Astrology 101 - The Personal Planets
Updated: May 27
Imagine your moment of birth. Stars and planets align, celebrating your arrival on Earth. The specific configuration of planets in the solar system, along with the scenery of stars, is the foundation for your personal astrology chart, your map for life.
Your astrology chart is map of your past, present and future. If you think of this chart as map, it can be used like a time machine to acknowledge past patterns, honor your present circumstance and empower healthy choices for the road ahead.
An astrology chart combines three basic factors: planets, Zodiac signs and houses. Houses in astrology are twelve sections of sky that correspond to specific areas of life on Earth. This article however explores the inner planets and corresponding twelve Zodiac signs in modern astrology. The word "planet" in ancient Greece is known as "wanderer". The planets we observe "wander" across the heavens from our view on Earth against the background of stars. This is why astrologers also include the Sun and the Moon as planets.
Let's journey through our solar system and learn the core concepts behind modern astrology. Then, you can begin to identify these landmarks in your own astrology chart and understand the archetypes alive in you.
Using the timeless principle of "As Above, So Below", the planets serve as symbolic representations of expressive qualities within us. Planets hold the vibration of specific archetypes. Cross culturally, planets are included in the Vedic Chakra system and in the Judeo Christian mystical tradition of Kabbalah, the Tree of Life.
Each planet is associated with one or two Zodiac signs. Traditional astrologers primarily only work with the 7 visible planets from our view on Earth. These are: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Modern astrologers also add the outer planets: Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. (These outer planets are discussed in another article) In modern astrology, the twelve Zodiac signs and corresponding ruling planets have a similar essential nature. While a planet may be in any one of twelve Zodiac signs, it still holds a similar quality with its ruling sign.
The planet's position in the solar system serves as a symbol to it's innate meaning. The planet name and story from mythology offers additional clues to understanding it's essence.
Since the planets have specific qualities, they are beneficial for different circumstances. Consider calling on the planets when you need support, just as you would call on the expert advice of a teacher or friend. Some people invoke angels or guides in times of need. Invoke the planets below for support and enjoy a dynamic discussion with your personal planetary allies!
Sun Your Fuel, Creative Expression, Vitality, Radiance Planet ruler of Leo
Symbols from the sky:
The Sun is the center of our solar system. It holds enormous gravity as it holds everything together. The Sun radiates enormous power. The Sun serves as a symbol in your astrology birth chart for your creative fuel, power and expression.
Core concepts: How you radiate your light. The way you express your love.
Where you shine like a star.
The Sun is the essence of the Joyful Child and the Confident Leader. Call on the Sun when it's time to shine your light and be seen. Invoke the Sun to support creativity, play, and vitality. The Sun always radiates light, it's your fuel for natural expression. The Sun in your birth chart shows where you shine brilliantly.
For relationship astrology, the Sun sign is a dynamic force reflecting your essential nature. It is however only one of many points for chemistry and connection. The Sun shows relationship dynamics with father, or your experience of authority.
Your Emotions, the Past, Security, Feeling at Home Planet ruler of Cancer
Symbols from the sky: The Moon is closest to our home planet, Earth. As a symbol, the Moon placement in your birth chart shows your connection to your home and heritage, and how to best honor emotional needs. The Moon moves through all different phases throughout a month, a reflection of changing moods and emotions.
Core concepts: How you nurture yourself. Connections to Mother. Reflects your deepest emotional needs. Your intuitive abilities, moods and sensitivities.
The Moon is the nurturing Mother and Healer. Call on the Moon to nurture and grow your projects. Invoke the Moon when you want to open emotionally or expand your psychic channels. The Moon represents sensitivity, intuition, love, and nurturing. In your birth chart the Moon indicates your natural gifts and talents, where you feel "at home".
For relationship astrology, the Moon sign gives clues to emotional safety. It is an important aspect in love astrology for you or your lover to understand how to best connect emotionally. The Moon reflects relationship to mother, your lineage and your experience of nurturing.
Mercury Thinking & Communicating style. Siblings, Travel, The Rational Mind Ruler of Gemini & Virgo
Symbols from the sky: Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun. From our view on Earth, visually it is only seen low to the horizon, just before dawn, or just after sunset. Several times a year, Mercury is so close to the Sun, it cannot be seen at all. The nature of Mercury comes and goes, it's vibration is here and there. As a symbol then, Mercury is associated with all things connected to travel, trade, and communications.
Core Concepts: Shapeshifting, siblings and allies. How you gather information, write, teach, talk and share. Your mental expression and communication.
