Understanding Astrology: Planets

by Ezequiel Gonzalez

Having covered the basic rationale behind Signs, Houses, Planets, and Aspects, let's see their traditional astrological symbolism. This we'll do through the use of keywords. Keywords are short word descriptions of what a given concept or things represents. They are not to be interpreted in a restrictive or narrow way. Rather, each keyword should be seen as an arrow pointing toward a larger, more comprehensive meaning of the concept, name or object involve. The basic keywords for the planets in general and the Sun in particular are many; that is because the planets represents inner drives that may express themselves in many ways; thus, the words used to describe their multifaceted behavior are many.

The human consciousness as it expand into the cosmos will encounter the Moon, Sun and planets. Each planet will impress us in different ways. Their influence would be perceive as inner emotional drives. Around these drives our subconscious mind will cluster our experiences, effectively building our self-identity in harmony with the cosmos.

Until 1781 the only known planets were Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are not visible to the naked eye, thus they were unknown to the ancients. The visible planets along with the Sun and Moon are known as the Personal or traditional planets. Uranus Neptune and Pluto were only discovered after the development of the telescope: Uranus in 1781, Neptune in 1846 and Pluto in 1 930. They are known as the Transcendental or Impersonal Planets.

The system of rulerships that ties together Planets, Signs and Houses was develop before 1781; thus the problem have arisen of how to fit the newcomers into the rulership pattern. Eventually Uranus has come to be accepted as co-ruler of Aquarius, Neptune as co-ruler of Pisces and Pluto as co-ruler of Scorpio. Lately, (that is, in the 90's) the traditional rulers of these signs are being discarded. Thus Pluto is seeing as the sole ruler of Scorpio, Uranus the sole ruler of Aquarius and Neptune the sole ruler of Pisces.

Theologically, the Personal Planets represent the Seven Spirits of God described by the prophets. [Isaiah 11:2]. The outer planets likewise represent the three Transcendental manifestations of the GodHead: Father, Son and Holly Spirit. Neptune, or course, represent the Holly Spirit. Uranus the Ancient of Ages or heavenly father; and Pluto correspond to Jesus, for both deal with matters of life and death. You are either with them or against them. Both likewise represent power. As the hymn says:

There is power, power
Wonder working power
in the blood of the Lamb.

Let us now review the specific symbolism of each member of our Cosmic System. In the Physical Data section the density is expressed in grams per square centimeter, where the density of water (1) is taken as the reference measure. The temperature is given in degrees Celsius. The period of rotation is given in Earth days. The surface gravity is given in reference to the surface gravity of the Earth which is given a value if 1. The heliocentric distance is given in Astronomical Units (A.U.). One A.U. is equivalent to the average Sun-Earth distance of 149,500,000 km.

Sun:

Physical Data:

Equatorial diameter: 1,392,530 km
Density: 1.41 g/cm3
Surface temperature: 5,700 degree Celsius photosphere; about 800,000 degrees Celsius
Period of rotation: 26.8 days.

Astrological Significance:

The Sun rules the day. He is like a bridegroom coming out of its chambers, like a champion who rejoices after winning a race. As the main gravitational center in our Cosmic System [that is, the "solar system"] the sun represents the center of our Identity; our basic character and mode of behavior. In the family context the Sun represents the main male figure or father. He may also represent any figure of authority.

Keywords:

Vitality, Creativity, Ruler, King, Ego, Significance, Crown, Proudly, Gold, Hearth, Haughty, Arrogant, Egocentric, Powerful, Self-esteem, Inner self, Value, Forceful, leadership, Will, Power, Domineering, Self-centered, Egotistic, Father, Husband, Authority, Boss, B asic Behavior, Character.

Moon:

Physical Data:

Equatorial Diameter: 3,476 km
Density: 3.44 g/cm3
Surface temperature: 139 degrees Celsius (day) -184 degrees Celsius (night)
Surface gravity (Earth =1): 0.16
Escape Velocity: 2.4 km per second
Orbital period: 27.32 days
Inclination of its orbit to the ecliptic: 5 degrees 09 sec.

Astrological Significance:

The Moon rules the night. Most of us most of the time sleep at night. Thus, the Moon has come to represent or rule the World of dreams; the subconscious mind. Of all the heavenly bodies the Moon is the one closest to us; the one whose gravitational variations we feel the strongest (through the phenomenon of the tides). Also as the Moon interacts with the Earth and Sun we have the Phases of the Moon and the eclipses. Thus, her effect upon us fluctuate greatly. As her cosmic variations are perceive as energy fluctuations within our psyche, the Moon has come to represent or rule our strongest variations in energy flow; that is, our emotional reactions, particularly those that come as a result of deep seated convictions, beliefs, tabus, or traumas.

Keywords:

Feelings, Subconscious, Changeable, Fluctuate, Domestic, Home, Parenting, Babyhood, Emotions, Masses, Motherhood.

