The planets represent the major psychological roles or drives in the human psyche. Each symbolizes an aspect of our consciousness describing our specific responses to our environment. The planets then are characterized by unique properties which manifest in our behavior, thinking and feeling. They do not imply a predestination to express ourselves in certain, fixed, unchangeable ways; rather, they express the traits with which we are most comfortable or at home with within ourselves on an instinctive level.
These internal traits that we resonate to also resonate in the universe as cosmic forces. This synchronicity between the planetary powers and the power of our conscious will is responsible for our fate, for what takes place with us, others and our environment. Events are not caused by the planets; planetary energy harmonizes with our unique energy to create subtle and powerful events.
The inner planets, Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are regarded as personal planets because they affect each of us individually in unique and evolving ways through their location by sign, house and aspect with other planets.
The outer planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto move slowly through the signs and affect large groups of people, generations rather than individuals,unless there are direct linkages by close aspect to the personal planets or the major axes of the chart (Ascendant-Descendant or Imum Coeli-Midheaven). When such aspects are strong the person experiences long-lasting substantive transpersonal or transformative experiences.
These long-lasting experiences emphasize experiences lead us to transcend our individuality (ego) toward the understanding and acceptance of societal, even evolutionary goals.
Learning is meticulous, slow and methodical, moving us safely away from our own self toward the whole of creation, so that we may be of one mind with the universe.
The inner planets move much more quickly through progression and transit, insuring multiple experiences with variation and repetition of essential, personal themes so that every possible opportunity for growth and learning can occur.
The Sun Planet
The Sun needs room to express its energies: the individuality, the essence of the soul that allows you to be yourself, make decisions about other aspects of your life (other planetary influences, relationships, career, etc.)
The Sun is an active force seeking expression through accomplishment. It is physical energy, vitality and spontaneity; creative, free-flowing and
unconscious in expression.
The Sun creates experiences that enhance and educate the personality about its potential for growth and self-actualization. The Sun functions within our being to reformulate and integrate all prior lifetime personalities and infuse the whole of us with new emerging characteristics. The Sun expresses our way of being to which we form our strongest bond of identity.
The Sun acts as a matrix at the core of our personality focusing all other aspects of our identity. The manner in which we feel and think, our value systems, our drives, which are described by the personal planets (Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars) are experienced as syntonic or distonic in regard to the bias of the Sun’s sign.
Compatible sign placement integrates the personal planet for easy, natural expression while unharmonious sign placement or challenging aspect can threaten successful integration of that personality aspect. This leads to increased internal stress demanding new learning or repression of that planet’s expression in the personality.
The Moon Planet
The Moon describes our fundamental emotional patterns, the unconscious, habitual ways we respond and feel.
It describes how we care for others and how we need to be cared for. As an aspect of our persona, the Moon is without logic or reason in response to the enrivonment.
The Moon is the archetype for the mother and the Taoist principle of “yin”, that is, passive receptivity.
The Moon exposes our deep unconscious personal insecurities and emotional dependencies so that lifelong learning experiences lead to emotional strength and maturity.
The Moon acts as a repository for all the past life experiences crystallized into moods, emotions and unconscious habits that surface in response to stimulation from the current life environment. The Moon functions in our being to portray these responses as aggregates of our past personalities so that we may observe our “way of being” from the past in the present and make room for change. In other words, the Moon is an accumulation or aggregate of all our past Sun experiences (“way of being”). Change occurs as we discard the negative characteristics that we have accumulated and replace them with the positive traits of the new emerging Sun sign.
The Mercury Planet
Mercury’s function in the psyche is to analyze and classify life’s experiences so that growth may occur and wisdom may be attained. Reason provides the opportunity for freedom of choice. Mercury also creates the impetus for exchange of information and ideas with other people.
Mercury is the maker of symbols and abstraction; it is the bridge between the conscious and the unconscious. It allows for awareness of the transcendent, the unconscious, the Logos. It is through this awareness that the form of the universe is communicated – by music, words, colors, signs,
symbols, concepts and so on.
This function is critical to the evolution of consciousness. It provides dual, paradoxical abilities. The mind can be aware of its subject, merging, undifferentiated with it, and absorbing impressions. It can then separate from the subject, allowing for articulation of detail and rendering “form” to the experience, communicating it,and thereby increase consciousness.
Mercury Retrograde: emphasizes introspection and contemplation.
Sign of Mercury: tells how your mind works
House of Mercury: indicates the subject of your thinking and communication.
The Venus Planet
Venus’ function in the psyche is to evolve values and ideals, to develop an awareness of others. It does this by creating an internal need to pursue harmony, love, beauty, affection, devotion and cooperation.
The Venus intent is to establish internal meaning and significance through the union of opposites, as seen in the natal chart, thereby creating balance and harmony. The beauty and harmony of Venue manifests in social settings, love relationships, love and sex, and artistic realms, either expressively or acquisitively. Venus demonstrates creativity and artistic talent. It is the ability to realize form and design as an individual expression.
