! This planet encourages us to reflect on what is important in our lives and strive to find balance.
Named for the Roman god of war, Mars is an extremely energetic planet, adding extra gusto to everything we do as it travels through our astrological sign. It influences our courage and sense of adventure, and helps us get more done. However, fiery Mars also tends to encourage impulsive behavior, not always to our benefit.
Jupiter is the planet that encourages us to expand our horizons! It brings a sense of optimism and increases our chance of good fortune. Beware though, when Jupiter's influences is strongest it can also lead us to excess and overly confident behavior.
Just as its rings set its own boundaries, Saturn provides us with a sense of structure and limitations. Where jolly Jupiter would urge us to "go for it", Saturn cautions us to act more conservatively and reign ourselves back in. This planet serves us a dose of reality.
Uranus is the planet of truth, justice and social reform. It encourages us to look at things in a new way. However, even though this planet brings enlightenment, it doesn't always do it in a peaceful manner. Upheaval is often the companion of reform.
Uranus shares rulership of Aquarius and the eleventh house of friendship with Saturn.
Planet Neptune is the representative of humanity. It encourages us to be concerned for the world at large, and inspires kindness and compassion. That said, Neptune is also the planet of illusions, or delusions if you will. It can lead us into a false sense of reality at times.
Neptune shares rulership of Pisces and the twelfth house of subconscious with Mars.
Although Pluto has been officially relegated to a dwarf planet, it still holds the same meaning in astrology as it always did. Pluto encourages change, whether it brings it about by creation or destruction. However, this planet always restores what it destroys, rather like the Phoenix rising from its own ashes.
Pluto shares Scorpio and the eight house of transformation with Mars.
The astrological planets are just one part of the entire concept of astrology. Although you can learn a lot from them individually, they reveal the most when you look at them in relationship to the signs, houses and other aspects of the complete astrological picture. Have fun exploring!