Planets in astrology

Planets in astrology have a meaning different from the modern astronomical understanding of what a planet is. Before the age of telescopes, the night sky was thought to consist of two very similar components: fixed stars, which remained motionless in relation to each other, and "wandering stars" (Ancient Greek: ἀστέρες πλανῆται asteres planetai), which moved relative to the fixed stars over the course of the year.

To the Greeks and the other earliest astronomers, this group comprised the five planets visible to the naked eye, and excluded the Earth. Although strictly the term "planet" applied only to those five objects, the term was latterly broadened, particularly in the Middle Ages, to include the Sun and the Moon (sometimes referred to as "Lights"[1]), making a total of seven planets. Astrologers retain this definition today.

To ancient astrologers, the planets represented the will of the gods and their direct influence upon human affairs. To modern astrologers the planets represent basic drives or urges in the unconscious,[2] or energy flow regulators representing dimensions of experience.[3] They express themselves with different qualities in the twelve signs of the zodiac and in the twelve houses. The planets are also related to each other in the form of aspects.

Modern astrologers differ on the source of the planets' influence. Hone writes that the planets exert it directly through gravitation or another, unknown influence.[4] Others hold that the planets have no direct influence in themselves, but are mirrors of basic organizing principles in the universe. In other words, the basic patterns of the universe repeat themselves everywhere, in fractal-like fashion, and "as above, so below".[5] Therefore, the patterns that the planets make in the sky reflect the ebb and flow of basic human impulses. The planets are also associated, especially in the Chinese tradition, with the basic forces of nature.

Listed below are the specific meanings and domains associated with the astrological planets since ancient times, with the main focus on the Western astrological tradition. The planets in Hindu astrology are known as the Navagraha or "nine realms". In Chinese astrology, the planets are associated with the life forces of yin and yang and the five elements, which play an important role in the Chinese form of geomancy known as Feng Shui. Astrologers differ on the signs associated with each planet's exaltation.

Planetary symbolism

Main article: Astrological symbol

This table shows the astrological planets (as distinct from the astronomical) and the Greek and Roman deities associated with them. In most cases, the English name for planets derives from the name of a Roman god or goddess. Also of interest is the conflation of the Roman god with a similar Greek god. In some cases, it is the same deity with two different names.

Planet Symbol Roman deity Greek God Hindu God Connection Meaning (European) Meaning (Vedic)
Sun Sol
Ἥλιος (Helios)
Ἀπόλλων (Apollo)
सूर्य (Surya) ancient Solar incarnation
God of Prophecy; Helios means "sun."
The Sun God
Son of Aditi and Kashyap; Surya means "the supreme light."
Moon Luna
Σελήνη (Selene)
Ἄρτεμις (Artemis)
चंद्र (Chandra) ancient Lunar incarnation
Goddess of Hunt; Selene means "moon."
The Moon God
Associated with impatience of human nature.
; Chandra means "shining."
Mercury Mercury ʽἙρμῆς (Hermes) बुध (Budha) ancient Messenger god A planet god known for his preserving and protecting nature to mankind and malehood"[6]
Venus Venus Ἀφροδίτη (Aphrodite) शुक्र (Shukra) ancient Goddess of romance; Venus means "love" or "sexual desire."[7] The mentor of Asuras.
Associated with fertility and enthusiasm.
Always helped demons in the war against gods; Shukra means "clear, pure, brightness, or clearness."
Mars Mars Ἀρης (Ares) मंगल (Mangala) ancient God of War Son of Earth.
This planet is associated with unluckiness of brides.
Also associated with strength.
Ceres Ceres Δημήτηρ (Demeter) देवी (Shakti) modern Goddess of the seasons; Demeter means "Earth Mother."[8][9] The Great Divine Mother in Hinduism; Shakti means "power, strength, might, energy, or capacity."
Jupiter Jupiter Ζεύς (Zeus) गुरू, बृहस्पती (Guru, Brihaspati) ancient Leader of the Olympian Gods; Jupiter means "Sky Father". Mentor/Guru /teacher of gods.
Always helped gods in war against demons. Guru means "teacher" or "priest." Brihaspati means "lord of prayer or devotion."[10]
Saturn Saturn Κρόνος (Cronus) शनि (Shani) ancient God of Agriculture

Leader/Ruler of the Titans; Saturn means "Father Time".

God of "Duty". Punishes the person who does not do his/her duty properly.
Saturn (Shani). The planet is associated with ambition, authority, commanding status, discipline, patience, honor, toughness, but also with pessimism, hardships, and fatalism.
Uranus Caelus Ουρανός (Uranos) Indra(Vasava,


modern Incarnation of the Sky; "Uranus" and "Caelus" both mean "sky." A mythological snake king in Indian Puranas. Vasuki means "of divine being."[11]
Neptune Neptune Ποσειδῶν (Poseidon) वरुण (Varuna) modern God of the Sea God of rain in Indian mythology; Varuna means "God of the sea."[12]
Pluto Pluto Πλούτων (Pluton)/Ἅδης (Hades) Lord Kubera modern God of the Underworld and Death; Hades means "the unseen" and Pluto means "wealth." God of Death.

