In astrology, the planets are like travelling actors in theatre as they move through the houses and signs. They do not just represent the physical planet; they symbolize specific archetypes and many other things and each planet has many roles and rulerships.
As the movement of the celestial bodies closest to the earth were able to be tracked in ancient times with the naked eye, the planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn were able to be observed. Over time, they were given relationship (called rulership by astrologers) to certain human activities or events while travelling through the zodiac signs. The Moon and Sun are included in astrology as planetary archetypes and it sounds odd at first but we also separate them from the planets by calling them the luminaries. Pluto is still a planet to astrologers.
The trans-Saturnian (or the outer or non-personal planets) had yet to be discovered in ancient times but today, astrologers also include them in horoscopes. Many astrologers use a large number of asteroids, plutoids, planetoids and meteoroids now lumped under the umbrella term of centaurs for the most part.
The 9 primary planets (including Sun and Moon) and Pluto and Chiron appear to have the strongest planetary influence in a horoscope; or rather indicate the more serious or permanent situations over and above the influence of the centaurs or asteroids generally. Many astrologers use several points, solar arc returns, moon’s nodes, asteroidsand more in their horoscope readings while others use only the cycles of the primary planets.
Each planet’s sign and house position may give a large amount of information in a horoscope. Planetary influences are thought to be positive, negative and neutral in influence, but this may highly depend on their geometric relationship to one another. These angles between the planets are called aspects, and may refer to planets natally, in transit or by progression.
The aspects are the geometry between the planets and one another in the 360 degree circle of the horoscope. If one planet is about 90 degrees of arc from another this aspect is called a square; a planet 120 degrees from another is called a trine, and so on.
These natal aspects are found within each individual horoscope at the moment of birth. Throughout life, a person’s horoscope endures many planetary transits and progressions that form aspects between the constantly moving planets. These cycles can be viewed and interpreted for past, present or future conditions of the native’s life.
A sign is said to rule a house and is ruled by a planet. A sign is a whole assortment of rulerships, symbols and archetypes and 12 different basic personalities. However, all signs are contained in a horoscope so really everyone is comprised of all 12 signs; it’s just that one or more signs may dominate our lives and that is usually our sun sign.
A house is said to rule activities, people and events but is ruled by its sign and planetary ruler. All very confusing language at first but this illustrates how complex the art of astrology is. It is an ancient language with a very large and fascinating history and vocabulary.
Here are the planets used in astrology and you may click on any for more information.