Hello again out there! As promised, this blog is going to cover the planets and our chart rulership.
To begin to decode the basics of a natal chart, there are four pieces to understand - planets, signs of the zodiac, houses, and aspects. To understand how all of these components layer together, we're going to use film as an example.
If our chart were a movie, the planets would be the actors/characters, the signs of the zodiac would be the characteristics of the roles they play, the houses would be the various sets/scenes, and the aspects would be how the actors/characters interact with one another.
In this blog, we're just going to zoom in on the planets - which are as follows:
The Sun – The sun is all about our central sense of self. The sun represents our will, the fuel we burn, our ego & personality, who we are at our core, and the conscious mind. It’s natural home on the natal chart is in the 5th House, and it’s associated with Leo.
The Moon – The moon is all about our emotional and inner nature. Just as the moon is constantly changing, so are our moods. The moon is also a place where we can look at the matrilineage in our charts. In terms of the universal duality, the moon represents the feminine/reactive/receptive. It’s natural home on the birth chart is the 4th House, and it’s associated with Cancer.
Note: The sun and moon aren’t technically “planets” in terms of astronomy, but for the purposes of astrology, they are considered heavenly bodies of great significance, and we lump them in with the planets – it’s just how the cookie crumbles. I didn’t invent the astrological language, I just speak it.
Mercury – Mercury in our charts represents how we take in, process, and communicate information. It’s all about how we reason and use our logic. It’s natural homes in the natal chart are the 3rd and 6th Houses, and it’s associated with Gemini & Virgo.
Venus – Venus in our charts relates to our views on love, beauty, friendship, art, and money. In a very basic sense, I like to think of Venus as the things that we place value on. Its natural homes in the natal chart are in the 2nd House and the 7th House, and this planet has dual associations with Taurus and Libra.
Mars – Mars in our charts represents where we feel the primal force to get things going. Mars is how we manifest ideas into being, it’s how we get angry, it’s how we’re competitive, and it also rules our sex drive. It’s all about action with Mars, and we tend to act first and think later under its influence. Mars’ natural homes in the birth chart are in the 1st and 8th Houses, and it has dual association with Aries and Scorpio.
Jupiter – Jupiter in our charts represents where we are generous, tolerant, curious, and a bit of a storyteller. Jupiter is expansive. Everything it touches gets bigger. It governs areas of our life associated with travel, philosophy, and religion/spirituality. It’s natural homes in the birth chart are in the 9th and 12th Houses, and it’s associated with Sagittarius & Pisces.
Saturn – Saturn in our charts represents authority. Saturn is all about doing the hard work. This planet governs practicality, responsibility, and stability. Saturn sometimes gets a bad rep for its perceived restrictive/limiting properties. However, we need Saturn in order to get things done and be accountable in our lives. Saturn is the masculine/patrilineage counterpart to the moon’s feminine/matrilineage archetype. It’s natural homes in the birth chart are in the 10th and 11th Houses, and it’s associated with Capricorn and Aquarius.
Note: Saturn is generally considered the last “inner” planet. As we move out into the outer planets, they tend to affect on a grander, generational scale due to their large orbits. The inner planets we've discussed up to an including Saturn tend to affect on an individual level. Because the orbits are smaller/shorter for inner planets, their placement in a chart can be completely different - even with people born in the same year or on the same day (depending on the planet). Fast-moving planets like the moon and mercury change position very quickly. However, as we move outward, planets can be in one sign for entire generations.
Uranus – Uranus in our charts represents our sense of rebellion, revolution, innovation, progressive thinking, and change. Uranus loves to shock the room and effects on a generational scale. This means that due to its large orbit, the planet spends a long time in each zodiac sign. So, entire generations of people will have Uranus in the same sign. Where it will vary for the individual will be due to which house it falls in on their chart (i.e., what part of life the individual's Uranus plays out). Uranus shares the 11th house with Saturn as it’s natural home, and it’s associated with Aquarius.
Neptune – Neptune in our charts represents our dreams, intuition, the unconscious, psychic/receptive abilities, illusion, and confusion. This is a super Jungian house. Like with Uranus, this planet will be in the same zodiac sign for entire generations of people due to its large orbit. However, which house it falls in on each individual’s chart will be unique to them. Neptune shares the 12th House with Jupiter as it’s natural home on the birth chart, and its associated with Pisces.
Note: I know Pluto isn’t technically considered a “planet” anymore in astronomy. However, like the sun and moon, it’s considered a heavenly body of great significance, so in astrology, we keep it in the planet bucket.
Pluto – Pluto in our charts is all about death, rebirth, transformation, regeneration, and issues of control. Like Uranus and Neptune, this planet stays in the same sign for long periods of time due to its large orbit. So, generations of people will have Neptune in the same sign, but where Neptune affects people on an individual basis will have everything to do with which house it falls in on the natal chart. Pluto shares the 8th House with Mars as it’s natural home on the chart, and it’s associated with Scorpio.
When we talk about these planets having zodiac signs that have a natural affinity/association with them, it’s known as “domicile” in the astrological language. There are also signs that don’t really like certain planetary placement (Hint: it’s the zodiac sign 180° from the domicile on the zodiac wheel.) In the astrological language, this is known as being in “detriment.” That sounds negative, but it’s not. Oftentimes, we grow and get the most out of ourselves when our charts ask us to be “either/or” and we learn how to be “both.”
Now - for chart rulership. What does chart rulership even mean, right? Well, chart rulership speaks to which planet is going to be a heavy-influencer in your chart. You can look at what house that planet falls within, and as you might have guessed, that house will be a primary focus for you as well.
So, how do you determine what your chart ruler is? Remember that blog on our ascendant? Well - if you can locate your ascendant, then you can reference the chart above to find it's corresponding ruler.
To continue our on-going example with Beyonce's chart, Beyonce has a Libra ascendant, which means Venus is her chart ruler. If you look at her chart, her Venus falls in her first house. When we talk about houses and signs of the zodiac in the next blog, we'll unpack what that means, but for now - let the planetary associations sink in, and see if you can determine your chart ruler.