Daily motion

Planet Average speed
Highest speed
Lowest speed
Sun 00°59'08" 01°03'00" 00°57'10"
Moon 13°10'35" 16°30'00" 11°45'36"
Mercury 01°23'00" 02°25'00" −01°30'00"
Venus 01°12'00" 01°22'00" −00°41'12"
Mars 00°31'27" 00°52'00" −00°26'12"
Ceres 00°12'40" 00°30'00" −00°16'00"
Jupiter 00°04'59" 00°15'40" −00°08'50"
Saturn 00°02'01" 00°08'48" −00°05'30"
Uranus 00°00'42" 00°04'00" −00°02'40"
Neptune 00°00'24" 00°02'25" −00°01'45"
Pluto 00°00'15" 00°02'30" −00°01'48"
Pallas 00°12'20" 00°40'30" −00°22'30"
Juno 00°14'15" 00°39'00" −00°18'00"
Vesta 00°16'15" 00°36'00" −00°17'32"
Chiron 00°02'00" 00°10'00" −00°06'00"


The geocentric Ptolemaic system of the universe depicted by Andreas Cellarius, 1660–61

Treatises on the Ptolemaic planets and their influence on people born "under their reign" appear in block book form, so-called "planet books" or Planetebücher, from about 1460 in southern Germany, and remain popular throughout the German Renaissance, exerting great iconographical influence far into the 17th century. A notable early example is the Hausbuch of Wolfegg of c. 1470. Even earlier, Hans Talhoffer, in a 1459 manuscript, includes a treatise on planets and planet-children.

These books usually list a male and a female Titan with each planet, Cronus and Rhea with Saturn, Eurymedon and Themis with Jupiter, Hyperion and Theia with Sun, Atlas and Phoebe with Moon, Coeus and Metis with Mercury, and Oceanus and Tethys with Venus.[15]

The qualities inherited from the planets by their children are as follows:

Classical planets

The seven classical planets are those easily seen with the naked eye, and were thus known to ancient astrologers. They are the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Sometimes, the Sun and Moon were referred to as "the lights" or the "luminaries". Vesta and Uranus can also just be seen with the naked eye, though no ancient culture appears to have taken note of them. The astrological descriptions attached to the seven classical planets have been preserved since ancient times. Astrologers call the seven classical planets "the seven personal and social planets", because they are said to represent the basic human drives of every individual. The personal planets are the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars. The social or transpersonal planets are Jupiter and Saturn. Jupiter and Saturn are often called the first of the "transpersonal" or "transcendent" planets as they represent a transition from the inner personal planets to the outer modern, impersonal planets. The outer modern planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are often called the collective or transcendental planets.[17] The following is a list of the planets and their associated characteristics.[18]


"Sun sign" redirects here. For the such restricted astrology, see Sun sign astrology.
Helios on a relief from Ilion, early 4th-century BC

The Sun () is the ruling planet of Leo and is exalted in Aries. In Greek mythology, the Sun was represented by the Titans Hyperion and Helios (Roman Sol, and later by Apollo, the god of light). The Sun is the star at the center of our solar system, around which the Earth and other planets revolve and provides us with heat and light. The arc that the Sun travels in every year, rising and setting in a slightly different place each day, is therefore in reality a reflection of the Earth's own orbit around the Sun. This arc is larger the farther north or south from the equator latitude, giving a more extreme difference between day and night and between seasons during the year. The Sun travels through the twelve signs of the zodiac on its annual journey, spending about a month in each. The Sun's position on a person's birthday therefore determines what is usually called his or her "sun" sign. However, the sun sign allotment varies between Western (sign change around 22-23 of every month) and Hindu astrology (sign change around 14-15 of every month) due the different systems of planetary calculations, following the tropical and sidereal definitions respectively.

The Sun, the star at the center of the Solar System

Astrologically speaking, the Sun is usually thought to represent the conscious ego, the self and its expression, personal power, pride and authority, leadership qualities and the principles of creativity, spontaneity, health and vitality, the sum of which is named the "life force". One of the first recorded references to Sun worship is from the Mesopotamian Religion and described in the Epic of Gilgamesh. The 1st-century poet Marcus Manilius in his epic, 8000-verse poem, Astronomica, described the Sun, or Sol, as benign and favorable. In medicine, the Sun is associated with the heart, circulatory system,[19] and the thymus. In Ayurveda, it rules over life-force (praan-shakti), governs bile temperament (pitta), stomach, bones and eyes. In modern astrology, the Sun is the primary native ruler of the fifth house.

The Sun is associated with Sunday. Dante Alighieri associated the Sun with the liberal art of music. In Chinese astrology, the Sun represents Yang, the active, assertive masculine life principle.


Luna or Diana, wearing a crescent-moon crown and driving her ox-drawn chariot (biga), on the Parabiago plate (2nd–5th centuries AD)

The Moon () is the ruling planet of Cancer and is exalted in Taurus. In Roman mythology, the Moon was Luna, at times identified with Diana. The Moon is large enough for its gravity to affect the Earth, stabilizing its orbit and producing the regular ebb and flow of the tides. The lunar day syncs up with its orbit around Earth in such a manner that the same side of the Moon always faces the Earth and the other side, known as the "far side of the Moon" faces towards space.

Full Moon

Astrologically speaking, the Moon is associated with a person's emotional make-up, unconscious habits, rhythms, memories, moods and their ability to react and adapt to those around them. It is also associated with the mother, maternal instincts or the urge to nurture, the home, the need for security and the past, especially early experiences and childhood. The 1st-century poet Manilius described the Moon, or Luna, as melancholic. In medicine, the Moon is associated with the digestive system, stomach, breasts, the ovaries and menstruation (which does occur on a monthly cycle)[20] and the pancreas. Despite Manilius's assignation, the Moon is commonly associated with the phlegmatic humor; it ruled the animal spirits. In modern astrology, the Moon is the primary native ruler of the fourth house.

