Planets: Classical & Modern
Astrology: Planets: Classical & Modern

Western Astrology: Planets: Classical & Modern

In modern Western astrology are key players in your horoscope as the planets represent basic drives or impulses in the human psyche.

In modern Western astrology the planets represent basic drives or impulses in the human psyche. Earth is the most important planet known to mankind. This is where we stand. Earth holds the pure elements of Air, Water, Fire, Metal, Wood, Land and Love. The Earth is Demeter in Greek mythology, mother of Persephone. According to them, Persephone's and Demeter's stories are the reason for the seasons.

The planets, sun and moon, their placement in the zodiac when you were born and their movements or transits through the sky in the past, present and future - these are considered to be the major influences on the zodiac signs in western astrology. In fact, the planets give astrology its meaning. These planets differ from the definition of a planet in astronomy in that the sun, moon, and recently, Pluto and Ceres (considered as dwarf planets in astronomy), are all considered to be planets for the purposes of astrology. Each planet is also said to be the ruler of one or two zodiac signs. Although planets are said to rule certain signs, they all have some degree of influence over every sign.  The three modern planets have each been assigned ruler ship of a zodiac sign by astrologers and Ceres has been suggested as the ruler of Taurus or Virgo. Traditionally ruler ship of the signs was, according to Ptolemy, based on seasonal derivations and astronomical measurement, whereby the luminaries being the brightest planets were given ruler ship of the brightest months of the year and Saturn the coldest furthest classical planet was given to the coldest months of the year, with the other planets ruling the remaining signs as per astronomical measurement. It is noteworthy that the modern ruler ships do not follow the same logic.

Western Astrology: Classical Planets

The seven classical planets are those easily seen with the naked eye, and were thus known to ancient astrologers.

They are the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Sometimes, the Sun and Moon were referred to as "the lights" or the "luminaries". Ceres and Uranus can also just be seen with the naked eye, though no ancient culture appears to have taken note of them. The planets are divided into two classes: personal planets, (or fast-moving planets), and collective planets (or slow-moving planets). The astrological descriptions attached to the seven classical planets have been preserved since ancient times. Astrologers call the seven classical planets "the seven personal and social planets", because they are said to represent the basic human drives of every individual. The personal planets are the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars. They are said to be fast-moving because it takes them a short time to travel the Zodiacal circle (from a minimum of 28 days for the Moon to a maximum of 1 year and 220 days for Mars).  The other planets are slower and require between 12 to 249 years to travel through the entire Zodiac, depending on the planet considered.  The social or transpersonal planets are Jupiter and Saturn. Jupiter and Saturn are often called the first of the "transpersonal" or "transcendent" planets as they represent a transition from the inner personal planets to the outer modern, impersonal planets. The outer modern planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are often called the collective or transcendental planets. The following is a list of the planets and their associated characteristics .

The sun and moon, also known as 'the lights', are included as they were thought to act like the astronomical planets. Astrologers call Mercury, Venus and Mars the 'personal planets', as they represent the most immediate drives. The 'lights' symbolize respectively the existential and sensitive fundamentals of the individuality.

In astrology, each zodiac sign has a ruling planet. The following shows the planets that rule each sign. Note that we've added the classical rulers of signs. These rulers were assigned to the signs before Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto were discovered

Classical Planets


Planet: Sun

Rules the Sign
: Leo
Class: Personal Planet
Nature: Hot and Dry
Gender: Male
Element: Fire
Temperament: Choleric
Rules Day of Week: Sunday
Characterology: Emotive, secondary, active. He is passionate.
Effect on World Events:
Person's Nature:  (Ego / Self) Wisdom, generosity, 'sunny' disposition
Represents: Masculinity  (Father, the husband, and the leader) 
Effect in Life: Good fortune
Effect in Earth: Gold


Moon Symbol

Planet: Moon

Rules the Sign:
Class: Personal Planet
Nature: Cold and Moist
Gender: Female
Element: Water
Temperament: Phlegmatic
Characterology: Emotive, non-active, primary, or non-emotive, non-active and primary. She is nervous, or amorphous. 
Effect on World Events: Wandering
Person's Nature: (Emotion / Moods)
Represents: Femininity (Mother, the wife and the crowd)
Effect in Life: Travel, lunacy
Effect in Earth: Silver


Mercury Symbol

Planet: Mercury

Rules the Sign:
Gemini; Virgo
Class: Personal Planet
Nature: Cold and Dry
Gender: Female
Temperament: Nervous 
Rules Day of Week: Wednesday
Characterology: Emotive, non-active, primary, or non-emotive, active, primary. He is nervous, or nervous and sanguine.
Effect on World Events: Action
Person's Nature: (Communication / Thinking) Changeability, eagerness, quickness, 'mercurial' temperament
Element: Earth
Represents: The messenger of the gods, governs communication (Symbolizes intellectual capacity, thought process, comprehension and learning abilities, and all intellectual activities in general)
Effect in Life: Rapid change
Effect in Earth: Mercury (quicksilver)


Venus Symbol

Planet: Venus

Rules the Sign
: Libra; Taurus
Class: Personal Planet
Nature: Moist
Gender: Female
Temperament: Sanguine and Phlegmatic
Rules Day of Week: Friday
Characterology: Emotive, non-active, primary, or emotive, non-active, secondary
Effect on World Events: Fortunate events
Person's Nature: (Harmony / Affections) Beauty, amorousness
Element: Air
Represents: Venus is known as the planet of love and represents harmony and your pleasure centers;"love, attraction, prosperity and contentment. (Love, beauty, well-being and gentleness)
Effect in Life: Good luck
Effect in Earth: Copper


