Planets and Their Meaning in Astrology

Astrologers believe that the positions of the planets in the sky affect nearly every aspect of a person’s life. When astrologers use the word “planets”, generally they are referring to the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, although obviously the Sun and Moon are not planets and Pluto is no more considered a planet either!


Astronomical Facts

Distance from Earth: 150,000,000 kilometer
Diameter: 1,400,000 kilometers (a little more than 100 times the diameter of the Earth)
Average temperature of the photosphere: 5,800 degrees Kelvin

The Sun is the center of the solar system. All life revolves around it within this sphere. In the same way, the ego is the center of personal identity and gives integration and continuity to individual experience. In this sense, it might be said that the Sun shows character. This is the fixed pillar at the center of the person around which all else circulates or revolves.

Astrological Meaning

The sign placement of the Sun shows the center of the individual’s basic character. The sign of the Sun is the mostprimary indicator of the forms of experience you are attracted to. Further, this most important placement shows how and why you are attracted to these experiences.

The house placement of the Sun sign shows the primary area of expression for the individual in life. There is a psychological, emotional, and physical significance to the house placement of the Sun. Aspects to the Sun show ways that the core of the personality are linked to other component elements in theindividual’s life. Aspects to the Sun have a deep and overriding significance in the life of the individual and are generally more important, more prominent than other aspects in the chart.

Historical Myth & Legend

Helios was the Greek god of the Sun. Helios drove a chariot pulled by four horses across the sky. Another god of a solar nature is Apollo, the god of the Sun, light, and purity. Apollo was handsome, honest, strong, intelligent, played the lyre and wrote poetry.

Apollo was generally magnanimous, good, and reasonable, but he did occasionally display characteristics that were not always virtuous and pure, as when he and Artemis killed the children f Niobe, queen of Thebes, when she boasted that she was superior to the mother of Apollo and Artemis, Leto. Artemis was a virgin huntress, strong and independent. The symbol given to the right is recognized by some astrologers as being he symbol of the minor asteriod Apollo.

Astrologically, the Sun brings qualities into clear and present manifestation, the Sun strivesto manifest its potential clearly and directly, and Apollo is an appropriate symbolic representation of this because he was able to self-actualize himself to an extraordinary degree in a balanced manner. However, pride can destroy the Sun’s potential for achieving excellence, and pride was also Apollo’s weakness.


Astronomical Facts

Radius (Earth radii): 0.3
Rotation Period (length of day): 27.3 days
Revolutionary Period (length of year): 27.3 days
Mass (Earth masses): 0.012
Density (g/cm3): 3.3
Atmosphere: Almost none. the surface of the Moon has many craters which are believed to be a result of the impact from meteorites. The Moon has almost no atmosphere. The same side of the Moon always faces the Earth. The diameter of the Moon is 3,480 kilometers and is the 5th largest Moon in our solar system (Jupiter has 3 Moon which are larger, and Saturn has one that is larger).

The Moon inscribes a circle around the earth. It moves more swiftly than other astronomical bodies and thus represents day to day and moment to moment movements, adjustments and preoccupations. The Moon is the symbol of the personal life which is molded and shaped by our environment, by events, and by social and familial expectations. Further, the Moon shows our responses to life which are based on our past habits, experiences, our heritage and our individual and collectivecravings.

Astrological Meaning

The sign placement of the Moon shows how you project yourself to the general public, how the instinctive and imaginative component of your mind operates, how you express your feelings and your most general experiences of your family and mother.

The house placement of the Moon shows how and where you make day to day adjustments. Further, it shows the things you are most interested in dealing with in order to gain emotional equilibrium.

The aspects of the Moon show the general characteristics of the personality that are emphasized. Planets in aspect to the Moon are symbolic of qualities in the personality that are used instinctively, habitually and with a high degree of versatility

Historical Myth & Legend

Selene is the Greek goddess of the Moon. Selene drove a chariot across the sky, and the rays from her golden crown lit up the night sky. When her ride finished, her brother, Helios the Sun, began his chariot ride, lighting up the day time.

