The Planets of the Zodiac
In Astrology, we focus on 10 planets that are likely to influence our personalities and destinies. It is a geocentric system where the earth is the starting point for analyzing the sky.
Mars' movement is dynamic, symbolizing physical exertion, combativeness, and an enterprising spirit. It has to do with desire, vital energy, and is analogous with the masculine parts of our being and represents courage.
Jupiter symbolizes evolution and is associated with gaining knowledge and a more stoic or philosophical view on life. Jupiter reveals the way we fit into the world and "luck".
Saturn symbolizes Authority: fathers, bosses, justice, the Administration, restrictions, limits, and responsibilities. It informs our maturity, self-control, and how we behave when confronted with trials in life.
Uranus symbolizes change, surprises, independence, and openness to collective energies. It is thanks to Uranus that we are able to stand out from the masses and reintegrate as our own person.
Neptune takes about 14 years to go through each sign. Its position in each sign has to do with the collective and affects an entire generation, which explains its use in astrological studies across the world.
Pluto stays about 20 years in each sign, leaving its mark on an entire era or generation. It represents anything that is hidden, buried, or instinctive. It brings about creative destruction in preparation for renewal; death followed by rebirth.
Since then, other small planets have also joined the family:
Sedna was discovered on 14 November 2003, but this information was only made public on 15 March 2004. It was provisionally given the name of Sedna after the Inuit princess of the sea. This planet has a reddish appearance, similar to Mars, but redder and brighter than any other object in the Solar System and currently situated at a distance equivalent to three times the distance between the Sun and Pluto! Its orbit is highly elliptical and it takes 10,500 years to orbit the Sun. Entire civilisations have Sedna in the same sign, making its influence collective in the extreme. Maybe this is the planet that rules over the destiny of the entire human race... Needless to say there are still no astrological interpretations for Sedna...
Ceres is a small planet with a diameter of 700km, gravitating between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. It was discovered in 1801 and is still rarely used in astrology, though it has been the subject of some research, especially in the USA.In symbolic analogy with the sign of Virgo (replacing Mercury, which is associated with Gemini), Ceres appears to represent mathematical and analytical intelligence. It could be said that Mercury represents verbal ability and Ceres ability with numbers; and that Mercury represents intelligence through understanding and perception, whereas Ceres represents intelligence through analysis and minute dissection. In astrological charts, Ceres presides over the rigorous management of everyday affairs: health, food and the environment.
Chiron is the name given to a small planet gravitating between the orbits of Saturn and Uranus. It is the only planet in the Solar System to change its usual position of alignment. It therefore creates a link, making it an intermediary or bridge between all kinds of different people. It represents wisdom, patience and the ability to reduce the suffering of others. It is said to be the great healer of the zodiac and certain analogies can be found with the sign of Libra. Some astrologers are starting to include it in people's charts and do research into its potential influence. Its place in a chart would appear to mean the presence of a psychological wound, which the individual will need to heal him or herself. Chiron enables us to change direction and start afresh.
What do these new planets mean to astrologers?
Many of their detractors proclaim that these discoveries pull the rug out from underneath the entire system of Astrology. Nothing could be further from the truth. Didn't the ancients, who only had 7 planets at their disposal (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto being unknown), practise an Astrology that we continue to envy today? The ancients practised Astrology as a true science (in Ancient Greece, Astrology could only be studied post-graduation, following Maths, Philosophy, etc.) and already suspected that there were other heavenly bodies that eluded them. Their Astrology was based on common-sense and they had to be content with known and recognised experience. They lacked information and we lack information now. It will always be lacking. It can therefore be concluded by saying that we work with the data we know and if the skies are not entirely easy to read, it probably means that we still lack the philosophical means to interpret new discoveries. Each astronomical discovery is a gamble for future astrologers, who will be able to integrate this new information into their research and experience, thus building an Astrology that is increasingly accurate, collective and humanistic.