Your Guide to Astrology Planets: Meaning, Rulership & Symbolism
INSIDE: Until you learn about all of the astrology planets, astrology will continue to seem like it isn't very accurate. With this guide, you'll gain insights into how each planet affects your personality, behaviors, struggles, and more.
Each and every one of us born under this sky has a natal chart, which is, in a sense, a map of our personality, potential, talents, and obstacles.
As it appears, it is not only the ocean tide that is influenced by the Moon. Interesting research published by BBC has shown that our mood can indeed be altered by Moon phases.
After all, we are part of this Universe and the Solar system, aren't we?
To understand your unique astrological blueprint, your natal chart, and what makes you "you," it's always good to start with decoding the symbolism of astrology planets.
Here's a detailed guide to astrology planets and their meanings. Enjoy the read!
A Quick Intro to Astrology Planets
Have you ever heard someone say: "I’m a (enter a zodiac sign), but I don’t feel like a typical representative of my sign at all"?
Well, chances are, we all have. This is because Astrology, as we know it in popular culture, is much more than those twelve zodiac signs we read about on the last page of a magazine.
As a matter of fact, the sign that we’ve identified for most of our lives (our sun sign), is just a fragment of the grander scheme of a complex personality.
Our natal chart includes not only the sun sign but nine other planetary positions that affect our temperament, conscious, and subconscious mind. Those ten planets are the seven traditional planets and three outer planets . They include:
- The Sun
- The Moon
While traditional planets change signs every two days to two years depending on the planet, the outer planets (Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto) are seen as generational planets as they stay in the same sign for a few years and mark social changes and influences within generations.
Each of these planets govern a specific aspect of our psyche, and all together, they create a unique, one-of-a-kind personality.
So, if you've wondered why you don’t feel like a typical Capricorn, chances are you have signs in your chart that add a completely different tone to your personality.
Every planet has a ruling sign (in the case of the Sun and the Moon) or signs, as well as a sign that opposes the natural ruling sign, which is called a detriment.
The planet in its ruling sign means that the planet is at its home and finds it easy to embody the qualities of that planet.
Now, does that mean that the opposing planetary position always struggles to embody those qualities? Not necessarily!
For example, having an Aquarius Sun doesn’t mean you don’t have self-confidence or ego. Or, having a Moon in Capricorn doesn’t mean you can’t feel emotions or don’t have fears. It simply means you express yourself in a unique Sun in Aquarius or Moon in Capricorn way.
The Meaning of Planets in Astrology - Traditional Planets
Now that we’ve covered the basics, without further due, let’s get into what each of the ten astrology planets represents...
Ruling Sign: Leo
Detriment & Fall: Aquarius & Libra
Being one of the two Luminaries, the Sun in Astrology is regarded as an astrology planet. It governs our conscious minds and our ego, representing our most basic personality and identity.
Sun signs are the most commonly used in modern society, and these are the signs we identify with. For instance, if you are born on the 12th of March, it means that your Sun sign is Pisces.
The Sun represents our core self and answers questions like:
- Who am I?
- How do I express myself in the world?
- What is the essence of my individuality?
- What is the solid foundation of my identity?
In its essence, it is the base of all of our interactions. Representing the life force, it signifies our vitality and stamina as well.
The Sun in our natal chart can show us what we aspire to be in the world and what we crave in order to feel self-confident and fulfilled. The Sun wants to shine its light brightly, and therefore, it represents our authenticity and what makes us unique as individuals.
Since it is deeply connected to our egos, the Sun sign can show us how we can establish personal authority. Combined with the houses it is placed in, it can show us in which area of life we can "shine" our light the brightest, and how we can use our persona to make an impact on others.
The Sun governs royalty, tradition, and continuity. Because it rules the sign of Leo, which is a fixed sign, and aligns with Mars, it is associated with our conscious behavior, respect, self-respect, and pride.
