What do the planets mean in your birth chart?
When someone asks you what sign you are and you say “Libra” or “Sagittarius”, you are referring to the constellation that the sun was in when you were born. Many people who feel astrology is too vague or does not describe their personality are surprised at the accuracy you get once you chart the full sky. Each planet colors a bit of your personality, and where they are balanced or dissonant gives you nuance from other people. Remember, astrology is a tool for self-reflection, we can and should use it not as an excuse but as a starting point. Here is a simple list of the astrology planet meanings, along with planet symbols. Familiarize yourself with these and personality nuances become much clearer.
Sun – In Hermetic astrology the Sun is the individuality. This is your core personality, and the executive director of the planets. Wherever the sun appears, it vitalizes and makes prominent that sign and house. This is how you view yourself, what traits you feel are important to you. The sun is akin to the broad social lens we all look through. Meaning just like there is a stereotypical American or Japanese cultural lens that can create core differences in the way people view things, there is a broad lens that would give a distinction to people with, say, the same moon placement but different sun sign.
Moon – Is the mentality of our emotions, meaning how we subconsciously react, aka our moods. It is our ultimate feminine energy, influencing intuitive processes and emotional content though we may not share as readily as our sun traits. It may feel like a part of you that you don’t fully internalize. This is especially true when your sun (how you want to be all of the time) is in a dissonant aspect to your moon (how you often are subconsciously). The moon will often a be a bigger factor in who you feel a loving connection with, how their sun lights these parts of you, and in relationships the moon affects if you feel understood on that deep internal level.
Mercury – This is all about our perception and transmits messages both from the inner self and the outer world, meaning it is how we communicate.
Venus – The goddess of Love, also known as Aphrodite, is our more base feminine energy. As the moon rules the higher intuitive feminine, Venus tells us what we desire more tangibly, our affectionate emotions and how we want to receive romantic love (mars is how we give it). Our appreciation, our receptivity. It also reveals our desires for comfort or luxury. Yes, this can mean financial desires but it’s not necessarily how wealthy others see us as (ego), more like the wealth and comfort we actually experience. This doesn’t mean it is totally unconcerned with appearances, as Venus affects our desire to be and have beauty, just that having a harmonious Venus means the inclination is towards being, not just appearing.
Mars – Is our assertive action, which influences patterns of self defense, and how we actually carry out our ambitions. It isn’t the the only, or even the biggest, factor on what our ambitions are, but it will affect how we might go about turning those ambitions into reality. How we fight, with others or for what we want. Mars also dictates how we give love (remember Venus is our reception), and our sex drive in general. The way Mars and Venus aspect in two people’s chart will show the attraction that we call sexual chemistry. It is one of the most commonly checked and most easily identifiable aspects. Whether that chemistry is lasting, or part of a balanced, more tender relationship is determined by the interplay of other planets.
Jupiter – I have heard Jupiter described as the fairy godmother or Santa Claus planet. This is not only because it is associated with what we call ‘luckiness’ but that it influences our optimism, enthusiasm and generosity. This optimism and enthusiasm then fuels our personal growth and expansion. If you follow the ideas of manifestation, this would explain the luck! Someone whose nature is in tune with optimistic, magical ideas will find themselves with lots of magical manifestations. This also leads into the idea of generosity, if it is your experience that you will be provided for what you need, you are less fearful and less likely to hold your resources tightly.
Saturn– Just as Jupiter enjoys a jovial reputation, Saturn burdens a stern one. Saturn’s gifts are heavier. Like gravity, they are what keep us grounded and provide stability. Saturn’s placement influences your work ethic and self-discipline. Where Jupiter is expansive, Saturn shows us our boundaries and our karamic work. A Saturn that is well placed instills patience and a sense of responsibility, and even if it’s not a “favorable” position, it points us to the places we need work. Knowing what needs fixing and how to go about fixing it is just as important t o happiness.
Uranus– As we get further out, the planets move through the signs much slower, so we start to see larger influences in general populations. Uranus influences money and global economy. Ideas of independence or sudden changes are filter through the lens of the time. Weather patterns are affected.
Neptune – Influences dreams, visions, ideals, sympathetic expression, escapist tactics. Romance. Nostalgia and Magic
Pluto – Influences life, death, reincarnation, bringing rebirth out of ruin. Regeneration and rejuvenation.