A Tour of Your Astrological Solar System
You are the Earth, and the planets, stars, and satellites that float around you are necessary to your existence, as are you to theirs. Although an understanding of astronomy isn’t exactly critical to an understanding of astrology, figuring out the way you relate to your own solar system can be helpful.
The sun is the largest body in the solar system. It is that around which all other planets revolve, and it takes up the dramatic majority of the solar system. Thusly, the sun is the most important “planet” (the sun and moon are technically luminaries, but for the sake of ease will be referred to as “planets”) in your birth chart. The sun shines through in every other position, and it must be taken into account when interpreting any other part of the birth chart, as it is the planet that is most likely to change another planet’s expression (unless that planet is tightly aspected). You are, however, not necessarily the sun. Rather, it is the guiding body around which your life is centered.
Mercury is the planet that lies closest to the sun. It is so close, in fact, that it is never farther than one constellation away from the sun, meaning that Mercury is always in the sign of the sun, or the signs before or after the sun. Mercury, as the sun’s closest confidante, is related to how we communicate. Self-expression is tied tightly to the ego, just as Mercury and the sun are basically inseparable.
Venus is the third planet, and it lies between the sun and Mercury (the ego and communication) and Earth (the effective self). Venus relates the ideal to the real as both the planet of love and relationships and the planet of values and style. Venus, the way we relate to others, is also closely related to our ego. Predictably, that means that Venus is also never far from the sun; Venus can only be in the same sign as the sun, or within the two signs before or after.
Earth can be likened to the real self in astrology. The best way to relate it to astrology is to call Earth the houses. The first house cusp is, after all, determined by the constellation on the eastern horizon at birth, so counting the ascendant as the effective “Earth sign” works. Although the other planets may disclose our traits and tendencies, the houses are where we express those traits, just as, although we’re affected by all planets, our lives take place on Earth.
The moon, in stark contrast to the rest of the astrological planets, does not revolve around the sun, but Earth. The moon is the astronomical body that is closest to us, so it makes perfect sense that the moon, in astrology, is the inner self, the subconscious, passive personality. The moon makes our existence as Earth possible, and it’s something we fiercely needed in order to support life. Therefore, without tapping into the energies of our moon signs, we miss out on something truly vital.
After Earth is Mars. Mars is the last rocky planet, and it is also the final fast-moving planet, so it rounds out the personalized part of the birth chart. From what I seen, people actually act like their Mars signs, which makes a lot of sense given that it is the planet of action. I have seldom met someone who didn’t actively use the traits of their Mars sign. Mars is the least specific personal planet, and it plays a part in everything we do, driving us.
The first of the gas planets is Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system. Jupiter is often referred to in astrology as a “small sun” as it is the ruler of Sagittarius, a fire sign, the only fire sign that isn’t ruled by the sun itself somehow. Jupiter shows us, quite literally, where we are large, where we may be excessive, as well as how we expand.
It is well-known that if there were an ocean large enough to carry it, that Saturn would be able to float. How funny it is, then, that Saturn, in astrology, is the planet of heaviness. If Jupiter is how we expand, Saturn is caged by her rings, and she restricts us. Saturn is what challenges us, what we are meant to overcome.
The final three planets, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, are called generational planets because they move so slowly that the signs stay the same for entire generations. These planets don’t necessarily strongly affect one person, but they can define time periods and generational ideas and transitions. Just as these planets are very from the sun but still part of the solar system, they may not be immediately noticeable in the person but they can be tapped into during transits and with aspects with the personal planets.