Mercury:

Physical Data:

Equatorial diameter: 4,878 km
Density: 5.42 grams per square centimeter
Surface temperature: 327 degrees Celsius (day) -138 degrees Celsius at night.
Surface gravity: 0.38
Escape Velocity: 4.3 km per second
Mean Heliocentric distance: 0.387 A.U.
Orbital Period: 87.96 days
Rotation Period: 58.65 days
Inclination of its orbit to the ecliptic: 7 degrees
Inclination of its axis of rotation: 2 degrees
Orbital eccentricity: 0.206
Known satellites: None

Astrological Significance:

Mercury is the planet closest to the Sun. As such its symbolism must be understood to be closely linked to the symbolism of the Sun itself. In a way Mercury may be interpreted as the way we communicate or express our basic character. Now, the Sun rule our spontaneous actions: When we are just being ourselves not worrying about what the society would think about it. Mercury then represent our spontaneous everyday speech. Here we are not trying to convince others or promote anything; we are simple expressing ourselves for the fun of it. We are releasing from our minds the many words its generates spontaneously without any preconceived plan or purpose.

Keywords:

Communication, intellect, words, speech, Conscious mind, Nervous system.

Venus:

Physical Data:

Equatorial diameter: 12,104 km
Density: 5.25 grams per square centimeter
Surface temperature: 482. Degrees Celsius
Surface gravity: 0.90
Escape velocity: 10.3 km per second
Mean Heliocentric distance: 0.723 A.U.
Orbital Period: 224.7 days
Period of Rotation: -243.01 days (retrograde motion)
Inclination of its orbit to the ecliptic: 3 degrees 23 min.
Inclination of axis of rotation: 0.007
Known satellites: None

Astrological Significance:

Venus is the third most visible member of our Cosmic system. As it is closer to the Sun than the Earth, Venus will be perceive as moving close to the Sun. At times it will be seen early in the morning as the Morning Star; that is, the star to arises shortly before sunrise. At other times it will be seen shortly after sunset, for a very short period of time. Venus takes 243 days to complete its circuit around the Sun. However, from our viewpoint here on Earth Venus completes several cosmic cycles. To understand them, however, we must take into account not only its longitudinal position around the ecliptic but its distance from Earth as well. In the past this was extremely hard to do but presently there are several astronomy and astrology calculation programs that can do that in a matter of seconds or even less! If you want to understand the cosmic cycles the planets draw around the Earth as they moved through space I'll advice you to buy and use one of such programs.

As the morning Star Venus was known as Lucifer and as the evening star was known as Hesperus. As the goddess Venus, this planet have been widely described in mythology. Astrologically speaking Venus represents balance, beauty, and harmony. Physically it is the second closest planet to the Sun. She is also the planet that gets closets to the Earth at a given moment in her cosmic cycle. Venus spent just 16 days of her 224.7 days cycle in retrograde motion. Her main characteristic, nevertheless, is her slow rotational speed. It takes Venus 243 earth days to turn in its axis just once. Venus' day (243 earth days) is longer than her year (224.7 earth days)! Not only that, but she spins in a counterclockwise manner, the exact opposite of the other planets. Thus, it is easily to see where her classification as a female and stubborn planet comes from.

Keywords:

Balance, beauty, harmony, attraction, beauty, love, pleasure, art, music, drama, female stubbornness.

Earth:

Physical Data:

Equatorial Diameter: 12,756 km
Density 5.52 grams per square centimeter
Surface temperature: 22 degrees Celsius
Escape Velocity: 11.2 km per second
Mean Heliocentric Distance: 1 A.U.
Orbital Period: 365.26 days
Period of Rotation: 23 hour, 56 min. 4 seconds
Inclination of its orbit to the ecliptic: 0 degrees
Inclination of its axis of rotation: 23 degrees 27 min
Orbital eccentricity: 0.017
Know satellites: 1 (The Moon)

Astrological Significance:

The Earth seems not to appear in the Natal Chart, yet it is there implicitly. The System of Houses indirectly refers to it. Also, the significance of the Sun is very similar to that of the Earth. In reality when dealing with the astrological significance of the Sun we must take into account the Earth, for it is with reference to the Earth that the significance of the Sun was mainly developed. Likewise the Signs of the Zodiac were develop in reference to the yearly Earth-Sun relationship. Aries marks the beginning of the Spring Equinox, Libra the Autumn Equinox, Cancer the Summer solstice and Capricorn the Winter Solstice. All these are phases in the Earth-Sun cycle. Thus, the Signs do reflect the Earth character.

However if you want to include the Earth more directly in your chart, someone has suggested that the Earth should be the ruler of Taurus. The symbol for the Earth is a circle like the one for the Sun but with and X inside. Finally, the Earth has been identified as occupying the zodiacal position opposite the Sun's position. Thus, if the Sun is in 25 degrees 10 minutes of Aries, then the Earth is in 25 degrees, 10 minutes of Libra. That simple.

The symbolism of the Earth is closely tied to that of the Moon. As a matter of fact the Moon is our only satellite, thus, she is almost an extension of our own Earth. The Earth then may be seen as signifying the same as the Moon, but stronger. The Mother of us all.

Keywords:

Motherland, Home, Patriotism, Identification with, sense of belonging to.