Help! I'm clueless about Astrology

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The Planets

Each of the planets of astrology can be thought of as a type of energy that is present in each of our lives. In ancient times (and for modern Pagans), these energies were conceived of as gods and goddesses, interjecting their will into human events. You can think of them as components of your personality, but it is important to understand that you can encounter these energies in your relationships with other people; they are not just sitting quietly inside your own head.

The seven classical planets of astrology are listed here, with a brief description of the energies and forces they represent.

The Moon is our subconscious needs, our bodily memories. She rules our dreams and our imagination.

Mercury is our clever, verbal, analytical capacity. Mercury rules our thoughts, words, and skills.

Venus is the power of attraction, love, and pleasure. She rules our romantic relationships, but also our esthetic sense.

The Sun is our personal will, our sense of purpose and destiny in life. He rules our personal growth and authenticity.

Mars is our physical, competitive drive. He rules anger, conflict, and physical activities, including sex.

Jupiter is our openess to possibility and opportunity. He rules religion, education, and other channels for broadening our understanding and experiences.

Saturn is the structurer and setter of boundaries. He presides over our responsibilities, limitations, and endings.

In addition, modern astrology generally recognizes three additional planets:

Uranus is our spontaneity, sense of humor, and restlessness. He presides over sudden changes, impulses, and creativity.

Neptune is our sense of oneness and interconnection. He presides over mystical experience, spiritual depth, and ego transcendence.

Pluto is our deepest fears and longings. He rules over death and profound transformation.

Since the planets exist at all times, each of them was present at the moment of our birth, and each of them lends its energy, in some fashion, to our lives. Depending on where a planet is placed in the sky, it may be very prominent in your personality, or very subdued. It may manifest in a straightforward way, or in a convoluted and oblique way. Before going on, you might want to take a few moments to reflect on how you experience each of these energies in your own life.

Next Steps

To go further, we will need to learn why the planets express themselves differently for different people. To do this, we will need to look at how the energy of the planets change depending on where they are in the sky. This is where the 12 signs of the zodiac come in.

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Resources for this Page

The Planets (at another simple summary to complement the one on this page.

The Planets (at a summary with more depth and detail

Copyright 2008 Tom Waters