Astrological Planets and Their Meanings
The planets in Western Astrology were defined by the Greeks and modified over time as new planets were discovered in the 1700's and 1800's. Modern Astrology as we know it has therefore been practiced in earnest since the 1900's.

This may sound surprising, when perhaps you've heard that Astrology is thousands of years old. It's true, the practice is that old. But the type of Astrology being practiced today has only been active just over the past century.

Below are the planets and their descriptions - they are derived from age-old constellations and Greek gods and goddesses.

  Sun - The god of light, also known as Apollo. In astrology, the Sun rules will power and ego. It is the core of your potential and your uniqueness as an individual; who you are and what you are about. It represents the main direction and focus you want your life to take, and your determination to accomplish what you set out to do. It is your personal honesty and integrity, and the ability to command respect and authority, and to impress and influence others. Health-wise, the Sun rules the brain, the heart, and the nervous system.
Ruling zodiacal House:
Ruling zodiacal Sign: Leo

  Moon - The goddess of the hunt, also known as Artemis. In astrology, the Moon rules desire as opposed to ego, need as opposed to expediency or reason. It describes how you feel about yourself, how you handle relationships, and how you emotionally respond to situations and experiences. It describes the flow of your daily functions; physical, emotional, and mental. The moon represents your residence and domestic environment. It rules babies and young children, your mother and other important females in your life. Health-wise, the Moon represents the endocrine system, the breasts, lymphatic system, the stomach and digestive system, and the ovaries.
Ruling zodiacal House:
Ruling zodiacal Sign: Cancer

  Mercury - The messenger god Hermes. In astrology, Mercury indicates mental outlook, intellectual endeavors, the way you think and communicate. It represents ideas, methods, and information. It rules your hands and thus your manual dexterity and mechanical skills. Mercury also describes transportation; that is, how you get where you're going physically and mentally. Do you speed with all possible haste or amble along taking a few detours here and there? Health-wise, Mercury rules the thyroid, brain and nervous system, the respiratory system (including chest and lungs), the shoulders, arms, and hands.
Ruling zodiacal Houses:
3, 6
Ruling zodiacal Signs: Gemini, Virgo

  Venus - The goddess of love, also known as Aphrodite. In astrology, Venus rules your social attitudes and behavior, and your aesthetic tastes and inclinations. It dictates how you relate and socially interact with the opposite sex. Venus indicates your values. It describes romance, marriage and other partnerships, capacity for humor, and the pursuit of pleasure. Health-wise, Venus rules the parathyroid gland (including the general area of the neck and throat), as well as the lower back and kidneys.
Ruling zodiacal Houses:
2, 7
Ruling zodiacal Signs: Taurus, Libra

  Mars - The god of war, also known as Ares. In astrology, Mars rules physical energy and efforts. It describes the strength and direction of the physical force that drives your ego, fires your emotions, and encourages your mental endeavors and communicative skills. It describes male relationships and associations, risk-taking inclinations, and the physical challenges you are likely to encounter. It deals with your sexual impulsiveness, as well as how prone you may be to accidents. Health-wise, Mars rules the muscular, circulatory and urogenital systems, as well as your solar plexus.
Ruling zodiacal House:
Ruling zodiacal Sign: Aries

  Jupiter - The god of the gods, also known as Zeus. Jupiter is also known as the 'good luck' planet, because Jupiter rules your potential for growth and expansion on many levels; physical, intellectual, spiritual, cultural, and the accumulation of material assets, power, and status. It describes your optimism and aspirations. In a birth chart, Jupiter also represents your father and his position in society. Health-wise, Jupiter rules the pituitary gland, liver, hips and thighs.
Ruling zodiacal House:
Ruling zodiacal Sign: Sagittarius

  Saturn - The god of time, also known as Kronos. Saturn rules responsibilities, restrictions and limitations you are apt to encounter, and the lessons you must learn in life. It does not deny or diminish imagination, inspiration, spirituality, and good fortune, but Saturn does demand that these things be given structure and meaning, and as a result, certain issues will continue to crop up in your life until resolved. Saturn is also known as the planet of Karma; anything you have done in all of Time, whether in a past life or in this life, will continue to dog you until you have faced the issue and have overcome it. This is not a bad or evil planet, rather, it is there to keep us humble and in touch with our individual Life Paths. We cannot help others until we have faced and overcome our own fears, limitations, judgmental behaviour, guilt and insecurities. Saturn keeps coming back up again to let us know that. It's an opportunity to work on ourselves before feeling the need to reach out to others. Listen to Saturn, for he is the Wise Old Man, the Teacher, and the one who can help your Soul progress and ascend. Health-wise, Saturn rules the organs of the ears, the gallbladder, spleen, skin, teeth and bones (especially the knees).
Ruling zodiacal House:
Ruling zodiacal Sign: Capricorn

  Uranus (pronounced "yur-ah-nuss") - The god of the Heavens, also known as Ouranos. Uranus rules personal as well as societal freedom. It indicates originality of thought and expression. In society it rules radical ideas and people as well as revolutionary events that upset established structures. Uranus takes approximately seven years to transit one sign, taking about 84 years to complete all twelve signs. Since groups of people with Uranus in the same sign are separated by 84 years, the influence of this planet in a sign is generational. The personal implications of Uranus in your life are described by its house position and the aspects it makes with other planets in your natal chart. It describes areas of unpredictability, and where you or your lifestyle may be different than those around you. It relates to the unusual or unique. Friends and associations to which you belong are also indicated, as is your potential involvement with science and technology, computers, and the media. Health-wise, Uranus rules the circulatory system, the spine and nerves (especially the nerves of the back), and the pineal gland.
Ruling zodiacal House:
Ruling zodiacal Sign: Aquarius