The Moon or Luna is associated with Monday, the word Monday comes from the Old English word for Moon day or Moon's day, and in Romance languages, the name for Monday comes from luna (e.g., luni in Romanian, lundi in French, lunes in Spanish and lunedi in Italian). Dante Alighieri associated the Moon with the liberal art of grammar.

In Chinese astrology, the Moon represents Yin, the passive and receptive feminine life principle. In Indian astrology, the Moon is called Chandra or Soma and represents the mind, queenship and mother. The north lunar node (called Rahu) and the south lunar node (called Ketu) are considered to be of particular importance and are given an equal place alongside the seven classical planets as part of the nine navagraha.


Flying Mercury (late 16th-century) by Giambologna

Mercury () is the ruling planet of Gemini and Virgo and is exalted in Virgo or Aquarius. In Roman mythology, Mercury is the messenger of the gods, noted for his speed and swiftness. Echoing this, the scorching, airless world Mercury circles the Sun on the fastest orbit of any planet. Mercury takes only 88 days to orbit the Sun, spending about 7.33 days in each sign of the zodiac. Mercury is so close to the Sun that only a brief period exists after the Sun has set where it can be seen with the naked eye, before following the Sun beyond the horizon.[21]

Astrologically speaking, Mercury represents the principles of communication, mentality, thinking patterns, rationality and reasoning, and adaptability and variability. Mercury governs schooling and education, the immediate environment of neighbors, siblings and cousins, transport over short distances, messages and forms of communication such as post, email and telephone, newspapers, journalism and writing, information gathering skills and physical dexterity. The 1st-century poet Marcus Manilius described Mercury as an inconstant, vivacious and curious planet.

The planet Mercury

In medicine, Mercury is associated with the nervous system, the brain, the respiratory system, the thyroid and the sense organs. It is traditionally held to be essentially cold and dry, according to its placement in the zodiac and in any aspects to other planets.

In modern astrology, Mercury is regarded as the ruler of the third and sixth houses; traditionally, it had the joy in the first house. Mercury is the messenger of the gods in mythology. It is the planet of day-to-day expression and relationships. Mercury's action is to take things apart and put them back together again. It is an opportunistic planet, decidedly unemotional and curious.

Mercury rules over Wednesday. In Romance languages, the word for Wednesday is often similar to Mercury (miercuri in Romanian, mercredi in French, miercoles in Spanish and mercoledì in Italian). Dante Alighieri associated Mercury with the liberal art of dialectic.

In Chinese astrology, Mercury represents Water, the fourth element, therefore symbolizing communication, intelligence, and elegance.


Venus, wearing the sign of Libra on her midsection, and Taurus at her feet, at Cardiff Castle, Wales

Venus () is the ruling planet of Taurus and Libra and is exalted in Pisces. In Roman mythology, Venus is the goddess of love and beauty, famous for the passions she could stir among the gods. Her cults may represent the religiously legitimate charm and seduction of the divine by mortals, in contrast to the formal, contractual relations between most members of Rome's official pantheon and the state, and the unofficial, illicit manipulation of divine forces through magic. The ambivalence of her function is suggested in the etymological relationship of the root *venes- with Latin venenum (poison, venom), in the sense of "a charm, magic philtre".

Venus orbits the Sun in 225 days, spending about 18.75 days in each sign of the zodiac. Venus is the second-brightest object in the night sky, the Moon being the brightest. It is usually beheld as a twin planet to Earth.

Astrologically speaking, Venus is associated with the principles of harmony, resilience, beauty, refinement, solidarity, affections, equality, and the urge to sympathize and unite with others. It is involved with the desire for pleasure, comfort and ease. It governs romantic relations, marriage and business partnerships, sex (the origin of the words 'venery' and 'venereal'), the arts, fashion and social life. The 1st-century poet Marcus Manilius described Venus as generous and fecund and the lesser benefic.

The planet Venus

The planet Venus in medicine is associated with the lumbar region, the veins, parathyroids, throat and kidneys. Venus was thought to be moderately warm and moist and was associated with the phlegmatic humor. In modern astrology, Venus is the ruler of the second and seventh houses.

Venus is the planet of Friday. In languages deriving from Latin, such as Romanian, Spanish, French, and Italian, the word for Friday often resembles the word Venus (vineri, viernes, vendredi and venerdì respectively). Dante Alighieri associated Venus with the liberal art of rhetoric.[22] In Chinese astrology, Venus is associated with the element metal, which is unyielding, strong and persistent. In Indian astrology, Venus is known as Shukra and represents wealth, pleasure and reproduction. In Norse Paganism, the planet is associated to Freyja, the goddess of love, beauty and fertility.[23]


Early 18th-century illustration of Mars (al-mirrikh) for the Bestiary of Zakariya al-Qazwini (Walters Art Museum)

Mars () is the ruling planet of Aries and Scorpio and is exalted in Capricorn. Mars is the Roman god of war and bloodshed, whose symbol is a spear and shield. Both the soil of Mars and the hemoglobin of human blood are rich in iron and because of this they share its distinct deep red color.[24] He was second in importance only to Jupiter, and he was the most prominent of the military gods worshipped by the Roman legions.

Mars orbits the Sun in 687 days, spending about 57.25 days in each sign of the zodiac. It is also the first planet that orbits outside of Earth's orbit, making it the first planet that does not set along with the Sun. Mars has two permanent polar ice caps. During a pole's winter, it lies in continuous darkness, chilling the surface and causing the deposition of 25–30% of the atmosphere into slabs of CO2 ice (dry ice).

