In traditional Astrology there were 7 planets which included the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Those seven planets were what the human eye could see and therefore were what the human mind could know. Over time advancements seeing into the Cosmos were made and we “discovered” more planets with the use of telescopes. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were added to the list and we now had 10 planets with which to work.
In 2006 the planet Pluto was downgraded to a dwarf planet. Now there is debate as to whether or not it should be re-instated into “regular” planet status again. Clearly, as time goes by and science advances discoveries, Astrology becomes more complicated. To accommodate new discoveries, Astrologers have advanced their knowledge to work with asteroids, “hidden” planets, “hidden” moons, fixed stars, TNO’s (trans-Neptunian objects) and a variety of other objects in the sky to delineate charts. For the purposes of keeping it simple, we are going to work with the familiar 9-planet solar system that includes the Sun and Moon and Pluto.
The organic nature of Astrology suggests it is a dance between science and art. The mystery is to be explored and experienced, not nailed down. I do not intend to debate its scientific facts, merely share its esoteric treasures. There is much, much information on the planets, the solar system and the Universe, as we know it presently. It is always expanding and creating. We are always learning and growing.
And so it goes…and here we go…on a trip through our solar system.
The Sun is the center of our Universe. It is the life giving light that gives us warmth and provides us nurturing for the place we call home. The Sun in our chart speaks to our outer Self and our inner character; it also represents the father or masculine authority in our lives, the Divine Masculine. Its placement in the chart speaks to the Soul’s lesson, as does the element in which it is found. It represents our eternal, real and individual Self, our vitality.
The Moon is the reflective surface of ourselves, our inner world, our emotional and feeling Self. The Moon in our chart speaks to our inner character, that which we have mastered in other lives. The Moon in our chart indicates the personality of our present incarnation. The Moon sign and the sign of the Ascendant together paint a very clear picture of us as individuals. The Moon points to what we NEED. It represents the mother or feminine authority in our lives, the Divine Feminine.
Mercury is the planet closest to the Sun and is named after the Roman messenger to the gods; therefore, it is associated with communications, speech, messages, writing, reading and all things communicative. It is the planet that speaks to our Soul and often shows how we perceive the world around us. We look to Mercury and its placement in our chart to discern how we take in knowledge and how we assimilate it. We look to Mercury to get a glimpse of how we learn and how we speak. Mercury both receives ideas, thoughts and impressions and conveys these to others.
The goddess of love and beauty, Venus, is where we look to see how we are in relationship with others, how we flirt, tease, love, desire and want. We also look to Venus to see how we relate to peace, harmony, order, beauty and the arts. Venus brings grace and sweetness into our lives. Venus rules partnerships and marriage as well as money and finance, the practical ways in which we can attain harmony and beauty. Venus is a gentle energy. Its sign and placement in the chart speaks to our relationships with women and our own feminine Self.
The placement of the planet Mars, named after the god of War, is where we get insight into how we take action in the world, how we go after what we want. How Mars shows up in our chart tells us a lot about our drive, our stamina, our energy, our strength and vigor and our ability to get things done. Mars is our courage, our bravery and shows us the condition of our pioneering spirit. The grit and determination to accomplish a goal or overcome battles is reflected in the nature of Mars in our chart. Its sign and placement speaks to the men in our lives. Venus shows us what we want; Mars shows us how to get it!
Jupiter is the biggest of the planets and yet the lightest, so we look to Jupiter to see expansion and joy in our charts, among other things. Jupiter points to where we are graced with good fortune, wisdom, and higher consciousness. Jupiter influences our minds and how we expand them therefore we look at its placement in our chart to see where we excel, where we are gifted. Jupiter rules travel, religion, higher education and our life philosophy. Because Jupiter is associated with expansion we can consult it to see how we feel about freedom, a feeling necessary when one does not like constriction. Jupiter shines brightly in the night sky and a person with a strong Jupiter has a big presence as well.
Speaking of constriction, this leads us to Saturn, the planet of restriction. Saturn speaks to material density, matter condensed under pressure and time. This is the planet of discipline, control, teaching and lessons learned. Saturn tends to get a bad rap as the planet of reining one in and settling one down (planetary buzz-kill) but in truth Saturn provides us with the discipline necessary to achieve success through good old-fashioned hard work. It is the planet of focus and wisdom, as one measures success by what to do AND what not to do. While it is true that Saturn can be a stern taskmaster, it is also the proud parent/mentor who rejoices and rewards work well done!
Although it can be seen with the naked eye, Uranus was not “discovered” as a planet until 1781, via telescope. Understanding its history helps us understand why it is the planet of scientific research and discovery. It is also the planet that strongly influences our individuality, willfulness and eccentricities. After all, it does rotate in an entirely different direction than the other planets! We look to Uranus to discover our personal and unique eccentricities. Uranus is named after the god of the sky and its placement in our chart gives us insight into where we receive our inspirational flashes of genius and knowing. It is a mental planet in that it deals with things of the mind and of the consciousness. Some consider it to be a higher octave of the planet Mercury therefore associating it with higher consciousness and metaphysics, more advanced forms of communications.
Discovered in 1846 Neptune is the first planet invisible to the naked eye to be included in our solar system. Its presence was discerned by the affect it had on Uranus, which speaks to the nebulous influence that it has in our charts. We look to Neptune in our chart to determine where we meld, blend and merge. The effect of Neptune is subtle yet powerful; it is dreamy and full of imagination. Neptune speaks to the ethereal and spiritual realms. It is the fluidity of our longings reflected in its placement by sign and house in our charts. It is the planet of the medium, the seer and the mystic as well as addictions and escapism. It is a tender, sensitive energy that softens Souls but leaves them vulnerable as well. It is the energy of artists and musicians. Neptune is considered by some as the higher octave of Venus therefore aligning it with cosmic, unconditional love and unity with the One.
Discovered in 1930 Pluto was named after the Roman god of the Underworld whose myth speaks of the taking of Persephone down into the depths of Hades. Symbolically Pluto represents going down into the depths, transformation, rebirth and the power of authenticity. Pluto points to the part of us that is hidden, dark, deep down and secret, kept away from the light. It marks transitions in our lives, births and deaths. It concerns itself with abuse, power, sex, death and taxes. It is the planet of elimination and regeneration but despite its dark overtones, it is the planet that helps one step into their authentic and most powerful Self, once all the darkness is sorted through and integrated. Plutonian energy is transformational on the deepest levels. Pluto is considered by some to be the higher octave of Mars energy, therefore it rules the truest ways in which to become powerful, personal transformation of Self at ones very core.
Meditating on the first direct pictures of Pluto encourages one to contemplate the idea of transformation through love and remembering no matter how bleak, things may not always be what they seem!