  Neptune - The god of the Sea, also known as Poseidon. Neptune rules those who are oppressed or abandoned; the misfits of society. On a higher level it rules visionaries, and those who are glamorous and charismatic. It represents spirituality, mysticism, and ideals. Neptune is in one sign for approximately thirteen years, taking about 164 years to complete its cycle through all twelve signs. Since 164 years separate people born during its transit of one sign and those born when it returns, Neptune's significance in any sign is described as generational or historical. On a personal level, Neptune's house position and the aspects it makes with other planets in your natal chart will describe spirituality, abstract thinking, illusion, disillusionment, and other areas of your life where things aren't always what they seem. It rules derangement, guilt, persecution, and describes the potential for experiences related to confinement, abandonment, and addiction or physical intolerance to drugs. Health-wise, Neptune rules the thalamus and nervous system.
Ruling zodiacal House:
Ruling zodiacal Sign: Pisces

  Pluto - The god of the Underworld, also known as Hades. Pluto takes approximately 248 years to make one cycle through all twelve signs. The period Pluto spends in each sign can vary from twelve years to thirty two years due to the eccentricity of its orbit. Like atomic energy (a force ruled by Pluto), the presence and direction of Pluto's energy are never obvious until it is used. Pluto's influence in any sign is interpreted as generational or historical. In your personal life, Pluto's significance is interpreted from its house position and the aspects it makes to other natal planets in your horoscope. Pluto rules intense energy in the form of breaking down and building back up, and describes the areas in which you consciously or subconsciously seek to exercise power or control. That is, Pluto ensures a continual reassessing of your evolving conscience to keep you on the path to ascension. As a result, Pluto is also linked to your Karmic responsibility, and in this respect, it describes the areas where you must gain the deepest level of understanding. When you go against or ignore the lessons Pluto has to offer, nervous breakdown can occur, leading to epiphany to put you back on track. Health-wise, Pluto rules the sex organs and the excretory system, as well as the health of one's reproductive system.
Ruling zodiacal House:
Ruling zodiacal Sign: Scorpio

There are also five large asteroids which some astrologers take into consideration in the natal chart. The reason being is that these asteroids are as large as planets. Ceres is actually now noted as a dwarf planet. The asteroids live in what is known as the "main belt" of asteroids, which lies between Mars and Jupiter. Four of these asteroids were discovered in the 1800's and named in accordance with the mythologies for the outer planets Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto.

According to Demetra George and Douglas Bloch in their book Asteroid Goddesses, "The Sun, Mercury, Venus, Moon, and Mars are known as the personal planets because they rule the personal qualities of identity, intellect, values, emotions and drives. Jupiter and Saturn function as the social planets, signifying the ethics and laws by which a society operates. Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are the universal planets or ambassadors of the galaxy, vibrating to large-scale cosmic forces. The asteroids mostly occupy the belt between Mars and Jupiter, thereby forming a physical and spiritual bridge that links the personal to the social and collective" -pp. 7,8.
The astrological asteroids are as follows:

  Pallas Athene - The goddess of wisdom and creativity. Pallas Athene was the daughter of Jupiter and Metis. Jupiter had swallowed his pregnant wife out of fear that she would bear children more powerful than he, but this did not kill Metis or her unborn daughter. Pallas sprang from her father's forehead fully grown, battle armor on. She ended up as one of Jupiter's favourite daughters. That she emerged whole from Jupiter's forehead indicates one with great mental intellect and creativity, as well as courage. The key to where your intellect, creativity and courage lies is where Pallas Athene is in your chart at the time of your bith.

  Juno - The goddess of marriage and commitment. She, like Ceres below, was a daughter of the god Saturn, and sister and wife to Jupiter. In astrology, Juno indicates how well you manage jealousy in relationships, and how committed you are as well. Juno represents intimacy, cooperation and sharing between you and your mate, and where Juno falls within your chart gives you the key as to these strengths and/or weaknesses.

  Ceres - The goddess of grain agriculture. Ceres was the daughter of the god Saturn, and was wife and sister of the god Jupiter. In astrology, Ceres describes your ability to love unconditionally; letting go when the time comes, and trusting that you will love and nurture again, versus grasping possessively at people and things, unwilling to let go. Finding where Ceres is in your natal chart allows you to face your Ceres nature.

  Vesta - The virgin goddess of hearth and home, who had fires lit in her honour year-round in her sacred temple. In Roman mythology, Vesta's parents were Kronos and Rhea, but in Greek mythology, no clear paternal link is known. In astrology, Vesta describes your true Self - who you really are, and how independent you are in the world. Vesta in your chart shows where you may dedicate your energies best to reach your ideal Self.

There is one other asteroid to mention - this asteroid is male-identified and was discovered in 1977:
  Chiron - The Wounded Healer. Part of the race of Centaurs (half man, half horse), Chiron was the son of Cronus (who was the son of the god Uranus). Chiron was a teacher and astrologer, a healer and great warrior. Chiron was supposed to be immortal, but for a weakness to the blood of the Hydra. Chiron was accidentally pierced with a poison arrow drenched in blood of the Hydra. In painful agony, he tried unsuccessfully to heal himself, and asked Zeus to release him from his immortality. Zeus granted this request, and Chiron ascended to the stars, where he became the constellation Centaurus. It is notable too that in astronomy, Chiron is half asteroid, half comet. In astrology, Chiron shows you where in your chart you are most susceptible, the most hurt or wounded. From there, you gain a better idea of how to heal yourself - how to work on the painful issues, and then become a teacher to others, to help them work through the same or similar issues.

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Chart analysis provided by Stephanie, Copyright 2002-2008.