Mars Symbol

Planet: Mars

Rules the Sign: Aries, classically also Scorpio
Class: Personal Planet
Nature: Hot and Dry
Gender: Male
Temperament: Choleric 
Rules Day of Week: Tuesday
Characterology: Emotive, active, primary. He is a choleric.
Effect on World Events: War
Person's Nature: (Confidence / Energy) Strength, endurance, 'martial' temperament
Element: Fire
Represents: Mars is known as the god of War (Symbolizes virility, action, violence, courage and boldness)
Effect in Life: Conflicts, misfortune
Effect in Earth: Iron


Jupiter Symbol

Planet: Jupiter

Rules the Sign: Sagittarius, classically also Pisces
Class: Social or Transpersonal planet
Nature: Hot and Moist
Gender: Male
Temperament: Sanguine
Rules Day of Week: Thursday
Characterology: emotive, active, primary. He is an extroverted choleric, some sort of a moist version of Mars, and as the latter, he is action-oriented.
Effect on World Events: Good times, prosperity
Person's Nature: (Prosperity / Good Fortune) Cheerful, magnanimous, 'jovial' temperament
Element: Air
Represents: Represents: Jupiter is known as the King of the gods.  (Public persons who offer supports and protection, as well as lawyers and politicians)
Effect in Life: Good fortune
Effect in Earth: Tin


Saturn Symbol

Planet: Saturn

Rules the Sign: Capricorn, classically also Aquarius
Class: Social or Transpersonal planet
Nature: Cold and Dry
Gender: Neutral
Temperament: Nervous
Rules Day of Week: Saturday
Characterology: Non-emotive, active, secondary, or sometimes, emotive, non-active, secondary. He is a phlegmatic, sentimental or apathetic.
Effect on World Events: Disastrous events
Person's Nature: (Limitations / Practicality) Wisdom, stability, persistence, 'saturnine' temperament
Element: Earth
Represents: Saturn is a serious planet and helps you lay out your path for success. (Grandparents, wise men, the elderly, scientists and knowledgeable persons)
Effect in Life: Accidents, disease, treachery, bad luck
Effect in Earth: Lead

Western Astrology: Modern Planets

The outer modern planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are often called the collective or transcendental planets.

Since the invention of the telescope, Western astrology has incorporated Uranus, Neptune, Ceres, Pluto, and other bodies into its methodology. The Indian and Chinese astrologies have tended to retain the ancient seven-planet system. Meanings have had to be assigned to them by modern astrologers, usually according to the major events that occurred in the world at the time of their discovery. As these astrologers are usually Western, the social and historical events they describe have an inevitable Western emphasis. Astrologers consider the "extra-Saturnian" planets to be "impersonal" or generational planets, meaning their effects are felt more across whole generations of society. Their effects in individuals depend upon how strongly they feature in that individual's birth-chart. The following are their characteristics as accepted by most astrologers


Planet: Uranus

Letter 'H' for planet's discoverer, William Hersche
Class: Transpersonal or generational planet
Rules the sign: Aquarius
Nature: Dry
Temperament: Extremely nervous
Characterology: Emotive, active, secondary. He is passionate
Element: Fire
Represents: nventors, eccentric or mentally ill people, and revolutionaries
Claimed effects on world events: Innovation, technology
Claimed effects on people: (Individuality / Inventiveness) Sudden or disruptive change


Moon Symbol

Planet: Neptune

Trident, weapon of sea-god Neptune
Class: Transpersonal or generational planet
Rules the sign: Pisces
Nature: Humid
Temperament: Rather lymphatic
Characterology: Emotive, non-active, primary or secondary. He is sentimental, sometimes amorphous.
Element: Water
Represents: Neptune is the god of the Sea (Dreamers, psychics, magicians, purveyors of illusions, and drug addicts) 
Claimed effects on world events:
Claimed effects on people: (Idealism / Compassion) Confusion, sensitivity


Mercury Symbol

Planet: Pluto

PL for astronomer Percival Lowell who predicted Pluto's discover
Class: Transpersonal or generational planet
Rules the sign: Scorpio
Nature: Burning
Temperament: Rather choleric
Characterology: Emotive or non-emotive, active, primary. He is passionate and choleric.
Element: undefined
Represents: Pluto is the god of the Underworld or Wealth and is a transpersonal or generational planet
Claimed effects on world events:
Claimed effects on people: (Transformation / Power) Transformation, fate, death


Venus Symbol

Planet: Ceres

Sickle, Ceres being goddess of corn
Rules the sign: (sometimes taken to be Virgo)
Represents: Physical constitution and fertility
Claimed effects on world events:
Claimed effects on people: Mothering, compassion


Planet: Chiron

Most astrologers consider it to be a "mediator" of some sort between Saturn and the outer planets. Therefore, Chiron has the nature of Saturn and is influenced by Uranus, the first of the very slow-moving planets. From an astrological stand, Chiron represents wisdom, patience, and the capacity to relieve other people's sufferings.
Astrology is a group of systems, traditions, and beliefs which hold that the relative positions of celestial bodies and related details can provide information about personality, human affairs and other "earthly" matters.