Astrologically speaking, Mars is associated with confidence and self-assertion, aggression, sexuality, energy, strength, ambition and impulsiveness. Mars governs sports, competitions and physical activities in general. The 1st-century poet Manilius, described the planet as ardent and as the lesser malefic. In medicine, Mars presides over the genitals, the muscular system, the gonads and adrenal glands. It was traditionally held to be hot and excessively dry and ruled the choleric humor. It was associated with fever, accidents, trauma, pain and surgery.

The planet Mars

In modern astrology, Mars is the primary native ruler of the first house. Traditionally however, Mars ruled both the third and tenth houses. While Venus tends to the overall relationship atmosphere, Mars is the passionate impulse and action, the masculine aspect, discipline, will-power and stamina.

Mars is associated with Tuesday and in Romance languages the word for Tuesday often resembles Mars (in Romanian, marţi, in Spanish, martes, in French, mardi and in Italian "martedì"). The English "Tuesday" is a modernised form of "Tyr's Day", Tyr being the Germanic analogue to Mars. Dante Alighieri associated Mars with the liberal art of arithmetic. In Chinese astrology, Mars is ruled by the element fire, which is passionate, energetic and adventurous. In Indian astrology, Mars is called Mangala and represents energy, confidence and ego.


Jupiter enthroned, with the symbols of Pisces and Sagittarius at his feet (woodcut by Johannes Regiomontanus, 1512)

Jupiter () is the ruling planet of Sagittarius and the ancient ruler of Pisces, and it is exalted in Cancer. In Roman mythology, Jupiter is the ruler of the gods and their guardian and protector, and his symbol is the thunderbolt. The Romans believed that Jupiter granted them supremacy because they had honored him more than any other people had. Jupiter was "the fount of the auspices upon which the relationship of the city with the gods rested." He personified the divine authority of Rome's highest offices, internal organization, and external relations. His image in the Republican and Imperial Capitol bore regalia associated with Rome's ancient kings and the highest consular and Imperial honours.

In the same way, the planet Jupiter is the king of the other planets, a giant in size with spectacular, brightly colored clouds and intense storms.[25] Some astronomers believe that it plays an important protecting role in using its massive gravity to capture or expel from the solar system many comets and asteroids that would otherwise threaten Earth and the inner planets.[26] Jupiter takes 11.9 years to orbit the Sun, spending almost an earth year (361 days) in each sign of the zodiac. Furthermore, Jupiter is usually the fourth-brightest object in the sky (after the Sun, the Moon and Venus).

Astrologically speaking, Jupiter is associated with the principles of growth, expansion, prosperity, and good fortune. Jupiter governs long distance and foreign travel, big business and wealth, higher education, religion, and the law. It is also associated with the urge for freedom and exploration, humanitarian and protecting roles, and with gambling and merrymaking.

The planet Jupiter

The 1st-century poet Manilius described Jupiter as temperate and benign, and the greater benefic. It was regarded as warm and moist in nature, and therefore favorable to life. In medicine, Jupiter is associated with the liver, pituitary gland, and the disposition of fats; it governed the sanguine humor. In modern astrology, Jupiter is the primary native ruler of the ninth house, but traditionally, Jupiter was assigned to both the second and ninth houses: the house of values and the house of beliefs, respectively.

Jupiter is associated with Thursday, and in Romance languages, the name for Thursday often comes from Jupiter (e.g., joi in Romanian, jeudi in French, jueves in Spanish, and giovedì in Italian). Dante Alighieri associated Jupiter with the liberal art of geometry. In Chinese astrology, Jupiter is ruled by the element wood, which is patient, hard-working, and reliable. In Indian astrology, Jupiter is known as Guru or Brihaspati and is known as the 'great teacher'.


Saturn, with Capricorn and Aquarius at his feet and the New Year in his arms, from The Seven Planets with the Signs of the Zodiac (1539) by Hans Sebald Beham

Saturn () is the ruling planet of Capricorn and Aquarius and is exalted in Libra. In Roman mythology, Saturn is the god of agriculture, leader of the titans, founder of civilizations, social order, and conformity. The glyph is shaped like a scythe, but it is known as the "crescent below the cross", whereas Jupiter's glyph is the "crescent above the cross". The famous rings of the planet Saturn that enclose and surround it, reflect the idea of human limitations. Saturn takes 29.5 years to orbit the Sun, spending about 2.46 years in each sign of the zodiac.

Astrologically speaking, Saturn is associated with focus, precision, nobility, ethics, civility, lofty goals, purpose, career, great achievements, dedication, authority figures, ordered hierarchy, stability, virtues, productiveness, valuable hard lessons learned, destiny, conforming social structures, balance, and karma (reaping what you have sowed or divine cosmic justice) but also with limitations, restrictions, boundaries, anxiety, tests, practicality, reality, and time. It concerns a person's sense of duty, discipline, responsibility, including their physical and emotional endurance during hardships. Saturn is also considered to represent the part of a person concerned with long-term planning or foresight. The Return of Saturn is said to mark significant events in each person's life. According to the 1st-century poet Manilius, Saturn is sad, morose, and cold, and is the greater malefic. According to Claudius Ptolemy, "Saturn is lord of the right ear, the spleen, the bladder, the phlegm, and the bones."[27] Saturn symbolized processes and things that were dry and cold, which are necessary balancing aspects to maintain life. It governed the melancholic humor.

According to Sefer Yetzirah – GRA Version – Kaplan 4:13[28]

"He made the letter Resh king over Peace And He bound a crown to it And He combined one with another And with them He formed Saturn in the Universe Friday in the Year The left nostril in the Soul, male and female."