Circe was another Greek goddess who has lunar qualities. Circe lived on an island in the Mediterranean Sea. When Odysseus landed on the island, Circe turned Odysseus s men into pigs. But Odysseus had a powerful herb given to him by Hermes that enabled him to turn his men back to normal form. Circe then became an ally of Odysseus and aided him in his travels. For example, by warning him of the Sirens and advising Odysseus to put wax in the ears of his sailors so that they would not be lured by the Sirens.

The Sirens were sea nymphs whose sweet singing lured sailors to their rocky island, causing their destruction on the rocky shores. he myth of Circe indicates that emotional and subconscious forces can rule our lives and put us at the ercy of their power (i.e. turn us into pigs) if we are unconsciously controlled by them, but these same emotional and subconscious forces can provide intuition, direction, and assistance if we know how to correctly attune ourselves to the instinctual, biological forces (i.e. use the correct herb). The symbol on the right is recognized by some astrologers as being the symbol of the minor asteriod Circe.


Astronomical Facts

Distance from the Sun: Shortest-28.6 million miles; Greatest-43 million miles
Distance from the Earth: Shortest-57 million miles; Greatest-136 million miles.
Diameter: 3,031 miles
Length of year: 88 earth-days.
Rotation period: 59 earth-days.
Temperature: 315 degrees to 648 degrees F.
Atmosphere: Helium, hydrogen, oxygen.
Number of satellites: None.

Astrological Meaning

Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun. From the viewpoint of the earth it seems to dart back and forth across the face of the Sun, having three retrograde cycles a year. Mercury is the planet of your mental life. It shows how you receive, process and disseminate information. The sign placement of Mercury shows your basic attitude and mental habits. The aspects of Mercury show your scope of vision and your methods for accomplishing tasks.

Historical Myth & Legend

The Greek god Hermes was a very swift messenger who transported messages at the request of the other gods. Hermes was clever, youthful, and mischievous. He enjoyed playing tricks and often used his wit to advantage. For example, he once stole cattle from Apollo, which infuriated Apollo, but Hermes was able o appease Apollo by inventing the lyre, which he gave to Apollo. Hermes exemplifies the qualities of Mercury: quick thinking, communication, and a lack of ethical principles.


Astronomical Facts

Average Distance from Sun (Earth=1.0): 0.7
Radius (Earth Radii): 0.9
Number of known Moons: 0
Rotation Period (length of day): 243 (backward rotation)
Revolutionary Period (length of year): 225 days
Mass (Earth masses): 0.8
Density (g/cm3): 5.2
Atmosphere: 96.5% carbon dioxide, 3.5% nitrogen.
Venus has a large and thick atmosphere, so thick that its surface is not visible from earth. The temperature is about 600 degrees Kelvin and on the surface about 750 degrees Kelvin, twice as hot as a kitchen oven and hot enough to melt lead. Venus has no magnetic field and its surface is fairly smooth, probably similar to rolling hills.

Astrological Meaning

The planet Venus shows the way you express your love nature and what you aspire for in life as good or beautiful. Venus has much to do with how you form your values. The sign placement of Venus shows the type of love energy you have. The house placement of Venus shows the natural area of expression of the love energy.

The aspects of Venus indicate how and under what circumstances you express the gentle and loving side of your nature.

Historical Myth & Legend

The Greek goddess Aphrodite was a ruler of both physical and sensual love as well as ideal, romanticized love, and intellectual, humanitarian, and spiritual love as well. Aphrodite married Hephaestus, the lame blacksmith. Hephaestus was an expert craftsman who made jewelry for Aphrodite, armor for Achilles, and Zeus’s crown. Although married, Aphrodite had love affairs: Ares, the god of war, Anchises, a Trojan prince, and Adonis, a handsome, young hunter were lovers of Aphrodite.

The myth of Aphrodite does exemplify many of the characteristics of Venus’s astrological influence: there are many flavors and styles of Venus’s love, depending on the signs, houses, and aspects to Venus. Beauty has an attractive power over people, as shown in Aphrodite’s physical beauty, and the fact that she married a man, who although not beautiful, could serve her and adorn her with beautiful ornaments. Attractive power and romantic attraction, unless balanced with other factors, will not result in a faithful, monogamous relationship, as evidenced by Aphrodite’s love relationships with handsome men.

