The Planets (exoteric)
Sun -- From the Sun comes light, that which draws us into life. The Sun represents all the changes we have not yet taken, that part of us that we have not yet experienced but are headed toward. The Sun represents our identity, or self, in that it is toward these that we are moving and developing. Thus, it also represents that which we will become: older people, authorities -- those we look toward, or up to. Our essence, or future. Teachers, gurus, and older (more experienced) people are represented by the Sun. The Sun is "hot stuff," those further up the road of life experience.
Moon -- Here is information about the kind of environment we create around us, our support system. It is not only the surroundings that we set up today, but the Moon also represents our past, the particular history and social background out of which we grew. Aside from our social background, the Moon governs all of the old habits that we have grown beyond. We tend to look down on, or back on, our Moon. It represents those experiences out of which we have come, all those younger souls who are unconscious, or "sub" conscious to our own level. This is why it is said that the Moon is a mystery planet, for it is both our parent and our child: our parent in that out of it we were born, our child in that we can't but respond to others who are now living as we once did.
Mercury -- Mercury is the light in our eyes, the ever-changing consciousness within us that moves from idea to idea. AThus Mercury has always represented thoughts, ideas, and the mental process in general. It governs not only ideas, but communications, too. Communications -- by phone, letter, spoken, or however -- are ruled by Mercury. Also thoughts, connections, phone wires, and everything that connects and conveys -- even conversations.
Venus -- Venus rules our values and sense of appreciation. When we appraise or appreciate something, whether that be another person or a new car, this is Venus -- the sense of love and compassion we may feel. By the same token, this planet rules enjoyment too. Whether it be self-appreciation or just plain old decadent self-enjoyment by having a good time, this is Venus. When we go shopping or are on a spending spree, it is Venus that allows us to appreciate and value all the good things of life.
Mars -- Mars is the planet of emotion and inner motivation or drive. When we search for the meaning of something, life or whatever, it is Mars that urges us on, keeps us searching. Mars also drives us against things, too and sends us into war and combat. The urgency of Mars, the search for meaning, is identical to the need for union, yoga, and marriage. Mars is the planet of union, and marriage is the most common form of yoga. When we have questions about the opposite sex, we are looking at the planet Mars.
Jupiter -- Jupiter is the planet of success and simple survival, the way we have to solve the problems that confront us. Thus Jupiter has to do with the way in which we can be successful, our vocation. The Hindu word for Jupiter is Guru. Jupiter is the guru and guide, the way we go through life, our life path or vocation. Jupiter is the method each of us has for dealing with the laws of life, our Saturn, or limitations. Jupiter is the light or path. Jupiter provides us with our sense of direction, the path we are on, the way we handle life. It affects how we approach life's problems. It has always been an indicator of how successful we may be, our vocation.
Saturn -- The process of finding out who we are (self-discovery) starts when we come to grips with whatever problems life presents to us and begin to get a handle on them. In other words, if we have not dealt with Saturn, or time (that is, if we don't have some control of time), there is little opportunity for other questions. Saturn rules the laws and limitations of this material world we all live in. Saturn indicates where we are bound to learn, the narrowness that makes our way felt, the walls that make homes possible. Saturn holds us together as much as apart. Saturn is said to be the great teacher, the planet that keeps us from getting carried away in one direction or another. Although it always seeks to limit and determine any thought, word, or action, it also defines and clarifies. Saturn is called the prince of the material world.
Uranus -- Our responsibilities can tend to weigh us down, and we each have our particular ways of getting around (or breaking through) the mass of obstructions that tends to congeal around us. The planet that has to do with how we get beyond the difficulties and problems life presents us is Uranus. Here is the way insights come to us, how we discover or come to know and understand ourselves. It has to do with finding new uses for old things, and it rules inventions and sudden insights into our life -- everything that is unusual, eccentric, and out of the ordinary. It is the reverse of the status quo and is always unconventional and heretical. Uranus is, in many ways, the opposite, or undoing of Saturn.
Neptune -- Even the most hard-nosed of us have moments of real understanding, when things are seen as linked together and one piece. We stop getting the idea in little flashes and just get the whole thing. It dawns on us. We each have our own way of letting go, having communion, and (as the poet wrote) letting "the dewdrop slip into the shining sea." These moments and this state of mind are, in fact, the source for all our imagination. There are many ways of seeing through the separateness in the world to the unity behind it.
