By: Brittni On: July 21, 2018 In: Astrology Comments: 0

Do the planets really mean anything?

In ancient times, when people tracked the stars, they noticed that some stars were much brighter and moved independently. They observed other stars clustering together and moving as a unit. These “units” are known as “constellations”. The word “planet” originates from the Greek term “planetai”, or “wandering stars”.

These wandering stars are: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. They were named after the gods in Greek or Roman mythology.

In astrology, we pay attention to the symbolic meanings of planets. Knowing how each one can potentially manifest and how they are in relation to one another in the birth chart helps us to see how they influence us psychologically. The following list describes the fundamental qualities of each planet. This is by no means an exhaustive description, but merely an introductory overview. I often refer to Rob Hand’s Horoscope Symbols.


The Sun is the very center of our solar system. It takes 365 days to travel through the Zodiac and spends 30 days in each sign. (There are 30 degrees in a sign, more on that later). It is Fire. The sun rules Leo.

The Sun represents the energy that enables everything to exist. It is the basic energy of Being. It is our creative drive, our individuality, and our sense of self. The sense of “I”. Yang. Light, consciousness, and day. It is the archetype of will, power, and desire. It gives us our will to exist.

It is the impulse and capacity to be, to manifest, take action, to “shine”, to rise above and achieve and illuminate. It is the seat of the mind and spirit. The ‘animus’.


The Moon moves the fastest of all the celestial bodies, travelling through the zodiac in about 28 days. The Moon is associated with the Water element. She rules Cancer.

The Moon is Yin. It is the container for which the yang energy can manifest. The Moon gives place and form to the action of the Sun. It is the root and foundation of that which can experience existence.

The Moon is our drive to express emotion. It has to do with our physical body and the ground of life. It is connected to motherhood, our ‘inner child’, and our idea we have of where we come from. It represents our need to nurture and be nurtured. The Moon controls the changes in our mood and our ability to know who we are by our feelings. This is how we get in touch with our “inner child” and can be needy, demanding, insecure, sensitive, and reactive.

A healthy relationship to the Moon helps us to be self-aware, in the present moment, and appreciative of our inner world of feelings and experience.


Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun It takes 88 days to cycle around the Sun. It is associated with the element Earth.

The best word to describe mercury is Communication. Mercury is invested in all forms of communication. This includes asking questions, learning, teaching, analyzing, symbol-making, and fact finding. People with strong emphasis with Mercury in their chart may have a high intellectual capacity and thought process. They may be strong speakers, enjoy chatting with their friends, reading and writing.


Venus takes about 226 days to make one complete rotation around the Sun. She is associated with the Air element.

Venus represents the feminine, goddess of love and beauty. She represents one’s values, desire, creativity, and attraction. She can be seducing, charming, and artistic. She is associated with decoration, music, dancing, and anything to do with artistic talents. She is attracted to pleasure and sensuousness. People with a strong Venus archetype may have a strong tendency toward creating harmony in relationships, whether social or romantic.


Mars is a small planet which takes 1.88 Earth years, or once every 686.93 Earth days. He rules Aries and is a Fire element. Mercury is a masculine planet.

It is associated with courageousness and the impulse and capacity to assert. Mars has a drive for action. Mars needs to act and move forcefully. It can be experienced as aggressiveness, anger, conflict, and violence. Mars can be competitive and combative. People who have Mars in a strong aspect in their natal chart might be a fearless leader or aggressive. If Mars is not contained in a mature way it can cause people to pick fights, argue, or take flight. It is named after Ares, the god of war.


Jupiter is a much slower moving planet and the biggest one in the solar system. He takes nearly 12 years to travel around the Sun. Jupiter is associated with Air. He rules Sagittarius and Pisces.

Jupiter symbolizes growth, success, abundance, and the desire for more. Jupiter wants us to expand our consciousness and extend ourselves outwards away from familiar territory. Jupiter can be generous, outgoing, and charismatic. Jupiter represents the capacity and impulse to enlarge and grow. Jupiter can lean towards excess and overabundance. People who do not handle the Jupiterian qualities can be perceived as arrogant, prideful, and inflated.