Adonis was killed by a wild bear and Aphrodite pleaded with Zeus to bring him back to life. Zeus decided to allow Adonis to live 6 months of each year on earth and 6 months in the lower world, creating the summer and winter seasons. Thus, love can help overcome even death, and the bonds of love can survive the greatest tragedies.


Astronomical Facts

Number of known Moons: 1
Rotation Period (length of day): 1.0 day
Revolutionary Period (length of year): 365.25 days
Density (g/cm3): 5.5
Tilt of axis: 23 1/2 degrees
Atmosphere, percent by volume: 78% nitrogen, 2.1% oxygen, 0.9% argon, 0.03% carbon dioxide, 0.1% to 3% water vapor About 3/4 of the earth’s surface is covered with water.

Planets can be divided into 3 types: the terrestrial planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars), the Jovian planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune), and Pluto which is in a category of its own. The terrestrial planets tend to be more solid, denser bodies while the Jovian planets are larger, more gaseous bodies and have more moons. Pluto is in a category of its own, being very similar to a comet in many ways. Recent space flights have shown that there is no life on Venus or Mars, the two planets which, at one time, was believed to possibly sustain life, but now is known not to be possible. Earth, therefore, is unique in our solar system in that it supports life.

Astrological Meaning

Zodiac signs are sections of the sky. From the earth’s point of view, the Sun, Moon, and planets lie in a circle known in astronomy as the ecliptic plane. The 360 degrees of the circle of this plane are divided into 12 equal sections of 30 degrees. Each 30 degree section is a zodiac sign.

Historical Myth & Legend

In Greek mythology the goddess of the Earth is named Gaea. Gaea was the very first god. In the beginning there was a state of emptiness called Chaos. Gaea emerged from Chaos, and she gave birth to Uranus, the sky. She then married Uranus and they had many children. Uranus kept some of the children in a pit within Gaea known as Tartarus, and Gaea encouraged her other children to rebel against Uranus.

Her youngest son Chronus succeeded in wounding Uranus and replacing him as king of the gods. Gaea therefore is a protector of her children and she does not tolerate the harshness and coldness of Uranus. It is interesting that Gaea is the very first god, born out of the primordial void, and preceded the sky. Psychologically, this symbolizes that the maternal forces of care and protection are of the most primary importance and the source from which the rest of our life should be founded. There would be much less war and strife in the world if we had these priorities!

The Earth is not usually used in astrology because most astrology is done from the person’s point of view and the earth is always in the same direction, right beneath our eet! However, in modern times some astrologers also use heliocentric astrology, viewing the planets from the Sun’s point of view. Heliocentric astrology does not replace geocentric astrology, it serves as an enhancement to it.

So a new question arises in heliocentric astrology that astrologers have not faced before: what does the Earth mean in an astrology hart? The answer seems to be that the Earth serves a similar function in the geocentric chart that the Sun serves in the geocentric chart; it is our basic identity. In the heliocentric chart the Earth may indicate how we “ground” ourselves, how we establish ourselves in a practical way and how we emotionally and physically “attach” ourselves, how we express and manifest our thoughts, feelings, and dreams in a practical manner.


Astronomical Facts

The following data is current as of 1995.
Average Distance from Sun (Earth=1.0): 1.5
Radius (Earth radii): 0.5
Number of known Moons: 2
Rotation Period (length of day): 1.03 days
Revolutionary Period (length of year): 1.88 years
Mass (Earth masses): 0.1
Density (g/cm3): 3.9
Atmosphere: 95.3 % carbon dioxide, 2.7% nitrogen, 1.6% argon, 0.13% oxygen, 0.07% carbon monoxide, 0.03% water vapor. The temperature on Mars is, on average about 50 degrees Kelvin cooler than on Earth. The poles have ice caps which shrink during summer and get larger in the winter. These ice caps are mostly frozen carbon dioxide. the northern hemisphere of Mars is mostly fairly smooth, probably like rolling volcanic plains, while the southern hemisphere is mostly heavily cratered highlands. There are 4 very large volcanoes on Mars and hundreds of smaller ones. Mars has no magnetic field.