Mercury is the Networker, Analyst and Shape Shifter. Call on Mercury to organize your thoughts and make discerning choices. Invoke Mercury when it's time to speak up, think clearly, communicate effectively or initiate movement. Mercury supports travel, business, commerce, communications and learning. In your birth chart, Mercury indicates how you think, speak and communicate.
For relationship astrology, look to Mercury for clues in your communication style. Mercury by Zodiac sign and house placement gives clues how to best understand understand others and share ideas.
Venus Love, Relationships, Sensuality, Money Matters Planet ruler of Taurus & Libra
Symbols from the sky: Venus in the solar system is second from the Sun. Like Mercury, Venus can only be seen from Earth low to the horizon, just before the dawn or right after sunset. Venus is the third brightest object in the sky after the Sun and the Moon. It's bright brilliance is associated with love and beauty.
Core Concepts: What do you value. Who do you find attractive. How you create harmony and balance in life. Your preference for beauty, art or music. How you delight in your body senses. What turns you on, in romance and sexuality.
Venus is the Artisan, Lover, Diplomat and Peacemaker. Venus is known as the love goddess through the ages. Invoke Venus to create romantic connection or comfortable, beautiful environments. She supports art, creativity, and harmonious relationship. Venus in your birth chart indicates what you naturally love.
For relationship astrology, Venus is an indicator of what you are attracted to and why. It reflects your values and where you place your priorities. The Venus placement in love astrology gives very important clues to relationship dynamics!
Mars Action, Energy, Passion, Outward Expression, Motivation Planet ruler of Aries & Scorpio
Symbols from the sky: Mars is red, hot and juicy. It is associated with assertive energy. As the next planet in the solar system after the Earth, the visual experience of it's movements can be viewed across the entire sky over time. It is symbolic of a dynamic outward force.
Core Concepts: Where you focus your passion. How you assert yourself. Your motivation for action. The way you achieve your goals.
Mars is the Activator, the Instigator, and the Warrior. Invite Mars to help you get things started. Call on Mars to initiate passion with people, projects or plans. Invoke Mars for motivation and energy. Mars supports physical activity, sports and fuels the creative spark. Mars in your birth chart indicates what motivates you.
For relationship astrology, Mars is an indicator of how you assert your passion. It shows why your are inspired to act. Mars is important for love astrology, since it reflects how you direct your power and passion.
Expansion, Grace, Faith, Blessings, Abundance Planet ruler of Sagittarius & Pisces
Symbols from the sky: Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system. Whatever Jupiter touches, it expands! In mythology, Jupiter is the generous King. As a symbol, Jupiter brings blessings.
Core Concepts: Where you feel most expanded. Faith and optimism. Where you expand to new horizons. How to open more fully to grace in your life.
Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system so symbolically it expands everything it touches. Invite Jupiter to bring good luck and blessings. Invoke Jupiter to expand enthusiasm and grace in your life. Jupiter supports your quest for truth, faith, and spirituality. In an astrology chart Jupiter shows your path to purpose.
In relationship astrology, Jupiter gives clues for overall happiness. Aspects to Jupiter reveal good luck and your experience of feeling blessed.
Saturn Authority, Limits, Boundaries, Responsibility, Control Planet ruler of Capricorn in modern astrology
Saturn is the planet ruler for both Capricorn and Aquarius in traditional astrology
Core concepts: Your area of both challenge and expertise. How you embody your inner authority. Where you face restrictions or control issues. How you persevere over time. Refinement and reorganization.
Symbols from the sky: Saturn is the last planet that can be seen with the naked eye. As a symbol then, Saturn represents the edge, the end or the limit. That is as far as you can go with your sensory experience, so Saturn supports facing limitations and having a reality check.
Saturn represents law and authority. It' sometimes known as the big heavy. Saturn is an anchor, creating stability and structure. Invoke Saturn when its time for reorganization, restructuring or creating healthy boundaries. Saturn supports refinement, responsibility, and trusting your inner authority.
Saturn in an astrology chart represents your experience of authority or challenges around limitations and control.
For relationship astrology, Saturn gives clues to commitment and the gift of what matures over time. Saturn supports stability in love astrology. It give clues for refinement in any area, and your strategy to overcome challenges.
Kathryn Andren is an astrologer and intuitive currently based in New York. Dedicated to healing service since 1997, she integrates astrology, art, energy healing & massage therapy in her private practice. Her deep connection to land, sea and sky inspires a holistic approach to her consulting and teaching. She holds a BA in Psychology and embodies years of professional experience with intuitive wisdom. Learn more, visit www.kathrynandren.com