Saturn takes 29-30 years to rotate around the Sun. He is an Earth element and rules Capricorn and Aquarius. Saturn represents the drive for security. Saturn is wisdom, maturity, and knowledge. Saturn can feel serious and restricted. Saturn asks us to be disciplined and implement boundaries. In traditional astrology Saturn is considered a malefic planet, however, without Saturn, a person may not be able to turn their dreams into realities. Saturn asks us to go within, introvert, and remember our mortality.

Without Saturn we are unable to organize and maintain ourselves within manageable limits. Saturn helps us become responsible and reliable. Saturn is associated with suffering, death, karma, inhibition, deprivation, challenges, material reality, structure, concentration, and control. Saturn in the extreme can impose fear and hold us back and restrict us from enjoying everyday life. At its best, Saturn gives us the ability to act with dignity and maturity. Saturn is Kronos, time, and the stern father of the gods, the senex.


Uranus is the first transpersonal planet. It was not until 1781 that Uranus was discovered.

**Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are called transpersonal because it is beyond (“trans”) the “personal” (the first five planets). These planets symbolize the transcendent energies and qualities, which we experience as more intense and above normal everyday feelings. These planets need to be consciously developed so that they do not control us.**

Uranus takes 84 years to cycle around the Sun. He is associated with Fire and rules Aquarius. Uranus represents spontaneous creativity, freedom, and liberation. People with a strong influence of Uranus in their chart can be very inventive, eccentric, or revolutionaries. Uranus can bring about sudden and unexpected change, revolutions, and disruptions. Uranus demands us to break old patterns and behaviors and evolve into a new way of life. Uranus seeks security and wants to make old traditions better.

Uranus was named after the mythological figure Ouranos, the father of Kronos (Saturn’s father), but has more in common with the mythic figure Prometheus. Prometheus was a Titan who rebelled against the gods and helped Zeus overthrow the tyrannical Kronos. He then tricked Zeus and stole fire from Mount Olympus to free humanity from the god’s power.


It takes Neptune approximately 168 years to travel around the Sun. Neptune was discovered in 1846. Water is Neptune’s element. He rules Pisces. The name Neptune stems from the Roman “god of the sea” or the Greek Poseidon. Neptune does not reflect the ill-tempered, vicious, and belligerent mythical character it was named after.

Neptune embodies inclusive love. Neptune has everything to do with giving up personal attachments and expectations. Neptune is associated with the unconscious, dreams, hypnosis, non-ordinary states of consciousness, transcendent, spirituality, idealism, symbolism, and imagination. Neptune is formless, subtle, intangible, and invisible. Myth, religion, art, inspiration, visions, religious devotion, and universal compassion are all qualities of Neptune.

People who do not incorporate Neptune in a mature manner can have tendencies toward illusion, delusion, deception, escapism, intoxication, psychosis, cognitive distortions, and projection. People can feel lost, unsure of who they are or what they are doing in life. People can have a difficult time establishing clear boundaries.

On a positive note, Neptune helps us to get in touch with the world around us and all of creation. It represents limitless love, inclusive and encompassing everything. Through Neptune we can develop our spiritual life and offer help and support through altruistic acts. “Doing something for the greater good.” Neptune can be socially compassionate and the humanitarian


Pluto is the most remote planet and the most recently discovered in 1930. It takes approximately 254 years to travel around the Sun. He rules Scorpio.

Pluto symbolizes transformative will. Its energies are directed towards creating perfection in human beings. It is associated with power, depth, and intensity. It compels, empowers, and intensifies whatever it touches. It can be overwhelming and catastrophic in its extremes. It can be destrictive and regenerative, representing death and rebirth. It symbolizes elemental power, the underworld, anything taboo (sexual, political, corruption, criminal, mythological, demonic), the terrifying reality that lurks beneath the surface.

Pluto symbolizes the psychological growth and change, which comes when we confront the shadow parts of ourselves that need to be let go. This can be painful and challenging, but Pluto helps us to find our higher purpose and let go of our need to control. Pluto is god of the underworld, the Greek Hades, Dyonisus, Shiva, and Kali and Shakti.

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