Mars has 2 Moon, Phobos (Fear) and Deimos (Panic), named for the horses the drew Aries’ chariot. Astronomers believe that these 2 Moons were once asteroids that were captured by Mars and became satellites.

Astrological Meaning

Mars is the planet of desires. It shows how you aim at your goals and how you power yourself toward your goals. Mars represents your most fundamental wants. The sign placement of Mars shows the fundamental nature of your assertions. The house placement of Mars shows the area of your life you are most likely to focus on. The aspects to Mars show how and to what extent your desires and assertions are involved with other aspects of

Historical Myth & Legend

Ares, the Greek god of war, is typically portrayed as a ferocious fighter who enjoyed bloody encounters. Despite his aggressive and ferocious character, he sometimes would lose a battle because he would be outwitted by his opponent.

For example, in The Iliad, the mortal Diomedes was able to injure Ares in a battle. Diomedes was assisted by the goddess Athena. Ares had several intense love relationships, most notably one with Aphrodite, but no lasting happiness in romantic affairs.

Astrologers generally regard the planet Mars as the drive for achievement and it is not necessarily militaristic or aggressive, but frustration and anger are vexing problems that most people encounter regularly; mastering the energy of Mars is often challenging and difficult. It is certainly true that Mars needs the assistance of Mercury (intelligence) to achieve its goals, and with out which it can become unbalanced and dysfunctional.


Astronomical Facts

Information about the planets is constantly being updated. For example, the number of known Moons for some planets has increased over the years. The following data is current as of 1995.
Average Distance from Sun (Earth=1.0): 5.2
Radius (Earth radii): 11.2
Number of known Moons: 16
Rotation Period (length of day): 0.4 days
Revolutionary Period (length of year): 11.86 years
Mass (Earth masses): 318
Density (g/cm3): 1.3
Atmosphere: 86% hydrogen, 14% helium
Tilt of axis: 3 degrees

Jupiter is the largest planet. Four of Jupiter’s moons are visible from Earth with a small telescope. These 4 large moons are called the Galilean moons after Galileo Galilei who observed them in the early 1600’s. The names of these 4 large Moons are (Click on the Moons to see a picture of them) Ganymede , Callisto , Io and Europa . Jupiter has a strong magnetic field. Jupiter rotates rapidly, its day being only 9 hours 56 minutes, but Jupiter is not solid, except perhaps at its core, and some parts of Jupiter’s surface rotate a little faster than others; this is known as differential rotation. 9 hours 56 minutes is an average rotational speed. Because Jupiter’s axis is tilted only 3 degrees from being perpendicular to the plane of its orbit, and its orbit is nearly circular, there is very few seasonal variation on Jupiter. One of the most visible features on Jupiter is its Red Spot, which evidently is a storm similar to a hurricane about the size of planet earth that has been existed for hundreds of years.

Astrological Meaning

Jupiter is the king of the planets. He is in charge of the order of creation. Jupiter shows your values, where you feel confident and in control, and where you feel you have something to teach others. The sign placement of Jupiter shows your values in life.

The house placement of Jupiter shows the area of life you feel luckiest in and the area you receive the most help from other people and from the cosmos. The aspect patterns to Jupiter show the direct network of good and administrative power in your life.

Historical Myth & Legend

The Greek god Zeus in Roman mythology was known as Jupiter. He was the ruler of the other Greek gods, and he often decided matters of justice when a conflict arose between gods or between gods and mortals. Although Zeus held this highest position, he was not without problems of his own. For example, his passions sometimes drove him to become involved in romantic affairs, sometimes secretly, sometimes utilizing deception, trickery or force to get his way, and Zeus sometimes sought the favors of other gods to assist him in the difficult situations that he would find himself in.

The planet Jupiter, like Zeus, leads one to larger and larger arenas, and can bring one great success and authority, but Jupiter is indulgent, and is prone to wastefulness and excess. Not all characteristics of Zeus seem Jupiterian, however. For example, Zeus’s use of thunderbolts brings to mind the planet Uranus, so the myths do not always translate simply and directly to astrological terminology. The symbol on the right is the glyph that Uranian astrologers use for the hypothetical planet Zeus.