Pluto-- Pluto is the planet of profound change, starting deep within us and moving toward the surface. It often touches upon the most sensitive psychological areas inside us. Once touched, we have no choice but to change and grow. The most sensitive of experiences, the times of greatest vulnerability, are times of complete identification with an experience, a person, or a thing. We know in these instants that we are looking at our self, what we are. The most personal of experiences is one of complete identification with a person, moment, or idea. Perhaps this is only possible for most of us when we look into our child's eyes, and then only infrequently. Love is not the experience here, but total identification. This is very sensitive stuff. To touch upon this material is to go through deep inner change and transformation -- inner alchemy. Identification and experiencing that life is our own creation and that, in fact, you are I and I am you. This experience breaks us down and humbles. When we touch upon this experience, we cannot but die to what we have been thinking and doing up to now. It reduces us to our most sensitive because -- in a flash -- we see or remember that it all is us, our life.
Ascendant -- The ascendant, or rising sign, indicates how we make an entrance or come across, thus our appearance. It is that particular activity that others come to know as us, our trademark, the way we appear or come on. It is what is fresh and new about us. The way we express or present ourselves is indicated by the ascendant, which is said to be the most personal point in the natal chart since it is dependent upon the time we were born. If we do not know the birth time, then we do not know the ascendant.
Midheaven -- The midheaven, or MC, tells us something about our vocational and practical abilities. It is here that we can see to do and manipulate. This point is usually associated with our outer standing in the world, our fame, reputation, and fortune. The MC represents fame and honor since it is here that we have our most practical sense and vision. We can see and use; it is our vantage point or perspective. The midheaven is also the cusp of the 10th house for most astrologers.
The Planets (esoteric)
Earth/Sun --The Earth/Sun represent your identity or self in that it is toward these that you are moving and developing. Thus they also represent that which you will become: older people, authorities -- those you look toward or up to. Your essence or future. The Sun is the changes we have not yet taken, that part of us that we have not yet experienced. Teachers, gurus, and older, more experienced people are represented by the Sun. The Sun is "hot stuff", those further up the road of life experience.
Moon -- The Moon is your environment, that out of which you have come or been born. Thus your past and history of which you are conscious - your old habits, etc. Yet it is also our support system, all the resources and unformed material we are now working with. We tend to look down on or back on our Moon. It represents those experiences out of which we have come, all those younger souls who are unconscious or 'sub' conscious to our own level. The Moon is both our parent and our child.
Mercury -- Mercury is the light in our eyes, the ever-changing consciousness within us that moves from idea to idea. Thus Mercury has always represented thoughts, ideas and the mental process in general. It governs not only ideas but the communications too. Communications -- by phone, letter, spoken, or however -- are ruled by Mercury. Also thoughts, connections, phone wires and everything that connects and conveys. Conversations, too.
Venus -- Venus rules our values and sense of appreciation. When we appraise or appreciate something, whether that be another person or a new car, this is Venus -- the sense of love and compassion we may feel. By the same token this planet rules enjoyment too. Whether it be self-appreciation or just plain old decadent self-enjoyment or having a good time, this is Venus. When we go shopping or are on a spending spree, it is Venus that allows us to appreciate and value all the good things of life.
Mars -- Mars is the planet of emotion and inner motivation or drive. When we search for the meaning of something, life or whatever, it is Mars that urges us on, keeps us searching. Mars also drives us against things, too, that send us into war and combat. The urgency of Mars, the search for meaning, is identical to the need for union, yoga, and marriage. Mars is the planet of union, and marriage is the most common form of yoga. When we have questions of the opposite sex, we are looking at the planet Mars.
Jupiter -- Jupiter is the planet of success as in succession or simple survival and continuing. Jupiter is the guru or way we go through life, our life path or vocation. Jupiter is the method each of us has for dealing with the laws of life, our Saturn or limitations. The Hindu word for Jupiter is Guru and this planet indicates our particular Dharma, the way we can solve the problems that confront us. Thus Jupiter has to do with our vocation, the way in which we can be successful. Jupiter is the light or path.
Saturn -- Saturn rules the laws and limitations of this material world we all live in. Saturn indicates where we are bound to learn, the narrowness that makes our way felt -- the walls that make homes possible. Saturn holds us together as much as apart. Saturn is said to be the great teacher, the planet that keeps us from getting carried away in one direction or another. It will always seek to limit and determine any thought, word or action. Saturn or Satan is called the prince of the material world.