The planet Saturn

Before the discovery of Uranus, Saturn was regarded as the ruling planet of Aquarius alongside Capricorn of course, which is the preceding sign. Many traditional types of astrologers prefer Saturn as the planetary ruler for both Capricorn and Aquarius. In modern astrology, it is the primary native ruler of the tenth house. Traditionally however, Saturn ruled both the first and eighth houses.

Saturn is associated with Saturday, which was named after the deity Saturn. Dante Alighieri associated Saturn with the liberal art of astronomia (astronomy and astrology).

In Chinese astrology, Saturn is ruled by the element earth, which is warm, generous, and co-operative. In Indian astrology, Saturn is called Shani or "Sani", representing a noteworthy career and longevity. He is also the bringer of obstacles and hardship.[29]

Modern planets

Since the invention of the telescope, Western astrology has incorporated Uranus, Neptune, Ceres, Pluto, and other bodies into its methodology. The Indian and Chinese astrologies have tended to retain the ancient seven-planet system. Meanings have had to be assigned to them by modern astrologers, usually according to the major events that occurred in the world at the time of their discovery. As these astrologers are usually Western, the social and historical events they describe have an inevitable Western emphasis. Astrologers consider the "extra-Saturnian" planets to be "impersonal" or generational planets, meaning their effects are felt more across whole generations of society. Their effects in individuals depend upon how strongly they feature in that individual's birth-chart. The following are their characteristics as accepted by most astrologers.[30]


Syncretic figure of Aion-Uranus standing within a zodiac wheel, with a reclining Earth goddess and four children representing the Seasons (Roman-era mosaic from Sentinum, AD 200-250)

Uranus () is the ruling planet of Aquarius and is exalted in Scorpio. In Greek mythology, Uranus is the personification of the heavens and the night sky. The planet Uranus is very unusual among the planets in that it rotates on its side, so that it presents each of its poles to the Sun in turn during its orbit; causing both hemispheres to alternate between being bathed in light and lying in total darkness over the course of the orbit.

Uranus takes 84 years to orbit the Sun, spending about 7 years in each sign of the zodiac. Uranus was discovered to be a planet only in 1781 by Sir William Herschel.

Astrological interpretations associate Uranus with the principles of ingenuity, new or unconventional ideas, individuality, discoveries, electricity, inventions, democracy, and revolutions. Uranus, among all planets, most governs genius.

The planet Uranus

Uranus governs societies, clubs, and any group based on humanitarian or progressive ideals. Uranus, the planet of sudden and unexpected changes, rules freedom and originality. In society, it rules radical ideas and people, as well as revolutionary events that upset established structures. Uranus is also associated with Wednesday, alongside Mercury (since Uranus is in the higher octave of Mercury).

In art and literature, the discovery of Uranus coincided with the Romantic movement, which emphasized individuality and freedom of creative expression. Additionally, it is often linked to an individual's animal spirit. When it comes to medicine, Uranus is believed to be particularly associated with the sympathetic nervous system, mental disorders, breakdowns and hysteria, spasms, and cramps. Uranus is considered by modern astrologers to be the primary native ruler of the eleventh house.[31]


Neptune () is the modern ruling planet of Pisces and is possibly exalted in Cancer. In Roman mythology, Neptune is the god of the sea, and the deep, ocean blue color of the planet Neptune reflects this.[32] Its glyph is taken directly from Neptune's trident, symbolizing the curve of spirit being pierced by the cross of matter. Neptune takes 165 years to orbit the Sun, spending approximately 14 years (13.75) in each sign of the zodiac.[33] Neptune was discovered in 1846.

The planet Neptune

Astrologically speaking, Neptune is associated with harmony, affluence, sophistication, dreams, abundant fortune, power and authority, prosperity, expansion, discipline, responsibility, trustworthiness, extravagance, creativity and compassion, but also with illusion and mystery.[34] Its appearance coincided with the discovery of anesthetics and hypnotism. In political terms, Neptune was linked to the rise of nationalist movements throughout Europe in countries like Germany, Italy, Hungary, Ireland, and Serbia, seeking independence for their nations inspired by an idealized past of legend. It was also linked to the rise of socialism and the beginnings of the welfare state. Neptune coincided with the utopian ideals of Communism, when Marx and Engels first published 'The Communist Manifesto' in 1848. Neptune also represents the day of Friday, alongside Venus.

Jupiter, Neptune, and Pluto, ceiling mural(ca. 1597) created by Caravaggio for a room adjacent to the alchemical distillery of Cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte: hovering around a translucent globe that represents the world are Jupiter with his eagle, Neptune holding a bident, and Pluto with a horse and Cerberus[35]

In art, the impressionist movement began a trend away from literal representation, to one based on the subtle, changing moods of light and color. In medicine, Neptune is seen to be particularly associated with the thalamus, the spinal canal, and severe or mysterious illnesses and neuroses. Neptune is considered by modern astrologers to be the primary ruler (modern) of the twelfth house.


Pluto () is the ruling planet of Scorpio and is possibly exalted in Leo. In Roman mythology, Pluto is the god of the underworld and of wealth. The alchemy symbol was given to Pluto on its discovery, three centuries after Alchemy practices had all but disappeared. The alchemy symbol can therefore be read as spirit over mind, transcending matter. The symbols were chosen given the close association with Mars which has a similar symbol.

Pluto takes 248 years to make a full circuit of the zodiac, but its progress is highly variable: it spends between 15 and 26 years in each sign.

Pluto as captured by the New Horizons craft on July 14, 2015, in near true color.