Venus is spontaneous, non-assertive, yin or feminine and passive in nature. It attracts others toward itself (the native) through harmonious, warm, loving and socially adept behavior. Venus House placement described the area where you will express your artistic abilities and experience beauty as well.
Venus Sign shows how you demonstrate love and affection with others as well as describing the people you will form relationships with. In this latter expression Venus provides a mirror for our internal state, that is, how we relate to ourselves and resolve our own conflicts. As human beings we readily project our own internal dialogue to the surrounding environment. Therefore, we will identify people in our environment and relate to them as representatives of our own issues. If we experience love and forgiveness for our shortcomings we will experience the same from others and provide that for them. Conversely, our own distress with our foibles will lead to relationships that provide the same distress for us.
The internal process is certainly an unconscious one, but the self-mirroring found in our relationships provides the opportunity to change our internal dynamics as well as our personal and social relationships. This then leads back to the need created by Venus to create harmony, love and cooperation from within and without.
The Mars Planet
The drive of Mars causes one to take action, the initiative, to act on desire,
to get things done. In the personality it leads one to become an individual,
emphasizing fulfillment of desire and consequent attainment of individuality.
Sexually, Mars is initiating rather than receptive (Venus). It leads you to form and define your individuality and self-expression. The intensity of sexual passion is the result of the simultaneous expression of merger, sharing, selflessness (Venus) and intense self-fulfillment, self-gratification of individual needs.
The energy of Mars is strong and emphatically individualistic – not intended to be cooperative – that’s Venus’ energy. In its most basic expression it is survival energy enabling one to prevail in the face of a threatening environment.
The energy of Mars also functions quite well when directed to higher purposes, such as the pursuit of a spiritual goal. Keep in mind, it is the driving energy of desire which is required to precipitate action which in turn fulfills a goal.
House placement: signifies the area of life where you will be most active.
Sign: affects the way those Martian energies are expressed.
Mars Retrograde: the energy gains momentum and power seeking direct expression.
The Jupiter Planet
Jupiter’s Drive is a desire to view life with a broader perspective – self-improvement and growth through involvement in society. In this process of individual integration of the larger social consciousness we define the means of building trust and faith in ourselves and therefore, others. It is through this process that we grow, expand and inevitably are led to our limitations and fears (Saturn).
The integrative function of Jupiter helps us overcome those limits and fears. It is through involvement with society, religion and order that we overcome these limitations. Our involvement with the larger order, once integrated, helps us transcend our ego’s fears and self-imposed limitations.
Jupiter is the planet most noted for success and achievement. Jupiter’s aspects strongly determine its effect on one’s life. It must be in close proximity to conjunction or opposition to the Midheaven or Ascendant or form a strong aspect to a personal planet to have a direct personal effect.
House Location: determines what area we seek to grow and attain the most freedom.
Jupiter’s Sign: modifies the way one grows and describes how one will seek to grow.
Jupiter Retrograde: ideas are reworked, instead of being acted on. Expansion is expressed inwardly, not socially.
Easy flowing aspects with Jupiter add a dimension of positive, optimistic confidence, creating lasting ethical standards and ideals. Stressful aspects with Jupiter describe a lack of universal and inner support in meeting the demands of life, possibly leading to arrogance and pride.
Jupiter must have strength in its sign and placement to balance Saturn’s demands on the ego. In this respect, Jupiter assists the ego in meeting the societal, paternal demands of Saturn (the Superego). If Jupiter lacks strength it can produce fear and timidity in the personality. If Jupiter has adequate strength then the ego will successfully integrate the Saturn function and still maintain one’s individuality.
The Saturn Planet
Saturn’s drive leads one to determine their limitations by testing the conditions of their environment, which in turn develops a sense of personal responsibility, endurance and the ability to complete their duties. In this way, we reveal the area where our personal commitment to society can empower us to transcend our fears and inhibitions.
Through this process we can make courageous personal changes that are necessary to contribute to society at large. This confers acceptance of the directive of the Super-ego, in Freudian terms. By accepting sublimation of our individual ego for the greater whole we personally attain the freedom to move our consciousness to transpersonal states of consciousness as represented by the outer planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.
Saturn’s effect is to create a socially operated reality or truth. It is by no means a universal descriptor. It has its most powerful effect on the individual in a socially defined context.
Conformity though can limit and define the individual too severely and restrict creativity. Society depends on the creative potential to evolve and progress. So it is essential that the individual not readily acquiesce to societal pressure and demands. We must determine our place in the collective with personal integrity, weighing the risk of alienation against the risk of loss of our own unique expression in this life. Balancing these two imperatives gives form and structure to life, allowing for greater effectiveness of our efforts.
This is a difficult and painful process – one that will surface our fears and insecurities and cause us to seek out security and personal identity that is reassuring. This process creates form and definition by focalizing, limiting and differentiating the unlimited, expansive growth that Jupiter instills.
House Location: Where you experience testing and must evaluate your motives toward the issues of that house – where limitations are painfully experienced or discipline is most needed. Also, the area where you can apply the most concentrated effort.