Astronomical Facts

Information about the planets is constantly being updated. For example, the number of known Moons for some planets has increased over the years. The following data is current as of 1995.
Average Distance from Sun (Earth=1.0): 9.5
Radius (Earth radii): 9.4
Number of known Moons: 18
Rotation Period (length of day): 0.4 days
Revolutionary Period (length of year): 29.46 years
Mass (Earth masses): 95
Density (g/cm3): 1.3
Atmosphere: 92.4% hydrogen, 7.4% helium, traces of methane and ammonia
Tilt of axis: 27 degrees. Saturn is, of course, most famous for its rings. Actually, Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune also have rings but they are very faint and subtle compared to Saturn’s rings. Like Jupiter and and Uranus, Saturn has differential rotation; Rotation period is about 10 hours 40 minutes, but is 26 minutes shorter near the poles. Saturn’s axial tilt of 27 degrees is similar to Earth’s tilt of 23 1/2 degrees. Most planets have “equatorial bulge”; the diameter at the equator is larger than at the poles because the rotation of the planet causes expansion at the equator. Saturn’s equatorial bulge is large; the polar diameter is 10% less than the equatorial diameter. Saturn’s surface is not solid, and the lower levels of the gases are frozen, and upper levels of the gases are about 100 degrees Kelvin.

Astrological Meaning

One of Saturn’s Moons, Titan, is very large and was discovered by Christian Huygens in 1655. Titan’s diameter is 5,150 kilometers and it is larger than Mercury and about half the size of Earth. Saturn has many Moons which are also of significant size. In decreasing size order the are (with the diameter in kilometers in parentheses next to the planet: Rhea (1530), Iapetus (1440), Dione (1120), Tethys (1050), Enceladus (502), and Mimas (394)

The planet Saturn shows where you feel restricted. You feel obligations and fears through Saturn. Because of your feeling connected with Saturn you are either responsible or neglectful. The sign placement of Saturn shows the basic type of energy connected with your obligations. The house placement of Saturn shows an area of life that you feel restricted in and work hard to obtain the things that come to you. The aspects of Saturn show the most direct involvement of other areas of your life with your feelings of responsibility.

Historical Myth & Legend

There do not appear to be many mythical characters who directly exemplify the astrological qualities of Saturn. In Roman mythology there is a god named Saturn, who was a god of agriculture, and who brought prosperity and good harvests. The god Saturn worked long hours in his vineyards. He had once been a king but was driven from this high position by the god Jupiter. Jupiter was the Roman version of the Greek god Zeus.

In Roman times, the greatest holiday season was Saturnalia, a 7 day feast and celebration beginning around December 18. Celebration and festivities are not, however, qualities that astrologers associate with Saturn. The planet Saturn’s astrological influence is quite the contrary, to strip away and focus on the essentials.

The planet Saturn prefers simplicity and is serious rather than inclined to revelry and indulgence. However, one can argue that it is hard work, discipline, ease, and attention to one’s responsibilities that are the essential ingredients that make prosperity, fulfillment, and success possible.

The god Saturn did work patiently and humbly in the fields. He did not have the glory of a king, but his patient and humble efforts helped serve the real needs of people – these are excellent representations of the planet Saturn’s astrological influence.

The Roman god Saturn is strongly influenced by the Greek mythological character Cronus. The word Cronus is related to “chronos” which means time. Saturn, astrologically, is the “keeper of time”, and brings maturity, wisdom, and simplicity to people over time. Cronus was a titan, a race of giants that lived before the advent of the pantheon of Gods on Mount Olympus headed by Zeus.


Astronomical Facts

Information about the planets is constantly being updated. For example, the number of known Moons for some planets has increased over the years. The following data is current as of 1995.
Average Distance from Sun (Earth=1.0): 19.2
Radius (Earth radii): 4.0
Number of known Moons: 15
Rotation Period (length of day): 0.7 days (backwards)
Revolutionary Period (length of year): 84.01 years.
Mass (Earth masses): 15
Density (g/cm3): 1.2
Atmosphere: 84% hydrogen, 14% helium, 2% methane.
Tilt of axis: 98 degrees.