Astrologically speaking, Pluto is called "the great renewer", and is considered to represent the part of a person that destroys in order to renew, through bringing buried, but intense needs and drives to the surface, and expressing them, even at the expense of the existing order. A commonly used keyword for Pluto is "transformation".[36] It is associated with power and personal mastery, and the need to cooperate and share with another, if each is not to be destroyed.[37] Pluto governs big business and wealth, mining, surgery and detective work, and any enterprise that involves digging under the surface to bring the truth to light. Pluto is also associated with Tuesday, alongside Mars.

Its entry in Cancer in 1913, the sign in which it was later discovered, coincided with World War I. It is also associated with nuclear armament, which had its genesis in the research of the 1930s and 40s. Later on, it gave rise to the polarized nuclear stand off of the Cold War, with the mass consumer societies of the United States and other democracies facing the totalitarian state of the USSR. The discovery of Pluto also occurred just after the birth of modern psychoanalysis, when Freud and Jung began to explore the depths of the unconscious.

In real life events and culture, Pluto has been a major astrological aspect. When it comes to art, movements like Cubism and Surrealism began to de-construct the "normal" view of the world. In medicine, Pluto is seen to be associated with regenerative forces in the body involving cell formation and the reproductive system.[36] The majority of traditional astrologers do not use Pluto as a ruling planet, but do use the planet for interpretation and predictive work, obliquely making reference to projections of influences from higher to lower dimensional spaces.[36] Pluto is considered by modern astrologers to be the primary native ruler of the eighth house.


Ceres with torch in search of Proserpina (medaillon by Martial Reymond, early 17th century)

Ceres () is the smallest identified dwarf planet in the Solar System, but is significantly the largest object in the asteroid belt. It was discovered on 1 January 1801 by Giuseppe Piazzi, and is named after Ceres, the Roman goddess of growing plants, the harvest, and of motherly love. It was the first asteroid discovered, taking up about one-third of the entire mass of its asteroid belt.[38] The classification of Ceres has changed more than once and has been the subject of some disagreement.[39] Johann Elert Bode believed Ceres to be the "missing planet" he had proposed to exist between Mars and Jupiter, at a distance of 419 million km (2.8 AU) from the Sun. Ceres was assigned a planetary symbol, and remained listed as a planet in astronomy books and tables for about half a century. The 2006 debate surrounding Pluto and what constitutes a planet led to Ceres being considered for reclassification as a planet, but in the end Ceres and Pluto were classified as the first members of the new dwarf planet category.

Ceres passes through the zodiac every 4 years and 7 months, passing through a little more than 2½ signs every year.

In mythology, Ceres is the Roman equivalent of the Greek goddess Demeter, and is the goddess of agriculture. The goddess (and metaphorically the planet) is also associated with the reproductive issues of an adult woman, as well as pregnancy and other major transitions in a woman's life, including the nine months of gestation time, family bonds and relationships. In old opinion, Ceres is the ruling planet of Virgo. But, on new astrologers opinion, Ceres are ruling Taurus.[40] In new opinion, Virgo is ruled by Chiron.[41] Although a mother, Ceres is also the archetype of a virgin goddess. Ceres epitomizes independent women who are often unmarried (since, according to myth, Ceres is an unmarried goddess who chose to become a mother without a husband or partner.) While the moon represents our ideal of "motherhood", Ceres would represent how our real and nature motherhood should be.[42]

The dwarf planet Ceres

Ceres, as the Goddess who has control over nature's resources and cycles, may astrologically be considered the planet of the Environment. Returning to mythology, an early environmental villain is the figure of Erysichthon, the tearer up of the earth, who cut down trees in a grove sacred to Ceres-Demeter, for which he was punished by the goddess with fearful hunger. In this sense Ceres became an emerging archetype in the awareness of recent climate change, and is entering our collective consciousness as a need to take care of our natural and irreplaceable resources in the 21st century. Ceres represents a leap towards a future of ecological responsibility and knowledge. As an indicator for environmental or community activism, Ceres would represent for some astrologers the wave of the future.[43]

Planetary traditions compared

The three most popular Eurasian traditions, Western astrology, Chinese astrology, and Hindu Astrology, accordingly share a large amount of common themes in their zodiacs and concepts of planetary meanings. This could fallaciously inflect that the three have an ancient common origin, whereas in fact the three developed mutually over millennia by diffusion, assimilation, scholarship, and trade across the whole of Eurasia and Africa.

The Western and Hindu zodiacs essentially correspond to twelve similar archetypes, despite differences in tone, emphasis, motifs, and right ascension of their constellations, as do the twelve signs of the Chinese zodiac; however, both Western and Hindu astrology are based on four elements: fire, earth, air, water; whereas the Chinese is based on five: metal, water, wood, fire, and earth. Chinese elemental conceptions of the planets clearly correlate to their Western and Hindu counterparts in the case of Mars (Fire), Saturn (Earth), and Jupiter (Wood). The Chinese linkage of Mercury with Water is alien to Western astrology, but this combination shares the water themes, much of what is coined "mercurial" in Western thought, such as intellect, reason and communication.