How we make an imprint on the world and how we express our individuality depends on the sign it is placed in. It is Sun placement that we look to in order to discover what makes our heart sing, the ways to find more joy in life, and how to strengthen our sense of self and develop self-worth.
In modern astrology, The Sun is also associated with creativity and children.
Ruling Sign: Cancer
Detriment & Fall: Capricorn & Scorpio
In contract with but deeply entwined with the meaning of the Sun, the Moon is the second Luminary.
The Moon in a natal chart represents our subconscious minds. It governs water and everything that is hidden and below the surface.
Our deepest instincts and soul cravings are all entwined with its symbolism. It represents our emotions and impulses, and it governs our higher selves and soul calling.
Because of this, along with the combination with other planets, it's also connected to our spiritual self and primal nature.
Since it represents our emotional body, the Moon governs both the light and the shade of the subconscious, representing everything that makes us feel safe, but also our fears and doubts.
This Luminary answers questions such as:
- How do I feel?
- What do I need to feel safe and secure?
- What am I afraid of (and why)?
- What are my emotional needs?
While the Sun is expressed publicly to the world, we can say that the Moon is our raw, private self. It is the self that we express to those closest to us, the self that we keep hidden from the world, and the self that we feel the need to protect.
Out of all of the astrology planets, the Moon helps us connect with others on an emotional level the most.
The Moon governs the Sign of Cancer, which is a cardinal sign. Just like the phases of the Moon, it represents the flow of emotions and changeability. This means that it wants to take action and make a change based on the inner voice and inner instinct.
Understanding the Moon sign gives us a clearer and more rounded perspective on who we are as people.
Ruling Signs: Gemini & Virgo
Detriment & Fall: Pisces & Sagittarius
Mercury is a planet of communication, traffic, and the internet. It governs our speech and how we express ourselves, both verbally and through written communication.
While the Sun and the Moon are our conscious and subconscious selves, Mercury is how we represent and express those two aspects in the real world. It governs the thought process, how we form sentences, and how we interact with others.
As it is connected to our rational mind, Mercury is associated with the logical mind, verbal dexterity, perception, and the ability to "get the message through."
It answers questions such as:
- What is my thinking pattern like?
- What is my communication style?
- How do I express myself?
- How good am I at adopting new skills?
Mercury rules information and exchange, writing, and public speaking, and its importance is massive since we live in the digital era. Computers and gadgets are all influenced by Mercurian energy.
Ruling two mutable signs, the practical Virgo and curious Gemini, it is connected to our ability to adapt new skills and crafts and research abilities, as well as our overall reasoning.
This is the planet that’s associated with alertness, mental presence, and our ability to adapt to everyday changes since it is connected with mutable modality (hence the infamous Mercury Retrograde).
Ruling Signs: Libra & Turus
Detriment & Fall: Scorpio & Aries
Together with Mars, it is linked with our sexuality and sensuality, and it says a lot about our needs and wants in partnerships.
Although it is most famous for its love and relationship symbolism, this lovely planet is not only about romance per se, although it’s the first thing to look for when trying to understand someone’s love life. It represents beautiful, aesthetic things, and everything pleasurable in life.
Alongside the Moon, it is considered to be a feminine planet, symbolizing maidens, mistresses, girls, and women. It likes to lay back, relax, and enjoy the finer things in life.
Venus answers questions such as:
- What do I enjoy?
- What am I attracted to?
- What do I need to feel loved?
- How do I connect with others?
The astrology planet, Venus, is a socialite among planets. It is linked with the finer things in love, such as art, design, fashion, and social etiquette.
Want to understand what makes someone's soul sing? Look for a Venus sign in their chart. It will tell you a lot about their talents, affinity for art, or style of socializing.
Depending on the sign it is placed in, Venus can demonstrate our ability to relate and cooperate with others. Because it is connected with balance and harmony, it symbolizes our mannerisms and everything fair and just.
It shows what makes us charming ad how we attract partners and establish friendships. Venus is the peacemaker and can show us ways to lead a fulfilling and enjoyable life, although at times making us indulgent, indolent, and idle.