Uranus was discovered in 1781 by British astronomer William Herschel. Its name was suggested by astronomer Johann Bode. Like Jupiter and Saturn, Uranus has differential rotation, that is some parts of its gaseous surface rotate faster than other parts, but very oddly, the rotation is faster near its poles than at its equator. At the poles the period of rotation is about 14.2 hours and at the equator about 16.5 hours. Uranus, unlike any other planet, is spinning on its side! Its north and south poles are only 8 degrees from being precisely “on its side”, that is with the poles precisely in the plane of its orbit. For 42 years, one pole is facing the Sun and then the other side is facing it for 42 years, resulting in extreme seasonal effects; there are big differences between summer and winter temperatures. The largest Moons of Uranus are, in decreasing size order (the diameter in kilometers is given in parentheses): Titania (1610), Oberon (1550), Umbriel (1190), Ariel (1160), and Miranda (485).

Astrological Meaning

The planet Uranus is beyond the orbit of Saturn and can’t be seen without the aid of a telescope. It represents the sky in us, that which transcends the limits of finite life. Uranus raises the vibration of everything it contacts. The sign placement of Uranus shows your broadest striving for freedom. The house placement of Uranus indicates your area of direct unique expression. The aspects to Uranus indicate the way you express your need for higher consciousness.

Historical Myth & Legend

The planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto were unknown in ancient times. The fact that many Greek gods clearly personify the astrological influences of planets is probably not coincidental or even always subtle in its relationship: most likely astrological theory sometimes provided the basic ideas upon which the myths were built. But this could not be possible with the 3 outer planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto because these planets were unknown when Greek myths flourished. Astronomers continued the tradition of naming planets after Greek gods.

Uranus was born from Gaea, the Earth, and he became the god of the sky. His rains fertilized the Earth and gave birth to many kinds of human-like creatures, one of which were the Cyclopes and another were the Titans. Uranus tried to confined the Cyclopes to the depths of the Earth, a place known as Tartarus.

Gaea encouraged her children to rebel against Uranus, and the youngest Titan, Cronus, was successful in wounding Uranus. After this occurred, little is mentioned about Uranus in Greek mythology. The myth of Uranus does not appear to describe Uranus’s astrological characteristics very well, but this is not surprising given the fact that its name was given much later than the myth, and there was no conscious attempt by astronomers (who very often are not believers in astrology) to select a myth with astrologically appropriate significance.

The myth of Uranus does have some points of similarity to Uranus’s astrological influence: the planet Uranus is associated with sudden explosions of energy like lightning, which is a product of the sky, Uranus’s domain.


Astronomical Facts

Information about the planets is constantly being updated. For example, the number of known Moons for some planets has increased over the years. The following data is current as of 1995.
Average Distance from Sun (Earth=1.0): 30.1
Radius (Earth radii): 3.9
Number of known Moons: 8
Rotation Period (length of day): 0.6 days
Revolutionary Period (length of year): 164.79 years
Mass (Earth masses): 17
Atmosphere: 84% hydrogen, 14% helium, 3% methane.
Density (g/cm3): 1.7 Neptune’s largest Moon is Triton, which has a diameter of 2,760 kilometers. It was discovered by astronomer William Lassell in 1846. Proteus is the second largest Moon of Neptune and has a diameter of 415 kilometers. Information about the planets is constantly being updated. For example, the number of known Moons for some planets has increased over the years.

Astrological Meaning

The planet Neptune has an almost perfectly circular orbit. It represents the part of our nature that strives for perfection, that looks to some higher ideal. The planet Neptune rules the ocean and the part of us that is beyond the limits of the shores of personal existence. The culture moves with the cycles of
Neptune and it is the primary indicator of your connection to the culture that you live in.

The sign of Neptune shows an ideal that you desire to manifest. The house placement of Neptune shows thearea of your life that you want to express this ideal in. The aspect patterns of Neptune indicate the most direct connections yet most subtle networking of your personality into the world at large.

