The SUN gives us the energy that we, and everything on the planet, needs to survive. It is really the key to our whole solar system and is also the key to our natal chart. All of the other Planets with their individual principles function through the Sun. It is symbolic of our EGO and our REASON FOR BEING. It is our CORE IDENTITY and is the real person underneath all of the layers of stuff that we pile on to describe ourselves. Just as the sun shines in the sky so our Sun tries to shine in our chart, and symbolize our BASIC MOTIVATIONS and POTENTIAL. Each of the Planets is said to rule a Sign and House. The Sun rules the Sign of LEO and the natural 5th House. It also symbolizes masculine Yang energy and the way we use it. In health issues it first represents the whole body, its resistance to disease and its recuperative powers as well as the overall amount of energy available to a person. Specifically it rules the heart and the back. Its cycle is 1 year. Where the Sun is found in the horoscope is where we want/need to shine.
The MOON is the closest body to our Earth and it symbolizes our basic SECURITY, EMOTIONAL NEEDS, and our NURTURING instincts. It is our inner MOTHER and the way we take care of ourselves. Because the Moon reflects the light of the Sun, her symbolism is reflective and absorbing in nature. We FEEL and we react instinctively. Much about the way in which we react is learned when we are infants. We learned very early what we needed to make us feel safe and secure and in one way or another we tend to continue in the same vein throughout our lives. When we are hurt by the world we run back to that internal sanctum where we feel secure. We feel and we have moods. In the chart the Moon rules the Sign of Cancer and the natural 4th House. In the body the Moon rules the breasts, the ovaries, the womb and bodily fluids. It symbolizes women in our life, in particular the person who was our mother image. Its cycle is 28 days. Where the Moon is found in the horoscope is where we may be especially emotionally sensitive and where we may have mood swings and ups and downs.
MERCURY is the planet of COMMUNICATION. Using all of our sense connections it takes in the information from the outside world, processes it through our minds, memories, experiences and puts it out again in the form of REASONING, LOGIC, MOVEMENT, SPEECH, WRITING, and communication or interconnectivity of all kinds. Mercury is in charge of two Signs, Gemini and Virgo and two Houses, the natural 3rd House and the natural 6th House. In the body it is in charge of bodily communications such as the nervous system and the hands and arms. Its cycle is approximately 88 days. Where we find Mercury in the horoscope is where we will be best at communication.
VENUS is the `feel good' planet. Not in the same way as the Moon but in a more acquisitive, attracting way. Venus likes the finer things in life, like LOVE and MONEY, ART and AESTHETICS, like a walk in the country on a beautiful day, or the fun you can have at a party with good friends. Venus is also in charge of RELATIONSHIPS - the necessary harmony of one person getting together with another very special person. Our sense of SELF- WORTH is also connected to the Venus function and it is often found that this in turn is tied to our material possessions and our view of the way others value us. In the chart Venus rules two Signs and two Houses just like Mercury does, these are the Signs of Taurus and Libra and the natural 2nd House and the 7th House. In the body Venus rules the sensory organs, the throat, neck, voice, and the kidneys. Its cycle is approximately 225 days. Where we find Venus in the horoscope is an area connected to our self-worth, and what we enjoy in life.
MARS is the planet of ACTION and ENERGY. It is the mechanism that we use to fight back, and connects to ANGER, COURAGE, SPONTANEITY, and STRESS. It is the AGGRESSIVE URGE which deals with our base natures such as being warlike, or our sexual urges. Mars energy can be used destructively as when we are doing battle unthinkingly or from anger, or constructively as when we are in the frenzy of Spring cleaning. In the chart it rules the Sign of Aries and the natural 1st House. In the body it rules the head and face, red blood cells, inflammation and fever as well as accidents, cuts and burns. It governs surgery, knives, tools of iron and steel, weaponry, and war. Its cycle is approximately 687 days. Prior to the discovery of Neptune, Uranus and Pluto, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn had dual rulership of Signs just as Mercury and Venus do now. Mars which now rules Aries, used to also rule Scorpio (now ruled by Pluto) and while Aries is still the primary Sign ruled by Mars, later in your studies you may find it useful to also consider its traditional co-rulership of Scorpio. Where Mars is found in the horoscope is where we spend most of our energy, and where we may fight for our beliefs.
JUPITER is the largest planet in our solar system and in astrology everything about it is big. It governs the principle of EXPANSION and GROWTH and BENEVOLENCE. It is all about moving outward from our own little nest into the big wide world where we can learn and experience new things such as can be found in travel and higher education. It is GENEROSITY and ABUNDANCE and so it is no wonder that it has come to be known as the Greater Benefic and the lucky Planet. But there is another side to Jupiter. After all, having a piece of chocolate can be wonderful but if we had it for every meal it would be just too much (Jupiter) of a good thing (Jupiter) and we would probably grow enormous (Jupiter). So the flip side is that Jupiter can overdo things or they can be EXAGGERATED, EXTRAVAGENTand merely WASTEFUL. In the chart Jupiter rules the Sign of Sagittarius and the natural 9th House. In ancient times it was also the co-ruler of Pisces. In the body it rules the liver, the hips and thighs, blood circulation and the pancreas. Its cycle is about 12 years. Where Jupiter is found in the horoscope is where we may have good fortune or where we may overdo things. It is also where we seek to expand our knowledge and understanding.