Ruling Signs: Aries & Scorpio
Detriment & Fall: Libra & Taurus
Alongside the Sun, Venus' counterpart, Mars, represents potent masculine energy. It is the primary ruler of the Aries sign, a fire-starter, and the initiator of the zodiac.
Mars is a soldier, a warrior, and a fighter. Its role is to help us stand our ground and defend our integrity.
This astrology planet represents the driving force in us all, the forces that push us forward to fight for what we believe in and achieve goals. Combined with Solar energy, Mars represents assertiveness, self-confidence, but also determination and motivation.
It answers questions such as:
- How do I assert myself?
- How do I react to triggers and fears?
- How do I express my desire and drive?
- What drives my actions?
Mars is a reactionary force. The sign Mars is placed in will show us how someone acts and controls their impulses. It is active, likes to move, shakes things up, and gets us going.
In comparison to Venus, Mars usually doesn’t like to sit idle and will find a way to release its passionate, steamy energy one way or the other.
And while Venus represents the more gentle, pleasure-oriented, and romantic side of our nature, Mars is everything animalistic in us that rules our impulses, so it can channel sexuality in a much more raw and steamy way.
Because of its warrior-like energy, this planet is also linked with difficult emotions and actions, such as violence, aggression, or temper tantrums. Martian energy can be direct in asserting its power or passive-aggressiveness.
Ruling Signs: Sagittarius & Pisces
Detriment & Fall: Virgo & Gemini
An astrology planet of good fortune and optimism, Jupiter in a natal chart shows us how we can achieve our greater potential and manifest abundance. Being expansive as it is, it shows us ways to expand our horizons and grow as people.
As it is the primary ruling planet for mutable Saggitarius, this giant represents philosophy, beliefs, and learning. But while Mercurian energy represents books and skills, Jupiter is about deeper and higher knowledge, metaphysics, and awakening.
Because it also rules spiritual Pisces, it is linked with spirituality, meditation, and transcendence. In that sense, Jupiter is the old, wise master we go to when looking for deeper meaning or advice.
It answers questions such as:
- What are my core beliefs?
- How lucky am I?
- Am I an optimist, a pessimist, or a realist?
- Am I more inclined to see a bigger picture or am I a detail-oriented person?
- How open-minded I am?
Traditionally, Jupiter symbolizes long distance travels, foreigners, and foreign lands. Our inclination and fascination for foreign affairs, languages, and cultures are greatly determined by the Jupiter sign, aspects, and placement in the chart.
Because of Piscean energy, these travelings can be not only physical, but mental and spiritual. It shows us how inclined we are to dig deeper and open our minds.
But because it is a planet of expansion, it expands everything it touches, sometimes pushing us to excess and extremes.
Ruling Signs: Capricorn & Aquarius
Detriment & Fall: Cancer & Leo
While Jupiterian energy is expansive, Saturnian energy tends to shrink and limit everything it touches. Saturn deals with structure and order. It will push us to our limits and throw hard lessons at us, but only to teach us how strong, capable, and resilient we are.
Although not always easy on us, this strict disciplinarian is one of the best character-shapers in the sky. It is no coincidence that it is frequently referred to as the planet of karma, as it gives us what we give back, be it the effort we make or actions we take.
Saturn represents authority and rules that need to be followed, especially those needs that come from outside of ourselves. Sometimes however, it can show us our own limitations and how we block our path to success by having self-limiting beliefs.
Saturn answers questions such as:
- Where do I lack discipline?
- How can I overcome limitations?
- How can I structure my life better?
- What are my karmic lessons?
- How am I standing in my own way?
- What have I learned from past experiences?
- Am I applying lessons learned in life?
- Am I blindly following rules or trail blazing my own path?
Saturn is the great occultist and rules forbidden knowledge, magic, and rituals. Similarly to Jupiter, it shows us the ways to higher knowledge, but its ways are vastly different. While Jupiter will help us transcend through meditation and contemplation, Saturn will help us do so through trials and errors.
