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Everyone’s fascination with astrology always begins with one simple fact—their zodiac sign. However, as you become more fluent in the language of the cosmos, you come to find that your zodiac sign is just one thin layer of who you are. Once you learn the meanings behind the many planets in astrology, things start to get *way* more interesting! In fact, these various planets might even validate certain experiences you’ve had, putting your emotions into words in a way you never could before.
You might recognize each planet by their strange and beautiful atmospheres. You probably recognize Jupiter as a gas giant swirling with clouds of ammonia and helium. You might remember Uranus for the fact that it *literally rains diamonds* on planet Uranus. And when you think of Mercury, I bet you also think of it’s teeny-tiny size and close proximity to the sun. But beyond their distinct features on the surface, these planets have deep and complex personalities of their own. Ancient astronomers considered these planets gods or divine beings that influence our lives here on Earth. And if you’re currently a lover of astrology, you know all about the endless drama these planets start with each other!
If you’ve ever read about your your zodiac sign and thought to yourself: “That is so not like me,” then you might be interested in what the rest of your natal chart has to say! Calculated using your birthday—as well your time and place of birth—a natal chart acts as a snapshot of the sky at the moment of your birth. And because every planet in our solar system is present in your natal chart, they each have their own influence on your personality!
I love thinking of the planets as characters in the story that is your life. Each one of them serves a different function and motivates you in a unique direction, because each planet has their role to play. Here’s what each of the planets in astrology represent:
What Are The Planets Of Astrology?
In astrology, the sun is the star of the show! When someone asks you “Whats your sign?” they’re actually asking you what your sun sign is. As one of the two main “luminaries”—the other being the moon—the sun shines a light on the essence of your overall character and identity. It rules over your ego, your sense of self and the way people would describe you to others. However, that doesn’t mean your sun always describes the way you feel deep down! Either way, it’s light from the sun that sustains you and synthesizes you, bringing you power and vitality. And in astrology, your sun sign makes you feel pretty damn powerful.
If you don’t relate to your sun sign on a spiritual level, there’s a chance the moon has a much stronger influence on you than you might realize. Because the moon is the celestial body that rules over your emotions, your inner world and your subconscious. It’s also connected to the way you nurture others and the way you expect to be nurtured in return. And because of the moon’s innate connection with the night, it also protects all your deepest secrets; the secrets you only feel comfortable acknowledging in the dark. Since the moon enters a new zodiac sign every 2.5 days, it’s a much more specific section of your natal chart that can sets you apart from other people born under your sun sign. And every time the moon enters the next phase, it changes the emotional temperature and impacts your day-to-day life!
Everyone has a unique voice that comes with its own tones, ranges and cadences. Everyone has certain phrases they use in every day conversations. And if you look to Mercury—planet of communication and cognitive function—you’ll have an even deeper understanding of the way you get your point across. If you’ve ever wondered why someone takes forever to reply to texts but acts like a total chatterbox in real life, their Mercury sign might have something to do with it! Someone with their Mercury in sensitive Cancer will communicate very differently from someone with their Mercury in brash Aries.
Everyone speaks their own unique love language. Some people prefer to spend quality time with their partner, some need words of affirmation even more. And when it comes to astrology, it’s Venus that describes your romantic side! Known as the planet of love, Venus speaks to the way you give and receive affection. It even describes the way you flirt, your taste in fashion and the way you embrace pleasure. After all, Venus is also the planet of luxury. And because love isn’t all about romance, let’s not forget that Venus is the planet of friendship and platonic relationships too.
What makes you feel anger? How do you defend yourself when you feel threatened? What motivates you to fight for yourself and achieve your dreams? If you’re looking to astrology to answer these questions, look no further than Mars. This is the planet of courage and ambition, describing the way you choose to face your battles throughout life. However, Mars is also the god of war and combat, making its meaning that much more interesting! After all, anger can be quite a motivating force, which is why Mars describes the way you act when you’re mad. And because Mars is famous for its passion, this planet also rules over your most primal instincts, which includes the way you are in bed!