Historical Myth & Legend

The planet Neptune is named after the Roman god Neptune, who is the Roman version of the Greek god Poseidon. Poseidon was the god of the seas. The Greeks were seafaring people and traveled by boat, which was a vitally important, but dangerous part of their lives.

Poseidon was a strong and powerful god, who could cause storms, earthquakes, and other catastrophes. Before embarking on a journey by boat, Greeks would say prayers to Poseidon, asking for safety and protection, and upon returning give thanks to him.

Poseidon’s great strength and ferocity were evident from his earliest days, when he fought with his brothers Zeus and Hades against the Titans. After their victory, Zeus, the leader of the battle, claimed the sky for himself, and he rewarded Hades with ruler ship of the underworld and Poseidon with ruler ship of the ocean.

The strong, easily angered god Poseidon does not seem to exhibit the astrological qualities of Neptune: intuition, receptivity, idealism, and passivity. Some of the beings who accompanied Poseidon were magical and sensitive and therefore, Neptunian in their character: Poseidon was attended by sea goddesses called Nereids and an elderly man named Proteus, who could change his shape and foretell the future.


Astronomical Facts

Average Distance from Sun (Earth=1.0): 39.5
Radius (Earth radii): 0.2
Number of known Moons: 1
Rotation Period (length of day): 6.4 days (backwards)
Revolutionary Period (length of year): 248.4 years
Mass (Earth masses): 0.003
Density (g/cm3): 2.0

Pluto was discovered in 1930 by American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh. Pluto’s orbit is very elongated and has an eccentricity of 0.25, and the inclination of its orbit to the ecliptic plane is 17.2 degrees. In non-technical terms, this means that Pluto’s orbit is very egg-shaped; orbits of all other planets are much closer to being circular. Also, Pluto’s orbit varies more from the plane of other planets.

Some astronomers point out that Pluto’s orbit is similar to that of a comet; Pluto is viewed by some astronomers as having some characteristics of a comet and some of a planet. Pluto’s orbit is so elliptical that Pluto sometimes moves within the orbit of Neptune so that it is closer to the Sun than Neptune is. Pluto is a tiny planet with a diameter of only 2,300 kilometers. Pluto has one moon, which was discovered in 1978, and is named Charon. Charon has a diameter of 1,300 kilometers in diameter, over half the diameter of Pluto, and Charon’s mass is about 1/6 that of Pluto, making it the largest moon-to-planet ratio in the solar system; in other words, Charon is not a large Moon but it is relatively large for the planet it revolves around, Pluto.

Astrological Meaning

The planet Pluto represents the dark underground part of you. It shows your ability to transform the most fundamental properties in your own inner nature. The sign of Pluto is the way the obsessive, compulsive and committed part of your nature expresses itself. The house placement of Pluto shows the area of life where you make your most fundamental and most potent changes.

The aspects to Pluto show the deepest most unconscious links in your personality structure.

Historical Myth & Legend

The planet Pluto was named after the Roman god Pluto, who was nearly identical to the Greek god Hades. Hades ruled the underworld, which was also called Hades. The underworld is a place beneath the earth’s surface where dead souls go. Virtuous souls lived in Elysium, a beautiful and happy place, and evil souls went to hellish Tartarus to suffer. Hades was generally grim and cold, but not extremely painful.

The planet Pluto draws out feelings that are deep within a person, and can make a person compulsive or fanatical, and often brings up deep-rooted problems, that can be addressed, dealt with, healed, and perfected; many astrologers refer to Pluto as a planet of transformation and regeneration because it gives the opportunity to change old, habitual attitudes.

Although the planet Pluto was discovered in the 20th century, and given its name by astronomers, not astrologers, the myth of Pluto does symbolically present some of the major astrological themes of Pluto; the Roman god Pluto rules the underworld, and the planet Pluto brings out deep issues embedded in our “psychological underworld”. The symbol given to the right is the symbol of one of the eight hypothetical planets, Hades, used in Uranian astrology.

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Planets and Their Meaning in Astrology
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