Since it rules older people, it represents wisdom that comes with age and the mastery we’ve gained through hard times.
Although considered a great malefic, as it is linked to those who are unfortunate, ostracized, and abandoned, once Saturn teaches us a lesson, we rarely ever forget it.
With its power, if we are open to learning and being disciplined, we can achieve success and recognition that has a firm foundation and isn't easily shaken.
The Meaning of Planets in Astrology - Outer Planets
Now, let's look at the outer astrology planets and how they affect our lives...
Ruling Sign: Aquarius
Detriment & Fall: Leo & Taurus
The first of the three outer planets, Uranus governs change and innovation. It is associated with rebellion and energy shifting.
Its energy is electrifying and brings in social order every time it changes sign, which happens approximately every seven years.
Uranus in a natal chart shows us how we respond to change and how changeable we are internally. It marks new beginnings and points to change. Everything Uranus touches becomes electrified and even unstable, and this can be our relationships, our mind or identity.
Uranus answers questions such as:
- How resilient am I to change?
- How electric or eclectic is my personality?
- How turbulent is my life and my approach to things?
Uranus is all about innovation and can be quite eccentric. It governs any type of uncertainty and can demonstrate our capacity to adapt to sudden disruptions and changes.
Uranus shakes us in order to give birth to something new, challenging old structures and outdated behaviors or patterns. It's definitely a planet of transformation.
Ruling Sign: Pisces
Detriment & Fall: Virgo & Capricorn
Many astrologers see Neptune as the higher octave of Venus, and for a good reason.
Neptune represents imagination, intuition and illusion, all of which are deeply connected with creative expression and our ability to fall in love with people, memories and and things.
Ruling spiritual Pisces, Neptune in a natal chart shows how inclined we are to put on the rose colored glasses and ignore reality. One of the most positive things about Neptune is its ability to create outworld art and help us connect with others on a deep, spiritual level, giving us talents of creation.
It also helps us connect to the Divine and balance masculine and feminine energies within, creating synergy.
Neptune can help us find answers to these and similar questions:
- Is this love or an illusion?
- What is real?
- What is hidden behind the veil?
- How open am I to spiritual downloads?
Want to connect with the spiritual realm? Tune in with the energy of Neptune. Neptune rules mysticism and surreal experiences, but also our hopes and dreams.
However, this seemingly gentle Neptunian energy can also be connected to tricksters, lies, and deceit.
Although it governs everything connected to the fifth dimension, this influence can be very karmic, showing us how we can trick ourselves into believing or living in illusions.
Ruling Sign: Scorpio
Detriment & Fall: Taurus & Virgo
The furthest from the Sun, Pluto is the master of transformation, and its energy is anything but easy and lighthearted. Metaphorically speaking, this is a planet of death and rebirth.
Like the phoenix that rises from the ashes, Plutonian energy destroys everything within us that no longer serves us and blocks our progress, only to help us rebuild and become reborn.
While the Sun illuminates everything, Pluto is the antithesis of this radiant energy. It works with our psyche on a very subconscious level and is very often the one to blame for bad relationship patterns, habits or compulsions.
This astrology planet can help us answer questions such as:
- What keeps me ruminating and stuck on this habit or a person?
- What are my destructive patterns?
- What are my deep urges and cravings?
Pluto is a sort of a psychiatrist in the sky, as it penetrates deep into our psychology but also teaches us how to dive into the psychology of the other.
It governs everything deep and mysterious, but it's also linked to obsessions and possessiveness. It intensifies everything and magnifies our fears and unconscious impulses. It is regarded as the lord of the underworld and is often associated with crime due to its dark nature.
Once we use its energy the right way, Pluto can make us better, stronger and tougher than ever before.
Can you see how much the astrology planets affects who we are? Sun signs are only just the beginning, but understanding all of the planets in our natal charts provides the full view of who we are.