Uranus -- Uranus is the planet of discovery, invention and breakthroughs of all kinds. It is the way we discover or come to know and understand ourselves. It has to do with finding new uses for old things, and it rules inventions and sudden insights into our life. Uranus has to do with everything that is unusual, eccentric, and out-of-the-ordinary. It is the reverse of the status-quo and is always unconventional and heretical. Uranus is, in many ways, the opposite or un-doing of Saturn. Novelties. Discovery.
Neptune -- Neptune is the planet of universal love and union. "The dewdrop slips into the shining sea." Everything transcendent, otherworldly and unity-oriented comes under this planet. Neptune rules the sea, dissolution, non-separateness, and all communion. Neptune, in its negative form, can contribute to a lack of clarity and foggy-minded-ness in general. Things slip or dissolve. Neptune rules movies, film, and all things having to do with ideals and image, thus imagination, dreams, mysticism, etc.
Pluto -- Pluto is the planet of deep inner change and transformation -- inner alchemy. Identification and experiencing that life is our own creation and that, in fact, you are I and I am you is what Pluto is all about. This experience breaks us down and humbles. When we touch upon a Pluto experience, we cannot but die to what we have been thinking and doing up to now. It reduces us to our most sensitive because -- in a flash -- we see or remember that it all is us, our life. Extreme sensitivity and rebirth.
Ascendant --The Ascendant or rising sign indicates how we make an entrance or come across, thus our appearance. It is that particular activity that others come to know as us, our trademark, the way we appear or come on. It is what is fresh and new about us. The way we express or present ourselves is indicated by the Ascendant, which is said to be the most personal point in the natal chart since it is dependent upon the time we were born. If we do not know the birth time, then we do not know the Ascendant.
Midheaven -- The Midheaven or MC tells us something about our vocational and practical abilities. It is here that we can see to do and manipulate. This point is usually associated with our outer standing in the world, our fame, reputation, and fortune.
The MC represents fame and honor since it is here that we have our most practical sense and vision. We can see and use; it is our vantage point or perspective. The Midheaven is also the cusp of the 10th house for most astrologers.
The Twelve Signs of the Zodiac
Aries -- Aries is the sign of the pioneer and leader. It is always impulsive, concentrated, and spontaneous. Act first and think about what you have done later. Rushing in where others fear to tread, the Aries energy is attention-getting. It always provokes a response from the surroundings, from others. There is something essential and instigating that starts or causes something else to happen -- a reaction or response.
Taurus -- Taurus manages to respond, possess, and "have" just about everything possible. This is a nurturing and fertile sign in that any seed or impulse is cradled, bringing forth growth and development. Taurus is the way we "have" things, how we possess and acquire things. There is something gentle, regular, steadfast, and determined about Taurus. Always accepting, mothering, providing a base for... a matrix or womb where growth takes place.
Gemini -- Gemini is concerned with connections and communication of all kinds -- letters, wires, telephones, voice, thoughts, writing and mental processes in general. Gemini is the gadfly, the communicator, the gossip of the zodiac. Searching conversations, scientific inquiry, research and so on belong here. Gemini energy is unattached, independent and inquisitive.
Cancer -- Cancer is the mother of the zodiac, always making a home, protecting and providing for others. A sensitive sign where feelings and real experience count more than cold logic. It doesn't get any more physical and emotional than here. This sign has a sense of substance, a home base or foundation. Cancer energy is always limiting, bringing us down to Earth, grounding our every thought in experience, in substance.
Leo -- Leo energy is expressive, emotive and concerned with awareness and a sense of pride or ownership. Here is always a sense of home base or confidence from which the aggressive and outgoing Leo energy operates. Often very artistic and always theatrical and expressive, this sign is good for creativity and the arts. Warm and big-hearted, this sign belongs to love of animals, sports, children.
Virgo -- Virgo energy is analytical and precise, always separating what is worthwhile and worth supporting from that which is outmoded and of no further use. A mental sign, where thinking and examining are in high focus. Also, a different kind of mother, here an endless caring and worrying (fussing) about just about everything. Always compassionate and responsive, Virgo energy is service-oriented above all, often thinking and caring more about what others are doing and thinking than for self.
Libra -- Libra energy is always facilitating and responsive, assuming the appropriate reaction or response to any question or statement. What is sometimes seen as two-faced is only Libra's facility at responding to each in kind. This is certainly the social sign, par excellence. Impersonal and impartial, this sign doles out only what is demanded, never overdoing things.
