Astrology 101: Understanding the Planets
A year ago
In case you haven’t heard, you are more than just your sun sign. You actually have a sign for every planet in our solar system! (Note: astrology still honors oh-so-powerful Pluto as a planet.)
To set the stage, let’s first talk about your Natal Chart.
If you haven’t already, you can get a free natal chart reading at Astro.com and then come back to better understand yourself through the lens of your planets. Heads up: you’ll want to know the geographic location and exact time (hour:min) of your birth for an accurate reading.
Your Natal Chart is basically a 360-degree picture of the cosmos at the time you were born, which serves as a map of your personality and journey through life.
Your chart is divided up into 12 zodiac signs (each represents a unique set of characteristics) and 12 houses (“places” where energies reside, thereby manifesting a particular kind of experience).
Each planet is situated somewhere on your unique map. Identifying the planet's locations will help you to better understand yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, sensitivities and opportunities.
Additionally, each planet is considered a "ruler" of a zodiac sign wherein the planet itself represents a specific energy in its purest form, and the sign exhibits traits of that energy.
Let's look at the energy that each planet radiates into our lives.
Sun - Rules: Leo
Governs your ego and sense of self. Represents the energy of vitality, strength and personal power. Points to who you are and what drives you.
The location of the Sun in your natal chart points to who you are and what drives you and reveals where you’ll shine in life.
Moon - Rules: Cancer
Governs emotions. Represents the shadow side and unconscious desires as well as imagination and intuition.
The Moon’s location in your natal chart shows where your soft, feminine energy is expressed, how you process your feelings and moods and what makes you feel emotionally secure.
Mercury - Rules: Virgo & Gemini
Governs communication and intellect. Represents the link between conscious and unconscious mind as well as curiosity and expression.
Mercury's location in your chart informs how you best learn and teach.
Venus - Rules Libra & Taurus
Governs love, pleasure and beauty. Represents the energy of sensuality, tenderness, flow, balance and peace.
Venus’s location in your chart determines what you’re attracted to and how you give and receive affection.
Mars - Rules Aries
Governs will and courage. Represents the energy of fiery passion, assertion, survival, drive, self-empowerment and independence.
In your chart, Mars points to your ambition, where in life you take action, what your sexual needs are and what makes you angry.
Jupiter - Rules Sagittarius
Governs expanded knowledge and spiritual growth. Represents the energy of generosity, optimism, abundance and opportunity.
Jupiter’s location in your chart determines how you relate to the social world, where you take risks and which types of studies expand your consciousness.
Saturn - Rules Capricorn
Governs discipline and commitment. Represents the energy of responsibilities, limits, boundaries and fear of consequences.
Saturn’s location in your chart points to where you’ll be tested and where your toughest lessons will be learned.
Uranus - Rules Aquarius
Governs innovation, rebellion and progress. Represents the energy of insight, inspiration, novelty, change, individuality and liberation.
In your chart, Uranus points to where you veer away from the established thought or order to create your own path.
Neptune - Rules Pisces
Governs dreams, creativity and the unconscious. Represents subtle energy, spiritual transcendence and unification with the divine.
Neptune’s location in your chart reveals where you avoid reality and chase dreams and illusions.
Pluto - Rules Scorpio
Governs sex, money and transformation. Represents the intense energies of obsession, control, destruction, death and resurrection.
Pluto’s position in your chart will show where you seek truth and deeper meaning.
We can watch the planets as they move over time with a transit chart and study how their energy is affecting our experience and supporting our evolution. If you're into all things astrology, you'll love our Moon Wisdom Club where you'll receive the guidance, rituals, inspiration and support you need to sync with the Moon and tune in with the astrological influences each month.
Keep in mind that the quicker moving planets like the the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Mars and Venus have an influence over your daily life, moods and habits while the slower moving planets of Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto shape “stages” of life and generational shifts.