When the ancients looked up into the night sky, they noticed that while some stars always appeared to be in the same location, others traveled across the sky. These travelers are the planets that continually orbit around the Earth's sun. Modern astrologers see each planet as a reflection of a basic human impulse.
The Astrological Houses, Signs, and Planets
To understand the planets it may help if you consider a horoscope as a metaphorical scripted theatrical. Within this context, the planets are the actors, the astrological houses are the twelve different stages upon which the actors perform, and astrological signs are the stage settings and the actor's costuming. Of course, the Sun is the director, but the actors (planets) all have a special role to play and have specific dialogues and relationships (aspects) with the roles of the other actors (planets.)
Although the Sun and Moon are "Luminaries" and not technically planets, they are the brightest and most important objects in the heavens. Astrologer only refers to them as planets for the sake of convenience.
The Sun: I Am
The Sun is the "star" of the astrological planets. It's your "will to be," your personal center, your confidence, and your vitality. The energy of your Sun sign colors every aspect of your life. The Sun rules Leo as well as the fifth astrological house (the house of pleasure and creativity).
Moon: I Feel
The Moon is your need for comfort and security. It governs your emotions and is responsible for their ebb and flow. The Moon is the mother archetype. It's feminine in nature and has a strong influence on your moods The Moon rules Cancer and governs the fourth astrological house (the house of "home, family, heritage, and roots.)
Mercury: I Think
Astrologically, Mercury is a small, but a very busy planet. It represents your need to learn, think and communicate. Mercury sparks curiosity. Mercury rules both Gemini and Virgo and holds sway over the third house (the house of talking and communicating) and sixth house (the house of your mundane life.)
Venus: I Love
Venus is your need for harmonious relationships. It's feminine in nature and brings diplomacy to all your interactions with others. Venus encourages you to reflect on what is important in life and strive to find balance. Venus rules the signs of Taurus and Libra and governs the second house (the house of personal possessions) and seventh houses (the house of committed relationships.)
Mars: I Act
Mars, named for the Roman god of war, is the planet of survival. Mars is personal and physical. It's about sexuality and your courage. It speaks of how and for what you'd fight. Mars is the ruler of Aries, co-ruler of Scorpio and governs the first house (the house of self) as well as the eighth house ( the house of sexuality, death, and rebirth.)
Jupiter: I Grow
Jupiter is the planet that encourages us to expand our horizons! It brings a sense of optimism and increases our chance of good fortune. Jupiter rules the sign of Sagittarius, is co-ruler of Pisces. and governs the ninth house (the house of philosophy and travel) and twelfth house (the house of the house of mysticism and mastery.)
Saturn: I Achieve
Saturn provides you with a sense of structure and limitations. It's your sense of restriction, commitment, prestige, maturity, discipline, and order. Where jolly Jupiter urges you to "go for it", Saturn cautions you to act more conservatively. Saturn is your reality check. Saturn rules the sign of Capricorn, is the co-ruler of Aquarius, and governs the tenth house (the house of how you are seen by the greater world) and eleventh house (the house of friends, hopes, and wishes.)
Uranus: I Evolve
Uranus is the planet of social reform. It is associated with genius, individuality, unconventional ideas. Uranus encourages you to look at and do thing things in a unique and radical manner. Uranus shares rulership of Aquarius and, along with Saturn, governs the eleventh house.
Neptune: I Dream
Planet Neptune represents everything that that is subtle, intangible, and ethereal. It encourages you to connect with the "oneness of all" and inspires kindness and compassion. Neptune shares rulership of Pisces and the twelfth house (the house of the house of mysticism and mastery.)
Pluto: I Empower
Pluto represents your power to endure crises. It's the human ability to transform and rise, like a phoenix, out of the ashes. Pluto shares Scorpio and the eight house (the house of sexuality, death, and rebirth) with Mars.
The Astrological Planets
The astrological planets are a very important part of astrology. Astrology is, at its core, about observing the planets, their movements and their relationship to each other. Every planet listed above represents a different type of energy. In psychological terms, you could say they are your "needs" or "drives."