Scorpio -- Scorpio is the most famous sign. Intense, passionate, and very personal, Scorpio rushes past superficialities and right to the heart of any matter. A loyal friend but a fanatic foe, this sign does well in politics and all areas where someone who dares is rewarded. Often associated with sexual energy, perhaps due to its tendency to strip away veneer, laying bare anything that is there.
Sagittarius -- Sagittarius is nothing if not direct, candid and to the point. Sometimes harsh, this energy always is concerned with the absolute truth of the subject at hand. Associated with philosophy, religion and all things that last, Sagittarius energy is always welcome in politics, social and community endeavors where its basic fairness and evenhandedness is helpful.
Capricorn -- Capricorn is the business energy of the zodiac, for it is the very opposite of the emotional Cancer. Given to clear-headed-ness and practical insight and vision, this sign always takes a distanced perspective, a cool appraisal. Logical and painstaking, Capricorns love hard work and earned results. Money and things in general are very important.
Aquarius -- Aquarius, the sign of humanitarian goals and altruism. Always impartial and non-sectarian, Aquarian energy is communal (even global). The focus is on the goal and the goal is always one that is for the many and not the few. Thus this sign is connected to far-seeing visions, world views, and group work of all kinds. This sign tends towards coolness, independence.
Pisces -- Pisces energy runs deep and toward the psychological -- whatever is beneath the surface. This sign is understanding, patient and long-suffering. Pisces tend to absorb all the little barbs and digs coming from outside. They always have their mind on an inner goal, something more important. They are very forgiving and accepting -- giving themselves for the sake of more important issues.
The Twelve Houses
1st House -- The first house has to do with how we appear or the way we come across, thus our appearance and personality. This is the essential stuff that bubbles up in us spontaneously and that is obvious to others as our trademark or activity. It is what makes us each so personally different. This house rules our personal self, and everything about us that draws a reaction from our surroundings or others.
2nd House -- The second house is concerned with how we respond or field whatever impulses or unique and personal qualities we manifest via our first house. This is how we hold or "have" things, possess them, if you will, and thus possession, material goods, money and the like. The second house always refers to how we secure ourselves, the kind of response we get from life and those around us to who and what we are.
3rd House -- The third house is concerned with explorations, investigations and inquiry and research of all kinds. It also rules connections, communications, wires, tubes -- anything that we can get thru with our body, mind, voice, letter, what-have-you. It is here that we explore and search for the limits of our life, whatever we are working with at the moment. A very mental house, concerned with finding, furthering, peering, and all manner of questioning. Traditionally rules short journeys, siblings.
4th House -- The fourth house is where we send down roots, find our limits and generally secure ourselves. It is the end of any searching that we might have done in the third house. Here we find or end our search, settle down and manage to get in possession of the whole situation. This is our home, and the base from which we can work, feel and experience. This is the root of our experience, the core or thick of it.
5th House -- The fifth house has to do with awareness, emotion (to move out), and expression (press out). Here there is always a growing sense of self-confidence and even a pride of ownership, since we begin to recognize and own our experience. We are aware that we have had, or are having, an experience. All forms of expression and offspring are connected to this house -- children, animals creative expression, etc. A sense of direction and ownership takes hold at this point in our experience.
6th House -- The sixth house has to do with salvaging and preserving what is good and healthy in our experience. Here we separate the wheat from the chaff. We begin to care for ourselves and our experience and thus health, nutrition. The idea here is that we are able to analyze our experience and have thoughts as to what is pure and what not. The sixth house is an attempt to save the heart of an experience, one that already by that attempt is beginning to pass or not cohere.
7th House -- The seventh house is the house of partnerships, relationships, social life, and all that carries us beyond our personal self into an awareness of other people, community and the like. This includes spiritual awakening and the discovery that we are more than just our personality. Here we begin to respond to our own personal needs (and those of others) for the first time. We can see what is going on and are committed to it; thus marriage and yoga or union is indicated in this house.
8th House -- The eighth house, traditionally the house of death, involves getting rid of excess parts of ourselves that we have seen that we no longer need. Thus this house also covers initiation and any activities where we are transforming toward a more integral position, getting to the heart of things. The no-nonsense quality of the eighth house makes it good for business ventures since here we are stripping away the dross to reveal the truth, or essence, of the subject.