The Chinese association of Venus to Metal appears at first fundamentally different from Western notions of love and romance. In Babylonian mythology, her equivalent was Ishtar, goddess of both love and war. The Chinese metal representative is unyielding and forceful, set in their ways and taciturn; yet Venus' Western element is air, which is logical and sanguine. Metal is also sophisticated, and enjoys the good things in life. In Western astrology, Venus rules both Libra, which is sophisticated, logical, and romantic, and Taurus, which is reserved, sensual, and unyielding. Some Western astrologers believe that metal is better associated with the qualities of the planet Saturn, arguing that metal equates to air in the western system, and that Saturn is linked to air in Vedic astrology.[44][45]

The cycle of the five Chinese elements operate completely differently from the Western cycle of four. This discrepancy between elements can be clarified by their geomancy, which is locked with Chinese astrology. On the Feng Shui compass, the five elements and the five visible planets are placed on the cardinal directions and center point, with Mercury-Water to the north, Jupiter-Wood to the east, Mars-Fire to the south, Venus-Metal to the west, and Saturn-Earth in the center. This also suggests that Western air best corresponds to metal, while Venus rules the west in both traditions. Wood in Chinese philosophy describes characteristics found in the Western element of fire.

Other solar system bodies

Some asteroids such as Pallas () and Vesta (), as well as dwarf planet Ceres, can sometimes be seen with binoculars (Vesta even with the naked eye), but these were not recognized as planetary, and perhaps not even noticed, until the early 19th century. In the early 19th century, Ceres, Juno (), and the other two aforementioned asteroids were for a time regarded as planets. Although asteroids have been known to both astronomers and astrologers for more than 200 years, they are often ignored by astrologers. The tradition of some astrologers casting charts with minor planets originates with these asteroids. Since the discovery of Chiron () in the 1970s, some astrologers have been casting the new "planet", although astronomers consider it a centaur (a kind of intermediate object between comet and asteroid).[46]

In the 21st century, several new planet-sized bodies, including Sedna, Quaoar, Haumea, and Eris, have been discovered, but not yet incorporated into mainstream astrological predictions, although some more avant-garde groups have attempted to incorporate them.[47][48]

Comets and novae have been observed and discussed for several thousand years. Comets in particular were portents of great interest to ancient people and given various astrological interpretations. Both phenomena are rarely visible to the naked-eye, and are ignored by most modern astrologers.

The near-earth asteroid Cruithne is thought to influence the zodiac and some personal horoscopes.

Not to be confused with Chiron, Pluto's only moon Charon is treated like a "minor planet" or given the same status as a dwarf planet, the title given to Pluto when in 2006 the International Astronomical Union demoted its status from the farthest planet.

Hypothetical planets

Some astrologers have hypothesized about the existence of unseen or undiscovered planets. In 1918, astrologer Sepharial proposed the existence of Earth's "Dark Moon" Lilith, and since then, some astrologers have been using it in their charts; though the same name is also (and now, more commonly) used in astrology to refer to the axis of the actual Moon's orbit. The 20th-century German school of astrology known as Uranian astrology also claimed that many undiscovered planets existed beyond the orbit of Neptune, giving them names such as Cupido, Hades, Zeus, Kronos, Apollon, Admetos, Vulcanus, and Poseidon, and charting their supposed orbits. These orbits have not coincided, however, with more recent discoveries by astronomers of objects beyond Neptune.

Other astrologers have focused on the theory that in time, all twelve signs of the zodiac will each have their own ruler, so that another two planets have yet to be discovered; namely the "true" rulers of Taurus and Virgo. The names of the planets mentioned in this regard by some are Vulcan (ruler of Virgo) and Apollo, the Roman god of the Sun (ruler of Taurus).[49] Another version of this theory states that the modern planets discovered so far correspond to the elements known to the ancients—air (Uranus, god of the heavens), water (Neptune, god of the sea), and fire (Pluto, god of the underworld)—which leaves the elements earth and ether (the fifth element of the fiery upper air). In other words, it is claimed that the two planets to be discovered will be named after an earth god or goddess (such as the Horae), and after Aether, the Roman and Greek god of the upper air and stars.

Ruling planets of the astrological signs and houses

Main article: Domicile (astrology)

In Western astrology, the symbolism associated with the planets also relates to the zodiac signs and houses of the horoscope in their various rulerships. For instance, the description of Mars is masculine, impulsive, and active. Aries is ruled by Mars and has a similar description, representing an active, masculine archetype. Similarly, the first house is also ruled by Mars, and deals with a person's physical health and strength, and the manner in which they project themselves.

Table 1: Modern signs, houses and planetary associations

Sign House Domicile Detriment Exaltation Fall Planetary Joy
Aries 1st House Mars Venus Sun Saturn Mercury
Taurus 2nd House Venus, Ceres Pluto, Mars Moon Uranus Jupiter
Gemini 3rd House Mercury Jupiter N/A N/A Mars
Cancer 4th House Moon Saturn Jupiter, Neptune Mars Venus
Leo 5th House Sun Uranus, Saturn Pluto Mercury Mars
Virgo 6th House Mercury, Chiron Jupiter, Neptune Mercury Venus Saturn
Libra 7th House Venus Mars Saturn Sun Jupiter
Scorpio 8th House Pluto, Mars Venus, Ceres Uranus Moon Saturn
Sagittarius 9th House Jupiter Mercury N/A N/A Sun
Capricorn 10th House Saturn Moon Mars Jupiter, Neptune Mercury
Aquarius 11th House Uranus, Saturn Sun Mercury Pluto Venus
Pisces 12th House Jupiter, Neptune Mercury, Chiron Venus Mercury Moon

Note: The planets in the table rule the signs on the same row, and the houses do correspond with the signs on the same row (i.e. Mars rules Aries; Aries and first house share some correspondences). However, it is only modern astrology that links the planets to the houses in this order.[50] The bulk of the tradition assigns planetary rulerships according to the ancient Chaldean astronomical order of the planets (Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon; the former order of the planets in distance from Earth geocentrically):

Table 2: Traditional houses and planetary relationships.

