The planets in astrology as depicted in the birthchart necklace - their characteristics and significance.
Heavenly bodies regarded as planets in astrology are not all accurately termed planets within the field of astronomy.
For example, astrology includes in a birth chart the Sun (which is a star), the Moon (which is a satellite), Pluto (which has been demoted from its status as a planet in recent years and is now known as a "dwarf planet"), and Chiron (which is an asteroid). But as far as mainstream astrology is concerned these are all included in the term "planet".
This page gives a brief overview of the main characteristics attributed to each of these planets in astrology and the significance of the role they play in a birth chart. Beside each description is the symbol used in astrology to signify that planet. These symbols are drawn on the birth chart.
Just the names of the planets themselves yield clues as to what they represent since they are almost all named after figures in mythology. Knowing the stories of these figures tells much about the planets named after them.
The Outer Planets in Astrology - Pluto, Neptune, Uranus
These three planets are furthest away from the Sun. Their orbits take many years so in a person's lifetime they only move through a relatively small section of the chart. This means that millions of people will have them in roughly the same positions within their birth charts.
For this reason their influence taken alone is considered to have an effect on a larger scale such as on a generation or a country as opposed to a personal one. Nevertheless in a birth chart their relationship to the personal, faster moving planets does have significance especially if they are within a specific number of degrees. Such relationships are known in astrology as "aspects". Details of aspects are beyond the scope of this site but can be found in any basic astrology book.
Pluto was discovered in 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh. Astrologically it's the slowest moving of all the planets in our solar system and the furthest from the Sun. It takes 248 years for Pluto to complete one orbit. Its orbit isn't regular so its stay in any one zodiac sign can be anything from twelve to thirty-two years.
It is regarded as the ruler of the sign of Scorpio. In Roman mythology Pluto (Hades to the Greeks) was the ruler of the underworld. Pluto preferred to keep a low profile.
As one of the planets in astrology the position of Pluto in a birth chart indicates how the person deals with experiences of regeneration and renewal. Pluto also represents power of all kinds and everything that can enhance power.
Neptune, discovered in 1846, has an orbit which takes some 165 years. Its discovery is attributed to two people, John Couch Adams and Urbain Le Verrier.
Neptune is named after the Roman god of the sea - Poseidon in Greek mythology. In astrology it is regarded as the ruler of the sign of Pisces.
In a birth chart Neptune represents those areas where the person can express deep emotions. It is also associated with everything long-term, artistic talents and healing towards regeneration.
Statue of Neptune, Gdansk, Poland
Uranus was discovered by William Herschel in 1781. It takes just 84 years to make one orbit of the Sun.
In both Greek and Roman mythology, Uranus was the first father of the gods. He is regarded as the astrological ruler of the sign Aquarius and represents anything relating to the public. Uranus relates to fame and public acclaim.
Uranus' children rebelled against him and in astrology he has come to represent rebellion against authority and a dislike of constraint.
The Personal Planets in Astrology - Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Chiron
These "planets" are so-called because the speed at which they orbit the Sun creates ongoing changes within a natal chart. Thus two people born at the same place during the same week will have significant differences in their planetary positions and thus have more personally relevant birth charts.
Chiron is an asteroid that was only discovered in 1977 by Charles Kowal. It has an orbit of approximately 51 years although it is not equidistant from the Sun throughout. At times it is closer and at others further away. For example, it's elliptical path allows it to take only 18 months to pass through the signs of Virgo and Libra, but around nine years to pass through Pisces and Aries.
Kowal himself called Chiron "a maverick" because it was not quite like any other known heavenly body at the time. It is named after a centaur in mythology - a beast that is half man and half horse. Chiron stands for gaining wisdom through experience.
In astrology Chiron has become known as the "wounded healer". In a birth chart it signifies the area where a person might have their greatest emotional wound. A wound which has the potential, by healing, to become their greatest gift.
The existence of Saturn has been known for thousands of years. This is because Saturn is visible to the naked eye so early civilisations were aware of its existence. It is the furthest away of the planets that were known to the ancients and has an orbit taking some 29 years to complete.
Saturn (Kronos to the Greeks) was the Roman god of the harvest. In Greek mythology Kronos was son of Uranus and ruled until he was overthrown by his own son, Zeus.
Saturn represents restrictions and limitations as well as problems of all kinds. Saturn takes things seriously. He is regarded as the ruler of Capricorn.
In stark contrast to Saturn, Jupiter is the planet of expansion, success and even excess. It is the largest known planet in our solar system and take about 12 years to make one orbit of the Sun.
Jupiter is the Roman equivalent of Zeus (son of Saturn). Zeus became ruler of the earth and the heavens. He did his best to rule well and fairly.
Jupiter rules the sign of Sagittarius. In a natal chart its position indicates the ability to learn and to grow. When interpreted as one of the planets in astrology, Jupiter is generally regarded as a benevolent planet.
Mars is fairly well known as the Roman god of war. The Greek equivalent is Ares who is much less famous.
Mars does a complete orbit of the Sun every 1.88 years.
Astrologically Mars rules the sign of Aries - generally regarded as the first sign of the zodiac. It is also recognised as a co-ruler of Scorpio as was the case before the discovery of Pluto.
As one of the planets in astrology Mars represents drive, energy and action. Its position in a birth chart reveals the areas of life in which these qualities will be found for the individual.
Statue of Mars on facade of Verdi Theatre in Trieste, Italy
Venus (Aphrodite in Greek legend) is popularly known as the goddess of love. She represents beauty and affection.
A single orbit of the Sun takes Venus 225 days - less than a year in Earth time.
Venus is the ruler of the signs of Taurus and Libra.
In a birth chart Venus shows a person's emotional temperament and the nature of their relationships with others. Those natal charts showing a strong Venus influence often indicate the fact that the person will need and seek strong positive relationships.
As the one that's closest to it, Mercury is the fastest moving planet in our solar system that orbits the Sun in only 88 days. In a birth chart only the Moon moves faster.
Mercury was the messenger of the gods and is linked astrologically with communication. The Greek equivalent is Hermes.
Mercury rules the signs of Gemini and Virgo. If it is in a significant position in a birth chart it indicates a quick-thinker with the ability to adapt and innovate.
The Moon orbits Earth and the two together go round the Sun. The Moon orbits the Earth once every 28 days and its position in a birth chart varies noticeably with the time a person was born.
Since many people in the UK don't know the exact time they were born, for many necklaces I place the Moon where it would be at noon on the date of birth.
The position of the Moon in a natal chart indicates the emotions and the subconscious. The Moon is regarded as one of the planets in astrology.
The Moon is the ruler of the sign of Cancer.
The Sun is the heavenly body around which everything else revolves. Traditionally, however, astrological charts place the Earth rather than the Sun at the centre and note the positions of the other planets in astrology in relation to Earth rather than to the Sun.
A chart which places the Sun at its centre is known as a Heliocentric chart and is used in some branches of astrology.
The necklaces are made using the more customary geocentric chart (Earth at centre).
In a birth chart the Sun represents the person whose chart it is. Just about every newspaper horoscope bases it's readings on the Sunsign i.e. the zodiac sign in which the Sun is placed at birth. This is, however, an extremely oversimplified way of interpreting a chart and is the reason why many people who just read their stars in a newspaper or magazine find them unreliable.
Table summarising information about each of the planets in astrology
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