What Do the Planets Mean in Astrology?

When you think about your zodiac sign (the one you read about in your Astrovibe daily horoscope), that is the sign that the Sun was in at the moment of your birth. While the Sun is quite important in astrology, because it symbolizes the psychological ego, it is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. There’s just so much more to it. 

Astrology is an ancient language and philosophy that continues to grow as we learn more about the solar system and the natural universe. Popular astrology, whether you know only your Sun sign or your “Big Three” of Sun sign, Moon sign, and Rising sign, is only the beginning of a complicated, intricate study.

The Sun and Moon are considered luminaries in astrology, which are a little different than planets. While we mentioned that the Sun represents the psychological ego, the Moon represents the emotions and your first reaction to things. It also says a lot about how you nurture and accept nurturing. Still, the Sun and Moon archetypes are only slices of what make us who we are. 

Each planet, asteroid, luminary and centaur in our solar system has an astrological significance. Whether someone is reading a natal chart to get insight into their own lives, casting a horary chart for divination on a question, or an event chart for a moment in time, all the planets play important roles in astrology. 

What Do The Planets Mean in Astrology?

Astrology can be compared to a language. Languages follow complex rules and have parts of speech. In English, for example, a noun is a person, place, or thing. A verb is a word that denotes some kind of action or state of being. Adjectives define nouns and adverbs define verbs. Conjunctions are words that tie ideas or words together, like “and, but, or/nor.”

In astrology, think of Planets as verbs. Planets will describe an action or state of being in a natal chart. 

Basic Planet Meanings in a Natal Chart

While entire books could be written on the archetypal significance of each planet in astrology, Astrovibe is here to break down the basicsof what they mean to get you started. 

Mercury in Astrology

Mercury is how you think, how you process information, and how you communicate. Mercury says something about how you write, speak, and analyze information. It also rules over stress, TMI (too much information), gossip, and indecision. It currently rules Virgo (there’s a possibility that may change at some point), Gemini, the 3rd house, and the 6th house. Mercury stays in each sign for about a month, as it is very close to the Sun, but it can take a little longer sometimes because of retrograde cycles.

Venus in Astrology 

Venus shows how you love and how you want to be loved. It says something about your values in regards to justice, pleasure, food, beauty, aesthetics, finances, and material possessions. Venus rules Libra and Taurus, but one of those may also change in the future as well. It also rules the 2nd and 7th houses. It takes 276 days for Venus to go through all the signs, but the time it takes to go through a single sign will vary, based on her retrograde cycles.

Mars in Astrology

Mars shows your tendency to be aggressive, assertive, and determined. It has a lot to do with personal energy, and when constrained, held back or afflicted, it also says a lot about stress level and anxieties. Mars rules Aries and the 1st house. Mars ruled Scorpio, as well, before Scorpio’s true ruler Pluto was discovered. Some forms of astrology, such as Hellenistic, still use Mars as Scorpio’s ruler. Mars stays in each sign for about two months.

Jupiter in Astrology

Jupiter shows your tendency to be lucky, expansive, and larger than life. Where Jupiter sits in your chart may show where or if you are prone towards gambling, partying, desiring to get a higher education, or have great optimism and a propensity for spiritual or mental growth. Jupiter rules Sagittarius and the 9th house. It was the original ruler of Pisces before Neptune was discovered, and like Mars with Scorpio, some astrologers still use Jupiter as the ruler for Pisces. Jupiter stays in each sign for about a year. 

Saturn in Astrology

Saturn shows your tendency (or lack thereof) to be a taskmaster. Saturn is how you show responsibility. It can give you insights on your boundaries, your commitments, and where you are harsh and unyielding – perhaps even being unwilling to learn or grow. Where Jupiter shows how you expand, Capricorn shows how you’re restricted or practice restraint. Things like limitations, discipline, and how you feel about authority can be shown by Saturn. Saturn rules Capricorn and the 10th house. It was the original ruler of Aquarius before the better-suited Uranus was discovered, with some astrologers still using Saturn that way. Saturn takes about two and a half years to go through each sign, and just under 30 years to go all the way around the zodiac. 

Uranus in Astrology

Uranus shows how and if you walk to your own beat. Your senses of individuality, inventiveness, progressiveness, enlightenment, and, sometimes, irresponsibility, are all reflected by where Uranus is placed in your natal chart. Your quirkiness, uniqueness, how you embrace your own “weird,” and your level of desire to be unencumbered are all reflections of Uranus. Uranus rules Aquarius and the 11th house. Uranus stays in each sign for about 7 years. 

Neptune in Astrology

Neptune shows your intuition, your dreams, and your ability to be empathetic. Depending on its placement and aspects to the faster-moving, more personal planets, it can show how likely you might be to lose yourself in someone else, your connection to spirituality, and what you think makes for an ideal world. Neptune’s position says where in life you may become disillusioned or delve into fantasy to cope. It also can say something about your propensity to become addicted to or dependent on something. Neptune is the planet of poets, musicians and artists, because of its connection to imagination. 

Neptune rules Pisces and the 12th house. It is a very slow-moving planet, changing signs only every 14 or so years. No one lives to see it circle the zodiac, except perhaps some tortoises or jellyfish, as it takes 147 years to go all the way around. This means that many of the people in the same generation will share the sign your Neptune is in. A great deal of attention is paid to the house and aspects from other planets to Neptune in an individual natal chart as a result.  

Pluto in Astrology

Pluto, while now designated as a dwarf planet, is the ruler of Scorpio and the 8th house. Pluto rules over death and rebirth, regeneration and renewal, endings and beginnings. Pluto’s place in a chart shows where a person may need to invent, reinvent and transform. It also rules power and passion. Pluto shows where you may want to dig more deeply and never settle for just what is on the surface. It also rules mysteries, the occult, and all things that are hidden. Pluto is so far from us that it takes 248 years to go around the zodiac. It spends an average of 20 years in a sign, but that can vary widely with retrograde cycles. Pluto’s sign tends to last an entire generation, but its house placement and aspects to the inner, fast-moving planets says more about an individual in the natal chart. 

There’s More than Planets in Astrology

The roles of each of the planets in astrology are important in every natal chart. Finding out where they are in your own chart is a great way to not only learn astrology, but for self-exploration, too. They aren’t alone out there in the solar system, either. New dwarf planets may shed some light on potential rulerships of signs like Taurus and Virgo once they receive the necessary amount of study. Centaurs like Chiron and asteroids in the belt between Mars and Jupiter have astrological significance as well.

Astrology has a lot of moving parts (literally!), and it takes time and effort to learn. For example, aspects in a chart will show you how the planets will act and work together (or against one another). Knowing your planets is only just the beginning. However, if you’re here and learning about the planets today, keep going. There’s an entire universe of breathtaking knowledge out there.

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