House Traditional Ruling planet Planetary Joy
1st House Saturn Mercury
2nd House Jupiter N/A
3rd House Mars Mars
4th House Sun N/A
5th House Venus Venus
6th House Mercury Saturn
7th House Moon N/A
8th House Saturn N/A
9th House Jupiter Sun
10th House Mars N/A
11th House Sun Jupiter
12th House Venus Moon

See also


  1. Hone (1978), p.22
  2. Hone (1978) p. 19
  3. Arroyo (1989) pp. 7, 27
  4. Hone (1978), p.19 8th paragraph
  5. Copenhaver, Brian P. (1992) Hermetica: The Greek Corpus Hermeticum and the Latin Asclepius in a New English Translation with Notes and Introduction, Cambridge University Press: New York, NY.
  9. Doric , Proto-Greek *dē, "earth" + mētēr, "mother". The element is not so simply equated with "earth" according to John Chadwick (Chadwick, The Mycenaean World [Cambridge University Press] 1976, p 87): "Every Greek was aware of the maternal functions of Demeter; if her name bore the slightest resemblance to the Greek word for 'mother', it would inevitably have been deformed to emphasize that resemblance. [...] How did it escape transformation into *Gāmātēr, a name transparent to any Greek speaker?" Compare the Latin transformation Iuppiter and Diespiter vis-a-vis *Deus pāter.
  10. Monier-Williams, also "he is the chief offerer of prayers and sacrifices, and therefore represented as the type of the priestly order, and the Purohita of the gods with whom he intercedes for men"
  13. 1 2 All speeds taken from StarFisher
  14. With the exceptions of the Sun and the Moon, all planets are capable of turning into retrograde motion and temporarily appearing to not move at all, this is not what lowest speed refers to in this case. "Lowest speed" in the section refers to the fastest speed a planet may move at when retrograde, reversing its progress.
  15. B. A. Fuchs, Die Ikonographie der sieben Planeten in der Kunst Italiens bis zum Ausgang des Mittelalters, Diss. Munich 1909; E. Panofsky, F. Saxl, Saturn und Melancholie, Frankfurt 1990.
  16. A. Hauber, Planetenkinderbilder und Sternbilder, Straßburg 1916; E. Baer, Representations of "planet-children" in Turkish manuscripts, in: Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 31, 1968
  17. Michael Meyer at, Rob Hand "Horoscope Symbols"
  18. Jeff Mayo, Teach Yourself Astrology, pp17 – 28, Hodder and Stoughton, London, 1964; Sasha Fenton Understanding Astrology, pp106 – 112, The Aquarian Press (Harper Collins), London, 1991; Derek and Julia Parker, The New Compleat Astrologer, pp86 – 99, Crescent Books, New York, 1971; Maritha Pottinger Astro Essentials, pp11 -14, 17–18, ACS Publications, San Diego, 1991
  19. Back de Surany, Géza. Manual de Astrología Médica. Índigo.1988. 214 páginas, pag. 32
  20. Back de Sarany, Géza Ibid., 37.
  22. New Yorker, 20 May 2013.
  24. Henbest, ibid
  25. Ingersoll, A. P.; Dowling, T. E.; Gierasch, P. J.; Orton, G. S.; et al. "Dynamics of Jupiter's Atmosphere" (PDF). Lunar & Planetary Institute. Retrieved 2007-02-01.
  26. George W. Wetherill (1994). "Possible consequences of absence of "Jupiters" in planetary systems". Astrophysics and Space Science. 212: 23–32. Bibcode:1994Ap&SS.212...23W. doi:10.1007/BF00984505. PMID 11539457.
  27. .html Tetrabiblos by Claudius Ptolemy published in the Loeb Classical Library, 1940
  28. "Sefer ha-Yetzirah (The Book of Formation)" (PDF). Gra Version Translated by Aryeh Kaplan.
  30. Jeff Mayo, Ibid, pp 28 – 33, 1964; Sasha Fenton Ibid, pp 112 – 115, 1991; Derek and Julia Parker, Ibid, pp 100 – 105, 1971; Maritha Pottinger Ibid, pp 15–19, 1991
  32. Julian Ting (2014). Rational Astrology, Julian Ting - p. 144.
  33. Julian J.-L. Ting (2013). classical mechanics: Julian J.-L. Ting: Books. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2nd edition (November 25, 2013). p. 384. ISBN 978-1494279295.
  34. "Neptune: Planet Of Illusion". ASTROLOGY.COM. 24 November 2009. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  35. Creighton Gilbert, Caravaggio and His Two Cardinals (Penn State University Press, 1995), pp. 124–125.
  36. 1 2 3
  38. E. V. Pitjeva, "Precise determination of the motion of planets and some astronomical constants from modern observations", 2004 International Astronomical Union,
  42. Martin, Helena Planets in the astrological universe (los planetas en el universo astrológico), p333-334, Ed. Indigo, Barcelona, 1990
  46. Richard Brown: New Planets
  47. New dwarf planets in Astrology (Sedna, Eris, Haumea, Quaoar, Makemake, 2002 TC302, Orcus, and others
  48. Linda Goodman, Sun Signs, p226, Pan Books, London, 1982


  • Arroyo, Stephen (1989). Chart Interpretation Handbook. California: CCRS Publications.
  • Hone, Margaret (1978). The Modern Text-Book of Astrology. Revised edition. England: L. N. Fowler & Co. Ltd.
  • Houlding, D (2006). The Houses – Temples of the Sky The Wessex Astrologer, Bournemouth, England.
  • Ptolemy, C.trans Ashmand, J. (2002). Tetrabiblos Astrology Classics, Maryland, USA.

External links

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