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Astrology is about observing the planets and their supposed influence on our lives. The planets and the signs do not cause anything to happen. What we observe is synchrony – that things are taking place in sync. One movement is flowing throughout our space, heavens, and Earth.

Instead of causing things to happen, the planets indicate things, describing what is already taking place. Often astrologers use phrases like, “your Venus makes you like this,” or “their Mars made them act like that.” Think of planetary influence like this.

The planets don’t force us to do anything, in the same way, that the 5:00 pm clock forces you to stop working. But you do stop working when the clock strikes 5:00 pm, don’t you? Because of this, you pay careful attention to that clock because that clock will show you when it’s time to go home from work.

But the clock never forced you to leave work, neither did it ever seal your fate. In the end, you decide when to leave work. That is the beauty of synchronicity.

Though the Sun and Moon are Luminaries and not actual planets, the Sun and the Moon are included when we say “the planets.” The ten planets of astrology are Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.

(The planet Earth is not included in the list; however Earth’s interplay in the scheme of things is denoted by the Ascendant. More on that later)

Each planet symbolizes a different component of life, a different type of energy. In psychological terms, we can call them “needs” or “drives.”

How do the planets in astrology affect you?

Every planet orbits the sun at a different speed, going slower and slower the farther they are from the sun. Each one is said to affect a different part of your personality.

The “inner planets” or “personal planets”— the sun, moon, Mercury, Mars and Venus—move quickly through the zodiac as they orbit the earth. As a result, they affect your day-to-day life, moods, and habits.

The “outer planets” — Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto — move slowly, changing signs everyone to fifteen years. As a result, they shape the bigger trends in your life. In fact, Neptune, Uranus and Pluto orbit the sun so slowly that they’re said to shape entire generations.

The planets are all ruled by a zodiac sign, and that sign will exhibit traits and characteristics of the planet. For example, turbo-charged Aries is ruled by warrior planet Mars. Optimistic Jupiter rules cheerful Sagittarius. If you want to learn more about your sign, look no further than its ruling planet!

Symbol Planets Influences Ruling Planet(s) Changes Sign
Sun core personality, ego, real life force, inner self & will Leo every month
Moon moods, reactive emotional responses, subconscious needs & basic feeling Cancer every 2-3 days
Mercury communication, expression of thoughts & ideas, intellectual capacity & activities Gemini & Virgo every 3-4 weeks
Venus displaying affections, leisure, hobbies, interests, behavior with romantic partners Taurus & Libra every 4-5 weeks
Mars energy, drive, courage, determination, temperament, impulses Aries every 6-7 weeks
Jupiter luck, opportunity, growth, higher learning, confidence, frankness & honesty Sagittarius every 12-13 months
Saturn fears, challenges, ambition, career, authority, discipline & responsibility Capricorn every 2-3 years
Uranus originality, intuition, sudden inspiration, openness for new, unknown & unusual Aquarius every 7 years
Neptune dreams & healing, receptivity, imagination, confusion, delusion, illusion, and unreality Pisces every 10-12 years
Pluto power & transformation, radical change, death of old & rebirth Scorpio every 12-15 years (can vary)

The Sun

The Sun tells us of the actual core of a person, the inner self, of that which is of central concern. It also shows us the general vitality and the ability to assert oneself, it describes a general tone of being which colors everything else.

The Moon

The Moon represents our feelings and emotions, the receptivity, primary emotional responses, imagination and basic feeling tone of a person. It also has an effect on the sense of rhythm, time and timing, it influences our adaptability to change, our mobility and versatility.

Mercury

Mercury represents reason, reasonableness (common sense), that which is rational. It stands for the spoken and written word, putting in order, weighing and evaluating, the process of learning and skills.

Venus

Venus gives us a sense of beauty, the enjoyment of pleasure, aesthetic awareness, love of harmony, sociability, taking pleasure in relationships and eroticism. It governs our interests, hobbies, how we interact socially and how we display our affections

Mars

Mars represents the energy and drive of a person, their courage, determination, perseverance, the freedom of spontaneous impulse. It also describes the readiness for action, the way one goes about doing things, sexual drive as well as natural temperament and aggression

Jupiter

Jupiter rules our search for original meaning and purpose, optimism, hope and a sense of justice. So also faith, an essential philosophy of life, the striving for spiritual growth and expansion.

Saturn

Saturn shows how we experience “reality”, where we meet with resistance and discover our limitations. It represents the conscience and moral conviction, the laws and rules that we choose to obey. It also tells us about our powers of endurance and the ability to concentrate, it lends qualities like earnestness, caution and reserve.

Uranus

Uranus stands for intuition; it transmits sudden inspiration and lightning insights. An openness for all that is new, unknown and unusual. A sort of stubborn contrariness connects with this planet. It is said to be characteristic of astrology as such.

Neptune

Neptune gives us the supersensory, opens doors to mystical experience and the transcendental. On this level, it is hard to discern where perception moves into deception, illusion and false appearances, and so Neptune is associated with all of these, with drugs and all kinds of pseudo-realities.

Pluto

Pluto describes how we deal with power, personal and non-personal, be it through suffering the power of others or exercising it ourselves. It describes how we meet the demonic and magical, our regenerative powers and our capacity for radical change and rebirth: the cycles of dying and becoming.