There’s no planet with a more positive and uplifting reputation than Jupiter. In astrology, this larger-than-life gas giant is considered the planet of growth, philosophy, adventure and optimism! If you’re interested in learning more about what makes you lucky in life, Jupiter’s position in your natal chart will describe it. This planet describes what comes naturally to you, as if you were born with certain assets that will support you and talents that will nurture you. Whatever Jupiter touches inevitably becomes bigger, which means it has the tendency to open your mind and show you new experiences. Think of Jupiter as your favorite teacher, because this intellectually curious planet spends roughly 12 months in a zodiac sign (the same amount of time that spans between each grade year). Think of Jupiter as the teacher you were assigned at birth, because the classmates you went to school with were probably born under the same Jupiter as you!
Like all things, astrology has its more difficult side, which could easily be described by Saturn. This is the planet of discipline, restriction, tradition and karma, challenging you to step up to the plate and learn from your mistakes. While Saturn’s influence may not be soft and sweet, its harsh impact is what often encourages you to take responsibility for your actions. After all, it is considered the “Father” of astrology, which means it’s also the planet that defines your experience with authority figures. And if you’re wondering which planet kicks you into shape and forces you to grow up, it’s definitely Saturn! Between the ages of 28 to 30, Saturn “returns” to the same position it was in at the moment of your birth, which is a major rite of passage that signifies your entrance into adulthood.
Even though Chiron is not technically considered a planet, its influence on your natal chart cannot be overstated. Pronounced like “kye-ron”, this asteroid governs our deepest vulnerabilities and insecurities. In Greek mythology, Chiron was a healer who could not heal himself. This double-edged sword lends itself to Chiron’s meaning in astrology, because it rules over the sore spot of your life; the one thing that you feel most sensitive about. And while Chiron might describe exactly what forms of self-doubt you’re dealing with, this asteroid also deepens your empathy, giving you a direct understanding of human suffering. It’s through your harsh experiences that you can help others when they’re experiencing hard times of their own. Chiron just describes what those experiences might look like!
In astrology, Uranus is the planet of revolution and rebellion. It’s the planet that spearheads movements and awakens you with the electricity of unexpected insight! This planet—which changes zodiac signs every seven years or so–defines the mission you came to Earth to be a part of. It describes the innovative methods you’re using to bring the world into the future. However, Uranus also infamous for being unpredictable, which is why it also shines a light on the areas of your life that might bring you the most instability. After all, Uranus understands that change comes once you shake things up! Every time Uranus enters a new zodiac sign, it shifts the tone of whatever may be coming next on a grand scale.
The most illusive and esoteric planet in all of astrology would have to be Neptune. This planet rules over the astral realm, the spirit world and all energies that remain unseen to the naked eye. And while Neptune can describe the way you experience and understand spirituality the most, Neptune can also make you see things that aren’t really there! This is also the planet of fantasy and delusion, which can speak the ways you prefer to look at life through rose-colored glasses. Because Neptune spends around 14 years in each zodiac sign, it can describe the artistic wave of the current era, as well as the spiritual trends taking shape. Is it a coincidence that new age topics like astrology and tarot have only gained more popularity since Neptune entered dreamy Pisces back in 2011? I think not.
Everyone knows whether they’re a millennial or a zoomer, but do you know which generation you belong to in astrology? Pluto spends decades in each zodiac sign, which means this planet—because yes, Pluto is *still* considered a planet in astrology—literally defines your generation! If you were born with your Pluto in Sagittarius, that means you’re a member of Gen Z. If you were born with your Pluto in Scorpio, that means you’re a millennial. And if you were born with your Pluto in Libra, you’re part of Gen X. Because Pluto is the planet of creation and destruction, this planet describes the deep-rooted changes that take place over the course of many, many years. It takes Pluto 248 years to complete a full revolution around the sun, a moment that is always met with karmic repercussions. Stay tuned, because the United States of America is in the initial stages of its first Pluto return, which will have major implications for this country’s future.