Saturn’s Sign: often a semi-generational effect, unless in strong aspect to the ascendant, Midheaven or a personal planet. Saturn can provide internal discipline and a structured expression to the planet it closely aspects.
Non-stressful aspects – effective ease of expression Challenging aspects – can describe serious lifetime challenges due to its dampening or limiting effect on the other planet(s); they require great effort to overcome.
Saturn Retrograde : such individuals experience inner doubt about self-worth and therefore a need to examine one’s motivations.
The Uranus Planet
Uranus initiates a drive to develop a unique and original identity, an unconscious urging to break through barriers and established boundaries (Saturn). In this respect it antidotes, rather drastically, the calcification and rigidity that Saturn can create.
Uranus is associated with innovative technologies such as electronics and computers as well as sciences that initiate radical change in the world such as chemistry, physics and mathematics which break free of the scientific status quo.
Uranus is chaotic and unpredictable, causing sudden disruptions in life. The intent is to break up unnecessary, rigid, unconscious behavior and beliefs to allow you to rearrange your life. The orderly, predictable and sometimes restrictive world of Saturn is overturned periodically by Uranian energies that prescribe flexibility and adaptation to change. From an evolutionary perspective Uranus introduces random mutations, some of which will be utilized for positive, productive and adaptive growth and innovations.
Uranus’ Sign – describes the effect on a whole group of people – the need for change that is broadly shared by many. Aspects to personal planets and the Ascendant or Midheaven describe those more global effects that are experienced more intensely by the individual.
Intuitive connections made by members of the larger group impact society and ripple out to every member, consequently instilling progress in the world.
Uranus’s House position – identifies the area of your life where sudden change can occur and where you need freedom.
The nature of the aspect made by Uranus to personal planets determines the ease or resistance you experience dealing with issues of freedom, sudden change and unpredictability. A comfortable aspect gives the ability to utilize radical change and an unstable environment to your advantage.
Uranus Retrograde – awareness of our inner individuality is obscured while the planetary energy looks inward to the past for rediscovery.
The Neptune Planet
Neptune functions in our being by slowly dissolving old patterns and instilling new ones. It acts mostly on the members of a generation over years by dissolving egotistic, self-serving ways of being and increasing awareness of transpersonal values.
Neptune is noted for its dissolution of mental clarity, which occurs as cognition (a function of the ego) disintegrates. This challenges current life patterns and precipitates an inner search for meaning and truth in the universe. We enter into this inner search to overcome the confusion Neptune creates.
Neptune provides a powerful awareness, one that easily confuses and threatens the ego. The awareness is that one cannot truly identify with the form of our being that is oneself, because it is ultimately not real; it is an illusion.
Neptune clears the way for an awareness of the timelessness and formlessness of our universe and the enlightenment that ultimately dissipates individuality by our merger into the infinite from which we originally emerged.
Neptune manifests as illusion or illumination depending upon the level of spiritual experience and consciousness. Consequently it can create ecstasy or suffering. When overwhelmed by Neptune energy we observe escapist behavior, intense fantasizing, irrationality, drug and alcohol abuse and dependence.
Neptune’s Sign – affects whole generations and unless closely aspecting personal planets, Ascendant or Midheaven, there is no direct personal effect. Generationally it describes how they will change and challenge in the long term.
Neptune’s House – where you sacrifice yourself to increase knowledge of existence and/or where fantasy and ideals can occur or where confusion will manifest.
Neptune Retrograde – can express negatively as self-destruction or positively as attainment of merger of individual consciousness with the universe.
The Pluto Planet
Pluto represents the will to power and the emergence of issues in the unconscious. It is the inner drive to transform the unconscious into the conscious, confront the issues and integrate them, thereby developing harmony between the two states as the tension of repression is dissipated. This is a terribly fearsome undertaking for everyone and certainly the archtype of death and rebirth is experienced, with all the appropriate fear as we face the great unknown of our soul. The outcome, though, is illumination over the darkness (unconsciousness) of our soul and rebirth as a stronger, more integrated human being.
Ultimately Pluto’s drive is intended to stimulate the desire for spiritual enlightenment. However, it may be experienced on any level of consciousness and many are driven to pursue power through money, sex, politics or any area imaginable that will allow the use of power over others rather than themselves. Misuse of this planetary energy, that is, power, often leads to personal failure.
The nature of Pluto’s aspect (if any) to personal planets determines its effect. Challenging aspects can lead to power struggles and/or ruthlessness and willfulness. One may also suffer from the influence of those who abuse power in order to learn your own strength and power. Easy-flowing aspects can lead to ambition, can cause one to desire making a positive impact on the world, and can lead you to seek truth at its deepest levels with all the perseverance required to obtain it.
Pluto’s Sign – affects whole generations unless closely aspecting personal planets, the Ascendant or Midheaven. The effects are long-lasting and manifest as change that breaks down and exposes the status quo.
Pluto’s House – the area of life where the greatest change takes place and possibly the location of the use of power over you or by you.
Pluto Retrograde – can bring about inner awakening and transformation in subtle ways, that is especially concealed from others’ view.