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Interpreting Planets in Signs

Setting the stage

As Shakespeare said “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players”. The planets are symbols of the players in a chart, whereas the signs represent the role of the players. The houses represent the stage itself. In a birth chart, the planets or points represent psychological processes and the people that reflect those processes. In a horary or mundane chart, the planets represent people and things. In each case the sign describes the strength, character, style and abilities of the psychological element, person, entity or thing. An analogy might be a video game, in which the characters each begin the game with a particular set of characteristics, abilities and resources. During the course of the game they may gain additional tools or have other changes, but they generally remain the same character throughout the game. Similarly, the planets in a chart begin with a certain set of characteristics and as they transit through the signs, they modify those characteristics, but still retain the same basic nature as seen in the birth chart.

Since each planet represents particular drives or people, the planets already have a mode of behavior which is then modified by the sign the planet resides in.

For example, Mars is a planetary energy that represents force, action, sex drive and self-interest. It might also represent a man or authority figure. Mars in Aries is very direct and aggressive. It is like a double Martian effect, since Aries is ruled by Mars. But, it also gets to act in a way that is natural to the planet, and this brings out its best traits. In this sign, Mars is said to be dignified. Mars in Libra on the other hand, would indicate a desire to avoid conflict when asserting oneself, therefore resulting in a much more indirect expression. Because Libra is far removed from the nature of Mars, it cannot act in a natural way. Assertiveness, decisiveness and drive are all weakened in this sign, but diplomacy and peacefulness are increased.

The interpretative meaning of any placement can be further explored by looking at the essential dignities, decans and dwads related to the exact sign degree of a planet or point.

The sign ruler

The eight planets and the two luminaries provide ten major players in the drama of a person’s life as represented by their natal chart. These ten players can have different roles as represented by the twelve zodiac signs. But each sign has many different forms of expression, and this is determined by the ruler of the sign. Each sign is ruled by a particular planet and the condition of that planet affects the nature of the sign. Planets that rule more than one sign describe a higher and lower range of expression, which is why the modern rulers are called “higher octaves” of the traditional ruling planets they have replaced.

For example, the planet Venus describes certain basic drives such as the desire for beauty, acquisition and harmony. Currently, it rules both Taurus and Libra, with Taurus representing the “lower” expression of Venus applied to the body and environment, and Libra representing the “higher” expression of Venus applied to the mind and relationships.

Using the sign ruler in interpretation

Let’s take a look at an example of using sign and house position of the sign’s ruler to interpret the sign’s expression. The sign of Taurus with its ruler Venus in Aries in the second house indicates (among other things) the nature of comfort and security (Taurus) being expressed assertively (Aries) through acquisition of goods (second house).

Suppose Venus was found in Pisces in the twelfth house at the time of birth instead. This would indicate the nature of comfort and security (Taurus) being expressed passively and dreamily (Pisces) through isolation and reflection (twelfth house).

Let’s look at an example of using the sign of the ruling planet to expand on the meaning of the Moon in Taurus. The Moon represents the emotions, needs and knowledge of past experience. Moon in Taurus therefore indicates (among other things) a need for emotional and physical comfort, earthly pleasure, acquisition of beautiful things and financial stability. The individual may not display emotions often but when they do, the emotions are powerful. Since Taurus is ruled by Venus, the Venus sign and house placement of Venus will indicate how the native will attempt to fulfill their needs. For example, a Moon in Taurus person with Venus in Aries will assertively arrange their environment and life to provide the most comfort, etc. and express their emotions honestly and directly. A Moon in Taurus with Venus in Scorpio, on the other hand, will be more subtle and provocative in the way they obtain what they need and though their emotions are very intense, they will avoid expressing them too directly.

To determine the sign of a particular planet at birth, an ephemeris or computer software program is used to cast a chart) and get the exact position of the planets. There are several fine sites on the internet that will cast a chart free of charge.

To see the interpretations for the planets in the twelve signs used in western astrology, click on one of the links. Remember to check the condition of the sign’s ruler in the chart for more insight. These interpretations can be used for transits, progressions and directions as well, but first look at the native placement of the planet or point and use the transitory placement as additional enhancements or restrictions to that planetary energy. If you are looking for interpretations in another zodiac, look up the associated tradition. For example, the signs of the Chinese zodiac can be found under Chinese astrology.

Planets in Aries

Planets in Taurus

Planets in Gemini

Planets in Cancer

Planets in Leo

Planets in Virgo

Planets in Libra

Planets in Scorpio

Planets in Sagittarius

Planets in Capricorn

Planets in Aquarius

Planets in Pisces

Last updated on November 26, 2017 at 11:45 pm. Word Count: 1005