9th House -- The ninth house covers long journeys and religion (the longest journey of all). Here is what remains of the purification that takes place in the eighth house, the seed or essence of an entire cycle of experience. Religion comes from a Latin word that means to bind back, and thus refers to all things that last or endure, such as the truth. Essential ideas, philosophy, and all that is the very heart of things belong here.
10th House -- The 10th house is a house of practical vision and clairvoyance, for here we can see clearly what is. Reputation and career are often connected to this house, since the areas where we can see with greatest clarity are those we most often can put to use, and make a living with. In summary, this house is where we have real vision and can see to do and work. Planets transiting this house may provide moments of insight and clear-seeing as well.
11th House -- The 11th house has to do with putting our visions and dreams to work. We have been on the mountain, and had a vision (10th house). Here we take our vows to never forget what we have seen and to work hard to make these dreams into reality. Thus this house has always been connected with altruistic and humanitarian goals and trying to set them in motion. It is the house of friends and community, because when we are powered by a real insight or vision, we share with all irrespective of differences.
12th House -- The 12th house is about all that we go through in order to make our dreams into reality and manifest them in the world around us. It covers what we are willing to put up with, the sacrifices we will make in order to bring across what is really important. This is connected to prisons, institutions, betrayal, self-undoing and the like because it is here that we must choose to absorb and take some possible abuse for the sake of the message we are carrying, or blow it all away with a negative reaction.
The Planets. In astrology, the larger life of our solar system as a whole tells us something about our own personal Earth life. The interplay and relationship of the planets with one another as they circle the Sun is carefully studied. Of particular interest to astrologers are the Sun, the Moon, and the planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. These are the celestial bodies used most often by modern astrologers for natal interpretation. Each of these planets represents or refers to a part of our life and self.
Here are some of the concepts and key words associated with each planet:
The heart and center of it all. The father, guru, teacher or figure of authority. Anyone older or living in an experience more disciplined than our own. That which we look up to and receive light from. That which we may become.
Our surroundings, the environment out of which we came. Our past and childhood. Our formative years and self. The background. That out of which we emerged.
Communication at light speed. Linkage. Thought. Ideas. The light of the mind. Logos, direct voice.
How we respond, appreciate, cherish or value something. The way we love. Love, but not attraction. Compassion.
What drives or moves us. Our emotions. Urge to unify or become one, therefore yoga, union, or marriage.
The way through or on. Continuing, continuity, succession, success. The pathfinder or lamp through the trials of time. Luck.
The giver of laws or rules. The prince of time and the material world. Satan. Laws. Sometimes obstacles, authority.
Insight, invention, breakthrough. Good uses for Saturn. "To see eternity in a grain of sand."
Cherish, solve, compassion. "The dewdrop slips into the shining sea." Unity, solution, one.
Transformation. Sensitivity to the impermanence of life. Intimations of mortality.
Lunar North Node
Vocation or application point. Right-of-way.
Sun & Moon
At the time of our birth, the planets (through their configurations and relationships) tell us something about how things were when we were born. Each planet points to special qualities within us. Yet, of all the planets, the two most important planets to astrologers are the "lights," the Sun and the Moon. From where we stand here on Earth, the great shining Sun by day and the reflecting Moon at night are our constant companions. They have much to tell us as to where we have been and where we are headed.
The Sun and Moon (or lights, as they are called) are the two most important bodies. It is sometimes easier to understand what they represent in astrology if we consider how they interrelate with the Earth. A good analogy is the following. Each of us is on Earth. The bright and shining Sun represents someone older, someone we look up to -- whether that be a teacher or guru.
The Moon represents someone younger, especially the groups that we used to belong to. That is the analogy. Here is how we might think about it: We can't live either on the Sun or Moon. We have grown out of and beyond the younger generation (Moon). Out of it we once came or were born. This is why the Moon is said to be a mystery. It is both our parent and our child. Regardless, we no longer are alive to what moves the younger generation. The same kind of reasoning is true of those older than us, who have taken more degrees of experience. We are still too young... not yet ready to live in the solar environment. We receive light from the Sun, and it makes life grow. We each have both a Sun and a Moon. In the course of a month, these two bodies take up various positions in relation to where we are on Earth. At the Full Moon, the Moon is beyond the orbit of the Earth (farther out) and reflecting sunlight back on us. At the New Moon, the Moon is within the Earth's orbit and lost in the Sun. Tradition suggests that we start (or may receive) an impulse at the New Moon, build and develop it for two weeks until the Full Moon, and then gradually understand or draw some conclusions from the experience during the two weeks after the moon is full.