SATURN is the Planet which was in ancient time the boundary of our solar system. As such it rules DISCIPLINE, STRUCTURE, RESPONSIBILITY, LIMITATIONS and SORROW. It was then as far as humans could go - the wall between Earth and the heavens. The stern taskmaster. It is not surprising then that it was regarded as the Great Malefic and when Saturn was around things got tough. But as humanity as changed and devloped, we have learned that Saturn also has a brighter side. It also rules TIME itself and the WISDOM that age and experience brings - mostly at the cost of problems which we learn to overcome. Its action is slow and lasting. It is TRADITION, RULES and CONVENTION. Saturn also governs AMBITION and one's REPUTATION. It is our REALITY check. In the chart it rules the Sign of Capricorn and the natural 10th House. Saturn is also the co-ruler of Aquarius. In the body it rules the skin, the skeletal system and teeth. The cycle of Saturn is from 28 to 30 years. Where we find Saturn in the horoscope is where we may feel unsure of ourself, insecure or limited in some way. As we are developing our Saturn, we may also be wise or experienced in this area of life.
URANUS. Now this is a different Planet. Not only is it laying on its side compared to the other Planets, but it has an erratic orbit. Is it any wonder that Uranus is in charge of ELECTRICITY, INDEPENDENCE, REBELLION and the urge for FREEDOM, UNIQUENESS, UNPREDICTABILITY and EXCITEMENT? You just never know what you are going to get with Uranus..except you can be sure it will be unexpected. Uranus does not like to be tied down at all and completely resents all the rules and regulations that Saturn has set up. Its not so much the rules and regulations as the fact that he wants to make them himself and dare everyone to buck his ideas. For example Uranus rules Astrology and astrologers! He is in charge of NEW INVENTIONS, SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY - often considered to be utterly ridiculous or RADICAL when they are first introduced since they often go against the traditional paradigms. In the chart Uranus rules the Sign of Aquarius and the natural 11th House. In the body Uranus rules the involuntary nervous system, body electricity and systems, and the ankles. The cycle of Uranus is approximately 84 years. Where Uranus is in the horoscope we may feel a need to break out of the traditional role or tend to do unusual things.
NEPTUNE. As Saturn is reality, so Neptune is UNREALITY. Neptune is SPIRITUAL in nature and also governs our ESCAPIST tendencies such as alcoholism or drugs, the GLAMOUR of movies, or religion. It can be deeply spiritual or ILLUSIVE and DECEPTIVE. It is like an INSIDIOUS fog, which it rules along with liquids, anaesthetic, poetry, dance, dreams and hypnosis. Neptune tends to erode those things that are solid so that we forget what is real and true. She dissolves boundaries and walls and this can, like other planetary symbolism be both helpful and hurtful, depending upon how we use it. One of our fine astrologers, Marion March has likened Neptune working with Saturn as the ocean (Neptune) washing against the shore (Saturn). The sea eventually erodes(Neptune) and breaks down the rocks but in the process it creates the sand of the beach. In the chart Neptune rules the Sign of Pisces and the natural 12th House. In the body she rules the feet and the white corpuscles. And as mentioned before anesthesia and drugs. Its cycle is about 165 years. Where it is found in our horoscope is where we can be deceived, or deceive ourself, where we look for idealism, and where we can attain spirituality, often through creativity.
PLUTO is the ruler of the underworld, and in our own lives rules everything that is hidden from sight. This includes the SUBCONSCIOUS, our feelings and ideas about DESTRUCTION and DECAY and REGENERATION. A colleague of mine calls him Darth Vader. This is a difficult planet to `own' because it can illustrate our dark side. The place where we want to throw everything out and start again. It is the most INTENSE, CONTROLLING, POWER hungry and OBSESSIVE Planet of the bunch, and lends its intensity to any personal planet which it aspects. When Pluto is involved it tends to go to EXTREMES. But Pluto is all about the PROCESS and TRANSFORMATION cycles of life such as BIRTH, DEATH and REGENERATION. And that does include those areas which we think of as as dark. In the chart it rules the Sign of Scorpio and the natural 8th House. In the body it rules the reproductive and eliminative organs of waste products, as well as malignancies. It governs atomic power, beginning and endings, viral infections, and the subconscious self. Its cycle is approximately 248 years. Where Pluto is found in the chart we may have the urge to transform things and will probably have to deal with our problems by ourselves.